Last week I told you my favorite story song was A Boy Named Sue, written by Shel Silverstein and sung by Johnny Cash.
My second favorite story song is Escape (also known as the Pina Colada song). It’s written and performed by Rupert Holmes.
The song is a wonderful, self-contained story that has a slightly surprise ending. It starts with the absolutely fabulous and intriguing line: “I was tired of my lady; we’d been together too long.”
This opener is great because we know immediately there is trouble in paradise. The next part of the song has the singer read a personal ad which asks the questions, “Do you like pina coladas and getting caught in the rain?”
The singer, showing his scuzzy side, responds to the ad. This is great for several reasons. Songwise, you get to hear the refrain again, “Yes, I like pina coladas…” Second, it adds humor to the mix. In the original personal ad, the woman mentions “yoga.” Our singer responds that he’s not “much into health food.” This wonderful exchange gives you a clue that this guy is the kind of man who confuses yoga with yogurt.
In the song, our protagonist admits that it’s kind of mean to treat his girl this way, but he doesn’t care. He agrees to meet this woman from the personal ad.
He goes to the restaurant to meet this woman, and when she walks in, he says: “I knew her smile in an instant, I knew the curve of her face. It was my own lovely lady, and she said, ‘Oh, it’s you.'”
So, what a great twist. They were both in the mood to cheat and found each other again. Great song, great story. Here’s the lyric version on YouTube.