Gone Away ~ The journal of Clive Allen in America

A Lyrical Pondering

Over at Dark Sparks, Stranger Ken has written a poem, The Old Words, in which he recalls a line from one of Bob Dylan's songs. We had a brief discussion of this in the comments and, as old fogies will, ended up bemoaning the fact that "they don't write 'em like they used to."

Or do they? The fact is that we may not know of some great lyrics to songs written today because we tend not to listen to the new music. I also admit to an affliction that my father suffered from when I was young: I can't hear what they're singing!

So I'm issuing a challenge to all my younger readers (yes, Rusty, that means you!). Show me that the songwriters you listen to are producing lyrics every bit as good as those of the sixties. Put us wrinklies straight!

To give you an idea of what you're up against, I am giving the lyrics to a few of the songs we listened to in those bad old days. And I can start with the song that Ken wrote about, My Back Pages by Bob Dylan. Believe me, this is one of Bob's easier songs; he was often much more obscure!

My Back Pages

Crimson flames tied through my ears
Rollin’ high and mighty traps
Pounced with fire on flaming roads
Using ideas as my maps
We’ll meet on edges, soon, said I
Proud ’neath heated brow.
Ah, but I was so much older then,
I’m younger than that now.
Half-wracked prejudice leaped forth
Rip down all hate, I screamed
Lies that life is black and white
Spoke from my skull. I dreamed
Romantic facts of musketeers
Foundationed deep, somehow.
Ah, but I was so much older then,
I’m younger than that now.
Girls’ faces formed the forward path
From phoney jealousy
To memorizing politics
Of ancient history
Flung down by corpse evangelists
Unthought of, though, somehow.
Ah, but I was so much older then,
I’m younger than that now.
A self-ordained professor’s tongue
Too serious to fool
Spouted out that liberty
Is just equality in school
Equality, I spoke the word
As if a wedding vow.
Ah, but I was so much older then,
I’m younger than that now.
In a soldier’s stance, I aimed my hand
At the mongrel dogs who teach
Fearing not that I’d become my enemy
In the instant that I preach
My existence led by confusion boats
Mutiny from stern to bow.
Ah, but I was so much older then,
I’m younger than that now.
Yes, my guard stood hard when abstract threats
Too noble to neglect
Deceived me into thinking
I had something to protect
Good and bad, I define these terms
Quite clear, no doubt, somehow.
Ah, but I was so much older then,
I’m younger than that now.

Remember that Bob was young when he penned those words. He shows an amazing maturity of understanding that those things that seem so clear to him in youth will later be shaded into many more nuances of meaning. In some ways it's an unusual song for Bob. He was known much more for his abrasive "protest songs" in which he gave his opinion on the burning issues of the time.

If we cross the Atlantic, we find that British songwriters were also quite capable of an appreciation of both the limitations and glories of youth. Take a look at this song by Cat Stevens:

Father and Son

It’s not time to make a change,
Just relax, take it easy.
You’re still young, that’s your fault,
There’s so much you have to know.
Find a girl, settle down,
If you want you can marry.
Look at me, I am old, but I’m happy.
I was once like you are now, and I know that it’s not easy,
To be calm when you’ve found something going on.
But take your time, think a lot,
Why, think of everything you’ve got.
For you will still be here tomorrow, but your dreams may not.
How can I try to explain, when I do he turns away again.
It’s always been the same, same old story.
From the moment I could talk I was ordered to listen.
Now there’s a way and I know that I have to go away.
I know I have to go.
It’s not time to make a change,
Just sit down, take it slowly.
You’re still young, that’s your fault,
There’s so much you have to go through.
Find a girl, settle down,
If you want you can marry.
Look at me, I am old, but I’m happy.
(son - away away away, I know I have to
Make this decision alone - no)
All the times that I cried, keeping all the things I knew inside,
It’s hard, but it’s harder to ignore it.
If they were right, I’d agree, but it’s them they know, not me.
Now there’s a way and I know that I have to go away.
I know I have to go.
(father - stay stay stay, why must you go and
Make this decision alone? )

I think that song expresses very well the tension between age and youth, something we used to refer to as "the Generation Gap".

