The traditional musician and the writer in me meet when it comes to songs that tell a story.  All good songs do, to some extent, but most are a vignette:  a snapshot in the middle of (implied) backstory and perhaps resolution.  This is part of why Adele's "Rumour Has It" drives me so nuts:  I can't suss out the exact sequence of events or what's going on.  Which I think is the point with that one, as it's about baseless rumo(u)rs and how they get out of hand, but ... still!

But in this case, I'm talking about ballads and story songs, music that shares the whole scope of a story.  And in true Celtic fashion, often an unhappy ending.  Easily one of my favorites:

(Fun sidebar about this song:  the first time I heard it, I went, "This is *so incredibly Celtic* in sensibility."  Some time later, I did a Google search on the composer, and many of the hits on his name were Irish tunes such as Eleanor Plunkett.)

Reddy does this a lot - "Keep On Singing" and "Angie Baby" are two others that spring to mind.  By contrast, I'd consider "Delta Dawn," though it definitely makes events clear, less of a story song and more of a vignette.  It's static, staying in the aftermath.  (For the longest time, I thought the guy in this song was "a man of loaded grease.")

Here's a slightly more recent song, the arc of a life:

And, of course, there's a classic.  Here's the inimitable Kirsty MacColl's take on ...

This one is so definitive for me that I find the uptempo jazz version jarring.  (And this isn't even quite the right version - I couldn't find the Titanic Days cut on the internet.)  It's Celtic emotion at its best.

For my fellow writers, I'm going to end with a jazzy harp original that presents the ultimate writer's dilemma: