best lyrics??

which lyrics to songs do you think are the best?

Chief’s Domain -

Always liked “Rhapsody in Blue,” myself. :wink:

Lots of possibilities:

Cole Porter – Let’s Do It
Noel Coward – Mad Dogs and Englishmen
Ira Gershwin – Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off
Al Dubin – Honeymoon Hotel or Shuffle Off to Buffalo
Stephen Sondheim – America (he’s a mediocre songwriter, but when he works with good composer, he can be brilliant).
Billy Joel – Still Rock and Roll To Me
John Lennon – I am the Walrus
Frank Loesser – It’s Been a Long Day

Few rock musicians have any real talent for lyrics, unfortunately.

Emily Saliers of Indigo Girls is an excellent lyricist. Nearly any of her songs would make a great poem. An example from “The Language or the Kiss” from Swamp Ophelia:

I don’t know if it was real or in a dream.
Lately waking up I’m not sure where I’ve been.
There was a table set for six, and five where there.
I stood outside alone and looked in on that empty chair.

And there was steam on the windows from the kitchen.
Laughter like a language I once spoke with ease.
But I’m made mute by the virtue of decision.
I choose most of your life goes on without me.

Oh, the fear I’ve known
That I might reap the praise of strangers
And end up on my own.
All I’ve sown was a song
But maybe I was wrong.

On behalf of my friend Marty- Aerosmith
“Love in an Elevator
Livin it up when I’m going down”


John Prine: all-around best lyricist of any musical style, ever.
P.S. For those of you unfamiliar, his style is folk/rock/country/gospel/blues but kind of hard to categorize.

If any of you have Don McClean’s American Pie album, listen beyond the cover song. He is an INCREDIBLE lyricist.

“… the fragrance of your flowers blooms beneath my head, a sympathy bouquet left for a love that’s dead…” (talking about the smell of his lover’s perfume on the pillow.

“When the wars of our nation did beckon, a man barely twenty did answer the call. Proud of the trust he placed in our nation…he’s gone.” The rest of this song is incredibly poetic with some beautiful alliteration ("…morgue of marines…").

Give it a shot! He’s amazing!

Some nice candidates, but really, folks:

In tropical clime there comes a time of day.
When all the citizens retire to tear their clothes off and perspire.
It’s one of those rules that the simplest fool obeys.
Because the sun is oh so sultry and one must avoid its ultraviolet rays.

Mad dogs and Englishment go out in the midday sun.
The Japanese don’t care to.
Chinese wouldn’t dare to.
Hindus and Argentines sleep soundly from twelve to one.
But Englishmen detest a

(That last couplet alone trumps anything else here.)


In the Philippines they have lovely screens that protect them from the glare.
In the Malay States that have hats like plates that the Britishers won’t wear.
In Bangkok at twelve o’clock they foam at the mouth and run.
But mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun.

One recent song, “This Kiss” by Faith Evans (?) has a great pair of lines…

Cinderella said so Snow White, “How does love get so off-course…
All I wanted was a white kinght with a good heart, soft touch, fast horse…”

Chaim Mattis Keller

“Sherlock Holmes once said that once you have eliminated the
impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be
the answer. I, however, do not like to eliminate the impossible.
The impossible often has a kind of integrity to it that the merely improbable lacks.”
– Douglas Adams’s Dirk Gently, Holistic Detective

Ouch! Make that knight, please…

Chaim Mattis Keller

Ed’s Reedeeming Qualities:

I never look for romance
I just let it sneak upon me
If all I wanted was in your pants,
I would have stole your laundry.
I could put it in a letter
But I’d rather sing this song
If you think you know me better
Than I know myself you’re wrong
I’m the first to know
Whatever I am thinkin’
I’m Platonic as Plato
And honest as Lincoln.
I make money waiting tables
And I don’t know what you do.
I’ve been a waiter all my life,
I can wait a while for you…

I’ve got to nominate Robert Smith of the Cure. Whoever’s friend said Aerosmith should be drawn and quartered.

Paul Simon and Bob Dylan definatly. . .

A lot of Rush songs are quite good. Make that very good ! Even if the music doesn’t apeal to you, try and read the text somtime. For a brilliant and striking example see my signature :slight_smile:


“You know how complex women are”

  • Neil Peart, Rush (1993)

*Coldfire: A lot of Rush songs are quite good. Make that very good ! Even if the music doesn’t apeal to you, try and read the text somtime. *

Hear hear! Their “Hemispheres” LP (album, CD, whatever) is one of my favorites. “Cygnus X-1 Book II” is a great epic story; “Trees” is a metaphor of race relations.

Uh, “The Trees” is a metaphor for socialism vs capitalism.

“And the Trees were all kept equal - by hatchet, axe and saw”

Any XTC song.
for example check the following out:

That’s really super, supergirl

Wrapped in grey

Books are burning

Another Satellite

I like to hide behind my glasses when I feel uptight. I like to hide behind my glasses when I’m trippin in the strobe light.

Melissa Etheridge

The reason gentlemen prefer blondes is that there are not enough redheads to go around.

Paul Simon is definitely a great lyricist. “And restless dreams I’ve walked alone, narrow streets of cobblestone.” It’s poetry set to music. His work is simply timeless. It’ll be great in twenty years. He is also responsible for the gem (from The Boxer), “…still a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest.” Even the title “The Sound of Silence” is an awesome use of language. On a side note, I think Garfunkel’s voice was the perfect complement to Simon’s lyrics, but I suppose that’s between the two of them.

I also like a lot of Don Henley’s lyrics, like “They’re beating plowshares into swords for that tired old man that they elected king.” A reverse biblical reference that is a shot at (I believe) Ronald Reagan, who was known for his conservative, biblical if you will, stance. Yet Reagan wanted to divert more and more money into defense. Anyway, while I don’t necessarily agree with Henley’s politics, he certainly has an eloquent way of putting his message across.

<font size=5>Say Goodbye</font>

<font style=“times new roman”>So here we are tonight
You and me together
The storm outside, the fire is bright
And in your eyes I see
What’s on my mind
You’ve got me wild
Turned around inside
And then desire, see, is creeping
Up heavy inside here
And know you feel the same way
I do now
Now let’s make this an evening
Lovers for a night, lovers for tonight
Stay here with me, love, tonight
Just for an evening
When we make
Our passion pictures
You and me twist up
Secret creatures
And we’ll stay here
Tomorrow go back to being friends

Go back to being friends
But tonight let’s be lovers,
We kiss and sweat
We’ll turn this better thing
To the best
Of all we can offer, Just a rogue kiss
Tangled tongues and lips,
See me this way
I’m turning and turning for you
Girl just tonight

Float away here with me
An evening just wait and see
But tomorrow go back to your man
I’m back to my world
And we’re back to being friends
Wait and see me,
Tonight let’s do this thing
All we are is wasting hours until the sun comes up it’s all ours
On our way here
Tomorrow go back to being friends

Go back to being friends
Tonight let’s be lovers, say you will
And hear me call, soft-spoken whispering love
A thing or two I have to say here
Tonight let’s go all the way then
Love I’ll see you,
Just for this evening
Let’s strip down, trip out at this
One evening starts with a kiss
Run away

And tomorrow
back to being friends
Just for tonight, one night…love you
And tomorrow say goodbye</font>

If Dave Matthews doesn’t get you turned on and make that girl melt in your arms there is something seriouly amiss.