Hank Williams III is eponymous with the honky-tonk shuffle of “Whiskey, Weed, & Women”. It’s heralded as one of Hank’s cornerstone songs. Part of this reason this song is strong is because these are telling images. They open up the song to the listener’s imagination. And they allow Hank Williams III to expand his narrative. “Whiskey, Weed, & Women / had the upper hand”. This presents the opportunity to expand the song and discuss why exactly the narrator feels this way.
And it’s a surprisingly efficient way to drive a story. Susto’s song “Cigarettes, Whiskey, and Wine” uses the chorus to expand on the narrative where the speaker is searching “for their baby”. It helps the song get to the point and provides additional characterization. No wonder artists like Bob Dylan (“Lily, Rosemary, and The Jack of Hearts”,) mewithoutYou (“The Fox, The Crow, and The Cookie”,) and Brandy Clark’s “Drinkin’, Smokin’, Cheatin,” all rely on this repetition.
Write a song that uses a list of three concrete images as its title. Make sure that your concrete images relate to your song. Here’s an example:
It’s wood, steel, and strings
and the song you’ve brought to sing.
But the crowd can’t hear
the mix isn’t clear
It’s all wood, and steel, and strings