Best song lyrics.

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dedalus
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Best song lyrics.

Postby dedalus » Sun Apr 26, 2009 11:33 am UTC

Well, we have a worst song lyrics topic, so I figured I'd counter that.
Not necessarily the song itself, but what song do you think has lyrics that are just absolutely brilliant?

Personally I'd have to start the ball rolling with Lateralus by Tool. I'm sure the gimmick is known by every avid Tool fan these days, but seriously, rhythm pattern of the fibonacci series? Sheer genius:

1 Black
1 then
2 white are
3 all I see
5 in my infancy.
8 Red and yellow then came to be,
5 reaching out to me,
3 lets me see.


(It continues throughout the song)
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evilbobthebob
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Re: Best song lyrics.

Postby evilbobthebob » Sun Apr 26, 2009 1:48 pm UTC

Well, I'm going to continue my replying-to-your-posts-with-Protest-the-Hero-fanboy-comments trend, and say Spoils from PtH's Fortress album:

Language is the heart's lament,
A weak attempt to circumvent the loneliness inherent in the search for permanence


I'm sure I'll find more useful things to post at some point... :roll:
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Re: Best song lyrics.

Postby 1337geek » Sun Apr 26, 2009 7:21 pm UTC

Jim Steinman wrote:Every time I see you all the rays of the sun
Are streaming through the waves in your hair
And every star in the sky is taking aim at your eyes like a spotlight
The beating of my heart is a drum and it's lost
And it's looking for a rhythm like you
You can take the darkness from the pit of the night
And turn it to a beacon burning endlessly bright
I gotta follow it 'cause everything I know
Well it's nothing 'til I give it to you


EDIT: Explanation -- I love the imagery these lyrics create. Sheer poetry.
Last edited by 1337geek on Mon Apr 27, 2009 2:04 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Best song lyrics.

Postby TaintedDeity » Sun Apr 26, 2009 7:36 pm UTC

It'd be great oif people would say why they think the lyrics they post are the best otherwise we're just going to end up with another "Song Lyrics" thread
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Re: Best song lyrics.

Postby evilbobthebob » Sun Apr 26, 2009 8:03 pm UTC

Oh, ok.

Well, I think those from PtH are great simply because they're so...poetic I guess. And language is weak in some ways. We've had to change it so much to meet modern needs, and it still isn't keeping up at the rate it needs to, except maybe on the internet.

Shall I sit to one side before the linguists here get angry with me?
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Re: Best song lyrics.

Postby TaintedDeity » Sun Apr 26, 2009 8:19 pm UTC

This is the music forum, not linguistics :P
I just wanted an explanation, it drives me crazy seeing all those posts of lyrics with no explanation behind them, when I know there was something :)
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Re: Best song lyrics.

Postby dedalus » Sun Apr 26, 2009 10:48 pm UTC

Yeah I think that was kind of the point... Those lyrics are pretty poetic though evilbob.

But please no lyric dumping; discussion thread plx.
Edit: sorry, lyric pasting is cool, but actually talk about the lyrics and why they're amazing/awesome/the metaphorical bomb.
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Re: Best song lyrics.

Postby SirMustapha » Mon Apr 27, 2009 12:13 am UTC

Ween has a couple that easily qualify as brilliant. Example:

Sometimes the ones you hold so close can make you cry
But it's a pain in the ass to let 'em go
With a battered wish you hoped that the monkey wore a tie
But it's no surprise to find he don't

Put the pointed pencil in the pepper-po
And take a little sniff of the things below
Bring it to a boil and simmer low
Put the noodle on the griddle as it climbs the Grobe


There are times when Ween seems a bit too caught up in theirown act and seem not to make up their minds as to whether they're poking fun at music, or whether they're trying to make something honest but don't want to admit it; but The Grobe is a great example of them making a straight-up non-serious bunch of funny nonsense set up to really awesome music. Really, what the hell is the Grobe? And who the hell wants to know?

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Re: Best song lyrics.

Postby year in the sun » Mon Apr 27, 2009 9:24 am UTC

not the best ever, but one i really like. 'sweet freedom', by koos kombuis. i think it's on an album called madiba bay.

i love you like the wind in the trees, in the trees,
i love you like a spider web swinging in the breeze
i love you like the morning, i love you late at night
i love you like the fireflies that fly by bright

i love you like the rain, i love you like the sun
but let me please explain, you're not the only one
i love you like sweet freedom

i love you like the circles of the rain as it falls
i love you like the flavour of them cinnamon balls
i love you like the wind, i love you like the sky
i love you like the swallows when they fly by high

i love you like the rain, i love you like the sun
but let me please explain, you're not the only one
i love you like sweet freedom

i love you like the evening, i love you like the dawn
i love you like the whisper of the fog on the lawn
i love you like the grass, i love you like the sand
i love you like these words, they fly like birds from my hand

i love you like the rain, i love you like the sun
but baby don't complain, you're not the only one
i love you like sweet freedom

analysis, hm. i like how there's nothing grandiose in it. it's almost anti-poetic; the things he mentions are so ordinary and tangible. i like how it's a list of specific little images that progressively paint out a picture of kombuis himself - what he notices in life and what makes him happy, so you get a picture of him out of it. and i'm kind of in favour of the sentiment, coming from one of the most outspoken afrikaner critics of south africa's apartheid culture in the 1980's.
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Re: Best song lyrics.

Postby Jackpot » Mon Apr 27, 2009 4:45 pm UTC

Johnny Cash wrote:I shot a man in Reno just to watch him die.


I have never heard anything more brutal and awesome than this. And I listen to shittons of heavy metal.

It's the simplicity of it. It's an act of pure manevolance. He hasn't done it from bloodlust or anger or any valid emotion. He is so cold that he will shoot someone with the only intent to watch him suffer and die. No visceral description of gore or war can match it.

Runner ups :
Direwolf wrote:[mechanical]All aboard the hell express!

It's more the placement. Still fucking rules just for the meaning of it.

Direwolf wrote:*gasp* I think I'm dead!

Again, placement. Someone just waking in the spirit realm after death.

Grateful Dead wrote:Trouble ahead, trouble behind,

Life in a nutshell.

Grateful Dead wrote:
I need a woman about twice my height
Statuesque, raven-dressed, a goddess of the night.
Her secret incantations, a candle burning blue
We'll consult the spirits maybe they'll know what to do.

