Answer Songs

I don’t know if that is the correct term for this or not but I’m looking for songs that reply to other songs.

The most well known - as far as I know - is Sweet Home Alabama in answer to Southern Man

I’ve always loved when poets (and songwriters ARE poets) reply to each other’s work ever since I read The Passionate Shepherd To His Love and the responseby Sir Walter Raleigh

Some what are some of your favourite answer songs?

As a further conversation piece - if anyone is so inclined - I’m convinced that when Buffy St. Marie (and later Donovan) said and Phil Ochs came back with.

From the rap world, Ice Cube had a running feud with his former group, NWA. “No Vaseline” was a response to “100 miles and runnin”, as well as other tracks released by the group.

“100 miles and runnin’”:

It started with five but yo, one couldn’t take it / So now there’s four 'cause the fifth couldn’t make it.

“No Vaseline”

Cuz you know I’m the one that flown / ya done run 100 miles, but you still got one to go.

Admittedly, this response doesn’t fit the tough-LA-gang-member profile, but it’s one of the few SFW lyrics I could post.

I’ve never heard “A Girl Named Johnny Cash,” but I’ve always assumed it was a response to “A Boy Named Sue.”

Speaking of “A Boy Named Sue” Shel Silverstein wrote “Son of a Boy Named Sue.” Now, he also wrote ABNS but this song wasn’t a sequel it was an answer song because it told the same story but from the father’s perspective. It’s also delightfully twisted.

The best answer I can think of is “This Land is Your Land” which as an answer to “God Bless America.”

Hank Ballard’s “Work With Me, Annie” inspired a number of answer songs, most famously Etta James’ “The Wallflower” (a.k.a. “Dance With Me, Henry” or “Roll With Me, Henry”).

Unsurprisingly there’s a whole Wiki page full of examples.

Oops, make that “Father of a Boy Named Sue” in post #4.

I hear “Annie Had a Baby (Can’t Work No More)” fairly often on the '50s channel, much more often than "The Wallflower. The answer to the answer is more popular than the answer.

There was the hip-hop Roxanne Roxanne/Real Roxanne stuff in the 80s. Seems like there was about 20 of those going back and forth. That one has to hold the record for answer songs.

I was just going to mention the Roxanne feuds in the 80s. Here is the wiki take on it.

Also Joni Mitchell’s The Circle Game was in response to Neil Young’s Sugar Mountain.

I’ve always thought Dylan’s “It Ain’t Me Babe” (with the line “No, no, no”) was an answer to the Beatles’ “She Loves You”.

Carole King wrote and recorded a parody response to Neil Sedaka’s “Oh! Carol!” titled, surprisingly enough, “Oh! Neil!”

Ashes to Ashes answered Space Oddity, both David Bowie songs. Later there was the techno Major Tom, by Peter Schiller or Schilling. Something like that.

Ginger Davis and the Snaps song “I’m No Runaround” is an answer song to “Runaround Sue” by Dion.

Kitty Well’s (RIP) It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels was an answer
song to Hank Thompson’s The Wild Side of Life.

Jim Reeves recorded the country classic “He’ll Have to Go.”

Jeanne Black then recorded the answer song “He’ll Have to Stay.”
The Stones’ “Let It Bleed” was an answer of sorts to the Beatles’ “Let It Be.”

If we get into hip hop, with its battle rhyme culture, we can list songs all day.

The Roxannesongs are the classic example.
ETA: I was so busy sweating ministryman’s post that I didn’t realize lost4life beat me to the punch on Roxanne. I will leave my post anyway, since it has a link for the wiki article.

ETA: Sorry guys. I didn’t read the thread. Mcgato also beat me to the wiki. I’m useless here. Carry on.

Bobby Vinton had a song “Roses are Red

Two months later a singer named Florraine Darlin released a reply, "Long as the Rose is red"

Thanks for all of the great leads guys!

I’ve never heard of many of the songs (and fewer of the answers) and I look forward to listenning to them - especialy the Roxanne cycle.

Last night I was checking out a compilation of songs about the Vietnam war (13 friggin discs) which of course includes the old chestnut Ballad of the Green Beret which I had cringed through far too many times before but immediately following it on the disc is The Son Of A Green Beret (A Child’s Ballad Of The Green Beret). Sorry I can’t find a link to the song anywhere.

The Son of a Green Beret is sung in a child’s voice (complete with lisp) and is about how badly the boy wants to grow up to be a green beret just like his -dead - father. a very poignant song.

Actualy that complilation Vietnam - The War On Record, 1961-2008 contains a great many answer songs and the songs that sparked them.

Leslie Gore had her own duo…It’s My Party and Judy’s Turn To Cry.

There’s a lot of great answer songs on these three compilations.