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Best Narrative Song

Posted by ramblingjack (My Page) on
Fri, Jul 28, 06 at 14:57

'Up the Junction'
'Ballad of John and Yoko'
'Hurricane'
'Bob Dylan's 115th Dream'
'My Sister'
'Creeque Alley'
'Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts'
'The night they drove old Dixie down'

Any more?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Best Narrative Song

Livin' For The City - Stevie Wonder
The Road Goes On Forever - Robert Earl Keen
Galveston Flood - Tom Rush
The Ballad Of Ira Hayes - Patrick Sky

"Hurricane" was the first that came to mind.


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RE: Best Narrative Song

Boston - "Rock N Roll Band"


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RE: Best Narrative Song

Bobbie Gentry - Ode to Billy Joe
Janis Joplin - Me & Bobby McGee
Don McLean - The Legend of Andrew McCrew

and a definite 'yay' to "Up the Junction".


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RE: Best Narrative Song

I love most of the songs mentioned.


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RE: Best Narrative Song

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RE: Best Narrative Song

"And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda," by Eric Bogle (I like how The Pogues perform it too)

"Lola," by Ray Davies (The Kinks)

... the ones that others mentioned are great, and I'll try to think of more.

(I also have a soft spot for "Up The Junction" -- how about that?)


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RE: Best Narrative Song

Oh, there's also the excellent 'The Saga Begins' by Weird Al Yancovic...

Here is a link that might be useful: The Saga Begins


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RE: Best Narrative Song

'Cats in the Cradle' - Harry Chapin


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RE: Best Narrative Song

"Taxi" - Harry Chapin


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RE: Best Narrative Song

Don't Try To Lay No Boogie Woogie On The King Of Rock n' Roll - Long John Baldry


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RE: Best Narrative Song

Nice ;)

Here is a link that might be useful: Don't Try To Lay No Boogie Woogie On The King Of Rock n' Roll


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RE: Best Narrative Song

Up The Junction! Great song! I recently saw Glenn Tilbrook solo--it was a really fun show. He has a DVD out--a documentary of his American tour in a motor home. I haven't seen it, but it sounds pretty amusing.

-----------

'Breakfast in Hell'

Written and recorded by Slaid Cleaves on the cd 'Broke
Down'

(Am)In the melting snows of Ont(C)ario where the (G)
wind'll make you (Am)shiver.
'Twas the (A)month of May up in (C)Georgian Bay near
the (G)mouth of the Musquash (Am)River.
Where the (C)bears prowl and the (G)coyotes howl and
you can (Am)hear the osprey scream.
Back in (G)'99 we were cutting pine and (Am)sending it
(G)down the (Am)stream.

Young Sandy Gray came to Go Home Bay all the way from
P.E.I.
Where the weather's rough and it makes you tough, no
man's afraid to die.
Sandy came a smilin', 30,000 Islands was the place to
claim his glory.
Now Sandy's gone but his name lives on, and this is
Sandy's story.

Chorus One

Young (C)Sandy Gray lives (Am)on today in the
(C)echoes of a mighty (Am)yell.
(G)Listen close and you'll hear a ghost in this
(Am)story (G)that I (Am)tell, boys.
This (Am)story (C)that I (Am)tell.

Now Sandy Gray was boss of the men who'd toss the
trees onto the shore.
They'd come and go till they'd built a floe of 100,000
logs or more.
And he'd ride 'em down toward Severn Sound to cut 'em
up in the mills for timber.
And ships would haul, spring, summer, and fall, 'til
the ice came in December.

One Sabbath Day, big Sandy Gray came into camp with a
peavey on his shoulder.
With a thunder crack he dropped his axe and the room
got a little bit colder.
Said 'Come all you, we've got work to do. We've gotta
give 'er all we can give 'er.
'There's a jam of logs at the little jog near the
mouth of the Musquash River.

With no time to pray on the Lord's Day, they were
hoping for God's forgiveness.
But the jam was high in a troubled sky and they set
about their business.
They poked with their poles and ran with the rolls and
tried to stay on their feet.
Every trick they tried and one man cried 'This log
jam's got us beat.'

Chorus two

But Sandy Gray was not afraid and he let out a mighty
yell.
'I'll be damned, we'll break this jam, or it's
breakfast in Hell, boys.'
'Breakfast in Hell.'