Returning to America, I want to point out the great observer of life, the poet of empathy, Paul Simon. Consider the understanding of the human condition that went into the lyrics of this song:

The Boxer

I am just a poor boy.
Though my story's seldom told,
I have squandered my resistance
For a pocketful of mumbles,
Such are promises
All lies and jest
Still, a man hears what he wants to hear
And disregards the rest.
When I left my home
And my family,
I was no more than a boy
In the company of strangers
In the quiet of the railway station,
Running scared,
Laying low,
Seeking out the poorer quarters
Where the ragged people go,
Looking for the places
Only they would know.
Asking only workman's wages
I come looking for a job,
But I get no offers,
Just a come-on from the whores
On Seventh Avenue
I do declare,
There were times when I was so lonesome
I took some comfort there.
Then I'm laying out my winter clothes
And wishing I was gone,
Going home
Where the New York City winters
Aren't bleeding me,
Leading me,
Going home.
In the clearing stands a boxer,
And a fighter by his trade
And he carries the reminders
Of ev'ry glove that laid him down
And cut him till he cried out
In his anger and his shame,
"I am leaving, I am leaving."
But the fighter still remains

I have taken out the "lie-la-lie"s since we're looking just at the words. No doubt those of my generation will re-insert them as they sing along in their minds.

Finally, I'd like to take you back to Britain for a look at a more light-hearted view of life. The Small Faces defined the Cockney cheeky chappie in a way that was not to be repeated until Madness came along in the early eighties. Two members of the band, Steve Marriott and Ronnie Lane wrote a song that is so quintessentially British that I'm not sure my American readers will understand. Have a look at this (and, if you're British, try not to smile in recognition):

Lazy Sunday Afternoon

Wouldn't it be nice to get on with me neighbors
But they make it very clear they've got no room for ravers
They stop me from groovin, they bang on me wall
They're doin me crust in, it's no good at all,
Lazy sunday afternoon, I've got no mind to worry,
Close my eyes and drift away
Here we all are sittin in a rainbow(do do do do)
Cor blimey hallo missus Jones, hows your Bert's lumbago?(Mrs Jones: Mustn't grumble)
I'll sing you a song with no words and no tune
I'll sing at your party while you suss out the moon, oh yeah
Lazy sunday afternoon, I got no mind to worry,
Close my eyes and drift away, yea
Aroo de do de do, aroo de do de di day
Aroo de do de dum, aree de de do dee
Theres no one to hear me, theres nothin to say,
And no one can stop me from feelin this way
Lazy sunday afternoon I've got no mind to worry
Close my eyes and drift away
Lazy sunday afternoon I've got no mind to worry
Close my eyes and drift a-
Close my eyes and drift away
Close my eyes and drift away...

I had to include that one just to show that we weren't always grim-faced and serious. And besides, I like it...

So there we are, folks. Beat that if you can!


Hmmm tough challenge, as you know a lot of my listening is taken up with older music but I do listen to some current stuff.

The man who's lyrics I must point you to are Eminem's.
Yes, shock - horror, Mad just said something favourable about (c)rap.
Eminem though is that unique creature: an intelligent rapper -- sems he has a sense of humour too-- I don't always agree with the attitudes that he portrays or indeed some of his messages but, my word, the guy can write lyrics. He transcends his genre on occasion. The last single released over here is a rap to his son and it's truly powerful. Raw and emotional it catalogues a modern dysfunctional relationship and its effects on the participants. It is in my opinion more powerful than "Hey Jude" as a message to a child caught up in adult's destructive games. That particular track is just one example he's written other stuff just as powerful.

There are other examples of good lyrics in this day I'm sure but I'll have to think about it...
Date Added: 20/05/2005

Gone Away
Good point, Mad. I have listened to some of Eminem's stuff and have to admit (grudgingly) that he's quite a wordsmith. Of course, it would have to be from rap that I get my first indignant response!
Date Added: 20/05/2005

How utterly delicious! Here I have this song-fest to occupy my mind, and nary a dot (musical note) to scar the page -- that's a wonderful thing to one who cannot read a lick of music, so I say Bravo! Bravo!

I have to confess, tho, that I know the tunes to all but the last one, but seeing the words in print is, in fact, mighty impressive.

