There are some other discussions on lyrics, but I didn't see any that were about songs that you thought had good lyrics in general, or just lyrics you thought were interesting. So, if there are any lyrics that you thought were especially well-crafted, post a link (and the song that goes with it if you please ^^) and try to describe what it is about the lyrics that you think is so interesting.

To get the ball rolling...

I love great music lyrics, thought I seem to prefer snobby/depressing/screwed-up type lyrics. My favorite lyricist of all time (right now) is Chino Moreno - best known as the frontman for the Deftones, but he also has a notable side-project, "Team Sleep".

In the Deftones' "My Own Summer (Shove It)", for example, I just love the way he uses words. The song is basically about an apocalyptic fantasy he had of seeing the entire human race disappear, but the way he describes it is just so cool. The interlude, for instance, is just so ominous, and goes so well with the bass solo: "the shade is a tool, a device, a savior - see I try and look up to the sky, but my eyes burn" and then it breaks into the chorus, where he shouts at the clouds, "cloud, come shove the sun aside". Just the image that it creates, the violence he imbues in what's normally seen as such a peaceful phenomenon is cool to me. His work is just so complex and metaphorical that it's fun just to figure it out.

Here's the video | These are the lyrics

On a completely different note is "The Bullets' Breath" by Iniquity. Death metal in general is about corpses and death and rotting and so on, but the thing that I love about the lyrics in this one is the way that it reveals the narrators obsession with the physical breakdown of the body after death. The lyrics aren't just gory, they're obsessed, fascinated.

Here's the song | There are the lyrics

Last one I wanted to give was "Parabol/Parabola" by Tool. If you can overlook the Buddhism in the song, it's really neat-o :P It's not as cryptic as many other songs - it's basically about the process of rebirth, but it's really well-done, IMO.

Here's the video | Part I Part II

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Good discussion topic. I'll have to think on it and come back to it. Some, of course, I've already posted in this group, but I can crosspost again. Thanks Aaron.
"Apart from the snide political stuff, which I enjoy writing, the rest of the lyrics wouldn’t exist at all if it weren’t for the fact that we live in a society where instrumental music is irrelevant." - Frank Zappa

Whatever, his lyrics are consistently brilliant and hilariously funny. Check for yourself on the St. Alphonso' Pancake site.
I think "Ode to Billy Joe," by Bobbie Gentry is a wonderfully written song. Read the lyrics first and then I'll discuss them below. Video and MP3 attached.

Ode to Billy Joe

It was the third of June, another sleepy, dusty Delta Day
I was out choppin' cotton and my brother was bailin' hay
And at dinner time we stopped and walked back to the house to eat
And mama hollered out the back door, "Y'all remember to wipe your feet"
Then she said, "I got some news this mornin' from Choctaw Ridge
Today Billie Joe Macallister jumped off the Tallahatchie Bridge"

And papa said to mama as he passed around the black-eyed peas
"Well, Billie Joe never had a lick of sense, pass the biscuits, please
There's five more acres in the lower forty, I've got to plow"
Mama said, 'It was a shame about Billie Joe, anyhow
'Seems like nothin' ever comes to no good on Choctaw Ridge
And now Billie Joe MacAllister's jumped off the Tallahatchie Bridge.'

Brother said he recollected when he and Tom and Billie Joe
Put a frog down my back at the Carroll County picture show
And wasn't I talkin' to him after church last Sunday night?
I'll have another piece of apple pie, you know, it just don't seem right
I saw him at the sawmill yesterday on Choctaw Ridge
And now you tell me Billie Joe's jumped off the Tallahatchie Bridge

Mama said to me, "Child, what's happened to your appetite?
I've been cookin' all morning and you haven't touched a single bite
That nice young preacher, Brother Taylor, stopped by today
Said he'd be pleased to have dinner on Sunday, oh, by the way
He said he saw a girl that looked a lot like you up on Choctaw Ridge
And she and Billie Joe was throwing somethin' off the Tallahatchie Bridge"

Now a year has come 'n' gone since we heard the news 'bout Billie Joe
Brother married Becky Thompson, they bought a store in Tupelo
There was a virus going 'round, Papa caught it and he died last Spring
And now Mama doesn't seem to wanna do much of anything
And me, I spend a lot of time pickin' flowers on Choctaw Ridge
I throw them into the muddy water off the Tallahatchie Bridge

