All the Pretty Girls, Kenny Chesney – Flash Jukebox

What if I try to read “All the Pretty Girls,” by Kenny Chesney, as a work of flash fiction? I can already hear you. “That doesn’t make sense, Benny! That song isn’t a story song!”

Well, my name isn’t Benny, and I’m going to try it anyway. You can listen to the song free on Vevo, or read the lyrics on AZLyrics.

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I Know Places, Taylor Swift – Flash Jukebox

What can be learned from reading song lyrics as flash fiction? Today’s song is “I Know Places,” performed by Taylor Swift, written by Taylor Swift and Ryan Tedder, and released on the album “1989”. Only this song is a little different.

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Burning House, Cam – Flash Jukebox

Note: Are you looking for the meaning of Cam’s “Burning House”?

Flash fiction has a lot in common with songs. What can be learned by reading song lyrics as flash fiction? Let’s take a look at “Burning House,” by Cam. If you’re unfamiliar with the song, the lyric video is embedded below.

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Girl Crush, Little Big Town – Flash Jukebox

What if I read song lyrics as a flash fiction story? Here’s Little Big Town’s “Girl Crush”. If you’re not familiar with it, you can view it on YouTube:

(Incidentally, I’ve decided to call these articles where I interpret songs as flash fiction “Flash Jukebox” because… well, no good reason. It’s just a little shorter than “Songs as Flash Fiction”, though more annoying to google.)

Little Big Town recorded this song for their 2014 album “Pain Killer”. The song was written by Lori McKenna, Hillary Lindsey, and Liz Rose, who have a significant number of songwriting credits between them.
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Dandelion – Kacey Musgraves

dandelion

What can be learned about flash fiction by examining song lyrics? Let’s examine the song-slash-story Dandelion, as performed by Kacey Musgraves.

Dandelion was written by Kacey Musgraves, Brandy Clark, and Shane McAnally. You can find it on Musgraves’ album Same Trailer, Different Park, released in 2013 by Mercury Nashville.

Normally I would embed the Vevo video for the benefit of anyone who has never heard the song. Unfortunately, there is no music video for this song, but maybe there are a few lyric videos that haven’t been taken down.

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Compass – Lady Antebellum

Flash fiction strives to tell an interesting story within a severely limited word count. Many songs strive to tell an interesting story in just a few minutes.

If I were to look at some of my favorite songs on the radio from a flash fiction perspective, would I learn anything interesting?

This time: Compass, performed by Lady Antebellum
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Don’t Let Me Be Lonely – The Band Perry

Lately I’ve become interested in flash fiction. It’s (comparatively) easy to write an unrestricted short story, but when you add an arbitrary restriction — 1,000 words, 500 words, or less — the writer must make an effort to drop unnecessary words, and rely more heavily on the reader to fill in the blanks.

Songs are not really flash fiction. They are more like poetry: they usually have stanzas (verses), a meter (beat), rhyme, etc. On the other hand, they share some characteristics with flash fiction. Songs on the radio nowadays are typically a few minutes in duration, and many of them tell a story in that time.

That made me wonder: if I were to take some of my favorite songs from the radio, and interpret them as flash fiction, what could I learn from the songwriters? I think the question is interesting enough to deserve an answer.

(Note that although I have no intention to do so, the same argument could be made for TV commercials, which are typically limited to 30 seconds or less.)

First up: Don’t Let Me Be Lonely, performed by The Band Perry.
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