Thought-provoking lyrics

The magnificent Louis Armstrong was born on this day in 1901, in New Orleans.

His well-known hit, ‘What a Wonderful World’, always makes me stop momentarily and think about the song’s simple message (as does, to a lesser extent, ‘We Have All the Time in the World’). Isn’t it a beautiful song?

A few examples of similarly thought-provoking lines:

“Hurricane Annie ripped the ceiling off a church and killed everyone inside
You turn on the telly and every other story is tellin’ you somebody died
A sister killed her baby ’cause she couldn’t afford to feed it
And yet we’re sending people to the moon”
— Prince, ‘Sign o’ the Times’

“On the quilted battlefields of soldiers dazzling made of toy tin
The big bomb like a child’s hand could sweep them dead just so to win
For seagull, I don’t want your wings
I don’t want your freedom in a lie”
— Donovan, ‘Ballad of a Crystal Man’

There are so many others that propel themselves to the forefront of my memory without requiring me to fumble for them: the Eagles’ ‘Long Road out of Eden’, the Verve’s ‘Bittersweet Symphony’, Neil Young’s ‘Southern Man’, Marvin Gaye’s ‘Mercy Mercy Me’, a good two dozen (at least) by Bob Dylan…

Yet the one that graces the page today through the gift of YouTube is Michael Jackson’s ‘Man In the Mirror’. Whether or not you care for the Man or his Mirror, and I suspect that much of the world’s media-saturated population is by now sick to the back teeth of following, or trying to avoid following the vile, desperate frenzy that continues to surround his sad death, the line “If you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and make a change” is a powerful one.

Anything that makes you think, please – from any artist you care to mention, but I’d like in addition an example from David’s and Pink Floyd’s considerable back catalogue. I’m thinking of ‘The Fletcher Memorial Home’ from 1983’s often over-looked and, in my opinion, under-rated ‘Final Cut’ album.

Oh, and if you’d rather keep the lyrics owner-less, I’m sure it would be an interesting experiment not to reveal who they were recorded, if not written, by. As well as a welcome test of memory for some of us, there’s a lot of snobbery in music and perhaps it would create surprised appreciation toward those acts that fans of a certain genre are, in ignorance, not expected to like. Would you agree?

A new video compilation featuring David with Amadou & Mariam, at the ‘hidden’ Crisis gig in May, is now on the site, by the way. Hope you enjoy it.

Author: FEd

Features Editor of David Gilmour's official blog, The Blog ('Features' previously being its rather naff title), affectionately - or lazily - shortened to 'FEd'.

138 thoughts on “Thought-provoking lyrics”

  1. Oh, this is a great topic.

    Here are a few thought provoking lyrics:

    ‘They had sex in Pennsylvania
    a Brazilian grew a tree
    a doctor in Manhattan
    Saved a dying man for free
    It’s a miracle.’

    and

    ‘I know that they say money
    makes the world go around.
    Days turn to nights
    weeks turn to months
    and we pause for a moment
    and we wonder where the years have gone.’

    I will go through the music library in my mind on my scooter tonight whilst visiting clients and see what I can come up with for tomorrow.

    1. 😀 I like the first one. There are some fine lyrics, as you’d expect, throughout that album, in fact.

      One of the best:

      “You don’t have to be a Jew to disapprove of murder”

      I can’t place the second example…

  2. I’m probably not the first to say these, but I’m not even old enough to drive yet and they make me think. Hard.

    “Tired of lying in the sunshine staying home to watch the rain. You are young and life is long and there is time to kill today. And then one day you find ten years have got behind you, no one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun”

    “And you run and you run to catch up with the sun, but it’s sinking and racing around to come up behind you again. The sun is the same in the relative way, but you’re older; shorter of breath and one day closer to death”

    -Roger Waters of Pink Floyd from “Time”

    1. this is what comes to my mind whenever this kind of question is asked… anywhere… any time…!

    1. you think so? well… okay… kool… either comes to naught or half a page of scribbled lines. 😐 8)

  3. Thank you for providing the link to the professional cut of The Crisis Gig on May 25. It filters and stops a lot so I am hoping OfficialDavidGilmour will upload it to his channel at YouTube. I got the Chicago song from his channel yesterday.

    I started following this on Twitter so I thought it was just about Donovan. So I was looking at this song and the last stanza is:

    Now you’re a woman, you must use it
    Well
    Shakin’ your pills at the wedding bell
    People say you get nowhere till you
    Smell
    But you feel and you hurt and you love
    You do feel and do hurt you do love

    Appearances by Donovan

    ‘Man in the Mirror’ was Michael Jackson’s great song that was the biggest contradiction in his life. He had so much plastic surgery he started not to look human because his face was never what he wanted. I thought it was just fine before the surgery.

    I will have to give some thought to other songs that make me really think. It is for certain anything by Bob Dylan. Will have to get back with you.

    Patricia

  4. When you were young and on your own
    How did it feel to be alone
    I was always thinking of games that I was playing
    Trying to make the best of my time

    I have a friend I’ve never seen
    He hides his head inside a dream
    Someone should call him and see if he can come out
    Try to lose the down that he’s found

    Nice topic FEd. How have you been?

  5. “Don’t accept that what’s happening
    Is just a case of others’ suffering
    Or you’ll find that you’re joining in
    The turning away”

    That is a powerful passage from MLOR and “On The Turning Away.” How many others from PF can I think of? Dozens, just off the top of my head.

    Another that I’d like to add is from Billie Holiday, one of the first anti-racist songs. It was called “Strange Fruit.” I know it is on YouTube, so if you want to hear her sing it you’ll find it there.

    Here are the words:

    “STRANGE FRUIT” by Billie Holliday

    Southern trees bear strange fruit,
    Blood on the leaves and blood at the root,
    Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze,
    Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees.

    Pastoral scene of the gallant south,
    The bulging eyes and the twisted mouth,
    Scent of magnolias, sweet and fresh,
    Then the sudden smell of burning flesh.

    Here is fruit for the crows to pluck,
    For the rain to gather, for the wind to suck,
    For the sun to rot, for the trees to drop,
    Here is a strange and bitter crop.

    1. Hey FEd,

      How are you? I do hope well.

      I have the Billie Holiday collection and Strange Fruit is such a powerful and daunting song… everytime I listen to it I get goose pimpled bone.

  6. – “Who are you and who am I to say we know the reason why
    some are born some men die beneath one infinite sky”

    – “Us and them and after all we’re only ordinary men”

    – “The rain fell slow down on all the roofs of uncertainty
    I thought of you and the years and all the sadness fell away from me”

    – “Whatever colours you have in your mind
    I’ll show them to you and you’ll see them shine”

    – “When the night is cloudy there is still a light that shines on me,
    shine until tomorrow, let it be”

    – “Life is much more than money buys, I need no blessings but I’m counting mine”

    – “Yes there are two paths you can go by but in the long run, there’s still time to change the road you’re on”

  7. A beautiful song I’ve had the privilege of hearing live 3 times over the last 2 years:

    “Oh, Mother Earth,
    With your fields of green
    Once more laid down
    by the hungry hand
    How long can you
    give and not receive
    And feed this world
    ruled by greed
    And feed this world
    ruled by greed.

    Oh, ball of fire
    In the summer sky
    Your healing light,
    your parade of days
    Are they betrayed
    by the men of power
    Who hold this world
    in their changing hands
    They hold the world
    in their changing hands.

    Oh, freedom land
    Can you let this go
    Down to the streets
    where the numbers grow
    Respect Mother Earth
    and her healing ways
    Or trade away
    our children’s days
    Or trade away
    our children’s days.

    Respect Mother Earth
    and her healing ways
    Or trade away
    our children’s days.”

    I wont name the artist, but I’m sure quite a few of you will know who it is. 🙂

  8. Pistols shots ring out in the bar room night
    Enter Patty Valentine from the upper hall
    She sees the bartender in a pool of blood
    Cries out “My God, they killed them all”

    I shot the sheriff
    But I didn’t shoot no deputy, oh no! oh!

    I think I’m gonna kill tha mutherfuckin DJ. If he don’t pull up, let tha record replay. record replay; let that record replay. I think I’m gonna kill tha motherfuckin DJ

    My guitar wants to kill your mama
    My guitar wants to kill your mama
    My guitar wants to burn your dad
    I get real mean when it makes me mad

    The disco folks all dressed up
    Like they ‘s fit to kill
    I walk on in ‘n’ see ’em there
    Gonna give them all a thrill
    When they see me comin’
    They all steps aside
    They has a fit while I commit
    My social suicide, I’m a
    Dancin’ fool, I’m a

    Edgar Alan Poe wrote this and an engineer of the DSOTM wrote song (lead vocals, John Miles)

    By the last breath of the four winds that blow
    I’ll have revenge upon fortunato
    Smile in his face I’ll say “come, let us go
    I’ve a cask of amontillado”
    Sheltered inside from the cold of the snow
    Follow me now to the vault down below

    Part of you dies each brick I lay
    (bring back some light in the name of the lord)
    You’ll feel your mind slipping away

    The kid in the corner looked at the priest
    And fingered his pale blue Japanese guitar

    …and a bit further:

    God wants Semtex…

    1. I save this line for special guys and Dancin’ Fools. 😉

      Your place or mine?

      ash :))

  9. David,

    Thank you for being exactly who you are. You have and continue to inspire me with your talent. I am so glad that you have found your passion and have lived it. So many of us don’t. So many of us are caught up in surviving…

    My cup runneth over. Thank you so much for being such a positive musical influence on my life.

