I’m a writer and a music fan, so I often think of the lyrics to my favorite songs as short stories. A couple of the best elements are usually there—from isolation, desperation and validation to heartbreak, betrayal and revenge. Some songwriters create easy to follow narratives, while others make you tease the story out. Great songs can make us imagine exactly what the songwriter envisioned, but it’s more fun to create our own version of the story as we listen.
Lately I’ve been digging deeper with daily posts that re-imagine lyrics through the lens of short fiction. I can’t promise that I’ll keep up this pace, but I’m having fun for now. I’m calling the series “Short Story in a Song.” Here are the first ten:
- “Misunderstood” by Wilco
- “The Rat” by The Walkmen
- “Books About UFOs” by Husker Du
- “I Must Not Think Bad Thoughts” by X
- “Photosynthesis” by Frank Turner
- “Party At Ground Zero” by Fishbone
- “Clean Sheets” by Descendents
- “Vacation” by The Go-Go’s
- “Violins” by Lagwagon
- “Throwaways” by Beach Slang
S.W. Lauden is the author of the Greg Salem punk rock P.I. series includes BAD CITIZEN CORPORATION, GRIZZLY SEASON and HANG TIME (Rare Bird Books). He is also the co-host of the Writer Types podcast. Steve lives in LA.