Music Monday: Songs With Just Enough Plot

by Scott Lydon

Happy Music Monday! Last week Scott covered songs with too much plot. This week, however, we're going in the opposite direction! Today we're gonna collect songs that have JUST ENOUGH plot. Like, say, this one:

Marty Robbins - El Paso

 

It takes one about two measures to have the tune down pat. After that, you're just along for the ride in this story of a man who loved and lost. Even before it was associated with Walter White, it was already a classic! And why? Because the story is just simple enough. You already know what's going to happen… but you can still hope you're wrong.

More stories to come. See you after the jump!

Madness - House Of Fun

 

To be fair, Madness didn't invent this particular story of a boy trying to buy "party hats" for the first time. The band borrowed it from a scene in Summer of '42. But the extended metaphor captures the awkwardness of being trapped between childhood and adulthood so well, and the whole song is just plain fun.

Jimmy Dean - Big Bad John

 

My personal favorite on this list, it's the story of a scary guy who wouldn't let anybody down. Did he have a past? What was his story? Nobody will ever know. Nobody needed to know. But at the bottom of that mine lies a big, big man. And that's what's important.

Eminem - Stan

 

I'm not a huge Eminem fan but he's a talent for sure, and this story song proved it ages ago. By taking two different characters, Eminem points out that he's not perfect, he doesn't mean everything he says, he really does try to be nice to his fans (even the crazy ones) and that it can be hard to be the object of someone else's hero worship. It's a captivating piece of radio theater, and unlike his other songs, it's not about the words, it's about the story.

The Kinks - Come Dancing

 

What could I add that the story doesn't already have? Young boy remembers his innocent days in a world that's now all lost, and he knows he can't go back, but maybe he would. Maybe the last, real, great Kinks song.

Throw some of your favorite story/songs in the comments and play along! Let us also just remind you: some images come from the corresponding Wikipedia page and are here under fair use. See you next week.