Song Stories

“Me and My Arrow”

Harry Nilsson | 1971

While recording Nilsson Sings Newman, Harry Nilsson began working on an album-length children's fable--The Point!--including his own songs and narration, which would later become an animated film and a musical. "I was on acid and I looked at the trees and I realized that they all came to points," he said. "I thought, 'Oh! Everything has a point, and if it doesn't, then there's a point to it.'" In his fable, a boy named Obio is the only round-headed human in a pointy-headed world. Harassed by other kids, Nilsson narrates, "The only real friend he had was his dog, Arrow."

Song Stories Main Next

Song Stories

“San Francisco Mabel Joy”

Mickey Newbury | 1969

A country-folk song of epic proportions, "San Francisco Mabel Joy" tells the tale of a poor Georgia farmboy who wound up in prison after a move to the Bay Area found love turning into tragedy. First released by Mickey Newbury in 1969, it might be more familiar through covers by Waylon Jennings, Joan Baez and Kenny Rogers. "It was a five-minute song written in a two-minute world," Newbury said. "I was told it would never be cut by any artist ... I was told you could not use the term 'redneck' in a song and get it recorded."

More Song Stories entries »