Coffee Cup Reading: The Greatest Lyrics of All Time

15 May

What is it about a song that gets to you? Most often its the groove or the mood, the pace and the pitch. But songs also have a way of speaking to you in words, consoling and cajoling, speaking universal truths, or simply adding context and imagery to the rhythm. The below is a humble collection of favorites  – can you spot the song and has it spoken to you before?   (Prophets and preachers are abbreviated to last names. Who says poetry is dead?)

 “The screen door slams, Mary’s dress waves. As a vision she dances across the porch as the radio plays” – Springsteen

“God is a concept, by which we measure our pain” – Lennon

“I’m just a soul whose intentions are good. Oh Lord, please don’t let me be misunderstood” – Eric Burdon, The Animals

“Have you come here for forgiveness, have you come to raise the dead, have you come here to play Jesus to the lepers in your head?” – Bono

“Well those drifters days are past me now, I’ve got so much more to think about. Deadlines and commitments, what to leave in, what to leave out” -Seger

“She was physically forgotten and then she slipped into my pocket with my car keys. She said, “you’ve taken me for granted because I please you, wearing these diamonds” – Simon

“All your dreams are made, when you’re chained to the mirror and the razor blade”
– N. Gallagher

“Sometimes I don’t know where this dirty road is taking me, sometimes I can’t even see the reason why. I guess I’ll keep a-gamblin’, lots of booze and lots of ramblin’, it’s easier than just waitin’ around to die” – Van Zandt

“Freedom has a scent, like the top of a newborn baby’s head” – Bono

“The world is in your hands, or its at your throat” – Julian Casablancas, The Strokes

“So I’ll start a revolution from my bed, cuz you said the brains I had, went to my head”
– N. Gallagher

“The morning sun, when its in your face, really shows your age. But that don’t bother me none, in my eyes you’re everything.” – Stewart

“Some days are sulky, some days have a grin, some days have bouncers that won’t let you in” – Bono

“Straight outta Compton is a brotha that’ll smotha yo’ motha….and make ya sister think I love her” – Easy E

“She moved so easily all I could think of was sunlight…..She asked ‘Don’t I know you from the cinematographer’s party?’ I said ‘Who am I to blow against the wind?’ – Simon

In a world of steel-eyed death, and men who are fighting to be warm,
“Come in,” she said, “I’ll give you shelter from the storm.” – Dylan

“And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.” – McCartney

“Now I work down at the carwash, where all it ever does is rain. Don’t you feel like you’re a rider on a downbound train?” – Springsteen

“There’s beauty in the silver singing river, there’s beauty in the sunrise in the sky – but none of these and nothing else can match the beauty, that I remember in my true love’s eyes” – Dylan

“There ain’t nothing like regret, to know that you’re alive” – Sheryl Crow

“I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain, I’ve seen sunny days that I thought would never end. I’ve seen lonely times when I could not find a friend. But I always thought that I’d see you again” – James Taylor

“Oh the snow fell without a break. Buffalo died in the frozen fields you know. Through the coldest winter, in almost fourteen years, I couldn’t believe you kept a smile” – Stewart

“You know I didn’t mean, what I just said, but my God woke up on the wrong side of his bed” – N.Gallagher

“I’ve looked at love from both sides now, from give and take, and still somehow,
it’s life’s illusions I recall, I really don’t know love at all.” – Joni Mitchell

“I once had a girl, or should I say, she once had me” – Lennon

And if a ten-tonne truck kills the both of us, to die by your side, well, the pleasure, the privilege is mine.” – Morrissey

“Sometimes, when I look deep in your eyes, I swear I can see your soul” – James

“You try and find a love that will see you through your darkest days… and her soft brown hair is as long as a Canadian highway…and there’s no road that ain’t a hard road to travel on” – Sam Roberts

“See I’m stuck in a city, but I belong in a field…oh the heart beats in its cage” – J. Casablancas, the Strokes

