The answer song is, simply put, [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin a song written as a response to an earlier song]], differing from a SequelSong in that it is written or performed by a different artist.

The tradition of poetry written in the form of a song contest or struggle, in which one speaker answers the other, dates back to the very beginnings of recorded literature, back to Sumerian times, and was a popular form in Classical pastoral poetry (as in the ''Idylls'' of Theocritus and [[Literature/TheAeneid Vergil's]] ''Eclogues''). Since little distinction was made between poems and songs in those early days, the Answer Song can presumably be similarly dated to Antiquity. It was certainly in use by the time of the Middle Ages, when the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medieval_debate_poetry debate poem]] was a popular genre among the troubadors, the exchange being denoted as a ''tensˇ, tenson,'' or ''tenšˇ'' in Occitan, a ''tenzone'' in Italian, and a "flyting" in Scots English; many of these were definitely set to music (''e.g.'', the opposed ''sirventes'' by RichardTheLionHeart and the Count of Artois that their men sang against each other).

In modern times, the Answer Song became widespread almost as soon as recorded music became available, generally losing much of its combative character and with the answering song often imitating the original very closely. The convention became extremely common in R&B and Country music, where it generally took the form of a reply to a song made by a member of the opposite sex. It's also common as dirt in {{Filk}}, where one singer makes a commentary on another's song, ranging from sarcastic to sad. Modern Hip-hop has returned to the scurrilous character of the medieval ''tensˇ'', deploying songs of a distinctly angry nature in which artists denounce each other.
----
!!Examples:

* Woody Guthrie's famous "This Land Is Your Land" was written as an answer to Irving Berlin's "God Bless America."
* One of the longest answer record cycles was started by Hank Ballard and the Midnighters' 1954 R&B hit "Work With Me Annie", and its SequelSong "Annie Had a Baby". Answer songs include "Annie's Answer" by the El-Dorados, "Annie Pulled a Humbug" by the Midnights, "Roll With Me Henry" by Etta James, and "I'm the Father of Annie's Baby", by Danny Taylor.
* "Sweet Home Alabama" is Music/LynyrdSkynyrd's defense of the South, in response to Music/NeilYoung's criticism of racism in "Southern Man" and "Alabama." Young was supposed to sing the "Southern man don't need me anyhow" line in the former, but had a scheduling conflict.
** Also, Music/WarrenZevon wrote a pretty savage response to "Sweet Home Alabama", "Play It All Night Long".
*** Which was later subverted when Music/KidRock sampled both "Sweet Home Alabama" and Zevon's own "Werewolves of London" on "All Summer Long."
* Music/JoniMitchell's "The Circle Game" is an answer to Neil Young's "Sugar Mountain".
* "Yes, I Am Experienced" by [[Music/TheAnimals Eric Burdon and the Animals]], was an answer to Music/JimiHendrix's "Are You Experienced?"
* Barry [=McGuire=]'s 1965 left-wing protest hit "Eve of Destruction" was answered by the conservative, UsefulNotes/VietnamWar-defending "Dawn of Correction" by The Spokesmen. Both songs were hits.
* Smokey Robinson & the Miracles' "Got a Job" was a response to The Silhouettes' "Get a Job".
* Music/TheBeachBoys' "The Girl from New York City" was a response to The Ad Libs’ "The Boy from New York City."
** Their song "Don't Worry Baby" was [[WordOfGod said to be]] an answer to the The Ronettes song "Be My Baby" (written by PhilSpector).
* Music/PaulMcCartney and Music/{{Wings}}' collection of oblique jabs in "Some People Never Know" and "Silly Love Songs" answered John Lennon's "How Do You Sleep?", which itself was an answer to [=McCartney=]'s "Too Many People". [=McCartney=] later recorded "Let Me Roll It", a more affectionate take on Lennon's Plastic Ono Band.
* Reba [=McEntire=]'s "Whoever's in New England" was a response to Barry Manilow's hit "Weekend in New England."
* Jody Miller's "Queen of the House" was a response to Roger Miller's song "King of the Road."
* "Oh Neil!" was Carole King's answer to Music/NeilSedaka's "Oh Carol!"; the pair dated briefly and remained good friends for decades after.
* Neneh Cherry recorded a song called "Woman" in response to James Brown's "It's a Man's Man's Man's World."
