Good Quotes From Songs

Good quotes from songs can be poetic as well as inspirational. Musicians pride themselves on meaningful song lyrics, and a well-written line can take on a new life as a good quote.

  1. “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.” – from “Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy)” by John Lennon. In one of the most famous song quotes of all time, Lennon sums up the immediacy of day-to-day life. This quote, from the 1980 album “Double Fantasy,” is good because it’s simple yet profound.
  2. “I’d rather be working for a paycheck than waiting to win the lottery.” – from “First Day Of My Life” by Bright Eyes. Singer-songwriter Conor Oberst has no shortage of good quotes from songs in his catalog. The 2005 album “I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning” contained this quote, a poetic statement of substance over chance.
  3. “Breathe out, so I can breathe you in.” – from “Everlong” by Foo Fighters. The 1997 album “The Colour and the Shape” solidified Foo Fighters as rock royalty, largely because of their noteworthy lyrics. What makes this quote good is that it’s deceptively plain. A deeper examination of the words show an undying devotion rarely found in rock songs.
  4. “You can’t always get what you want.” – from “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” by The Rolling Stones. This quote is so good that the Stones made an entire song out of it, and it has since become a highlight of their immense catalog. Featured on the classic 1969 album “Let It Bleed,” this quote is a cautionary statement of desire and restraint.
  5. “One goes to the morgue and the other to jail / One got wasted and the other’s a waste.” – from “Come Out And Play” by The Offspring. Punk rockers The Offspring revealed major songwriting substance on their breakthrough 1994 release “Smash.” This quote is a poetic tale of caution, warning youth of the dangers of the gangster lifestyle. 
  6. “I wanna hold the hand inside you.” – from “Fade Into You” by Mazzy Star. In 1994, Mazzy Star’s album “So Tonight That I Might See” was the ultimate in mellow alternative rock. One of its many noteworthy lyrics was this song quote, a statement of desire that goes beyond physical boundaries.
  7. “When you’re dreaming with a broken heart, the waking up is the hardest part.” – from “Dreaming With A Broken Heart” by John Mayer. Although he doesn’t usually get the credit he deserves, John Mayer is a wonderful source for good quotes from songs. His 2006 album “Continuum” featured this quote, a misery-soaked declaration of heartbreak.
  8. “Well I’m sure that I could be a movie star if I could get out of this place.” – from “The Piano Man” by Billy Joel. Dating all the way back to the 1973 album of the same name, this quote is part of Joel’s most recognizable song. “The Piano Man” is a melancholy character study of bar patrons, each one full of hopes and dreams that will never be realized.
  9. “You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.” – from “Hotel California” by The Eagles Cryptic and mysterious, this quote is part of one of The Eagles’ most endearing songs. Featured on the 1977 album “Hotel California,” the song’s lyrics end with this quote, providing the haunting finish to a tale of confusion and uncertainty.
  10. “If all the world’s a stage, I’ve got my part to play.” – from “The Greenest Field” by Down By Law. Even though they’re often overlooked, Down By Law and their 1992 album “Blue” were heavily influential to the punk rock resurgence early in the decade. The band’s song quotes are a key component of their legacy. This lyric is a play on a line from Shakespeare, declaring that every person is important in the grand scheme of life.
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