And it's real and it won't go away, oh no
I can't get around and I can't run away
I need a miracle every day.


Needing someone. Simple as, with nice descriptions of her appearance. Also, really clicks with me.

Grateful Dead wrote:Sweet blossom come on, under the willow, we can have high times if youll abide
We can discover
the wonders of nature, rolling in the rushes down by the riverside.


Cannabis in a nutshell. Explaining the love of nature.


Mastodon wrote:I think that someone is trying to kill me
Infecting my blood and destroying my mind
No man of the flesh could ever stop me
The fight for this fish is a fight to the death

White whale - holy grail

What remorseless emperor commands me
I no longer govern my soul
I am completely immersed in darkness
As I turn my body away from the sun

White whale - holy grail

Split your lungs with blood and thunder
When you see the white whale
Break your backs and crack your oars men
If you wish to prevail

This ivory leg is what propels me
Harpoons thrust in the sky
Aim directly for his crooked brow
And look him straight in the eye

White whale - holy grail


masculinity condensed into a song. Struggle against nature and obsession.

Mastodon wrote:Hail people of Iceland
Journey of a land anew
Ram as our liaison
Vision inspire and move
Awe holy island
Breed the lagoon to run free
Raw beauty is ruthless within the golden ring
Precision of Grungir
Spear of the Norse God Odin
Praise our Pagan Father
Founder of the Althing


Manly norse worship.
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Re: Best song lyrics.

Postby rubber314chicken » Mon Apr 27, 2009 11:21 pm UTC

Spoiler:
I. its raining
Under the sun, there is nothing to hide
Under the moon, a stranger waits inside
People disappear
The music fades away
Splashing through the rain
Ill dream with them one day

Its raining, raining,
On the streets of new york city
Its raining, raining, raining, deep in heaven

I may have wasted all those years
Theyre not worth their time in tears
I may have spent too long in darkness
In the warmth of my fear

Take a look at yourself
Not at anyone else
And tell me what you see
I know the air is cold
I know the streets are cruel
But Ill enjoy the ride today

Its raining, raining,
On the streets of new york city
Its raining, raining, raining deep in heaven
Raining deep in heaven

I may have wasted all those years
Theyre not worth their time in tears
I may have spent too long in darkness
In the warmth of my fears

As I walk through all my myths
Rising and sinking like the waves
With my thoughts wrapped around me
Through a trial of tears

Hidden by disguise, stumbling in a world
Feeling uninspired, he gets into his car
Not within his eyes to see, open up, open up
Not much better than the man you hate

Ii. deep in heaven (instrumental)

Iii. the wasteland
Still awake
I continue to move along
Cultivating my own nonsens
Welcome to the wasteland
Where youll find ashes, nothing but ashes
Still awake
Bringing change, bringing movement, bringing life
A silent prayer thrown away,
Disappearing in the air
Rising, sinking, raining deep inside me
Nowhere to turn,
I look for a way back home

Its raining, raining, raining deep in heaven
Its raining, raining, raining deep in heaven
Its raining, raining, raining deep in heaven
Its raining, raining, raining deep in heaven


Nobody knows for sure what it is about, but it is believed to be about The Great Gatsby.
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Re: Best song lyrics.

Postby novax6 » Tue Apr 28, 2009 12:22 pm UTC

I'm going to steal this from my post in the other song lyrics thread:

I really like a lot of Neurosis' lyrics, very emotional and excellent stuff.

From No River to Take Me Home:
Spoiler:
The water's deep here
The less of me I show to you
The more I get to get me through

The stain of my eyes
Burnt deep within
Who will fall?
I asked not to know

I'm sealed away, you can't touch me now
Wheel and fire return to me

Let them come
Be my eyes, lead me on
Lift me out, tear me up, spark to fire
Whatever comes through me I will be
I had three signs thrown down on me
Fate frees my heart
Whatever comes through me I will be

Digging a hole so I can rest
No tears from no river to take me home
The seeds in my way, roots to the core
Of a rising sun falling through the wind to the soil

As my body leaves me
I cling to a tree in a dream
I'm screaming to you
Whatever comes through me I will be



And from Left To Wander (off of the same album):
Spoiler:
A light went out of the world today
The spirit rose like smoke
The corpse gave in to the ether
We're left to wander at the void

We're left to wander

The race to render your vision
A fracture in the world can devour
Return to the light of the bearer
The radiant breaks down into life

We're left to wander

That's just fantastic.

Meshuggah also has some pretty interesting lyrics, and they're all written by the drummer, which is awesome. :D
They really flow well in the jerky, crazy timing way of their music.
Corridor of Chameleons:
Spoiler:
Put on a shape to pass undisturbed. Pick a color to blend with surroundings.
Choose a voice suiting, appropriate for the never benignant purpose.
Spin your eyes to read the court. Smoothen your path before the start
Even out, fill the holes with the toxic clay of your rotting heart.

A contagious neuro-ego-disease. A virus sticking to liars.
We're the self-centered fuel to boost the new strain of fire.
Adapting, shifting, lacking opinion. Our numbers exceeding the billions.
Everly walking among ourselves down the corridor of chameleons.

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Re: Best song lyrics.

Postby dedalus » Tue Apr 28, 2009 11:18 pm UTC

Here's an interesting concept for lyrics: Vocari Dei by Pain of Salvation. The band set up up a phone line 'god's answering machine', and got fans to record messages to leave for god. It's quite beautiful (to get the full effect you really have to listen to the song):

(I seperated different messages with spaces, so this is large enough to be spoilered.)
Spoiler:
(Intro from the track previous)

My wish is just selfish, maybe ignorant. But I beg you to put back the sense in my life.

Are you there? I, I , I just called to see if you're there. Sometimes, sometimes I feel I'm weak, sometimes I hate you, mostly, I, I, just wonder if you're there. Are you there?

God, If you are love, then why are we subjected to an increasing injustice throughout the world? Do you show us love by tormenting us? It doesn't make any sense.

(Vocari Dei)

I just want you to speak to me.

I'm still waiting for you, God. I pray because it deserves to be finished. Goodbye god, goodbye to you all.

I don't trust in any god, I don't know who god is, but I know what god should be.

Well take a look here, take a good look at what you've created.

