The best songwriters are really just storytellers with a gift for melody. If you’re like me, some of your favorite songs tell a story that sticks with you, not just because it has a catchy melody or chorus, but because you can relate to a character in the song or the arc of the story.
For years I’ve wanted to take my favorite “story songs” and write my interpretation in prose. Recently I took what I consider to be the most beautiful and melancholic song—Peter Gabriel’s superlative “Here Comes the Flood”—and wrote a short story based on the premise suggested in the song. As a writer, I can never be certain what was in the songwriter’s mind when they penned the lyrics, but, as is true with any art form, its true meaning is found in the mind of the person experiencing the art.
But rather than choose just my favorites, I thought it might be interesting to invite others to suggest their favorite songs with a story. So please leave a comment below with your favorite song and perhaps share why you connect with it. I’ll give it a listen and, if my muse shows up, maybe I’ll make it the subject of my next short story. I’d love to have enough subjects to publish an anthology of stories based on timeless songs.
I look forward to your suggestions. Stay safe. Stay healthy. And support your favorite independent artists.