Powerful Lyrics – 90’s Onward – Part 2

This is the second post of a series that will explore lyrics from the 90’s onward. The first can be found here.

In my opinion lyrics add the most substance to a song’s worth as art. Unfortunately, most songs that have come out recently (well, for a while now) are just plain terrible. This of course is a subjective opinion, and if you don’t like it… well then you better not put a ring on it.

As a writer I am fascinated by words and stories, and songs often transcend mere storytelling by being textured with so many levels of passion. These levels include songwriting, melodies, harmonies, performance and the likes. I’ve put together a little list of 10 songs written since the 90’s (I don’t want to fight with Queen, Dylan or Lennon loyalists) that I think contain some of the best lyrics, and have shared my personal favourite lines as well. Give them a read and a listen, and feel free add to the list in the comments. There is obviously so much that I have missed.

 

I am a Scientist – Guided by Voices

I am a scientist – I seek to understand me

all of my impurities and evils yet unknown

I am a journalist – I write to you to show you

I am an incurable

and nothing else behaves like me.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zN9x6zckn18

 

We Used to Vacation – Cold War Kids

I’m just an honest man

Provide for me and mine

I give a check to tax deductible charity organizations

Two weeks paid vacation,

won’t heal the damage done

I need another one.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cZItEY5H4p4

 

Saint Simon – The Shins

After all these implements and text designed by intellects

So vexed to find evidently there’s just so much that hides

And though the saints dub us divine in ancient fading lines

Their sentiment is just as hard to pluck from the vine

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q-AzbQmUaYc

 

Fight Test – The Flaming Lips

I don’t know where the sun beams end

and that the star light begins; it’s all a mystery…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fye1XtXQn9s

 

Jesus Don’t Want me for a Sunbeam – The Vaselines (popularised by Nirvana)

Jesus don’t want me for a sunbeam

Sunbeams are never made like me

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=09FDdfC5R48

 

Matilda, alt-j

My defeat sleeps top to toe with her success

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pOIYibtG1u4

 

Mykonos, Fleet Foxes

And you will go to Mykonos

With a vision of a gentle coast

And a sun to maybe dissipate

Shadows of the mess you made

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xSB74LZDNr0

 

A Wild Pack of Family Dogs, Modest Mouse

My dad he quit his job today, well I guess he was fired but that’s ok

And I’m sittin’ outside my mudlake, waiting for the pack to take me away

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xxTCx-yGM8g

 

Two Headed Boy (part one), Neutral Milk Hotel

In the parlour with a moon across her face

And through the music he sweetly displays

Silver speakers that sparkle all day

Made for his lover who’s floating and choking with her hands across her face

And in the dark we will take off our clothes

And they’ll be placing fingers through the notches in your spine

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TudLjZ_4VhU

 

Van Helsing Boombox, Man Man

Only time will tell if I’ll allow the

scenery around to

eat me alive.

 

When anything that’s anything becomes nothing, that’s everything

And nothing is the only thing you, ever seem to have

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rOaee8Qss0w

 

The Breeze, Dr. Dog – The whole damn song! But especially:

Are there dark parts to your mind?

Hidden secrets left behind?

Where no one ever goes

But everybody knows

It’s all right

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=atV-wZrBDkw

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3 thoughts on “Powerful Lyrics – 90’s Onward – Part 2

  1. Pingback: Powerful Lyrics – 90’s Onward – Part 3 | daveblo9

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