Songs That Tell a Story

I love lyrics that play in my mind like a film. Songs with stories that linger long after the last note sounds.

It’s Friday evening, a time to chill out with good music, company and a glass of wine. Below is a sample of story songs I happen to love. As always, please leave your own favourites in the comments.

Rock n’ Roll Dreams Come Through – Meatloaf. Haunting, beautiful, stunning. I love everything about the song and the video.

In the Air Tonight – Phil Collins. Moody and a little bit scary. Love the drums towards the end.

There Were Roses – Cara Dillon. Heartbreaking.

Livin’ on a Prayer – Bon Jovi. I feel like I know Tommy and Gina. Here’s an acoustic version.

Postcards – The Blizzards. This Irish band broke up a few years ago and the lead singer, Bressie, has gone solo. This is a beautiful, underrated song, and of course, Bressie is always nice to look at.

She’s in Love with the Boy – Trisha Yearwood. I first heard this in the River Phoenix & Samantha Mathis film, That Thing Called Love set in Nashville. A happy, feel good tune.

Runaway Train – Soul Asylum. It’s a dark song but reminds me of my happy childhood.

Two Beds and a Coffee Machine – Savage Garden. This Aussie band was my favourite in the late 90s/early 2000s. This song is beautiful and heart-wrenching.

I Don’t Want to Wait – Paula Cole. Dawson’s Creek memories.

So there you have my list. It’s a short one – I had to restrain myself from posting ten more. Anything here you disagree with? I love hearing from you, especially when it comes to discovering new music. Enjoy your Friday night.

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About Emma

Buffy fan, avid reader, writer.
This entry was posted in Songs that can change your life (or at the very least your day), Various and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to Songs That Tell a Story

  1. Jen Naumann says:

    Lots of pretty songs. ‘In the Air Tonight’ is one of the best songs EVER. I’m more of an alternative music type girl and don’t listen to a lot of ballads or too much classic rock. Most often you’ll catch me listening to Jack Johnson or Foo Fighters. A friend recently got me hooked on Florence + The Machine’s ‘Seven Devils’ and I can’t get enough of it. 😉

    • Emma says:

      I first took notice of “In the Air Tonight” when I heard Maria sing it on the TV show Roswell.
      “Seven Devils” is great. Love the eerie horror music in the background of that one.
      Thanks, Jen.

  2. beckyday6 says:

    I have to agree, I am a much bigger fan of songs that tell stories, it’s one of the reasons I love country music and folk so much. 🙂

  3. You have so many of my favorites in here. Love it!

  4. Shannon says:

    Love “Runaway Train.” Dark song, sunny memories. Funny how that works.

  5. laurajc83 says:

    Ooooh GREAT QUESTION, have so many, Thunder Rolls by Garth Brooks, Luka by Suzanne Vega, 100% agree with runaway train, All I wanna do is make love to you by Heart has a great story BUT…..But the no1 winner for me is Hazard by Richard Marx! Who the f*** killed Mary?!! That’s what I wanna know!! 😀

    • Emma says:

      I’m listening to “Hazard” right now. Can’t believe I forgot that one. That song was one of my favourites from Dad’s old MTV videotape from years and years ago. Chilling, moody song.
      I should have put in “The Dance” by Garth Brooks. Thanks, Laura.

  6. Mae Clair says:

    I love songs that tell stories. There are soooo many good ones, it’s hard to choose. Loved your choices, especially There Were Roses. As you said, heart wrenching.

    Billy Joel has a lot of good ones—Downeaster Alexa, Allentown, and Scenes from an Italian Restaurant (poor Brenda and Eddie!), but my favorite story songs are much older. Me and Bobby McGee by Janis Joplin, Ode to Billie Joe by Bobbi Gentry, and the one that gets me every time—One Tin Soldier by Coven. When the Valley People turn over that stone I want to blubber!

    • Emma says:

      Hi, Mae. Yes, Downeaster Alex – love that one and have to go on YouTube right now to have another listen. I’ll have to have a listen to “One Tin Soldier” and the others – I don’t recognise the names but maybe I’ve heard them. You’re probably ready to kill me for my ignorance. 🙂

      • Mae Clair says:

        Well, they’re really old songs, but I like a lot of old music. I should check out more vids on You Tube. There’s probably a lot of great old stuff on there!

  7. Lots of great songs you’ve listed! I think the song “Over You” by Miranda Lambert is a song that tells a haunting story.

  8. Nice selection, Emma. Hmmm, songs that tell a story, just about any country song tells a story, ‘Travelin’ Soldier’ by the Dixie Chicks one of my favourites. Others that come to mind are, ‘Chloe Dancer/Crown of Thorns’, Led Zeppelin’s ‘That’s the Way’, and the entire Bruce Springsteen album, ‘Nebraska’. There are others but I’m drawing a blank.

    • Emma says:

      Thanks, Hubbard. I haven’t listened to “Nebraska” – shame on me. I must get to it. Bruce is coming to Cork this summer, the first time ever, so I’ll listen before he arrives.
      Chillin’ out to “That’s the Way” now. 🙂

  9. Kecia Adams says:

    Oooh! Great list, Emma. I always liked Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress by The Hollies. (It was a fave of my mom’s 🙂 ) Also Eleanor Rigby by The Beatles (kind of sad but interesting).

  10. Oh, I love songs that tell a story! You have some great ones here. Meatloaf has never been a favorite, but I like the video. Angelina Jolie was so young! Yikes, makes me feel old. Right now I’m loving Phillip Phillips ‘Home’ and most of the Of Monsters and Men songs. They all seem to tell stories. And of course, most of the songs from Guns N Roses Appetite for Destruction, especially ‘Sweet Child of Mine’. So sad, so sweet.

    Oh, and Evanescence. Anything by them makes my muse happy. And that’s always a good thing!

    • Emma says:

      That Meatloaf video must be nearly 20 years old at this stage.
      I love Of Monsters and Men at the moment. They have some of the best songs of recent years. Guns N Roses songs are like poetry.
      Yes, Evanescence is so good for inspiration. Thanks, Tameri.

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