Are you listening?
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.
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!
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