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Shaggy Dog Story / Music

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  • Weird Al's song "Albuquerque" is a long, rambling story about the singer's escape from his mother "who tied [him] up and force-fed [him] nothing but sauerkraut until [he] was twenty-six-and-a-half years old" (because "IT'S GOOD FOR YOOOOOOOOOOOU!") and his subsequent escape, journey to Albuquerque, plane crash, battle with a hermaphrodite with only one nostril, encounter with flesh-eating weasels, donuts, marriage, kids, divorce, job at Sizzler, and so forth. Near the end, he loses his train of thought after telling a few vaguely related anecdotes and then remarks that the only thing he was trying to say with the story was that he just really hates sauerkraut.
    • ''Trapped in the Drive-Thru'' deserves a mention as well. A husband and wife argue over what to have for dinner, and finally decide to go to a fast-food place. At the drive-thru, another argument ensues over what to order, followed by the husband realizing he doesn't have his wallet. Wife offers her credit card but they don't take credit, and she only has $3 in cash on her. Husband scrounges through the car looking for loose change to cover the difference, doesn't have enough and is ultimately forced to cancel the wife's chicken sandwich ("I wasn't even really hungry in the first place"). A 10-minute-long buildup that ultimately culminates in the husband biting into the burger at a red light only to realize they forgot the onions.
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    • "Jackson Park Express" tells the story of Al riding a bus and flirting with a female passenger through body language. Every act of body language seems to have oddly specific meanings to Al which are either silly, illegal, or rather disturbing. Near the end, the woman gets off at her stop and Al never sees her again.
  • Arlo Guthrie's classic folk/parody "Alice's Restaurant" clocked in at about nineteen minutes on the original record; about five of them are strictly necessary to tell the story (and the title of the song isn't actually related to the point of the whole thing). Later versions, updated to reflect how times have changed since, are longer still; one performed shortly after Richard Nixon's death is about twenty-six and a half minutes long, though not all of the added material is completely extraneous. This is lampshaded by Guthrie in most recordings and performances.
    Arlo: (after finishing the initial story) "That's not what I come to talk to you about, though. I just thought I'd mention it."
    • He even lampshades that it's a Shaggy Dog story later on, when he asks the audience to sing along:
    Arlo: That was horrible. If you want to end war and stuff, you've got to sing loud. I've been singing this song for twenty six minutes; I can sing it for another twenty six minutes. I'm not proud ... or tired ..
  • Robert Fripp once penned a Roald Dahl-styled children's story called "The Saga Of Rodney Toady", about a man who is constantly picked on for being fat and ugly. Neighbors would make fun of him behind his back, girls would ask him out to dates just so they can stand him up and his parents would tell him to find a fat and ugly girl to marry. The end of the story just has Rodney buying "rude books with rude pictures in them". It can be found on the 1968 album The Cheerful Insanity Of Giles, Giles & Fripp, which includes, among other things, other Shaggy Dog Stories in the form of songs like "Call Tomorrow", "Digging My Lawn" and "The Elephant Song".
  • Rap group Atmosphere has a song called "Hair", in which rapper Slug details the story of a fan trying to seduce him at a bar. The song progresses through the night as Slug and the girl go back and forth, with the fan's advances eventually winning over Slug. They get into her car, and as they're driving to her place, the song ends "Her drunk ass turns to look at me and she says/You're so beautiful from the hair to the soul/I can't believe that I never met you before/It feels like I've been waiting for you me whole life/She missed the red light, we hit a pick-up truck and we both died.
    • This is followed up on a later album by a song called, appropriately enough, "Scalp". The narrator is asked by a shady friend to pick up a mysterious package at a warehouse and drop it off at another location. He gets into his car but has an internal struggle as to whether or not he should do such an obviously morally dubious thing. Deciding against his better judgement, he starts driving to the warehouse... "Pulled out on Lindale/Killed by a couple of drunks, broadside of my pick up truck"
  • "Billy The Mountain" by Frank Zappa, which details a destructive roadtrip of the titular mountain and his wife Ethel (a tree). One Studebacher Hoch tries to stops Billy, but when he threatens Ethel, Billy laughs, causing Hoch to fall to his doom, which ends with the moral of the story being "a mountain is something you don't want to fuck with".
    • Another Zappa example is the "Yellow Snow" suite from Apostrophe. The story starts out with Nanook the Eskimo getting into a fight with a fur-trapper, after which the two go to St. Alfonzo's Pancake Breakfast to heal their wounds. The plot then suddenly shifts to the daily dealings of the restaurant's customers and chefs.
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  • The Fiery Furnaces. Pick a song. Any song. Special mention goes to "My Dog Was Lost But Now He's Found" for being a literal shaggy dog story.
  • The Velvet Underground song "The Gift" is a long, detail-rich spoken-word story about a guy who mails himself in a crate to his ex-girlfriend. The ending is very sudden.
  • Tom Waits' spoken word piece "Missing My Son", which is apparently his telling of a well-traveled shaggy dog joke: Tom relates a long, involved story that starts with him getting in the checkout line at a grocery store and being convinced by a woman ahead of him, who thinks he looks like her late son, to tell her "Goodbye, mom" before she checks out. After he does so, he brings up his own small amount of groceries, and it turns out the woman stuck him with the bill, telling the cashier that her son was in line behind her and would pay for everything. The story climaxes with him running out of the store, seeing the woman just about to climb into her car, grabbing her leg, and pulling on it... just the way that he's pulling yours.
  • Mercyful Fate's "The Uninvited Guest" is about a mysterious uninvited man who shows up at someone's home, and the protagonist invites him into the house, curious as to who he is. The guy reveals he used to live there. All is well... until the last three lines.
    I later learned that he was never here
    I later learned that he'd been dead a year
    The uninvited...
  • "Titty Bar" by The Axis of Awesome is a 2-and-a-half minute song that ends with a Your Mom joke.
    Jordan: We need to find another [titty bar], so I will call your mother, 'cuz she works at another titty bar.//
  • TAI & Le Shuuk's song "Unicorn" tells the story of a wild young man who traveled the 7 seas and meets an old woman in a tavern. She gives him an apple that she says will get rid of his lady troubles but "then his dick fell off." He goes to Moon Island, fights a unicorn to touch his horn, and finds his dick grew back so well that he would be called "The Three Leg Pirate". He races back to the tavern, finds the old woman, "and then they fuck all night". And then his dick fell off.
  • Lyle Lovett brings us "Here I Am," which appears to be a poetic reflection on life, destiny, the decisions we make, and their consequences. Turns out he wants to change his order, please if it's not too late, to a cheeseburger.
  • The Fountains of Wayne song "Someone to Love" spends most of the song profiling two lonely people and promising that they'll find someone to love, heavily implying they will Meet Cute. In the last verse, when they are "supposed" to meet, Beth Mac Kenzie steals Seth Shapiro's taxi and leaves him alone in the rain, rendering the buildup pointless.

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