What is it that you love about certain songs ?

Triggered by Bruffie’s topic !

It had to be done !

Let me start then:

Very good lyrics gets me going big time.

Like Dave Gilmour’s “High Hopes”

"Looking beyond the embers of bridges glowing behind us
To a glimpse of how green it was on the other side
Steps taken forwards but sleepwalking back again
Dragged by the force of some inner tide "

He says so many things in those 4 lines it’s scary.
That’s like the artist that draws 3 lines on a canvas and it looks like something.

And later on "encumbered forever by desire and ambition
There’s a hunger still unsatisfied
Our weary eyes still stray to the horizon
Though down this road we’ve been a hundred times"

Wow. Just wow.

Then I love it when the melody just caries the words beyond what it would have been on it’s own.

Something like ‘So I question the course that I follow’ (How can I leave you again by john denver).

And I love the power of 6/8 timing.
“And I’d give up forever to see you” - Iris from Goo Goo dolls
Try not to breathe, daysleeper - REM

I love well executed ‘story songs’ : Spanish train, The Tower, Girl with April in her eyes - Chris de Burgh

And I love honesty in music. Any music that you can feel is honest without pretense does it for me.


Wihan, Absolutely agree. Love ‘High Hopes’ and I actually prefer Gilmours Floyd ( Sure I will get savaged for that but don’t care).

Let me tell you the tales of your life
The cut and the thrust of the knife
The tireless oppression,the wisdom instilled.
The desire to kill, or to be killed.
Let me sing of the losers who lie in the street as the last bus goes by.
The pavements are empty, the gutters run red,
as the fool toasts his god in the sky.
( Ian Anderson…Jethro Tull )

Honesty and integrity to your music. ( I hate the way Cher jumped on every musical bandwagon that was going)

Wow, those lyrics all strike me as artificial and forced. Just goes to show! :)

Then again I think one of the greatest songs lyrically and musically ever is the Replacements “Unsatisfied.” But I think it would fail the test of non-repetivienes offered on the other thread… :D

I sort of agree with Tom on the Gilmor lyrics. Despite the fact that I don’t have a clue what they’re mean, they seem alittle cliche to me (sorry about that).

“Golden Heart” (Knopler) just knocks me out but I’m a sucker for romantic stuff.

Lyrically, it’s hard to beat Dylan:


Well, the pressure’s down, the boss ain’t here,
He gone North, he ain’t around,
They say that vanity got the best of him
But he sure left here after sundown.
By the way, that’s a cute hat,
And that smile’s so hard to resist
But what’s a sweetheart like you doin’ in a dump like this?

You know, I once knew a woman who looked like you,
She wanted a whole man, not just a half,
She used to call me sweet daddy when I was only a child,
You kind of remind me of her when you laugh.
In order to deal in this game, got to make the queen disappear,
It’s done with a flick of the wrist.
What’s a sweetheart like you doin’ in a dump like this?

You know, a woman like you should be at home,
That’s where you belong,
Watching out for someone who loves you true
Who would never do you wrong.
Just how much abuse will you be able to take?
Well, there’s no way to tell by that first kiss.
What’s a sweetheart like you doin’ in a dump like this?

You know you can make a name for yourself,
You can hear them tires squeal,
You can be known as the most beautiful woman
Who ever crawled across cut glass to make a deal.

You know, news of you has come down the line
Even before ya came in the door.
They say in your father’s house, there’s many mansions
Each one of them got a fireproof floor.
Snap out of it, baby, people are jealous of you,
They smile to your face, but behind your back they hiss.
What’s a sweetheart like you doin’ in a dump like this?

Got to be an important person to be in here, honey,
Got to have done some evil deed,
Got to have your own harem when you come in the door,
Got to play your harp until your lips bleed.

They say that patriotism is the last refuge
To which a scoundrel clings.
Steal a little and they throw you in jail,
Steal a lot and they make you king.
There’s only one step down from here, baby,
It’s called the land of permanent bliss.
What’s a sweetheart like you doin’ in a dump like this?

Ever since I first heard “Surf and/or Die” on Walter Beckers’ “11 Tracks of Whack”, the line about his chute never opening gives me a big lump in my throat and makes my eyes well up.

I don’t know why…

Here’s the full lyrics - very Stelly Dan, except they actually make sense:

Earthbound to Johnny boy just picked up your message,
'Bout those Balinese ikats you thought I might buy.
Now your voice on my machine is more alive than what you are
Since your daredevil hang glider fell out of the sky.
Now Armand’s looked all over but he can’t find your car keys.
Were they under the tire? Were they under the seat?
Because as it stands now your beloved white Aires
Is fair game for the vandals up on Makapuu Street.
And your grandmother’s number, we know it’s here somewhere,
But Suze can’t seem to find it, now she’s losing control.
And so what about her, and little Eldon and Layla
And that hypothetical spectre, your gilt-edged soul -
Which defied many perils, in the face of all reason
And in so many settings and for all your young years,
Insisting on pure freedom for its too-short season
Riding high on its ration of enchantment and fear
Over the hill and into the next meadow and on and on and on.