I just love how this is written. First, there is this tale of tragedy and suicide interspersed among the dinner talk--pass the black-eyed peas, I'll have another piece of apple pie, etc.-- which I find to be highly incongruous, and yet equally effective. Of course, the real story here isn't being told directly, but indirectly. This was a different time, when one could not talk about pre-marital sex, abortion, or even sexuality. To know what really happened here, we must read between the lines: the female narrator and Billy Joe have clearly had premarital sex, she got pregnant, hid the pregnancy, either intentionally or accidentally aborted the baby, and then they threw the swaddled child into the river at the Tallahatchie Bridge. Billy Joe has felt such remorse over the event that the has followed his child and thrown himself off the bridge. And yet, the family refuses to see the evidence before their eyes: "He said he saw a girl that looked a lot like you up on Choctaw Ridge / And she and Billie Joe was throwing somethin' off the Tallahatchie Bridge."

And yet none of this is told --we must only infer it. That is brilliant writing as far as I'm concerned.
I agree, that's amazingly well-done. It's good you explained it, too, because I would never have guessed there was that much going on behind the scenes, lol :P
I never knew that was the story behind the song. Thanks for the explanation.
@Aaron & Anne:

Well, it's really implied. Of course, it is just fiction, but if it wasn't, the actuality of the details may be slightly different from what I said, but they are basically true. To understand the story you have to read between the lines, pay attention to what is implied, and fill in the gaps of what is not being said. Like I said, it takes a really creative writer to do that.
Here is another beautifully written song--an old Irish ballod. Dead Can Dance version attached.

The Wind that Shakes the Barley

I sat within a valley green
I sat me with my true love
My sad heart strove to choose between
The old love and the new love
The old for her, the new that made
Me think on Ireland dearly
While soft the wind blew down the glen
And shook the golden barley

Twas hard the woeful words to frame
To break the ties that bound us
But harder still to bear the shame
Of foreign chains around us
And so I said, "The mountain glen
I'll seek at morning early
And join the bold united men
While soft winds shake the barley

While sad I kissed away her tears
My fond arms 'round her flinging
A full man shot burst on our ears
From out the wildwood ringing
A bullet pierced my true love's side
In life's young spring so early
And on my breast in blood she died
While soft winds shook the barley

I bore her to some mountain stream
And many's the summer blossom
I placed with branches soft and green
About her gore-stained bosom
I wept and kissed her clay-cold corpse
Then rushed o'er vale and valley
My vengeance on the foe to wreak
While soft winds shook the barley

But blood for blood without remorse
I've taken at Oulart Hollow
And laid my true love's clay-cold corpse
Where I full soon may follow
As 'round her grave I wander drear
Noon, night and morning early
With breaking heart when e'er I hear
The wind that shakes the barley
The good thing about country and folk ballads is that they are often narratives with a story to tell, unlike a lot of pop music.

Here is one I posted on Ars Poetica: "Moonshiner." You can listen to it there.

And here is another one I posted on this group, "Fair and Tender Ladies."

The song attached entitled "Barbara Allen" is also a very well-written old song. I think they've modified the lyrics some for this version, as I can't find them online, but they are easy to understand if you listen.

And here is "When Love is New," a song that is always sung in a duet. The song is attached.

Love is pretty when love is new
Like a blushing rose in a dazzling dew
Intoxicating like cherry sweet wine
When love is new it's magic

Mother, oh, mother why can't you see
He's the only love for me
Why must thou be opposed to me
Cause I'm asking for thy blessing

Daughter, oh, daughter i know he's kind
You think he's handsome and you think he's fine
But he'll use your body and tangle your mind
Too late you'll learn this lesson

(repeat chours)

When love grow old it's tragic

Mother, oh, mother, he's not that way
His touch just takes my breath away
You surely remember when you felt that way
When you and father first married

Oh yes I do remember it well
What first was heaven soon turned to hell
He left with another the year you was born
But I told you he's dead and buried

(repeat chours)

He'll love me true cause he told my so

He'll break your heart when the love grows old

I love him so, I love him so

Then I pray your new love's lasting

Love is pretty when love is new
Like a blushing rose in a dazzling dew
Shines like diamond and silver and gold
When love is new it's magic
When love grows old it's tragic

(repeat chours once)

And to change course a little, here are two more songs by Nick Drake that I also like. Lyrics and songs included: "Joey" and "I was made to love magic."

I know I will think of some more later on.
Last one I wanted to give was "Parabol/Parabola" by Tool.

I finally just watched that. That is a really cool video. Are you familiar with the work of The Brothers Quay?




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