Saturday, November 7, 2009

Lyrical Genius

It has been a long time since I've posted something new on my blog. My birthday has come and gone, I was promising myself (and a few others) that I would post a birthday special, sadly, that wasn't to happen. Anyway, as the cliche goes, 'Better Late Than Never'. This isn't exactly a birthday post, but it's personal as I am about to talk about songs. Songs whose lyrics I love for their deep, if not hidden, meanings...
Let me warn you that you may not understand why I've chosen a particular song, but then again as the cliche goes 'What's Food For You May Be Poison For Me'. Plus I had many songs to choose from, I had to limit them, but I'll mention them at the end of the post.

Affirmation by Savage Garden
I believe the sun should never set upon an argument
I believe we place our happiness in other people's hands
I believe that junk food tastes so good because it's bad for you
I believe your parents did the best job they knew how to do
I believe that beauty magazines promote low self-esteem
I believe I'm loved when I'm completely by myself alone

People who know me also know that I love this song primarily for its wonderful and insightful lyrics. That's why it is first on my list. I believe Darren Hayes and Daniel Jones couldn't have written a better song!

Funny The Way It Is by Dave Matthews Band
Funny the way it is, if you think about it
Somebody's going hungry, someone else is eating out
Funny the way it is, not right or wrong
Somebody's heart is broken, it becomes your favorite song

Funny the way it is, if you think about it
One kid walks 10 miles to school, another's dropping out
Funny the way it is, not right or wrong
On a soldier's last breath, his baby's being born

One of the few recent songs to have really good lyrics. It talks about opposites and also comments on how we should never take things for granted and also be grateful that we are so fortunate!

Californication by Red Hot Chili Peppers
Psychic spies from China
Try to steal your mind's elation
Little girls from Sweden
Dream of silver screen quotations
And if you want these kind of dreams
It's Californication

This song was being written as an afterthought! Well it became one of RHCP's biggest hits and according to me one of their best lyrical works till date. Its comments on the 'Californication' of society is truly hard hitting. My favourite line in this song? "Space may be the final frontier but it's made in a Hollywood Basement" Smart!

One Hand In My Pocket by Alanis Morissette
I'm broke but I'm happy
I'm poor but I'm kind
I'm short but I'm healthy, yeah
I'm high but I'm grounded
I'm sane but I'm overwhelmed
I'm lost but I'm hopeful baby
What it all comes down to
Is that everything's gonna be fine fine fine
'cause I've got one hand in my pocket
And the other one is giving a high five

No matter how bad life is, always look at the bright side. You wouldn't expect such a perspective from the 'Ironic' girl right? Wonderful opposites (here too) and that ever so cheerful attitude! And that harmonica in the song to top it all! What a masterpiece!

Fix You by Coldplay
When you try your best, but you don't succeed
When you get what you want, but not what you need
When you feel so tired, but you can't sleep
Stuck in reverse

And the tears come streaming down your face
When you lose something you can't replace
When you love someone, but it goes to waste
Could it be worse?

Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you

A song of reassurance, a song of hope, of light after darkness, of (as the cliche goes) 'A Friend In Need Is A Friend Indeed'... Many people say that Chris Martin writes feminist lyrics! Well I don't mind it! He is one of the better lyricists around nowadays! Also listen to Talk, Viva la Vida and Lost!

Mad World by Adam Lambert
And I find it kind of funny
I find it kind of sad
The dreams in which I'm dying
Are the best I've ever had
I find it hard to tell you
'Cos I find it hard to take
When people run in circles
It's a very, very
Mad World

The song was originally sung by Tears For Fears and written by its lead singer Roland Orzabal. It was later sung by Gary Jules but in a more soothing manner for the film Donnie Darko. It was also sung by Adam Lambert during American Idol and he gave it a very eerie feeling. This is the version I like best. Now back to the lyrics. Orzabal has said that lyrically the song has a very loose meaning. According to me its like a pastiche, a montage. He paints a lovely one without actually commenting on it! Wonderful!

Last Kiss by Pearl Jam
Oh, where oh where can my baby be?
The Lord took her away from me
She's gone to heaven, so I got to be good
So I can see my baby when I leave this world.

Like the previous song, this too was written by Wayne Cochran and performed by Wayne Cochran & the C.C. Riders. But it was the Pearl Jam version that really added the emotion to this enthralling piece of work. According to me, one of the best love stories ever written in a song.