Also, I will be more than happy to stick a song of Jerry Jeff Walker's "London homesick blues" up on my sight as another example of fine writing, if you don't already know them, or I can just sit back and sip coffee if you do. And a one and a two...
Date Added: 20/05/2005

This was not an easy challenge to fulfill, but I reckon, insofar as lyricism is concerned, my favorite "modern" musicians would have to be The Indigo Girls. They are both gifted songrwiters, though Emily Saliers stands out as the real poet. Off the top of my head, one song comes to mind as a favorite: The Wood Song

The thin horizon of a plan is almost clear
My friends and I have had a tough time
Bruising our brains hard up against change
All the old dogs and the magician
Now I see we’re in the boat in two by twos
Only the heart that we have for a tool we could use
And the very close quarters are hard to get used to
Love weighs the hull down with it’s weight
But the wood is tired and the wood is old
And we’ll make it fine if the weather holds
But if the weather holds we’ll have missed the point
That’s where I need to go
No way construction of this tricky plan
Was built by other than a greater hand
With a love that passes all out understanding
Watching closely over the journey
Yeah but what it takes to cross the great divide
Seems more than all the courage I can muster up inside
Although we get to have some answers when we reach the other side
The prize is always worth the rocky ride
But the wood is tired and the wood is old
And we’ll make it fine if the weather holds
But if the weather holds we’ll have missed the point
That’s where I need to go
Sometimes I ask to sneak a closer look
Skip to the final chapter of the book
And then maybe steer us clear from some of the pain it took
To get us where we are this far yeah
But the question drowns in it’s futility
And even I have got to laugh at me
No one gets to miss the storm of what will be
Just holding on for the ride
The wood is tired and the wood is old
We’ll make it fine if the weather holds
But if the weather holds we’ll have missed the point
That’s where I need to go

Listen (7 MB)

Gotta love the modrin innerweb, eh? ;)
Date Added: 20/05/2005

Gone Away
I confess I do not know the song, Way. Let's have a look at the words!
Date Added: 20/05/2005

Gone Away
I might have known it'd be Josh to come up with a crushing answer! I've never heard of 'em, Josh, but those words...! Wooh, that is some mean songwriting. Seems I have some downloading to do. ;)
Date Added: 20/05/2005

Gone Away
Oh, and Way, that last song... It's a Brit thing, mate. ;)
Date Added: 20/05/2005

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And Josh, gotta love the modrin innerweb? Yeah, that and broadband. Seven Mb in just over a minute! A few years ago that would have taken an hour...
Date Added: 20/05/2005

From an English Christian group, the Newsboys, a cleverly written song with a message, and powerful in its own way: Hold the milk, put back the sugar,
They are powerless to console.
We’ve gathered here to sprinkle ashes
From our late friend’s cereal bowl.

Breakfast Clubbers, say the motto
That he taught us to repeat:
“You will lose it in your gym class, if you wait til noon to eat”.

Back when the Chess Club said our eggs were soft,
Every Monday he’d say grace and hold our juice aloft.
Oh, none of us knew his checkout time would come so soon,
But before his brain stopped waving, he composed this tune:

Breakfast clubbers, drop the hankies
Though to some our friend was odd,
that day he bought those pine pyjamas,
His check was good with God.
Those here without the Lord, how do you cope?
For this morning we don’t mourn like those who have no hope.

Oh rise up, Fruit Loop lovers, sing out sweet and low,
With spoons held high we bid our brother "Cheerio!"

Date Added: 20/05/2005

Gone Away
That is one great song, Josh. I could quibble in that the music could easily have come from the 60s but I won't. It's just good to hear something produced today that is as good as anything done at any time. Thanks!

