Sometimes I’ll be listening to a song, hear a certain portion of the lyrics, and think, “Dang…that’s some fine lyric right there!” These moments of pure joy are few and far between, but here’s some of the lyrics that I consider the graviest of the gravy.
Bruce Springsteen “Born to Run”:
“Just wrap your legs round these velvet rims
and strap your hands ‘cross my engines”
Sure, it lacks what some of us might call “class,” but when was the Boss about those sorts of pretensions. You can’t not feel cool when you sing along with that.
Bon Jovi “Wanted Dead or Alive”:
“I’m a cowboy, on a steel horse I ride”
Similar in theme to Bruce’s contribution, but I always secretly wanted to have a hog and this speaks to my inner biker. I desperately want to have a chopper and refer to it as my “steel horse.”
Dr. Dre (featuring Eminem) “Forgot about Dre”:
“Slim shady hotter then a set of twin babies”
This has some sweet memories attached to it from Greg and I driving home from Vegas. Throw the scat phrase “wikka wikka wikka” out in front of that, screech in a high pitched voice, and you’ve got instant good times.
Elton John “Tiny Dancer”:
“Hold me closer Tiny Dancer”
Ever since I figured out that you can replace “tiny dancer” with “Tony Danza,” few lyrics have held a more special place in my heart. Hold me closer, you big Italian lug. Who’s the boss?
Ben Folds “The Luckiest”:
There’s an old man
Who lived to his nineties
And one day
In his sleep
And his wife
She stayed for a couple of days
And passed away
I’m sorry I know that’s a
Strange way to tell you that I know
That I know”
Sure, it’s a little sentimental, but, honest to goodness, the first time I heard that alone, riding in my truck, I cried. You can’t argue with a lyric that makes ya cry on the first go-round.
Charlie Daniel’s Band “The Devil Went Down to Georgia”:
“Cause I told you once, you son of bitch
I’m the best that’s ever been”
Pardon the mild profanity, but hey…he’s talkin’ about the devil. I’m going to have to honestly say, that’s my all time favorite lyric to sing along to. After that part, I swear, I could take on the world. It’s like an enormous wave of cool comes over me.
2pac “Dear Mama”:
“and even as a crack fiend mama,
ya always was a black queen mama”
Sums up crappy life on the streets, and heck, Tupac loved his mom. It’s heartwarming.
Depeche Mode “People are People”:
“People are people
So why should it be
You and I should get along so awfully”
Preach it, Depeche Mode.
Frank Sinatra “That’s Life”:
“I’ve been a puppet, a pauper, a pirate, a poet, a pawn, and a king
I’ve been up and down and over and out and I know one thing
Each time I find myself flat on my face
I pick myself up and get back in the race”
The song with the ability to turn the crappiest day into one of the finest. I like these lyrics particularly because of the alliteration…puppet, pauper, pirate, poet, pawn, and then BAM! They change it up with the king. Sweet. Also, fun fact about Steve: I sang this song karaoke style in a moment of passion at an Orlowski family Christmas party.
Billy Joel “Piano Man”:
“Yes, they’re sharing a drink they call loneliness
But it’s better than drinkin’ alone”
Seriously…doesn’t that just capture the sad atmosphere of a dive bar. You know, sorta like bizarro world Cheers? Those lyrics have always struck a bittersweet chord with me. Plus, it’s a great song and no one can disagree. I’ve known old folks who liked that song and I’ve known 15 year old honkeys who only listen to rap who liked that song. Well, maybe Billy Joel disagrees since he’s undoubtedly had to play that song a million times in concert. Still…classic.
Anyway, I could go on like this forever, but it’s late and the bed calls my name.