In a near random universe there are still certain combinations
Picked out from all other possible ones,
Which, when given some time and the just-right circumstances,
Not too far from the earth or too close to the sun.
They will dance and they’ll spin in the embrace of the trade winds -
Playing havoc with the hearts and the upturned faces down below,
Until the laws of curved spacetime, susponed without warning,
Kick back in with a vengeance for the last act of the show.
Going too far too fast in that final wing over
As your glider comes tumbling out of the clouds,
And you clutch at your chest but the chute never opens,
And they find you there tangled in that white nylon shroud.
When we get Grandma’s number I think I’ll just say to her
Your Johnny’s home for Christmas, it was a (hel) of a ride
And I know that some day you’ll be showing me those blankets,
All covered in glory on the hereafter side, saying
There was never any question, it was always all or nothing
Surf and/or die

Quote (Mr Soul @ Sep. 20 2005,20:34)
"Golden Heart" (Knopler) just knocks me out but I'm a sucker for romantic stuff.

Agree with you on that Mike, I loved the whole 'Golden heart' album. The Guitar on 'Darling Pretty' just touches me somewhere, beautiful stuff!
Thought ' Are we in trouble now' was kind of a mediocre country ballad until that guitar comes in....Wow!
Have to go home and play it now!

Not always moved by lyrics, instrumental LP’s have a way of catching my attention. One of my favs is Leo Kotte 6 and 12 String Guitars. Came out in the mid to late 70’s I think. Footnotes said that Leo had backed off on doing much singing since his last album before this one, his voice sounded like ‘warmed over geese farts’.
Jean Luc Ponty had several jazz LP’s in the 70’s that had same effect on me.

Guess I’ll go with Dire Straits “Love Over Gold” LP, specially,‘Telegraph Road’. Great lyrics and awsum guitar at the end of the song. Just another guitar solo that works to an orgasm! :D

Quote (YazMiester @ Sep. 23 2005,14:59)
Guess I'll go with Dire Straits "Love Over Gold" LP, specially,'Telegraph Road'. Great lyrics and awsum guitar at the end of the song. Just another guitar solo that works to an orgasm! :D

Hey Yaz,

Throw in 'Tunnel of Love' from the Album before, and I'm in Heaven,


Ahhhhhhh ‘Making Movies’ was the LP I think, yes a most excellant endeavor.


My .02, this says it all…

Johnny’s in the basement mixing up the medicine,
I’m on the pavement thinking ‘bout the government.
A man in a trench coat, bad job, laid off,
Says he’s got a bad cough, wants to get it paid off-
Look out kid, it’s something you did,
God knows when but you’re doing it again
Better duck down an alleyway,
Looking for a new friend.
A man in a coonskin-cap in a pig-pen
Wants eleven dollar bills, and you only got ten.
Maggie comes fleet-foot,
Face full of black soot
Talking that the Heat put
Plants in the bed, but
The phone’s tapped anyway.
Maggie says that many say
They must bus in early May,
Orders from the D.A.
Look out kid, no matter what you did,
Walk on your tip-toes,
Don’t tie no bows,
Better stay away from those
Who carry around a fire hose.
Keep a clean nose,
Wash your clean clothes,
You don’t need a weatherman
To know which way the wind blows.
Get sick, get well,
Hang around an ink well,
Hang a bell, hard to tell
If anything’s gonna sell
Try hard, get barred,
Get back, ride the rails,
Get jailed, jump bail,
Join the army if you fail
Look out kid, you’re gonna get hit
By users, cheaters, six-time losers
Hanging around the theaters.
The girl by the whirlpool’s
Looking for a new fool,
Don’t follow leaders
Watch the parking meters.
Get born, keep warm,
Short pants, Romance
Learn to dance, get dressed,
Get blessed, try to be a success.
Please her, please him,
Buy gifts, don’t steal, don’t lift,
Twenty years of schooling
And they put you on the day shift.
Look out kid, they keep it all hid.
Better jump down a man-hole,
Light yourself a candle.
Don’t wear sandals,
Try to avoid the scandals.
Don’t want to be a bum,
You better learn to chew gum
The pump don’t work
‘Cause the vandals took the handles!

Like most babies smell like butter
His smell smelled like no other
He was born scentless and senseless
He was born a scentless apprentice

Go away - get away, get a-way

Every wet nurse refused to feed him
Electrolytes smell like semen
I promise not to sell your perfumed secrets
There are countless formulas for pressing flowers

Go away - get away, get a-way

I lie in the soll and fertilize mushrooms
Leaking out gas fumes are made into perfume
You can’t fire me because I quit!
Throw me in the fire and I won’t throw a fit

Go away - get away, get away, get away, get away, get away, get a-way

Sounds familiar…

I like melody lines that catch me off guard…a melodic twist that comes out of nowhere. Can’t think of a fitting example right off but I know there are many examples where a tune’s melody will start to be predictable and, just when you think you know where its goinng, it throws you a curve.

Gordon Lightfoot, (as well as Dylan) is a poet and had a lot of indellible phrases in his lyrics. I think its the lyrical story-telling that grabs me most.