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Twisted Tuesday’s Mix-Tapes: Song’s That Tell a Story

Do you remember “mix tapes” from the 80’s & 90’s? What if you had to create one with a theme that someone else has chosen for you?

For this weeks Twisted Tuesday’s Mix Tape, it’s all about songs that tell a story.

twisted-tuesday-mix-tape

Image Source: mamamia.com.au

If you are a country or folk music lover, then you know all about story-telling through song; a process that is lacking in today’s modern music. This is not to say there are no good songs playing on the radio, there are. I love music, all music, which is probably why I worked in radio for so many years.

I still listen to the old stuff; the stuff that has a middle, beginning and an end and includes a moral or lesson somewhere weaved in. The five songs below all have a place in my life and in my heart and yes, I have my own story to go with each of them.

Janis Joplin – Me & Bobby McGee

As a child we traveled all over the United States in the summer times, we also moved A LOT and it was rarely within the same neighborhood let alone state. It seemed we were always in the car on a road-trip. The music of those days was a combination of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Carole King, Cat Stevens, the Grateful Dead and more. Every time I hear Janis belting out Me & Bobby McGee, I cannot help but think of those times.

Jeannie C. Riley – Harper Valley PTA 

This song came out in 1968, the year I was born. Although — like most of my favorite music, it was “before my time” the social message about bullying and judging others is still an important one. You really shouldn’t judge a book — or a person, by their cover. I know someone who does exactly this with everyone they encounter and it drives me insane.

Bobbie Gentry – Ode to Billie Joe 

I am not sure whether I saw the movie or heard the song first (the song came out a year before I was born), but I have always loved this song. Again, the story is relevant no matter what the generation. Sadly people commit suicide every day and “Billy Joe McCallister” was a “boy” I would have liked to know and possibly save.

The Original Caste – One Tin Soldier 

We live in times of war; a time where nations (the US) bullies other nations with “pre-emptive” war founded on the fear they themselves instigated within us. The reality is, like all wars, there is a “prize”, but the “cost” of that “prize” is always so much more than humanity has to lose and this song is a great example of how that works.

Jewel – Little Sister 

This song is much more current than the others and the message, or story, it tells is a very personal one for me. You see, my mom was a prescription drug addict. She died 2 – 1/2 years ago, in my arms, and I couldn’t save her. I couldn’t stop her from, “knock-knock-knocking on his door again last night”…guess she needed it bad…


So, there’s my five story-telling songs. If anything I took you down memory lane and with any luck, the messages in these songs will make you pause and think about the culture we live in today and how we can make it better by being better to one another.

Do you have any favorite “story-telling” songs? I would love to hear them!

DAY #12 OF NaBloPoMoBlogHer,  yeah write and NanoPoblano … I made 3 posts in a single day yesterday…does that mean I get a day off? NOT! It’s NaBloPoMo, which means no rest for us wicked writers!!!

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29 comments on “Twisted Tuesday’s Mix-Tapes: Song’s That Tell a Story

  1. Quickstepp
    November 12, 2013

    Great connections made here. Sorry you feel such a connection to the Jewel song.
    Man was I obsessed with that Janis song as a teen. I felt so cool for listening to anything “vintage”.

    Like

    • Cheri
      November 12, 2013

      Ahck, it comes with the life I have lived. It is sad, but I loved her very much.

      Yes, I love “vintage” music as you may be able to tell from my post. I think I was born in the wrong generation sometimes. I grew up in a band family on a stage singing, later went into radio as an adult and I was brought to the current decade and learned a real appreciation for modern music too. I just love music, what can I say? :p .. OH and yes, great little community here. I am loving being turned on to so many new blog posts related to music.

      Like

      • Quickstepp
        November 12, 2013

        Preaching to the choir. 🙂 Music may be my very favorite thing in life!