Hi god, this is Lorenzo, I wanted to ask you something. Why life is so hard? Why love is so cruel? why I can't really be me, not someone else. I just want to be me.

Hey, god, this is (??). I just called to thank you for being with me when my life seemed to fall apart. You carried me through my darkest hours and I'm very grateful for that. Thank you.

Hi god, it's me from earth. I know you haven't returned any of my previous calls, but maybe you're simply not there. But here it goes again. I wanted to thank you for giving me the opportunity to be part of this world, but didn't you also give us people the minds to explore and question? So where are you? and where have you been when we needed you the most?

(???? ?? ?? ?? ?) I must be drunk or far away, for I no longer believe in you anymore. So I talked to another priestess, cuz I figured this out, for all the horror, the grief and suffering in this world, either you are a cruel entity for not changing things, or you don't exist.

Please tell me why these horrible things happen? Why did those two towers have to fall? and how can you let that happen? Does there have to be such hatred in this world? Why must society struggle to build, (??? ??) tolerance?

I've prayed every day for weeks now, why won't you answer my prayers? Prove to me and so many others why I should continue to pray? I have faith in my friends and my family, isn't that enough?

Child mumbling: "Hello, hellooo"

Please god, if you exist, help me believe that the world is real, that I am real, and that my feelings are real, that we are more than just a coincidence.
This world has what we can give.

Speak to me, I wont ask you to save me, I just want you to speak to me.

Hi, and I apologize to you for, you know. I just want to say I'm sorry, and, thank you. Oh, and one more thing, please, help me fly.

Please, come and take me away from this shit, I cant take it any more. They're all devouring me, I have no?? left. I'm so lost. God? (cries)

Kamisama-san,naze sensou, naze shi,naze kiga.naniwodesuka.omaeha naniwotameniiru.sayonara.(in English: Dear God,why is there war? why is there death? why is there starvation?What for?What is your reason to be?...Good-bye...)

Geia Thee, anarwtiemai... Poso shmantikoi s' auto ton kosmo? pou phgainoume? (in English: Hello God, I wonder...what are we? What's our importance in this world? Where are we going to?

Aah, yeah, er, listen god, um, I'd just like to say a really big thank you on behalf of e, everybody. Thanks for getting the whole thing started, and for getting it off the ground, but, I think that this time we have really screwed things up, and I am so, so sorry.

I need you now, I need you.

Actually that band has a habit of writing some absolutely amazing lyrics.
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Re: Best song lyrics.

Postby year in the sun » Wed Apr 29, 2009 7:00 am UTC

michael marra, 'like another rolling stone'

don't let your sail blow over
don't let your ship go down
batten down the four-leaf clover
tell yourself you're glory bound
never mind your needless moaning
remember how you come into town
nor a comb nor a hammer nor a feather nor a flight
nor a hoe nor a spanner nor a fiddle nor a fife
nor a hand on your shoulder in the bitter and the biting cold
you could be out on the street and on your own
just like another rolling stone

don't let your tent blow over
don't let your lines go down
recognise the rootless rover
try to make a joyful sound
and when you feel the best bit's over
remember how you come into town
nor a comb nor a spanner nor a feather nor a flight
nor a hoe nor a hammer nor a fiddle nor a fife
nor a hand on your shoulder in the bitter and the biting cold
you could be out on the street and on your own
just like another rolling stone

i love michael marra. he has this luminous talent for sympathy and a sort of gentle, teasing affection/encouragement. this song is typical marra and it has a typical marra derivation. it's based on sean o'casey's criticism of g.k. chesterton, that chesterton was great at certain kinds of stuff but 'couldn't give you anything to actually help you with your life'. so marra wrote this song based on o'casey's own criticism, because he felt that o'casey wasn't being any more encouraging or helpful than the man he was complaining about.

structurally i like:
the nonsense list of things you 'come into town' without, from completely mundane ('a hammer') to completely metaphysical ('a flight') . . . . a string of sheer whimsy suddenly leading you into the truth of the one thing that really matters: 'a hand on your shoulder'
the two metaphors for trouble (ships going down and tents blowing over);
the contrast between 'battening down' in the first verse and the 'rootless rover' in the second - two completely different ways of getting through things. one is hanging on, and the other is letting go.
the internal contrasts within each verse. a ship floats on a less-solid surface, so he advises 'battening down' which is a solid action - but to something that almost never happens. then a tent is based on a completely solid surface and he advises the letting go - by 'recognising' that you're rootless anyway. it's like he's saying 'know what's true, and believe in your luck anyway'.
the image of 'a hand on your shoulder' as just about the simplest and most irreducible unit of what people need when they're in trouble, and 'the bitter and the biting cold' is the simplest and most irreducible image of how trouble feels that you could find.
i like 'try to make a joyful sound'. it's so different from the order to make a joyful sound. far more human and realistic. same with '[i]tell/i] yourself you're glory bound'. very marra.
man susan,
die meeste mense is maar lekker zef

- valiant swart, lekker zef

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Re: Best song lyrics.

Postby ParanoidAndroid » Wed Apr 29, 2009 12:27 pm UTC

Leonard Cohen-"Hallelujah"
Spoiler:
Now, I've heard there was a secret chord
That David played and it pleased the Lord
But you don't really care for music, do you?
It goes like this: the fourth, the fifth
The minor fall, the major lift
The baffled king composing Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Your faith was strong but you needed proof
You saw her bathing on the roof
Her beauty and the moonlight overthrew you
She tied you to a kitchen chair
She broke your throne and she cut your hair
And from your lips she drew the Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

You say I took the name in vain
I don't even know the name
But if I did, well really, what's it to you?
There's a blaze of light in every word
It doesn't matter which you heard
The holy or the broken Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

I did my best, it wasn't much
I couldn't feel, so I tried to touch
I've told the truth, I didn't come to fool you
And even though it all went wrong
I'll stand before the Lord of Song
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah


mewithoutYou-"Torches Together"
Spoiler:
Why burn poor and lonely?
Under a bowl
Or under a lamp shade
Or on the shelf beside the bed
Where at night you lay turning
Like a door on its hinges
First on your left side
Then on your right side
Then on your left side again

Why burn poor and lonely?
Tell all the stones
We're gonna make a building
They'll be cut into shape
And set into place
Or if you'd rather be a window
I'll gladly be the frame
Reflecting any kind words
We'll let in all the blame
And ruin our reputation all the same
So never mind our plan making
We'll start living
Anyway
Aren't you unbearably sad?
Then why burn so poor and lonely?

We'll be like torches
We'll be like torches
We'll be like torches
We’ll be torches together
Torches together

We'll be like torches
We'll be like torches
With whatever respect
Our tattered dignity demands
Torches together
Hand in hand

Why pluck one string?
What good is just one note?
Oh one string sounds fine I guess
But we were once "one notes"
We weren’t lonely wheat
Quietly ground into grain
One light and momentary pain
So why the safe distance?
This curious look
Why tear out single pages,
When you can throw away the book?
Why pluck one string when you can
Strum the guitar?
Strum the guitar
Strum the guitar
Strum the guitar
With no beginning
With no end
Take down the guitar
And strum the guitar
Strum the guitar if you’re afraid
And I’m afraid
And everyone’s afraid
And everyone knows it
But we don’t have to be afraid
Anymore

You played the flute
But no one was dancing
You sang a sad song
But none of us cried

You played the flute
But no one was dancing
And you sang a sad song
You sang such a sad song


Sufjan Stevens-"Casimir Pulaski Day"
Spoiler:
Goldenrod and the 4H stone
The things I brought you
When I found out you had cancer of the bone

Your father cried on the telephone
And he drove his car into the Navy yard
Just to prove that he was sorry

In the morning, through the window shade
When the light pressed up against your shoulderblade
I could see what you were reading

All the glory that the Lord has made
And the complications you could do without
When I kissed you on the mouth

Tuesday night at the Bible study
We lift our hands and pray over your body
But nothing ever happens

I remember at Michael's house
In the living room when you kissed my neck
And I almost touched your blouse

In the morning at the top of the stairs
When your father found out what we did that night
And you told me you were scared

All the glory when you ran outside
With your shirt tucked in and your shoes untied
And you told me not to follow you

Sunday night when I cleaned the house
I found the card where you wrote it out
With the pictures of you mother

On the floor at the great divide
With my shirt tucked in and my shoes untied
I am crying in the bathroom

In the morning when you finally go
And the nurse runs in with her head hung low
And the cardinal hits the window

In the morning in the winter shade
On the first of March, on the holiday
I thought I saw you breathing

All the glory that the Lord has made
And the complications when I see His face
In the morning in the window

All the glory when He took our place
But He took my shoulders and He shook my face
And He takes and He takes and He takes

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Re: Best song lyrics.

Postby 1337geek » Wed Apr 29, 2009 4:22 pm UTC

Katie Melua wrote:The piano keys are black and white
But they sound like a million colours in your mind

Beautiful and profound. I love it.
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Re: Best song lyrics.

Postby evilbobthebob » Wed Apr 29, 2009 8:11 pm UTC

Linoleum by NOFX

Spoiler:
Possessions never meant anything to me
I'm not crazy
Well that's not true, I've got a bed, and a guitar
And a dog named Bob who pisses on my floor
That's right, I've got a floor
So what, so what, so what?
I've got pockets full of kleenex and lint and holes
Where everything important to me
Just seems to fall right down my leg
And on to the floor
My closest friend linoleum
Linoleum
Supports my head, gives me something to believe
That's me on the beachside combing the sand
Metal meter in my hand
Sporting a pocket full of change
That's me on the street with a violin under my chin
Playing with a grin, singing gibberish
That's me on the back of the bus
That's me in the cell
That's me inside your head


Such a great song. When you hear it, you can imagine the guy with his linoleum floor so clearly...and now whenever I see someone busking or beachcombing, looking a bit bedraggled and perhaps with a dog, I think of this.
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Re: Best song lyrics.

Postby dedalus » Thu Apr 30, 2009 2:07 am UTC

Agree with PA on Hallelujah. Brilliant brilliant lyrical piece.

Eclipse by Floyd is pretty good too:
Spoiler:
All that you touch
And all that you see
All that you taste
All you feel
And all that you love
And all that you hate
All you distrust
All you save
And all that you give
And all that you deal
And all that you buy
beg, borrow or steal
And all you create
And all you destroy
And all that you do
And all that you say
And all that you eat
And everyone you meet
And all that you slight
And everyone you fight
And all that is now
And all that is gone
And all that's to come
and everything under the sun is in tune
but the sun is eclipsed by the moon.


*edit*
Yeah didn't really explain this before... it's just such a simple concept lyrically... This idea that everyone is in darkness and chaos because the moon disconnects them from the sun... a brilliant finish to an album based around really everyday topics... Time, Money. Not saying that DSotM is everyday...
And all that is now
And all that is gone
And all that's to come
and everything under the sun is in tune
but the sun is eclipsed by the moon.
Last edited by dedalus on Mon May 04, 2009 12:17 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Best song lyrics.

Postby seladore » Thu Apr 30, 2009 11:33 am UTC

Radiohead wrote: Fitter, happier, more productive,
comfortable,
not drinking too much,
regular exercise at the gym
(3 days a week),
getting on better with your associate employee contemporaries,
at ease,
eating well
(no more microwave dinners and saturated fats),
a patient better driver,
a safer car
(baby smiling in back seat),
sleeping well
(no bad dreams),
no paranoia,
careful to all animals
(never washing spiders down the plughole),
keep in contact with old friends
(enjoy a drink now and then),
will frequently check credit at (moral) bank (hole in the wall),
favors for favors,
fond but not in love,
charity standing orders,
on Sundays ring road supermarket
(no killing moths or putting boiling water on the ants),
car wash
(also on Sundays),
no longer afraid of the dark or midday shadows
nothing so ridiculously teenage and desperate,
nothing so childish - at a better pace,
slower and more calculated,
no chance of escape,
now self-employed,
concerned (but powerless),
an empowered and informed member of society
(pragmatism not idealism),
will not cry in public,
less chance of illness,
tires that grip in the wet
(shot of baby strapped in back seat),
a good memory,
still cries at a good film,
still kisses with saliva,
no longer empty and frantic like a cat tied to a stick,
that's driven into frozen winter shit
(the ability to laugh at weakness),
calm,
fitter,
healthier and more productive
a pig in a cage on antibiotics.


This, for me, is one of the most emotionally powerful things ever written. So bleak and devastating, it just kills me with its imagery.

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Re: Best song lyrics.

Postby SecondTalon » Thu Apr 30, 2009 6:41 pm UTC

TaintedDeity wrote:It'd be great oif people would say why they think the lyrics they post are the best otherwise we're just going to end up with another "Song Lyrics" thread
I'm seriously considering making a variant of this a rule here.
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heuristically_alone wrote:I have been informed that this is called writing a book.

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Re: Best song lyrics.

Postby seladore » Thu Apr 30, 2009 7:07 pm UTC

OK, I think I may have been guilty of this, so I'll do my best to explain what I find so excellent about 'Fitter Happier'.

I love the way that instead of trying to describe perfectly a certain concept, it simply provides several short, almost haiku-like vignettes which, when taken together, describe perfectly the soul-less-ness and alienation of much of modern suburban life.

I love its subtlety, too; rather that trying to bludgeon the listener with depressing imagery, the full horror of the situation is allowed to build up slowly, much as it does in real life - in many ways, I think the progression of emotions felt when understanding this piece is intended to mirror those experienced when living out the suburban life it describes.

It starts with things that many would consider laudable;
not drinking too much,
regular exercise at the gym
(3 days a week),
getting on better with your associate employee contemporaries,
at ease,
eating well
(no more microwave dinners and saturated fats),


Which leads, insidiously, to the stripping of identity and a progression towards a complacent lifelessness;
favors for favors,
fond but not in love,


But even then it pulls it back, and allows you to see why you chose this life in the first place:
less chance of illness,
tires that grip in the wet
(shot of baby strapped in back seat),
a good memory,
still cries at a good film,
still kisses with saliva,


Before delivering the final, crushing emotional blow
no longer empty and frantic like a cat tied to a stick,
that's driven into frozen winter shit
(the ability to laugh at weakness),
calm,
fitter,
healthier and more productive
a pig in a cage on antibiotics.


I just love the nuance and finesse with which the message is portrayed - many lesser lyricists would, I am sure, just go for an apocalyptic overkill rush of sad imagery were they to try and convey the same effect.

And once the meaning hits, it is simply the most powerful and devastating idea I can think of. It still moves me to tears, even years after first hearing it.

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Re: Best song lyrics.

Postby year in the sun » Sat May 02, 2009 8:39 am UTC

guy clark, 'dublin blues'.

oh i wish't i was in austin, mm hm
in the chili parlour bar
drinking mad dog margaritas and not caring where you are
here i sit in dublin, mm hm
just rolling cigarettes
holding back and choking back the shakes with every breath

so forgive me all my anger, forgive me all my faults
there's no need to forgive me for thinking what i thought
i loved you from the git-go, i'll love you till i die
i loved you on the spanish steps the day you said goodbye

oh i am just a poor boy, mm hm
work's my middle name
if money was the reason well i would not feel the same
i'll stand up and be counted, mm hm
i'll face up to the truth
i'll walk away from trouble but i can't walk away from you

i have been in fort worth, mm hmm
and i have been in spain
and i have been too proud to come in out of the rain
i have seen the david, mm hmm
seen the mona lisa too
and i have seen doc watson play columbus stockade blues

one of my favourite-ever songs. the language is so spare and economical. no extrapolations or metaphors anywhere, just simple, concrete statements. the structure is just as simple and consistent: line/statement, line/statement, line/compound statement, then either repeat, or the chorus. it should be forgettable, but it isn't. for me the simplicity leaves room for the mood to come through all the more poignantly.

there's only one direct expression of emotion in the whole song. 'i wish't i was in austin'. not even a specific feeling for a specific person like most love songs, but a global, encompassing wish. you don't realise what it means as an emotional statement until the rest of the song comes along and you learn how far he is from what he wishes for.

so he hits you with the major theme right at the start, and then just lets the background and atmosphere of that emotion unfold and take shape through the rest of the song. it's the only one he mentions. every other emotion is either a hopeless wish (indifference/peace of mind - 'not caring where you are') or something you can only infer ('holding back and choking back the shakes with every breath') or a non-specific, theoretical anti-emotion ('i would not feel the same(as what? he doesn't say)') or an intrinsic part of his character ('i have been too proud'). so they're all abstract in one way or another, and the impact of that one opening statement saturates the whole song. i really love the line 'i have been too proud to come in out of the rain'. it seems to sum up the whole song and echo all the simplicity and straightforwardness that's come before.
man susan,
die meeste mense is maar lekker zef

- valiant swart, lekker zef

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Re: Best song lyrics.

Postby keikeiaznqueen » Sat May 02, 2009 9:12 am UTC

Mirrorcle World - Ayumi Hamasaki, translated from Japanese wrote:Did I imagine this kind of future?
Did you imagine this kind of future?

Did I wish for this kind of future?
Did you wish for this kind of future?

They ask me
"The beginning or the end?"

"Did you give up
Or are you holding on?"

"Did you shrug it off
Or are you in despair?"

You tell me
Just to go forward

Can I accept this kind of era?
Can you accept this kind of era?

They ask me
"Will you go with the flow or do you want to stop it?"

"Do you turn a blind eye
Or do you not even dare look?"

"Are you fighting
Or raising the white flag?"

It's no time
To play the victim and escape

You see? We and this world have no sign of slowing down
Now if the acceleration will just increase this way ...

Is it because I've become strong
That I can be without tears
Or ... ?

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Re: Best song lyrics.

Postby year in the sun » Sat May 02, 2009 9:24 am UTC

townes van zandt, from 'pancho and lefty':

living on the road my friend
was going to make you strong and clean
now you wear your skin like iron
and your breath's as hard as kerosene

such a huge contrast between the intention and the result:

- 'wearing' your skin, as if it weren't a part of you. and 'like iron', as if it were a decision to wear your skin in that way rather than like, say . . . skin.
- breath 'as hard as kerosene'. he doesn't say the guy's skin is hard, and it doesn't make sense for breath to be hard. but it's a continuation of that inference from the previous line. so an image of someone who's hard outside, poisoned/poisonous inside, and is so far from having been made 'strong and clean' that he's transmuted from human flesh into two non-organic materials. and who is also hollow, consisting of nothing but skin and breath.
man susan,
die meeste mense is maar lekker zef

- valiant swart, lekker zef

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Re: Best song lyrics.

