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Answer Song

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Well I heard Mr. Young sing about her
Well I heard ol’ Neil put her down
Well I hope Neil Young will remember
A Southern man don’t need him around anyhow
Lynyrd Skynyrd, "Sweet Home Alabama" (responding to Young's song, "Southern Man")

The answer song is, simply put, a song written as a response to an earlier song, differing from a Sequel Song 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 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 debate poem was a popular genre among the troubadors, the exchange being denoted as a tensó, tenson or tençó 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 Richard The Lion Heart 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 tensó, deploying songs of a distinctly angry nature in which artists denounce each other. These also commonly follow a Celebrity Break-Up Song if the target of the song is a singer. These often overlap with The Diss Track.

Compare Spiritual Antithesis.


Songs famous for inspiring huge amounts of answer songs:

  • 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 Shanté, 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.
    • Mercifully, the above has nothing to do with The Police's breakout hit "Roxanne", which as far was is known, has no answer songs.
  • Big Sean's song "Control" had a guest verse from Kendrick Lamar in which K-dot named who he considered to be the five best rappers alive note , namedropped an extensive Rhyming List of other popular rappers, and then stated he loved them but he was coming to murder them. While it was intended as a Boastful Rap, many rappers interpreted it as a diss and responded with answer records, starting with artists namechecked in the song (like Mac Miller), spreading out to other artists (like Lupe Fiasco and B.o.B (Rapper)), and eventually reaching the point where the responses were parodies of the answer records, such as a spoof from Unlucky Everydude parody rapper The Madd Rapper, a response buried in the 855-track mixtape by Cloudcuckoolander rapper Lil B, and a couple of jibes from Eminem (who subtextually acknowledged Kendrick had him beat in "Berzerk", then joked dying his hair blond again made him dumb enough to record "a wack response" to the "Control" verse). About 30 notable responses were made; Kendrick, somewhat confused by the strength of reaction his verse had had, said his favourite responses were by King Los and Kevin Hart, though he also praised Papoose's, Joel Ortiz's and Joe Budden's.
  • 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 Sequel Song "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.
  • Dolly Parton's "Jolene" has spawned a myriad of answer songs that feature the Love Triangle relationship from the "other woman's" perspective. Among these are "That Girl" by Jennifer Nettles, "Diane" by Cam, and "You Can Have Him Jolene" by Chapel Hart. Another variation is Trianna's "Jolene (but it's gay now)", in which Jolene explains that it's the "Jolene" narrator that she's really after rather than her man.

Everything else:

  • Woody Guthrie's famous "This Land Is Your Land" was written as an answer to Irving Berlin's "God Bless America."
  • Dodie Stevens' "Yes I'm Lonesome Tonight", to Elvis' "Are You Lonesome Tonight?" And, under the name Geraldine Stevens, her "Billy, I've Got to Go to Town" to Waylon Jennings' "Ruby, Don't Take Your Love to Town".
  • Wendy Hill's "Gary, Please Don't Sell My Diamond Ring" to Gary Lewis and the Players' "The Diamond Ring".
  • Blue Öyster Cult's Spy In The House Of The Night is about a Pyromaniac who gets his kicks from being normal on the outside but a secret arsonist by night. Tellingly it's also a Shout Out to The Doors song The Spy In The House Of Love, about a sexual voyeur.
  • The Pearlettes' "Duchess of Earl" response to Gene Chandler's "Duke of Earl".
  • "Sweet Home Alabama" is Lynyrd Skynyrd's defense of the South, in response to Neil Young's criticism of racism in "Southern Man" and "Alabama." Young took it in good humor, and was even was supposed to sing the "Southern man don't need me anyhow" line in the former, but had a scheduling conflict. Warren Zevon then wrote a pretty savage response to "Sweet Home Alabama", "Play It All Night Long". Which was later subverted when Kid Rock sampled both "Sweet Home Alabama" and Zevon's own "Werewolves of London" on "All Summer Long."
  • Joni Mitchell's "The Circle Game" is an answer to Neil Young's "Sugar Mountain".
  • "Yes, I Am Experienced" by Eric Burdon and the Animals, was an answer to Jimi Hendrix's "Are You Experienced?"
