12 thoughts on “Five Songs With Twist Endings

  1. Fool in the Rain is the same story and same twist ending as the 50s hit Silhouettes by the Ray’s.

    Lost control and rang your bell, I was sore
    Let me in or else I’ll beat down your door
    When two strangers who had been two Silhouettes on the shade
    Said to my shock
    You’re on the wrong block.

  2. When I saw the title of this column, my first thought was of “My Girl Bill” by Jim Stafford.

  3. Rupert Holmes has said he shouldn’t have done that song first person because it’s not autobiographical and too many people assume it is.
    I suspect the Valley People probably cussed out the mountain people for tricking them. That seems about their speed.

  4. Another twist ending is one of my favorite’s. Dido’s Christmas Day, on one of those Can’t Believe It’s Christmas compilation CD’s. It’s a sweet song, until the end………

  5. Great list! I’d add “come sail away” by Styx. “I thought that they were angels and much to my surprise they climbed aboard their starship and headed for the skies!”

  6. How about “A Boy Named Sue”?

    “If I ever have a son… I’m naming him Bill … or Jimmy … anything but Sue!”

  7. One of favorite twist endings is Bruce Springsteen’s “Brilliant Disguise”. Through most of the song he sings about how he doesn’t really trust the woman he loves – he’s afraid she’s wearing a brilliant disguise. But when he ends the song he warns his love “So when you look at me you better look hard and look twice – is that me baby or just a brilliant disguise?”

  8. For me, the best song with a twist ending is “Richard Cory” written by Paul Simon based on an earlier poem with the same ending.
    The lyrics from a factory worker’s point of view show his perception of Richard Cory – “He had everything a man could want” “he surely must be happy with everything he’s got” “I wish that I could be Richard Cory” but the song takes an abrupt change of tone showing that Richard Cory’s private life is not as happy as it seemed.

  9. That’s a really good example, John. When I was a teacher, I would use that poem and song as an example of how poetry and music are intertwined with poems becoming songs. Because students who “didn’t like poetry” still liked music.

    The other example I would use is “The Unicorn Song.”

  10. My favorite examples are two songs by Jim Croce, “Leroy Brown” and “You Don’t Mess around with Jim.” They both have essentially the same “plot”: the title character is touted as a big, dangerous guy that no one should ever mess with. But at the end of the song the tough guy runs into someone worse and gets his ass kicked. “Leroy Brown” is probably the better known song, but the other is more fun. The last line of the chorus is “and you don’t mess around with Jim,” but the final line of the song changes it to “you don’t mess around with Slim.”

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