** The band Music/NapalmDeath released the song "It's a M.A.N.S World!"
* "Empire State of Mind (Part II) Broken Down" by Alicia Keys, was an answer to Jay-Z's "Empire State of Mind", which Keys featured on, singing the chorus. The song uses original verses by Keys but re-uses the chorus and bridge.
** Music/MaryLambert's "She Keeps Me Warm" has similar origins - it's an extension of the chorus she sang on {{Macklemore}}'s "Same Love". Where "Same Love" has [[GayAesop a message of gay acceptance]], "She Keeps Me Warm" is about a woman who falls in love with another woman and grows to accept her ''own'' sexuality.
** Interestingly enough, Katy Perry has mentioned that one of the inspirations for California Gurls was to do for the west coast what Empire State of Mind did for New York.
* In 2009 the band TheyMightBeGiants released an answer song -- "Why Does the Sun Really Shine? (The Sun is a Miasma of Incandescent Plasma)" -- to their popular 1993 cover of Tom Glazer's 1965 song "Why Does the Sun Shine?." Both the original 1965 song and the 1993 cover state that the Sun was "a mass of incandescent gas." The Sun is more accurately described as being made of plasma, not gas.
* The Satintones "Tomorrow and Always" answers The Shirelles "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?"
* Music/LadyGaga's song "Boys Boys Boys" was an answer song to Music/MotleyCrue's "Girls, Girls, Girls."
* LizPhair has claimed in interviews that her ''Exile in Guyville'' album was a song-by-song response to ''Music/TheRollingStones Music/ExileOnMainSt.''.
* The sentimental "Irish" ballad, "I'll Take You Home Again, Kathleen" (1875) by Thomas P. Westendorf was written as a reply to the earlier "Barney, Take Me Home Again" by George W. Persley.
* Claude King's "Wolverton Mountain" was answered with Linda Gail Lewis's "The Girl From Wolverton Mountain."
* Travis Tritt's "Strong Enough to Be Your Man" is a response to Sheryl Crow's "Strong Enough."
* OlderThanSteam: Sir Walter Raleigh and Creator/ChristopherMarlowe traded life philosophies on the battlefield of poetry, namely, "[[http://www.bartleby.com/106/5.html The Passionate Shepherd To His Love,]]" and "[[http://www.bartleby.com/101/122.html The Nymph's Reply To The Shepherd.]]" Responses to these poems are still done today - but [[http://www.luminarium.org/sevenlit/donne/bait.php John Donne's statement]] is particularly fine.
* Screeching Weasel's song "I Wrote Holden Caulfield" was a response to the GreenDay song "Who Wrote Holden Caulfield?"
* Everybody Was in the French Resistance...Now!, led by Art Brut frontman Eddie Argos, do nothing but answer songs. "Billie's Genes", for instance, is a response to [[MichaelJackson "Billie Jean"]] from the point of view of the bastard son, while "G.I.R.L.F.R.E.N. (You Know I've Got A)" is a response to AvrilLavigne's "Girlfriend" from the very frustrated boy Avril was trying to catch the attention of.
* Bob Luman's 1960 hit "Let's Think About Livin'" was one of these, written as a kind of TakeThat to the many TeenageDeathSongs of that era.
* {{Music/Madness}} lead singer Suggs has claimed that the band's hit song "Baggy Trousers" (which is about fond memories of school) was a response to "Another Brick In the Wall" by Music/PinkFloyd.
** Especially sarcastic, since the Pink Floyd song is about kids being indoctrinated as conformist drones, while the Madness song's "fond memories" of school are all about pranking, fighting and vandalism.
* Camera Obscura's "Lloyd, I'm Ready to be Heartbroken" was a response to Lloyd Cole's "Are You Ready To Be Heartbroken."
* In the Nineties, Italian pop group 883 topped the charts for months with their hit [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bAidIdAKAYM "Hanno ucciso l'Uomo ragno"]] ("Someone killed Spider-Man"). Some time later, obscure comedy band Tretriti recorded their answer, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gkRRgYE7q-o "╚ vivo l'Uomo ragno"]] ("Spider-Man Lives").
* Eamon was very successful in 2004 with his "Fuck It (I Don't Want You Back)", about [[BreakupSong a failed relationship]]. Interestingly, an unknown singer named Frankee answered right away with her "F.U.R.B. (Fuck U Right Back)", pretending to be Eamon's past girlfriend (it wasn't true, of course), which was a moderate success. [[OneHitWonder Neither of them was ever heard from again]].