  • Barry McGuire's 1965 left-wing protest hit "Eve of Destruction" was answered by the conservative, Vietnam War-defending "Dawn of Correction" by The Spokesmen. Both songs were hits. (According to John Madara, The Spokesmen received a What the Hell, Hero? for that song from The Byrds, and two years later the group seemed to regret the song.) A couple of little-known garage bands had their own right-wing answer songs to "Eve of Destruction" — the aptly-named Patriots with "The Prophet", and the Jayhawkers with "Dawn of Instruction". The former had a different melody and shouted lead vocals angrily decrying McGuire and his message, while the latter was sung to the tune of "Eve...", with the singer affecting a proto-Cookie Monster vocal.
  • Smokey Robinson & the Miracles' "Got a Job" was a response to The Silhouettes' "Get a Job".
  • The Beach Boys' "The Girl from New York City" from Summer Days (And Summer Nights!!) was a response to The Ad Libs’ "The Boy from New York City", while their song "Don't Worry Baby" from Shut Down Volume 2 was said to be an answer to the The Ronettes song "Be My Baby" (written by Phil Spector).
  • Paul McCartney and Wings' collection of oblique jabs in "Some People Never Know" and "Silly Love Songs" answered John Lennon's "How Do You Sleep?" from Imagine, which itself was an answer to McCartney's "Too Many People" from Ram. 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." In turn, Sugarland's "Stay" was inspired by "Whoever's In New England," told from the story of the woman Manilow is cheating with.
  • 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 Neil Sedaka'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 Napalm Death 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. 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.
  • Mary Lambert's "She Keeps Me Warm" is an extension of the chorus she sang on Macklemore's "Same Love". Where "Same Love" has 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.
  • "Love The Way You Lie, Part 2" by Rihanna. Which is actually a cover of the original song that Eminem sampled by Skylar Grey.
  • In 2009 the band They Might Be Giants 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 song describes how Science Has Marched On since then, and that scientists nowadays sees the sun as more accurately described as being made of plasma, not gas.
    The sun is a miasma,
    Of incandescent plasma
    I forget what I was told by myself-elf-elf-elf

    (Plasma) Forget that song
    (Plasma) They got it wrong
    That thesis has been rendered invalid!
    • Word of God is that "We Live in a Dump" is an answer to their earlier song "Why Did You Grow a Beard?"
  • The Satintones' "Tomorrow and Always" answers The Shirelles' "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?" — at least in theory. In practice, it ended up as a blatant ripoff of the latter with a few lyrics changed. Unsurprisingly, the label which issued the record, none other than a then-young Motown, got slapped with a lawsuit rather hard.
  • Lady Gaga's song "Boys Boys Boys" was an answer song to Mötley Crüe's "Girls, Girls, Girls."
  • Liz Phair has claimed in interviews that her Exile in Guyville album was a song-by-song response to The Rolling Stones Exile on Main St...
  • 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."
  • Older Than Steam: Sir Walter Raleigh and Christopher Marlowe traded life philosophies on the battlefield of poetry, namely, "The Passionate Shepherd To His Love," and "The Nymph's Reply To The Shepherd." Responses to these poems are still done today - but John Donne's statement is particularly fine.
  • Screeching Weasel's song "I Wrote Holden Caulfield" was a response to the Green Day 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 "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 Avril Lavigne's "Girlfriend" from the very frustrated boy Avril was trying to catch the attention of.
  • Similarly, Esmé Patterson's concept album Woman To Woman is a collection of Answer Songs to famous songs about women, written from the point of view of the woman involved (also including an answer to "Billie Jean").
  • Bob Luman's 1960 hit "Let's Think About Livin'" was one of these, written as a kind of Take That! to the many Teenage Death Songs of that era.
  • Madness lead singer Suggs has claimed that the band's hit song "Baggy Trousers" from Absolutely (which is about fond memories of school) was a response to "Another Brick In the Wall" from The Wall by Pink Floyd. 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. According to Suggs, all he heard in "Wall" was that Pink Floyd went to a posh school.
