10 Best Song Lyrics Of All Time
Ask around, and you’ll discover everyone has his own idea about the ten best song lyrics of all time. People listen to varied musical genres, and music tastes are so subjective. That said, some lyrics have wide appeal and are recognized by just about everyone. Such are the song lyrics in our top ten list. Here is a sampling of the ten best song lyrics of all time. See if you agree.
- “You may say I’m a dreamer / But I’m not the only one / I hope someday you’ll join us / And the world will live as one.” Topping our list are John Lennon’s 1971 lyrics to “Imagine,” one of the world’s most influential songs.
- “Outside the street’s on fire / In a real death waltz / Between what’s flesh and what’s fantasy / And the poets down here / Don’t write nothing at all / They just stand back and let it all be.” Bruce Springsteen sang these lyrics in “Jungleland,” the closing song on his 1975 “Born to Run” album. The song tells of love amid a backdrop of gang violence.
- “Would you know my name / If I saw you in heaven? / Would it be the same / If I saw you in heaven? / I must be strong / And carry on / ’Cause I know I don’t belong / Here in heaven.” Eric Clapton’s emotional “Tears in Heaven” followed the 1991 death of his son, and it is one of his most successful recordings.
- “Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery / None but ourselves can free our mind / Woh, have no fear for atomic energy / ’Cause none of them-a can-a stop-a the time.” A Pan-African speech inspired Bob Marley’s seminal work. “Redemption Song” ranks among the top political songs of all time.
- “So bye-bye, Miss American Pie / Drove my Chevy to the levee / But the levee was dry / And them good old boys were drinkin’ whiskey and rye / Singin’ this’ll be the day that I die.” Don McLean’s 1971 hit “American Pie” recounts the 1959 plane crash that killed Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper.
- “When I find myself in times of trouble / Mother Mary comes to me / Speaking words of wisdom, let it be / And in my hour of darkness / She is standing right in front of me / Speaking words of wisdom, let it be.” The Beatles recorded these lyrics on their last studio album in 1970. Paul McCartney’s mother inspired “Let it Be.”
- “Mama, take this badge off of me / I can’t use it anymore / It’s getting’ dark, too dark to see / I feel I’m knockin’ on heaven's door.” Bob Dylan performed “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” for the 1973 movie soundtrack for “Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid.” Many artists have covered the song, which describes the feelings of a dying deputy sheriff.
- “Last thing I remember I was running for the door / I had to find the passage back to the place I was before / ’Relax,” said the night man, ‘We are programmed to receive / You can check out any time you like but you can never leave." These 1977 Eagles lyrics belong to one of the best-known songs of the album-rock era. “Hotel California” is an allegory about excess in Southern California music and culture of the late 1970s.
- “I’ve been searching a long time / For someone exactly like you / I’ve been traveling all round the world / Waiting for you to come through.” Van Morrison recorded the romantic “Someone Like You” in 1987. It often tops adult contemporary charts, and several movie soundtracks feature the song.
- “But only love can break your heart / Try to be sure right from the start / Yes only love can break your heart / What if your world should fall apart?" "Only Love Can Break Your Heart” is a 1970 song by Neil Young. The song was supposedly written for Graham Nash after his split from Joni Mitchell. It was Young’s first “top forty” hit as a solo artist.