Some of the most successful songs of all time have been deemed so simply due to the lyrical content. While the music or the melodies may be what people recognize, the message within the lyrics can, and have, changed lives all around the world.
Lyrics can tell stories, they can directly or metaphorically convey the most inner emotions, and lyrics can even address issues with society and relationships. A strong lyric can connect with the listener in such a deeply personal way that they can actually become a mantra for how they live the rest of their lives.
So for this week’s Open Mic discussion, we will be discussing your favorite lyrics and what makes them so meaningful.
Below is a short list of some of the worlds most popular lyrics, but we want to hear from you about which lyrics you love and why! The idea here is to share any lyrics, from any song that you find important to you and your life, so that others too can discover songs that could possibly change their lives.
1. John Lennon – Imagine
Easily considered to be one of the most important songs ever written, Lennon’s Imagine is a vision of a peaceful world without war or conflict and has since become the soundtrack to the peace movement worldwide:
You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one
I hope some day you’ll join us
And the world will live as one
2. Bob Dylan – The Times They Are A Changin’
In the 1960’s, Bob Dylan became the voice of the generation through his powerful and politically charged lyrics that specifically reflected on the times:
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There’s a battle outside
And it’s ragin’
It’ll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a changin’
3. Neil Young – My My, Hey Hey
Often deeply personal and introspective, Neil Young music reflected on the times, war, the hippie movement, drug abuse and popular music, but in a way that was less political and more emotionally charged. Young’s My, My, Hey, Hey was all of these things in one package:
My my, hey hey
Rock and roll is here to stay
It’s better to burn out
Than to fade away
My my, hey hey
4. Pink Floyd – Shine On You Crazy Diamond
Pink Floyd went through many different iterations of the band, but the one that was by far the most successful occurred right after founding member Syd Barrett left the group (due to mental health issues). While much of Pink Floyd’s music was a direct reaction to the troubled times in England, Shine On You Crazy Diamond was a message of hope directed towards their troubled friend:
You were caught on the crossfire of childhood and stardom,
blown on the steel breeze
Come on you target for faraway laughter,
come on you stranger, you legend, you martyr, and shine!
You reached for the secret too soon, you cried for the moon
Shine on you crazy diamond
5. Notorious B.I.G – Things Done Changed
Considered by many to be the greatest rap lyricist of all time, Notorious B.I.G. used his lyrics to paint personal and incredibly vivid pictures of what it was like to live in Brooklyn in the early 1990’s; gang warfare, crack cocaine, widespread poverty were all common issues. B.I.G’s Things Done Changed is a reaction to how bad it had truly become, and how the only way to escape the streets of Brooklyn was to make money from drugs or basketball:
If I wasn’t in the rap game
I’d probably have a key knee deep in the crack game
Because the streets is a short stop
Either you’re slingin’ crack rock or you got a wicked jumpshot
What Are Your Favorite Lyrics?
Join the discussion below by letting us know what your favorite lyrics are and why. It can be any song, from any time, written by anyone in any part of the world. If you find it meaningful, we want to hear about it!