Monday, June 1, 2015

Some Best Lines...

A comment on The Smiths post on Saturday from Swiss Adam, he of the always inspiring blog, Bagging Area, about 'If you ever need self validation, meet me in the alley by the railway station' being one of the best lines ever got me to thinking about some of my favourite lines from songs. Hard to narrow it down to just a few but here are some that spring instantly to mind...

Lloyd Cole and The Commotions - Four Flights Up

Why must you tell me all your secrets
when it's hard enough to love you knowing nothing

Prefab Sprout - Goodbye Lucille #1

Life's not complete till your heart's missed a beat

And you'll never make it up, or turn back the clock

Prefab Sprout - When Love Breaks Down

When love breaks down
The things you do
To stop the truth from hurting you

Squeeze - Labelled With Love

Home is a love that I miss very much,
But the past has been bottled and labelled with love

The Undertones - Teenage Kicks

A teenage dream's so hard to beat
Every time she walks down the street


Aztec Camera - How Men Are

And sometimes when we're just getting by and getting along 

It's like we're scared to see that something is wrong

The Beach Boys - Caroline No

Could I ever find in you again
The things that made me love you so much then
Could we ever bring 'em back once they have gone
Oh, Caroline no

The Smiths - I Want The One I Can't Have

I want the one I can't have 
And it's driving me mad 
It's written all over my face

The Ramones - Blitzkrieg Bop

Hey ho, let's go
Hey ho, let's go

The last one on the list might not have the same gravitas as some of the others, but as soon as you hear those opening lines you know one thing for certain, that you are in the presence of greatness and that you are about to hear one of the best songs ever written by anyone...


  1. Quite the wordsmiths here, Scott. Roddy Paddy, Lloyd, oh my! I love each and every one of these bands and songs. I'll give a shout out to Tony Asher because he's the one who could get lost in this post. He called himself Brian Wilson's "interpreter" during Pet Sounds. Much like Van Dyke Parks during SMiLE, he had to put up with a lot of garbage from Mike Love and the other Beach Boys who didn't understand Brian's vision. The general ideas for lyrics were conveyed by Brian, but they are actually Tony's lines on eight of the songs. The man who wrote the words to one of the most beautiful albums ever went on to make a living as a commercial jingle writer.

    1. Hi Brian, completely agree that Tony Asher seems to have been forgotten when it comes to Pet Sounds. As beautiful as the album is, Tony Asher's words are integral to that beauty.

  2. A great topic...and I love your choices. I'm crap at remembering lyrics but there are one or two that stick, a favourite of mine is from Morrissey's Come Back To Camden "under slate-grey Victorian sky, here you'll find, despair and I". Mind you, once you start on Morrissey lyrics I suspect there's no end to the list.
    I asked Mr SDS about his after I'd read your post last night, as I knew he'd have a few.. so I must just give a quick mention to his choice from School's Out for the lines "Well we got no class, and we got no principles, and we got no innocence, we can't even think of a word that rhymes".

    1. Hi C, great Morrissey lyric choice with Camden Town. I could almost have done this post just with lines from Morrissey, Paddy Mcaloon and Lloyd Cole as they all have so many great lines. Forgot about that line from School's Out, Mr SDS has picked a good one there.

  3. Morissey can/could be a fantastic wordsmith. "Take me to the heaven of your something that you never said"

    1. Steven Patrick Morrissey is responsible for so many of my favourite lyrics and "Take me to the haven" is just one of so many great lines that he wrote..

  4. You're spot on about 'Hey ho, let's go'

    1. Hi SA, as soon as those words come in you just know..

  5. The jukebox is playing a honky tonk song
    One more I keep saying and then I'll go home
    What good would it do me I know what I'll find
    An empty bottle of broken hearts and you're still on my mind

    George Jones - You're Still On My Mind Lyrics

    These shabby shoes I'm wearin' all the time
    Are full of holes and nails
    And brother if I stepped on a worn out dime
    I bet a nickel I could tell you if it was heads or tails

    Hank Williams - I'll Never Get Out of This Place Alive

    Wish I was in Tijuana
    Eating barbecued iguana

    Wall of Voodoo - Mexican Radio

  6. Hi CC, three great lyrics there. Country music has some of the best lyrics ever written, especially early country. Love that Hank Williams lyric..

  7. Stole rims
    Are they alloy
    or chrome - Frontwards, Stephen Malkmus

    Who makes the Nazis?
    Intellectual half-wits - Who Makes the Nazis, Mark E Smith

    Built like she was
    She had the nerve to ask me
    If I planned to do her any harm - Prince, Raspberry Beret

    1. That is a great lyric from Raspberry Beret Erik. Not only one of his best lyrics, also his best song.

  8. You've really got me thinking now, there's nothing I like more than a well turned phrase in a lyric and there are some fine examples here. I'll have to mull this over for a while, but 'Kingdom of Love' by The Soft Boys is very quotable. I mentioned this one on another blog recently and it's surely some kind of playful genius;

    'I would ramble all through time and space,
    Just to have a butcher's at your face'

    1. Like that a lot Swede, have to admit I don't know the song but away to have a listen right now.