Your favorite descriptions of a character in a song

Ok, no problem; just wanted to be clear.

My example takes more than that to illustrate the characters, so I’ll just post the link:

Song for a Deck Hand’s Daughter by James McMurtry (scroll down to #5).

Actually, that whole album (Too Long in the Wasteland) is loaded with great character descriptions.

There’s something really evocative about the language and descriptions in the Smashing Pumpkin’s Annie Dog - a certain alchemy that I like:
“She is Venus. She is Mars.
She’s electric, and the struggle of.
Upon her face we leave no trace,
but in her stomach, mercury aged.”
“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 coca-cola.”
She said “Fine.””
~ Pulp, Common People

I’ve always considered this to be Zappa’s environmentalist credo.

Well. duh…Annie Christmas

They Might Be Giants, “Damn Good Times”:

Always makes me think of the girl I was with when I heard this song live.

A character in the song describing himself:

Mr. Bad Example* - Warren Zevon

My first thought was “Suzanne” by Leonard Cohen, but that’s already been mentioned.

“Tangled Up in Blue” has always been one of my favourite Dylan poems/songs because of the intense description of characters, particularly the woman and also her husband “he started dealing in slaves (drugs?) and something inside of him died”… so vivid.

And Taxi especially his description of himself:

Oh, I’ve got something inside me,
To drive a princess blind.
There’s a wild man, wizard,
He’s hiding in me, illuminating my mind.

Tell me you don’t get an idea who that man is, from those four lines alone, never mind the rest of the song.

Why yes, I do love singer/songwriters, how can you tell?

I thought of that song.

But I came here to post this:

And to a lesser extent:

I could probably come up with a lot more great TMBG descriptions. “…His face, which was a paper-white mask of evil…” comes to mind.

Prince, “Little Red Corvette” pretty much all of it but particularly.

Guess I should’ve known
By the way you parked your car sideways
That it wouldn’t last

From Doctor Hook’s “Queen of the Silver Dollar”:

She’s the queen of the Silver Dollar, she rules a smoky kingdom
her scepter is a wineglass, a barstool is her throne.
the jesters flock around her, they fight to win her favors,
to see which one will take the queen of the Silver Dollar home.

From Harry Chapin’s “Shooting Star”:

He was the sun, burning bright and brittle.
She was the moon, shining back his light a little.
He was a shooting star, she was softer and more slowly.
He could not make things possible, but she could make them holy.

I was thinking about posting that one. And I’d like to point out that it was written by Shel Silverstein (as were most of Dr. Hook’s early songs).

George Thorogood’s Luanne:

My oh my, she’s classy;
She’s put together like an Austin Healey chassis
with a tan

He was short and fat and rode out of the West
With a Mogen David on his silver vest
He was mean and nasty right clear through
Which is kind of weird 'cause he was yellow, too
They called him Irving

-The Ballad of Irving (The 142nd Fastest Gun In The West)

The first two lines of “She Belongs to Me” by Bob Dylan are so perfect that I feel like I know this girl already:

She’s got everything she needs
She’s an artist, she don’t look back.

My old man
He’s gonna end in the garbage can
If there’s a bottle of gin there
He’ll stay in there
My old man

-Johnny Mercer, 1933

Loggins & Messina - Danny’s Song
“Love the girl who holds the world in a paper cup.
Drink it up.
Love her and she’ll bring you luck.”

I gotta admit, I’m rather fond of the description of Billy Joel’s “Angry Young Man,” lately…
And there’s always a place for the angry young man,
With his fist in the air and his head in the sand.
And he’s never been able to learn from mistakes,
He can’t understand why his heart always breaks.
His honor is pure and his courage as well,
He’s fair and he’s true and he’s boring as hell!
And he’ll go to the grave as an angry old man…*

(That’s one verse/stanza, for the record…s’not my fault he sings so fast!)

Elinor Rigby.

More recently, Son of a Ladies’ Man by Father John Misty.

From The Lovin Spoonful:

“Sometimes there’s one with deep blue eyes, cute as a bunny With hair down to here and plenty of money…”

From ZZ Top - I’m Bad. I’m Nationwide

Well I was movin’ down the road in my V-8 Ford,
I had a shine on my boots, I had my sideburns lowered.
With my New York brim and my gold tooth displayed,
Nobody give me trouble cause they know I got it made.