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Songs about/inspired specific events (the story behind the song)

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Self-explanatory.  (And this thread may have been done before, nsiap.)  Could be something like "Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald", or something subtler, like this one.

No CR, but in light of current events, it reminded me of the liner notes to Billy Joel's "Songs in the Attic", specifically for "Miami 2017", which was written in response to the 1975 Daily News headline "Ford to City: Drop Dead".

 

Or this one, written after a concert at MSG, where he was heckled about playing new music, people just wanted the hits (It WAS an oldies tour, to be honest)...

 

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Cross-posting this one from the virus thread.

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Inspiration for songs can come at the most unexpected time and in the strangest of places as Eric and Graham of 10cc found out. "I will never forget one day in particular" says Graham. "We were striding along the walkway towards an aeroplane which was due to take us to Amsterdam and the suddenly Eric started sneezing, but it was not just an achoo it was achoo-choo" he laughed "He just couldn't stop and he set up this incredible rhythm of achoo-choo, achoo-choo. I couldn't help joining in too. but I wasn't sneezing, just singing. A bit later on when Eric had stopped sneezing we put some words to the rhythm and came up with YOU'VE GOT A COLD, and guess what, we put it on our new album DECEPTIVE BENDS" 

And another 10cc fav of mine was inspired by this famous ad...

 

cheryl national.jpg

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The story goes that on Dec. 4, 1971, Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention were playing a gig at the Montreux casino. The band was nearly 90 minutes into the show, cranking through "King Kong," when someone in the crowd fired a flare gun at the wooden roof, which instantly caught fire.


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I thought the story around "Garden Party" was that Nelson thought they were booing him, but there was actually some sort of disturbance in the crowd people were reacting to.

 

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1 hour ago, Wiler77 said:

I thought the story around "Garden Party" was that Nelson thought they were booing him, but there was actually some sort of disturbance in the crowd people were reacting to.

 

It's never been clearly explained, but regardless of what was actually happening, in his mind they were booing him, and that was enough to piss him off.

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This one is about when Santa Claus comes to town.  
 
 

That came out before he was killed in The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.


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8 hours ago, Ths71 said:


That came out before he was killed in The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.


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Huh. I thought it was the Ella Fitzgerald... 

 

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Inspired by the 60s Moors Murders in Manchester.


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Stephen Stills was inspired to write the song because of the Sunset Strip curfew riots in November 1966.





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14 minutes ago, Ths71 said:

 


Inspired by the 60s Moors Murders in Manchester.


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That's a good one.

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About the Expulsion of the Acadians during the rivalry between the French and the British over what is now Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and most of Maine.




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A tale of the 1932 Bonus Expeditionary Forces (WWI vets who marched on Washington).

 

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On 3/29/2020 at 10:25 AM, abuelo gringo said:

 

i was able to make it two minutes thru that song. and that is only because i tried.

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Baboso got one of mine, so I'll add another one that is fairly self-explanatory.  "Fuck the men they can eat their belts"

 

 

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On Sunday, June 29th, 1997, elderly couple Lela and Raymond Howard from Salado, Texas, decided that they were going to a day festival in Temple. It was to be a 15 mile trip, and Lela was driving. The couple departed that morning, despite earlier objections by Lela’s son, who had begged to drive his mother and father himself instead. Lela declined, saying "No, we know where to go. We go every year." Lela’s son’s concerns stemmed from the fact that his eighty-three-year-old mother was showing signs of Alzheimer’s disease and was often easily confused at things. At one time, Lela even meant to show up at a local Walmart for morning coffee at 10:30 a.m., but instead arrived at 10:30 p.m., perplexed at why the sun was not yet up. Eighty-eight-year-old Raymond too was showing signs of mental deterioration, due to a recent brain surgery done to combat a stroke and head injury. Lela and Raymond, though, were not aware of their severe mental decline, and left for the festival that morning without even telling their other adult son, who lived just next door.

The afternoon passed and the Howards didn’t return home. However, at a local Walmart in Temple, a greeter there remembered seeing Lela and Raymond coming in for coffee during the afternoon. After that, the couple’s movements could not be accounted for. The several children between the two had become immensely worried for their elderly parents’ safety, so they contacted the authorities, and a missing persons bulletin was posted that day. The Howards remained missing.

Three days later on Wednesday, July 2nd, a newspaper article was published in the Austin American-Statesman about the missing couple, titled “Elderly Salado Couple Missing On a Trip To Nowhere”. It read: "Lela and Raymond Howard are on a four-day road trip into thin air. The Central Texas couple, in their 80s with diminishing health, somehow have turned a 15-mile journey for a cup of coffee and a party into a 500-mile-plus misadventure with no known destination." That same day, a deputy in rural Arkansas pulled over Lela for driving with her headlights off, as it was nighttime. Lela and Raymond were 500 miles away from their original starting point in Salado, Texas. The deputy later noted that Lela was “polite”, “gentle”, and “acted just like my grandmother”. When Lela stated that they were trying to get back to Texas, the deputy noted that they were headed in the wrong direction if they were trying to return to that state, so he gave them directions. The deputy then asked Lela where she lived, but she could not remember. The deputy let them off with only a warning. The couple were pulled over again about half an hour later for driving with their high beams on. This deputy also let them go. Neither of the deputies knew about the newspaper article, nor that the Howards were missing persons. The Howards once again disappeared.

