Saturday, January 31, 2009

Top Ten Favorite Song Lyrics

This is my first attempt at a meme. I have tagged ten people by email to send me their top ten favorite song lyrics. Mine are listed below. I welcome anyone reading this blog to send me theirs as well.


And I need you more than want you
And I want you for all time
And the Wichita Lineman is still on the line.

“Wichita Lineman” by Jimmy Webb

I was Rambo in the disco
I was shootin’ to the beat
When they burned me in effigy
My vacation was complete.

“Mideast Vacation” by Neil Young

She left me for Jesus and that just ain’t fair.
She says that he’s perfect, how could I compare?
She says I should find him and I’ll know peace at last.
If I ever find Jesus, I’m kickin’ his ass.

“She left me for Jesus” by Carll Hayes

Conversation with you was like a drug.
It wasn’t your face so much as it was your words.
Cause there’s something about what happens when we talk.
Something about what happens when we talk.

“Something about what happens when we talk” by Lucinda Williams

I would rock my soul in the bosom of Abraham.
I would hold my life in his saving grace.
I would walk all the way from Boulder to Birmingham
If I thought I could see, I could see your face.

“Boulder to Birmingham” by Bill Danoff and Emmylou Harris

Everywhere people stare
Each and every day
I can see them laugh at me
And I hear them say
Hey, you’ve got to hide your love away
Hey, you’ve got to hide your love away

“You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away” by John Lennon and Paul McCartney

Well now I stand on my own two feet.
My face hits the dirt, that’s my heart in the street.
Jesus Christ. Can’t we do anything right?
What’s the matter with you?
What’s the matter with me?
Heart in the Street.

“Heart in the Street” by Tom Gray

The moon, the sun, and all the rest

The loving son, the faithful wife

The burnt out wreck of a poor man's life

The father, son, and holy ghost

They all turned away love when they needed it most

It's the last ride

Their little game is over

"The Last Ride" by Todd Rundgren

Waiting for a girl and her knees are much too fat
Waiting for a girl who wears scarves instead of hats
Her zipper's broken down the back
Waiting for a factory girl

"Factory Girl" by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards.

Sit on the back porch and wonder 'bout her
What is she doing right now?
Making somebody a happier man
Dying her hair back to brown

"Dirty Girl" by Mark Oliver Everett

I've already gotten some great responses. Open the comments to see them.


Jilly said...

Oh, the rich people want what the poor people's got
And the poor people want what the rich people's got
And the skinny people want what the fat people's got
And the fat people want what the skinny people's got


Meet on the ledge, we're going to meet on the ledge
When my time is up, I'm going to see all my friends
Meet on the ledge, we're going to meet on the ledge
If you really mean it, it all comes around again


and the road was like a ribbon and the moon was like a bone
he didn't seem to be like any guy she'd ever known
he kinda looked like farley granger with his hair slicked back
she says i'm a sucker for a fella in a cowboy hat


and a lot of appalachian murder ballads and wildwood flower I don't know what it means though

Oh I'll twine with my mingles and waving black hair
With the rose so red and the lilies so fair
And the mirltes so bright with the emerald dew
The pale and the leader and eyes look like blue


Mickey Dubrow said...

These are outstanding! I identified all the songs except for the third one. I loved the youtube clip of the Carter Family. Mother Maybelle gets down on that guitar solo.

jessica said...

Okay. Whew. Are we going for clever, or personal heartfelt impact? Also, I freaked out trying to pick a #10, because then the list seems so sealed, and you know I can never put an end to lyrics.

So, I'll give you nine, and the tenth remains open, kind of like the glass for Elijah.

In no particular order:

"Wall of Death," by Richard Thompson.

Let me ride on the Wall Of Death one more time

Oh let me ride on the Wall Of Death one more time 
You can waste your time on the other rides

This is the nearest to being alive 

Oh let me take my chances on the Wall Of Death

"This Land is Your Land," by Woody Guthrie. These are the lefty lyrics in the fourth or fifth stanza.

In the squares of the city - In the shadow of the steeple
Near the relief office - I see my people
And some are grumblin' and some are wonderin'
If this land's still made for you and me.

On the clever AND sentimental side, "Frank Mills," from the soundtrack of "Hair."

I love him but it embarrasses me
To walk down the street with him
He lives in Brooklyn somewhere
And wears this white crash helmet
He has gold chains on his leather jacket
And on the back is written the names
And Mom
And Hell's Angels

"For the Benefit of Mr. Kite," for cleverness and for sentiment. Although anecdotes indicate that Messrs. Lennon & McCartney got these words from a circus poster, I still hold it up as theirs.

For the benefit of Mr. Kite
There will be a show tonight on trampoline
The Hendersons will all be there
Late of Pablo Fanques Fair, what a scene!
Over men and horses hoops and garters
Lastly through a hogshead of real fire!
In this way Mr. Kite will challenge the world!

