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Thursday Discussion: My Top 10 Favorite Lyrics

Posted by: Jason Tate (04/06/12)
Well, as promised yesterday -- I've got a Thursday Discussion all ready for you. It's Friday, I know ... and we've got all kinds of crazy stuff going on today as well, but that doesn't mean we can't also talk about one of my favorite topics in music: lyrics. I'd say overall, lyrics draw me to a band more than just about anything else. I love a good vocal, sure ... but if the words are right, nothing else hits me in quite the same way. Now, we could discuss favorite lyricists (and this will be a future topic); however, for today what I am writing about are my top 10 favorite lyrical parts of a song. The actual words themselves.

As always I put some rules on my selection -- first, I tried to stay within our music scene (sorry, Bob Dylan -- you're still fucking awesome), and second I could only use the band once. Lastly, I looked at all the music I've loved -- and tried to take longevity into account. Otherwise this would have been full of stuff that I love today (sorry Dessa, you're still one helluva writer), compared to those that have stood the test of time. I also did my best to add some commentary about why I love the highlighted lyrical portion. I'd love to hear some of your favorite lyrics as well ... and if you're up for it, include why you picked it - and what the lyrics mean to you.

So, with that ... here's my top 10 favorite lyrics.

Brand New - "Play Crack the Sky"
"This story's old but it goes on and on until we disappear. Calm me and let me taste the salt you breathed while you were underneath. I am the one who haunts your dreams of mountains sunk below the sea. I spoke the words but never gave a thought to what they all could mean. I know that this is what you want. A funeral keeps both of us apart. You know that you are not alone. Need you like water in my lungs."

NoteI've played this song so many times I can't even count and this final verse has always meant a lot to me. The imagery and play on words is captivating. I always end up hitting repeat when it ends, and it's gone down as one of my favorite songs of all time. Lyrically, it's the kind of song that I relate perfectly with as it transports me back to when I first heard it.

Thrice - "Betrayal is a Symptom"
"Faith, is not something that I grasp, it's something that I fake, as I'm slipping, as I'm falling through the cracks. Faith, without actions is a mask, for making the same mistakes, as I'm slipping as I'm falling through the cracks."

NoteDustin has written some incredible lines over the years, and I have a giant catalog to choose from -- yet this is one of my personal favorites. I relate to it in so many ways -- and it's always spoke to me just right. I'm probably reading into it more than was ever intended ...

Jimmy Eat World - "23"
"Amazing still it seems, I'll be 23. I won't always love what I'll never have, I won't always live in my regrets."

NoteAnother band I could have picked three or four from -- but in the end I went with the one that I remember repeating to myself time and time again through a strange transitional time in my life. A song that in your mid-twenties, you're basically required to relate to.

Yellowcard - "Back Home"
"Another sunny day in Californ-i-a, I'm sure back home they'd love to see it. But they don't know that what you love is ripped away, before you get a chance to feel it. Back home I always thought I wanted so much more, now I'm not too sure -- cause sometimes I miss knowing someone's there for me and feeling free [...] Another sunny day beneath this cloudless sky, sometimes I wish that it would rain here."

NoteI left my home in Oregon for college in California the year I heard this song. I left behind a relationship, friends, and family. I left chasing oceans, sunny skies, and a new life. This song basically spelled out how I was feeling during that first year away from home. It defined a moment in my life like only music can. I still listen to this song and can feel how afraid I was of where dreams were taking me ... not knowing how anything would play out.

The Gaslight Anthem - "Here's Looking At You Kid"
"And you can tell Jane, if she writes, that I'm drunk off all these stars and all these crazy Hollywood nights. That's total deceit, but she should've married me. And tell her I spent every night of my youth on the floor, bleeding out from all these wounds. I would've gotten her a ride out of that town she despised. You tell that to Janey, if she writes."

NoteI think it's impossible to listen to this song and not think about all the relationships that didn't turn out exactly how you thought they would. The first time I heard this verse, I welled up. The imagery of the song, the way most of us have felt these things ... fuck, it's just one of those things that defines why I love music. I would have gotten her out of that town ... tell her.

