Wednesday, May 26, 2010

It’s all about story…

by Michael Dymmoch

…as Mary Harris, my favorite screenwriting guru, points out. Eleanor Taylor Bland told me years ago that Country music always tells a story. I didn’t think much about it until Randy Travis came out with Three Wooden Crosses.


It’s pure schmaltz but a great story with a twist.

I’ve blogged before on how the human brain seems programmed to respond to stories. What else are the creation myths that all cultures seem to have?

The Bible is a collection of stories. Jesus was a great story-teller, and His disciples (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John anyway) carried on His tradition by telling stories about Him.

When someone’s behavior perplexes us, we ask, “What’s his story?”

Politicians enlist our support by telling us their version of our national story.

The best commercials are mini-movies, telling us a story in 60 seconds or less. And the You-Tube videos that get the most play are stories—2 to 4 minute movies.

Solicitors hit us up for money with stories about rescued dogs and cats or disadvantaged children. Cancer Centers of America has patients tell their stories of compassionate care delivered after heartless doctors have given up.

Song stories have the advantage of gripping us with the tale and the tune. Even before I was a writer, I was drawn by such stories.

Some of my other favorites…

Billy Currington’s People are Crazy (written by Bobby Braddock & Troy Jones).


Dierks Bentley’s What Was I Thinking?


Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville


Lola by The Kinks


Johnny Cash’s A Boy Named Sue


Reba McEntire’s Fancy


So what are some of yours?

1 comment:

Sara said...

Those are all great - thanks for sharing. I would like to add Dan Fogelberg's "Sutter's Mill" from the album "High Country Snows".