On the subject of the Beatles, here's a later lyric from "While My Guitar Gently Weeps," by George Harrison.

I look at the world and I notice it's turning
While my guitar gently weeps
With every mistake we must surely be learning
Still my guitar gently weeps

"Peace Like a River," by Paul Simon

Ah, peace like a river ran through the city
Long past the midnight curfew
We sat starry-eyed
Ooh, oh,we were satisfied
O-o-oh, when I remember
Misinformation followed us like a plague
Nobody knew from time to time
If the plans were changed
Oh, oh, oh, if the plans were changed.
You can beat us with wires
You can beat us with chains
You can run out your rules
But you know you can't outrun the history train
I seen a glorious day.

"The Ballad of Penny Evans" by Steve Goodman

And now every month I get a check from an Army bureaucrat

And it's every month I tear it up and I mail the damn thing back.

Do you think that makes it all right
do you think I'd fall for that ?

And you can keep your bloody money, it sure won't bring my Billy back.

"Talk About the Passion," R.E.M.

Empty prayer, empty mouths, combien reaction
Empty prayer, empty mouths, talk about the passion

Not everyone can carry the weight of the world

"Uncle John's Band" by the Grateful Dead.

Well the first days are the hardest days,
Don't you worry any more,
Cause when life looks like easy street
there is danger at your door.
Think this through with me, let me know your mind.
Oh, what I want to know, is are you kind?

jessica said...

Oh, excellent, Jill!

QGBFH said...

Wow! I don't know if I can even compete in this arena. I'm more of a melody/beat person. But here goes:

Dansons tu dis
Et moi, je suis
Mes pas sont gauches
Mes pieds tu fauches
Je crains les sots
Je cherche en vain les mots
Pour m'expliquer ta vie, alors
Tu ments, ma Soeur
Tu brises mon coeur
Je pense, tu sais
Erreurs, jamais
J'ecoute, tu parles
Je ne comprends pas bien
La belle dame sans regrets

-Sting "La belle dame sans regrets"
(good luck with the translation. I just like the rhythm of the piece, and the way _he_ says it. [swoon])

I'm beautiful, I'm beautiful, I'm beautiful, dammit!

-Bette Midler
(yeah, damn it!)

Can you imagine no love, pride, deep-fried chicken
Your best friend always sticking up for you even when I know you're wrong
Can you imagine no first dance, freeze dried romance five-hour phone conversation
The best soy latte that you ever had . . . and me

-Train "Drops of Jupiter"
(another one where the rhythm is critical for presentation)

Most of the other songs that I like actually have really lame lyrics. ;-)

Eddy said...

Glad to see you had Todd in there - one of my faves. These came to mind first for some reason. I have to stop now because they keep coming and I try to second-guess myself. In no particular order:

Rundgren Todd
Unloved Children

Must be a garden somewhere
Keeps on sending them down
Big eyes, big teeth, big hair
Ready to breed with the nearest clown

Blind Willie Johnson
Soul Of A Man

I read the Bible often
I try to read it right
As far as I can understand
It's nothing but a burning light
I'm going to ask the question
Please answer if you can
Is there anybody's children can tell me
What is the soul of a man?

Paul Kelly
Little Decisions

Hard times are never over
Trouble always comes
Still I'm looking forward
To tomorrow when it comes
I've done a little damage
To myself, I didn't care
There are things a man can't manage
And that's the devil's share

Little decisions are the kind I can make
Big resolutions are so easy to break
I don't want to hear about your big decisions

Work a little harder
Keep your mind on death
Get your things in order
Take a deeper breath
If drinking is the problem
Then drink a little less
If guilt becomes a burden
Find a friend, confess

Little decisions are the kind I can make
Big resolutions are so easy to break
I don't want to hear about your big decisions

Jimmy Thackery
Cool Guitars

Well my baby threw me out because I drink too much
She offered me her car so I could move my stuff
I gonna sell the bitch's car
I gonna sell the bitch's car
I gonna sell the bitch's car
And buy myself a cool guitar

John Lennon

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace...
You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one

Black Crowes
She Talks To Angels

She never mentions the word addiction
In certain company
Yes, she'll tell you she's an orphan
After you meet her family
She paints her eyes as black as night, now
Pulls those shades down tight
Yeah, she gives a smile when the pain comes,
The pain's gonna make everything alright
Says she talks to angels,
They call her out by her name
She talks to angels,
Says they call her out by her name

Warren Zevon
Keep Me In Your Heart

Shadows are falling and I'm running out of breath
Keep me in your heart for awhile
If I leave you it doesn't mean I love you any less
Keep me in your heart for awhile
When you get up in the morning and you see that crazy sun
Keep me in your heart for while
There's a train leaving nightly called when all is said and done
Keep me in your heart for while
Keep me in your heart for while
Keep me in your heart for while
Sometimes when you're doing simple things around the house
Maybe you'll think of me and smile
You know I'm tied to you like the buttons on your blouse
Keep me in your heart for while
Hold me in your thoughts, take me to your dreams
Touch me as I fall into view
When the winter comes keep the fires lit
And I will be right next to you


