10 Best Song Lyrics Ever Written
Music fans and poets alike will appreciate the 10 best song lyrics ever written. Much like poetry, song lyrics are an art form all their own. Master songwriters use lyrics to turn a simple piece of music into a timeless classic. With lines full of metaphor and nimble wordplay, the best lyrics add depth and quality to their songs, creating a lasting impression on the listener.
- “Them good ole boys were drinkin’ whiskey and rye / Singing ‘This will be the day that I die” From “American Pie” by Don McLean Folk rock legend McLean released “American Pie” in 1971 on the album of the same name. In the years since, the song’s lyrics have become campfire sing-along fodder for millions of people.
- “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” from “Imagine” by John Lennon Written in 1971, these song lyrics first appeared on the album “Imagine.” It’s one of Lennon’s best-known songs, with words of peace and harmony throughout.
- “The man in the coonskin cap / By the pig pen / Wants eleven dollar bills / You only got ten” from “Subterranean Homesick Blues” by Bob Dylan No list of the ten best song lyrics ever written would be complete without Dylan. First appearing on the 1965 album “Bringing It All Back Home,” these song lyrics were the voice of change in volatile times.
- “First a mother bathes her child / Then the other way around / The scales always find a way to level out” from “If The Brakeman Turns My Way” by Bright Eyes 2007’s “Cassadaga” was a critically-acclaimed triumph, thanks in part to the song lyrics on the album. With some of the best lyrics written in the new millennium, singer-songwriter Conor Oberst has positioned himself as a modern-day Bob Dylan .
- “Hey Joe, where you goin’ with that gun in your hand? / Gonna shoot my old lady / Caught her messin’ round with another man” from “Hey Joe” by The Jimi Hendrix Experience Although it was written and performed by another band several years earlier, this song’s lyrics didn’t get their just treatment until they were released as a single by The Jimi Hendrix Experience in 1967.
- “What have I become? / My sweetest friend / Everyone I know / Goes away in the end” from “Hurt” by Nine Inch Nails “The Downward Spiral,” first released in 1994, contains these intense song lyrics. When Johnny Cash sang them in his 2003 version of the song, the lyrics took on a dark new meaning.
- “When I find myself in times of trouble / Mother Mary comes to me / Speaking words of wisdom / Let it be” from “Let It Be” by The Beatles The 1970 album “Let It Be” is one of The Beatles’ best known works. Featuring some of the best song lyrics ever written, it’s easy to see why.
- “And when I’m gone just carry on, don’t mourn / Rejoice every time you hear the sound of my voice” from “When I’m Gone” by Eminem As the only hip-hop entry on the list of the ten best song lyrics ever written, these 2005 lyrics stand alone. Dark and brooding, these song lyrics fit right in on the album “Curtain Call: The Hits.”
- “They’re sharing a drink they call loneliness / But it’s better than drinkin’ alone” from “Piano Man” by Billy Joel First released on the 1973 album of the same name, “Piano Man” has become Joel’s signature song. Telling a vivid story of a night in a dive bar, these song lyrics are flat-out enthralling.
- “Hold me closer, tiny dancer / Count the headlights on the highway / Lay me down in sheets of linen / You had a busy day today” from “Tiny Dancer” by Elton John Although Elton John performed the song, the lyrics were written by his partner Bernie Taupin. 1972’s “Madman Across The Water” was a major hit, thanks mostly to the stellar song lyrics.