    You are most, most loved.

    ella

  10. I’m not saying right is wrong
    It’s up to us to make
    The best of all things that come our way
    And all the things that came have past
    The answer’s in the looking glass
    There’s four and twenty million doors
    Down life’s endless corridor
    Say it loud and sing it proud

    I never get tired of listening to the lyrics on The Division Bell… Well Done Polly Gilmour!

  11. I would like to include this one, please!

    I must be invisible;
    No one knows me.
    I have crawled down dead-end streets
    On my hands and knees.

    I was born with a ragin’ thirst,
    A hunger to be free,
    But I’ve learned through the years.
    Don’t encourage me.

    Eric Clapton

  12. Feeling handicapped in the sense that English is not my mother tongue – and some of the most powerful lyrics to me are in my own language – here are some lines from a song that has always moved me:

    Why are there women here dancing on their own?
    Why is there this sadness in their eyes?
    Why are the soldiers here
    Their faces fixed like stone?
    I can’t see what it is that they despise
    They’re dancing with the missing
    They’re dancing with the dead
    They dance with the invisible ones
    Their anguish is unsaid
    They’re dancing with their fathers
    They’re dancing with their sons
    They’re dancing with their husbands
    They dance alone They dance alone

    And some lines I like from a PF-song:

    Above the planet on a wing and a prayer,
    My grubby halo, a vapour trail in the empty air,
    Across the clouds I see my shadow fly
    Out of the corner of my watering eye
    A dream unthreatened by the morning light
    Could blow this soul right through the roof of the night

    There’s no sensation to compare with this
    Suspended animation, A state of bliss
    Can’t keep my eyes from the circling skies
    Tongue-tied and twisted just an earth-bound misfit, I

    I’ll limit myself to this, though your posts, Fed, always make my thoughts fly far. 🙂

  13. Agreed, The Final Cut is vastly underrated. My favourite from that album though is:

    ‘A place to stay, enough to eat, somewhere old heroes can walk safely down the street.
    Where you can speak out loud about all your doubts and fears, and what’s more no-one ever disappears, you never hear their standard issue kicking in your door…’

    Also:

    ‘There was a kid who had a big illusion, making love to girls in magazines…’

    That said, my favourite lyric ever is from the Aimee Mann song, Humpty Dumpty. I’ve never heard a bleaker song, in particular the lines:

    ‘Get out while you can, baby, I’m pouring in quicksand, and sinking is all I have planned so better just go…’

    Heart wrenching.

    I can’t leave without a nod to Neil, ‘I never saw a man, who tells so many lies, he had a different story, for each set of eyes. how can he remember who he’s talking to? I know it isn’t me, and I hope it isn’t you.’

    And finally (I have more, but want to go to bed), one for you FED, ‘Immerse your soul in love’. When I heard that sung in concert… Well, the lyrics say it all.

    Dom
    x x x

  14. There is one song that gets me thinking so much that there have been times in my life when I just couldn’t listen to it. Especially this bit:

    “Our children are born, and we keep them warm
    They must have the right, to live in the light
    To be safe from the storm

    Out of the blue, with wings on his heels
    A messenger comes, bearing regrets
    For the time that he steals

    But steal it he will, my children’s and mine
    Against our desires, against all our needs
    Our blood spilled like wine.”

    (No, I’ve not been in at the cooking sherry.)

  15. Misery’s the River of the World
    Misery’s the River of the World

    The higher that the monkey can climb
    the more he shows his tail
    Call no man happy ’til he dies
    There’s no milk at the bottom of the pail
    God builds a church
    The devil builds a chapel
    Like the thistles that are growing
    ’round the trunk of a tree
    All the good in the world
    You can put inside a thimble
    And still have room for you and me
    If there’s one thing you can say
    About Mankind
    There’s nothing kind about man
    You can drive out nature with a pitch fork
    But it always comes roaring back again

    Misery’s the River of the World
    Misery’s the River of the World
    Misery’s the River of the World

    For want of a bird
    The sky was lost
    For want of a nail
    A shoe was lost
    For want of a life
    A knife was lost
    For want of a toy
    A child was lost

    Misery’s the River of the World
    Misery’s the River of the World
    Everybody Row! Everybody Row!
    Misery’s the River of the World
    Misery’s the River of the World
    Everybody Row! Everybody Row!
    Everybody Row!

    And

    You put on your brave face and slip over the road for a jar
    fixing your grin as you casually lean on the bar
    laughing too loud at the rest of the world
    with the boys in the crowd
    you hide, hide, hide
    behind petrified eyes

  16. One more from Roger before bed:

    ‘Hey Joe, where you going, with that dogma in your head, you can make your point but you kid’s will still be dead…’

    And John:

    ‘Keep you doped with religion, an’ sex and TV. And you think you’re so clever, and classless and free. But you’re still fucking peasants as far as I can see…’

    Dom
    x x x

    1. Ah, ‘Working Class Hero’. Excellent choice, Dom.

      “There’s room at the top, they are telling you still
      But first you must learn how to smile as you kill”

    2. WCH by John is such a good choice that I went busking one day along the coast here in Benalmadena a few weeks ago singing only that one song. And collecting no money. It was funny watching people sat in bars and restaurants expecting me to come round with a hat and me just walking off.

      I’ll think about some song lyrics tonight and post later.

    3. One of my favourites, and one of the first I learnt on the guitar. Shame Greenday reduced to nothing for mere commercialistic gain.

      That said, their Good Riddance is wonderful.

      Dom
      x x x

  17. 1:

    Imagine there’s no countries,
    It isn’t hard to do,
    Nothing to kill or die for,
    And no religion too,
    Imagine all the people
    living life in peace…

    (No need to tell you who wrote it.)

    2:

    La bombe humaine
    tu la tiens dans ta main
    Tu as l’détonateur
    Juste à côté du cœur
    La bombe humaine
    c’est toi, elle t’appartient
    Si tu laisses quelqu’un
    prendre en main ton destin
    C’est la fin, la fin.

    (The band Téléphone, ‘La bombe humaine’)

    3:

    You always said people don’t do what they believe in, they just do what’s most convenient, then they repent.

    (Bob Dylan)

    4:

    Xabi, come back!
    You can’t do that!

    Michèle

    1. Oh, Xabi. Break my heart on a Tuesday night, why don’t you?

      Here’s one for you, for old time’s sake (sung to the tune of The Beatles’ ‘Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da’):

      A-L-O-N-S-O – it’s Alonso
      Xabi, Xabi Alonso
      A-L-O-N-S-O – it’s Alonso
      Xabi, Xabi Alonso

      He came from Sociedad to play in our midfield
      His passing and his shooting are sublime
      If you had to choose between him and Frank
      We would choose Xabi every time

      A-L-O-N-S-O – it’s Alonso
      Xabi, Xabi Alonso
      A-L-O-N-S-O – it’s Alonso
      Xabi, Xabi Alonso

      We drew Luton Town in the FA Cup
      Xabi and the ‘keeper had a race
      Xabi had a shot from 70 yards
      You should have seen the look on Gerrard’s face

      A-L-O-N-S-O – it’s Alonso
      Xabi, Xabi Alonso
      A-L-O-N-S-O – it’s Alonso
      Xabi, Xabi Alonso

      Real Madrid’s fans won’t make up a song like that for him. :/

  18. Here’s my contribution and I can’t but quote the whole song:

    What have you achieved now you’re old
    Did you fulfil ambition, do as you were told
    Or are you still doing the same this year
    Should I give sorrow, or turn ’round and sneer

    I know that the prospects weren’t all that good
    But they improved, and I’d have thought that you could
    Have strived for that something we all have deep inside
    Not let it vanish, along with your pride

    Now with the aid of your new walking stick
    You hobble along through society thick
    And look mesmerized by the face of it all

    You keep to the gutter in case you fall

    I can’t go on
    I can’t go on
    I can’t go on
    I can’t go on

    I, I, I, I…

    Best regards and… Paris we come!

    Taki

    1. Have a great time, Taki.

      By the way, I like that one. “You keep to the gutter in case you fall” is a great line, isn’t it?

    2. Thanks FEd! We’ll do our best. 😉

      I assume you found the authors out (googly eyes will have helped)… I don’t know if you ever heard it, but it is an incredible song, especially compared with the later ones.

      Best regards and have a very good night!

      Taki

  19. One more for the hell of it.

    Will there be any bartenders up there in Heaven?
    Will the pubs never close, will the glass never drain
    No more D.T.’s and no shakes
    And no horrors
    Very next morning you feel right as rain
    O God loves a drunk, the lowest of men
    With the dogs in the street and the pigs in the pen
    But a drunk’s only trying to get free of his body
    And soar like an eagle high up there in heaven
    His shouts and his curses are just hymns and praises
    To kick-start his mind now and then
    O God loves a drunk, come raise up your glasses, amen

  20. The other day, two days ago in fact, I found myself listening to Marvin Gaye’s truly legendary album What’s Going On. I tend to think the background conversation and sounds make this track very real (and oddly Floydian) and the harmonies kick it into transcendence.

    The thing is, all these years later, the words are still absolutely true, real and vital. Really, what is going on?

    Mother, mother
    There’s too many of you crying
    Brother, brother, brother
    There’s far too many of you dying
    You know we’ve got to find a way
    To bring some lovin’ here today – Yah

    Father, father
    We don’t need to escalate
    You see, war is not the answer
    For only love can conquer hate
    You know we’ve got to find a way
    To bring some lovin’ here today

    Picket lines and picket signs
    Don’t punish me with brutality
    Talk to me
    So you can see
    Oh, what’s going on
    What’s going
    Ya, what’s going on
    Ah, what’s going on

    (Background music and conversation)

    In the meantime
    Right on, baby
    Right on
    Right on

    Father, father, everybody thinks we’re wrong
    Oh, but who are they to judge us
    Simply because our hair is long
    Oh, you know we’ve got to find a way
    To bring some understanding here today
    Oh

    Picket lines and picket signs
    Don’t punish me with brutality
    Talk to me,
    So you can see
    Oh, what’s going on
    What’s going on
    I’ll tell you what’s going on
    Ah, what’s going on
    Right on baby
    Right on baby

    1. I forgot to add that I was running errands and listening to What’s Going On in the car.

      I live in the American South, North Carolina to be exact. A car pulled parallel with me. In it were two people probably not much more than ten years older than I am and when they heard what I was listening to they gave me the Patented N.C. We Do Not Approve glare. Likely thinking of the “Respect Your Ancestors” bumper sticker on their car and maybe thinking the words ‘racial traitor’.

      I turned Marvin way up from already loud and flashed them the peace sign as I pulled away from them. Right on.

    2. Nobody has helped the building of America more than African Americans. Wish I were there, I’d have flashed them half the peace sign.

  21. The Pink Floyd song that first captured my attention was Time:

    “Tired of lying in the sunshine staying home to watch the rain
    And you are young and life is long and there is time to kill today
    And then one day you find ten years have got behind you
    No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun…”

    Us and Them came in a close second:

    “With, without
    And who’ll deny that’s what the fightings all about
    Get out of the way, it’s a busy day
    And I’ve got things on my mind
    For want of the price of tea and a slice
    The old man died”

    And this one from an artist who generally doesn’t get much respect, at least in some circles (and I could never understand why):

    “Surrounding myself with possessions
    I surely have more than I need
    I don’t know if this is justice,
    hard earned,
    Or simply a matter of greed
    A matter of greed.”

  22. Nice topic… if a bottomless pit.

    I do rather like

    “Breathe, breathe in the air
    Don’t be afraid to care
    Leave but don’t leave me
    Look around and choose your own ground
    For long you live and high you fly
    And smiles you’ll give and tears you’ll cry
    And all you touch and all you see
    Is all your life will ever be”

    and

    “But I have grown older and
    You have grown colder and
    Nothing is very much fun anymore.
    And I can feel one of my turns coming on.
    I feel, cold as a razor blade
    Tight as a tourniquet
    Dry as a funeral drum”

    But that strays into more personal lyrics I think.

    Also

    “With all the will in the world
    Diving for dear life
    When we could be diving for pearls”

    “What is left of your dream?
    Just the words on your stone
    A man who learned how to teach
    Then forgot how to learn?”

    “Ooh, there’s no bread, let them eat cake
    There’s no end to what they’ll take
    Flaunt the fruits of noble birth
    Wash the salt into the earth

    But they’re marching to Bastille Day
    La guillotine will claim her bloody prize
    Free the dungeons of the innocent
    The king will kneel, and let his kingdom rise

    Ooh, bloodstained velvet, dirty lace
    Naked fear on every face
    See them bow their heads to die
    As we would bow as they rode by

    And we’re marching to Bastille Day
    La guillotine will claim her bloody prize
    Sing, o choirs of cacophony
    The king has kneeled, to let his kingdom rise”

    1. “Cold as a razor blade
      Tight as a tourniquet
      Dry as a funeral drum”

      Love those similies.

      You never see, or hear, “As busy as a beaver”, though, do you? Shame.

  23. Since I have had quite a few career/personal changes in my day, this is appropriate:

    “Stand in the place where you live
    Now face North
    Think about direction
    Wonder why you haven’t before
    Now stand in the place where you work
    Now face West
    Think about the place where you live
    Wonder why you haven’t before”

    It seems that wherever I am and whatever I’m doing, I dream of different places and different occupations. A few years ago I realized that it was time to make a plan and stick with it. This is the period where I married, bought a house, and started a teaching career. Sometimes I wonder if those were the right choices. But most of the time, I know I got it right. Still, many of my friends are doing exactly what they did as kids, have never done anything else. How do they know they like their lives?

    1. I like that, too. There is something very interesting for me in this author’s lyrics, even though I’m often not sure about their meanings. :v

      These words always make me think, maybe you can recognize the songs.

      “You want to trust religion
      And you know it’s allegory
      But the people who are followers
      Have written their own story.
      So you look up to the heavens
      And you hope that it’s a spaceship
      And it’s something from your childhood
      Your thinking don’t be frightened”

      “Who cast the final stone?
      Who threw the crushing blow?
      Someone has to take the fall
      Why not me? Why not me.
      Had consequence chose differently
      Had fate its ugly head
      My actions make me beautiful
      And dignify the flesh
      Me. I am free. Free.”

    2. Alessandra:

      I feel that the “Up” album is highly underrated. I hold it in the same regard that F’Ed holds PFs “Final Cut.” In my opinion, every time Mike Stipe puts pen to paper, it is always thought provoking.

      “They did the same to Matthew, and he bled ’till Sunday night.” I have asked my friend who is a a biblical scholar about these lyrics. He has no idea what on Earth the author is getting at!

    3. “Up” is a very beautiful album, I like it from the beginning to the end.

      I also thought that verse was something from the Bible, but, if it’s not, I really don’t know which could be the meaning.

      Stipe’s lyrics constantly mix memories, personal reflections, things he read or saw. It’s hard to discover where they come from, but what he creates is fascinating.

  24. We had an apartment in the city,
    Me and Loretta liked living there.
    Well, it’d been years since the kids had grown,
    A life of their own left us alone.
    John and Linda live in Omaha,
    And Joe is somewhere on the road.
    We lost Davy in the Korean war,
    And I still don’t know what for, don’t matter anymore.

    Ya’ know that old trees just grow stronger,
    And old rivers grow wilder ev’ry day.
    Old people just grow lonesome
    Waiting for someone to say, “Hello in there, hello.”

    Me and Loretta, we don’t talk much more,
    She sits and stares through the back door screen.
    And all the news just repeats itself
    Like some forgotten dream that we’ve both seen.
    Someday I’ll go and call up Rudy,
    We worked together at the factory.
    But what could I say if asks “What’s new?”
    “Nothing, what’s with you? Nothing much to do.”

    Ya’ know that old trees just grow stronger,
    And old rivers grow wilder ev’ry day.
    Old people just grow lonesome
    Waiting for someone to say, “Hello in there, hello.”

    So if you’re walking down the street sometime
    And spot some hollow ancient eyes,
    Please don’t just pass ’em by and stare
    As if you didn’t care, say, “Hello in there, hello.”

    by John Prine

    My mom passed away July 31st as a result of dementia and old age. Hollow, ancient eyes looking into mine, forgetting the past. So many things left unsaid…

    I’ll be back soon.

    Peace ‘n’ love to you!

    1. Gabrielle,

      I’m sorry to hear of your loss. These lyrics from Carly Simon suggest it’s not over, which I also hope to be true…

      I’ll wait no more for you like a daughter
      That part of our life together is over
      But I will wait for you, forever
      Like a river…

      In the river I know I will find the key
      And your voice will rise like spray
      In the moment of knowing
      The tide will wash away my doubts

      ‘Cause you’re already home
      Making it nice for when I come
      Like the way I find my bed turned down
      Coming in from a late night out

      Please keep reminding me
      Of what in my soul I know is true
      Come in my boat, there is a seat beside me
      And two or three stars we can gaze into

      I’ll wait no more for you like a daughter
      That part of our life together is over
      But I will wait for you forever
      Like a river…

      Tim Finn also writes of the pain of loss:

      Moving in darkness to the place I saw him last
      Crying for the friendship that’s forever in the past

      Please take care.

