Before I start today’s blog I just wanted to say thanks to all the service men and women who gave all for this country.  I know this is a 3 day weekend, the unofficial kickoff to summer, but I think we need to pause at some point to remember the reason the holiday started.

Have a great weekend but please take time to remember!

Story songs

A few weeks ago I was listening to American Top 40 here on KOOL and a song came on that I still have in my mind almost a month later.  That song Taxi, by Harry Chapin.  I cannot tell you how much that song means to me.  It is one of the great story songs of all time.  A love song, a break up song, a song of life’s ups and downs.  If you have never heard it please take a few minutes to listen closely to the story:

So I thought I would give you my to 20 story songs.  Some are funny, some are heart wrenching, some are historical.  Most of all they touch me in different ways.

  1. Alice’s restaurant- it is long but dang is it good
  2. The wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald—Gordon Lightfoot. I always turn up the radio for this one.
  3. Vincent – Don McClean- The story of an artist and a piece of art.

17 Where’ve you been- Kathy Metta, a love story about a couple at the end of life suffering with Alzheimer’s?  The story song took on a whole new meaning for me when my sister Edwina was found to suffer from it.

  1. Paradise by the dashboard lights- Meatloaf. How could you not like a song about Teenage love (lust) that has baseball play by play in it?
  2. Ohio- Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young. Neil young wrote this after the Kent State Massacre.  The end of the song is haunting. “Forgetting Ohio “
  3. In the Ghetto – Elvis – a great performance on a Mac Davis song about the tragedy of life in the Ghetto. This song is as powerful today as when I first heard it
  4. Wildfire—Michael Martin Murphy. This is a song I can close my eyes and see.
  5. A Day in the Life – The Beatles. The opening line “I read the news today oh boy” This is one of my favorite songs by the Fab Four. Listening to it closely can bring a tear to my eye.

11 Sitting up with the Dead- Ray Stevens- It’s classic comedy from a musical comic master.  I met Ray after a concert years ago and found him to actually be a very soft spoken man but when the spotlight turned on it was magic.

10 Fire and Rain- James Taylor.  A life song that takes on new meaning when you realize the Taylor wrote the song while he was in a facility to deal with mental issues he was having.

  1. The Thunder Rolls- Garth Brooks. A song that some radio stations would not play at the time because is dealt with domestic violence.  Such a powerful message.  I met Garth at the start of his career and after our conversation I can tell you the emotion he puts into his songs are ones he has lived through.
  2. Ship in a Bottle – Dave Loggins. Yes the Please come to Boston singer has an album cut that is hard to find but worth it.
  3. Piano Man- Billy Joel. Who doesn’t want to sing along with this?
  4. A boy named Sue- Johnny Cash ‘MY NAME IS SUE, HOW DO YOU DO” classic
  5. Papa was a Rolling Stone – The Temptations. Not only does it have that great rhythm but listen to the lyrics about a man who is dealing with the death of his own Father – who was not a great Father but still his father. The Made for TV film The Temptations showed a bit of the back story when Lead Singer Dennis Edwards did not want to sing the song because the writers had used the date of his own Fathers death ‘IT WAS THE THIRD OF SEPTEMBER. THAT DAY I WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER. CAUSE THAT WAS THE DAY THAT MY DADDY DIED”
  6. Summer the first time. Bobby Goldsboro a haunting music bed behind a story of first love.
  7. American Pie- Don McClean – “Drove my Chevy to the Levy”
  8. Desperado – the Eagles another of the songs that I turn up every time.
  9. A Sequel – Harry Chapin. How do you follow up a great story song? With a Sequel

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