While I was listening, another name came to mind, a lady who sings very modern stuff and with incredible words - Alanis Morrissette. And here's me helping with the destruction of my own challenge... :>
Date Added: 20/05/2005

And for lyricism, I'd offer up anything by Al Stewart, who's been around forever but is still writing...
Date Added: 20/05/2005

Gone Away
Once again, I've not heard of them, Jodie, but I have to admit that is one cool song. And I love that: "pine pyjamas"! Very British humor as well. :D

.oO(Looks like I'm on for a beating with this...)
Date Added: 20/05/2005

Gone Away
Oh, the old ones don't count, Jodie. After all, Bob Dylan's still going and so is Paul Simon. ;)
Date Added: 20/05/2005

"Yeehaw!" He yelled.
Date Added: 20/05/2005

Gone Away
.oO(Methinks Way has it done... :D)
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Date Added: 20/05/2005

Yes, perhaps the music sounds like that of a bygone era, but hey, if somethign works, stick with it, eh? :)

As far as Alanis goes, hrmm, I never gave her much of a chance. First impressions are a killer.
Date Added: 20/05/2005

Gone Away
If anyone wants to read the words of Way's suggestion as a well written modern song, just mosey on down to Harry's cave and take a gander. That's gotta be the best expression of American homesickness in England as I've ever seen. ;)
Date Added: 20/05/2005

Gone Away
Did I forget to mention that I'm fascinated by anything unusual musically, Josh? And, let's face it, Alanis is nothing if not unusual... ;)
Date Added: 20/05/2005

I ought to stay out of this one, Gone Away, although I'm truly grateful for your support. The uncanny thing about the songs you select is that I might well have chosen them myself, although my own list would definitely have included something from Leonard Cohen. All the songs you include, also, especially the Paul Simon, who is, I think, a master of the miniature narrative in song, have in common not only that they are very articulate, but also that they have great structural control. This could turn into something really interesting!
Date Added: 20/05/2005

Gone Away
I had to be very selective in my choice of songs, Ken, and I thought four was about as many as people would read through. Bob Dylan had to go in since it all started with him and then I was presented with an extremely difficult choice. The number of songwriters producing meaningful stuff in those days was incredible. Leonard Cohen did cross my mind but there were others who shouted louder. ;)

I think have a very musical bunch reading my blog - every time I say anything about music, at least a dozen of 'em jump down my throat! ;)
Date Added: 20/05/2005

I think nowdays we are just as accomplished lyricaly as we were 40 years ago. Admittedly we no longer use words like 'gas' 'man' or 'groovy' in quite the same way but thats not necessarily a bad thing.

I can appreciate rap music (no honestly(hey stop sniggering at the back)) and have to agree that Eminem is a talent. Not just lyricaly, the man has infiltrated the world of black gang culture and rap music, crossed the divide and has (in his way) united the divided black and white youth cultures of not only America but the western world.

Choosing lyrics that actually reflect the music of our generation is difficult (especially as i grew up in the 80's and would rather gnaw my own arm off than recount some of the music that offended my youthful ears) . The first is a little gem written in 1978 (i was 6 is that youthful enough???) but probably just as poigniant today as it was back then.

Generals gathered in their masses,
just like witches at black masses.
Evil minds that plot destruction,
sorcerers of death's construction.
In the fields the bodies burning,
as the war machine keeps turning.
Death and hatred to mankind,
poisoning their brainwashed minds.
Oh lord, yeah!

Politicians hide themselves away.
They only started the war.
Why should they go out to fight?
They leave that role to the poor, yeah.

Time will tell on their power minds,
making war just for fun.
Treating people just like pawns in chess,
wait till their judgement day comes, yeah.
Now in darkness world stops turning,
ashes where the bodies burning.
No more War Pigs have the power,
Hand of God has struck the hour.
Day of judgement, God is calling,
on their knees the war pigs crawling.
Begging mercies for their sins,
Satan, laughing, spreads his wings.
Oh lord, yeah!
--Black Sabbath, War Pigs

The next set of lyrics is pure indulgence from me. A lovely band called Peter & the Testtube Babies. A rare gem i discovered in my punk days. The one thing i love about Punk is that it cuts the frills and gets straight to the point

Elvis had an heart-attack, 'cos he got too bleedin' fat.
He weighed nearly half a ton, he looked more like a pregnant mum.

Elvis is dead, Elvis is dead.
Elvis had a gammy leg, he had a gammy head.
He had a gammy kidney, he's better-off dead.

In August 1977, Elvis met his fate.
But he couldn't get into heaven, 'cos he couldn't get thru the gate.

