It takes a lot of talent to weave a world in a book, to craft a bunch of characters and intertwine individuals into one story.

It takes a different talent to compress a whole story into the boundaries of a song.

The result is a story song, and to me a good story song puts the songwriter’s talent on display in a unique way.

When I got the idea to write about story songs for today’s WordPress Discover prompt, which is “song,” the first one to pop into my head was Bob Dylan’s “Tangled Up In Blue.”

Dylan’s voice is unique, and some might say it’s an acquired taste, but I’m not sure anyone could dispute his talent as a wordsmith.

Even if you take away the music behind his lyrics the words are still poetry, which might be the reason “Mr. Tambourine Man” was on the syllabus in one of my college literature classes.

When it comes to story songs, “Tangled Up In Blue” stands out to me because Dylan crammed almost an entire life into five minutes.

It’s a long musical road, and it’s a journey in song.

It’s an odyssey of a man’s feelings for a woman he loved, lost and hopes to find again.

A summary of the story wouldn’t do it justice so here are the lyrics.

The song is great on its own merit, but I also like the fact it doesn’t answer every question it poses.

I don’t know if boy finds girl at the end of the song, or if he’s left to wander with her memory.

Sometimes part of the appeal of a good story song is the story never ends.


If you want to talk about how kindness is an afterthought in the world today, you’ll just have to find someone else who will listen.

I don’t dispute there’s a lot less kindness than there once was, and I know the world could use a lot more, but there’s still some here.

I know. I’ve been given the gift of two random acts of kindness in the last two months.


A Randy Travis interview came on the radio while I drove home from work the other day.

It was recorded before his 2013 stroke, which almost cost him his life and has made communication more difficult than it once was for the singer of more than a dozen No. 1 songs.

This is less about Travis, though, than it is about the questions which creeped into my mind when I thought about how quickly things changed for him.


Daddy and I were on the road to somewhere the other day.

We were listening to an oldies station when I made a remark about how, on the whole, today’s music doesn’t hold a candle to the songs on the radio when Daddy was younger.

I believe a day spent listening to Delilah on a recent trip to the beach led to his defense of modern music.

“It ain’t all bad,” Daddy said. “Every song wasn’t good back then, either. You’re just listening to the All Stars.”

I didn’t think about the exchange again until yesterday, and the thought had nothing to do with music. (more…)

My phone was going crazy, and it wouldn’t stop. The screen showed a flash flood alert, but I dismissed it and glanced up at a small sliver of road through a rain-soaked windshield.

I was on my way to Georgiana, on a trip to see the museum inside Hank Williams’ boyhood home. (more…)

Last Saturday, Mama and I took another trip to the Alabama Department of Archives and History in Montgomery.
We’d been once before, when we randomly decided we’d make the hour-plus drive to see what the archives had to offer, and we weren’t disappointed.
The archives were different last weekend, but in a good way. (more…)

I once read an ebook that included the question asking whether I would live nomadically if I could.
It asked where I would go, how I would decide where to go and what life would be like if I didn’t have just one place to call home.
The answers, of course, were in songs. (more…)