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View Full Version : Incredibly beautiful song lyrics (But no love songs! We spit on love songs!)


Skald the Rhymer
04-06-2008, 09:22 AM
This thread was inspired by the recent thread pitting those of us who love songs for their lyrics (hereafter known as "the Rockingest Rockinators north, south, east, and west of Pecos") against those don't listen to a single word the singer utters (hereafter known as "Yes, I think "Every Step You Take" is an appropriate wedding song, why are you looking at me so strange?")

Rules are simple. Name songs whose lyrics strike you as heart-thumpingly lovely, and tell us why if you feel moved to type that much. To raise the bar a bit, let's leave out love songs if we can. As per board rules, let's try to respect copyright; keep your quotes brief, because, after all, that is why Eresh-kigal gave us links.

I'll start with a Paula Cole song, "Bethlehem (http://www.musicfanclubs.org/paulacole/lyrics2.html)," which starts like this:

Pulling on the apron strings looking up
Standing on the chair to be grown up
I feel so little, I need my pillow
I hate the time, I hate the clock
I want to be a dog or I want to be a rock

Words cannot express how lovely this song is to me. The careful choosing of details, the unobtrusive approximate rhyme, the mingled despair and hope: it perfectly captures the experience of growing up in a place you hate. It's even more beautiful when you hear her sing it--but I'm using it because it works as poem too.

But that's just me. Anybody else?

MadTheSwine
04-06-2008, 09:48 AM
Vincent by Don McClean

Starry
starry night
flaming flowers that brightly blaze

swirling clouds in violet haze reflect in
Vincent's eyes of China blue.
Colors changing hue
morning fields of amber grain

weathered faces lined in pain
are soothed beneath the artist's
loving hand.



Full lyrics here.
http://www.lyrics007.com/Don%20McLean%20Lyrics/Vincent%20Lyrics.html
The whole song is beautiful.

jjimm
04-06-2008, 09:52 AM
Two classics. Comfortably Numb:There is no pain, you are receding.
A distant ship's smoke on the horizon.
You are only coming through in waves.
Your lips move, but I can't hear what youre saying.
[ LYRICS DELETED ]America:"Cathy, I'm lost" I said, though I knew she was sleeping.
"I'm empty and aching and I don't know why."
Counting the cars on the New Jersey Turnpike,
They've all come to look for America.And finally a new one for me - the most beautiful song about a serial killer I've ever heard. John Wayne Gacy Jr.:The neighbors they adored him
For his humor and his conversation.
Look underneath the house there,
Find the few living things
Rotting fast in their sleep of the dead.
[ LYRICS DELETED ]

HazelNutCoffee
04-06-2008, 09:55 AM
"Scarborough Fair/Canticle," by Simon and Garfunkel

Tell her to make me a cambric shirt
(on the side of a hill in the deep forest green)
Parsley, sage, rosemary & thyme
(tracing a sparrow on snow-crested ground)
Without no seams nor needlework
(blankets and bedclothes a child of the mountains)
Then she'll be a true love of mine
(sleeps unaware of the clarion call)

I love the lines they added to the original song.

koeeoaddi
04-06-2008, 10:29 AM
Mary by Patty Griffin

Mary you're covered in roses, you're covered in ruin
You're covered in secrets
You're covered in treetops, covered in birds
Who can sing a million songs without any words

Brown Eyed Girl
04-06-2008, 10:47 AM
Vincent by Don McClean
That would be my choice as well. Given the lyrics, it's hard to say that's not a love song, but it's an entirely different kind of love. The love of artistic talent and expression coupled with empathy for the emotional pain that Van Gogh suffered from.

I will add Carole King, Tapestry:

My life has been a tapestry
Of rich and royal hue;
An everlasting vision
Of the ever-changing view;
A wond'rous woven magic
In bits of blue and gold;
A tapestry to feel and see;
Impossible to hold.

Full lyrics here: http://www.seeklyrics.com/lyrics/Carole-King/Tapestry.html

Skald the Rhymer
04-06-2008, 10:49 AM
That would be my choice as well. Given the lyrics, it's hard to say that's not a love song, but it's an entirely different kind of love.


I'm the OP, and I love "Vincent," and I'll agree that it's not a love song. I am defining love song as follows:

1. Songs about a person the speaker wants to sleep with and is trying to persuade to do so, or complaining about the person keeping his/her pants on.
2. Songs about a person the speaker has slept with and bemoaning the fact that the sex has become only a memory.

eleanorigby
04-06-2008, 10:55 AM
From Mary Chapin Carpenter's Come On, Come On album:


It Was Only a Dream

We lived on a street where the tall elm shade
Was as green as the grass and as cool as a blade
That you held in your teeth as we lay on our backs
Staring up at the blue and the blue stared back

[ LYRICS DELETED ]

(this is a song about two kids, one girl, one boy--although it's ambiguous- growing up and then one moves away. The description is lyrical [no pun intended!])

Biffy the Elephant Shrew
04-06-2008, 10:59 AM
"Islands" by King Crimson. The last verse:


Dark harbour quays like fingers of stone
Hungrily reach from my island.
Clutch sailors' words--pearls and gourds
Are strewn on my shore.
[ LYRICS DELETED ]

RickJay
04-06-2008, 11:04 AM
I'm the OP, and I love "Vincent," and I'll agree that it's not a love song. I am defining love song as follows:

1. Songs about a person the speaker wants to sleep with and is trying to persuade to do so, or complaining about the person keeping his/her pants on.
2. Songs about a person the speaker has slept with and bemoaning the fact that the sex has become only a memory.
If those are the criteria then I can cite the Tragically Hip's "Everytime You Go," which is simply a description of a marriage of two poor people. The woman is described thus:

My girl don't just walk. She unfurls.
I've never heard a simpler, better description of how it is when a woman just blows you away.

Skald the Rhymer
04-06-2008, 11:07 AM
If those are the criteria then I can cite the Tragically Hip's "Everytime You Go," which is simply a description of a marriage of two poor people. The woman is described thus:


I've never heard a simpler, better description of how it is when a woman just blows you away.


I should have added "songs about the speaker's current snogging partner in praise of her or his general or specific rockingness," but I was distracted by my wife, who does, in fact, rock.

Spoke
04-06-2008, 11:08 AM
R.E.M. - Nightswimming

The most powerfully nostalgic lyrics in pop music.

BrainGlutton
04-06-2008, 11:30 AM
Oh all the money that e'er I had, I spent it in good company
And all the harm that e'er I've done, alas, it was to none but me
And all I've done for want of wit to memory now I can't recall
So fill to me the parting glass, good night and joy be with you all


Sometimes there's beauty in simplicity.

ZipperJJ
04-06-2008, 11:44 AM
I think Belle & Sebastian have some of the most beautiful song lyrics I've ever heard, and a good chunk of them are not about love at all.

(links to lyrics on official band site, not crazy popup lyrics sites)
We Rule the School (http://www.belleandsebastian.com/recordings.php?release=8&view=lyrics&lyrics=364)
Get Me Away From Here, I'm Dying (http://www.belleandsebastian.com/recordings.php?release=7&view=lyrics&lyrics=70)
This Is Just a Modern Rock Song (http://www.belleandsebastian.com/recordings.php?release=13&view=lyrics&lyrics=97)
A Century of Fakers (http://www.belleandsebastian.com/recordings.php?release=14&view=lyrics&lyrics=101)

There's a lot more, but if I listed them I'd list about half their catalog...