  • 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 "Hanno ucciso l'Uomo ragno" ("Someone killed Spider-Man"). Some time later, obscure comedy band Tretriti recorded their answer, "È vivo l'Uomo ragno" ("Spider-Man Lives").
  • Eamon was very successful in 2004 with his "Fuck It (I Don't Want You Back)", about 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. Neither of them was ever heard from again.
  • Jerry Samuels, better known as Napoleon XIV, wrote two follow-ups to his iconic novelty song "They're Coming to Take Me Away Ha-Haa": "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 Rodgers and Hammerstein's "There Is Nothin' Like A Dame."
  • Johnny Thunders' "London Boys" is a response to the Sex Pistols' "New York".
  • R.E.M.'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.
  • Pulp's "Common People" is a Take That! at the general phenomenon in Britpop of middle-class people idealising and impersonating working class culture, but 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".
  • Taylor Swift's "Better Than Revenge" is an answer to The Jonas Brothers '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 Miley Cyrus' song "Full Circle" (Miley and Nick split as a couple around that time).
  • Timbaland, Justin Timberlake, and Nelly Furtado'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" (TLC's "No Scrubs"), but they also did two Destiny's Child answer songs: "No Billz (Why, Why, Why?)" ("Bills, Bills, Bills") and "Independent Men" ("Independent Women", naturally enough).
  • Bob Dylan:
    • "Clothes Line Saga", a parody of Bobbie Gentry's "Ode To Billie Joe" was originally titled "Answer to 'Ode'".
    • "Fourth Time Around" is an answer to "Norwegian Wood".
  • Drake's "The Motto", known for the (in)famous YOLO, is an answer song to "If Today Was Your Last Day" by Nickelback.
  • Kitty Wells' "It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels" is equal parts Answer Song and Take That! to Hank Thompson's "The Wild Side Of Life". Both were among the most essential country songs of 1952; Thompson's song – itself melodically identical to two older country songs, the Carter Family's "I'm Thinking Tonight Of My Blue Eyes" and Roy Acuff's "Great Speckled Bird" – was a 15-week No. 1 hit and the top country song of the year, while Wells (who spent six weeks at No. 1, still among the top 10 lengthiest stays atop the Billboard country chart among women) had one of the earliest major hits of any genre where women dared call out men on their shortcomings and unfaithfulness.
    • In 1976, David Allan Coe answered the Carters, Acuff, Thompson and Wells in his song "If That Ain't Country (I'll Kiss Your Ass)" (for his album David Allan Coe Rides Again), referring to all four songs with the refrain: "I'm thinking tonight of my blue eyes/ Concerning a great speckled bird/ I didn't know God made honky-tonk angels/ and went back to the wild side of life."
  • In response to Jay-Z's and Kanye West's, "Niggas in Paris," in which the two bragged of their wealth, YasiinBey (formerly MosDef) released "Niggas in Poorest," chastising them for parading their wealth while so many are suffering with poverty, violence, crime, and exploitation.
  • Billy Joel's "It's Still Rock 'n' Roll To Me" was a very deliberate response to the then-emerging Punk Rock and New Wave Music 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 "Kyle, Are You Ian?". Devo Spice teamed up with Shoebox of Worm Quartet for the parody "Devo, Are You Shoebox?". This inspired the Scooter Picnic song "I Noticed You Noticing Me", which Kyle explicitly calls an answer song near the end.
  • "Live Forever" by Oasis was written in response to both 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 word salad than self-loathing. Nirvana also weren't keen on releasing it in the first place because it had less meaning than the rest of what they were writing at the time.
  • After Erasure released their "Abba-esque" EP (four Abba songs done in Erasure's signature style), Abba tribute act Bjorn Again 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 "Goddammit Marc Gunn, Shut Up About Your Cat". Gunn responded with a song of his own, called "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".
  • The Associates released a reply to The Smiths' "William, It Was Really Nothing" called "Stephen, You're Really Something" (Stephen being Morrissey's first name; it's popularly believed that "William" was Associates lead singer Billy Mackenzie).
  • Joe Jackson wrote a slightly self-pitying song called "Is She Really Going Out With Him?" from Look Sharp!, 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).