The next day on Thursday, July 3rd, there was another article about the Howards. They had allegedly been spotted at a farmer’s market in Arkansas, and authorities in eleven states were on the lookout for them. On Friday, July 4th, another article stated that authorities had narrowed their search to three specific counties in Arkansas. There were no further developments in the search until Wednesday, July 9th, when the couple’s story was covered on the CBS morning news show. Yet another newspaper article was published about the Howards in the Austin American-Statesman, making the front page. That article’s editor, Denise Gamino, stopped by the Howards' house, and the signs of the couple’s mental decay were obvious. There was folded clothing still laying on the couple’s bed, as if they started packing for some sort of long trip. The television was unplugged and hearing aids were left behind in the bathroom, as well as various toiletries. Even though the month was currently July, the Howards' calendar was still on the page for February. Perhaps most notably, the Howards' cat Happy was left behind, essentially abandoned. The couple’s children and grandchildren were apparently unaware of exactly how bad their parents’ mental health had become.

The search intensified, as authorities employed dozens of deputies, carefully combed obscure backroads and brush areas, posted fliers, and questioned many civilians over a very large area. Helicopters were even later used in the search, and the search area grew to 1,000 miles from Salado, Texas. By then one of the Howards' grandsons had offered a reward of $1,000 for his grandparents' safe return. Tips came flooding in after the CBS morning show, but none led to the Howards' discovery. The next day on Thursday, July 10th, one of the Howards' grandchildren remarked in a newspaper article, "The hardest part is thinking that they are suffering or need us and we can't get to them." Another bleakly stated, "I just don't think we're going to find them alive now."

Unfortunately, everyone’s worst fears were finally realized on Saturday, July 12th, when the bodies of Lela and Raymond Howard were discovered in their car by hikers at the bottom of a 25-foot cliff, just outside Hot Springs, Arkansas. Raymond was still in the passenger seat, but Lela was about 20 feet away in a ravine, still clutching her purse and car keys. Apparently after the car went over the cliff, she put her car in park, turned off her headlights, opened the passenger side door for her deceased husband, and crawled away to die of her injuries sustained in the crash. There were no skid marks found at the top of the cliff, indicating that Lela’s car had driven straight off the edge. A crash scene investigator estimated that the car had been going around fifty miles per hour on the stretch of road leading up to the cliff. Lela likely didn’t see the cliff edge or was in some other way distracted, or even became momentarily confused and lost the ability to safely drive. It is not known for how long the Howards' bodies remained undiscovered. Sadly, the crash site where Lela and Raymond’s bodies were found was within a zone previously searched by the authorities, but searchers could not see the bottom of the cliff due to excess brush in their line of sight. Lela and Raymond were later buried next to their respective first spouses.

Austin, Texas songwriter Tony Scalzo read the July 2nd newspaper article in the Austin American-Statesman in the midst of the search for Lela and Raymond, and he became inspired. He wrote a song with his alternative rock band, Fastball, based on Lela and Raymond’s disappearance. It was titled “The Way”. About the song, Scalzo said, "It's a romanticized take on what happened.” Scalzo "pictured them taking off to have fun, like they did when they first met." Scalzo wrote the song before the Howards' bodies were discovered. The album containing “The Way”, All the Pain Money Can Buy, was released in 1998, one year after the Howards' bodies were found. Despite “The Way"'s cheerful, optimistic sound, its lyrics are haunting:

 

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Couple of Dylan masterpieces about black folks getting shit justice:

Hurricane

The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll

Both songs are totally awesome and rocked out on Rolling Thunder Revue (Bootleg Series Vol. 5). 

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One of U2's most overtly political songs, its lyrics describe the horror felt by an observer of the Troubles in Northern Ireland, mainly focusing on the 1972 Bloody Sunday incident in Derry where British troops shot and killed unarmed civil rights protesters.

Along with "New Year's Day," the song helped U2 reach a wider listening audience. It was generally well received by critics on the album's release.

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Posted (edited)

Not a specific event, just about relationships.  Actually doesn't belong on this thread probably.  

Edited by Mdhorn

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6 hours ago, Mdhorn said:

Not a specific event, just about relationships.  Actually doesn't belong on this thread probably.  

While the song was written before JHS died, it did take on new meaning once they recorded it after his death, and Hynde has said in interviews that the song is basically dedicated to him.  So I'd say it kinda belongs.

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Posted (edited)

Song inspired by Brian Wilson's Irish Setter being killed.

Edited by Deej

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On 4/3/2020 at 2:55 PM, Mileslong said:

 

 

 


One of U2's most overtly political songs, its lyrics describe the horror felt by an observer of the Troubles in Northern Ireland, mainly focusing on the 1972 Bloody Sunday incident in Derry where British troops shot and killed unarmed civil rights protesters.

Along with "New Year's Day," the song helped U2 reach a wider listening audience. It was generally well received by critics on the album's release.

 

 

Great song, but I've exceeded my lifetime limit of viewing that video.    That video was in the highest-of-high rotation on the early days of MTV.   I think for a while, they my have just run that, Money for Nothing, and the Crue's Home Sweet Home in a loop for hours on end.

 

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