Now you have to love the honesty in that
Date Added: 21/05/2005

Gone Away
Well, I have to admit that the second song has a certain ummm, way with words, Keef. But the first is a classic protest against war. Let me answer you with a little ditty that was probably its prototype (by Mr Dylan, of course):

With God On Our Side

Oh my name it is nothin'
My age it means less
The country I come from
Is called the Midwest
I's taught and brought up there
The laws to abide
And that land that I live in
Has God on its side.

Oh the history books tell it
They tell it so well
The cavalries charged
The Indians fell
The cavalries charged
The Indians died
Oh the country was young
With God on its side.

Oh the Spanish-American
War had its day
And the Civil War too
Was soon laid away
And the names of the heroes
I's made to memorize
With guns in their hands
And God on their side.

Oh the First World War, boys
It closed out its fate
The reason for fighting
I never got straight
But I learned to accept it
Accept it with pride
For you don't count the dead
When God's on your side.

When the Second World War
Came to an end
We forgave the Germans
And we were friends
Though they murdered six million
In the ovens they fried
The Germans now too
Have God on their side.

I've learned to hate Russians
All through my whole life
If another war starts
It's them we must fight
To hate them and fear them
To run and to hide
And accept it all bravely
With God on my side.

But now we got weapons
Of the chemical dust
If fire them we're forced to
Then fire them we must
One push of the button
And a shot the world wide
And you never ask questions
When God's on your side.

In a many dark hour
I've been thinkin' about this
That Jesus Christ
Was betrayed by a kiss
But I can't think for you
You'll have to decide
Whether Judas Iscariot
Had God on his side.

So now as I'm leavin'
I'm weary as Hell
The confusion I'm feelin'
Ain't no tongue can tell
The words fill my head
And fall to the floor
If God's on our side
He'll stop the next war.

But you're cheating really, Keef. I was listening in the eighties and there were some good groups and lyricists around at the time. But what about today, huh, huh? Got any from the last fice years, f'rinstance? ;)
Date Added: 21/05/2005

Now I will have to go and download this music to appreciate it...Thanks Gone :)
Date Added: 21/05/2005

Gone Away
Hey, there's an up side to everything, Janus. ;)
Date Added: 21/05/2005

Date Added: 21/05/2005

Gone Away
Now that's what I call a good comment - short, sweet and to the point, Carrie. :)
Date Added: 21/05/2005

I too wanted to leave a comment with some lyrics of songs, but this blog is already HUGE!. So i'll just mention a few songs which have very weird lyrics but speak a lot unlike the usual ramblings of love and life. Iron Maiden - Dream of Mirrors (speaks of Deja Vu). Metallica - One (a dying soldiers song), Metallica - Ride the Lightning (Torture faced while sitting in the electric chair), Iron Maiden - Hallowed Be thy name. U2, Soul Asylum... oh i have to stop. Gr8 BLog, by the way. and thanks for your comment on my blog :)
Date Added: 21/05/2005

Gone Away
Thank you, Sudhamshu. Interesting choice of songs (you're not into heavy metal by any chance?) with an equally interesting range of subject matter. I saw your your blog while riding the Blog Explosion rocket and it was so different and more interesting than the usual run of blogs that I just had to comment. I look forward to reading more of your postings in the future.
Date Added: 21/05/2005

I don't see many challenging with new songs and I can think of several but as I was not part of the "youth" readership sought, I was not sure I ought to comment. I don't think you have as many "protest" songs today. However, I do think that some contemporary music contains lyrics that are thought-provoking.

I find that it can be a little disappointing to find one song you really like and then find out the rest of the band's music is Top 40 fodder, but there are some good lyrics here and there. I would definitely add REM to the mix. I think Matchbox 20 consistently puts out songs that have impact. "Push" is a great song that is often misunderstood due to the lyric "I want to push you around.. I want to take you for granted". "Unwell" wins points for being one of the only recent hit songs to include a banjo (not to mention it sounds a lot like a poem I wrote when I was 13). I might also suggest Dave Matthews "The Space Between"


All day staring at the ceiling
Making friends with shadows on my wall
All night hearing voices telling me
That I should get some sleep
Because tomorrow might be good for something