  25. Sometimes I get to feelin’
    I was back in the old days – long ago
    When we were kids, when we were young
    Things seemed so perfect – you know ?
    The days were endless, we were crazy – we were young
    The sun was always shinin’ – we just lived for fun
    Sometimes it seems like lately – I just don’t know
    The rest of my life’s been – just a show.
    Those were the days of our lives
    The bad things in life were so few
    Those days are all gone nowbut one thing is true –
    When I look and I find I still love you.
    You can’t turn back the clock, you can’t turn back the tide
    Ain’t that a shame ?
    I’d like to go back one time on a roller coaster ride
    When life was just a game
    No use sitting and thinkin’ on what you did
    When you can lay back and enjoy it through your kids
    Sometimes it seem like lately I just don’t know
    Better sit back and go – with the flow
    Cos these are the days of our lives
    They’ve flown in the swiftness of time
    These days are all gone now but some things remain
    When I look and I find – no change
    Those were the days of our lives yeah
    The bad things in life were so few
    Those days are all gone now but one thing’s still true
    When I look and I find, I still love you.
    I still love you.

    PF and David to follow…

  26. Here is a snippet of others, I’ve got tons but my little girl does not like it when I’m on the computer sometimes.

    ‘What could he do?
    Should have been a rock star.
    But he didn’t have the money for a guitar.
    What could he do?
    Should have been a politician.
    But he never had a proper education.
    What could he do?
    Should have been a father.
    But he never even made it to his twenties.
    What a waste — Army dreamers.’

    And

    ‘So hold back the fire
    because this much is true.
    When all’s said and done
    the ending will come
    from out of the blue.’

    1. Julie, I meant to mention earlier that one song that has stuck in my mind since you mentioned it (with regards the Song of 2008 post), was ‘Handlebars’ by the Flobots.

      “My reach is global
      My tower secure
      My cause is noble
      My power is pure
      I can hand out a million vaccinations
      Or let ’em all die from exasperation
      Have ’em all healed of their lacerations
      Have ’em all killed by assassination
      I can make anybody go to prison
      Just because I don’t like ’em
      And I can do anything with no permission
      I have it all under my command
      Because I can guide a missile by satellite
      By satellite, by satellite
      And I can hit a target through a telescope
      Through a telescope, through a telescope
      And I can end the planet in a holocaust
      In a holocaust, in a holocaust”

    2. FEd,

      Just the mention of ‘Handlebars’ gives me the goosebumps. So powerful. The video still grabs me by the throat.

    3. In my opinion, ‘Handlebars’ is like truth slapping one in the face.

      “Me and my friends understand the future
      I see the strings that control the systems
      I can do anything with no assistance
      I can lead a nation with a microphone
      With a microphone
      With a microphone
      I can split the atoms of a molecule
      Of a molecule
      Of a molecule”

      And yes, your below mentioned quotation, speaks for itself:

      “I can guide a missile by satellite
      By satellite”

  27. The most important ever lyric to me has always been like a warning to us all:

    ‘and when you lose control, you’ll reap the harvest you have sown’ and it translates to me as ‘and when you screw up, you’ll knock down everything that you have built for yourself.

    The aforementioned lyric can also be likened to: ‘one slip and down the hole we fall’.

    Whilst comparing some snippets of lyrics to other snippets, I have always thought that: ‘…but still the screen is flickering with an endless stream of garbage to… curse the place’ can be likened to ‘I’ve got 13 channels of shit on the TV to choose from’ and therefore thought that ‘Wearing the Inside Out’ is about the Pink character in ‘The Wall’.

    I have you know that literary criticism of lyrical content is my most favourite subject.

    Better go for now. Or else I will get in trouble with little madam. 😀

  28. Last Year’s Man – Leonard Cohen

    The rain falls down on last year’s man
    That’s a Jew’s harp on the table
    That’s a crayon in his hand
    and the corners of the blueprint
    are ruined since they rolled
    far past the stems of thumbtacks
    that still throw shadows on the wood

    and the sky is like a skin
    for a drum I’ll never mend
    and all the rain falls down, amen
    on the works of last year’s man

    Day After Day – Alan Parson’s Project

    Gaze at the sky
    And picture a memory
    Of days in your life.
    You knew what it meant to be happy and free
    With time on your side…

    Remember your daddy
    When no one was wiser.
    Your ma used to say
    That you would go farther than he ever could
    With time on your side…

    Think of a boy with the stars in his eyes,
    Longing to reach them but frightened to try.
    Sadly you’d say someday, someday…

    But day after day
    The show must go on,
    And time slipped away
    Before you could build any castles in Spain…
    The chance had gone by.

    With nothing to say
    And no one to say it to,
    Nothing has changed.
    You still got it all to do,
    Surely you know.
    The chance has gone by…

    Think of a boy with the stars in his eyes,
    Longing to reach them but frightened to try.
    Sadly you’d say someday, someday…

    But day after day
    The show must go on,
    And you gaze at the sky
    And picture a memory of days in your life
    With time on your side…

    With time on your side…
    (Day after day the show must go on…)
    With time on your side…
    (Day after day the show must go on.)

    1. Ah, Leonard Cohen… How long have you got?

      “Everybody knows the fight was fixed
      The poor stay poor, the rich get rich
      That’s how it goes
      Everybody knows”

  29. “You can blow out a candle
    But you can’t blow out a fire
    Once the flames begin to catch
    The wind will blow it higher”

    1. “It only takes one tree
      To make a thousand matches
      It only takes one match
      To burn a thousand trees”

    2. “I wanna breeze and an open mind
      I wanna swim in the ocean, wanna take my time for me, all me”

  30. A hard choice, but these are at the top of my list.

    “You know that I care what happens to you
    And I know that you care for me
    So I don’t feel alone
    Or the weight of the stone
    Now that I’ve found somewhere safe
    To bury my bone
    And any fool knows a dog needs a home
    A shelter from pigs on the wing.”

    “We watched the tragedy unfold
    We did as we were told
    We bought and sold
    It was the greatest show on earth
    But then it was over”

    “Oh it’s a mystery to me.
    We have a greed, with which we have agreed
    And you think you have to want more than you need
    Until you have it all, you won’t be free.”

    “When it all comes down to dust
    I will kill you if I must
    I will help you if I can.
    When it all comes down to dust
    I will help you if I must
    I will kill you if I can.”

  31. These lyrics are some of the best ever written, and thought provoking, in my opinion. They have certainly stuck with me the longest:

    There are places I remember
    All my life though some have changed
    Some forever not for better
    Some have gone and some remain
    All these places had their moments
    With lovers and friends I still can recall
    Some are dead and some are living
    In my life, I’ve loved them all

    As for a Pink Floyd lyric, not necessarily my favorite but this is the one that makes me smile. Whatever you say about him, Roger Waters was certainly a visionary ’cause these lines certainly sum up people I have met when they were flying up the corporate ladder.

    You gotta be crazy, you gotta have a real need.
    You gotta sleep on your toes, and when you’re on the street,
    You gotta be able to pick out the easy meat with your eyes closed.
    And then moving in silently, down wind and out of sight,
    You gotta strike when the moment is right without thinking.

    And after a while, you can work on points for style.
    Like the club tie, and the firm handshake,
    A certain look in the eye and an easy smile.
    You have to be trusted by the people that you lie to,
    So that when they turn their backs on you,
    You’ll get the chance to put the knife in.

    1. Pete:

      The song by The Beatles is “In My Life.”

      At my wedding, my wife and I each picked one song to be sung during the ceremony. I picked this song. It sums up the way I feel about my wife: although I have great memories of those who went before her, I love her even more.

  32. A line that sadly remains an actuality:

    And the Germans kill the Jews,
    And the Jews kill the Arabs,
    And the Arabs kill the hostages
    And that is the news…

    1. Is there any wonder that the monkey is confused?

      I love PP Arnold’s voice. Beautiful song.

    2. Superb choice. That album totally grabs your attention from the very beginning to very end.

  33. Hi FEd,

    you are really great! Thank you for the gig and for all ideas you spread every time.

    It’s not easy for me… I love a lot of tracks for lyrics and music. Bob Dylan, John Lennon, Donovan, David, but in these days I listen with joy to two tracks :

    – Incarceration of a Flower child (by Roger Waters to Syd and then given to Marianne Faithfull – for me, on my mind, this track IS Syd)
    – Reaching For the Rail (by Rick-from Broken China)

    Have a nice summer time!
    diana

  34. “Ag-a-doo-doo-doo, push pineapple, shake the tree
    Aga-doo-doo-doo, push pineapple, grind coffee
    To the left, to the right, jump up and down and to the knees…

    Only joking… aren’t I funny?