Morrissey - "I Don't Mind If You Forget Me"
"So now you send me your hardened 'regards', when once you'd send me 'love'. Sincerely I must tell you, your mild 'best wishes,' they make me suspicious. I don't mind. I don't mind if you forget me."

NoteFuck this man can write. One of my favorite lyrics from one of my favorite lyricists. Spent forever trying to figure which one I wanted to include, and this one kept coming back to me. From an album that basically said, "yeah, I get you - this is how I feel too," this one has always resonated in my brain.

Blink 182 - "Untitled"
"But what do I get 'cause I just seem to lose, you make me regret those times I spent with you. And playing those games as I wait for your call, and now I give up: so goodbye and so long."

NoteMaybe they weren't the best lyricists in the world -- but fuck me if they didn't write some of the best break-up songs ever. I have always loved this particular lyric because of the summer it helped me get through. Sure, we could analyze this to death and point out shortcomings - but that's all bullshit if it makes you feel something. And from that perspective, this one hit me in a manner that quite literally changed my life.

Saves the Day - "This is Not an Exit"
"Tonight will be the night that we begin to ease the plugs out of the dam. And we still stand knee deep in the flow, the undertow will grab our heels and won't let go. And while we hold, our legs quivering, the water rises now to our teeth when we just let go -- and sail belly up to the clouds, the rocks scraping our backs."

NoteI spent hours pouring over the lyrics to early Saves the Day albums. The way Chris wrote was something I tried to emulate on a day to day bases on scrap-paper in my notebook. There was something so different and poetic about it ...

Dashboard Confessional - "The Best Deceptions"
"I heard about your regrets. I heard that you were feeling sorry. I heard from someone that you wish you could set things right between us. Well I guess I should have heard of that from you. I guess I should have heard of that from you."

NoteI don't think Chris gets enough credit for just how good of a songwriter he is. He was able to speak to a generation in a way that made it seem alright to ... be a little sensitive. I'll go back and revisit Dashboard albums every now and again - and I'm always impressed by the way he could paint a story. This particular lyric is one of those that I probably had as my away message for a good two months. Yeah, fuck that girl.

MxPx - "Doing Time"
"I remember times I had, some were happy, some were sad, memories me and my partners in crime: throwing up a thousand times. I got through it, I feel fine, I went to school and did my time -- in a sense I'm out, in a sense I'm free, to be what I wanna be."

NoteThis song was my anthem. They say that the songs you attach yourself to during the formative years of your life -- are the ones that stick with you the longest. In a lot of ways that's true. I mean, I could find a bunch of lyrics I absolutely love that are maybe more poetic or literary. But they don't give me the same rush this song does ...

After writing this, I realize just how many personal things come out through the lyrics you love. I could have done this all day. In reality, I still have a giant list of words that speak to me -- that's why I'm here. The music. The way it changes you. Hell, at this point I'm finding new ones every single year. With every year comes new obsticles to overstep in life -- and new songs to give me the courage to take those steps.
    
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 253
03:33 PM on 04/06/12
#2
ALT/MSC/FAN
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That Brand New lyric is fantastic. Nice picks.
03:33 PM on 04/06/12
#3
blimpcityhero11
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Say Anything - "Admit It Again"
"And the crap rains down..."

*waits for firestorm*

haha Kidding, but I'll have to think about this for a bit...
03:34 PM on 04/06/12
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georgedcc
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"I wouldn't want to get fucked by a kangaroo in any position"

"You got your foot half way up your dick
I bet you ten pounds it wouldn't fit
I was wrong so you must be rich"

Can't beat a wee bit of Biffy Clyro.

For real though, this is too hard a topic to answer, so I'll stick with my joke response.
03:36 PM on 04/06/12
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fishguts182
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one that is getting me lately is

"I've got my grandmother's veins in the back of my hands" - Hoodie Weather by TWY

I need to make a list and it later on in this thread
03:38 PM on 04/06/12
#6
georgedcc
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Wait, you tried to stick with bands in 'our scene' and then you included a Morrissey lyric, how does that work?