        Like

      • Cheri
        November 12, 2013

        Music is my very BEST friend. I actually do a fun series called, “Song Title Series” where my entire posts are written using song titles, like nearly every word and/or phrase is a song title with it’s appropriate YouTube link. It’s a lot of work, but they are pretty popular around the internet and they are fun to do.

        Like

      • Quickstepp
        November 12, 2013

        That sounds really cool! I will check it out!

        Like

  2. Rose Red
    November 12, 2013

    A boyfriend introduced me to Janis Joplin in my 20s and I remember this line playing over and over in my head: ‘feeling good was good enough for me…’ It’s still one of my favourite songs. Lovely post. I wish I had time to give all these songs a listen but I had better get on and try to write my post for today! x

    Like

    • Cheri
      November 12, 2013

      You know how they say, “Whistle while you work”…? wellllllllllllll YouTube while you work :p … Yes that is actually a brilliant lyric. I kinda live by it actually. I don’t need much, just to find my own little piece of happiness, and it’s good enough for me. Now get busy slacker, I am waiting patiently for your post silly woman!

      Like

  3. Tracy@CrazyAsNormal
    November 12, 2013

    Okay. My heart will be eternally linked to yours every time I hear that Jewel song now. Janis Joplin – one of the most amazing voices ever…

    Like

    • Cheri
      November 12, 2013

      Thank you Tracy. I appreciate that sentiment greatly. HUGS

      Like

  4. cynkingfeeling
    November 12, 2013

    A resounding “yes!” to “Ode to Billie Joe.”

    Like

  5. Dream
    November 12, 2013

    The more I hear Janis, the more I enjoy her voice and singing style. Me & Bobby McGee is my overall favorite of hers. You put together a really fantastic mixtape!

    Like

    • Cheri
      November 12, 2013

      Thanks!!! Yes Janice is unique and you either get her voice or you don’t…glad you do!!! I love each and every one of these songs.

      Like

  6. Jen
    November 12, 2013

    I can’t believe it! One Tin Soldier!! Man did we sing that song to its death in grade school loved it so much! I always thought of soldiers and unicorns, don’t ask me why. Also Harper Valley PTA, love it! This is a great list! So glad you joined us and hope you come back!

    Like

    • Cheri
      November 12, 2013

      Come back? Hell, I haven’t left! What are you talking about woman? HAHAHAHAHAHA. Yes I am here for good so you are stuck with me AND I plan on submitting some of my radio days stories to your other website!
      I love every song on my list and YES One Tin Soldier I know by heart just from singing it all the time as a kid. My daughter calls me from Oregon so I can sing it to my lil grand baby (he is 1-1/2).

      Nice to meet you Jen. Anyone that loves music as much as you obviously do is A-OK in my book!!!

      Like

  7. Nikkistory
    November 12, 2013

    Of course I’m stalking you. I only stalk the most awesome 🙂

    Janis Joplin…yes! I have a girl crush on her something fierce!

    Like

    • Cheri
      November 12, 2013

      LMAO, I just said those very words “girl crush” to a blogger I met today hahahahahaha. YOUR blog is truly outstanding. I found it a few days ago and like I said, it doesn’t seem to matter where I am, all roads keep leading me back to you.

      Like

  8. Lance
    November 12, 2013

    Janis and harper valley are excellent choices

    I like the female strength in this list

    Like

  9. theworldoutsidethewindow
    November 13, 2013

    Hurricane by Bob Dylan and Idiot Wind by Bob Dylan (there is a theme here) are two of my favourite. Oh also American Pie is a great story song, not entirely sure what the story is but it has such interesting words..

    Like

    • Cheri
      November 13, 2013

      yeh, I had dozens I wanted to feature, but the rule was 5 songs so I took the first 5 that meant something to me that showed up on my YouTube LOL

      Like

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  11. phaerygurl
    November 15, 2013

    I know I’ve listened to a lot of music, and songs that tell a story…my favorite band is Evanescence. May not always tell a story persay, but the emotions and her voice hooked me from the instant I listened to them.

    Like

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