Who are your top five favorite lyricists?

Provide an example that showcases their lyrical skills.

MQ2: What do you look for in a lyricist?

16 Answers

  • 8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Karen O

    "Watch the murder of the wilds/To the music of the deep"- Isis, Yeah Yeah Yeahs.


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    Jim Morrison

    "Oh tell me where your freedom lies/The streets are fields that never die"- The Crystal Ship, The Doors.


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    Lou Reed

    "Downy sins of streetlight fancies/Chase the costumes she shall wear/Ermine furs adorn the imperious/Severin, Severin awaits you there." Venus In Furs, The Velvet Underground.


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    Régine Chassagne

    Mes cousins jamais nés/Hantent les nuits de Duvalier/Rien n'arrete nos esprits/Guns can't kill/Soldiers can't see" Haiti, Arcade Fire.


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    Alex Turner

    "I've seen you're eyes as they fix on me/Full of confusion/Your snarl is just so condescending/Trying to explain that we're on to a win/If the fee we get in near recoups what we're spending" Perhaps Vampires Is A Bit Strong But..., Arctic Monkeys.


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    I don't really look for things, per se, in a lyricist, I just like certain themes? I dunno, I dunno. I just like various things that sound cool, to me.

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  • 8 years ago

    1) Jim Morrison-his lyrics are some of the most mysterious lyrics in modern music. He's also the only lyricist I can think of that made death a mystery and not just a thing. Ex. Soul Kitchen, Celebration of the Lizard, The Crystal Ship, The End

    2) Bob Dylan-I'm not actually sure why. There's just something about him that makes me say #2

    Ex. Hurricane, Blowin In The Wind, These Times They Are a Changin, Watchtower

    3) Neil Peart-simple. I like that type of mythical fantasy that he writes about

    Ex. 2112, Hemispheres, By-Tor & The Snow Dog, Closer To The Heart, Stick It Out

    4) Robert Plant-same thing as Neil

    Ex. Ramble On, Stairway To Heaven, Kashmir, Even This Shall Pass Away (solo)

    5) George Harrison-Out of all of The Beatles his songs and lyrics were definatly the most deep and meaningful ones

    Ex. I Me Mine, Taxman (a song I think everyone can agree on), Within You Without You

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  • 4 years ago

    Male Damon Albarn - Gorillaz/Blur/The Good, the Bad and The Queen Robert Plant - Led Zeppelin Joe Strummer - The Clash Ozzy Osbourne - Black Sabbath/Single Artist Matthew Bellamy - Muse Female Brett Anderson - The Donnas Joan Jett - The Runaways/Single Artist Debbie Harry - Blondie Pat Benatar - Single Artist Sarah Young - Cloud Cult backing vocalist BQ: John Lennon

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  • Bob Dylan

    Bruce Springsteen

    Stevie Nicks

    Patti Smith

    Pete Townshend

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  • Townes Van Zandt


    Gram Parsons

    Lowell George

    Bob Marley

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  • Red
    Lv 7
    8 years ago

    Bob Dylan

    "For them that must obey authority that they do not respect in any degree,

    Who despise their jobs, their destinies,

    Speak jealously of them that are free,

    Do what they do to be nothing than something they invest in"

    "She lit a burner on the stove and offered me a pipe

    "I thought you'd never say hello," she said

    "You look like the silent type."

    Then she opened up a book of poems

    And handed it to me

    Written by an Italian poet

    From the thirteenth century.

    And every one of them words rang true

    And glowed like burnin' coal

    Pourin' off of every page

    Like it was written in my soul from me to you,

    Tangled up in blue."

    Richey Edwards

    "Liposuction for your bad mouth boy

    Cut out your tongue, effigies are sold

    Words discoloured, bow to the bland

    Heal yourself with sinner's salt

    Doctors arrested for euthanasia

    Kill smokers through blind vanity

    If you're fat don't get ill

    Europe's gravestone carved in plastic"

    Neil Young

    "I guess I'll call it

    sickness gone

    It's hard to say

    the meaning of this song.

    An ambulance can only

    go so fast

    It's easy to get buried in the past

    When you try to make a good thing last."

