Steal A Song | StoryADay 2024 Day 24

Don’t worry, they can’t copyright the song title!

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The Prompt

Write the Story of a Song (Title)

Things To Consider

Art inspires art and there’s nothing wrong with borrowing from other creatives, so today you’re going to write the story of a song. You don’t actually have to write the story of the song, of course.

You might:

• Write a response to the song from another character

• Simply use the title and write a story that has nothing to do with the song (don’t worry, you can’t copyright a title. They’re fair game!)

If you choose a song that has a story built in (A Boy Named Sue, or Copacabana, for example—guess who grew up in the 1970s?!) you could choose to tell a story that serves as a prequel or sequel to the story.

I love the idea of a prequel because it should slowly dawn upon the reader that you’re leading into the story/song they already know.

Here are a couple of resources

An A-Z of Song Titles

Tulsa Library System’s Song Index

Fantasy Song Title Generator – for those of you who like to play fast-and-loose with the rules

Leave a comment and let us know how it went!

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19 thoughts on “Steal A Song | StoryADay 2024 Day 24”

  1. Got a little inspiration from Crowded House today, and wrote a story about Morag, who always takes the weather with her.
    It ended up being a childhood-grave story, which made it a little more sad at the end than I usually go for, but it fitted.

    Today’s lesson for me: practice everything because sometimes the story requires you to write things you don’t normally write.

  2. I always love it when I’m reading a story and the author’s inserted a song in there somehow and I always wish I knew how to do that. That’s why I’m excited about this prompt.
    It’s 4pm already here in Arizona which means 7pm EST, so I’m going to jot here what I’ve written so far…but I did make a story outline, so I’ll finish writing the rest after I post.
    I’m writing it in the present tense which I never do. And I’ve made one paragraph about Mysty, and another about Dan, which I’ve never tried, and hope to continue the story that way, if possible. So brave of me, ha ha.
    “One pill makes you larger, and one pill makes you small; the ones your mother gives you don’t do anything at all…”
    Mysty is listening to the songs of her era as she’s going about reading books on philosophy in her free time, trying to make sense of her life. She has been trying to do transcendental meditation, but it isn’t helping much, which makes her upset. When she gets really anxious she pops a pill.
    She’s been taking college classes toward her degree, and has quit her boring office job and moved back in with her parents in order to attend college full-time. She now has a part-time job at a movie theater that shows foreign films, which is fun. Of course, now she doesn’t make much money, but enough to pay for college, and she hopes that will change once she finishes college and figures out what she wants to do with her life.
    Dan’s listening to Sinatra’s “Anything Goes,” which is about how things have changed since the Pilgrims landed, while drinking some whiskey he has stashed in his bedroom. In a few minutes he’ll drive down the street, park, have a cigarette, then drive back home. He still lives with his parents. He’s in college only because his mother pays for it, plus he needs to be, in order to avoid the draft.
    Dan has no interest in college. His parents pay all his bills, buy him clothes, and anything else he needs. But he needs extra money to pay for booze and cigarettes and dates, so he has a part-time job sandblasting rocks for tombstones. He thinks that’s a cool job. Most importantly, he needs money for gambling.
    He looks up to The Rat Pack. Those are the coolest guys in the world. If he could just be like them. In his daydreams he imagines he us.
    As you may imagine, these two meet and opposites attract.

    1. I had to look it up, but “White Rabbit” and Sinatra’s cover of “Anything Goes” were ten years apart. The point is that without looking anything up, I knew instantly that Mysty and Dan were far apart. Good use of date-tagged pop culture to show us incompatibility in MCs.

    2. I like the two character-sketches, especially Dan’s. It can be developed into something nerve-tingling (?). With the barest minimum outlines or hints, you have left me wondering about the two. How these two different characters meet, what happens after that, whether Mysty turns out to be a good influence on Dan and finally what happens to the couple in the end?
      Though you have used two songs instead of the suggested one, I like your character-sketches a lot and would love to read your story, Valerie.
      Please let me know how or where to.
      Stay safe. God bless you.

  3. Song: Fools Rush In (Where Angels Fear to Tread). I listened to a few different versions. I love the one that’s on the Marie Antoinette soundtrack (by Bow Wow Wow) but I settled on the one by Lesley Gore to put on repeat.

