In a recent article in The Smithsonian, Roseanne Cash, daughter of Johnny Cash and renowned singer/songwriter in her own right, reflected on the special beauty and power of “Story Songs.”
Her newest album cover pictures her throwing something “Off the Tallahatchie Bridge,” which is one of the most famous lines from a story song – Bobbie Gentry’s 1968 “Ode to Billie Joe.”
Cash said it’s the type of song – the sharing of “the human experience” – that she likes to sing these days because it allows the listener fill in the blanks. The story never discloses what it was that was thrown off that bridge. That’s left up to the listener.
In much the same way the best writers share the universal human experiences that help bring a story to life, allowing their readers to become participants, and to hear the words sing.
Here’s a link to the great “Ode to Billie Joe.” Happy listening…and writing.
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