Washoe
04-06-2008, 11:46 AM
Submitted for your perusal—Waterloo Sunset (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fvDoDaCYrEY). However, it’s hard to say whether the lyrics in and of themselves are exceptionally beautiful, or whether the song as a whole is exceptionally beautiful and that biases my view of the lyrics.

Brown Eyed Girl
04-06-2008, 12:22 PM
I'm the OP, and I love "Vincent," and I'll agree that it's not a love song. I am defining love song as follows:

1. Songs about a person the speaker wants to sleep with and is trying to persuade to do so, or complaining about the person keeping his/her pants on.
2. Songs about a person the speaker has slept with and bemoaning the fact that the sex has become only a memory.
Wow. That really opens things up then. Here's a song that, as a mother with a son, has lyrics that were meaningful to me. I used to sing it to my son often:

Mama told me when I was young
Come sit beside me, my only son
And listen closely to what I say.
And if you do this
It will help you some sunny day.
[ LYRICS DELETED ]
Simple Man, Lynyrd Skynyrd (http://www.seeklyrics.com/lyrics/Lynyrd-Skynyrd/Simple-Man.html)

And I'm a Neil Young fan, as well:

Well, I dreamed I saw the knights
In armor coming,
Saying something about a queen.
[ LYRICS DELETED ]

After the Goldrush (http://www.seeklyrics.com/lyrics/Neil-Young/After-The-Goldrush.html)

Spoons
04-06-2008, 12:27 PM
From Mary Chapin Carpenter's....This reminded me of MCC's "This Shirt." I always thought the lyrics were rather nice. It begins:

This shirt is old and faded
All the color's washed away
I've had it now for more damn years
Than I can count anyway....

She then goes on to sing about all the things both she and the shirt have been through: the shirt has been a pillow and blanket, a cat gave birth on it, her boyfriend ripped the sleeve, it was lost in a bus station locker for a few days, and so on. As you listen to the shirt's story that comes out in her her carefully-crafted words, you begin to agree with her that the shirt is more than "a faded piece of cotton," as she puts it; it is a storehouse of irreplaceable memories from years of her life.

Anastasaeon
04-06-2008, 01:10 PM
I'm rather fond of Tasmin Archer's Sleeping Satellite (my location pun may give that much away). Verses like this one:

and when we shoot for the stars
what a giant step
have we got what it takes
to carry the weight of this concept
or pass it by like a shot in the dark
miss the mark with a sense of adventure

The whole idea behind the song fills me with a weird mix of hope, frustration, confidence, optimism, pessimism, and other feelings I can't put my finger on, all conflicting. But I love it. There's an eerie beauty to the whole thing, like the moon itself.

ZebraShaSha
04-06-2008, 01:38 PM
I'm reviewing the Microphones rerelease and...

"I faced death. I went in with my arms swinging. But I heard my own breath and had to face that I'm still living. I'm still flesh. I hold on to awful feelings. I'm not dead... my chest still draws breath. I hold it. I'm buoyant. There's no end."

sunnyphilly43
04-06-2008, 01:56 PM
Pretty unknown band Hey Rosetta! have some of the most beautiful lyrics I've ever heard.

Notable:
i don't want wires
i know they're trying to bring me back
but no more plastic
i've had my piles of all that
[ LYRICS DELETED ]

Tim Baker is really a remarkable songwriter, and deserves worldwide accolades, I think.
Check them out at http://www.heyrosetta.com

jjimm
04-06-2008, 02:10 PM
sunnyphilly43's lyrics put me in mind of the song Wires by Athlete.You've got wires, going in,
You've got wires, coming out of your skin.
You've got tears, making tracks,
I've got tears, that are scared of the facts.
...
I see hope is here, in a plastic box.
I've seen Christmas lights, reflect in your eyes.Offical video on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uriGngTXyrE). It's a pretty damn fine song on its own, but becomes especially moving when you know that it's aboutthe singer's baby daughter, who was born prematurely and very ill, and spent time in an incubator in intensive care.

ZebraShaSha
04-06-2008, 02:25 PM
Reading over the thread, one word: bleh. Neutral Milk Hotel is sort of the be all, end all to this discussion.

"Follow me through a city of frost covered angels
I swear I have nothing to prove
I just want to dance in your tangles"
[ LYRICS DELETED ]

Etc etc.

Link. (http://neutralmilkhotel.net/lyrics.html)

mbh
04-06-2008, 02:30 PM
"The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" by Gordon Lightfoot.

Superior, it's said, never gives up her dead,
When the gales of November come early.

MadTheSwine
04-06-2008, 02:34 PM
Reading over the thread, one word: bleh. Neutral Milk Hotel is sort of the be all, end all to this discussion.

"Follow me through a city of frost covered angels
I swear I have nothing to prove
I just want to dance in your tangles
To give me some reason to move
[ LYRICS DELETED ] "

Etc, etc.

Link. (http://neutralmilkhotel.net/lyrics.html)

BLEH

Rico
04-06-2008, 02:37 PM
My personal favorite, Dean Friedman, has some wonderful lyrics. Here's a bit from The Letter (http://www.deanfriedman.com/lyrics/lyrics_main.html#The Letter):

Autumn seems awful lonely here whenever we think of you.
Last night the sky turned purple and we wanted to share the view.
[ LYRICS DELETED ]

The entire song is just as beautifully descriptive.

ZebraShaSha
04-06-2008, 03:20 PM
BLEH

:D

FTR, American Pie was my favorite album for several years.

Defensive Indifference
04-06-2008, 03:54 PM
Harry Chapin can turn a phrase. In his otherwise rambling, uneven epic "There Only Was One Choice," he spends a couple stanzas in self-doubt wondering if he's just another hypocritical rock and roller, ending with these brilliant lines:

Am I observer or participant
or huckster of belief
making too much of a life
so mercifully brief?

And in "Story of a Life," maybe his best tune, he sings:

So you settle down and the children come
and you find the place you've come from
you're wand'rin is done
and all your dreams of open spaces
you find in your children's faces
one by one

Stan Roger's "Northwest Passage" (http://www.songlyrics.com/song-lyrics/Rogers_Stan/Northwest_Passage/Northwest_Passage/95330.html) is fine poetry, and Springsteen's"Paradise" (http://brucespringsteen.net/songs/Paradise.html) is terriby haunting.

Made in Macau
04-06-2008, 05:41 PM
OK so its absolutely subjective but here's my favourite lyric of all. Its about how words are useless sometimes.

XTC's No Language in Our Lungs.

I thought I had the whole world in my mouth
I though I could say what I wanted to say
For a second that thought became a sword in my hand
I could slay any problem that would stand in my way
[ LYRICS DELETED ]
MiM

Skald the Rhymer
04-06-2008, 05:45 PM
OK so its absolutely subjective but here's my favourite lyric of all. Its about how words are useless sometimes.


Can you express that sentiment without them?

Or a middle-finger-salute smiley

Made in Macau
04-06-2008, 06:54 PM
Can you express that sentiment without them?

Or a middle-finger-salute smiley


okay...

Made in Macau
04-06-2008, 06:56 PM
Can you express that sentiment without them?