    Inspiration struck when I realised that some of the lyrics, like a lot of love song lyrics, could be quite disturbing if taken literally. (And so I’ve come to you my love / My heart above my head.) I’m super super happy with the resulting story, which is about a Fairy Godmother’s curse. The story had legs and the first draft is a bit sketchy / outline-ish, but I know how it ends (always a struggle!) and I’m loving the tone. It’ll be worth revisiting when the challenge is over!

    It never ceases to amaze me how following a breadcrumb trail that really doesn’t feel like it’s going to go anywhere can lead to a very productive writing session. Who knows how the brain or the muse does it?

    p.s. thanks for the dance break today, Julie! I needed the cardio! 😂

    1. So glad to hear this. I had a similar experience: didn’t think it was going anywhere but following the breadcrumbs led me to a complete story.

      Glad to hear you’ll be going back to this one.

  4. I wrote a stinker, but the process was helpful. I’m not quite sure what I took away from it, but I know it was something.

    I wanted to start with something traditional, not a pop song, and I wound up with “He’s Got the Whole World (in His Hands).” The story is about the endpoint of the concentration of wealth and power: the man who literally has everything.

    By the nature of his position, he has everything but superiors and peers. Desperate, he decides to take up writing, and join a critique group.

  5. I spent 5 minutes shuffling through my playlist and making a list of songs I could use. Ending up going with In Your Love by Tyler Childers(if you want to cry, just watch the video for it). I wrote a story about a similar couple, if I gave myself more time, I would have given them names and developed each part of their lives together a bit more fully. 474 words

  6. Happily Married
    “What do we do with Baba’s mobile, Ma?” Anwesha, holding her late father’s LG Android phone, asked her mother a couple of days after the shradha ceremony (funeral rites) of her father.
    She was helping out with Dip’s rest of the belongings. They had already donated his clothes and most other things to a charitable organisation. Now they were busy rearranging the remaining items. That’s when Anwesha noticed the mobile on his reading table and asked her mother, Lovely, what to do with you.
    Anwesha actually wanted to be rid of it. Lots of memories were associated with it. Those incredible photos that Dip snapped on their trips; those files containing the question papers and model answers; other important documents; and most importantly, the ring tune.
    Every time someone called and the song started playing, it would be too painful for them thinking of Dip and Lovely’s story behind.

    Oh, Sorry. This is not how a story is supposed to begin, right? Let me tell you the story of a Happily Married Couple today..

    “What did you ask your wife, Dip?” Dip’s sister-in-law asked him teasingly in the taxi on their way back home at CIT Road.
    “I simply told Lovely, dear Bhabi,” Dip replied with the naughty look of a child in his eyes,“ that we were going to be the best of friends.”

    Winter Break over, Dip, one of the most eligible bachelors in town, was preparing to get back to his school in Alipurduar, a sleepy, slithy town in the north of Bengal. It was early spring when his sister-in-law had come up with the proposal. The girl, Lovely, was an ‘extremely talented, unbelievably beautiful’, only child.
    A day was subsequently fixed for the meeting of Dip with the girl and her family. He had accompanied his sister and sister-in-law to his in-laws’ South Kolkata residence at Lake Gardens just a week before the reopening of his school, was introduced to the bride-to-be, had a face to face talk in another room in the presence of a close relative from her side, got bowled over by her grace and beauty, and informed his sister and the sister-in-law on the way back that the girl was the perfect one for him.

    Theirs was an arranged marriage. As Dip was well-settled, his parents didn’t ask for any dowry or anything whatsoever. Surprisingly, there was a request from Lovely though that she would like to go to Alipurduar right after the wedding.

    Though Dip was reluctant, brought up as he was in a conservative family, he wanted his wife to spend some time with his family first, in order to get to know each other better, he agreed finally at the initiative of his sister.

    “What’s wrong with her being keen on accompanying you to Alipur? She’s concerned as she should be. Besides, she’s to get to know you first before trying to find out more about your family, hasn’t she?”
    Dip found nothing wrong with her sister’s take on the situation.

    So, on a chill, crowded evening, the couple boarded the Kanchan Kanya Express from Sealdah Station. Crowded evening as a multitude of their relatives and friends came there to see them off.

    That started a love story.

    Their first dinner in a train, sitting on the upper berths of the compartment, Dip making sure that Lovely got safely tucked under the sheet on her berth after their endless whispers till late at night, their sharing the previous night’s extra food in the almost empty coach after the train had crossed Hasimara Station, and finally the unforgettable journey in a cab from New Alipur Station to his school in the heart of the town.