Hold on
Feeling like I’m headed for a breakdown
And I don’t know why


But I’m not crazy, I’m just a little unwell
I know right now you can’t tell
But stay awhile and maybe then you’ll see
A different side of me
I’m not crazy, I’m just a little impaired
I know right now you don’t care
But soon enough you’re gonna think of me
And how I used to be...me

I’m talking to myself in public
Dodging glances on the train
And I know, I know they’ve all been talking about me
I can hear them whisper
And it makes me think there must be something wrong with me
Out of all the hours thinking
Somehow I’ve lost my mind

The Space Between

You cannot quit me so quickly
Is no hope in you for me
No corner you could squeeze me
But I got all the time for you, love

The Space Between
The tears we cry
Is the laughter keeps us coming back for more
The Space Between
The wicked lies we tell
And hope to keep safe from the pain

But will I hold you again?
These fickle, fuddled words confuse me
Like 'Will it rain today?'
Waste the hours with talking, talking
These twisted games we're playing
We're strange allies
With warring hearts
What a wild-eyed beast you'll be
The Space Between
The wicked lies we tell
And hope to keep safe from the pain

Will I hold you again?
Will I hold...

Look at us spinning out in
The madness of a roller coaster
You know you went off like a devil
In a church in the middle of a crowded room
All we can do, my love
Is hope we don't take this ship down

The Space Between
Where you're smiling high
Is where you'll find me if I get to go
The Space Between
The bullets in our firefight
Is where I'll be hiding, waiting for you
The rain that falls
Splash in your heart
Ran like sadness down the window into your room
The Space Between
Our wicked lies
Is where we hope to keep safe from pain

Take my hand
'Cause we're walking out of here
Oh, right out of here
Love is all we need, dear

The Space Between
What's wrong and right
Is where you'll find me hiding, waiting for you
The Space Between
Your heart and mine
Is the space we'll fill with time
The Space Between...

Date Added: 21/05/2005

Gone Away
An excellent answer, Ned, and I appreciate too the amount of HTML you've had to add in to get the lines right! Good songs, I admit, especially Unwell (I detect echoes of paranoia in it - and a little paranoia always helps a song :D).

It looks as though I was right to suspect that there were good songs still being produced with thoughtful lyrics. Thanks everyone for all your suggestions and the trouble you've been to in getting the lyrics written out for this blog. :)
Date Added: 21/05/2005

Look whose blog this is and I forget the Afro Celt Sound System completely. The hit song most will know is "When You're Falling" with Peter Gabriel. But although many of the songs are beautiful, I will list only one.

B’fhearr liom bheith ag scriobh/ I would rather write
Mar gheall ar solas an lae / About the nature and character of daylight
Na’ behith ag cur sios / Than to describe
Ar miant mo chroi / The yearnings of my heart
B’fhearr liom bheith a siul / I would instead, walk
San bhfoiris gle / The illuminated forest

Rain becomes silver
Leave turn to gold
B’fhearr liom feachaint siar /I would rather look back
Is bheith ag eitilt san aer / And fly through the air
Na’ behith I cgonai troid / Than to always fight
In aghaidh an saol / Against the world
B’fhearr liom bheith im’ leanbh / Instead of this I would be a child
San aoibhneas gie / In intense happiness

Rain becomes silver
Leave turn to gold
Cloth become amber
Wind turn to snow

B’fhearr liom lui ar thalahm / I would rather lie on the ground
Is bheith a stanadh ar an re / And gaze at the heavens
Na’ behith feachaint sios uaim / Than to look down
Ar dath an chre / At the colour of the earth
B’fhearr liom bheith ag cogar / Instead, I would whisper
Le ceol na n-ean / The song of birds
Mere, soeur . . . la guere n’est pas bonne / Mother, sister . . . war is not a good thing
Gens du monde la guere n’a que des vaincus / People of the world, war has only losers
Simple orguell de l’homme pour montrer sa capacite en detruisant son prochain / The simple pride of men to demonstrate their power whilst destroying their brothers

Date Added: 22/05/2005

Gone Away
Okay, now to see if I can close that em tag...
Date Added: 22/05/2005

Gone Away
Yeehaa, done it! Great song, Ned. Once again, you have proved me wrong. :)
Date Added: 22/05/2005

