Lyrics are not poetry. They are not supposed to be. That’s why they are called lyrics and not “song poems” or something.
But in rock and roll sometime the lyrics can be better than poetry. Often because it has the music to make it that more captivating, others…well they are just damn good words.
So if you want poetry go read Wordsworth. If you want lyrics, just listen.
I know you have your favorites. I have mine. I don’t have enough space here to write all of them down, but here are a few of the greatest lines in Rock and roll that pop into my head. Feel free to add your own.
“There’s nothing you can do that can’t be done.” – The Beatles, ‘All You Need Is Love’
“Don’t ask me what I think of you, I might not give the answer that you want me to.” – Fleetwood Mac, ‘Oh Well’
“Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose. Nothing ain’t worth nothing, but it’s free” – Kris Kristofferson, ‘Me and Bobby McGee’
“Different strokes for different folks, and so on and so on and scooby dooby dooby.” – Sly and the Family Stone, ‘Everyday People’
“I was born with a plastic spoon in my mouth.” – The Who, ‘Substitute’
“I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now. “- Bob Dylan, ‘My Back Pages’
“It’s better to burn out, than to fade away.” – Neil Young, ‘My My, Hey Hey’
“Send me dead flowers to my wedding and I won’t forget to put roses on your grave.” – The Rolling Stones, ‘Dead Flowers’
“Then one day you find, ten years have got behind you. No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun.” – Pink Floyd, ‘Time’
“There are places I remember all my life, though some have changed. Some forever, not for better, some have gone and some remain.” – The Beatles, ‘In My Life’
“The preacher said, you know you always have the Lord by your side. And I was so pleased to be informed of this that I ran twenty red-lights in his honor.” – The Rolling Stones, ‘Far Away Eyes’
“The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls.” – Simon and Garfunkel, ‘The Sound Of Silence’
“We learned more from a three minute record than we ever learned in school.” – Bruce Springsteen, ‘No Surrender’
“A Wop bop a loo bop a lop bam boom!”- Little Richard, ‘Tutti Frutti’
“You better start swimming or sink like a stone, cause the times they are a-changing.” – Bob Dylan, ‘The Times They Are A-Changin”
“I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together”-The Beatles, ‘I Am The Walrus’
“You bought a guitar to punish your Ma.” – Pink Floyd, ‘Welcome To The Machine’
“You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometime you just might find, you get what you need.” – The Rolling Stones, ‘You Can’t Always Get What You Want’
“You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.” – Bob Dylan, ‘Subterranean Homesick Blues’
“And we all shine on” – John Lennon, ‘Instant Karma’
“Everything dies baby, that’s a fact. But maybe everything that dies someday comes back” -Bruce Springsteen, ‘Atlantic City’
“One life, but we’re not the same. We get to carry each other, carry each other” U2, ‘One’
“Baby I know, the first cut is the deepest.” – Cat Stevens, ‘The First Cut Is The Deepest’
“Let me be your little dog, till your big dog comes. And when your big dog gets here, watch how your puppy dog run” -Carl Perkins, ‘Matchbox’
“And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.” – The Beatles, ‘The End’