Best Songs That Tell A Story

Stories are great but reading sucks. What better way to be entertained doubly than by listening to a song that also tells a story? Here are a few of the best songs that tell a story:
 

Space Oddity by David Bowie

Major Tom’s story is one that begins calmly and builds up into a fantastic piece that ends tragically.

Ground control to major Tom, your circuits dead, there’s something wrong
Can you hear me, major Tom?
Can you hear me, major Tom?
Can you hear me, major Tom?
Can you…


 

A Day in the Life by The Beatles

While this song tells many different tales in a rather disjointed fashion and the singer even gets bored halfway through and starts talking about himself, this Beatles classic is still great to listen to.

I saw a film today oh boy
The English Army had just won the war


 

This Town Ain’t Big Enough For the Both of Us by Justin Hawkin

This song is a stream-of-consciousness tale of a human male as he is about to conquer his lady, psyching himself up so he can get the girl, but that first versions sounds pretty awesome, just throwing that out there to any song-writers.
The video below is a cover version but it is great that the members of Sparks, the original singers, actually starred in it.

Heartbeat, increasing heartbeat
You hear the thunder of stampeding rhinos, elephants and tacky tigers
This town ain’t big enough for both of us
And it ain’t me who’s gonna leave


 

Four Women by Nina Simone

This story is of four women. <- Very descriptive, yes. Just listen to the song all the way through, you will not regret it!

My mouth is like wine
Whose little girl am I?
Anyone with money to buy.


 

Fast Car by Tracy Chapman

This is a song about eloping and getting away from your problems to start a new life. An extremely close second for Tracy Chapman is “Behind the Wall”.

I been working at the convenience store
Managed to save just a little bit of money
We won’t have to drive too far
Just ‘cross the border and into the city
You and I can both get jobs
And finally see what it means to be living


 

Sex by The Pipettes

This is a sweet and fairly recent song about a boy and a girl and all the romance involved in young love.

Then he said “Let’s stop with all the talking
Why not try something new?
Because there’s no need for any talking
In what we’re about to do.”


 

Stan by Eminem

This is one of the best stories recorded in song format, it is clever, it gets you emotionally involved, it takes you on a journey and it comes to a great climax. Furthermore Dido sings in it. She always sounds so pretty!

Dear Mister-I’m-Too-Good-To-Call-Or-Write-My-Fans,
this’ll be the last package I ever send your ass
It’s been six months and still no word – I don’t deserve it?
I know you got my last two letters;
I wrote the addresses on ‘em perfect


 

The Devil Went Down to Georgia by The Charles Daniels Band

This song is exciting and well-told, and is also probably the coolest thing you could associate a fiddle with.

The devil went down to Georgia, he was looking for a soul to steal.
He was in a bind ‘cos he was way behind: he was willin’ to make a deal.


 

Tribute by Tenacious D

This song is basically a tribute to “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” (unintentional but unavoidable pun, sorry folks), but it is still a good story in its own right, if only for the fact that Jack Black’s telling of the tale is hilarious. Plus, Jesus plays the guitar in their live concert. Also, there is a guy in the video below who is just being tossed around with less ceremony than a used tissue which is pretty funny.

This is just a tribute, you gotta believe,
And I wish you were there!


 

Night Terror by Laura Marling

This haunting story is beautifully sung by Laura Marling who leads you into a grim trance.

I woke up on a bench on Shepherds Bush green
Oh a candle at my chest and a hand on his knee
I got up it was dark
Theres no one in the park at this hour
Why do I keep finding myself here?


 

Memories by Eisley

This is a song about loss and the continuation of life thereafter.

Dreary birds parade across the dreary sky, but down below
The woman absent mindedly begins to sow, how she sows


 

Thriller by Michael Jackson

In his best effort to tell a scary story (prefaced by a statement clearing up that he does not believe in the occult, of course) Michael Jackson created Thriller.

It’s close to midnight and something evil’s lurking in the dark…


 

I Heard Love Is Blind by Amy Winehouse

This is a story of infidelity and woman justifying herself.

I couldn’t resist him, his eyes were like yours,
His hair was exactly that shade of brown
He’s just not as tall… but I couldn’t tell…
It was dark and I was lying down.


 

Love Rain by Jill Scott Ft. Mos Def

This song might have to be classified as poetry but the story is of a romance gone wrong.

The mistake was made
Love slipped from my lips
Dripped down my chin and landed in his lap


 

Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen

This song is absolute perfection. Of all the songs with a story, this is the best, most dramatic, most musically perfect, most mind-blowing, socks-rocking of them all. Take it away, Freddy:

So you think you can love me and leave me to die?


 
Those are a few of the songs, feel free to discuss the rest below in the comments!

7 Comments

  1. wolfman

    uhhhh…. any true fan of music would rank bruce springsteen’s the river as a top story telling song

  2. The general

    The general by dispatch should undoubtedly be on this list.

  3. Joy

    I love it, mellow, not the stories I was thinking about, but stories never the less! :D

  4. well

    I wouldn’t say it sucks, but one thing to add would be the entire album “The Point” by Harry Nilsson.

  5. Hurikane

    No one ever mention’s Tupac’s Brenda’s Got a Baby on these lists, but I think it’s the best rap story-song I’ve heard.

  6. spirko

    Who thought this list up. That list sucks! So many better story telling songs out there. I know this is no “end all” list but Rod Stewart Every picture tells a story should be at the top of the list for openers

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