SONGWRITING MONTH DAY 9: Character Reference Song

It’s the 9th! 9 can be divided by 3.  We’re writing a song today, is what I’m saying.

TODAY’S PROMPT:  Take a well-known character, historical (real) or fictional (fabricated), and reference him or her in a song.

You can choose the point of view.  You can write a first-person song, where “I” is the subject, from your own perspective or the perspective of the character. Like the Johnny Appleseed song, “The Lord is Good to me…”

You can write a song to the character, so that the character is “you” (second person).

You can do what Bruce Springsteen does with the Ghost of Tom Joad, and retell the person’s story in the third person.

Famous examples include:

John Henry & The Battle of Davy Crockett (Traditional)

Candle in the Wind (by Elton John was originally about Marilyn Monroe but got re-appropriated Princess Diana).

Kryptonite (Three Doors Down. Remember? From like 1997?)

Sam Cooke has songs about two of my favorite Bible ladies: the woman at the well (Jesus Gave Me Water) and the bleeding woman who gets healed by touching Jesus’s clothes in a crowd (Hem of His Garment).

Drunken Ira Hayes (Johnny Cash).

Buffalo Bill (Jeff Wilkinson).

Hurricane (Bob Dylan).

Wonderful (is about Stevie Wonder by India Arie).

Sabu (The Elephant Boy–by John Prine).

*Special thanks to my dad for helping me come up with these examples.

SONG OF THE DAY: The Ghost of Tom Joad

Because I love, love, love, The Grapes of Wrath.

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