04 March 2010

5 On Friday - Tell Me A Story

This week I wanted to do "story" songs.  One of my favorites is Amanda McBroom's "Crimes of the Heart" above.  It wasn't available on the player, so you get it above from You Tube.  Below are five songs that can play as motion pictures in your mind while listening to them. Do you have any favorite "story" songs?

Sammy Davis, Jr., "Mr. Bojangles"

One of Sammy's biggest hits, Mr. Bojangles is so believable than you feel as if you have actually met the old gentleman in that jail cell and saw him click his heels even as the clock ran down on his life.

Barry Manilow, "Copacabana"

From the first line (Her name was Lola, she was a showgirl") to the end, you get the story of the lives of Lola and her bartender boyfriend Tony who work at the Copacabana nightclub until a rich rival for Lola's affections takes Tony down. Cut to 30 years later, when Lola sits alone  "and drinks herself half-blind" at the Copa.  This one actually did become a made for TV movie.

Jimmy Buffet, "He Went To Paris"

This song is literally the story of a whole life from adventurous youth to old age of a man as told to Buffet by an old friend just sitting in the sun chatting.

Townes Van Zandt, "Pancho and Lefty"

Most people have heard the Willie and Waylon version, but this is the original by Van Zandt. It is the last gasp of the "Old West" from the point of view of the outlaw growing old in some city flop house instead of the wide open range of his youth.

John Prine, "Sam Stone"

One of Brother John Prine's most famous songs about a man coming home from Viet Nam scarred by war.

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Travis said...

I've read that Mr Davis avoided recording and performing Mr Bojangles for the longest time because he didn't want the song to become like a theme song.

I think my favorite story songs are Taxi and Sequel by Harry Chapin. Mr Chapin was a master of storytelling.

maryt/theteach said...

Love the Barry Manilow "Copacabana," Jamie! :)

Julia Smith said...

I love your story theme today, Jamie! Mr. Bojangles is my favorite of your set (and also my husband's, who enjoys listening to these songs with me.)

Linda said...

"El Paso" by Marty Robbins has always been one of my very favorite 'story' songs; another one of those "love the girl so much it finally kills you" songs! My parents both played a lot of what was then known as country and western and growing up I learned all the words to "El Paso" and in later years, used to sing the song with my good friend Cyndi when we were dispatchers in Stockton.

Travis is right in that Harry Chapin was a great storyteller in song - "Cat's in the Cradle" was one of my very favorites along with "Taxi".

And now I have "Copacabana" stuck in my head!