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Top Songwriter Lyrics

  The sheer volume of music that has been written, past and present, makes for a somewhat formidable task of any song standing out based solely on it's lyrical content, usually the combination of music, words, and performance, creates a hit song. That being said, there are still many artists who have such a way with words that their work stands head and shoulders above the rest. These musicians have the ability to string words together in colorful, descriptive, imaginative, poetic, unique and sometimes unusual, patterns that transform a song from mere "background noise" to a concious involvement on the part of the listener.
   These talented artists are not just in the mainstream of music, but may also come from the ranks of the occassional back porch picker, or garage band neighborhood rock hero. If you know a song, or have written a song, and want to add it to our list please use the form at the bottom, and please read the terms and © info. Thanks, A/8

Don Henley


 

Don Henley - If Dirt Were Dollars - from the album; "The End Of The Innocence". Don Henley, (born July 22, 1947 in Gilmer, Texas), is an American rock musician who is the drummer and one of the lead singers and lyricists for the band The Eagles. Don Henley has enjoyed a very successful solo career and has played a major role in several environmental issues. The End of the Innocence is the third album by Don Henley. Released in 1989, it is his best selling album at over 6 million copies in the United States,and the album was ranked number 389 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. Probably the only time the word "uncomprehendingly" was or will ever again be used in a song. The ability to use a "SIX" syllable word in a song at all is somewhat remarkable, and I can only imagine Don smiling to himself as the line came to him.   * Buy the CD

Track Listing; 1. End of the Innocence, 2. How Bad Do You Want It?, 3. I Will Not Go Quietly, 4. Last Worthless Evening, 5. New York Minute, 6. Shangri-La, 7. Little Tin God, 8. Gimme What You Got, 9. If Dirt Were Dollars, 10. Heart of the Matter.


If Dirt Were Dollars
(excerpt)

She should've had the Oscar
She must have been mis-cast
Her fifteen minutes went by so fast
I said, “Now, baby, have you got no shame?”
She just looked at me, uncomprehendingly
Like cows at a passing train

If dirt were dollars
If dirt were dollars
If dirt were dollars
I wouldn't worry anymore

written: D. Henley, J.D. Souther, and D. Kortchmar

The full lyrics to "If Dirt Were Dollars" can be found here.   * Buy the CD

 

Tom Waits

 

Tom Waits - Nighthawks Postcards and Spare Parts I, are two of my favorite tracks from the album; "Nighthawks At The Diner". Tom Waits (born December 7, 1949), is an American singer-songwriter, composer, and actor. Waits has a distinctive voice, described as sounding "Like it was soaked in a vat of bourbon, left hanging in the smokehouse for a few months, and then taken outside and run over with a car", by critic Daniel Durchholz. Tom has such a truly amazing talent for stringing words together, that it's hard to chose any particular song to quote. His lyrics are colorful, and descriptive and can be compared to the works of the Master Painters who were able to convey a large amount of detail and emotional content in a few brush strokes. Waits is an acquired taste that is definitely worth acquiring.    *Buy the CD

Track Listing; 1. Opening Intro, 2. Emotional Weather Report, 3. Intro; 4. On A Foggy Night, 5. Intro; 6. Eggs And Sausage, 7. Intro; 8. Better Off Without A Wife, 9. Nighthawk Postcards (From Easy Street), 10. Intro; 11. Warm Beer And Cold Women, 12. Intro; 13. Putnam County, 14. Spare Parts 1 (A Nocturnal Emission), 15. Nobody, 16. Intro; 17. Big Joe And Phantom 309, 18. Spare Parts 2 And Closing (spoken word).

 

Nighthawk Postcards
(From Easy Street)

(excerpt)

But Christ, I got my lips around a bottle
and I got my foot on the throttle and I'm standin' on the corner
Standin' on the corner like a just got in town jasper)
I'm on a street corner with a gasper
Lookin' for some kind of a Cheshire billboard grin
Stroking a goateed chin
Using parking meters as walking sticks
Yeah, on the inebriated stroll
With my eyelids propped open at half mast

Written by: Tom Waits
Nighthawks At The Diner, Elektra/ Asylum Records, 1975

The full lyrics to "Nighthawk Postcards" can be found here.   *Buy the CD

Spare Parts I (A Nocturnal Emission)