Or a middle-finger-salute smiley

Um - that's kind of the point.
I'm confused by your 'middle finger smiley' - to whom is it aimed? Me or the lyric?
In terms of your opening question; I think this lyric is achingly beautiful. It points out the futility of language while recognising it is dealing in the same. I love it for many reasons but don't feel like sharing them right now.
I started by saying it was subjective but you still seem to be calling me out on it?
Ok - it's your thread.

MiM

Skald the Rhymer
04-06-2008, 06:59 PM
Um - that's kind of the point.
I'm confused by your 'middle finger smiley' - to whom is it aimed? Me or the lyric?
In terms of your opening question; I think this lyric is achingly beautiful. It points out the futility of language while recognising it is dealing in the same. I love it for many reasons but don't feel like sharing them right now.
I started by saying it was subjective but you still seem to be calling me out on it?
Ok - it's your thread.

MiM


I apologize if I seemed to be calling you out; that was not my intent. I was saying that my request that you express the sentiment without words was snarkish and, let's be frank, assholish, so you would be entirely justified in replying with a middle-finger-salute smiley, if one existed.

No one gets my humor.

outlierrn
04-06-2008, 07:10 PM
She comes out of the sun in a silk dress running like a watercolor in the rain

eleanorigby
04-06-2008, 07:11 PM
For some reason, this song has always reminded me of Thomas Hardy. I like Eva Cassidy's version of it best.

Sting's Fields of Gold (sorry if it's too lover-ish)


Youll remember me when the west wind moves
Upon the fields of barley
Youll forget the sun in his jealous sky
As we walk in the fields of gold

[ LYRICS DELETED ]


"Little Girl Please Wait":

She helps set the table, antique lace,
sterling silver, her grandmothers' china
You tell her the tales, women strong,
women frail, like hand-me-downs and heirlooms
A chip in the cup, a stain on the cloth, a useful existence

[ LYRICS DELETED ]

phungi
04-06-2008, 07:13 PM
OK so its absolutely subjective but here's my favourite lyric of all. Its about how words are useless sometimes.

XTC's No Language in Our Lungs.

I thought I had the whole world in my mouth
I though I could say what I wanted to say
For a second that thought became a sword in my hand
I could slay any problem that would stand in my way
[ LYRICS DELETED ]

MiM
I never expected someone would steal my thunder with this song, but am pleasantly surprised!

I also love this part, just before your snip:
there is no language in our lungs
there is no muscle in our tongues
to tell the world what's in our hearts
no we're leaving nothing
just chiselled stones
no chance to speak before we're bones
Linkety link (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K9Idn4WpZYc) to a YouTube video from a 1980 concert.

eleanorigby
04-06-2008, 07:14 PM
She comes out of the sun in a silk dress running like a watercolor in the rain


I love that line.

.....Well, morning comes and you're still with her
And the bus and the tourists are gone
And you've thrown away the choice and lost your ticket
So you have to stay on
[ LYRICS DELETED ]

Al Stewart--that takes me back!

Doug Bowe
04-06-2008, 07:27 PM
I vote for an old standard..."Moonlight in Vermont." I got so caught up in the picture it painted that I never realized it didn't rhyme. When someone pointed this out I had to pull it out and listen again...sure enough.

Wiki says:


The lyrics are very unusual for an American pop song of the 1940s, because they do not rhyme and are impersonal, focusing mostly on the sensory appeal of the Vermont countryside while alluding briefly to romance. The lyrics are also metrically subtle: Each verse (not counting the bridge) is a haiku.

Sam Stone
04-06-2008, 07:55 PM
Here's one from one of my favorite songwriters:

Mexican Home by John Prine

It got so hot, last night, I swear
You couldn't hardly breathe
Heat lightning burnt the sky like alcohol
[ LYRICS DELETED ]

Tell me you can't just just feel that scene. I grew up on a farm in an old, non-airconditioned house, and I remember those hot summer afternoons, with the doors and windows propped open, hearing nothing but flies buzzing around... And then an afternoon thunderstorm would roll in, and you could smell the ozone in the air and a cool breeze would kick up... That song just brings every emotion of that time back to me.

An Gadaí
04-06-2008, 08:02 PM
Fall Of Troy by Tom Waits has some beautiful, heartbreaking lyrics.
http://www.stlyrics.com/lyrics/deadmanwalking/falloftroy.htm

It’s hard to say grace and to sit in the place
Of someone missing at the table
Mom’s hair sprayed tight and her face in her hands
Watching TV for answers to me
After all she’s only human
And she’s trying to find her own way home, boys
She’s trying to find her own way home.

Drain Bead
04-06-2008, 08:05 PM
Bright Eyes has some astonishgly good lyrics:

You follow the footsteps
echoes leading down a hall
to a room with music playing
tiny bells with moving parts.
[ LYRICS DELETED ]

JThunder
04-06-2008, 09:08 PM
Part of Your World by Ashman and Menken.

Spoons
04-06-2008, 09:45 PM
Harry Chapin can turn a phrase. In his otherwise rambling, uneven epic "There Only Was One Choice,"No love for the dry cleaner from Dayton, Ohio?

...he also was a baritone who sang while hanging clothes.
He practiced scales while pressing tails and sang at local shows.
His friends and neighbors praised the voice that poured out from his throat.
They said that he should use his gift instead of cleaning coats.

Cliched, perhaps, using a Hallmark Card rhyme scheme? Maybe. But taken together with the gorgeous rendition of "Oh Night Divine" by the baritone in the background, the lyrics that Harry Chapin uses to tell the story of Mr. Martin Tanner of Dayton, Ohio, are, IMHO, indeed beautiful. Thanks for reminding me about Chapin.

Zakalwe
04-06-2008, 09:58 PM
These mist covered mountains
Are a home now for me
But my home is the lowlands
And always will be
Some day youll return to
Your valleys and your farms
And youll no longer burn
To be brothers in arms (http://www.lyricsfreak.com/d/dire+straits/brothers+in+arms_20040736.html)Gives me chills (although in fairness, it's not just the lyrics - that guitar in the background is haunting)...

blondebear
04-06-2008, 10:11 PM
And when the world began
I'd been asleep forever
I opened one eye
'Twas then it was I
Got the whim to wake

And when the weight of space
Rolled like it was an ocean
One became one
Father and son
Watched the sunrise break

-Pete Townshend's wonderful tribute, "God Speaks of Marty Robbins"
Solo acoustic 2005 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p_w_1dlwP48)

Her Royal IMFness
04-06-2008, 10:11 PM
"Many people are happy
And many people are sad
Some people have many things
That others can only wish they had"
[ LYRICS DELETED ]

~"This One's For the Children" by the New Kids on the Block. This one has been a favorite song of mine just because of the strong message it sends, telling the listener to reach out to those around and try to be a rock for those cared about.

"525,600 minutes, 525,000 moments so dear.
525,600 minutes - how do you measure, measure a year?"
[ LYRICS DELETED ]

~"Seasons of Love" from the musical, Rent. I know, I know, "We spit on love songs!" But, I don't believe this song sings of a romance between a man and a woman insomuch as it sings about the strength in loving life itself.

Talon Karrde
04-06-2008, 10:30 PM
Reading over the thread, one word: bleh. Neutral Milk Hotel is sort of the be all, end all to this discussion.
As much as I like NMH, you are wrong. Leonard Cohen is the be all, end all.

