Some Songs Make Great Short Stories

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 call the series “Short Story in a Song:”

Continue reading

Some Songs Make Great Short Stories

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 call the series “Short Story in a Song.” Here are the first twenty:

S.W. Lauden is the author of the Greg Salem punk rock P.I. series includes BAD CITIZEN CORPORATIONGRIZZLY SEASON and HANG TIME (Rare Bird Books). He is also the co-host of the Writer Types podcast. Steve lives in LA.

Some Songs Make Great Short Stories

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 call the series “Short Story in a Song.” Here are the first fifteen:

S.W. Lauden is the author of the Greg Salem punk rock P.I. series includes BAD CITIZEN CORPORATIONGRIZZLY SEASON and HANG TIME (Rare Bird Books). He is also the co-host of the Writer Types podcast. Steve lives in LA.

Some Songs Make Great Short Stories

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:

S.W. Lauden is the author of the Greg Salem punk rock P.I. series includes BAD CITIZEN CORPORATIONGRIZZLY SEASON and HANG TIME (Rare Bird Books). He is also the co-host of the Writer Types podcast. Steve lives in LA.

Short Story in A Song — “Photosynthesis”

I discovered Frank Turner in the best possible way a few years ago—live at a show where I’d come to see another band. Turner took the stage and my buddy explained that he was “the new Billy Bragg”. That was enough to get my attention since Bragg’s “Talking With The Taxman About Poetry” is an all-time favorite. Comparisons aside, I became a fan of Turner’s that night too.

One of my favorite Turner songs is the snotty and sincere “Photosynthesis.” It’s a premature middle-aged call to arms from a twenty-something that already sees the writing on the wall. Our narrator launches the bouncy shot across the bow by confessing that he’s “starting to get old” and that his “angry adolescent days are done.” It feels as if he’s waving the white flag when a plot twist unfolds in the chorus and he declares that he won’t grow up after all. By the time we hit the second chorus, our protagonist has evolved from complacent to defiant and everything is right with the world. Just imagine Holden Caulfield singing “Guns of Brixton.”

Don’t sit down. Don’t shut up. And whatever else you do, don’t grow up. Solid advice from a great musician—and it would definitely make a great short story.

Read the lyrics for Frank Turner’s “Photosynthesis” HERE.

More “Short Story in a Song” posts:

S.W. Lauden is the author of the Greg Salem punk rock P.I. series includes BAD CITIZEN CORPORATIONGRIZZLY SEASON and HANG TIME (Rare Bird Books). He is also the co-host of the Writer Types podcast. Steve lives in LA.

New YouTube Channel For Your Ear/Eye Holes

 

I have been doing a weekly music feature on this blog for the last four months called “Sometimes The Best Short Story Is A Song.” And now I’ve created a YouTube playlist to go along with it. I’ll be updating the playlist every week as I add a new song.

The series is an exploration of the lyrical narrative in some of my favorite music. Last week I posted my 21st installment about the classic Whiskeytown track “16 Days.” For those of you new to the concept, here’s a complete list of all the songs featured to date starting with the most recent:

S.W. Lauden’s short fiction has been published by Out of the Gutter, Criminal Element, Dark Corners, Dead Guns Magazine, Akashic Books, WeirdBook, Spelk Fiction, Shotgun Honey and Crimespree Magazine. His debut novel, BAD CITIZEN CORPORATION, will be published by Rare Bird Books in October 2015. His novella, CROSSWISE, will be published by Down & Out Books in 2016.

Sometimes The Best Short Story Is A Song (#19)

I discovered Frank Turner in the best possible way—live at a show where I’d come to see another band. Turner took the stage and my buddy leaned over to explain that he was “the new Billy Bragg”. That was enough to get my attention since Bragg’s “Talking With The Taxman About Poetry” is an all-time fav. I became a big fan of Turner’s that night too.

There isn’t anything particularly revolutionary about a punk troubadour, but Turner’s songwriting is really great. And I love his voice. In my mind, this is perfectly encapsulated in his folky ode to growing up, “Photosynthesis”. It’s snotty and sincere in all the right ways, with just enough angst to make it timeless and compelling. Sort of like Holden Caulfield singing The Clash’s “The Guns Of Brixton”.

It’s a premature middle-aged call to arms from a twenty-something that already sees the writing on the wall. So when he croons that he “won’t sit down and I won’t shut up” and that he refuses to meekly shuffle “down the path of mediocrity”—well, it’s the kind of thing that just might make you finally write that novel you’ve been going on and on about.

Read the lyrics for “Photosynthesis” HERE.

Previous installments in this series:

S.W. Lauden’s short fiction has been accepted for publication by Out of the Gutter, Criminal Element, Dark Corners, Dead Guns Magazine, Akashic Books, WeirdBook, Spelk Fiction, Shotgun Honey and Crimespree Magazine. His debut novel, BAD CITIZEN CORPORATION, will be published by Rare Bird Books in October 2015. His novella, CROSSWISE, will be published by Down & Out Books in 2016.