Yeah baby, you put me on hold and I'm out in the wind
And it's gettin' mighty cold
It's colder than a gut-shot bitch wolf dog with nine sucklin' pups
pullin' a number 4 trap up a hill in the dead of winter
in the middle of a snowstorm with a mouth full of porcupine quills

Written by: Tom Waits and Chuck E. Weiss
Nighthawks At The Diner, Elektra/ Asylum Records, 1975

The full lyrics to "Spare Parts I" can be found here.   *Buy the CD

 

John Lennon

 

John Lennon - Imagine from the album of the same name . John Winston Lennon, (October 9, 1940 – December 8, 1980) was an English rock musician, singer, writer, songwriter, artist, actor and peace activist gaining worldwide fame as one of the founding members of The Beatles. Throughout his musical career Lennon has written or co-written, (with Paul Mcartney), a vast catalogue of songs. The earlier works with the Beatles were indicative of the rock genre of the time, until the mid '60s when they began delving into uncharted territory with Sgt. Peppers, Magical Mystery Tour, Abbey Road, etc. After the Break up of the Beatles in 1970, John released several solo albums. IMAGINE and John's first solo release, Plastic Ono Band , are an insightful look into John Lennon's state of mind immediately post-Beatles.The lyrics are poignant enough to be listed here in their entirety.   *Buy the CD

Track Listing; 1. Imagine, 2. Crippled Inside, 3. Jealous Guy, 4. It's So Hard, 5. I Don't Want To Be A Soldier, 6. Give Me Some Truth, 7. Oh My Love, 8. How Do You Sleep?, 9. How?, 10. Oh Yoko!

 

Imagine

Imagine there's no heaven,
It's easy if you try,
No hell below us,
Above us only sky,
Imagine all the people
living for today...

Imagine there's no countries,
It isn't hard to do,
Nothing to kill or die for,
No religion too,
Imagine all the people
living life in peace...

Imagine no possessions,
I wonder if you can,
No need for greed or hunger,
A brotherhood of man,
imagine all the people
Sharing all the world...

You may say I'm a dreamer,
but I'm not the only one,
I hope some day you'll join us,
And the world will live as one
.

Ascot Sound Studios, Ascot, England.  *Buy the CD

 

Bruce Springsteen

 

 

Bruce Springsteen - Badlands from the "Darkness On The Edge Of Town" album released: June 2, 1978. Springsteen released his first album "Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J" in 1973, but it was his second album, "The Wild, The Innocent & The E Street Shuffle" in 1974 that brought him into the mainstream. While he has excellent and often poignant lyrics on the majority of his songs, this song pretty much sums up the common theme of his musical works.   *Buy the CD

Track Listing; 1. Badlands, 2. Adam Raised a Cain, 3. Something in the Night, 4. Candy's Room, 5. Racing in the Street, 6. Promised Land, 7. Factory, 8. Streets of Fire, 9. Prove It All Night, 10. Darkness on the Edge of Town

 

 

Badlands

Badlands you gotta live it every day
Let the broken hearts stand
As the price you've gotta pay

Well keep pushin' till its understood
And these badlands start treating us good

Workin' in the field till you get your back burned
Workin' 'neath the wheels till you get your facts learned.
Baby I got my facts learned real good right now.
You better get it straight darling:
Poor men wanna be rich, rich men wanna be kings,
And a king ain't satisfied till he rules everything.

The full lyrics to Badlands can be found here.   *Buy the CD

 

Jude Cole

 

 

 Jude Cole - Speed of Life from Jude Cole’s fourth release, "I Don’t Know Why I Act This Way". Jude is a rock singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist (primarily a guitarist) who has also worked as a record producer, television personality, and actor. This song, like most of Jude Cole's musical works, is full of descriptive lyrics, but this is one of my favorites. Jude Cole is probably one of the best rockers you never heard of. With several albums to his credit, he is definitely worth the listen.   *Buy the CD

Track Listing; 1. Speed of Life, 2. Believe in You, 3. Move If You're Going, 4. Low Life, 5. Joe, 6. Sheila Don't Remember, 7. Take the Reins, 8. Madison, 9. Hole at the Top of the World, 10. Heaven's Last Attempt.