“I’m a-goin’ back out ‘fore the rain starts a-fallin’,
I’ll walk to the depths of the deepest black forest,
Where the people are many and their hands are all empty,
Where the pellets of poison are flooding their waters,
Where the home in the valley meets the damp dirty prison,
Where the executioner’s face is always well hidden,
Where hunger is ugly, where souls are forgotten,
Where black is the color, where none is the number,
And I’ll tell it and think it and speak it and breathe it,
And reflect it from the mountain so all souls can see it,
Then I’ll stand on the ocean until I start sinkin’,
But I’ll know my song well before I start singin” – Dylan

“So don’t change the dizzle, turn it up a little, I got a living room full of fine dime brizzles
waiting on the Pizzle, the Dizzle and the Shizzle, G’s to the bizzack, now ladies here we gizzo.” – Snoop Dogg.

“I drink concentrated OJ. I think consolidated is ok. Its not the band i hate, its their fans….three cans of water perverts me” C. Murphy, Sloan

“If you’re having girl problems i feel bad for you son, I got 99 problems but a bitch ain’t one” – Jay-Z

“Someone told me there’s a girl out there, with love in her eyes and flowers in her hair” – R. Plant, Led Zeppelin

“I saw a beggar leaning on his wooden crutch. He said to me, “Don’t ask for too much.”  And a young woman leaning in her darkened door. She cried out to me, “Why not ask for more?” – Cohen

“Our fiction feels real. Yours is a heart I could steal” – Samantha Savage Smith

“Maybe I will never be, all the things that I’d like to be. Now is not the time to cry, now’s the time to find out why – I think you’re the same as me, we see things they’ll never see. You and I are gonna live forever” – N. Gallagher

“She lit a burner on the stove and offered me a pipe
“I thought you’d never say hello” she said
“You look like the silent type”
Then she opened up a book of poems
And handed it to me
Written by an Italian poet
From the fifteenth century
And every one of them words rang true
And glowed like burning coal
Pouring off of every page
Like it was written in my soul from me to you
Tangled up in blue”

Dylan

“She came from Greece she had a thirst for knowledge
She studied sculpture at Saint Martin’s College,
that’s where I / caught her eye.
She told me that her Dad was loaded
I said in that case I’ll have a rum and coke-cola.

She said fine / and in thirty seconds time /she said, I want to live like common people
I want to do whatever common people do, I want to sleep with common people
I want to sleep with common people / like you. 
Well what else could I do ? I said I’ll see what I can do. 
I took her to a supermarket
I don’t know why but I had to start it somewhere, so it started there. 
I said pretend you’ve got no money, she just laughed and said oh you’re so funny. 
I said yeah? Well I can’t see anyone else smiling in here. 
Are you sure you want to live like common people
You want to see whatever common people see
You want to sleep with common people, 
you want to sleep with common people like me. 
But she didn’t understand, she just smiled and held my hand. 
Rent a flat above a shop, cut your hair and get a job. 
Smoke some fags and play some pool, pretend you never went to school. 
But still you’ll never get it right 
‘cos when you’re laid in bed at night watching roaches climb the wall 
If you call your Dad he could stop it all. 
You’ll never live like common people
You’ll never do what common people do
You’ll never fail like common people
You’ll never watch your life slide out of view, and dance and drink and screw 
Because there’s nothing else to do.” 

J. Cocker, Pulp

 

ADD YOUR OWN FAVORITE LYRICS TO THIS LIST!  POST BELOW

Advertisements

One Response to “Coffee Cup Reading: The Greatest Lyrics of All Time”

  1. Paul October 10, 2014 at 7:38 pm #

    Hey Varga – love the site – always appreciate the new suggestions.

    I always thought the Don’t Look Back in Anger lyric was “So I’ll start a revolution from my bed, cause you said the brains I had weren’t in my head” Makes more sense, no?

    Also – for my suggestion for great lyrics, I gotta go with the Jagger/Richards in Sympathy for the Devil, especially the following verse:

    I watched with glee while your kings and queens
    Fought for ten decades for the gods they made
    I shouted out ‘who killed the Kennedys?”
    When after all, it was you and me

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: