By Beth Anderton-Allen
Songs for stories.
After Marc’s brief talk with us this morning, I wanted to carry on the conversation about the power of music in the art of storytelling. As a musician this really resonated with me, and immediately got me thinking about the key song’s that affected me when I was younger and the stories that they told. But a lot of the time when people talk about songs that tell great stories they tend to look back and think of artists such as Bob Dylan, Don McLean and Fleetwood Mac. Don’t get me wrong they are all incredible songwriters. But I wanted to have a look into and focus on musicians who are currently writing stories in the now, since songs are seen as “reflections” of the society and culture in which they are produced.
Here are some brilliant songwriters telling stories that are relevant to now and relevant to our culture and time we currently live in.
iT by Christine and the Queens
She wants to be a man
But she lies
She wants to be born again
But she’ll lose
She draws her own crotch by herself But she’ll lose because it’s a fake It’s a fake, it’s a fake, it’s a fake
No! I’ve got it
I’m a man now
And there’s nothing you can do to make me change my mind I’m a man now
iT plays with ideas of gender telling a story about woman who want’s to become a man, but is having to deal with societies adversities. A lot of Christine’s writing is very disruptive and feel’s so relevant to today’s society. As she is daring enough to take on and challenge subjects that are deemed as taboo.
Ain’t Nothing Changed by Loyle Carner
Uh, check, uh, I kind of miss my student loan
Uh, I miss sitting in the student home
Sharing stories now I simmer sippin’, sorta Rome
Walking like I’ve been talking the talk but can’t afford a phone Trust, I’m all alone panicking to play it safe
This talk of paper chase is forcing me to stay awake
Living this layer cake where others will say you’re straight
Say they got my back and that they’re praying Imma pave the way
Like it’s the great escape brothers doing better than me
I’m in a hurry worry, ‘what if they forget about me?’
I’m just another number nothing when the check will bounce
See now we’re moving for money, but there’s nothing but debt around me So when the rest have found me buggin’ in the brain
And I’m somewhere between the struggle and the strain
Carner paints the story of what a lot of graduates feel like after leaving university. The feeling that you have to pave your own way but you’re drowning in crippling student debt. That worrying feeling that you will get left behind as all of your friends get on with their lives. I feel like this is really relevant to what is going on in the UK right now.
North Circular by Real Lies
These days on the wrong side of the window
Thought I saw your place, you didn’t let me in, though These days I say sorry a lot more
Never sure if it’s the bailiffs at the door
But I still walk the same streets at night
Watch the same rain melt the same lights
Bag on my shoulder and a pocket full of rage
How many late nights does it take you to change?
North Circular tells the story of those moments when you think the future is going to last forever, but it can vanish in an instant. Taking that hungover walk, train, or cab home and taking solace in your progress, knowing that no matter how far you look backwards, time just keeps inevitably moving forward.