    Actually I meant to say:

    “Forward he cried from the rear
    And the front rank died.
    And the general sat and the lines on the map
    Moved from side to side”

    These lyrics will always be relevant, I think.

  35. The last sentence in this is the most though provoking and the one that intrigues me the most.

    Thanks.

    Andrew

    1. Imagine holding planet earth in the palm of your hand
      With no regard to your place of birth or claim to any land
      The only thing between us now is the truth we understand
      If planet earth was in the palm of your hand.

      50 years from now what will they say about us here ?
      Did we care for the water and the fragile atmosphere?
      There are only two kinds of folk and the difference they make
      The ones that give and the ones that take.

      Thought provoking indeed Andrew. 🙁

      ash X

  36. Thank you FEd for this precious moment of reflection. That MJ song is even more heartbreaking now.

    Roger Waters always wrote some deeply touching lyrics, and I agree with you on The Final Cut, it’s a great album, sound-wise and songwriting-wise, it was the very first PF vinyl I bought as soon as it came out, and I learned playing lead guitar on those David’s solos.

    This blog is a really good place to be for everybody.

    1. Thank you, GianLuca.

      I remember watching Michael Jackson’s performance at the 1988 Grammy’s. I thought he was truly wonderful back then. Say whatever you like about him, he was always extremely sensitive to the saddest issues facing the world and sang some emotive lines. (Is anyone not moved to tears by the images and words of ‘Earth Song‘? You don’t deserve a place on this Earth if it doesn’t affect you.)

      It would be nice if the shallow public could remember lyrics, videos and stage performances like these, not all the sensationalist hype.

      “I see the kids in the street
      With not enough to eat
      Who am I to be blind
      Pretending not to see their need?”

      “Did you ever stop to notice
      All the children dead from wars?
      Did you ever stop to notice
      The crying Earth, the weeping shores?”

      “And the dream we were conceived in
      Will reveal a joyful face
      And the world we once believed in
      Will shine again in grace
      Then why do we keep strangling
      This Earth, crucify its soul
      Although it’s plain to see
      This world is heavenly?”

    2. Earth Song is great. Truly I mean that (which is a lot from someone who is vastly indifferent to MJ). Yet, his performance of it at the Brits was the most horrifically ridiculous, self-congratulating, egocentric crap I’ve ever seen. Jarvis’ stage invasion was entirely justified.

      I love Jarvis. I bumped into him in Paris about a year ago, asked him through sobs: ‘Are you Jarvis Cocker?’ to which he responded, ‘Sometimes’. I almost died.

      I’m thinking we do favourite poetry next. Or something of the like.

      Dom
      x x x

  37. How about: ‘Her hair of floating sky is shimmering, glimmering in the sun’?

    Or: ‘You adopted a fox cub whose mother was somebody’s coat’?

  38. Renaissance ~ Things I Don’t Understand

    “Dreams and omens of my future
    Like a sculpture finely moulded
    Stars that guide my destiny
    Tell me what I will be
    A chart unfolded…”

    8)

    “Our children are born, and we keep them warm
    They must have the right, to live in the light
    To be safe from the storm…”

  39. I forgot to add this to the other message. 🙂

    “These mist covered mountains
    Are a home now for me
    But my home is the lowlands
    And always will be
    Some day you’ll return to
    Your valleys and your farms
    And you’ll no longer burn
    To be brothers in arms

    Through these fields of destruction
    Baptisms of fire
    I’ve watched all your suffering
    As the battles raged higher
    And though they did hurt me so bad
    I the fear and alarm
    You did not desert me
    My brothers in arms

    There’s so many different worlds
    So many different suns
    And we have just one world
    But we live in different ones

    Now the sun’s gone to hell
    And the moon’s riding high
    Let me bid you farewell
    Every man has to die
    But it’s written in the starlight
    And every line on your palm
    We’re fools to make war
    On our brothers in arms.”

  40. OK, last one (until I think of another one).

    “There is no more new frontier – we have got to make it here
    We satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds
    In the name of destiny – and in the name of God”

    1. Excellent choice. Henley for President.

      “Some rich men came and raped the land
      Nobody caught ’em
      Put up a bunch of ugly boxes
      And, Jesus, people bought ’em”

  41. I have these moments
    All steady and strong
    I’m feeling so holy and humble
    The next thing I know
    I’m all worried and weak
    And I feel myself
    Starting to crumble.

    The meanings get lost
    And the teachings get tossed
    And you don’t know what you’re
    Going to do next.
    You wait for the sun
    But it never quite comes
    Some kind of message comes
    Through to you.
    Some kind of message comes through.

    And it says to you…

    Love when you can
    Cry when you have to…
    Be who you must
    That’s a part of the plan
    Await your arrival
    With simple survival
    And one day we’ll all understand…

    I had a woman
    Who gave me her soul
    But I wasn’t ready to
    Take it.
    Her heart was so fragile
    And heavy to hold
    And I was afraid I might
    Break it.

    Your conscience awakes
    And you see your mistakes
    And you wish someone
    Would buy your confessions.
    The days miss their mark
    And the night gets so dark
    And some kind of message
    Comes through to you
    Some kind of message
    Shoots through –

    Love when you can
    Cry when you have to…
    Be who you must
    That’s a part of the plan
    Await your arrival
    With simple survival
    And one day we’ll all understand…

    There is no Eden or
    Heavenly gates
    That you’re gonna make it to
    One day
    But all of the answers you seek
    Can be found
    In the dreams that you dream
    On the way…

  42. :)) HELLO!

    Sorry, I’m not here to answer the Blog, but to ask:

    Why does David Gilmour not come to Algeria?

  43. My previous choices were really an answer to different question. i.e. memorable lyrics rather than thought-provoking.

    I think this is more fitting of the brief… it reads as both poetry and prose and the final line is genuinely profound.

    We were talking about the space between us all
    And the people who hide themselves behind a wall of illusion
    Never glimpse the truth, then it’s far too late, when they pass away
    We were talking about the love we all could share
    When we find it, to try our best to hold it there with our love
    With our love, we could save the world, if they only knew

    Try to realise it’s all within yourself
    No one else can make you change
    And to see you’re really only very small
    And life flows on within you and without you

  44. Love this topic.

    I make my living off the evening news
    Just give me something-something I can use
    People love it when you lose,
    They love dirty laundry

    Well, I coulda been an actor, but I wound up here
    I just have to look good, I don’t have to be clear
    Come and whisper in my ear
    Give us dirty laundry

    Kick ’em when they’re up
    Kick ’em when they’re down

    1. I like how this is dedicated to Rupert Murdoch at their live shows.

      “Can we film the operation?
      Is the head dead yet?
      You know the boys in the newsroom
      Have got a running bet
      Get the widow on the set
      We need dirty laundry”

    2. I read this morning that Murdoch is planning on charging for access to “all his news websites” in the near future – here.

    3. “Quality journalism is not cheap,” so you’ll have to pay to read the Sun and News of the World online from now on.

      Now, come on, stop laughing. That’s rudeness. 😐

  45. Poor little rose, beaten by the rain
    In the wind in the gale, thunder and the hail
    Sometimes I feel like I’m going insane
    Without the numbness or the pain so intense to feel
    Especially now it added up through the years
    And I, I taught myself how to grow
    Without any love and there was poison in the rain
    I taught myself how to grow
    Now I’m crooked on the outside, and the inside’s broke

    Most of the time I got nothing to say
    When I do it’s nothing and nobody’s there to listen anyway
    I know I’m probably better off this way
    I just listen to the voices on the TV ’til I’m tired
    My eyes grow heavy and I fade away

    ‘Cause I, I taught myself how to grow
    Without any love and there was poison in the rain
    I taught myself how to grow
    ‘Til I was crooked on the outside
    I taught myself how to grow
    Without any love and there was poison in the rain
    I taught myself how to grow
    ‘Til I was crooked on the outside, inside’s caved
    Crooked on the outside, inside’s caved
    Crooked on the outside, inside’s caved
    I taught myself how to grow old

    I love this from Ryan Adams.

    Nice Amadou + Mariam video too, I spotted myself at the end too, in closeup, oh dear!

  46. Addendum: Songs that really make you think should include this one.

    I personally like Repressed Hostility Blues. (And note the copyright date!)

  47. So sorry to hear Gabs, my condolences.

    I’m not a literal enthusiast, music inspires my imagination. So I’ll go with “Da Da Da Da” from Shine On and “Ping” from Richard.

    A lyric would be “We’re just two lost souls, swimmin’ in a fish bowl, year after year.”

    Thanks Fed!

  48. The Final Cut, as a whole, contains has some of the best lyrics of all the Floyd albums but nothing can compare with the superb lyrics throughout the Amused to Death album by Roger Waters. I also really like the lyrics to RW’s ‘Go Fishing’ from the Pros and Cons album plus “When you’ve just run a red light, Sat shaking under the street light, You swear to yourself, You’ll never drink and drive again” from Home off the RW album Radio KAOS.

