Better story teller than Edmund Fitzgerald?

There was a thread on A'gon about the most perfect song.  We had reasons for picking various, but for me it was Gordong Lightfoot's Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.

Perhaps it featured an aspect of song writing that no one else much cared for:  A deep and detailed story in the song.

So I ask you, A'goners, what songs are as good or better at telling a story of a historical event? 


It's pretty hard to listen to Edmund Fitzgerald without getting emotional.  We like to camp in the Great Lakes area and recently spent some time in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.  Yes, we camped in Christmas, Michigan.  After visiting the area, and taking in museums, the song got much more up close and personal to us.  We imagined what it was like for the families hearing the song for the first time.

Great topic, and excellent posts on this thread.

Well done, guys.

Hollis Brown... I love the Neville Brothers version and Springsteen's Highway Patrolman

Kingston Trio, remember them? Several polished, musical, and meaningful songs to compete with any.

'Ballad of Old John Webb' - an accused counterfeiter, famed for his 10 pound notes, escapes. "Billy (the 10 pound notes, get it?) broke locks and Billy broke bolts and Billy broke all that he came nigh." Historically, it seems he was released for lack of evidence, but escape from the authorities is more fun. One of their best, and yet remains obscure; album 'String Along'.

'Merry minuet' - an anti cold-war song listing the unintended consequences,  "dedicated to John Foster Dulles," cold-warrior extraordinaire. Best version on 'From the Hungry i.'