Now every one of the men did the work of ten and Sandy
scrambled up to the top.
He's working like a dog heaving 30 foot logs and it
looked like he'd never stop.
They struggled on those men so strong till the jam
began to sway.
Then they dove for cover to the banks of the river all
except for Sandy Gray.

Now with thoughts of death they held their breath as
they saw their friend go down.
They all knew in a second or two he'd be crushed or
frozen or drowned.
They saw him fall and they heard him call, just once
and then it was over.
Young Sandy Gray gave his life that day near the mouth
of the Musquash River.

Chorus three.

But Sandy Gray was not afraid and he let out a mighty
yell.
'I'll be damned, we'll break that jam, or it's
breakfast in Hell, boys.'
'Breakfast in Hell.'

East of Giant's Tomb, there's plenty of room, there's
no fences and no walls.
And if you listen close, you'll hear a ghost, down by
Sandy Gray Falls.
Through the tops of the trees, you'll hear in the
breeze, the echoes of a might yell.
'I'll be damned, we'll break this jam, or it's
breakfast in Hell.'

Chorus four.

And sandy Gray lives on today in the echoes of a
mighty yell.
'I'll be damned, we'll break this jam, or it's
breakfast in Hell, boys.'
'Breakfast in Hell.'

------------

If you haven't heard of Slaid Cleaves, I highly recommend him. Especially his album, "Broke Down". Not a bad track on it, IMO.


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RE: Best Narrative Song

I saw Glenn Tilbrook solo a few years ago when he opened for Warren Zevon -- good show! Squeeze is an old favorite of mine, especially when Glenn sang lead.

I'm not familiar with Slaid Cleaves, but I'll be happy to check him out. Those lyrics indicate good storytelling skills.

Here is a link that might be useful: Up the Junction


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RE: Best Narrative Song

I forgot to mention my current favourite - Vashti Bunyan. Most of her songs are narrative, and autobiographical. She's only made two albums, one in 1970 and one in 2005! I had never heard of her until Just Another Diamond Day was used in an ad for a mobile phone provider. I forgot immediately which network, but couldn't get the song out of my head.

Here is a link that might be useful: Vashti Bunyan


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RE: Best Narrative Song

Hey, doesn't Barry Manilow's "Copacabana" make the cut? ;-)


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RE: Best Narrative Song

alisonn - I've seen the Glenn Tilbrook film ("One for the Road"), and it's just delightful! Glenn's acoustic version of Hendrix' "Voodoo Chile" has to be seen - and heard - to be believed.


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RE: Best Narrative Song

How about The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald (Gordon Lightfoot)? The lyrics run through my head every time I see Lake Superior.

Paul


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RE: Best Narrative Song

I can't believe no one has listed "Smoke on the Water" by Deep Purple...come on, you guys! I leave the forum for a while and you lose perspective.

JIMBO


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RE: Best Narrative Song

C'mon folks, if you want to talk about a real narrative song (and apparently the author of this thread has a different interpretation than I), the two tunes I'll mention will surely fit the bill:

JAMIE BROCKETT - Legend Of The U.S.S. Titanic

VELVET UNDERGROUND - The Gift

Ric


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RE: Best Narrative Song

When I saw "narrative" I thought "autobiogaphical" Doh!


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RE: Best Narrative Song

Now I'm curious as to Ric's and Ramblingjack's differing interpretations of the word 'narrative'. In my definition a narrative song is one that tells a story.

A lot of Paul McCartney's songs with the Beatles were narrative - Eleanor Rigby, Rocky Raccoon, Penny Lane - while Lennon used to write more first-person, emotional lyrics.


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RE: Best Narrative Song

Anyanka, I agree with your statement that a narrative song is "one that tells a story". The operative word here is "tells". John Cale tells the story of "The Gift" and Jaime Brockett tells the story of the "Titanic" - they don't sing. A narrative to me is primarily spoken word, but I understand how others can view it differently. John Prine, for one, has an interesting hybrid in his tune "Dear Abby" - some of it sung and some of it spoken word.

Ric


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RE: Best Narrative Song

Thanks for explaining - I wouldn't equate 'tell' with 'talk' or 'speak', but there you go.


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