    IMHO, David Gilmour’s best lyrics are on ‘Out of the Blue’ and ‘Murder’ but there’s nothing quite like the combination of David’s musicianship and Roger’s lyrics.

    Just to prove that I don’t just listen to Floyd, Waters and Gilmour… some of the more serious songs by Barenaked Ladies contain some very thought provoking lyrics, e.g. “Complicated people, Leading complicated lives, And he complicates their problems, Telling complicated lies”.

    BTW, I finally found a job after ten months in Canada. The hour-long commute went a whole load quicker when I was listening to Live in Gdansk in the car today. I was just thinking during the commute that it would be nice to believe there might be another studio album from David some time in the near future (if he’s ‘Lost for Words’ again, I’m sure Mr Waters has a few he can spare this time). 🙂

    Cheers
    IMcK

  49. Hey again FEd, did you miss me? 😉

    I have always been moved by ‘Murder’…

    Some of them standing, some are waiting in line
    As if there was something that they thought they might find
    Taking some strength from the feelings that always were shared
    And in the background, the eyes that just stared
    What was it brought you out here in the dark?
    Was it your only way of making your mark?
    Did you get rid of all the voices in your head?
    Do you now miss them and the things that they said?
    On your own admission, you raised up the knife
    And you brought it down, ending another mans life
    When it was done, you just threw down the blade
    While the red blood spread wider, like the anger you made
    I don’t want this anger burning in me
    It’s something from which it’s so hard to be free
    But none of tears that we cry, in sorrow or rage
    Can make any difference, or turn back the page

    Have a wonderful rest of the week,
    Penny 🙂

  50. “Bring the boys back home.
    Bring the boys back home.
    Don’t leave the children on their own, no, no.
    Bring the boys back home.”

    “If you should go skating
    On the thin ice of modern life
    Dragging behind you the silent reproach
    Of a million tear-stained eyes
    Don’t be surprised when a crack in the ice
    Appears under your feet.
    You slip out of your depth and out of your mind
    With your fear flowing out behind you
    As you claw the thin ice.”

    “Who are you and who am I
    To say we know the reason why?
    Some are born; some men die
    Beneath one infinite sky.
    There’ll be war, there’ll be peace.
    But everything one day will cease.
    All the iron turned to rust;
    All the proud men turned to dust.
    And so all things, time will mend.
    So this song will end.”

    “Heaven sent the promised land
    Looks alright from where I stand
    Cause I’m the man on the outside looking in

    Waiting on the first step
    Show where the key is kept
    Point me down the right line because it’s time

    To let me in from the cold
    Turn my lead into gold
    Cause there’s chill wind blowing in my soul
    And I think I’m growing old.”

    “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 so many times
    The grass was greener
    The light was brighter
    The taste was sweeter
    The nights of wonder
    With friends surrounded
    The dawn mist glowing
    The water flowing
    The endless river
    Forever and ever”

  51. “You ask what is the quality, of life?
    Seeking to justify the part you play
    And hide, fearing it incomplete, to try
    To make it any more or less than short and sweet.”

    “There’s no way I’m going to let go
    There’s no way, because it’s my show
    I’m hanging on for a little while
    I won’t go down easy, that’s not my style.”

    “Reception is hazy
    When you put your love on the air
    Always knew it was crazy
    To put my love on the air
    But I only communicate
    When I put my love on the air
    You don’t have to consummate
    Love on the air.”

    “And when you feel you’re near the end
    And what once burned so bright is growing dim
    And when you see what’s been achieved
    Is there a feeling that you’ve been deceived?”

    “We walk ourselves weary, arm in arm
    Back through the twilight
    Home again

    We waltz in the moonlight and the embers glow
    So much behind us
    Still far to go.”

  52. This is from the first Elton John album, also appears on his “Live in Australia with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.” These gorgeous lyrics are by Bernie Taupin, titled “The Greatest Discovery:”

    Peering out of tiny eyes
    The grubby hands that gripped the rail
    Wiped the window clean of frost
    As the morning air laid on the latch

    A whistle awakened someone there
    Next door to the nursery just down the hall
    A strange new sound you never heard before
    A strange new sound that makes boys explore

    Tread neat so small those little feet
    Amid the morning his small heart beats
    So much excitement yesterday
    That must be rewarded must be displayed

    Large hands lift him through the air
    Excited eyes contain him there
    The eyes of those he loves and knows
    But what’s this extra bed just here

    His puzzled head tipped to one side
    Amazement swims in those bright green eyes
    Glancing down upon this thing
    That make strange sounds, strange sounds that sing

    In those silent happy seconds
    That surround the sound of this event
    A parent smile is made in moments
    They have made for you a friend

    And all you ever learned from them
    Until you grew much older
    Did not compare with when they said
    This is your brand new brother
    This is your brand new brother
    This is your brand new brother

  53. I’ll go one better, you can all listen as you read along to the lyrics from Elton John and Bernie Taupin’s greatest song, “Ticking” – here.

    This paragraph is just stunning…

    “Oh, they pleaded to your sanity, for the sake of those inside,
    ‘Throw out your gun, walk out slow, just keep your hands held high’
    But they pumped you full of rifle shells as you stepped out the door,
    Oh, you danced in death like a marionette on the vengeance of the law…”

  54. How could I forget this?

    “Find the cost of freedom
    Buried in the ground
    Mother Earth will swallow you
    Lay your body down”

  55. A killer lyric…

    “Now life devalues day by day
    As friends and neighbours turn away
    And there’s a change that, even with regret, cannot be undone”

  56. I want to say hello to you as I’m leaving tomorrow for a wonderful holiday on a sailing boat with some friends. We’ll take the car as far as Zadar in Croatia and from there we’ll go by boat to the small islands, I will think of you.

    Hope David is very well.

    See you soon Fed, this topic is really fantastic.

    “We lay side by side, between the moon and the tide, mapping the stars for a while”

  57. This topic is addictive.

    “What you own is your own kingdom
    What you do is your own glory
    What you love is your own power
    What you live is your own story

    In your head is the answer
    Let it guide you along
    Let your heart be the anchor
    and the beat of your song

    You don’t get something for nothing
    You can’t have freedom for free”

  58. I forgot to mention that the Amadou & Mariam featuring David clip is good. I enjoyed listening to the bright crystal clear tones coming out of David’s black Strat.

    And I see David has still got those “kissy” lips. Whoops, I do beg your parden, I forgot myself. 😀

  59. Stop dreaming of the quiet life, it’s one you will never know

    From ‘Town Called Malice’.

  60. People’s Parties – Joni Mitchell

    All the people at this party
    They’ve got a lot of style
    They’ve got stamps of many countries
    They’ve got passport smiles
    Some are friendly
    Some are cutting
    Some are watching it from the wings
    Some are standing in the centre
    Giving to get something

    Photo beauty gets attention
    Then her eye paints running down
    She’s got a rose in her teeth
    And a lampshade crown
    One minute she’s so happy
    Then she’s crying on someone’s knee
    Saying laughing and crying
    You know its the same release

    I told you when I met you
    I was crazy
    Cry for us all beauty
    Cry for Eddie in the corner
    Thinking he’s nobody
    And Jack behind his joker
    And stone-cold Grace behind her fan
    And me in my frightened silence
    Thinking I don’t understand

    I feel like I’m sleeping
    Can you wake me
    You seem to have a broader sensibility
    I’m just living on nerves and feelings
    With a weak and a lazy mind
    And coming to peoples parties
    Fumbling deaf dumb and blind

    I wish I had more sense of humor
    Keeping the sadness at bay
    Throwing the lightness on these things
    Laughing it all away
    Laughing it all away
    Laughing it all away…

  61. And believe it or not, an even better lyric from Joni…

    Same Situation

    Again and again the same situation
    For so many years
    Tethered to a ringing telephone
    In a room full oF mirrors
    A pretty girl in your bathroom
    Checking out her sex appeal
    I asked myself when you said you loved me
    Do you think this can be real?

    Still I sent up my prayer
    Wondering where it had to go
    With heaven full of astronauts
    And the Lord on death row
    While the millions of his lost and lonely ones
    Call out and clamour to be found
    Caught in their struggle for higher positions
    And their search for love that sticks around

    You’ve had lots of lovely women
    Now you turn your gaze to me
    Weighing the beauty and the imperfection
    To see if I’m worthy
    Like the church
    Like a cop
    Like a mother
    You want me to be truthful
    Sometimes you turn it on me like a weapon though
    And I need your approval

    Still I sent up my prayer
    Wondering who was there to hear
    I said send me somebody
    Who’s strong, and somewhat sincere
    With the millions of the lost and lonely ones
    I called out to be released
    Caught in my struggle for higher achievements
    And my search for love
    That don’t seem to cease…

  62. Thought provoking lyrics for me are (from memory, apologies if they are incorrect) :

    “I open my door to my enemies,
    And I ask could we wipe the slate clean,
    But they tell me to please go F… myself…”

    I always wondered if this is some kind of twisted and strange (like my mind lol) combination of an Old Testament saying and the one written at the Temple to Apollo at Delphi.