 

 

Speed of Life
(excerpt)

Like ghosts on open windows
The curtains rise and fall
The past is a foreign country
At the dark end of the hall
And the morning is an offering
To the shelter of the day
But the violent come and they bury it away

Time goes by at the speed of life
Slower than a slow dance on a hot summer night
Faster than the skin breaks on the edge of a knife
And we just go on at the speed of life

The full lyrics to Speed of Life can be found here.   *Buy the CD

 

Simon and Garfunkel

 

 Simon and Garfunkel - Released in 1966, "Sounds of Silence", their second album, was the record that introduced Simon & Garfunkel to the world at large. When the original, acoustic version was recorded an electric backing track was added to the mix thereby pretty much inventing folk-rock, as well as launching Simon & Garfunkel into stardom. Paul Simon's skills as a lyricist combined with Garfunkel's harmonizing ability on Sounds of Silence made for a haunting commentary on the cold, crowded, vacancy of city life.   *Buy the CD

Track Listing; 1. The Sound of Silence, 2. Leaves That Are Green, 3. Blessed, 4. Kathy's Song, 5. Somewhere They Can't Find Me, 6. Anji,
7
. Richard Cory, 8. A Most Peculiar Man, 9. April Come She Will, 10. We've Got a Groovy Thing Goin, 11. I Am a Rock, 12. Bonus tracks (2001 CD reissue), Blues Run The Game, Barbriallen, Rose of Aberdeen, Roving Gambler.

 

 

Sound of Silence
(excerpt)

And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more.
People talking without speaking,
People hearing without listening,
People writing songs that voices never share
And no one dare
Disturb the sound of silence.

The full lyrics to Sounds of Silence can be found here.   *Buy the CD

 

Leonard Cohen


 Leonard Cohen's 1992 release, The Future, presents a somewhat cynical viewpoint on society, with Leonard's gruff-voiced theme "I've seen the future...it's murder."The Future is rife with the sometimes dark and prophetic lyrics for which Cohen is well-known. Born September 21, 1934 Cohen is a Canadian singer-songwriter, musician, poet and novelist. Cohen published his first book of poetry in Montreal in 1956 and his first novel in 1963. Cohen's early songs were rooted in European folk music and since the 1980s his high baritone voice has dropped into the lower registers (bass baritone and bass). The Future mixes Cohen's unique vocals with the accompaniment of electronic synthesizers and female back up singers.   *Buy the CD

Track Listing; 1.The Future, 2. Waiting For The Miracle, 3.Be For Real, 4. Closing Time, 5. Anthem, 6. Democracy, 7. Light As The Breeze, 8. Always, 9. Tacoma Trailer.

 

 

The Future
(excerpt)

Give me back my broken night
my mirrored room, my secret life
it's lonely here,
there's no one left to torture
Give me absolute control
over every living soul
And lie beside me, baby,
that's an order!
Give me crack and anal sex
Take the only tree that's left
and stuff it up the hole
in your culture
Give me back the Berlin wall
give me Stalin and St Paul
I've seen the future, brother:
it is murder.

The full lyrics to The Future can be found here.   *Buy the CD

 

Lea Salonga

 

 

 Lea Salonga is a Filipino singer and actress who made her professional debut at 7 in her homeland of the Philippines performing in the musical "The King and I", and has since appeared in several other plays/musicals. She is probably best known for her role as Kim in Miss Saigon, for which she won various international awards for that single role. Lea's musical career began at the age of ten with the release of her first album "Small Voice" which went gold in the Philippines. The song "The Journey appears on her sophomore album released in 1993, the song was written by Julie R. Gold, the album was titled simply "Lea".   *Buy the CD

Track listing; 1. Vision of You, 2. Every Time We Fall, 3. It's Just Good-Bye, 4. Finish What You Started, 5. Heaven Tonight, 6. We Could Be In Love, 7. Lessons of Love, 8. Remind My Heart, 9. I Honestly Love You, 10. A Flame for You, 11. The Journey.     (Thanks to Michael for the submission)

 

The Journey (written by Julie R. Gold)

Half the world is sleeping,
half the world's awake
half can hear their hearts beat
half just hear them break

I am but a traveler, in most every way
Ask me what you want...to know

What a journey it has been.......