Postby L33tsaber » Sun May 03, 2009 7:13 am UTC

There are a lot of great lines, often owing to clever wordplay, in the first Bat out of Hell album (though I must admit it also has its fair share of corny ones, usually in the same song!) A few of my favorites:

Nothing really rocks/And nothing really rolls/And nothing's ever worth the cost - "Bat out of Hell"

I'm praying for the end of time/It's all that I can do/Praying for the end of time/So I can end my time with you - "Paradise by the Dashboard Light"

I want you/I need you/But there ain't no way I'm ever gonna love you/Now don't be sad/'Cause two out of three ain't bad - "Two out of Three Ain't Bad"

As well as "For Crying Out Loud" in general, if only for the second, deeper meaning the titular phrase gets toward the end of the song (earlier if you catch it in the line I could laugh, but you could cry) where earlier it seemed to merely be an expression of exasperation.

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Re: Best song lyrics.

Postby 1337geek » Mon May 04, 2009 12:26 am UTC

L33tsaber wrote:There are a lot of great lines, often owing to clever wordplay, in the first Bat out of Hell album (though I must admit it also has its fair share of corny ones, usually in the same song!)

Indeed. Jim Steinman is a genius. I love how he can be serious and funny at the same time.

Nothing really rocks/And nothing really rolls/And nothing's ever worth the cost - "Bat out of Hell"

That song, like most of Steinman's songs, is actually about Peter Pan. Weird, huh?

I'm praying for the end of time/It's all that I can do/Praying for the end of time/So I can end my time with you - "Paradise by the Dashboard Light"

That line is even better with the line before it: I swore I'd love you 'til the end of time -- so now I'm praying for the end of time!

I want you/I need you/But there ain't no way I'm ever gonna love you/Now don't be sad/'Cause two out of three ain't bad - "Two out of Three Ain't Bad"

That was his attempt to write a simple song, but he still had to twist it around a little.

As well as "For Crying Out Loud" in general, if only for the second, deeper meaning the titular phrase gets toward the end of the song (earlier if you catch it in the line I could laugh, but you could cry) where earlier it seemed to merely be an expression of exasperation.

That is one of the best songs ever written, and Steinman himself considers it his favorite of all his lyrics. He says: "Ultimately it's about loving someone because they're not afraid to cry."

If you're interested, brief sections of an interview where Jim Steinman talks about his songs can be viewed here.
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Re: Best song lyrics.

Postby L33tsaber » Mon May 04, 2009 10:05 am UTC

1337geek wrote:If you're interested, brief sections of an interview where Jim Steinman talks about his songs can be viewed here.


I'll definitely check those out.

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Re: Best song lyrics.

Postby dedalus » Mon May 04, 2009 12:14 pm UTC

@Secondtalon plx do... oh and guys if you're going to post a whole song spoiler it at least. Good quotes are good, but otherwise we end up with a wall of text.
And yeah I will take my own advice *edits post*.

However, @selador fully agree... radiohead lyrics are awesome.

I'll just throw out there that NiN lyrics are also amazing... check out 'Hurt':
Spoiler:
I hurt myself today
To see if I still feel
I focus on my pain
The only thing that's real
The needle tears a hole
The old familiar sting
Try to kill it all away
But I remember everything

What have I become?
My sweetest friend
Everyone I know
Goes away in the end

You could have it all
My empire of dirt
I will let you down
I will make you hurt

I wear this crown of shit
Upon my liar's chair
Full of broken thoughts
I cannot repair
Beneath the stains of time
The feelings disappear
You are someone else
I am still right here

What have I become?
My sweetest friend
Everyone I know
Goes away in the end
And you could have it all
My empire of dirt
I will let you down
I will make you hurt
If I could start again
A million miles away
I would keep myself
I would find a way


Really don't know where to begin with the praise of this song... I mean hell... just the first two lines:
'I hurt myself today, to see if I still feel'

are amazing. The quiet bitter hatred of the song just runs through you.

What have I become?
My sweetest friend
Everyone I know
Goes away in the end

It just gives the feeling of giving up, shriveling up and dying. Fully agree with Johnny Cash that it's 'the saddest song I've ever heard'. Close second is exit music though.
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Re: Best song lyrics.

Postby bobbo » Tue Jun 02, 2009 8:33 am UTC

Bit of a bump, but found some lyrics I want to share.

From the beginning of Savior by Rise Against:

It kills me not to know this, but I've all but just forgotten
what the colour of her eyes were
and her scars or how she got them


Had to re-listen to that song about four times when I first heard those lyrics. Crushingly beautiful and reminds me of the "romance" themed xkcd strips.

A few good lyrics (the first being my favourite lyric ever, at the moment) from We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed by Los Campesinos!:

Absence makes the heart grow fonder, fondness make the absence longer

They think the future's bright as halogen, we know it's pretty bleak

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Re: Best song lyrics.

Postby missbittens » Tue Jun 02, 2009 3:12 pm UTC

I think The Decemberists have amazing lyrics, it's a big part of why they're one of my favourite bands.

Spoiler:
Heart-carved tree trunk, Yankee bayonet
A sweetheart left behind
Far from the hills of the sea-swelled Carolinas
That's where my true love lies

Look for me when the sun-bright swallow
Sings upon the birch bough high
But you are in the ground with the wolves and the weevils
All a'chew upon your bones so dry

But when the sun breaks
To no more bullets in Battlecreek
Then will you make a grave
For I will be home then
I will be home then
I will be home then
I will be home then
Then

When I was a girl how the hills of Oconee
Made a seam to hem me in
There at the fair when our eyes caught, careless
Got my heart right pierced by a pin

But oh, did you see all the dead of Manassas
All the bellies and the bones and the bile
Though I lingered here with the blankets barren
And my own belly big with child

But when the sun breaks
To no more bullets in Battlecreek
Then will you make a grave
For I will be home then
I will be home then
I will be home then
I will be home then

Stems and bones and stone walls too
Could keep me from you
Skein of skin is all too few
To keep me from you

But oh, my love, though our bodies may be parted
Though our skin may not touch skin
Look for me with the sun-bright sparrow
I will come on the breath of the wind


It's got beautifully-expressed imagery, and is a very sad and well-told story of a Civil War fatality and his pregnant lover back home.