    And Adam Knew Eve, go Know Thyself. 😕

  63. Thought provoking lyrics for me are (from memory, apologies if they are incorrect) :

    “So I open my door to my enemies,
    And I ask could we wipe the slate clean,
    But they tell me to please go and f*** myself…”

    I always wondered if this is some kind of twisted and strange (like my mind lol) combination of an Old Testament saying and the one written at the Temple to Apollo at Delphi.

    As Adam Knew Eve, go Know Thyself. 😕

  64. “I have children sleeping here,
    Don’t you boys know any nice songs?”

    I was feeling a bit “tongue tied and twisted” until I decided to add a little levity. :))

    “My analyst told me
    That I was right out of my head
    The way he described it
    He said Id be better dead than live
    I didn’t listen to his jive
    I knew all along
    That he was all wrong
    And I knew that he thought
    I was crazy but I’m not
    Oh no”

    “Oh they used to laugh at me
    When I refused to ride
    On all those double decker buses
    All because there was no driver on the top”

    “And quit running for that runaway bus
    ‘Cause those rosy days are few”

    Yeah yeah yeeeeeaaaah!

    ash X

  65. But Daddy, I want to let you know somehow
    The things you said are so much clearer now
    And I would turn the pages back
    But time will not allow
    The way these days just rip along
    Too fast to last, too vast, too strong

    Somewhere something went wrong
    Or maybe we forgot the song
    Make room for my forty-fives
    Along beside your seventy-eights
    Nothing survives-
    But the way we live our lives

    P.S. Went to see Tool a few nights ago… OH MY!!!! Not since David’s OAI concert performance have I been so moved… INTENSE!!!

  66. Dear F.Ed.,

    my daughter Irene (20) is spending her summer’s vacations in London, where she actually lives and works, so Sunday she had the opportunity to take this pic in Abbey Road (I told her many times she had to go there). It’ s very curious the fact that the people left a message, the day after the celebrations of the Fab Fours’ LP, with an evident connection to the Pink Floyd.

    This piece of paper looks like a sculpture on the wall, and I like its clear and crisp intensity of the “English light” reflecting on the prism and the words.

    Fans’ devotion….

    By the way she deeply loves the “High Hopes” lyric”, like me.

    bye / ciao Elisabetta

  67. Enjoyed the new video from the hidden Crisis gig. Always nice to catch something new by David.

    The best to you all, alive and well here in NYC.

  68. Another one from the Eagles, “Hole in the World”. They wrote this shortly after the 9/11 attacks, and it captures my feelings as to the absurdity of it all.

    They say that anger is just love disappointed.
    They say that love is just a state of mind,
    But all this fighting over who will be anointed.
    Oh, how can people be so blind?

    There’s a hole in the world tonight.
    There’s a cloud of fear and sorrow.
    There’s a hole in the world tonight.
    Don’t let there be a hole in the world tomorrow.

    Oh, they tell me there’s a place over yonder,
    Cool water running through the burning sand,
    Until we learn to love one another,
    We will never reach the promised land.

    Jeff

  69. Some Neil Peart (Rush)

    “Living in the Limelight approaches the unreal,
    For those who think and feel,
    In touch with some reality beyond the gilded cage.”

    “Cast down this unlikely road, Ill equipped to act,
    With insufficient tact,
    One must put up barriers to keep oneself in tact.”

    “You can choose a ready guide, In some celestial voice,
    If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice,
    You can choose from phantom fears, and kindness that can kill,
    I will choose a path that’s clear, I will choose freewill.”

    “You don’t get something for nothing,
    You can’t have freedom for free.”

    I’d quote all of “The Trees”, but I’d run out of space.

    “Wheels within wheels in the spiral array,
    A pattern so grand and complex,
    Time after time we lose sight of the way,
    Our causes can’t see their effects.”

    “The Manhattan Project” is another good one.

    “It’s a far cry from the world we thought we’d inherit,
    It’s a far cry form the way we thought we’d share it”

    Cygnus X-1 (both books) are great. 😀

    1. Thank you, Matthew, for the Rush references… I’ll make some more further down!

  70. Hi FEd,

    I have a lot of reading to catch up on as my internet has been down for a week or so. Love this category. I feel most music that I listen to has a message and many of them make me stop and think. Of course you nailed it when you mentioned Bob Dylan. I can’t say enough about his lyrics. They always make you stop and think.

    Louis Armstrong and What a Wonderful World meant a lot to me after hurricane Ivan. Even though his lyrics made me cry at that time, seeing all of the destruction Ivan had done, they also gave me hope.

    David Gilmour’s This Heaven and Where We Start, from On An Island, are two very beautiful songs with thought provoking lyrics. Pink Floyd’s Free Four and Wot’s… Uh The Deal, from Obscured by Clouds. Free Four’s lyrics… “Life is a warm short moment and death is a long cold rest, you get your chance to try in a twinkling of an eye, eighty years with luck or even less.” Thought provoking don’t you think?

    Folks ask me why I only have albums on my MP3 and not individual favorites. It has been my life long practice to listen to the whole album no matter, to find these hidden treasures of music and lyrics.

    I have never been disappointed and pleased to have been enriched by so many songs.

    Thanks for the great topic FEd, I can’t say enough about how much I enjoy what you do in bringing us all this great blog.

    Love to the world.

  71. Andy Pandy was a knife man
    He stabbed his teddy bear,
    he stabbed it with a carving knife,
    all blood and guts and hair 😮

    Hector’s house exploded
    the roof and walls caved in,
    the IRA denied it
    and said it was a sin. 😮

    Couple of verses from a wee ditty written for acoustic some 35 years ago, and then recorded by my brother.

    Just said something about the times and how 14 year olds saw the UK.

    He is just back from doing the keyboards for Echo and the Bunnymen, so musically did not slow him down!!

  72. This is one of my favorites, “Please Don’t Ask” by Genesis written by Phil Collins:

    Please don’t ask me how I feel, I feel fine
    Oh I cry a bit, I don’t sleep too good, but I’m fine
    When can I see you?
    When can I touch you?

    Again and again I ask myself was I wrong?
    Oh but times a healer, and heaven knows I’ve been strong
    Maybe we could try
    Maybe we would work this time

    Oh I can remember when it was easy to say I love you
    But things have changed since then, now I really can’t say if I still do
    But I can try
    ‘Cos I know the kids are well, yes you’re a mother to the world
    Oh but I miss my boy
    I hope he’s good as gold

    But enough of me, tell me how are you? You look good
    Oh you’ve lost some weight I can see, your hair looks nice, you look
    Good
    Maybe we should try, don’t say it, ‘cos I know why

    But you know, I can remember when it was easy to say I love you
    But things have changed since then, now I really can’t say if I still do
    But I can try
    ‘Cos I know the kids are well, yes, you’re a mother to the world
    But I miss my boy
    Oh I hope he’s good as gold

  73. Don’t Wait For Heroes from Dennis DeYoung is another lyric that is in the vein of “Take a Breath”:

    I’ve got my dreams
    I know you think that’s crazy
    But I won’t give up
    ‘Cause I’ve got this burning desire in me
    Oh baby it’s me

    While the world sleeps
    I sit up all night thinking
    And making my plans
    ‘Cause there’s something special ahead for me
    Something ahead for me

    So don’t you tell me that I’m wasting my time, ruining my life
    And that the odds against me are a million-to-one, don’t be concerned
    I’ll take the heat for all the chances I’m gonna take
    Mistakes that I’ll make
    Wait and see
    You’re gonna hear from me

    So don’t wait for heroes, do it yourself
    You’ve got the power
    Winners are losers
    Who got up and gave it just one more try
    One more try… One more try

    If you’re waiting for that miracle train to call out your name
    And if you think the rainbow always finds someone else, never yourself
    Just look inside and find that spark that’s burning in you
    Follow it through
    The light you find
    Well, it could change your life

    So don’t wait for heroes
    Think for yourself
    Make your own choices
    You know it’s easy
    To follow the crowd
    But my advice is
    Don’t wait for heroes
    Believe in yourself
    You’ve got the power
    Winners are losers
    Who got up and gave it just one more try

  74. Nothing yet, but please keep this topic open for posting as long as you can… I’ll find some good ones soon.

    Many thanks.

