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

This song has a drug reference in it - jmepa1234

3 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

4 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!

5 American Pie - Don McLean

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

jUST yes

6 Shine on You Crazy Diamond - Pink Floyd

It sounds like opera

7 Stan - Eminem

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.

I may dislike rap, but with this song I beg to differ.

V 2 Comments
8 Hurricane - Bob Dylan



9 To Where You Are - Jackie Evancho
10 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

The Contenders

11 Open Fields of Grace - Jackie Evancho

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

12 Viva la Vida - Coldplay

It tells a story about the French Revolution

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

13 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 to look to far for that. - Billyv

14 Stairway to Heaven - Led Zeppelin

One of the best songs ever - CalebMusic

One of the best

15 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

16 America - Simon & Garfunkel
17 In My Life - The Beatles
18 One - Metallica

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

Fantastic song

cool song


19 Winds of the Old Days - Joan Baez

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

20 Sometime Around Midnight - The Airborne Toxic Event

Best song ever!

21 A Quick One, While He's Away - The Who
22 There Only Was One Choice - Harry Chapin
23 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.

24 Bohemian Rhapsody - Queen


25 A Little Bit of Everything - Dawes
26 Comfortably Numb - Pink Floyd
27 Tangled Up in Blue - Bob Dylan
28 When She Loved Me - Sarah McLachlan
29 Thank God I'm a Country Boy - John Denver
30 Echoes - Pink Floyd
31 Life's Been Good - Joe Walsh
32 Don Quixote - Gordon Lightfoot
33 Fire and Rain - James Taylor
34 Hallowed Be Thy Name - Iron Maiden
35 Me and My Monkey - Robbie Williams
36 Hotel California - The Eagles
37 Livin On a Prayer - Bon Jovi

A great song! - CalebMusic

38 (Where Do I Begin) Love Story - Andy Williams
39 Me and Bobby McGee - Kris Kristofferson
40 Jesus of Suburbia - Green Day
41 Count Me In - Dove Cameron

Amazing song awesome

Great song!

42 Dance with the Devil - Immortal Technique

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.

43 A Boy Named Sue - Johnny Cash

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

Number one of course

44 The Rime of the Ancient Mariner - Iron Maiden
45 Carolina Drama - The Raconteurs
46 Jeremy - Pearl Jam
47 One Piece at a Time - Johnny Cash
48 Cat's In the Cradle - Harry Chapin

Amazing story

49 Paradise by the Dashboard Lights - Meatloaf
50 Smoke on the Water - Deep Purple
PSearch List

Related Lists

Best Metal Songs that Tell a Story Top 10 Last Words That Tell a Story Top Ten Albums that Tell a Story Best Songs From Selena Gomez's Kiss & Tell Best Songs on Nothing More's the Stories We Tell Ourselves

List Stats

700 votes
90 listings
4 years, 271 days old

Top Remixes (5)

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 5

Error Reporting

See a factual error in these listings? Report it here.