  • Green Day's American Idiot, off of the album of the same name, was written in response to a Lynyrd Skynyrd song called "That's How I Like It."
  • Vocaloid:
    • Toraboruta-P's "Sayonara, Arigatou" ("Goodbye, Thank You") is an answer to his previous and most famous composition "Kokoro" ("Heart"). The latter was written from the perspective of Robot Girl Rin, while the former is from the perspective of the Fatherly Scientist who created her. "Kokoro•Kiseki" (Heart•Miracle), written by Jun-P, was a popular fan alteration of "Kokoro" that covered the same material as "Sayonara, Arigatou".
    • Vocaloid composer Daijoubu-P wrote "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:
    • "Call Me When You're Sober" is 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.
    • An even more obvious case is Seether's song "Fallen" on that same album, given the fact that it shares its name with Evanescence's most popular album and has lyrics quite obviously alluding to Amy Lee.
  • 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."
  • The Animated Adaptation of Soul Music included a song "She Won't Change Her Mind" which was an answer to The Beatles song "You're Going to Lose That Girl".
  • "Oh No" from Frank Zappa's Weasels Ripped My Flesh is a Take That! at "All You Need Is Love" from The Beatles' Magical Mystery Tour.
  • Taking Back Sunday:
    • "There's No 'I' In Team" from the album Tell All Your Friends is a response to Brand New's songs "Seventy Times 7" and "Mixtape". Those two songs were brutal Take Thats by Jesse Lacey of Brand New to John Nolan of Taking Back Sunday - the later had allegedly stole the former's girlfriend. "There's No 'I' In Team" was a response to those songs, showing Nolan's side of the story, and serving as a Take That!. The song quotes a line from "Mixtape" ("I've got a twenty-dollar bill...") and a few lines from "Seventy Times 7":
      "Is that what you call tact?
      I swear, you're as subtle as a brick in the small of my back
      So let's end this call and end this conversation"
    • In Taking Back Sunday's next album, Where You Want to Be, they answer another Brand New song. TBS's song "...Slowdance on the Inside" opens with the line, "Passed out in our school clothes/so we'd wake up in our Sunday's best", which is similar to the opening of "Soco Amaretto Lime" by Brand New: "Passed out on the overpass/Sunday's best and broken glass". However, unlike "Mixtape" and "Seventy Times 7", the song "Soco Amaretto Lime" appears to have nothing to do with Taking Back Sunday.
  • Comedian and singer Minnie Pearl had a Black Sheep Hit with one of these to Red Sovine's "Giddyup Go". The Pearl song, simply titled "Giddyup Go - Answer", was a Perspective Flip on the original's story.
  • Maddie & Tae's "Girl in a Country Song" criticised the objectification of women in 2010s "bro-country" music, with explicit lyrical allusions or answers to many specific songs, including Thomas Rhett's "Get Me Some of That", Chris Young's "Aw Naw", Tyler Farr's "Redneck Crazy", Jason Aldean's "My Kinda Party", Blake Shelton's "Boys Round Here", and Florida Georgia Line's "Get Your Shine On".
  • Kim Gordon has stated that she wrote Sonic Youth's "Female Mechanic Now On Duty" as an answer song to "Bitch" by Meredith Brooks.
  • Nicki Minaj's song "Anaconda" appears to be one of these for Sir Mix-A-Lot's "Baby Got Back." It samples generously from both the song and its music video, and while Mix-A-Lot's original is about a man who unapologetically enjoys female anatomy, the answer song is a female who just as unapologetically enjoys certain male assets. It also seems to nod to Eminem's "Berzerk", a hit he'd had the previous year by sampling an 80s/90s hip-hop classic.
  • OK Go's "A Good Idea At The Time" is an answer song to The Rolling Stones' "Sympathy for the Devil", where Satan goes even further in pointing out that humanity makes all of its own problems and then blames him.
  • In My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Friendship Games, Human!Twilight Sparkle's "What More is Out There" is this for Sunset Shimmer's Rainbow Rocks encore song "My Past is Not Today", and in turn, the two have an ending duet titled "Right There in Front of Me".