  75. Being a genuine music addict as I am, I could go all day with this but I will bring only four. First from the Floyd’s much under valued Final Cut:

    Floating down through the clouds
    memories come rushing up to meet me now
    in the space between the heavens
    and in the corner of some foreign field
    I had a dream
    I had a dream

    Goodbye Max
    Goodbye Ma
    after the service when you’re walking slowly to the car
    and the silver in her hair shines in the cold November air
    you hear the tolling bell
    and touch the silk in your lapel
    and as the tear drops rise to meet the comfort of the band
    you take her frail hand
    and hold on to the dream

    A place to stay
    enough to eat
    somewhere old heroes shuffle safely down the street
    Where you can speak out loud
    about your doubts and fears
    and what’s more, no-one ever disappears
    you never hear their standard issue kicking in your door
    You can relax on both sides of the tracks
    and maniacs don’t blow holes in bandsmen by remote control
    and everyone has recourse to the law
    and no-one kills the children any more
    and no-one kills the children any more

    Night after night
    going round and round my brain
    his dream is driving me insane

    In the corner of some foreign field
    the gunner sleeps tonight
    what’s done is done
    we cannot just write off his final scene
    take heed of the dream
    take heed

  76. This one comes from Peter Gabriel:

    It’s only water
    In a stranger’s tear
    Looks are deceptive
    But distinctions are clear
    A foreign body
    And a foreign mind
    Never welcome
    In the land of the blind
    You may look like we do
    Talk like we do
    But you know how it is

    You’re not one of us
    Not one of us
    No, you’re not one of us
    Not one of us
    Not one of us
    No, you’re not one of us

    There’s safety in numbers
    When you learn to divide
    How can we be in
    If there is no outside?
    All shades of opinion
    Feed an open mind
    But your values are twisted
    Let us help you unwind
    You may look like we do
    Talk like we do
    But you know how it is

    You’re not one of us
    Not one of us
    No, you’re not one of us

  77. Here is one from everyone’s famous little Englishman, Phil Collins:

    She calls out to the man on the street
    “Sir, can you help me?
    It’s cold and I’ve nowhere to sleep,
    Is there somewhere you can tell me?”

    He walks on, doesn’t look back
    He pretends he can’t hear her
    Starts to whistle as he crosses the street
    Seems embarrassed to be there

    Oh think twice, it’s another day for
    You and me in paradise
    Oh think twice, it’s just another day for you,
    You and me in paradise

    She calls out to the man on the street
    He can see she’s been crying
    She’s got blisters on the soles of her feet
    Can’t walk but she’s trying

    Oh think twice…

    Oh Lord, is there nothing more anybody can do
    Oh Lord, there must be something you can say

    You can tell from the lines on her face
    You can see that she’s been there
    Probably been moved on from every place
    ‘Cos she didn’t fit in there

    Oh think twice…

  78. And finally a little something from The Postal Service (it was a side project for Death Cab For Cutie’s Ben Gibbard):

    Last week I had the strangest dream
    Where everything was exactly how it seemed
    Where there was never any mystery on who shot John F. Kennedy
    It was just a man with something to prove
    Slightly bored and severely confused
    He steadied his rifle with his target in the center
    And became famous on that day in November

    Don’t wake me, I plan on sleeping
    Don’t wake me, I plan on sleeping in
    Don’t wake me, I plan on sleeping
    Don’t wake me, I plan on sleeping in

    And then last night I had that strange dream
    Where everything was exactly how it seemed
    Where concerns about the world getting warmer
    The people thought they were just being rewarded
    For treating others as they like to be treated
    For obeying stop signs and curing diseases
    For mailing letters with the address of the sender
    Now we can swim any day in November

    Don’t wake me, I plan on sleeping
    (now we can swim any day in November)
    Don’t wake me, I plan on sleeping in
    Don’t wake me, Iplan on sleeping
    Don’t wake me, I plan on sleeping in

    Thank you very much indeed, good night to you.

  79. “Don’t Panic”

    Oh, we’re sinking like stones,
    All that we fought for,
    All those places we’ve gone,
    All of us are done for.

    We live in a beautiful world,
    Yeah we do, yeah we do,
    We live in a beautiful world.

    Oh, all that I know,
    There’s nothing here to run from,
    And there, everybody here’s got somebody to lean on.

    …and “Square One”

    You’re in control is there anywhere you wanna go?
    You’re in control is there anything you wanna know?
    The future’s for discovering
    The space in which we’re traveling

    From the top of the first page
    To the end of the last day
    From the start in your own way
    You just want somebody listening to what you say
    It doesn’t matter who you are.

    Under the surface trying to break through
    Deciphering the codes in you
    I need a compass,draw me a map
    I’m on the top I can’t get back

    First line of the first page
    To the end of the last place
    You were looking
    From the start in your own way
    You just want somebody listening to what you say
    It doesn’t matter who you are
    It doesn’t matter who you are

    You just want somebody listening to what you say
    You just want somebody listening to what you say
    It doesn’t matter who you are
    It doesn’t matter who you are

    Is there anybody out there who is lost and hurt and lonely too
    Are they bleeding all your colours into one
    And if you come undone as if you’d been run through
    Some catapult that fired you
    You wonder if your chance will ever come
    Or if you’re stuck in square one.

    That Chris Martin gets me every time, man…

  80. Hi FEd.

    I know this is an older topic, but I am newer here and just came across it. I won’t write the lyrics down, but anyone who ever really listened to Bob Dylan’s “Positively 4th Street” might be able to relate to those lyrics. How many of us know some one who unfortunately fits those lyrics?

    As for Pink Floyd, High Hopes and Us and Them.

  81. Like to share a bit of my own lyrics – this is from a piece called Half a World Away.

    How can I touch someone that’s half a world away
    When the one that sleeps beside me seems a pallid shade of grey
    Cold to my touch, and quite unmoved, as if to say
    I’m dead to you now

    And how can I feel a soul that’s half a world away
    So alive, and so… a lover in the land beside the Bay
    All warm and inviting, all delighting in the day
    And in love with me now

    And I’m torn between two lovers
    There’s the one beneath the covers
    And the one whose heart, it hovers
    Ever near and yet so far

    And the one whose heart I’m hurting
    By the love I’ve been diverting
    Is all face and eyes averting…

    Yeah, this piece was born out of a weird time in my life when I was spending much time doing things I should not have been doing on the internet. (Started to title it “Just Another Internet Affair”.)

  82. How about:

    Take me to the fantastic place
    Keep the rest of my life away
    Say you understand me
    And I will leave myself completely

    Or:

    The wrong side of a lifetime’s drinking
    Is where it seems I’m coming from
    And I took your love and all the hurt inside
    Laid it out on the market stall
    Agony at a knock-down price
    “Reduced to clear” is what I cried

    Or:

    While you torture yourself with what’s behind you
    Torture yourself with what awaits you
    Dragging that guilt and regret inside you
    Your mind will find a way to be unkind to you somehow
    But all we really have is happening to us right now

    Or:

    Now I feel as if I’m floating away
    I can’t feel all the pressure and I like it this way
    No one’s gonna bother me anymore
    No one’s gonna mess with my head no more

    I wish you could see this, ’cause there’s nothing to see
    It’s peaceful here and it’s fine with me
    Not like the world where I used to live
    I never really wanted to live

    There were always ample warnings
    There were always subtle signs
    And you would have seen it coming
    But we gave you too much time

    And I wish that I could help you
    With what you hope to find
    But I’m still out here waiting
    Watching reruns of my life

    Or:

    I thought I could live in your world
    As years all went by
    With all the voices I’ve heard
    Something has died
    And when you’re in need of someone
    My heart won’t deny you
    So many seem so lonely

    With no one left to cry to

  83. how about neil young’s brilliant anti drugs song ‘the needle and the damage done’?

    ‘i’ve seen the needle and the damage done,
    a little part of it in everyone,
    but every junkie’s like a setting sun…’

    What a stunning final line!

  84. The eastern world it is exploding
    Violence flarin’, bullets loadin’
    You’re old enough to kill, but not for votin’

    But you tell me over and over and over, my friend
    Ah, you don’t believe we’re on the eve of destruction

    Don’t you understand what I’m trying to say?
    Can’t you see the fear I’m feeling today?
    If the button is pushed, there’s no running away
    There’ll be none to save with the world in a grave
    Take a look around you, boy
    It’s bound to scare you, boy

    But you tell me over and over and over again my friend
    Ah, you don’t believe we’re on the eve of destruction

    Yeah, my blood’s so mad, feels like coagulatin’
    I’m sittin’ here just contemplatin’
    I can’t twist the truth, it knows no regulation
    Handful of Senators don’t pass legislation
    And march alone can’t bring intergatin’
    When human respect is disintergatin’
    This whole crazy world is just too frustratin’

    And you tell me over and over and over, my friend
    Ah, you don’t believe we’re on the eve of destruction

    The pounding of the drums, the pride and disgrace
    You can bury your dead, but don’t leave a trace
    Hate your neighbor, but don’t forget to say grace

    I first heard this protest song back in 1965 when I was only 14 and it has always been one of my favorites, for the lyrics really made me think as a teenager.

    Take care and I hope everyone will have a good weekend.

    Thomas

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