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Re: Best song lyrics.

Postby TheAmazingRando » Tue Jun 02, 2009 5:07 pm UTC

Joanna Newsom's music expresses some of the most beautiful sentiments on infinity, mortality, and consciousness that I can think of. It rivals and surpasses most modern poetry in my opinion, and I like it for many of the same reasons I like TS Eliot (not that it is nearly as obscure).
Joanna Newsom - Emily wrote:We could stand for a century
Staring
With our heads cocked
In the broad daylight at this thing
Joy
Landlocked
In bodies that don't keep
Dumbstruck with the sweetness of being
Till we don't be
Which is just, to me, one of the more beautiful ways I can think of expressing the paradox of being what feels like an infinite mind "landlocked" within a final and mortal body.

Joanna Newsom - Sawdust and Diamonds wrote:somewhere, with your pliers and glue you make your first incision
and in a moment of almost-unbearable vision
doubled over with the hunger of lions
"hold me close," cooed the dove
who was stuffed now with sawdust and diamonds
In the "story" of the song, the dove which has previously been animated with pulleys and strings is stuffed with "sawdust and diamonds," a dull physical weight with a hint of the sparkling brilliance of consciousness, the presence and knowledge of which (as much as we take it for granted) is terrifying. This contrasts heavily with the "sweetness of being" in the previous song. The response to this terror is:
I will swallow your sadness and eat your cold clay
just to lift your long face
and though it may be madness, I will take to the grave
your precious long face
and though our bones they may break, and our souls separate
- why the long face?
and though our bodies recoil from the grip of the soil
- why the long face?
which is as good a response as any to the unspeakable, inexpressible terror of intense metacognition. Yes, we are mortal and restrained while everything inside ourselves screams to be infinite and free, but that won't change, so why worry about it? It takes the terrifying concepts of mortality, physicality, and separation, and makes them almost comforting by contesting that they were ever frightening to begin with.

Or, on her first (and more whimsical) album:
Joanna Newsom - Sadie wrote:And all that we built,
and all that we breathed,
and all that we spilt, or pulled up like weeds
is piled up in back;
it burns irrevocably.
(we spoke up in turns,
'till the silence crept over me)
Which is really just the old "you can't take it with you" or "everything will burn" but is, nevertheless, expressed beautifully.

And, of course, half of what makes these songs beautiful to begin with is the music and melodies they go along with. Reading them doesn't nearly do them justice.

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Re: Best song lyrics.

Postby GhostWolfe » Wed Jun 03, 2009 2:29 am UTC

Depeche Mode - Wrong

I was marching to the wrong drum
With the wrong scum
Pissing out the wrong energy


The whole thing meshes so perfectly. Not only is the delivery simply awesome, but they haven't just taken a whole bunch of wrongs done right and mushed them together, it actually flows and almost tells a story.

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Re: Best song lyrics.

Postby Phill » Wed Jun 03, 2009 8:12 am UTC

Recently my favourite lyrics are from Sometime Around Midnight by The Airborne Toxic Event.

I love some of the usage of language, it's quite poetic while at the same time telling a story.

This is probably my favourite verse:

And so there’s a change, in your emotions.
And all these memories come rushing
like feral waves to your mind.
Of the curl of your bodies,
like two perfect circles entwined.
And you feel hopeless and homeless
and lost in the haze of the wine.


And band that gets "feral waves" into a song is OK in my book!

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Re: Best song lyrics.

Postby ParanoidAndroid » Wed Jun 03, 2009 9:07 am UTC

missbittens wrote:I think The Decemberists have amazing lyrics, it's a big part of why they're one of my favourite bands.

Spoiler:
Heart-carved tree trunk, Yankee bayonet
A sweetheart left behind
Far from the hills of the sea-swelled Carolinas
That's where my true love lies

Look for me when the sun-bright swallow
Sings upon the birch bough high
But you are in the ground with the wolves and the weevils
All a'chew upon your bones so dry

But when the sun breaks
To no more bullets in Battlecreek
Then will you make a grave
For I will be home then
I will be home then
I will be home then
I will be home then
Then

When I was a girl how the hills of Oconee
Made a seam to hem me in
There at the fair when our eyes caught, careless
Got my heart right pierced by a pin

But oh, did you see all the dead of Manassas
All the bellies and the bones and the bile
Though I lingered here with the blankets barren
And my own belly big with child

But when the sun breaks
To no more bullets in Battlecreek
Then will you make a grave
For I will be home then
I will be home then
I will be home then
I will be home then

Stems and bones and stone walls too
Could keep me from you
Skein of skin is all too few
To keep me from you

But oh, my love, though our bodies may be parted
Though our skin may not touch skin
Look for me with the sun-bright sparrow
I will come on the breath of the wind


It's got beautifully-expressed imagery, and is a very sad and well-told story of a Civil War fatality and his pregnant lover back home.

The second I saw the phrase "Heart-carved tree trunk, Yankee bayonet" in your post, I could almost hear Colin Meloy's voice in my head. This song is going to be stuck in my head all day now.

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Re: Best song lyrics.

Postby Dargon Cophe » Mon Aug 10, 2009 4:09 pm UTC

Where Would You Like Them Left-By Blaqk Audio

Sweetness...
Could they have just a taste
Of this beautiful disgrace
They'd find you a criminal, delectable.
They'd find me intangible, invisible
Gone without a trace
It's just a matter of time.

Strip for me as I have stripped for you.
We've got nothing to hide and we've got less to lose.
Strip for me as I have stripped for you.
I've got nothing to hide and less to lose.


I like these lyrics because I heard them while driving with a girl I was dating, and she is very attractive. She was also 19, while I am 16.

Statutory rape is a stupid concept that stops no one like me.

EDIT: Enlightened. And hormonal, with a bit of charm.
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Re: Best song lyrics.

