Favorite Song Lyrics

I hope this thread doesn’t exist already, but thought I’d get it started with the tune below.

Richie Havens “Follow”

"Let the river rock you like a cradle
Climb to the treetops, child, if you’re able
Let your hands tie a knot across the table.
Come and touch the things you cannot feel.

And close your fingertips and fly where I can’t hold you
Let the sun-rain fall and let the dewy clouds enfold you
And maybe you can sing to me the words I just told you,
If all the things you feel ain’t what they seem.
And don’t mind me ‘cos I ain’t nothin’ but a dream.

The mocking bird sings each different song
Each song has wings - they won’t stay long.
Do those who hear think he’s doing wrong?
While the church bell tolls its one-note song
And the school bell is tinkling to the throng.
Come here where your ears cannot hear.

And close your eyes, child, and listen to what I’ll tell you
Follow in the darkest night the sounds that may impel you
And the song that I am singing may disturb or serve to quell you
If all the sounds you hear ain’t what they seem,
Then don’t mind me ‘cos I ain’t nothin’ but a dream

The rising smell of fresh-cut grass
Smothered cities choke and yell with fuming gas
I hold some grapes up to the sun
And their flavour breaks upon my tongue.
With eager tongues we taste our strife
And fill our lungs with seas of life.
Come taste and smell the waters of our time.

And close your lips, child, so softly I might kiss you,
Let your flower perfume out and let the winds caress you.
As I walk on through the garden, I am hoping I don’t miss you
If all the things you taste ain’t what they seem,
Then don’t mind me ‘cos I ain’t nothin’ but a dream .

The sun and moon both arise
And we’ll see them soon through days and nights
But now silver leaves are mirrors, bring delights.
And the colours of your eyes are fiery bright,
While darkness blinds the skies with all its light.
Come see where your eyes cannot see.

And close your eyes, child, and look at what I’ll show you;
Let your mind go reeling out and let the breezes blow you,
And maybe when we meet then suddenly I will know you.
If all the things you see ain’t
Quite what they seem,
Then don’t mind me ‘cos I ain’t nothin’ but a dream .
And you can follow; And you can follow; follow…"

Source: Musixmatch
Songwriters: Jerry Merrick
Performer: Richie Havens

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And one more for now…

David Gilmour “Short and Sweet”

" You ask what is the quality of life?
Seeking to justify the part you play
And hide, fearing it incomplete, to try
To make it any more or less than short and sweet

But short, short is from you to me, as close
As we are wont to try to make it be
We’re caught watching the dark in the sky, who knows?
Helpless as time itself to hold the time of day

And you, you are a fantasy, a view
From where you’d like to think the world should see
Be true and you will likely find a few
Building a vision new and justice to our time

And we, we, the immoral men, we dare
Naked and fearless in the elements
And free, carefree of tempting fate, aware
And holding off the moral nightmare at the gates

And sweet, sweet as a mountain stream, we’ll look
Toward a new day breaking in the east
We’ll meet as every future dream unfolds
And surely quality that is the very least"

Source: LyricFind

Songwriters: Dave Gilmour / Roy Harper

Short and Sweet lyrics © Duchamp, Inc

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One of my favorite couple of lines in a song are from “Desafinado” by Antonio Carlos Jobim and Newton Mendonça, translated by Gene Lees:

I took your picture with my trusty Roloflex
But all that developed was a complex

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I’ve always loved the lyrics to this Bob Dylan song, and the mood they invoke I have inhabited in, I relate to.

"Mississippi"

Every step of the way, we walk the line
Your days are numbered, so are mine
Time is piling up, we struggle and we stray
We’re all boxed in, nowhere to escape

City’s just a jungle, more games to play
Trapped in the heart of it, tryin’ to get away
I was raised in the country, I been working in the town
I been in trouble ever since I set my suitcase down

Got nothing for you, I had nothing before
Don’t even have anything for myself anymore
Sky full of fire, came pouring down
Nothing you can sell me, I’ll see you around

All my powers of expression and thoughts so sublime
Could never do you justice in reason or rhyme
Only one thing I did wrong
Stayed in Mississippi a day too long

Well, the devil’s in the alley, mule’s in the stall
Say anything you wanna, I have heard it all
I was thinking about the things that Rosie said
I was dreaming I was sleeping in Rosie’s bed

Walking through the leaves, falling from the trees
Feeling like a stranger nobody sees
So many things that we never will undo
I know you’re sorry, I’m sorry too

Some people will offer you their hand and some won’t
Last night I knew you, tonight I don’t
I need something strong to distract my mind
I’m gonna look at you 'til my eyes go blind

Well I got here following the southern star
I crossed that river just to be where you are
Only one thing I did wrong
Stayed in Mississippi a day too long

Well my ship’s been split to splinters and it’s sinking fast
I’m drowning in the poison, got no future, got no past
But my heart is not weary, it’s light and it’s free
I’ve got nothing but affection for all those who sailed with me

Everybody’s moving, if they ain’t already there
Everybody’s got to move somewhere
Stick with me baby, stick with me anyhow
Things should start to get interesting right about now

My clothes are wet, tight on my skin
Not as tight as the corner that I painted myself in
I know that fortune is waiting to be kind
So give me your hand and say you’ll be mine

Well, the emptiness is endless, cold as the clay
You can always come back, but you can’t come back all the way
Only one thing I did wrong
Stayed in Mississippi a day too long.

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I haven’t been to a gig for 10 days, but the lyrics on that occasion can be found in the New Testament, Gospel according to Matthew, Chapters 27 and 28. According to the prevalent tradition, verbatim. The old ones are the good ones.

No one can argue Mr. Dylan is quite the poet.

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Somebody mixed my medicine
Somebody mixed my medicine

Well you hurt where you sleep and you sleep where you lie
Now you’re in deep and now you’re gonna cry
Got a woman to your left
And a boy to your right
You start to sweat so
Hold me tight 'cause

Somebody mixed my medicine
I don’t know what I’m on
Somebody mixed my medicine
Now baby its all gone
Somebody mixed my medicine
And somebody’s in my head again
And somebody mixed my medicine again, again

Well I drink what you leak and I smoke what you sigh
See you cross the room with that look in your eye
Got a man to his left and a girl to his right
You start to sweat so
Hold me tight 'cause

Somebody mixed my medicine
I don’t know what I’m on
Somebody mixed my medicine
Now baby its all gone
Somebody mixed my medicine
Somebody’s in my head again
And somebody mixed my medicine again, again

There’s a tiger in the room and a baby in the closet
Pour another drink mom I don’t even want it
Then I turn around and think I see someone that looks like you

Well you hurt where you sleep and you sleep where you lie
Now you’re in deep and now you’re gonna cry
Got a woman to your left
And a boy to your right
You start to sweat so
Hold me tight 'cause

Somebody mixed my medicine
I don’t know what I’m on
Somebody mixed my medicine
Now baby its all gone
Somebody mixed my medicine
Somebody’s in my head again again
And somebody mixed my medicine
Again, again, again
Again, again, again
Again, again, again
Somebody mixed my medicine
Somebody mixed my medicine
Somebody mixed my medicine

The Pretty Reckless

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Made popular by the late Jerry Jeff Walker.

Well, I don’t drink as much as I used to
Lately, it just ain’t my style
And the hard times don’t hurt like they ought to
They pass quicker like when I was a child

And somehow I’ve learned how to listen
For a sound like the sun going down
In the magic the morning is bringin’
There’s a song for the life I have found
It keeps my feet on the ground

And the midsummer days sit so heavy
But don’t they flow like the breeze through your mind
When nothing appears in a hurry
To make up for someone’s lost time

And somehow I’ve learned how to listen
For a sound like the sun going down
In the magic the morning is bringing
There’s a song for the life I have found
It keeps my feet on the ground

And somehow I’ve learned how to listen
For a sound like the breeze dying down
In the magic the morning is bringing
There’s a song for the friend I have found
She keeps my feet on the ground

She keeps my feet on the ground

Songwriter: Rodney Crowell

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Lyle Lovett (written by Guy Clark and “donated” to Lyle):

"Step Inside This House"

"That picture hangin’ on the wall
Was painted by a friend
He gave it to me all down and out
When he owed me ten
Now it doesn’t look like much I guess
But it’s all that’s left of him
And it sure is nice from right over here
When the light’s a little dim

Step inside my house Babe
I’ll sing for you a song
I’ll tell you 'bout where I’ve been
It shouldn’t take too long
I’ll show you all the things I own
My treasures you might say
Couldn’t be more’n ten dollars worth
But they brighten up my day

Here’s a book of poems I got
From a girl I used to know
I guess I read it front to back
Fifty times or so
It’s all about the good life
And stayin’ at ease with the world
It’s funny how I love that book
And I never loved that girl

Hold this piece of glass
Up to the light comin’ through the door
It’s a prism glass I found on the road
Can you see that little rainbow
Well it’s not really a prism I guess
It just broke in a funny way
I found it on my way from Texas
Headed for L.A.