The full Lyrics for "The Journey" can be found here.    *Buy the CD

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Randy Travis  

 Randy Travis began his career after winning a talent show at the Country City USA talent show at age 16. Randy Bruce Traywick moved to Nashville in 1981 and signed with Warner Brothers Records in 1985 where he became Randy Travis. Heroes and Friends is a collection of duets performed with an interesting and diverse mix of musical performers. Randy Travis has released numerous albums over the course of thirty years that began with a talent show and led to an illustrious music and movie career. Main line of Heroes and friends is "Your friends won't forsake you for somebody else".    *Buy The CD

Track listing; 1. Heroes and Friends, 2. Do I Ever Cross Your Mind, 3. Birth of the Blues, 4. All Night Long, 5. The Human Race, 6. Shopping for Dresses, 7. Waiting on the Light to Change, 8. A Few Ole Country Boys, 9. Walk Our Own Road, 10. We're Strangers Again, 11. Smokin' the Hive, 12. Come See About Me, 13. Happy Trails, 14. Heroes and Friends (Reprise).   (Thanks to Jeff M. for the submission)
???Jeff (F chord) M. from South Dakota????

 

Heroes And Friends
(Randy Travis, Don Schlitz)

I ain't lived forever, but I've lived enough
I've learned to be gentle, and I've learned to be tough
I've found only two things that last 'til the end,
One is your heroes, the other's your friends

Chorus:
Your heroes will help you find good in yourself
Your friends won't forsake you for somebody else
They'll both stand beside you through thick and through thin
That's how it goes with heroes and friends

I grew up with cowboys I watched on TV
My friends and I sometimes pretended to be
Years have gone by, but now and again
My heart rides the range with my heroes and friends

*Buy The CD

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Avril Lavigne

 

 Avril Ramona Lavigne, a Canadian singer-songwriter, was born in Belleville, Ontario. Avril Lavigne's career was launched when she made an appearance onstage with Shania Twain at age 15, which lead to a recording contract at 16 years of age. The following year saw the release of her debut album "Let Go", which was released in 2002 and became #1 seller going 4X Platinum with over 17 million sold worldwide. Lavigne branched out from recording music, pursuing careers in feature film acting and designing clothes and perfumes, even doing voice overs in animated films. "Goodbye Lullaby" is Avril's fourth album release.   *Buy the CD

Track Listing; 1. Black Star, 2. What the Hell, 3. Push, 4. Wish You Were Here, 5. Smile, 6. Stop Standing There, 7. I Love You, 8. Everybody Hurts, 9. Not Enough, 10. 4 Real, 11. Darlin, 12. Remember When, 13. Goodbye, 14. Alice.   (Thanks to bindiya for the submission)

 

 

What The Hell
Avril Lavigne

All my life I’ve been good, but now
Oh I’m thinking what the hell (what the hell)
All I want is to mess around
And I don’t really care about (don’t care about)
All my life I’ve been good, but now
Oh I’m thinking what the hell

All I want is to mess around
And I don’t really care about (if you love me)
If you love me - no
If you hate me - no
You can’t save me baby, baby (if you love me)
All my life I’ve been good, but now
Oh what the hell!

The full Lyrics for "What The hell " can be found here.   *Buy the CD

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K'naan 

 K'naan, poet, rapper, singer, songwriter and instrumentalist was born Keynaan Cabdi Warsame in Somalia in 1978 and grew up in Mogadishu during the Somali Civil War in the '90s. K'naan's first exposure to the arts comes from his aunt, Magool, a famous Somali singer, and his grandfather, Haji Mohammad, a poet. He spent the early years of his life listening to hip-hop records sent to him from America by his father, who had previously fled Somalia. When he was 13, K'naan, his mother, and his three siblings left their homeland for New York City, moving on to Toronto, Canada, where he currently resides with his wife Deqa, and his two sons. Even though he could not speak english K'naan taught himself hip-hop and rap by phoenetically copying the lyrics and style. The song titled "Take A Minute" is from K'naan's fourth album "Troubadour".   *Buy the CD

Track listing; 1. T.I.A., 2. Abc's, 3. Dreamer, 4. I Come Prepared, 5. Bang Bang, 6. If Rap Gets Jealous, 7. Wavin' Flag, 8. Somalia, 9. America, 10. Fatima, 11. Fire In Freetown, 12. Take a Minute, 13. 15 Minutes Away, 14. People Like Me.   (Thanks to Fabrizio R for the submission)

 

 

Take A Minute
K'naan

And any man who knows a thing, knows he knows, not a damn, damn thing at all.
And everytime I felt the hurtin' I felt the givin', and gettin' me up off the wall.

I'm just gonna take a minute, and let it ride.
I'm just gonna take a minute and let it breeze.

The full Lyrics for "Take A Minute" can be found here.   *Buy the CD

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