You used to hold the door for me, now you can't wait to leave,
You used to send me flowers if you fucked up in my dreams,
I used to make you laugh with all the silly shit I did,
But now you roll your eyes and walk away and shake your head.
When the spark has gone and the candles are out,
When the song is done and there's no more sound,
Whispers turn to yellin' and I'm thinkin,
How did we get so mean?
How do we just move on?
How do you feel in the morning when it comes and everything's undone?
Is it cause we wanna be free? Well that's not me,
Normally I'm so strong,
I just can't wake up on the floor like a thousand times before,
Knowing that forever won't be.

Paul Williams
The Hell Of It

Good for nothing, bad in bed
Nobody likes you and you're better off dead
Goodbye, we've all come to say goodbye (goodbye)
Goodbye (goodbye)
Born defeated, died in vain
Super-destructive, you were hooked on pain
Though your music lingers on
All of us are glad you're gone
If I could live my life half as worthlessly as you
I'm convinced that I'd wind up burning too.
Love yourself as you loved no other
Be no man's fool and be no man's brother
We're all born to die alone, you know, that's the hell of it.
Life's a game where they're bound to beat you
And time's a trick it can turn to cheat you
And we only waste it anyway,
And that's the hell of it.

Killer Queen

She keeps Moet et Chandon
In her pretty cabinet
'Let them eat cake' she says
Just like Marie Antoinette
A built-in remedy
For Kruschev and Kennedy
At anytime an invitation
You can't decline
Caviar and cigarettes
Well versed in etiquette
Extraordinarily nice
She's a Killer Queen
Gunpowder, gelatine
Dynamite with a laser beam
Guaranteed to blow your mind

Mickey Dubrow said...

I know what you mean about once you get started on these, its hard to stop. I was glad to see Warren Zevon in there.

Eddy said...

Zevon's lyric's are especially poignant given the circumstances. It's an emotionally draining (yet uplifting) album. Same as Johnny Cash's last one.

Anonymous said...

It aint no use to sit and wonder why, babe
It dont matter, anyhow
An it aint no use to sit and wonder why, babe
If you dont know by now
When your rooster crows at the break of dawn
Look out your window and Ill be gone
Youre the reason Im travlin on
Dont think twice, its all right

It aint no use in turnin on your light, babe
That light I never knowed
An it aint no use in turnin on your light, babe
Im on the dark side of the road
Still I wish there was somethin you would do or say
To try and make me change my mind and stay
We never did too much talkin anyway
So dont think twice, its all right

It aint no use in callin out my name, gal
Like you never did before
It aint no use in callin out my name, gal
I cant hear you any more
Im a-thinkin and a-wondrin all the way down the road
I once loved a woman, a child Im told
I give her my heart but she wanted my soul
But dont think twice, its all right

Im walkin down that long, lonesome road, babe
Where Im bound, I cant tell
But goodbyes too good a word, gal
So Ill just say fare thee well
I aint sayin you treated me unkind
You could have done better but I dont mind
You just kinda wasted my precious time
But dont think twice, its all right

Mickey Dubrow said...

Thank you. Not sure why I didn't get any Bob Dylan before this one.

Eddy said...

You could easily have nothing but Bob or Bruce lyrics. And Lennon.

Mickey Dubrow said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mickey Dubrow said...

I got to hand it to Springsteen's super bowl half time show. That was the first time in a long while that I enjoyed the show. He's still the Boss!

Here are ten songs with great lyrics from my good friend Michael Roe:

Genesis "Supper's Ready"
Alice Cooper "Dead Babies"
Happy Mondays "Step On" (though I don't think they wrote this one)
Art Bears "In Two Minds"
Beach Boys "Good Vibrations"
The Who "Real Good Looking Boy"
Willie Nelson "You Were Always On My Mind"
Led Zeppelin "Dazed and Confused"
Vanity 6 "Nasty Girl"
Waterboys "Whole of the Moon".

Bee said...

You drove me, nearly drove me out of my head, while you never shed a tear. Remember, I remember, all that you said. Told me love was too plebian. Told me you were through with me and now you say you love me. Well, just to prove you do. Cry me a river. Cry me a river. I cried a river over you.

Bee said...


Mickey Dubrow said...

I agree, Bee. Plebeian isn't used in songs near enough. Oddly enough, plebeian is Jessica's nickname for me.

jessica said...

I finally learned how to pronounce "plebe" from the HBO series "Rome."

Eddy said...

Now I wish I had listed some John Wesley Harding or Don Dixon. Make it stop!

Mickey Dubrow said...

Sorry, but you are as doomed as doomed can be. Okay, that's not a lyric, but a Ed Grimley catchphrase, you still get the point.