    As the cab slithered along the highway through the greenery of the tea plants all around, with the tale-tale gray mountains under the bluer than the blue skies at the background, the couple hit it up like they had known one another all their lives.

    “Do you have any English cassette, Bhaiya?” Lovely, looking as serene as ever, asked the cab driver excitedly at one point. Not that they were bored with the Hindi numbers being played on the in-built player in the car or anything like that. She simply wanted to make this journey together more memorable with an extra something, you know what I’m talking about, dear reader?

    The driver, a young chap in his late twenties, broke into a broad smile looking at the front mirror before picking up the remote and almost immediately a baritone voice percolated through the entire surroundings:

    You fill up my senses, like a night in the forest,
    Like the mountains in Springtime, Like a walk in the rain,
    Like a storm in the desert, like a sleepy blue ocean,
    You fill up my senses, come, fill me again…

    “Do you like the lyrics?” Lovely looking at her husband, reclining beside her on the back seat with his eyes closed, wondered.

    “I normally don’t like listening to western music but it’s a nice song. I love the lyrics.”

    The couple spent the next few moments listening to the song.

    “Come let me love you, let me give my life to you,/ Let me drown in your laughter, let me die in your arms…..”

    Back in his school quarters, after they had spent the afternoon rearranging it, Dip asked Lovely to set John Denver’s song on his mobile as the call tune.

    That’s the beginning of a near perfect relationship.

    It was not like, let me tell you dear reader, that the couple had no issues – they quarrelled and made up, they smiled when life proved smooth sailing and mourned over the deaths of close relatives. In short, like most other couples, they did things together. They always made it up in the end – Happily Married for 32 years.

    “Baba, why don’t you change the ring tune ever? I’ve literally grown up listening to the same song every time I called you! It’s outdated now, Baba. Time for the likes of Arijit Singh.” Anwesha, his daughter quipped one afternoon.

    “I’ve told you several times the reason, the history behind why I love listening to the song. I belong to the old school, Anu. I want it to be played the day when I’m no more ….” Dip, with a lump in his throat, replied.

    “Don’t be sentimental, Sweetheart.” Lovely would cut in,lovingly. “I know my Dip would live to be a hundred….”

    Unfortunately, he didn’t. He came back home from school one tiring summer afternoon and complained of a chest pain. As Lovely was about to call the doctor, he asked her to sit by him on the bed for a few minutes more.

    The song “You fill up my senses” of a happily married life started playing on his mobile just then. As Dip lowered his head on the pillow, he asked Lovely to take the call. It was Anwesha enquiring about Dip. Lovely, finding Dip resting with his eyes closed on the pillow, decided to call the doc.

    But he was gone! Just like that without giving Lovely or Anu for the matter, a chance to say the final good bye.
    The end

    1. Rathin,
      That’s a lovely story. try this though, read your last five paragraphs in isolation – there’s a story just in those alone.

      1. Thank you, Andrew. Now you have mentioned it, I read the last 5 paragraphs. And you are absolutely right!
        For the first time in my writing career, I find myself wondering if I should focus on shortening the length of my stories from now on. If what I wanted to say could be done in the just 5 paragraphs, why take the trouble of lengthening the story?
        I looked at the word count before posting. It was 1200. I thought that would be the perfect length for a flash fiction. I had written what I wanted to tell. I had to change the intro though and I felt elated at my achievement.
        You have made me realise, my dear friend, that if writing was such an easy job, everyone would be a great writer!
        Anyway, thanks for your honest and valued comments. Keep shining and inspiring. God bless.

    2. Rathin, this is a wonderful story. I had no trouble following any of it. The paragraph with them in the cab with the tea plants all around was especially beautiful. I don’t think the story needs to be shortened. The sentence you used earlier in the story, “The song, “You fill up my senses,” of a happily married life started playing on his mobile just then,” might have made a nice ending if you’d moved things around a tiny bit to make it the last line in your story. But I didn’t write the story so that might not feel right to you.

      1. Thank you, dear Valerie. Means a lot to me. The very fact that people like you, Andrew, and a couple others take time to go through my stories, really touch my heart.
        I am also encouraged by your statement that the story doesn’t need to be shortened. Truth is, I consider myself more of a flash fiction writer. So, my target often is to write stories inbetween 1000-1200 words.
        Anyway, keep writing, sharing, encouraging and inspiring. Thanks again for reading my story.

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