I’m going to talk about music, and if you’re like me, you glaze over when other people talk about music, but stick with me. I won’t submit you to a rundown of my favorite songs or any crap like that. I won’t even make you watch the videos in this blog. I’ll give you a summary. Okay? Okay.
Besides. This is about storytelling.
|This is exactly what my truck looked like. Same color and all.|
When I was 22, I bought an extended cab, long bed, Dodge Ram 2500 diesel pickup truck.
I thought it would help me pick up men.
No, seriously, I bought it to tow a horse trailer. Most guys seemed kind of intimidated. Personally, I was kind of intimidated myself, but I was an independent woman, and damn it, that was my truck.
I loved my truck. At the time I bought it, I was dating a bail enforcement agent (read: bounty hunter), and he said, “If you’re going to drive a truck like this, you need to start listening to country music.”
Now, at the time, I was solidly a Top 40’s kinda girl. Dance music, rock music, I listened to it all. Even now, if it’s in the top 10 on iTunes, there’s a good chance it’s in my collection. (I’m in love with “Blow” by Ke$ha and “The Cave” by Little Lion Men right now.)
Anyway. Back then, country music? I’d rather put a bullet in my head.
But I programmed a station on my radio, and every now and again, I’d listen.
Before long, I was hooked.
Now this was in the heyday of country music. It was 2000, and Toby Keith and The Dixie Chicks were tearing up the charts. For you kids out there, this was when crossover started happening. You think Taylor Swift invented songs that worked for pop and country? Nuh-uh. Thank Shania Twain for that.
You know what I loved about country music? Almost all the songs told a story.
A lot of regular songs tell a story, too. But they usually tell a love story, and it’s usually pretty basic. Guy is hot for girl. Girl misses boy. Yadda yadda.
Country songs tell a story.
Here’s a good one:
(And look, the video is hokey. It’s country. And it was 10 years ago. But watch for the story.)
Okay, if you’re like me, and you can’t get videos at work, or you’re strongly opposed to country music, or you just want me to get on with the frigging blog already, here’s what the song’s about.
A woman breaks down on the side of the road. A guy named Joe stops to help her, and when she offers to pay him, he basically says, “You don’t owe me a thing. I’ve been there, too. Don’t let the chain of love end with you.”
So a few miles down the road, the lady stops at a cafe, where the poor waitress is 8 months pregnant. The lady thinks about the guy’s good deed and leaves her a $100 tip, with a note that says the same thing, “You don’t owe me a thing…”
And then, the waitress goes home, climbs in bed with her husband (whoa — this sounds like it’s going to be dirty when I write it out like this), taps him on the shoulder and says, “Everything’s going to be all right. I love you, Joe.”
GET IT?? It’s the guy who first helped the woman with her tire.
Now that’s good storytelling, and it’s done in less than five minutes.
There’s a lesson there, I think.
Here are some more great storytelling songs:
This one is about a guy in prison who figures out that if he gets the warden’s dog some *ahem* action every night, when he decides to run, the dog will go looking for his lady-love, and won’t chase him:
Here’s a great power video about a guy getting beaten down and finally rising up to be a badass. (And let me tell you, I had SUCH the crush on Toby Keith when I was 22.)
What about you guys? Do you have any good songs that tell a story? Any good songs that aren’t country music?
And, OMG, I just watched that video again, and that crush? Still there.
Remember when Cobus Potgieter stopped by the blog and just about stopped my heart at the same time? Well, if Toby Keith wants to stop by, I sure wouldn’t cry about it.