10 Rock Songs Written About Real People

Based on a True Story.

A & M

When sitting down to write a song, the composer has a unique opportunity in front of them. The lyric sheet provides an open canvas for the artist to write about anything they could possibly dream up. It could be abstract, it could be fiction...and sometimes it could be an actual person.

Instead of just combing through their own personal psyches, these bands have molded fantastic tracks based on the actual things happening around them. While it seems like the easy way out to just write about something that's already happened, the true power of the song comes in the details. Whether it's someone they know, something they read, or even one of their own inspirations, these lyricists have abandoned the more artsy lyrical approach to give the listener detailed accounts of something they saw as artistically potent.

Across each of these songs, you find hints of anger, pride, love, and even grief depending on the band's delivery. Regardless of the artists' feelings on the matter, these people certainly struck a nerve with the musicians who saw them. It may be good, bad, or indifferent, but each of these everyday people will now have their names etched in the world of music for decades to come.

10. My Man - Eagles

Whenever you put on a record by the Eagles, you can safely just turn off your brain and settle into the pleasant grooves of California sunshine. However, don't let that trick you into thinking there isn't depth to the band's lyrical approach.

In the middle of the band's third effort On the Border, guitarist Bernie Leadon brings his singing chops to the ballad "My Man," whose subject matter is more heart-wrenching than you might expect. Before becoming a part of the California group, Leadon had been one of the founding members of the Flying Burrito Brothers, which was headed by country rocker Gram Parsons. As Leadon went on to greater heights with Glenn Frey and Don Henley, the news broke midway through the record cycle that Parsons had died after an overdose of morphine.

Plagued with grief, Leadon poured out his soul into "My Man," which was dedicated to Gram's memory. Throughout the track, Leadon reflects on his former bandmates's hell-raising and how his music could bring any listener to the brink of tears. "My Man" may be a lowlight in the Eagles' discography, but it remains a poignant tribute to a fine rocker whose light burned out way too quickly.

In this post: 
First Posted On: 

I'm just a junkie for all things media. Whether it's music, movies, TV, or just other reviews, I absolutely adore this stuff. But music was my first love, and I love having the opportunity to share it with you good people. Follow Me On Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/timcoffman97