This field is required
poetry makes me drink cheap whiskey
Date Added: 22/05/2005

Gone Away
You think whiskey's cheap, Damian? Depends where you buy it, I suppose...
Date Added: 22/05/2005

Ned mentioned Matchbox 20 (Push is a great song!) and I wanted to add another one of their songs, Bent. I'll just give a you a tidbit of that one: I started out clean but I’m jaded Just phoning it in Just breaking the skin Can you help me I’m bent I’m so scared that I’ll never Get put back together You’re breaking me in And this is how we will end With you and me bent More tidbits of modern songs with great lyrics: White Stripes, "Seven Nation Army" (I'll just give you 1 verse): I’m going to wichita Far from this opera for evermore I’m gonna work the straw Make the sweat drip out of every pore And I’m bleeding, and I’m bleeding, and I’m bleeding Right before the lord All the words are gonna bleed from me And I will think no more And the stains coming from my blood Tell me go back home Tool - just about anything, but I'll give you some of "Sober": There’s a shadow just behind me. shrouding every step I take. Making every promise empty. pointing every finger at me Waiting like a stalking butler, who upon the finger rests. Murder now the path of ’must we’, just because the son has come. Jesus, won’t you fucking whistle. something but the past and done. Why can’t we not be sober? I just want to start this over. Why can’t we drink forever? I just want to start this over. I am just a worthless liar. I am just an imbecile. I will only complicate you. trust in me and fall as well. I will find a center in you. I will chew it up and leave. I will work to elevate you, just enough to bring you down. Mother mary, won’t you whisper. something but the past is done. Why can’t we not be sober? I just want to start this over. Why can’t we sleep forever? I just want to start this over. Smashing Pumpkins, "Disarm" (one of my very favorites): Disarm you with a smile And cut you like you want me to Cut that little child Inside of me and such a part of you Ooh, the years burn I used to be a little boy So old in my shoes And what I choose is my choice What’s a boy supposed to do? The killer in me is the killer in you My love I send this smile over to you Ok, that one's not REAL new, but I don't think it qualifies yet as old. There are some other great lyrics out of the 90's, but I think I've posted enough. I will mention, however, Beck's "Loser," Rage Against the Machine's "Killing in the Name Of," Nirvana's "All Apologies," Bush's "Everything Zen," and Blind Melon's "No Rain." I could go on and on with great lyrics, but I'll stop now.
Date Added: 22/05/2005

Sorry, I didn't see that I needed to use html to make line breaks! Hope that's not too unreadable!
Date Added: 22/05/2005

Gone Away
No problem re the line breaks, Joy - everything's still readable! Interesting list of songs (of course, I've never heard any of them as far as I'm aware). Thanks for working so hard to give me an answer. It is really good to see that the art of great lyric writing is not dead after all - and I think I'll think twice before issuing a similar challenge again! ;)
Date Added: 22/05/2005

Dang me. Someone remind Ned you can't rollerskate in a buffalo herd.
Date Added: 22/05/2005

Gone Away
You listenin', Ned? ;)
Date Added: 22/05/2005

... and to think that the poem that began this tidal wave of words and very powerful emotions is thirteen short lines long and contains only sixty-eight words. Amazing. you're obviously a dangerous internet subversive, Gone Away!
Date Added: 23/05/2005

Gone Away
Why, thank you, Ken; I think that's the nicest thing anyone's ever said to me! :D
Date Added: 23/05/2005

About the very first comment, Mad that songs about his daughter not son. He doesn't have a son. Sorry that was annoying me. I think The Bronx write good songs, for guys that haven't exactly had a easy ride in life (thats an understatement) their songs just seem to have the exceptance that bad things happen that they can't change and thats the way things are. I'll be quiet now since I doubt nobody knows what Im on about. I don't want to provoke Mad into teasing me.
Date Added: 25/05/2005

I meant anybody knows
Date Added: 25/05/2005

OH and Patti Smith writes good songs/poems. Well I think so anyway.
Date Added: 25/05/2005

Gone Away
I'm sure you're right, Boogie (although I wouldn't know either). And Mad is not allowed to tease you!
Date Added: 25/05/2005

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