Best Rock Poetry?

My nominee for all-time best rock poets would have to go to Simon and Garfunkel, who were probably more poets than rockers, but still… I’m wondering if I should even quote, or if everyone is just pretty darn familiar with them. Well, I just have to give you part of my favorite one.

From “For Emily, Wherever I May Find Her”

My other favorite would have to be The Gloria Record. A great, but relatively unknown, band. I completely adore them, especially their lyrics.

From “Grace The Snow Is Here”

From “Miserere”

Those parentheses are official, and while I’m not sure what dictates that they be there, I like them. The lines aren’t sung any different in the songs. Who are your favorite rock poets?


First person who says “Jim Morrison” gets two in the head. :stuck_out_tongue: :wink:

The Simon and Garfunkel you posted there is really nice, I’ll have to check that out. I’d say Laura Nyro (what I know of her stuff) and Tori Amos, even though they’re usually not too ‘rock,’ and Michael Stipe (when you can understand him) and Thom Yorke (even when you can’t). :wink:

It’s harder to pick specific songs… for Yorke, I’d have to say Pyramid Song, Fake Plastic Trees, and Life in a Glasshouse
Although it’s much more poetic with the music.

I suppose most people wouldn’t consider blues songs poetry, but Gregg Allman does have it in him. Dreams is #1 in my book.

Lou Reed :cool:

Yeah, Lou Reed is the man!!!

Ray Davies. Pete Townsend said in a documentary once that Ray should be the poet laureate of England. He can capture the fustrations of working-class life (“Get Back In Line”, “Low Budget”), the arrogance of power (“Yes Sir, Nor Sir”, “Powerman”), the ups and downs of fame and the rockstar life (“Denmark Street”, “The Moneygoround”, “Sitting In My Hotel”), nostalgia for a dying age (“Victoria”, “Waterloo Sunset”), wistful remembrance of past loves (“Afternoon Tea”), etc. He can be funny and satirical, or serious and direct. But there is always a grain of truth in what he writes, the listener can identify or relate to the feelings expressed whether he has lived through the situation or not.

John Prine could approach poetry.

From Mexican Home:

It got so hot
last night I swear
you couldn’t hardly breathe
heat lightning burnt the sky
like alcohol
I sat on the porch
without my shoes
and I watched the cars roll by
as the headlights raced
to the corner of the kitchen wall.
Mama dear
your boy is here
far across the sea
waiting for
that sacred core
that burns inside of me
and I feel a storm
all wet and warm
not ten miles away
my Mexican home.


The one best line,poetry or not in all rock, is"Roll over Beethoven, tell Tchaikovsky the news," by Chuck Berry. BTW, only Simon wrote, Artie just “arranged.” BTW,I think one of the main reasons they broke up was Paulie’s ego- the only voice on their biggest hit,“Bridge Over Troubled water,” was Art’s. Simon was silent.

I’ll nominate Death Cab For Cutie.

From “Styrofoam Plates”:

Also, Wilco would probably be a good pick, but I don’t feel like looking up quotable lyrics at the moment.

I’m thinking maybe:

[ul][li]Joni Mitchell[/li]
[li]Patti Smith[/li]
Liz Phair[/ul]

Joni Mitchell and Pete Townsend are probably my favorites.