Friday, 17 December 2010

Songs that tell stories

I've said before that music is a huge influence when I'm writing. The playlist is a powerful weapon for getting you in the mood for what you're writing. But songs also tell stories that can directly influence - and sometimes create - a story. Here are a few:

Pearl Jam - Betterman

Metallica - One
NB: this song was entirely influenced by Johnny Got His Gun (the movie featured in this video)

The Who - Behind Blue Eyes

Metallica - Low Man's Lyric

Dire Straits - Brothers in Arms

Johnny Cash - Folsom Prison Blues

The Rolling Stones - Angie

Bob Dylan - Going Going Gone

Kim Richey - A Place Called Home

Pearl Jam - Deep

Feel free to share your own story-telling songs in the comments.


The Kid In The Front Row said...

I LOVE Betterman, and I LOVE LOVE LOVE Angie.

Miss Molly said...

All excellent selections, but I most rank The Who above the rest. Whenever I need a "writing pep talk" nothing perks up my motivation like they do. I would blame my father for his relentless repetition of the MY GENERATION album.

Neil said...

@Kid - Yep, I'm very much in love with Betterman and Angie is undeniably a brilliant song.

@Miss Molly - my dad is also to blame for my Who obsession. Fortunately they're a very shiny band, so I don't mind having their songs stuck in my head all day.

On a random tangent, I quite like Pete Townshend's lyric "Hope I die before I get old" in My Generation. And it's even more interesting when you contrast it with Eddie Vedder's lyric in Pearl Jam's The End - "I just want to grow old." A direct reference perhpas, given that The Who are Pearl Jam's biggest influence?

Come to think of it, The End should definitely be on this list! I encourage everyone to listen to it again and again. And again, just for good measure.

Stay shiny!

Jayne said...

I agree - song often informs and inspires my writing. I do a regular Friday column ("Friday Night Frolic") that features varied artists, and find, at times, I'm driven to write a story rather than a simple feature. Just added Mick to the trail.
I'm enjoying your blog. ;)