"Now Suzanne takes your hand
And she leads you to the river
She is wearing rags and feathers
From Salvation Army counters"
[ LYRICS DELETED ]

Askance
04-06-2008, 11:17 PM
Indeed.Now I've heard there was a secret chord
That David played, and it pleased the Lord ...
[ LYRICS DELETED ]

appleciders
04-07-2008, 12:02 AM
R.E.M. - Nightswimming

The most powerfully nostalgic lyrics in pop music.
Good choice!

How about "Hear You Me" by Jimmy Eat World?

There's no one in town I know
You gave us some place to go.
I never said thank you for that.
I thought I might get one more chance.

This song is so beautifully haunting and spectacularly in a medium-slow 3/4 time that I'm going to have to go find a girl to dance with right now.

(I don't think it's a love song or song about a snogging partner's general rockingness. I always heard it as a friend who died, but maybe it's a partner.)

Jackmannii
04-07-2008, 12:38 AM
Angels never know it's time
To close the book and gracefully decline,
The song has found a tale.
My, what a jealous pool is she.
[ LYRICS DELETED ]

"Ripples" - Genesis

Bambi Hassenpfeffer
04-07-2008, 12:41 AM
Aimee Mann's got a bunch, but here are two that I like. They both resonate with me deeply, and they feel right when you sing them.

"Humpty Dumpty", about a drug addict
Say you were split, you were split in fragments
And none of the pieces would talk to you
Wouldn't you want to be who you had been?
Well, baby I want that too.
. . .

Get out while you can
Baby, I'm pouring quicksand
And sinking is all I had planned
So better just go.

"High on Sunday 51", concerning the addict's relationship with her SO
We have crossed the Rubicon
Our ship awash, our rudder gone
The rats have fled but I'm hanging on
Let me try, baby, try.

------------

Another one with personal resonance. I was in a relationship that I was determined to save single-handedly once, before I ever heard this song. The first time I heard it, I was crying by the end.

Alanis Morissette, "That Particular Time":
I've always wanted for you what you've wanted for yourself
and yet I wanted to save us high water or hell
and I kept on ignoring the ambivalence you felt
and in the meantime I lost myself
in the meantime I lost myself
I'm sorry I lost myself

. . .

at that particular moment I knew staying with you meant deserting me
that particular month was harder than you'd believe but I still left
at that particular time


Next up is a Dido song, "Do You Have a Little Time?" Another very personal song, as I have often felt myself on the periphery of the people I care about.

If you should stop for a while
You will find me standing by
Over here at the side of your life
I'd like to hold you still, remind you of all you've missed
If you have a little time
If you have a little time that is


Then we have some in Spanish, with non-professional personal translations:

Gloria Estefan, "No Llores" (Don't Cry)
Si vas a entregar el alma
If you're going to hand over your soul
Hazlo libre de temores
Do it without any worries
Si del amar mucho se aprende
If there's much to be learned from love
Se aprende más de los errores
You'll learn more from the mistakes


La Quinta Estación, "Para No Decirte Adíos" (So I Didn't Have To Tell You Goodbye)
Y no
Me dejaste otra opción
And you didn't leave me another choice
Que arrancarme la piel y aguantar el dolor
Than to rip it off my skin and bear the pain
Y no
Escuché al corazón
And I didn't listen to my heart
Sí, borré de mi memoria el recuerdo de tu voz
Yeah, I erased the memory of your voice from my mind
Me marché sin hacer ruido para no decirte adiós.
I took off without making a sound so I didn't have to tell you goodbye


I know I have others, but it's late and I'm starting to feel that Ativan I just took, so this is it for today.

mswas
04-07-2008, 12:43 AM
Indeed.

I was going to post this if no one else did.

Savannah
04-07-2008, 01:05 AM
What, no Joni Mitchell yet?


Peridots and periwinkle blue medallions
Gilded galleons spilled across the ocean floor
Treasure somewhere in the sea and he will find where
[ LYRICS DELETED ]

I met you on a midway at a fair last year
And you stood out like a ruby in a black man's ear
You were playing on the horses, you were playing on the guitar strings
You were playing like a devil wearing wings, wearing wings
[ LYRICS DELETED ]

Out of the fire like Catholic saints
Comes Scarlett and her deep complaint
Mimicking tenderness she sees
In sentimental movies
[ LYRICS DELETED ]

Out in the wind in crinolines
Chasing the ghosts of Gable and Flynn
Through stand-in boys and extra players
Magnolias hopeful in her auburn hair
[ LYRICS DELETED ]

Edith in his bed
A plane in the rain is humming
The wires in the walls are humming
Some song some mysterious song
[ LYRICS DELETED ]

I'm porous with travel fever
But you know I'm so glad to be on my own
Still somehow the slightest touch of a stranger
Can set up trembling in my bones
[ LYRICS DELETED ]


I'll ply the fire with kindling now
I'll pull the blankets up to my chin
I'll lock the vagrant winter out and
I'll fold my wandering in
[ LYRICS DELETED ]



And Janis Ian/Kye Fleming:

The seagulls of summer have flown
The sailors have wintered their boats
Come sit by the fire
And tell me your secrets
Love isn’t kept easily
[ LYRICS DELETED ]

All quotations are partial lyrics only, not complete songs.

Crocodiles And Boulevards
04-07-2008, 03:10 AM
I've always loved this song.



One Headlight

She said it's cold
It feels like Independence Day
And I can't break away from this parade[ LYRICS DELETED ]

This next song, I only enjoy the first part of it. I actually don't really like the rest of it, but I always thought these beginning lyrics were great:



Hate Me

I have to block out thoughts of you
So I don't lose my head
They crawl in like a cockroach
Leaving babies in my bed
[ LYRICS DELETED ]


And to prove that I haven't managed to kill that hopeless romantic streak inside of me, this Regina Spektor song's lyrics always struck a chord with me:


On the Radio

this is how it works
you're young until you're not
you love until you don't
you try until you can't
[ LYRICS DELETED ]

I also would like to echo that Eva Cassidy rendition of Fields of Gold. That's a beautiful cover of a beautiful song.

Raguleader
04-07-2008, 03:45 AM
Big and Rich - Live This Life:

Met a kid on a bridge last night
Contemplating freedom
Met a kid on a bridge last night
And he said
I'm tired of this maddening life
And I'm ready to go meet Jesus
And I said he's a friend of mine
Met him just last night
And it's alright
Yeah it's all right
Yeah

For some reason, I always get some dust in my eye at "And it's all right", I just picture the singer reaching a hand out to this kid in need.

Another Big and Rich song - 8th of November

He said goodbye to his mamma
As he left South Dakota
To fight for the Red, White, and Blue.
He was nineteen and green with a new M-16
Just doing what he had to do.

First off, this song is just a sad song, about an American Airborne brigade being ambushed in Vietnam, and one of the survivors of that battle sitting in a bar remembering it. Also, since I joined the military recently, this verse strikes a particular chord with me.

I remember the day after I graduated from Basic, spending my last day of Town Pass with my family, and looking down at my service blues that I was wearing and thinking "What the hell have I gotten myself into!?" as the commitment I had made finally sunk in with me.

