One of the things I like about some country songs is the way the choruses work.
For example, there seems to be a subgenre of country that starts with a verse about the narrator's or someone else's childhood, and then there's a chorus.
And then the second verse is about the protagonist's young adulthood, and then we get the same chorus but with a few words modified to fit the changed circumstances.
And then the third and final verse is about how things are now, and the third and final chorus is again essentially the same chorus, but altered slightly, and often from a different point of view or with a different perspective.
So what's essentially the same chorus gains new meanings, or is shown in different lights, by appearing in different contexts.
This also happens in a fair number of folksongs, and even some pop songs. I think songs that tell stories often have this structure, regardless of genre. But I think I see it most often in country songs.
Here's an example: Chuck Wicks's "Stealing Cinderella." In the first chorus, the protagonist is describing looking at childhood pictures of the woman he wants to marry; in the second chorus (same words), the protagonist realizes that in the woman's father's eyes "she would always be" that little girl; and in the third chorus, the protagonist learns to see her that way as well. (Which isn't as creepy in the song as my description makes it sound.)
Another more or less example: Blake Shelton's "Austin" (which is totally sappy but I really like it anyway). As is often true in this structure, there isn't much progression (though there are changes in the words) from the first chorus to the second. In this example, the third chorus is a bigger change than usual for this structure, but it's in the same ballpark as what I'm talking about.
It seems to me that there are a couple of country subgenres in which this structure appears particularly often: the "advice my father gave me" song (first chorus is receiving the advice as a kid; second chorus is about, say, understanding the advice as a young man; third chorus is protag giving his son the same advice) and the "guy whose daughter is getting married" song (first two choruses are about the girl when she was, say, a little kid and a teenager; third is at her wedding, with father saying she'll always be that little girl to him).
(It occurs to me that my exposure to country music is about like my exposure to romance novels: even though that exposure is shallow and narrow, I've had just enough to make me think I know something about the genre.)
A less clear-cut example from the folk world: my favorite Lui Collins song, "Wildflower Song." (Part of what I love about it is the tune and her performance, but I'm just talking about lyrics in this entry.) In the first two verses, she says she's avoiding falling in love, and the first two choruses ask why she's having the reactions she's having ("Then why did I..."); the third verse accepts how she's feeling, and the third chorus starts with "And so I..." And then the last chorus repeats, with a past-tense segment shifted to present tense.
All of those make me realize that in most cases, the chorus doesn't change much at all; what changes is the context for the chorus, supplied by the verses.
Anyway, I started wondering the other night whether it would be possible to structure a story the same way. I think it might, but it would be tough--repeating things in a story is a lot harder to pull off than repeating things in a song or poem. And a song generally doesn't give the audience time to figure out ahead of time what the end of the progression is going to be--and it's generally not so plot-oriented that it matters if you guess the resolution ahead of time anyway.
The closest I can think of is stories that start with a statement or quotation or italicized bit, and then give a bunch of context, and then repeat the starting line near the end, where the new context sheds new light on it. Fredric Brown's "Knock" is a classic example. Spinrad's "Deathwatch" does something similar. But none of those are quite what I'm thinking of. And I'm not sure whether what I'm thinking of would work as a story.
Still, I'm intrigued by the idea.