Top 10 Songs That Tell a Story


The Top Ten

1 Lovers - Jackie Evancho

From the movie "House of Flying Daggers", a tragic story.

Jackie first recorded this at the age of 11. Now 15, she has performed it at nearly every concert. Her rendition is nothing short of spectacular. - BobG

Final acapella line: "Your voice still echoes... In my heart".

2 A Day In the Life - The Beatles

How is this not #1? It is simple, yet complex. It is slow, yet fast. It is quiet, yet loud. And overall tells one of the best stories in any song. - Doom

Meh, not really a story. the lyrics are great but there is no distinctive storyline. - JoLeKosovo

This song has a drug reference in it - jmepa1234

3 American Pie - Don McLean

One of the best songs ever written with a good story

It tells the story a defining blow to the world of music where the loss of those three musicians had a huge impact on American culture.

A great song about a sad topic - CalebMusic

just yes

1 Comment
4 The Boxer - Simon and Garfunkel

"... Every blow that laid him down and
Cut him til he cried out, in his anger, in his pain,
I am leaving, I am leaving,
But the Fighter still remains
Yes he still remains" - Billyv

5 Viva la Vida - Coldplay

I love this song

This is a awesome song! I did not know it told a story - CalebMusic

It tells a story about the French Revolution

6 Stan - Eminem

Amazing song amazing story

How is this only number 40? It should be number one without a question! Stan also is a creative song in that it is written using growingly aggressive letters from Stan, to Eminem. It tells a story good enough to turn into a movie. - ChickenKing

There are few songs of any genre that have the deep and complex emotions. If you are really looking for a good version look for the live version it gives even more feeling.

Why in hell is this #35 this is storytelling at its finest and these people here fail to recognize it.

7 The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald - Gordon Lightfoot

I saw Gordon Lightfoot perform this live once. The creepy thing was, right at the line "and later that night when his lights went out of sight came the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" there was a flash of lightning over a lake nearby. Eerie. - PetSounds

Many performers would have incorporated that intentionally as part of the show, though Gordon does/did it without flash - Billyv

This is number 1!

8 Shine on You Crazy Diamond - Pink Floyd

It sounds like opera

9 Hurricane - Bob Dylan



10 Stairway to Heaven - Led Zeppelin

Not a story. - JoLeKosovo

One of the best songs ever - CalebMusic

One of the best

The Contenders

11 The House of the Rising Sun - The Animals

Aka Rising Sun Blues. Origins, writers unknown. Many versions and covers. Most popular by The Animals. - Billyv

12 Taxi - Harry Chapin

"You see, she was gonna be an actress
And I was gonna learn to fly
She took off to find the footlights
And I took off to find the sky."
-- Life takes some subtle turns and Taxi captures the melancholy.

And continued to excellence in Sequel as well - Billyv

13 Bohemian Rhapsody - Queen

Not really a story. - JoLeKosovo


14 To Where You Are - Jackie Evancho
15 America - Simon & Garfunkel
16 Rocky Mountain High - John Denver

"He was born in the summer of his twenty-seventh year, going home to a place he'd never been before. He left yesterday behind him, you might say he was born again, you might say he found the key to every door..."
It tells a story indeed. And one which I never get tired of. - PetSounds

"... And they say that he went crazy once and he tried to touch the sun, and he lost his hand but kept the memory."

One of the reasons I was compelled to move to and live in Colorado for awhile, - the song, not the going "crazy" part. Haven't always had too look to far for that. - Billyv

17 In My Life - The Beatles

Not a story. - JoLeKosovo

18 When She Loved Me - Sarah McLachlan
19 One - Metallica

Wrong album cover, but you're right that this is a great song that tells a story. - Songsta41

Fantastic song

cool song


20 Open Fields of Grace - Jackie Evancho

Jackie's voice soars as she sings of loss and hope. - BobG

21 Livin On a Prayer - Bon Jovi

One of the best songs I have ever heard in my whole life!

A great song! - CalebMusic

22 Winds of the Old Days - Joan Baez

To Bob Dylan; about him, about the two of them, about all of Us - Billyv

23 A Quick One, While He's Away - The Who
24 Sk8er Boi - Avril Lavigne
25 Sometime Around Midnight - The Airborne Toxic Event

Best song ever!

26 There Only Was One Choice - Harry Chapin
27 A Little Bit of Everything - Dawes
28 El Paso - Marty Robbins

El Paso tells a great love story of the old west. No one can tell old western style stories like Marty Robbins.

29 Comfortably Numb - Pink Floyd
30 Tangled Up in Blue - Bob Dylan
31 Thank God I'm a Country Boy - John Denver
32 Rasputin - Boney M
33 Echoes - Pink Floyd

Not a story. - JoLeKosovo

34 Life's Been Good - Joe Walsh
35 Fire and Rain - James Taylor

I totally fell in love with that song when I was at school. It's still fab.

36 Hallowed Be Thy Name - Iron Maiden
37 Hotel California - The Eagles
38 Don Quixote - Gordon Lightfoot
39 Me and Bobby McGee - Kris Kristofferson
40 (Where Do I Begin) Love Story - Andy Williams
41 Me and My Monkey - Robbie Williams
42 Count Me In - Dove Cameron

Amazing song awesome

Great song!

43 Dance with the Devil - Immortal Technique

Wow. - JoLeKosovo

Immortal Technique tells this dark and realistic story of a young corrupted mind being shattered perfectly. I don't personally listen to a lot of rap, but this song does all sorts of things right.

44 Jesus of Suburbia - Green Day
45 A Boy Named Sue - Johnny Cash

If you haven't heard this song your missing out on a great one

Number one of course

46 Carolina Drama - The Raconteurs

Gives Me Chills. Great story that tells you just enough to let your imagination go crazy. It's overall a beautiful track, that puts you on the edge of your seat at the crescendo with just the delivery, on top of that the whole song unfolds like a play that you can see happening (It makes the little projector in my head play at least,) and it does so in a very poetic way. Always the awesome lyricist, Jack White may have written my favorite song of all time.

47 One Piece at a Time - Johnny Cash
48 Cat's In the Cradle - Harry Chapin

Amazing story

49 The River - Bruce Springsteen

How is this not higher
Listen to this song and vote right!

One of the best story songs ever written

I agree with the other comment. It should be higher

50 The Rime of the Ancient Mariner - Iron Maiden
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List Stats

900 votes
95 listings
5 years, 265 days old

Top Remixes (6)

1. Lovers - Jackie Evancho
2. To Where You Are - Jackie Evancho
3. Open Fields of Grace - Jackie Evancho
1. Winds of the Old Days - Joan Baez
2. The Boxer - Simon and Garfunkel
3. There Only Was One Choice - Harry Chapin
1. Sometime Around Midnight - The Airborne Toxic Event
2. A Little Bit of Everything - Dawes
3. American Pie - Don McLean

View All 6

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