Module 5 -Songs that Tell Stories

As we study adaptations, we understand that filmmakers can find ideas for scripts from numerous sources, and that most films released are adapted from some “other” source material. Original screenplays are more and more difficult to find. 

The following is a list (of user submitted) songs that tell stories with characters, conflict, resolution and sometimes settings, inciting incidents and a complete following of the Freytag Story Arc. 

Take a look at the list below; explore the lyrics and see what I mean. You’ll even have a chance to dissect a story song for your written assignment. 

If you have ideas to submit for inclusion in this list, feel free to post them at the bottom.


Story Songs

1952 Vincent Black Lightning – Richard Thompson

8th of November -Big & Rich

“After We Shot The Grizzly” – The Handsome Family

Baby Girl – Sugarland

The Ballad of Billy the Kid – Billy Joel

Big Bad John – Jimmy Dean

A Boy Named Sue – Johnny Cash

Cat’s in the Cradle – Songwriters: Sandy Chapin / Harry F. Chapin

Copacabana  -Barry Manilow

Copperhead Road – Steve Earle

Coward of the County – Songwriters: Billy Ed Wheeler / Roger Dale Bowling

The Devil went down to Georgia -The Charlie Daniels Band

El Paso – Marty Robbins

Fancy – Written and performed by Bobby Gentry and Reba McEntire

Fast Car -Tracy Chapman

Hurricane -Bob Dylan

Independence Day by Martina McBride

The Legend of Wooley Swamp

Leader of the Pack – The Shangri-Las

The Legend of Wooley Swamp – Charlie Daniels

Lightning -Eric Church

Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts – Bob Dylan

Lonely Boy – Andrew Gold

The Long Black Veil – Songwriters: Danny Dill / Marijohn Wilkin

Love Vigilantes -New Order

Major Tom (Coming Home) – Songwriters: David Lodge / Pierre Schilling

Ol’ Red – Blake Shelton

Papa Loved Mama – Songwriters: Kim Williams / Garth Brooks

Rocky Raccoon -The Beatles

Rocky Raccoon -The Beatles

Seven Spanish Angels – Ray Charles & Willie Nelson

Simon – Glass Moon

Space Oddity – By David Bowie

Speak Now – Taylor Swift

The Strange Case Of Frank Cash And The Morning Paper – T-Bone Burnett

Take the Money and Run  – Steve Miller

Tennessee Plates -John Hiatt 

Texas in My Rear View Mirror -Mac Davis

Three Wooden Crosses – Songwriters: Doug Johnson / Kim Williams

Travelin’ Soldier -The Dixie Chicks

Two Black Cadillacs -Carrie Underwood

Texas in my Rearview Mirror




Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s