ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Songs That Tell A Story

Updated on December 15, 2016
Source

Every time I come across a song that tells a story, there is something about it but it stays longer in my mind than others that do not. I think the reason for this is the story in and of itself makes the song a whole lot more interesting.

Some songs tell stories about historical incidents that really happened. Others, especially country songs, tell more personal stories, about loved ones, fights, death but they all speak of people and the song contains a tale within it that has a beginning and an end. These songs, especially the ones about history are quite helpful as they are easy to learn and help to remind one of some basic points which then trigger the details you perhaps researched before. They can also be quite funny.

Rasputin by Boney M.

One such song which speaks of a historical figure and is quite funny is Rasputin by the band called Boney M. It is performed quite comically but it tells the story of Rasputin, adviser to the Czar of Russia in quite a detailed way. Of course, some points are embellished a bit as it was written for entertainment purposes as well, but on the whole the lyrics are quite accurate and if one listens to the song and enjoys it, then the chances of one forgetting just who Rasputin was in history are slim to none.

Boney M singing Rasputin

Ballad of Alamo by Marty Robbins

Marty Robbins singing El Paso

As one can see from watching it, the band truly tried to portray the character of Rasputin. It was a huge hit in Russia even though it was a banned song. For sure anyone listening to this song can say that they do know a bit of Russian history.

Ballad of The Alamo by Marty Robbins

This song is a complete history lesson on the Alamo. If you have a problem remembering your facts, names, or years, this tune has it wrapped up in three minutes and fifty-five seconds. Who says learning can't be fun!

El Paso by Marty Robbins

This song tells the story of a young man who falls in love only to die because of it. Most songs that tell a story do end in some sort of tragedy or victory - they are stories after all. But the tune and lyrics are so simple that as pointed out before they do seem to stay on the mind more than other songs. Hearing the song is like a mini movie because one's imagination gets caught up in the Texas gun fight and Felina running out to say goodbye. Even though it is a story, there are things that can be learned from it. For instance, if you didn't know a thing about West Texas before, after listening to this song, you will have learned that there is a town called El Paso there. Geography and a good story all rolled into one.


Redemption Song by Bob Marley

Last Kiss by J Frank Wilson and the Cavaliers

The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald by Gordon Lightfoot


Bob Marley's Redemption Song has story as well as message wrapped up in one. The first verse deals with the capturing of African slaves and their transportation to the New World. It speaks of the trials and tribulations that they went through all through the voice of the narrator. So it is in the first person narrative although referring to an entire group of people. The second verse now speaks to those same people encouraging them to emancipate themselves from another type of slavery, mental slavery,which they possibly are not aware of.

Both verses complete the message of Redemption songs and I would say that one cannot do without the other for the first explains the struggle and proves that slavery can be beat, therefore the second verse is boosted by the first and helps to encourage the belief that mental slavery can be abolished as well.


Then there is the song called Last Kiss by J Frank Wilson and The Cavaliers. It was redone by Pearl Jam and became a great hit but it originally came from these guys. A love story written in a song it has a tragic ending but people seem to love it. A boy taking his sweetheart on a date gets into a car accident and he survives but she is badly hurt and he just has enough time to say goodbye to her.

The Wreck of The Edmund Fitzgerald by Gordon Lightfoot tells the true story of a ship which sank during a hurricane called The Edmund Fitzgerald. It happened on the 10th of November 1975 and some twenty-none people perished when the ship sank. Once again you get not only history from this song but a bit of Geography as places like Wisconsin, Detroit, and the Great lakes are mentioned.

There is many a country song which tells a story for instance the one about Joni and Jimmy. Where Joni loved Jimmy but she was too young for him so he went away. When he came back because he realized he couldn't do without her, she had married his best friend John. Or how about the one where the grandfather is standing outside the church door telling his fifteen year old grandson just how his grandparents met while his wife is at home dying? Then there was the ever popular one called Frankie about a crush a young girl had that she never quite seemed to get over and the one that Theresa Brewer sang called Sad Movies Always Make Me Cry when she went to the pictures alone because her boyfriend at the time said he couldn't make it. Upon arriving whom should he spy but her boyfriend and her best friend.

There are ones with what I call "oompf" at the end like Kenny Rogers' Coward of The County where the young boy after years of being the peacemaker and getting trampled on for it, finally has enough after his wife Becky becomes a victim and he turns psycho on the bullies of the town.

Whether they have a happy ending or sad, there is one thing that songs with stories make us do and that is listen until the end. After that we decide whether we like them or not but the end has to be known.

©

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • North Wind profile imageAUTHOR

      North Wind 

      4 years ago from The World (for now)

      Ok, still looking for it but it may take some time and I can make no promises!

    • profile image

      Rob 

      4 years ago

      Thanx, Don't think it's that one, think he was saved by ghost of another soldier, always stuck in my head when I heard it, nice to listen to

    • North Wind profile imageAUTHOR

      North Wind 

      4 years ago from The World (for now)

      Johnny Cash sang one about an outlaw who was saved by a girl in the desert; it was called Girl From the Canyon. That is all I could find right now but I will keep looking.

    • profile image

      rob 

      4 years ago

      I'm looking for a song I heard when I was young, it was about soldier lost in the desert and was saved by a mirage, it was in similar style to deck of cards, if anyone can help, thanx

    • KevinC9998 profile image

      KevinC9998 

      6 years ago

      I enjoyed your hub and voted it up. I too like songs that tell our stories and wrote a similar hub which I hope you enjoy, https://hubpages.com/entertainment/What-was-the-na...

    • North Wind profile imageAUTHOR

      North Wind 

      7 years ago from The World (for now)

      Thanks for the suggestions PDXKaraoke Guy! I know that I missed a lot. I will probably revise this hub as soon as I decide which others to put it. As you said there are many others and they all tell pretty interesting stories!

    • PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

      Justin W Price 

      7 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      good read, but, you're missing several great story songs, such as Bob Seger's Turn the Page, as well as other great story tellers like Billy Joel, Elton John, Tom petty, Steve Earle and Johnny Cash

    • North Wind profile imageAUTHOR

      North Wind 

      7 years ago from The World (for now)

      Thanks for reading, Fiddleman!

    • profile image

      Fiddleman 

      7 years ago

      I enjoy these kind of songs too. The bluegrass that I love so very much is filled with songs that have stories. Great hub and a good read, thanks so much for sharing.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)