I'm Still A Guy by Brad Paisley
These days there's dudes getting facials
Manicured, waxed and botoxed
With deep spray-on tans and creamy lotiony hands
You can't grip a tacklebox

With all of these men lining up to get neutered
It's hip now to be feminized
I don't highlight my hair
I've still got a pair
Yeah honey, I'm still a guy

A tongue-in-cheek song to all you guys and girls who want to shave my chest! I love you Brad for this song! A very funny piece of work and at the same time tells you that (as the cliche goes) 'Boys Will Be Boys'

Angel by Sarah McLachlan

In the arms of the angel
Fly away from here
From this dark cold hotel room
And the endlessness that you fear
You are pulled from the wreckage
Of your silent reverie
You're in the arms of the angel
May you find some comfort here

Written by McLachlan as an ode to Jonathan Melvoin, the lead singer of The Smashing Pumpkins, who died of a drug overdose. Very sad lyrics, but it fills me up with hope whenever I hear it. The song with its piano solo sounds very haunting. This song was used in the Nicolas Cage film City of Angels but was totally overshadowed by Goo Goo Dolls' Iris, which is, mind you, also a lyrically brilliant song, but I connect to Angel more.

The Animal Song by Savage Garden
'Cause I want to live like animals
Careless and free like animals
I want to live
I want to run through the jungle
The wind in my hair and the sand at my feet

This song's well known. And what a message! Savage Garden's second entry in this list with a different message this time - that of breaking free and letting go! My favourite line here? 'Animals and children tell the truth, they never lie' Deeply philosophical and thought provoking!

Vienna by Billy Joel
Where's the fire, what's the hurry about?
You better cool it off before you burn it out
You got so much to do and only
so many hours in a day

But you know that when the truth is told
That you can get what you want
Or you an just get old
You're gonna kick off before you even get halfway through
When will you realize...
Vienna waits for you

A song to take life as it comes and not to rush with it. Billy Joel says it using Vienna as a backdrop. Lovely!

There are many other songs whose lyrics I love but these are the ones I really admire. I'll mention the others who could not make it to this list.
  • Green Day's Boulevard of Broken Dreams
  • Linkin Park's Numb
  • Train's Drops of Jupiter (This is pure innovation!)
  • Dixie Chicks' Not Ready To Make Nice
  • Kal Ho Naa Ho from the film Kal Ho Naa Ho (My life's motto)
  • Unwritten by Natasha Bedingfield
  • Old Enough by The Raconteurs
  • Can You Feel The Love Tonight by Elton John
  • Crash And Burn by Savage Garden (I tell you they were the best!)
You have read my list. I would like you to mention your favourites too... At least maybe 3 songs... I'd like that!


  1. Funnily My Favorite at the Moment Is Alanis Morissette's One Hand In my pocket ...Which I incidentally took from U and Fix You and The Scientist By Coldplay ........Vienna ....and Muse is Gripping me at the Moment … the sheer Brilliance of some of their songs !!!Megalomaniac...and Stockholm syndrome...Uno… I love the Lyrics and the way the song is thought out...In Uno …it’s about some one going of on their own when they were good together …. They have used tango music in the background ….Which is pretty interesting!!!!!!!!!
    I don’t know U know … it’s amazing.. how much music impacts us .. It can even get U through a really though time ………But these Artist … Im so indebt to them…..Just imagine if they hadn’t taken the trouble…. If they didn’t try to do their best !!!*Shudder*;)

  2. hey very nice post! :-)
    .. i think uve picked up some beautiful lyrics and put them in this post! ..
    realli looking to some more posts of this kind frm u.. :-)

    btw californication is 1 of my fav too ;)

  3. @Zena & William: Thanks a lot guys!

  4. nice wrk...darren of d best song writers eer...RHCP n cold play...sometimes whn ur down...wt better to cheer u up...altho i must add U2 is missing from d lineup....

  5. hmmmm... U2, yes m nt a big fan, although have to admit dat One is lyrically enchanting... But my fav U2 is Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own with Window In The Skies following a close second!

  6. i lik i 1 hand in ym pocket n d calocornification

    n d arrifrmationn

    but lik i sd..i dnt aggree wid d hairy chests..!!