Gymnopithys
04-07-2008, 04:03 AM
O beautiful, for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
....

eleanorigby
04-07-2008, 09:42 AM
slight hijack: can anyone translate this Linda Ronstadt song for me? (thanks)--this is first verse:
Lo siento mi vida
Yo sé que ya terminó
Corazones quebrados
Esperanza que se fué
Cuando brille la luna
Yo sé que no dormirás
Ni tú
Ni yo
Ya ha llegado el triste pesar
Debemos siempre separarnos



And from Snow Patrol, one of my all-time favorite songs: "Chasing Cars"

I need your grace
To remind me
To find my own

RiverRunner
04-07-2008, 10:40 AM
I sing in a gospel quartet, and I can think of tons of songs that would fit this thread. One example: when we do our monthly sing a a nursing home, we allow time in the middle for requests. Someone *always* requests How Great Thou Art. I like those lyrics.

Another song that comes to mind is The Bold Fenian Men:

Some died on the glenside, some died near a stranger
And wise men have told us their cause was a failure
But they fought for old Ireland and never feared danger
Glory O, Glory O, to the bold Fenian men
[ LYRICS DELETED ]


RR

Annie-Xmas
04-07-2008, 10:48 AM
It was Happy Dance Time when I stumbled across The Waters of March (http://www.des.emory.edu/mfp/waters.html)

Afloat, adrift,
A flight, a wing,
A hawk, a quail,
The promise of spring

And the riverbank talks
of the waters of March,
It's the promise of life
It's the joy in your heart

IvoryTowerDenizen
04-07-2008, 10:53 AM
Cat Stevens

The Wind

I listen to my words but
They fall far below
I let my music take me where
My heart wants to go

I love that stanza- it makes me want to be a musician and be able to coomunicate through music.

Windwalker
04-07-2008, 11:37 AM
And to prove that I haven't managed to kill that hopeless romantic streak inside of me, this Regina Spektor song's lyrics always struck a chord with me:

[I]Originally Posted by Regina Spektor
On the Radio





Wow! I have been grooving to this song for several weeks now, to the point where, well... look at my location. It has a remarkable ability to lift my spirits, no matter how many times I hear it. Can't believe you actually selected it. And I love One Headlight, too. Do you want to be my music buddy?

I guess I'll contribute to the thread with an Elliott Smith song, King's Crossing. It's always struck me as the most beautifully desperate song I've heard, with images that are all over the place, yet relentlessly push forward a certain grim fatalism that reaches out just a little as well.


King's Crossing Lyrics

The King's crossing was the main attraction
Dominoes falling in a chain reaction
The scraping subject ruled by fear told me
Whiskey works better than beer
[ LYRICS DELETED ]

cher3
04-07-2008, 11:46 AM
From Jewel:
If I could tell the world just one thing
It would be that we're all OK
And not to worry 'cause worry is wasteful
And useless in times like these
[ LYRICS DELETED ]


They were playing it a lot at a time when I really needed it.

Maeglin
04-07-2008, 11:49 AM
From one of the most fey albums I have ever heard in my short life:

Let me bring you all things refined:
galliards and lute songs served in chilling ale.
Greetings well met fellow, hail!
I am the wind to fill your sail.
I am the cross to take your nail:
A singer of these ageless times.
With kitchen prose and gutter rhymes.

Marley23
04-07-2008, 12:05 PM
And if California slides into the ocean
Like the mystics and statistics say it will
I predict this motel will be standing
Until I pay my bill

-Warren Zevon, Desperados Under the Eaves

Well, the smart money's on Harlow and the moon is in the street
And the shadow boys are breaking all the laws
And you're east of East Saint Louis and the wind is making speeches
And the rain sounds like a round of applause
-Tom Waits, Time

Reach out your hand if your cup be empty
If your cup is full may it be again
Let it be known there is a fountain
That was not made by the hands of men
-The Grateful Dead, Ripple [never understood why this one gets to me, but it just does]

Infovore
04-07-2008, 12:08 PM
Just a couple that pop to mind (I'm sure I could come up with many more):

I'm not even particularly a fan of the band, but Death Cab for Cutie's "What Sarah Said (http://www.songmeanings.net/lyric.php?lid=3530822107858552951) " really hit me:

"'Cause there's no comfort in the waiting room
Just nervous paces bracing for bad news
Then the nurse comes around and everyone lifts their head
But I'm thinking of what Sarah said
That love is watching someone die."

And Janis Ian's "At Seventeen (http://http://janisian.com/lyrics/At%20Seventeen.pdf)" (pdf link):

"Remember those who win the game
lose the love they sought to gain
in debentures of quality and dubious integrity
Their small-town eyes will gape at you
in dull surprise when payment due
exceeds accounts received at seventeen."

Defensive Indifference
04-07-2008, 12:12 PM
-Tom Waits, Time


Tom Waits has some awesome imagery. "The wind is..." is just a great description.

SaharaTea
04-07-2008, 12:33 PM
One of my favorite Dylan songs, "Not Dark Yet"

Shadows are falling and I've been here all day
It's too hot to sleep and time is running away.
[ LYRICS DELETED ]

Marley23
04-07-2008, 12:43 PM
Just a Mod-ly reminder, folks, but try to keep your song quotes reasonably short. Fair use and all.

woodstockbirdybird
04-07-2008, 12:53 PM
My all-time favorite is "Tonight We Fly" by The Divine Comedy:

Tonight we fly
Over the houses, the streets and the trees -
Over the dogs down below;
They'll bark at our shadows
As we float by on the breeze.
[ LYRICS DELETED ]

BurnMeUp
04-07-2008, 02:57 PM
A couple faves:

Songs:Ohia/Magnolia Electric Company from Farewell Transmission

The real truth about it is
There ain't no end to the desert I'll cross
[ LYRICS DELETED ]

Hayden from Trees Lounge

I Need something to forget
What got me in this mess
I'm feeling less and less
My Judgement is not clear
I do things that I fear,
I would never do


Nick Cave from Papa Won't Leave You Henry
I passed beside the mission house
Where that mad old buzzard, the reverend,
Shrieked and flapped about life after your dead
[ LYRICS DELETED ]

Acid Lamp
04-07-2008, 03:16 PM
Tom Waits-Alice (I like it so much it's going to be the bride and grooms dance song at Nashiitasii and I's wedding)


It's dreamy weather we're on
You waved your crooked wand
Along an icy pond with a frozen moon
[ LYRICS DELETED ]

And so a secret kiss
Brings madness with the bliss
And I will think of this
When I'm dead in my grave
[ LYRICS DELETED ]

C K Dexter Haven
04-07-2008, 03:18 PM
Moderator interjects:
Whoa, gang. We've had some discussion before about how much of a song one can quote on these message boards. Here's the discussion: http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=455110

Here's our policy in general on quoting from copyright material (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?p=7696968#post7696968) We don't directly address songs, but we will remedy that in the next day or two. The answer for songs is: a line or two is plenty ... and then provide a link to a website that has the rights.

I am going through and editing down all the quotes. It's not always clear whether you're quoting a couple of lines from six different songs, or a huge long amount from one song. If you feel that I've edited unfairly, then please send me an email and I'll be glad to reconsider.

Ol'Gaffer
04-07-2008, 03:31 PM
<snip>

Nick Cave from Papa Won't Leave You Henry

<snip>



That is one of my favorite songs.