  • ZZT's 2007 minimal acid techno single "Lower State of Consciousness" is an answer to Josh Wink's 1995 acid breakbeat single "Higher State of Consciousness".
  • Remember Aqua's "Barbie Girl"? Some time later, unknown dance group The Compton Boys released "Action Man", a dance song about Barbie's Spear Counterpart toy that follows "Barbie Girl"'s exact same structure while saying "I'm not Barbie at all" and adding even more innuendos.
  • Mitch Benn's "Not Everybody Has to Imagine" is a reply to John Lennon's "Imagine".
  • One Direction's "Perfect" was written in response to a few songs that Taylor Swift allegedly wrote about her ex, One Direction member Harry Styles, in particular "Style" and "I Knew You Were Trouble".
  • Folk singer Buffy Sainte-Marie's anti-war "Universal Soldier" got an answer song from Jan and Dean, who recorded the pro-war "Universal Coward". Dean Torrence was supposedly so upset with his bandmate's jingoistic decision to record the song that he did not participate, thus technically making it a Jan Berry solo.
  • Barely out of his teens, Bob Seger sang on Doug Brown and the Omens' parody song "The Ballad of the Yellow Beret", an answer song of sorts to SSgt. Barry Sadler's 1966 number one hit "The Ballad of the Green Beret". In here, he mocks draft dodgers as being cowards, but a couple years later, he had changed his tune entirely, releasing the anti-war "2 + 2?" with his new band, the Bob Seger System.
  • Before becoming an actress, Sissy Spacek was a teen pop starlet performing under the name Rainbo. In 1968, she released the song "John, You Went Too Far This Time," an answer song to the cover (if not the content) of the Unfinished Music No. 1: Two Virgins album from John Lennon and Yoko Ono. That album, in case you're wondering, was notorious for John showing off his Norwegian Wood on the cover.
  • Oh, it didn't take long for 20 Fingers' "Short Dick Man" to get an answer song. An artist simply known as The Big Man released a song, also in 1994, called "Big Dick Man".
  • Although she denied it, it's widely believed that Ellie Goulding's "On My Mind" was written in response to Ed Sheeran's "Don't". "Don't" was heavily rumored to be about her, and there are certain lyrical parallels: Compare "Don't fuck with my love" ("Don't") with "You don't mess with love, you mess with the truth" ("On My Mind").
  • Apoptygma Berzerk, as a B-side to their cover of Peter Schilling's "Major Tom (Coming Home)", recorded an answer song to it titled "Dead Air Einz".
  • Mario Winans' plaintive R&B ballad "I Don't Wanna Know" - the 2004 single which, due to copyright law dealing with sampling of other tracks, hilariously co-credits both P. Diddy and Enya - is sung by a man who suspects his girlfriend is cheating and just prays that she keep it secret because if he discovered it for sure it would break his heart. Shola Ama came back with a devastating response from the woman's perspective called "You Should Really Know," the gist of which was that if the guy was so in tune with the woman and so invested in the relationship he should know her damn well enough to know that she's not cheating. Oh, snap.
    • 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.
  • G. K. Chesterton had a whole series of "Replies to the Poets", parodies of and responses to poems, often from the perspective of their subjects. They were: "The Skylark Replies to Wordsworth"; "The Sea Replies to Byron"; "The Fat White Woman Speaks" ("To a Fat Lady Seen From a Train", Frances Cornford); "Lucasta Replies to Lovelace"; "By a Captain, or Perhaps a Colonel, or Possibly a Knight-at-Arms" ("When the Assault Was Intended to the City", John Milton); "From the Spanish Cloister" ("Soliloquy of the Spanish Cloister", Robert Browning); "Dolores Replies to Swinburne"; "To a Modern Poet" (free verse in general); and "Post-Recessional" ("Recessional", Rudyard Kipling).
  • Wiz Khalifa got his first hit with "Black and Yellow" a song about Pittsburgh using the city's colors. Coincidentally, the Pittsburgh Steelers were in the Super Bowl at the time. This caused Lil Wayne to write "Green and Yellow" about their opponent the Green Bay Packers.
  • "Sheriff John Brown" by The Coral is an answer song to Bob Marley's "I Shot The Sheriff", which revealed that the Sheriff actually had a last minute Heel Realisation, and was in fact murdered by the evil town preacher for refusing to kill Marley's narrator.
  • In the stage version of The Little Mermaid, Ariel's introduction song "The World Above" is her answer to "Fathoms Below", cross-referencing its title, while Eric's formerly-cut song "Her Voice" is the Spear Counterpart to "Part of Your World", and even has the same intro melody.
  • Swedish garage rockers Wilmer X' debut single was about a kid who's asked by Santa Claus if he wants a toy truck or a gun or an action figure for Christmas, and responds that he just wants a red electric guitar. Local rivals Torsson responded with a song about a kid who desperately wants a toy truck for Christmas, but
    Every goddamn Christmas I get a guitar
    A boring, red, electric rock'n'roll guitar
  • Original research, needs citation: "Loadsamoney" by Harry Enfield contains the line "Manchester United nil - Loadsamoney United loads." Manchester United quickly countered that.
  • Nearly four decades after Don McLean's nostalgic hit "American Pie", Five for Fighting recorded the tribute "Slice".
  • Mike Posner's "I Took a Pill in Ibiza", whose refrain was "All I know are sad songs", was answered by Little Mix with "No More Sad Songs".
  • The Charity Motivation Song "We Are The World" by USA for Africa was the American answer to Band Aid's "Do They Know It's Christmas?", both being recorded to raise funds for famine relief in Ethiopia.
    • And both songs had their Canadian counterpart in the form of "Tears Are Not Enough" by Northern Lights.
    • There was also an answer by metal musicians around the same timeframe: "Stars" by Hear N' Aid.
  • Third Eye Blind's "Semi-Charmed Life" was made as response to Lou Reed's "Walk on the Wild Side" but from a San Francisco perspective.
  • In an example which also has elements of Sequel Song, Dr John's version of "Stagger Lee" uses the same musical arrangement as the famous Lloyd Price version, and tells the second half of the traditional narrative that Price didn't have time to record.
  • Frankie Lymon's "I Put the Bomp" is a response to Barry Mann's "Who Put the Bomp."
  • Greg Champion's "I Made a Hundred" (in the Backyard at Mum's) received a P.O.V. Sequel by Ian Macnamara, "I Took that Wicket" to roughly the same tune.
    I took a wicket in the backyard at Mum's.
    I bowled out my brother when he'd scored a hundred runs.
    I trapped him LBW with a ball that skidded low
    And everyone they kissed me and they shouted out "Good show!"
  • "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer" by "Dr. Elmo" Shropshire, if you can believe it, was a response to "Grandma's Homemade Christmas Card" by Merle Haggard, a glurgy piece of filler from his 1973 Christmas album Merle Haggard's Christmas Present. Songwriter Randy Brooks apparently wrote it out of his disgust at the emotionally manipulative lyrics, particularly The Reveal at the end that Grandma was Dead All Along, and decided that if he was going to write a song about a dead grandma, he'd say it right at the beginning.
  • Alan Merril wrote "I Love Rock N Roll" in response to The Rolling Stones' "It's Only Rock N Roll (But I Like It)."
  • Pebblee-Poo's "A Fly Guy" is one to the Boogie Boys' "A Fly Girl".
  • Miss Thang's "Thunder And Lightning" is one to Oran "Juice" Jones' "The Rain". There's very few lyrics in the song, as the majority of it is taken up by the singer's rant against "The Rain's" singer, calling him out on his crap.
  • Macleod and Reilly's "Come to Norway (It's Better Than Kenya)" is a rebuttal to Weebl's "Kenya," which included a gratuitous Take That! to Norway.
  • A few of "Weird Al" Yankovic's parodies respond to the original song. "Achy Breaky Song" complains about having to hear Billy Ray Cyrus' "Achy Breaky Heart" over and over, while "Smells Like Nirvana" takes "Smells Like Teen Spirit" by, well, Nirvana and pokes fun at how the lyrics are incomprehensible. And of course, "Confessions Pt. 3" is in response to Usher's "Confessions Pt. 1" and "Confessions Pt. 2". Usher would actually make a "Confessions Pt. 3" a few years later.
  • Danny Aiello played Madonna's father in her "Papa Don't Preach" video, then released "Papa Just Wants What's Right For You", an answer song from the father's point of view. The music video played it for humor, depicting Aiello in-character walking through all the same New York City locations Madonna used in her video, trying to find her and give her some fatherly advice.
  • "Beautiful Ghosts" from the Cats movie is a direct response to the musical's most famous song, "Memory". While the latter has the singer reminisce about her wonderful past and lament that her current life is nothing like that, the former responds by saying at least the "Memory" singer had those memories, while they have nothing of the sort.
  • Kristin Chenoweth's "Taylor the Latte Boy" has one called "Taylor's Rebuttal".
  • "I Did Not Mean You Can Really Eat the Dishes" by the Brothers Marks is a follow-up to "The Candy Man" from Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.
  • Taylor Swift's song "Enchanted" was written after an encounter with Adam Young (aka Owl City). Adam later responded by covering the song and changing up some of the lyrics to make it clear that, yes, he reciprocated those feelings. Nothing came of it, but it was adorable nonetheless.
  • Muddy Waters' "Mannish Boy" is a response to Bo Diddley's "I'm a Man".
  • Gloria Lynne's "You Don't Have to Be a Tower of Strength" is a response to Gene McDaniels' "Tower of Strength".
  • "The Kids Aren't Alright" by The Offspring to "The Kids Are Alright" by The Who, if the name didn't give it away.
  • "Jessie's Girl 2" by Coheed and Cambria, as the name implies, is a follow-up to "Jessie's Girl," imagining the protagonist getting the girl and regretting it. Combines this with Sequel Song, as Rick Springfield himself sings the final verse.
  • "Asshole from El Paso" by Chinga Chavin and Kinky Friedman is this to "Okie from Muskogee" by Merle Haggard. While Haggard's song was a celebration of small-town conservatism and Middle America in response to the hippie counterculture and student protests of The '60s, Chavin and Friedman's song is a scathing and vulgar parody, the singer portrayed as an asshole who hates Mexicans, rapes underage girls and farm animals, and is constantly drunk off his ass.
  • "If You Love Somebody Set Them Free" by Sting is this to "Every Breath You Take" by The Police, of which he was the vocalist, bass player, and chief songwriter. Sting specifically wrote IYLSSTF in response to the large Misaimed Fandom that misinterpreted "Every Breath You Take" — which is narrated by a Stalker with a Crush — as a love song, and even made sure it was his debut single to get the point across as soon as possible.
  • The triumphant "When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again" possibly got a savage War Is Hell response with "Johnny, I Hardly Knew Ye" to the same tune, although it's not entirely clear which one came first.
  • Sue Trainor created a follow-up to Dale Marxen's humorous folk song "Waltzing With Bears" called "Golfing With Hares". "Waltzing" recounts how the singer's uncle ran away to pursue an unlikely activity with animals; "Golfing" reveals that the singer's aunt, left behind, proceeded to do the same.
  • Jen Foster's song "I Didn't Just Kiss Her", a response to Katy Perry's "I Kissed a Girl". Jen Foster's response is sung from the point of view of a lesbian who sleeps with the type of girl depicted in Perry's song. It describes the narrator's feelings of resentment due to the other girl's denial of the encounter and even being attracted to women at all.
  • Robert Q. Lewis' "Where's-a Your House?" is a response to Rosemary Clooney's "Come On-a My House".
  • Paramore’s 2013 track “Part II” is a response to the band’s own 2007 song “Let the Flames Begin”. The lyrics directly parallel each other multiple times. For example, the songs begin with nearly identical lyrics- “What a shame we all became such fragile, broken things” (“Let the Flames Begin”) as compared to “What a shame, what a shame we all remain such fragile, broken things” (“Part II”).
  • Siamese Youth's "Take On Me Too" is their answer to a-ha's biggest hit.
  • Ashnikko's "L8er Boi" is a more modern, feminist take on Avril Lavigne's "SK8er Boi", sampling the original and using much of the same melody: This time the ballet dancing girl does go out with the skater boy, but finds he's an unintelligent slacker with anger issues. She dumps him, finds success and self-worth without a man, and eventually finds another partner who presumably treats her better.