This guitar was given me
By old man Thomas Gray
It’s not too much to look at
But I pick it every day
It’s been across the country
Four or five times I guess
Between me and old man Tom
It never got much rest

Well that’s about all I own
And all I care to I guess
Except this pair of boots
And that funny yellow vest
And that leather jacket and leather bag
And hat hangin’ on the wall
Just so it’s not too much to carry
Could I see you again next Fall"

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When the ebbing tide retreats along the rocky shoreline
It leaves a trail of tide pools in a short-lived galaxy
Each microcosmic planet, a complete society
A simple kind of mirror to reflect upon our own
All the busy little creatures chasing out their destinies
Living in their pools, they soon forget about the sea

Wheel within wheels in a spiral array
A pattern so grand and complex
Time after time we lose sight of the way
Our causes can’t see their effects

Wheel within wheels in a spiral array
A pattern so grand and complex
Time after time we lose sight of the way
Our causes can’t see their effects

A quantum leap forward in time and space
The universe learned to expand
Mess and magic, triumphant and tragic
A mechanized world out of hand

Computerized clinic for superior cynics
Who dance to a synthetic band
In their own image their world is fashioned
No wonder they don’t understand

Wheel within wheels in a spiral array
A pattern so grand and complex
Time after time we lose sight of the way
Our causes can’t see their effects

Science, like nature, must also be tamed
With a view towards its preservation
Given the same state of integrity
It will surely serve us well

The most endangered species, the honest man
Will still survive annihilation
Forming a world, a state of integrity
Sensitive, open, and strong

Wave after wave will flow with the tide
And bury the world as it does
Tide after tide will flow and recede
Leaving life to go on as it was

Natural Science
Songwriter: Neil Peart (RIP)

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This one line from John Mellencamp always made so much sense to me -

“You’ve got to stand for something, Or you’re gonna fall for anything”

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A musician friend of mine pointed out to me that Crowell’s version of this goes “I don’t drink as much as I ought to…”

I’ve got a couple of covers of it, from Jonathan Edwards and John Starling (or The Seldom Scene when he was with them, I don’t recall which), and they both use “used to” as Walker did.

Yeah, I know. Should have edited the words—since I do agree with Mr. Crowell!

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Sorry for the colorful language. This is part of Sturgill Simpson’s You Can Have the Crown
Every time the wife talks a baby gets mentioned
But I’m so broke I can’t pay attention
Lord how it tears me up to see her cry

So I been spending all my nights on the internet
looking for a clue but ain’t found one yet
just a bunch of Mopars, guitars, & other stuff I can’t buy

Well now Lord if you can hear me won’t you throw a damn dog a bone
Cause if the Devil shows up with a better deal this old soul’s going down
I sing 'em real pretty I sing 'em real sad
All the people in the crowd say he ain’t half bad
They call me King Turd up here on Schit Mountain but if you want it you can have the crown

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Reminds me of that silly saying “I don’t drink any more… or any less”

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And that reminds me of how important punctuation can be.
I gave up drinking between Ash Wednesday and Easter.
I gave up; drinking between Ash Wednesday and Easter.

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There’s a guy on my block, he lives for rock,
He plays records, day and night.
And when he feels down, he puts some rock and roll on,
And it makes him feel alright.
And when he feels the world is closing in,
He turns his stereo way up high.

The Kinks, “Rock and Roll Fantasy”

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Pink Floyd - Us And Them

Us and them
And after all, we’re only ordinary men
Me and you
God only knows, it’s not what we would choose to do

Forward he cried from the rear
And the front rank died
The General sat, and the lines on the map
Moved from side to side

Black and blue
And who knows which is which and who is who
Up and down
And in the end, it’s only round and round and round

Haven’t you heard it’s a battle of words
The poster bearer cried
Listen son, said the man with the gun
There’s room for you inside

(They’re maybe gonna kill ya.
So like, if you give 'em a quick, short, sharp, shock, they don’t do it again.
Dig it? I mean he get off light, come to think.
Of rationalising it, once.
It’s only a difference, but why go and ruin it?
I mean good manners don’t cost nothing, do they, eh?)

Down and out
It can’t be helped, but there’s a lot of it about
With, without
And who’ll deny it’s what the fighting’s all about

Out of the way, it’s a busy day
I’ve got things on my mind
For want of the price of tea and a slice
The old man died

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I think this Melissa Etheridge lyric has a nice resonance to it:

There’s a hole in my jeans
I only wanted to fade
I’ve been ripping out seams
Somebody else made tonight

Always admired the irony in What a Fool Believes (Michael McDonald and Kenny Loggins)

“What a fool believes he sees, no wise man has the power to reason away.
What seems to be is always better than nothing,
And nothing at all keeps sending him somewhere back in her long ago
Where he can still believe there’s a place in her life.
Someday, somewhere, she will return.”

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