I love the line after he kills the guy -

And its into the shame,
And its into the guilt,
And its into the fucking fray,
And the walls ran red around me,
A warm arterial spray.

Wee Bairn
04-07-2008, 03:31 PM
How I wish, how I wish you were here
We're just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl, year after year,
Running over the same old ground
What have you found? The same old fears
Wish you were here

freekalette
04-07-2008, 04:18 PM
Remember when you were young
You shone like the sun
Shine on you crazy diamond

Kalhoun
04-07-2008, 04:41 PM
Vincent by Don McClean


Full lyrics here.
http://www.lyrics007.com/Don%20McLean%20Lyrics/Vincent%20Lyrics.html
The whole song is beautiful.
Word. It makes me cry every time I hear it. Its a shame Don McClean faded away so quickly.

Mosier
04-07-2008, 05:01 PM
Tool lyrics are overlooked a lot because of the band's strange sound, and how hard it is to tell just what Maynard is saying sometimes. Here's some good ones.

"I embrace my desire to/
feel connected, enough to/
weep like a widow"

"Cold silence has
a tendency to
atrophy any
sense of compassion"

"The universe is hostile,
so impersonal;
devour to survive
so it is, so it's always been."

"Dim my eyes
if they should
compromise
our fulcrum
Want and need divide me
then I might as well be gone."

Note to mods: Each set of quotes is from a single song, separate from the others. No need to snip!

This'll Do
04-07-2008, 05:23 PM
"Anthem (http://www.lyricscafe.com/e/eder_linda/080.htm)," from the musical Chess, by Andersson and Ulvaeus, lyrics by Tim Rice. A Soviet defector sings about his homeland:

How can I leave her?
Where would I start?
Let man's petty nations tear themselves apart
My land's only borders lie around my heart.

coffinjumper
04-07-2008, 06:54 PM
We've already got two of my faves from musicals, so two more. "For Good" from Wicked

Like a comet pulled from orbit as it passes a sun
Like a stream that meets a boulder half way through the wood
Who can say if I've been changed for the better
But because I knew you I have been changed for good.

and "No More" from Into The Woods

Hard to see the light now.
Just don't let it go
Things will come out right now.
We can make it so.
Someone is on your side
No one is alone

Peter Morris
04-07-2008, 08:02 PM
Sweep through the heather like deer in the glen
Carry me back to the days i knew then.
Nights when we sang like a heavenly choir
Of the life and the time of the Mull of Kintyre.

Spoke
04-07-2008, 08:21 PM
I woke last night to the sound of thunder
How far off I sat and wondered
Started hummin' a song from 1962
Ain't it funny how the night moves
when you just don't seem to have as much to lose
Strange how the night moves
with autumn closing in

beckwall
04-07-2008, 09:11 PM
Submitted for your perusal—Waterloo Sunset (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fvDoDaCYrEY). However, it’s hard to say whether the lyrics in and of themselves are exceptionally beautiful, or whether the song as a whole is exceptionally beautiful and that biases my view of the lyrics.


I love this song. And yes, when it's a spectacularly beautiful sounding song, it's hard to say if the lyrics are what you respond to.

Bambi Hassenpfeffer
04-07-2008, 11:54 PM
Lo siento mi vida
Yo sé que ya terminó
Corazones quebrados
Esperanza que se fue [Note: no accent on this e -- BH]
Cuando brille la luna
Yo sé que no dormirás
Ni tú
Ni yo
Ya ha llegado el triste pesar
Debemos siempre separarnos
I'm not a lyricist, but I can give you what the lines mean. Not nice and poetic like the original, but at least you'll have the meaning.

I'm sorry, my love
I know that it's already over
Broken hearts. . .
Hope that has left. . .
Whenever the moon shines,
I know that you won't be sleeping
Not you
Not me
The sad regret has already come
We have to be apart forever

Quint
04-08-2008, 01:06 AM
Well, hope this snippet doesn't cross the line, but if it does, well... less just wouldn't cover enough in this case.
From REM's Green You Are The Everything (http://www.remrock.net/remrock/lyrics/albums/green.html?song=youare):


Here’s a scene
You’re in the back seat laying down
The windows wrap around
To sound of the travel and the engine
All you hear is time stand still in travel
and feel such peace and absolute
The stillness still that doesn’t end
But slowly drifts into sleep
The stars are the greatest thing you’ve ever seen
And they’re there for you
For you alone
You are the everything


Maybe this one is for pre-seatbelt kids, but it so perfectly captures the feeling of falling asleep in my parent's car on the way home, past my bedtime, with the moon mysteriouly following us and the engine throbbing away. Really, for me a perfect song.

Essay
04-08-2008, 01:39 AM
I would quote the entire work of John Darnielle, but that might violate fair use. So this is merely an excerpt from my favorite Mountain Goats hate song, "Baboon."

Daisies on the hillside like cancer on the skin
Pretty little yellow eyes that flutter in the wind
I’d be grateful my children aren’t here to see this
If you’d ever seen fit to give me children

So much bitterness in so few words! And from "Hast Thou Considered the Tetrapod," the most beautiful song I know that combines Biblical allusion and imagery from evolutionary biology to tell a story about surviving an abusive childhood.

Held under these smothering waves
By your strong and thick-veined hand
But one of these days
I’m gonna wriggle up on dry land

And to those who mentioned Regina Spektor's brilliant "On the Radio": yes! Doesn't she just make you love the world?

Windwalker
04-08-2008, 02:05 AM
And to those who mentioned Regina Spektor's brilliant "On the Radio": yes! Doesn't she just make you love the world?

I don't know why, but hearing that others also love this song makes me very happy. :cool:

Fourth Wall
04-08-2008, 02:48 AM
An excerpt from Todd Rundgren's "Love of the Common Man"

I would be so pleased to spend some time
To hear a little talk about what's been on your mind
'Cause it don't take long
To turn my head around
If it comes easy
'Cause everyone needs the love of the common man
'Cause everyone

http://trconnection.com/lyrics/Song.11.8

Rundgren writes a lot of beautiful lyrics that are way beyond typical boy/girl/love junk - it made it hard to pick just one to submit here, but if you want to check out more go here:

http://trconnection.com/trconn.php/article=lyrics.art

Spoke
04-08-2008, 07:48 AM
Well, hope this snippet doesn't cross the line, but if it does, well... less just wouldn't cover enough in this case.
From REM's Green You Are The Everything (http://www.remrock.net/remrock/lyrics/albums/green.html?song=youare)

I started to post that one myself. You're right; it captures perfectly the childhood experience of falling asleep in the back seat of your parents' car with the stars drifting overhead.

Wee Bairn
04-08-2008, 08:54 AM
If foreign songs are allowed, I'm sure Severine's 1971 Eurovision winner "Un Banc, Un Arbre, Une Rue" is a beautiful lyric about childhood, but I can't find a decent translation:

...Un jour ou l'autre il faut partir
Pour se construire un avenir, un avenir
Et c'est l'inoubliable instant
Où l'on rend ses habits d'enfant, d'enfant

Chacun s'envole rempli d'espoir
Sur le chemin qu'il s'est choisi, qu'il s'est choisi
Vers la richesse ou vers la gloire
Pourtant quelque soit notre but, notre but...

