Anonymous asked in Entertainment & MusicMusicRock and Pop · 9 years ago

R&P: Favorite songs, "great lyricists" edition?

Hit me, R&P!

Billy Bragg:

David Bowie:

David Byrne [Talking Heads]:

Elvis Costello:

Frank Zappa:

George Harrison [with or without the Beatles]:

Ian Anderson [Jethro Tull]:

Joe Strummer [The Clash]:

John Flansburgh/John Linnell [They Might Be Giants]:

Joni Mitchell:

Leonard Cohen:

Michael Stipe [REM]:

Neil Diamond:

Patti Smith:

Randy Newman:

Tom Waits:

Warren Zevon:

BQ: Your favorite songwriter not on here, and your favorite lyrics/song of his or hers.

This is not an exhaustive list, nor is it meant to be. Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen would have been included, but have already been in 'favorite songs' questions recently, so are omitted. Same thing with the Stones. Harrison is my personal favorite out of the Beatles, so that's why he's here in lieu of the others -- and if I asked for a Beatles song, 99% would be Lennon/McCartney anyway, so I consider him sufficiently different. And, yes, Zappa and TMBG are indeed great lyricists in my book -- you have to be clever songwriters to come up with what they have.

Most TUs on a legit answer = BA.


Youtube links are welcome, too. I'll post my list upon selecting the BA!

Update 2:

Clarification: Please pick favorite songs (if you have them) out of the list here! The BQ is indeed to choose your own. Thanks!

11 Answers

  • Punch
    Lv 7
    9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    David Bowie: Life On Mars?

    David Byrne: Remain in light

    Elvis Costello: All this useless beauty

    Frank Zappa: "We're only in it for the money"

    George Harrison, All things must pass

    Joe Strummer, The "London's Calling and Sandinista albums

    Joni Mitchell: the "Blue" and "Turbulent Indigo" albums

    Leonard Cohen: Everybody Knows, The Future

    Michael Stipe: Automatic for the people, Murmur

    Patti Smith: The entire "Easter" and "Horses" albums

    Randy Newman: Sail Away

    Tom Waits: The entire "Raindogs" album

    Warren Zevon, Keep Me In Your Heart

    I'll add Aimee Mann, Elliott Smith, Paul Simon, Thom Yorke, Brian Wilson, Lou Reed, and Tori Amos.

  • 9 years ago

    David Bowie: Life On Mars?

    David Byrne [Talking Heads]: Once in a Lifetime

    Elvis Costello: Pump It Up

    Frank Zappa: Peaches en Regalia

    George Harrison [within *and* without the Beatles]: While My Guitar..., Isn't It a Pity

    Ian Anderson [Jethro Tull]: Thick As a Brick

    Joe Strummer [The Clash]: London Calling

    Joni Mitchell: Woodstock, so CSNY could cover it

    Leonard Cohen: Suzanne

    Michael Stipe [REM]: Man On the Moon

    Patti Smith: no clear favorites

    Randy Newman: I do like that Toy Story song...

    Tom Waits: all of SFTB and RD

    Warren Zevon: I just like the guy in general

    BQ: Lennon, McCartney, Stevie Wonder, Brian Wilson, Peter Gabriel, Elton John, Peter Hammill, Sting (w/ the Police), Steven Wilson, Neal Morse

  • 9 years ago

    Sarah McLachlan

    You woke up screaming aloud

    A prayer from your secret god

    You feed off our fears

    And hold back your tears, oh

    Give us a tantrum

    And a know it all grin

    Just when we need one

    When the evening's thin

    ~Building a Mystery

    Trent Reznor (NIN)

    I'm becoming less defined as days go by

    Fading away

    Well you might say

    I'm loosing focus

    Kind adrifting into the abstract in terms of how I see myself

    Sometimes I think I can see right through myself [x3]

    Less concerned about fitting into the world

    Your world that is

    Because it doesn't really matter

    (no it doesn't really matter anymore)

    None of this really matters anymore

    Yes I'm alone but then again I always was

    As far back as I can tell

    I think maybe it's because you never were really real to begin with

    I just made you up to hurt myself [x6]

    And it worked.

    Yes it did!


    Neil Young

    It was then that I knew I'd had enough, sold my credit card for fuel. Headed out to where the pavement turns to sand. With a one-way ticket to the land of truth, and my suitcase in my hand, how I lost my friends I still don't understand.


    Robert Hunter (Grateful Dead)

    If my words did glow with the gold of sunshine

    And my tunes were played on the harp unstrung,

    Would you hear my voice come thru the music,

    Would you hold it near as it were your own?

    It's a hand-me-down, the thoughts are broken,

    Perhaps they're better left unsung.

    I don't know, don't really care

    Let there be songs to fill the air.

    Ripple in still water,

    When there is no pebble tossed,

    Nor wind to blow.

    Reach out your hand if your cup be empty,

    If your cup is full may it be again,

    Let it be known there is a fountain,

    That was not made by the hands of men.

    There is a road, no simple highway,

    Between the dawn and the dark of night,

    And if you go no one may follow,

    That path is for your steps alone.

    Ripple in still water,

    When there is no pebble tossed,

    Nor wind to blow.

    You who choose to lead must follow

    But if you fall you fall alone,

    If you should stand then whos to guide you?

    If I knew the way I would take you home.


  • 9 years ago

    My favourites on that list are probably Frank Zappa, George Harrison, Tom Waits, and Michael Stipe. My favourite not on there is probably John Darnielle (of the Mountain Goats)

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  • 9 years ago

    Wayne Coyne of the Flaming Lips

    David Bowie



    Stephen Malkmus of Pavement

  • 9 years ago

    I'm going to have to "cherry pick", as there are quite a few I do not know enough about.

    Bowie- "Width of a Circle"

    Youtube thumbnail

    Byrne- "Life during Wartime"

    Youtube thumbnail

    Costello- "Green Shirt"

    Youtube thumbnail

    Zappa- where to start???? "Montana"

    Youtube thumbnail

    Strummer- "Death or Glory"

    Youtube thumbnail


    Cohen- "Closing Time". Can still do it live, even at his age

    Youtube thumbnail

    BQ: My 2nd Favourite is not here, so Van Morrison with "Astral Weeks"

    Youtube thumbnail

    Just a thought- several of my Contacts live way south of the Equator, and due to the time difference they can be last to answer one of my Qs when "all" the TUs have been given to those at the top of the list. Doesn't make their answers any less worthy though.

  • 9 years ago

    Just wanted to put in a plug for Ray Davies. He seems to get get overlooked alot of the time.

  • 9 years ago

    billy bragg - a new england

    Youtube thumbnail

    ian anderson - one white duck...

    Youtube thumbnail

    michael stipe - kohoutek

    Youtube thumbnail

    patti smith - privilege

    Youtube thumbnail

    warren zevon - werewolves of london

    Youtube thumbnail

    a cliche perhaps, but i still remember the frisson when i first heard this as a callow youth.

    ba: alex turner

    when the sun goes down -

    Youtube thumbnail

    choice of three -

    Youtube thumbnail

    ps man up, kls. choose your own ba....

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    neil young

    tim hardin

    nick drake

    paul simon

    mark everett

  • 9 years ago

    emeniem, r kelly and aventura

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