Powerful Lyrics – 90’s Onward – Part 3

This is the third (and final) post of a series that has explored lyrics from the 90’s onward. The first and second can be found here and here respectively.

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 songs written since the 90’s (I don’t want to fight with Mercury, 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 to add to the list in the comments. There is obviously so much that I have missed.

 

Third Planet – Modest Mouse

The universe is shaped exactly like the earth

If you go straight long enough you’ll end up where you were

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

 

The Shrine / An Argument – Fleet Foxes

In the ocean washing off my name from your throat

In the morning, in the morning

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

 

At The Very Bottom of Everything – Bright Eyes

We must hang up in the belfry where the bats and moonlight laugh

We must stare into a crystal ball and only see the past

And in the caverns of tomorrow with just our flashlights and our love

We must plunge, we must plunge, we must plunge

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2GHyLhbdzN0

 

The Mute – Radical Face

Well, as a child I mostly spoke inside my head

I had conversations with the clouds, the dogs, the dead

And they thought my broken, that my tongue was coated lead

But I just couldn’t make my words make sense to them

If you only listen with your ears, I can’t get in

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QRqKVo8oUn4

 

Deer Dance – System of a Down

A deer dance, invitation to peace

War staring you in the face, dressed in black

With a helmet, fierce

Trained and appropriate for the malcontents

For the disproportioned malcontents

The little boy smiled, it’ll all be well

The little boy smiled, it’ll all be well

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BkkOQjK71Ss

 

Yucatan Gold – Throw Me the Statue

I’ll have revenge with an honest hand,

When she’s buried neck-down in that golden sand,

Make peace, in your eyes I spy the beast,

But those beachgoers might save you,

If they got the guts to brave you, my darling

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k8iLpHiZbT0

 

Crooked Teeth – Death Cab for Cutie

You’re so cute when you’re slurring your speech

But they’re closing the bar and they want us to leave.

And you can’t find nothing at all

If there was nothing there all along

No you can’t find nothing at all

If there was nothing there all along

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XlRyk9gfkvw

 

If I Ever Leave This World Alive – Flogging Molly

The whole damn song *It is essential to listen to this song. While the lyrics themselves are potent, they cannot possibly be fully appreciated without listening to the song itself. Your geese will bump* https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1AOp9c5DRzc

 

If I ever leave this world alive

I’ll thank for all the things you did in my life

If I ever leave this world alive

I’ll come back down and sit beside your

feet tonight

Wherever I am you’ll always be

More than just a memory

If I ever leave this world alive

 

If I ever leave this world alive

I’ll take on all the sadness

That I left behind

If I ever leave this world alive

The madness that you feel will soon subside

So in a word don’t shed a tear

I’ll be here when it all gets weird

If I ever leave this world alive

 

So when in doubt just call my name

Just before you go insane

If I ever leave this world

Hey I may never leave this world

But if I ever leave this world alive

 

She says I’m okay; I’m alright,

Though you have gone from my life

You said that it would,

Now everything should be all right

 

She says I’m okay; I’m alright,

Though you have gone from my life

You said that it would,

Now everything should be all right

Yeah should be alright

 

 

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