Max Torque
04-08-2008, 09:21 AM
Odd perhaps, but I've always liked the way the passing of time was expressed in "Windmills Of Your Mind":

Keys that jingle in your pocket
Words that jangle your head
Why did summer go so quickly
Was it something that I said
Lovers walking allong the shore,
Leave their footprints in the sand
Was the sound of distant drumming
Just the fingers of your hand

Pictures hanging in a hallway
And a fragment of a song
Half remembered names and faces
But to whom do they belong
When you knew that it was over
Were you suddenly aware
That the autumn leaves were turning
To the color of her hair

Skald the Rhymer
04-08-2008, 09:38 AM
Moderator interjects:
Whoa, gang. We've had some discussion before about how much of a song one can quote on these message boards. Here's the discussion: http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=455110.


Don't be too harsh on them, Dex. They were clearly under the influence of that sick bastard Fabulous Creature (who in turn was clearly in despair over Memphis State getting hammered in the basketball-tourney-thingie last night.)

tirial
04-08-2008, 01:42 PM
Another vote for Leonard Cohen - I liked "Hallelujah", but prefered "Take this Waltz" (although strictly speaking credit for the lyrics should go to Federico Garcia Lorca's poem "Little Viennese Waltz" translated by Cohen) - not sure if you'd count it as a love song though.

"Now in Vienna there's ten pretty women
There's a shoulder where Death comes to cry
There's a lobby with nine hundred windows
There's a tree where the doves go to die
There's a piece that was torn from the morning
And it hangs in the Gallery of Frost."

Alternatively, "Bright Eyes" - Mike Batt and Art Garfunkel

"There's a fog along the horizon,
A strange glow in the sky,
And nobody seems to know where you go,
And what does it mean?
Oh, is it a dream?"

There are versions of both on Youtube.

Contrapuntal
04-08-2008, 07:40 PM
Don't be too harsh on them, Dex. They were clearly under the influence of that sick bastard Fabulous Creature (who in turn was clearly in despair over Memphis State getting hammered in the basketball-tourney-thingie last night.)Memphis State? That is so last century.

Darth Nader
04-08-2008, 11:07 PM
Soon I discovered that this rock thing was true.
Jerry Lee Lewis was the devil.
Jesus was an architect previous to his career as a prophet.
All of a sudden, I found myself in love with the world--
So there was only one thing that I could do,
Was ding a ding dang my dang a long ling long!


Ministry, "Jesus Built My Hotrod"

Sleel
04-08-2008, 11:59 PM
Round Here (http://www.lyricsfreak.com/c/counting+crows/round+here_20033499.html); Counting Crows. The whole song is filled with hauntingly painful beautiful images like:

"Step out the front door like a ghost into the fog
Where no one notices the contrast of white on white
And in between the moon and you the angels get a better view
Of the crumbling difference between wrong and right
I walk in the air between the rain through myself and back again
Where? I dont know"


A mostly-forgettable band called The Men put out an album that had only one decent song on it, in my estimation; Church of Logic, Sin & Love (http://www.lyricstime.com/the-men-the-church-of-logic-sin-and-love-lyrics.html). I tracked down the album when I was in college just because the lyrics sounded like something from Kerouac's On the Road; simple but resonant.

"Two hours later they decided to stop at a diner,
'Cause they just loved the smell of eggs and coffee.
I just had to smoke a cigarette and wear a hat...
By the time that they set off again,
The sun was starting to set, it made the sky look red like a nuclear way...
One of them said, 'What do you want more than anything in this whole wide world?
Do you want money, do you want sex, or do you want all that success?'"


In the same vein of simple but effective, Tracy Chapman's Fast Car (http://www.lyricsfreak.com/t/tracy+chapman/fast+car_20140283.html) is filled with quiet despair.

"You got a fast car
But is it fast enough so we can fly away
We gotta make a decision
We leave tonight or live and die this way

"I remember we were driving driving in your car
The speed so fast I felt like I was drunk
City lights lay out before us
And your arm felt nice wrapped round my shoulder
And I had a feeling that I belonged
And I had a feeling I could be someone, be someone, be someone"

mascarpone
04-15-2008, 08:54 AM
The Killers' "Read my Mind" has a line that just gets me every time.
So cool:

It’s funny how you just break down
Waitin' on some sign
I pull up to the front of your driveway
With magic soakin' my spine

muzzynyc
04-15-2008, 09:24 AM
Guy Garvey of Elbow writes some amazing lyrics. This from their first album "Asleep at the Back" from the song "Scattered Black & Whites":

Been climbing trees I've skinned my knees
My hands are black the sun is going down
She scruffs my hair in the kitchen steam
She's listening to the dream I weaved today

Crosswords through the bathroom door
While someone sings the theme-tune to the news
And my sister buzzes through the room leaving perfume in the air
And that's what triggered this

I come back here from time to time
I shelter here somedays

Skald the Rhymer
04-15-2008, 10:03 AM
Memphis State? That is so last century.


I'm a 1920s-style-Death Ray kinda guy.

gigi
04-15-2008, 11:10 AM
I'd have to go with hymns, if love songs are out.

Amazing Grace:
When we've been there ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun
We've no less days to sing God's praise
Than when we first begun

How Great Thou Art:
When Christ shall come with shout of acclamation
And take me home
What joy shall fill my heart
Then I shall bow in humble adoration and there proclaim
My God how great thou art!

Alleluia Sing to Jesus:
Alleluia! bread of angels, Thou on earth our food, our stay;
Alleluia! here the sinful flee to Thee from day to day:
Intercessor, Friend of sinners, Earth’s Redeemer, plead for me,
Where the songs of all the sinless sweep across the crystal sea.

Lissla Lissar
04-15-2008, 11:12 AM
Take some solace in these words, take notice of this place.
Hollow whispers that they are, like the wind upon my face.
Sing softly in my ear and look at me with wonder.
I will try to ease your fear as the darkness pulls you under.

I will walk this ground forever
and stand guard against your name.
I will give all I can offer,
I will shoulder all the blame.
I am sentry to you now,
all your hopes and all your dreams.
I will hold you to the light,
that's what forever means.
-Forever, Bruderschaft

mnemosyne
04-15-2008, 01:37 PM
I recently flipped through my old high school and cegep agendas, which were practically diaries at that point, filled with lyrics and pictures and drawings that mattered to me at the time.

One song quote that's actually written down in more than one of them is from the song Thief, by Our Lady Peace:

"Someone help me understand who ordered
This disgusting arrangement with time and the end"

Another one from a similar era, I Mother Earth's Used to be Alright

"And then you long
For the days of trippin' down
The long road just reading the
Signs that show you the way to
A higher place you meditate to
Feel the quiet of the earth
That was back
When we used to be alright"


The Refreshments, Down Together

"We'll find a speck of dust
And scribble down our life story"



None of them are earth-shattering, but I love them.

garygnu
04-15-2008, 02:45 PM
Paul Simon:

"Graceland"
She comes back to tell me she's gone,
As if I didn't know that
As if I didn't know my own bed,
As if I'd never noticed,
The way she brushed her hair from her forehead,
And she said losing love
Is like a window in your heart,
Everybody sees you're blown apart,
Everybody sees the wind blow...

and

The whole of "A Poem on the Underground Wall (http://www.sing365.com/music/lyric.nsf/A-Poem-on-the-Underground-lyrics-Paul-Simon/EDF77F1E61EEF86848256FCE0029E5A8)."

