Just got home from doing three 12.5 hour day shifts (14 hours each day if you include the drive to and from work) so my brain is a little foggy, but I believe your comment about "Desperado" is correct Artless. The story is about another person but you can tell that it is being told by the singer/songwriter. After a little thought, "Gospel According to Luke" and "Never Leave Harlan Alive" would fall in the same category. I think "Sam Stone" would make the cut though (if I remember all the lyrics correctly). Since its the Christmas season, maybe "Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer" should be considered too.
Then I began to think about songs that don't specifically use "I" but it is implied that the singer/songwriter is telling the story. "Jack and Diane" begins and ends with the phrase "little ditty about Jack and Diane" which implies that the singer either wrote or heard the "ditty" and wants to pass it on. In "Eleanor Rigby", the song implores you to "look at all the lonely people" - is it the singer writer that is asking you to do that?
Then I stretched it further and wondered about songs that use "I" but the lyrics don't seem to be referring to the writer, such as the "The Eagle and the Hawk" by John Denver which starts with "I am the eagle and live in high country" or maybe "I Am the Walrus" by the Beatles.
Anyway, all this thinking is giving me a headache. I probably won't be able to sleep tonight because of it and will be tired when I begin my 12.5 hour night shifts tomorrow evening after just a 20-hour turn around. I'll probably get drowsy on the drive to work, doze off and go left of center, hitting another car and killing innocent people. Then I'll be sent to prison for 20 years for vehicular homicide, get raped by my cell mate "Bubba", catch AIDS and die............... all of this because you started this thread Artless.
You'll be hearing from my estate's lawyer after my funeral ...............................
I want to read my own water, choose my own routes, write my own songs