    "When the vulture glides descending

    On the asphalt highway bending

    Through libraries and museums, through galaxies and stars

    Down the windy hall of friendship

    To the rose clipped by the bullwhip

    The motel of lost companions

    Waits with heated pool and bar

    But me I'm not stopping there

    Got my own row left to hoe

    Just another line in the field of time

    When the thrasher comes I'll be stuck in the sun

    Like the dinosaurs in shrines

    But I'll know the time has come to give what's mine"

    Paul Weller

    "What you see is what you get

    You've made your bed, you better lie in it

    You choose your leaders and place your trust

    As their lies wash you down and their promises rust

    You'll see kidney machines replaced by rockets and guns

    And the public wants what the public gets

    But I don't get what this society wants"

    "I first felt a fist and then a kick

    I could now smell their breath

    They smelt of pubs and wormwood scrubs

    And too many right wing meetings

    My life swam around me

    It took a look and drowned me in it's own existance

    The smell of brown leather

    It blended in with the weather

    It filled my eyes, ears, nose and mouth

    It blocked all my senses

    Couldn't see, hear, smell, speak any longer"

    Elliott Smith:

    "It's Christmas time and the needle's on the tree

    A skinny Santa is bringing something to me

    His voice is overwhelming but his speech is slurred

    And I only understand every other word

    Open your parachute and grab your gun

    Falling down like an omen, a setting sun

    Read the part and return at five

    It's a hell of a role if you can keep it alive

    But I don't care if I f*ck up

    I'm going on a date with a rich white lady

    Ain't life great?

    Just give me one reason not to do it

    So do it.

    This is the place where time reverses

    And dead men speak to all the pretty nurses

    Instruments shine on a silver tray

    Don't let me get carried away

    Don't let me get carried away

    Don't let me be carried away"

    MQ2: Someone who can write lyrics that make me think or something that I can relate to. Also, I often like lyrics that use surreal imagery.

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  • Daniel
    Lv 4
    8 years ago

    1 - Isaac Brock (Modest Mouse) - "We'll laugh all the way to Hell, saying 'yes, this is a fine promotion'"

    - "We were laughing at the starts while our feet clung tight to the ground"

    - "While we're on the subject, could we change the subject now?"

    - "Ice age, heatwave? Can't complain, if the world's at large, why should remain?"

    2 - Peter Doherty - "You said that you loved me, why don't you f*** off"

    - "No lick spittle or pick thack from sycophant claw back flunky"

    - "I said 'you see these two cold fingers, these crooked fingers?I show to you as a way to mean no'"

    3 - Carl Barat - "Puffin on a coffin nail, with a friend of a friend, with an **** like a whale"

    - "Sold the rights, to all the wrongs"

    - "So sow it up kid, have some clout, we'll do some wine and fall about"

    4 - Damien Rice - "Tell 'em iv'e been licking coconut skins and we've been hanging out"

    - "You can lie between her legs and go looking for, tell he you're searching for her soul"

    - "You can't paint an elephant quite as good as she"

    - "Mama tried to wash their faces, but these kids they lost their graces"

    Only have 4 :)

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  • 8 years ago

    • David Gilmour/Roger Waters •

    ~Just lumping them together for Floyd. I prefer Gilmour overall~

    -- Sheep -- "Bleating and babbling, we fell on his neck with a scream; wave upon wave of demented avengers march cheerfully out of obscurity into the dream~•

    -- Time -- "Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day, fritter and waste the hours in an offhand way; kicking around on a piece of ground in your hometown, waiting for someone or something to show you the way~•

    -- Time -- "And you run, and you run to catch up with the sun, but it's sinking, racing around to come up behind you again; the sun is the same in a relative way, but you're older, shorter of breath and one day closer to death~•

    As you know, with Floyd, there are many prime examples of brilliant lyrics, my favorites residing within the albums "Animals", "A Momentary Lapse of Reason" and "Dark Side of the Moon".

    Not too familiar with other lyricists, but I suppose.. Neal Morse, Alan Parsons, John Lennon and Ian Anderson.

    MQ2: Preferably philosophical lyrics, but I really enjoy comedic lyricists such as those that contributes to funky progressive rock bands like Beardfish and Ritual.

    Source(s): A sheep told me.
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  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    Jordan Dreyer (La Dispute)

    Jeff Mangum (Neutral Milk Hotel)

    Nathan Winneke (Horse the Band)

    Tetsuya Fukagawa (Envy)

    Lil B

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  • 8 years ago

    1. Billy Joel

    2. John Denver

    3. Freddie Mercury

    4. Georgie Brennan

    5. Dolly Parton

    MQ2: Someone who can put in to song a story that conveys some form of emotion: sorrow, humor, love, or loss.

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