Songs that tell a good story?

I miss songs that told us little stories. It has been a very long time (that I know of) since one’s been released. Below are a few of my favorites… what are some of yours?

Coven - One Tin Solider
**Gordon Lightfoot **- Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald

A lot of Harry Chapin’s ballads tell interesting little stories. Off the top of my head:

A Better Place to Be
The Rock
They Call Her Easy
Mr. Tanner
The Mayor of Candor Lied
What Made America Famous?

The Decemberists - The Mariner’s Revenge Song
Mono Puff - The Devil Went Down To Newport (Totally Rocking)

Johnny Cash has a host of them:

Don’t Take Your Guns to Town
The Ballad of Ira Hayes
A Boy Named Sue
One Piece at a Time
The Long Black Veil
Cocaine Blues
Ballad of a Teenage Queen
The One On The Right Is On The Left
Ghost Riders in the Sky
The Wall
25 Minutes to Go
I Got Stripes
Highway Patrolman
The Wreck of the Old 97
Delia’s Gone
Ballad of Barbara
When It’s Springtime In Alaska (It’s Forty Below)
Austin Prison
Jacob Green

Two other favorites are El Paso by Marty Robbins and Lily, Rosemary And The Jack Of Hearts by Bob Dylan.

Jim Croce Operator

I love The Silver Jews - ‘I Remember Me’.

Marty Robbins has bunches of them,starting with the above mentioned
El Paso ,he also wrote 2 sequels to the song called
El Paso City A song in present day, he is flying over El Paso in an airplane,recalls a song he heard long ago about a cowboy and a girl. He then realizes he is the reincarnation of the dead cowboy.
Felina-Tells Felina’s life story ending with her rushing out to the fallen cowboy,seeing he is dead she kills herself with his gun.

Others are;
The Master’s Call
Strawberry Roan
Billy The Kid
Utah Carol
Big Iron
Running Gun
Ballad of the Alamo
San Angelo

There are many others,
Marty was a great story teller.

Lots of Pete Townsend’s work for the Who:

I Can See For Miles
A Quick One While He’s Away
Happy Jack
Magic Bus
Won’t Get Fooled Again
Who are You? (based on a real incident)
Tommy (the entire record)

John Entwhistle’s work for the group are often stories:

My Wife
Trick of the Light

Ray Davies of the Kinks also often tells a story:

Sitting in the Midday Sun
Here Comes Flash
Ducks on the Wall
Come Dancing

Brownsville Girl, by Bob Dylan.


Heard a thousand times, and I still don’t know what he’s talking (singing) about.

Golly gee, but it’s been a bad day at work, and I’m schnozzled, but no one’s brought up Springsteen? State Trooper, The River, and a dozen more I can’t think of? Townes Van Zant?

Lily, Rosemary, and the Jack of Hearts - Bob Dylan.

The Wedding List - Kate Bush
Virginia - The Marshall Tucker Band
Two Silhouettes - The Rays
Nosferatu - Blue Oyster Cult

Don’t forget Cat’s in the Cradle. :wink:

Charlie Daniels had a few good ones:

Uneasy Rider
The Devil Went Down to Georgia

Me and My Uncle - Grateful Dead

Okkervil River - Westfall
Fountains of Wayne - Strapped for Cash

Smoke on the Water - Deep Purple

Askance beat me to Dylan’s Jack of Hearts which was the first to come to mind. The second was:

Alice’s Restaurant by Arlo Guthrie
(Actually the story is all spoken but it’s still a story innt?)

Red Barchetta, Rush
American Pie, Don MacLean
As Cool As I Am, Dar Williams

My first thought is always Kenny Roger’s The Gambler.

You got to know when to hold 'em.
Know when the fold 'em.
Know when to walk away and know when to run.
You never count your money when you’re sitting at the table.
They’ll be time enough for counting when the dealing’s done.

Violent Femmes - Country Death Song