My interest in music has always been fueled in part by my love of lyrics. Some of my most favorite lyrics are the ones that tell a story in an interesting and new way. I love the ones that touch my heart, reflect my experience, and have deep and intense meaning. I also love the occasional nonsensical turn of phrase. Here are some of my favorite lyrics in no particular order:
“Changes aren’t permanent…but change is”
– Tom Saywer : Rush : Peart, N
I love the universal truth in this lyric. It is at once simple and cerebral. Like a lot of Rush/Peart lyrics it’s intelligent, witty, non-rhyming, and ultimately true. It speaks to the non-permanence of life without making you feel desperate or hopeless. In fact when hearing Geddy Lee sing this particular part of the song, you can almost feel hopeful. It’s as if to say if you don’t like how things are now, or if things are looking bleak, it doesn’t have to stay that way. YOU can change it.
“And I’m just trying to un-fight my way back in your heart”
– Come To Me (Peace) : Mary J. Blige
If you want to hear how a diva should sing a love song then listen to this song. The truth is nothing to be ashamed of or that one needs to scream to be heard. This lyric is something that I think just about everyone who’s been in a relationship has been through. You say something thoughtlessly, out of anger, or just plain stupidity. And then you wish not only that you hadn’t said it but that you could somehow go back in time and undo the damage that your words or actions caused. You wish not to only heal the hurt, but indeed to have never hurt the other person in the first place…but you can’t undo some things, no matter how hard you try.
“But you are gone. not for good but for now
Gone for now, feels a lot like gone for good”
– Happiness : The Fray : Slade, I / King, J / Welsh, D / Wysocki, B
This lyric struck home in the last few years with the passing of my Pop and then my Mom. My Faith tells me that they are in heaven…my soul believes this to be true…my heart wants them here with me.
“I’d rather be a comma than a full stop”
– Every Teardrop is a Waterfall : Coldplay : Castoni, H / Christensen, A / Lagonda, B. / Wycombe / Martin, C / Berryman, G / Buckland, J / Champion, W / Eno, B / Allen, P / Anderson, A
I’m not even sure that I know what this lyric means, but in the context of the song it just seems to fit. I guess for me it means that I don’t want to stop moving forward, getting better and stronger. I hope that I can live up to this sentiment. I think it could also mean to not hold up anyone else, if you’re not going to help others get along then at least just get out of their way.
“Everybody’s got something to hide ‘cept for me and my monkey!”
– Everybody’s Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey : The Beatles : Lennon / McCartney
Only Lennon and McCartney could take such a lyric and turn it into a catchy and funky tune. This is one of my favorite all time Beatles songs and I’ve always wondered how they would have performed this in concert. I can’t help but make the words into pictures in my mind when I hear this. Somehow, to me at least, this lyric no matter how ridiculous it sounds is and forever will be true.
“Yes there are two paths you can go by but in the long run…there’s still time to change the road your on.”
Stairway to Heaven : Led Zeppelin : Plant R.
Another life lesson in one line. There are always choices we have to make, and we must live with the consequences of those choices. But we also live and learn. If we make a mistake or if life is not fair we can always make a change. I also like this lyric because the song itself is sentimental to me – it was always the last song at school dances…one last chance to get close to the girl of your choice…if she said yes of course!
I’ll have more of my favorite lyrics in another post.