* The Pirates' "I Already Know" (feat. Enya, Shola Ama, Naila Boss & Ishani) is an answer to "I Don't Wanna Know" by Mario Winans feat. Enya and P. Diddy.
* Obscure as it is, Music/NapoleonXIV's novelty song "They're Coming to Take Me Away Ha-Haa" had '''two''' answer songs, "I'm Happy They Took You Away Ha-Haaaa" by Josephine XV and ""They Took You Away, I'm Glad, I'm Glad"" by Teddy & Darrel.
* "Nothing Can Replace A Man" from the musical ''Ankles Aweigh'' bills itself in its verse as an answer to RodgersAndHammerstein's "There Is Nothin' Like A Dame."
* Johnny Thunders' "London Boys" is a response to The SexPistols' "New York".
* REM's "Me in Honey" is a response to 10,000 Maniacs' "Eat for Two."
* "Hot Rod Lincoln" is a response to "Hot Rod Race," and arguably the more well known of the two songs.
* {{Music/Pulp}}'s "Common People" is a TakeThat at the general phenomenon in {{Britpop}} of middle-class people [[SlummingIt idealising and impersonating working class culture]], but Music/{{Blur}}'s "Park Life" is considered a particular target.
* Done within the same band with Sloan: Chris Murphy's song "Ready for You" was answered by Jay Ferguson's b-side "I Thought That I Was Ready For You".
* TaylorSwift 's "Better Than Revenge" is an answer to TheJonasBrothers 's "Much Better" which may have been an answer Swift's "Forever and Always".
** The Jonas Brothers song "Turn Right" references "the never ending racetrack you call life", which may have been a reference to Music/MileyCyrus' song, "Full Circle" (Miley and Nick split as a couple around that time).
* {{Timbaland}}, JustinTimberlake, and NellyFurtado's song "Give It To Me" was one big answer where each artist attacks another. Furtado:{{Fergie}} Timbaland:Scott Storch Timberlake:{{Prince}}
* Hip-hop group Sporty Thievz sometimes did answer songs to female-sung R & B songs, providing the male point of view - the best known example is "No Pigeons" (Music/{{TLC}}'s "No Scrubs"), but they also did two Music/DestinysChild answer songs: "No Billz (Why, Why, Why?)" ("Bills, Bills, Bills") and "Independent Men" ("Independent Women", naturally enough).
* Music/BobDylan's "Clothes Line Saga", a parody of Bobbie Gentry's "Ode To Billie Joe" was originally titled "[[LampshadeHanging Answer]] to 'Ode'".
** Also, "Fourth Time Around" is an answer to "[[Music/TheBeatles Norwegian Wood]]".
* Music/{{Drake}}'s "The Motto", known for the (in)famous YOLO, is an answer song to "If Today Was Your Last Day" by {{Music/Nickelback}}.
* Kitty Wells' "It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels" is equal parts Answer Song and TakeThat to Hank Thompson's "The Wild Side Of Life".
* The Roxanne Wars, which spawned possibly the most Answer Songs in history. The U.T.F.O. song "Roxanne, Roxanne", an insult track about a woman who wouldn't accept their advances, was responded to with "Roxanne's Revenge", in which a fourteen-year-old using the stage name Roxanne ShantÚ, claiming to be the Roxanne in the song, insulted U.T.F.O. The Real Roxanne's track "The Real Roxanne" also appeared, and this started a massive outpouring of songs from other Roxannes, Roxanne's friends, Roxanne's family members, etc.
* In response to {{Jay-Z}}'s and Music/KanyeWest's, "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gG_dA32oH44 Niggas in Paris]]," in which the two bragged of their wealth, YasiinBey (formerly MosDef) released "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nFg7-4vBPWM Niggas in Poorest]]," chastising them for parading their wealth while so many are suffering with poverty, violence, crime, and exploitation.
* Music/BillyJoel's ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5eAQa4MOGkE It's Still Rock 'n' Roll To Me]]'' was a very deliberate response to the then-emerging PunkRock and Music/NewWave movements. In fact, the same can be said for ''Glass Houses'', the album it came from.
* Shortly after the release of Annie's single "Anthonio", an artist claiming to be Anthonio Mendes, who was really Sebastian Muravchik of the British synthpop group Heartbreak, released an answer song titled "Annie".