Postby Turambar » Mon Aug 10, 2009 8:24 pm UTC

The lyrics to "Brighter than a Thousand Suns" by Iron Maiden are extremely good. They don't make much sense unless you are familiar with the Trinity test, but if you are, then the wordplay is just brilliant. I first heard this song three years ago and ever since, I have been noticing more and more layers to it. Here's part of it:

Shadow fingers rise above
Iron fingers stab the desert sky
Oh behold the power of man
on it's tower ready for the fall

Knocking heads together well
Raise a city, build a living hell
Join the race to suicide
Listen for the tolling of the bell

Out of the universe, a strange love is born
Unholy union, trinity reformed

Yellow sun its evil twin
in the black the winds deliver him
We will split our souls within
Atom seed to nuclear dust is riven

Out of the universe, a strange light is born
Unholy union, trinity reformed



Also Something Diabolical by, of all people, the Bloodhound Gang. You have to hear it to really appreciate the rhythm of the words, because it's almost impossible to translate properly to simple written text.
Eventide rise for ritual
With the thrill of a kill vengefully the engine will
Roar forth steer the dead leave forced
Driven by fear shift gears veer towards
The foolishly equipped swift these
Failed bids breathed taillights from the crypt
Reflect upon the way beyond redemption
Let the necronometer beckon for the destined
Blessed when first lent sin then condemned to bear the burden
Of this curse the consequence of which can never be averted
Each tormented attempt that is made in vain
To evade this debt which is certain to be paid
Without question is met with a counterclocked surge
In reverse as if backmasked words of the black mass were
All heard by a clutch engaged
Over trails blazed to the western gates

Heaven may be running on empty yet the devil rides [3x]
Hell burns by angel turns her pillow to the cooler side

Something diabolical


and finally, an excerpt from Weird Al Yankovic's "You Don't Love Me Anymore"
You slammed my face down on the barbecue grill
Now my scars are all healing but my heart never will
"Physics is like sex. Sure, it may give some practical results, but that's not why we do it."
--Richard Feynman

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Re: Best song lyrics.

Postby scrt_rbt_agnt » Mon Aug 10, 2009 9:53 pm UTC

you know, i'm a little surprised no one has mentioned modest mouse, especially their early works.

just the opener to "doin' the cockroach" is great:

i was in heaven
i was in hell
believe in neither
but fear them as well


it speaks to the idea that we're all receptive to the idea of heaven/hell despite our religious beliefs and that they are things that we think about perhaps often.

i'm also partial to this part of "i came as a rat"

I came as ice, I came as a whore
I came as advice that came too short
I came as gold, I came as crap
I came clean and I came as a Rat
It takes a long time, but God dies too
But not before he'll stick it to you
Well I don't know, but I been told
You never die and you never grow old
Uh oh!
I came as a call, I came as flat
I came too soon so I came back
I came as flowers, I came as an ass
I came as dirt and I came as its price
It takes a long time, but God dies too
But not before he'll stick it to you
I don't know, but I been told
You never die and you never grow old
Uh Oh!


kind of pokes at creationists and life cycles.

isaac brock's lyrics are usually pretty down to earth and informal while still holding quite a bit of depth to them. i feel as though he sort of got "soft" later on, but he's definitely got some good ones. i'll wait to talk about the hold steady and/or the microphones because those are even more involved posts probably.
i am a poet and an artist

i don't wanna worry about dyin'
i just wanna worry about sunshine girls

Serrin
Posts: 112
Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2006 10:15 am UTC

Re: Best song lyrics.

Postby Serrin » Wed Aug 12, 2009 9:29 am UTC

A Rebours - "This Winter"

Through a blizzard of regrets I toss and turn and thrash.
Flakes fall on my tongue and they taste just like ash.
Each obsidian raindrop that collides with my skin
Is a souvenir of pain from the black rain of shame.
Every burning bridge's warmth is cause to apologize,
Even though her trust is lying covered with flies.
I am become my own indignant Montresor;
Brick by repentant brick, sealing off my hollow core.


Why are they so great? First, the song keeps up this winter theme throughout, and the only break from the cold motif is the burning bridges, which are specifically warm. The result is you can read just about any intention/emotion/perspective on those burning bridges. Second, I've just got this ridiculous affinity for things like ash and obsidian, and so a storm of it is just almost beauty beyond words. I could go on about just how like that storm that remorse, regret, and shame feel, but I don't want to go too emo. But uh, yeah, it captures the experience. But mostly, those last two lines, which I think are my favorite two lines ever. Depending on how you interpret it, it can be a reference to old English poetry or a deliberate nod to the band's francophilia ("I am become" is an archaism that probably traces to French; the band/artist seems to like French things, including Sartre), or it could be a slightly anachronistic reference to Oppenheimer's "I am become death" reference, regarding...wait for it...the Trinity test. Hi, Turambar. Which, by the way, would be a very literal cause for blizzards of ash and obsidian rain. Not to mention burning bridges. Either way, it is a song that in two lines manages to sum up its singer's emotional state by referencing a Poe story, and it flows well. Not to mention, there's an awesome guitar solo, but that's irrelevant in a lyrics thread.

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TaintedDeity
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Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2008 7:22 pm UTC
Location: England;

Re: Best song lyrics.

Postby TaintedDeity » Wed Aug 12, 2009 10:38 am UTC

I like that band.
Bet you weren't expecting someone to say that, eh?
Ⓞⓞ◯

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Brawls
Posts: 15
Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2007 12:02 am UTC

Re: Best song lyrics.

Postby Brawls » Thu Aug 13, 2009 4:03 pm UTC

The lyrics for this song never get old. The song is called "Gotta Knock a Little Harder" and this is just the beginning of the song. I believe what makes these lyrics so great, is that they start out with such bleak imagery, and crescendo into a lively melody that really makes you feel alive. At the time I heard this song, I thought it was describing me perfectly. I suggest just listening to the song, because the emotion can really be felt through the singers and the instruments.

Happiness is just a word to me
And it might have meant a thing or two
If I'd known the difference

Emptiness, a lonely parody
And my life, another smokin' gun
A sign of my indifference

Always keepin' safe inside
Where no one ever had a chance
To penetrate a break in

Let me tell you some have tried
But I would slam the door so tight
That they could never get in

Kept my cool under lock and key
And I never shed a tear
Another sign of my condition

Fear of love or bitter vanity
That kept me on the run
The main events at my confession

I kept a chain upon my door
That would shake the shame of Cain
Into a blind submission

The burning ghost without a name
Was calling all the same
But I wouldn't listen
"A Chinaman of the T'ang Dynasty - and by which definition, a philosopher - dreamed he was a butterfly, and from that moment he was never quite sure that he was not a butterfly dreaming it was a Chinese philosopher. Envy him; in his two-fold security."


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