Blue Mood
04-16-2008, 12:24 PM
Joni Mitchell: Judgment of the Moon and Stars (Ludwig's Tune) - a tribute to Beethoven

Condemned to wires and hammers,
strike every chord that you feel
that broken trees
and elephant ivories
conceal.

rayh
04-16-2008, 01:36 PM
Her name is Rio and she dances on the sand.
Just like that river twisting through a dusty land.
And when she shines she really shows you all she can
Oh Rio Rio dance across the Rio Grande.

Well, someone had to.


I'll never know, I'll never know
Why I was taken from the line and all the others
To board a special train and journey deep into the heart of holy Russia
And it's cold and damp in the transit camp, and the air is still and sullen
And the pale sun of October whispers the snow will soon be coming
And I wonder when I'll be home again and the morning answers
"Never"
And the evening sighs and the steely Russian skies go on forever

There are places i'll remember
All my life though some have changed
Some forever not for better
Some have gone and some remain
All these places have their moments
With lovers and friends i still can recall
Some are dead and some are living
In my life i've loved them all

Scupper
04-16-2008, 02:36 PM
Since I have two little girls, Tori Amos' Song "Winter" utterly destroys me:

I hear a voice: "You must learn to stand up
For yourself cause I can’t always be around."
He says, "When you gonna make up your mind?
When you gonna love you as much as I do?
When you gonna make up your mind?
Cause things are gonna change so fast..."
"Keep Me In Your Heart," From Warren Zevon's final album (before he died of lung cancer):

Shadows are fallin' and I'm runnin' out of breath.
Keep me in your heart for a while.
If I leave you it doesn't mean I love you any less.
Keep me in your heart for a while.

"30Kft" by Assemblage 23, written as an answering machine message left by a man about to die in a plane crash, ends thus:

I'm sorry most of all I won't be there when you grow old
To be there by your side and keep you warm when you are cold
Excuse me but I think my time is drawing to a close
So I've one last thing to tell you now before I have to go

I-
*static*

"Marian" by The Sisters of Mercy is likewise dark and gorgeous:

In a sea of faces, in a sea of doubt
In this cruel place your voice above the maelstrom
In the wake of this ship of fools I'm falling further down
If you can see me, Marian, reach out and take me home

"The Band Played Waltzing Matilda" by Eric Bogle (fantastic cover by the Pogues) is about surviving the disastrous Battle of Suvla (Gallipoli) in WWI:

And as our ship pulled into Circular Quay, I looked at the place where me legs used to be,
And thank Christ there was nobody waiting for me,
to grieve, to mourn, and to pity.

garygnu
04-16-2008, 04:25 PM
Well, someone had to.
The restriction against love songs prevents the obvious addition...

Typo Knig
04-16-2008, 10:56 PM
Terry's Song (http://brucespringsteen.net/songs/TerrysSong.html) by Springsteen - an elegy for his long time friend and producer.

Mama Look Sharp (http://www.allmusicals.com/lyrics/1776/mommalooksharp.htm) from the musical 1776 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1776_%28musical%29) - a great unknown anti war song from the Viet Nam era.

True Colors (http://www.oldielyrics.com/lyrics/cyndi_lauper/true_colors.html) reminds me that my kids have a hard time moving through the world, and how beautiful they are despite it all.

ouryL
04-17-2008, 07:49 PM
The movie, Mr. Holland's Opus ends with a song with words written by Julian Lennon which seems to be about his father: Cole's Song (http://www.heyjules.com/lyrics/colessong.html).

If you wanna hear it go to youtube here (http://youtube.com/watch?v=ls94R4AoK5E&feature=related)

I feel that the love around me
has come from another world
I have lost love
I have found love
From the moment you were born
I could see a new beginning...

...I have lost you
and now I've found you
Let me feel your heart
let me hear your song

Hokkaido Brit
04-17-2008, 10:11 PM
I love Teru no Uta - it's in Japanese from the Tales of Earthsea movie (Gedo Senki), and is done acappella. I have linked to a version which shows the Japanese lyrics translated - obviously its not great poetry in English but it's really lovely in Japanese.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TDmSTMftweU
This next link goes to Aoi Teshima singing the song in concert and it's lovely.....
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RUSjLyZpBPo
The full lyrics in Japanese are in the blurb bit.

control-z
04-18-2008, 10:43 AM
White Stripes, "Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground"

and every breath that is in your lungs
is a tiny little gift to me

Always liked that line, it speaks of the fraility of life and his adoration at the same time.


Ok, I'm gonna go break stuff or somethin'...

fervour
04-18-2008, 12:09 PM
Plenty by the Indigo Girls.

From Least Complicated:
What makes me think I could start clean slated
The hardest to learn was the least complicated

From Virginia Woolf:
they published your diary
and that's how i got to know you
key to the room of your own and a mind without end
here's a young girl on a kind of a telephone line through time
the voice at the other end comes like a long-lost friend

I'd like to quote Andy too but the entire song is beautiful. I wouldn't know what to choose.

Their activist songs are pretty good to
The center holds, so they say.
It never held too well for me.
I won't stop short for common ground
that vilifies the trodden down.
The center held the bonded slave
for the sake of industry.
The center held the bloody hand
of the executioner man.

It took a long time to
become the thing I am to you.
And you won't tear it apart
without a fight, without a heart.
It took a long time to
become you, become you.
-From Become You

The Scrivener
06-10-2008, 02:24 PM
Our recent Memorial Day had me retrieving XTC's Mummer for "In Loving Memory of a Name" (http://chalkhills.org/reelbyreal/s_Memory.html). Though it's inspired by Britain's war dead, the sentiment is universal. Here's a snippet:

England can never repay you
You gave your life to be buried alongside
The place you loved
The sermons attended when you were young
Still echo 'round these churchyard walls


Guy Garvey of Elbow writes some amazing lyrics. This from their first album "Asleep at the Back" from the song "Scattered Black & Whites":
[SNIP]

Seconded. FYI, they've got a new one out, The Seldom Seen Kid, and it's brilliant -- a filler-free hour of stately, gorgeous orchestral pop. I can't compare it to their earlier efforts (since I don't have any of their earlier work), but this one turned me into a fan. And they have their own distinctive sound, although "An Audience With the Pope" sounds like it could be the best song Pulp never recorded.

If I had to find fault, it'd be with the predominance of slow- and mid-tempos, with a decided emphasis on the former. (It doesn't really bother me now, but I'm not really young anymore.) If only to broaden their radio appeal, they should try to produce a few more numbers that really rock out on each album, without sacrificing lyricism, cleverness or beauty.

Astroboy14
06-10-2008, 06:50 PM
Pink Floyd (well, Roger Waters, anyways...) The Gunner's Dream (http://www.pink-floyd-lyrics.com/html/the-gunner-dream-final-lyrics.html):

A place to stay
"Oi! A real one ..."
Enough to eat
Somewhere old heroes shuffle safely down the street
Where you can speak out loud
About your doubts and fears
And what's more no-one ever disappears
You never hear their standard issue kicking in your door.
You can relax on both sides of the tracks
And maniacs don't blow holes in bandsmen by remote control
And everyone has recourse to the law
And no-one kills the children anymore.
And no one kills the children anymore.

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