The man is a fantastic lyricist, but he's the odd one out in your list.
03:39 PM on 04/06/12
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anamericangod
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Copeland - California

"You know I won't mind if you monopolize all my time, I won't say a thing at all, I won't say a word, no."

Marvelous 3 - Cigarette Lighter Love Song

"All that I do comes back to you, so I'll just think about you til there's nothing in my head. All I can do is try not to screw this up again, and just be friends, I'd rather be dead."

Park - Conversations With Emily

"So here is my advice to you: it should have turned out different, but it didn't, so get over it. But don't you find it reassuring, that one consolation growing, my darling boy, it won't snow where she is going."

Name Taken - We Give Up Sometimes


"Hold your breath, you know how long. Do what you can to forget you were wrong. Is it okay if I don't care anymore? We give up sometimes, and I guess that should be good enough for me."

Bright Eyes - Poison Oak

"And I never thought this life was possible. You're the yellow bird that I've been waiting for."

Brand New - The Boy Who Blocked His Own Shot

Pretty much every line.
03:39 PM on 04/06/12
#8
Rob McWilliams
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If you're talking about "Play Crack the Sky..."

"They call 'em rogues, they travel fast and alone
One hundred foot faces of God's good ocean gone wrong
What they call love is a risk, 'cause you always get hit out of nowhere
By some wave and end up on your own."

Overshadows that part you mentioned a hundredfold for me.
03:39 PM on 04/06/12
#9
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ive been on a big dangerous summer kick lately. war paint is FULL of lyrics that have hit me incredibly hard. i have not had a strong emotional attachment with a band in a long time, but i've had one with TDS for quite some time now.
03:40 PM on 04/06/12
SpyKi
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Not my favourite but definitely up there and one that always comes to mind.

"You're the echoes of my everything,
You're the emptiness the whole world sings at night.
You're the laziness of afternoon,
You're the reason why I burst and why I bloom.
You're the leaky sink of sentiment,
You're the failed attempts I never could forget.
You're the metaphors I can't create to comprehend this curse that I call love.."
03:40 PM on 04/06/12
SoCoSquid4
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Copeland - California

"You know I won't mind if you monopolize all my time, I won't say a thing at all, I won't say a word, no."

Marvelous 3 - Cigarette Lighter Love Song

"All that I do comes back to you, so I'll just think about you til there's nothing in my head. All I can do is try not to screw this up again, and just be friends, I'd rather be dead."

Park - Conversations With Emily

"So here is my advice to you: it should have turned out different, but it didn't, so get over it. But don't you find it reassuring, that one consolation growing, my darling boy, it won't snow where she is going."

Brand New - The Boy Who Blocked His Own Shot

Pretty much every line.
win for marvelous 3.
03:41 PM on 04/06/12
Jason Tate
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Wait, you tried to stick with bands in 'our scene' and then you included a Morrissey lyric, how does that work?

The man is a fantastic lyricist, but he's the odd one out in your list.
Morrissey's basically the reason we have most of these bands ... feel like he counts.
03:41 PM on 04/06/12
Brian vs Shark
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An American Football lyric, from the song "Honestly?," that I live by (in any situation) is "All the whos are there, but the whys are unclear." Certain people come into your life, why is the real question. We don't know why until everything unfolds. I find it very powerful and moving. I'm getting it tattooed on me soon. I love it so much
03:41 PM on 04/06/12
oneeightytwo
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Some great picks Jason, Crack The Skye is perfect. The Boy Who Blocked His Own Shot has some fantastic lines in it too, especially the bridge, gets me every time.
I'll throw The Wonder Years in there too: Hoodie Weather, WSP, LRS etc.
Blink has some memorable ones too, Dude Ranch has some great moments.
03:43 PM on 04/06/12
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Morrissey's basically the reason we have most of these bands ... feel like he counts.
Yeah...I didn't think that would be particularly debatable, ha.

And JEW - 23 is a no brainer. Best song that band has ever written.
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