  • Deep Purple's "King of Dreams" is guitarist Ritchie Blackmore's twenty-year-delayed response to "Smooth Dancer", which vocalist Ian Gillan wrote as a thinly veiled Take That! toward him. Blackmore's response boils down to Screw the Rules, I'm Famous!.
    I'm a real smooth dancer, I'm a fantasy man
    Master of illusion, magic touch in my hand
    All the stages are empty when I steal the scenes
    A beggar of love, second hand hero
    King of Dreams
  • Adeem the Artist's 2021 single "I Wish You Would've Been a Cowboy" is one to Toby Keith's "Should've Been a Cowboy", in which theynote  criticize Keith for his Patriotic Fervor and Deep South stereotypes.
  • Eminem's beef with Canibus involved the two of them writing passive-aggressive answer songs at each other (outside of the typical Diss Track mudslinging).
    • In 2000, Eminem released "Stan", a song about a Loony Fan who kills himself and his girlfriend after feeling abandoned by his idol. Canibus released an entire answer album to Eminem's "Stan", C! True Hollywood Stories, in which he and his posse save Stan from drowning, leading him to become a great rapper — and a soldier winning the War on Terror. Eminem's response, "Can-I-Bitch", mocked Bus for turning his character into a Possession Sue, renaming him "Stanibus", describing him as being "on some Stan Lives! shit", and performing Stanlike behaviour like hassling Eminem with needy, threatening, homoerotic fanmail. At the end of "Can-I-Bitch", Stanibus throws himself off the bridge again, while Em and Dre watch in resigned amusement.
    • Eminem's "Square Dance" is a response to Canibus's "Draft Me", in which Canibus expressed support for a US military draft so he could go kill some terrorists (and put that support in the mouth of Stan, as well). "Square Dance" attempts to persuade Eminem's young fans that War Is Hell and to dodge any draft that comes for them, while also flinging insults at "Canibitch"/"Fanibitch"/"Canada-diss".
  • A variation: Mary Chapin Carpenter's song "He Thinks He'll Keep Her" was inspired by a controversial Geritol (dietary iron supplement) ad from the 1970s, in which a husband brags about how well his wife keeps the house and takes care of him, while she hangs on his shoulder and looks on adoringly. It ends with the tagline "My wife—I think I'll keep her." The song deconstructs the picture-perfect image, with the wife realizing in her mid-30s that she's cultivated a perfect life that she hates and she's fallen out of love with her husband. She leaves him, takes a job that pays her, and is implied to be happier.
  • Kitty Wells' "It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels" is a response to Hank Thompson's "The Wild Side of Life".
    It wasn't God who made honky tonk angels
    As you said in the words of your song
    There's many times married men think they're still single
    That has caused many a good girl to go wrong
  • The Brian Jonestown Massacre's song "Not If You Were the Last Dandy on Earth" is an Answer Song of sorts to The Dandy Warhols' "Not If You Were the Last Junkie on Earth," which is widely seen as a Diss Track against Newcombe for his heroin addiction.
  • Depeche Mode: "John the Revelator" acts as a direct response to the Gospel Music hymn of the same name, depicting the titular Biblical figure as a drugged-out, dogmatic liar rather than a prophet of God. The Depeche Mode song even quotes the hymn's repeated line "Tell me who's that writin'? John the Revelator," modifying it as "Well, who's that shoutin'? John the Revelator."
  • After Taylor Swift released "Bad Blood" about Katy Perry, Katy responded by releasing "Swish Swish". However, the song was a critical and commercial failure and is generally considered Katy's Creator Killer.
  • Miley Cyrus wrote "Flowers" in response to "When I Was Your Man" by Bruno Mars, though the answer is not directed at Mars, but rather her ex-husband Liam Hemsworth.note  In "When I Was Your Man", Bruno Mars lists off things that he should have done to keep an ex from leaving, including buying her flowers, holding her hand and taking her dancing; In "Flowers", Miley mentions all of the above as things she can do for herself.
  • LAU's "Stunning" is a Break-Up Song Distaff Counterpart to The Weeknd's "Blinding Lights".