* Comedy duo Scooter Picnic released a song about its members being mistaken for each other, titled [[http://www.thefump.com/fump.php?id=1528 "Kyle, Are You Ian?"]]. Devo Spice teamed up with Shoebox of Worm Quartet for the parody [[http://www.thefump.com/fump.php?id=1540 "Devo, Are You Shoebox?"]]. This inspired the Scooter Picnic song [[http://www.thefump.com/fump.php?id=1542 "I Noticed You Noticing Me"]], which Kyle explicitly calls an answer song near the end.
* "Live Forever" by ''{{Music/Oasis}}'' was written in response to both ''{{Music/Nirvana}}'s'' "I Hate Myself And Want To Die", and negative grunge music in general. Though it should be noted that Nirvana were being sarcastic with that song title anyway - the lyrics were more full of [[WordSaladLyrics word salad]] than self-loathing.
* After {{Erasure}} released their "Abba-esque" EP (four Abba songs done in Erasure's signature style), {{Abba}} tribute act BjornAgain countered with the double A-side "Erasure-ish", two Erasure songs done in Abba's 70s pop style.
* Worm Quartet expressed exasperation with Marc Gunn for releasing so many songs about cats, in a song called [[http://www.thefump.com/fump.php?id=1065 "Goddammit Marc Gunn, Shut Up About Your Cat"]]. Gunn responded with a song of his own, called [[http://www.thefump.com/fump.php?id=1064 "Dear Worm Quartet"]].
* "Gently Does It" is a tribute to the folk singer Alex Campbell by his friend Rab Noakes, about him having to slow down due to illness. The refrain features the line "And a few years ago, you'd been on this road so long", making it a reply to Campbell's "Been On This Road So Long".
* "Gordon's Not A Moron" by Julie and Gordon is a reply to the spoof song "Jilted John" by Jilted John (Graham Fellows, later better known as John Shuttleworth), with its refrain of "Gordon is a moron/Gordon is a moron".
* Associates released a reply to Music/TheSmiths' "William, It Was Really Nothing" called "Steven You're Still Really Something" (Steven being Music/{{Morrissey}}'s real first name; it's popularly believed that "William" was Associates lead singer Billy Mackenzie).
* JoeJackson wrote a slightly self-pitying song called ''Is She Really Going Out With Him?'', about how dull but worthy guys not blessed with good looks get outclassed by "gorillas" in the dating game - every time. It contains the lines
-->Look over there! (Where?)There goes a lady that I used to know...
* The Stranglers' ''Peaches'' can be viewed as an answer song written from the point of view of unscrupulous gorillas with a less romantic view of women; note the line
-->Look over there! (Where?)There! Is she trying to get out of that bikini/get out her clitoris? (depending on whether you're listening to the radio-friendly version)
* [[Music/GreenDay Green Day's]] American Idiot, off of the [[Music/AmericanIdiot album of the same name]], was written in response to a Music/LynyrdSkynyrd song called "That's How I Like It."
* Music/{{Vocaloid}}: "Sayonara, Arigatou" ("Goodbye, Thank You") is an answer to "Kokoro" ("Heart"). The latter was written from the perspective of RobotGirl Rin, [[SwitchingPOV while the former]] is from the perspective of the FatherlyScientist who created her.
** Vocaloid composer Daijoubu-P wrote "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jjNFTxoifiw The Face]]" (epilepsy warning) as a response to another song called "The Name". Neither really make much sense.
* Finnish rap duo Fintelligens recorded a song called "Heruuks" ("Can I Get Some"), to which a female R'n'B artist Jonna responded by recording "Ei Heru" ("No You Can't").
* {{Evanescence}} produced "Call Me When You're Sober" as a commentary on lead singer Amy Lee's recently-ended relationship with {{Seether}} lead Shaun Morgan. Seether responded with "Breakdown" telling Shaun's side of the story - the title itself an obvious reference to the song "Broken" which both sang in while they were together.
* Punk act Against Me! wrote a song called "I Was a Teenage Anarchist," expressing the want to change the world but disappointment at finding the scene to be too hot-tempered and rigid, with the chorus "Do you remember when you were young and you wanted to set the world on fire?" Rise Against, in turn, wrote "Architects," expressing disappointment at a youth scene that seems too diffident and uncertain, with the line, "Don't you remember when you were young and you wanted to set the world on fire? 'Cause I still am, and I still do."
----