Steve Almond talks about song and how it's a great way to study concise storytelling. When you think about it, it makes sense; songwriters have to do it in three minutes.
Because I can, I want to share my top five* storytelling songs. As always, this isn't in any particular order and subjected to change at my discretion.
No Surprize by Aerosmith
Technically, this is an autobiography in song, but still damn impressive to encapsulate their rise to fame in such a short amount of time. I'm pretty sure there was a line in my long-deceased contract that said "learn this song by heart."
Puff the Magic Dragon by Peter, Paul, and Mary
Everyone had an imaginary friend growing up, and the protagonist of this song is no different. We learn about their relationship and what happens when you give up your imaginary friend.
The Gambler by Kenny Rogers
Some guy gets advice from a wizened gambler on how to handle life.
A Boy Named Sue by Johnny CashPretty good parable about what happens when you name your boy after a girl. (Okay, so there *might* be more, but you can figure it out.) Bonus: written by Shel Silverstein
Tribute by Tenacious D
Two guys are challenged to a musical duel with the Devil.
American Pie by Don McLean
It's technically nonfiction, but still. Don McLean conveyed the aftermath of the plane crash that killed Buddy Holly, The Big Bopper, and Richie Valens.
What songs tell you great stories? Share below!
* Originally this was supposed to be the top ten, but I'm tired so you only get half.
Last.fm hit of the day: Raining When I Go by Spyder Baby