I am in awe of songwriters. While I need/take 80,000 words to tell my story, they need only a matter of lines to tell theirs. And when it’s done well…Oh, wow. That one song can make you cry, smile, reflect with all the intensity of any book. As a writer, I can think of no better tutorial than listening to the lyrics of the greats (and the up-and-coming greats) and hearing how they craft the “scenes” of their songs to tell their stories.
Paul Simon’s haunting tribute to the confusion of facing adulthood in “America”
Neil Young’s heartbreaking tale of love begrudgingly released in “Expecting to Fly”
Dolly Parton’s plea to her husband’s lover in “Jolene”
Joni Mitchell’s unabashed declaration of love in “A Case of You”
Carly Simon’s reminiscence of adolescent yearnings in “Boys in the Trees”
Bill Withers’ lonely lament in “Aint No Sunshine”
Bonnie Raitt’s bad day turned around in “All At Once”
Mary Chapin Carpenter’s touching account of sisters moving apart in “Only A Dream”
Dan Fogelberg’s perfect capturing of the angst, wonder and regret of reunited lovers in “Same Old Lang Syne”
and the list goes on and on and on…
Now it’s your turn:
What songs move you as deeply as any favorite book?