This list will probably include some of my all-time favorite songs but the truth is this week I was lazy and didn’t feel up to or really had the time to write a proper post so instead I compiled a brief off-the-top-of-my-head list of songs whose lyrics stay in my head long after the song has stopped playing. I also probably should mention who the songwriters are, but maybe at some point I’ll come by and add that info. There are many more songs like this spanning most genres but I gave myself 15 minutes to write down whatever came to my head and here you have it:
The Box Tops – “Whiter Shade of Pale”
I know Procul Harem popularized this song, but I much prefer the Box Tops version (I’ll almost always prefer Alex Chilton’s version of anything). Their version makes it one of the most perfect songs ever written/composed in my book.
“We skipped the light fandango
Turned cartwheels ‘cross the floor
I was feeling kinda seasick
But the crowd called out for more
The room was humming harder
As the ceiling flew away”
The Rainman Suite – “59 Days”
This song belongs to a time that I have fond memories of. Times when the songs were all about either each other or people we knew. It’s the perfect example of how relationships can suffer when constant touring is involved. Josh Robinson is one of my favorite people and favorite songwriters. If you never listened to this local band when they were playing out you should check out some of their other songs like “Cahuenga Blvd” and really listen to the lyrics.
“Tell me one more time how I’ve gone astray, by this time tomorrow I’ll be two states away”
“My poster’s hanging lonely on your wall. You’d take it down, but you’d rather see it fall.”
The Replacements – “We Know the Night”
Paul Westerberg is one of the most perfect un-perfect individuals in my book. I’d definitely consider him one of the genius songwriters of our time. So many lyrics he’s penned get stuck in my head upon hearing his songs.
“With scissors and a comb I cut my lawn
And there’s no one in the world I’m counting on
There’s a war ragin’ outside – I hope my grass stays green”
“Best things always come when your mind’s at rest
In the afternoon, my mind ain’t sleepy, it’s preoccupied
Till the day is late and we let out a sigh
‘Cause we know the night could fall at any time”
Garth Brooks – “Much Too Young (To Feel this Damn Old)”
I don’t get a lot of sleep. I used to say that I was too busy to sleep but the truth is I’m just a night owl who somehow manages to function semi-efficiently during the day. Even being as young as I was when this song hit the airwaves I could still relate.
Also, I grew up on the late Chris LeDoux (when I was little I really gravitated towards the more upbeat Western/Texas Swing styles of LeDoux and George Strait’s music) so I have a soft spot for any song that mentions his name as he was a “Cowboy” who not only sang the songs of that lifestyle but also lived it with his Rodeo Cowboy background.
“Sleep would be best, but I just can’t afford the rest”
“The worn out tape of Chris LeDoux, lonely women, and bad booze
Seem to be the only friends I’ve left at all”
Chris LeDoux and Garth Brooks collaborated in the early 90’s on a track called “Whatcha Gonna Do With a Cowboy”
However, here’s Chris LeDoux with “Country Star”
Trisha Yearwood – “Sleep While I Drive”
I like this version better than Melissa Etheridge’s original. I find this song to be so sad. For some reason this part of the song is what always lingers in my head.
“I’ll buy you boots down in Texas, a hat from New Orleans
And in the morning you can tell me your dreams”
The Randies – “Wrecking Ball (The Shovel Song)”
Again, a band from another time, when the songs were about us. Also great songwriters especially with their early stuff like “Hyperion” and “Boys in Stereo”
“I tried to build a strong foundation based on moral fabric, but then I met someone whose image fit the shape of my bad habit. And like construction in reverse I’m taking down the timbers one by one they come undone…the thrill of demolition.”
Camera Obscura – “The Sweetest Thing”
This is L.A. Half of the people we know or have dated have been in a magazine or on T.V.
“My love, you’re in a magazine
My love, you’re doing fine, you’re on TV”
“On the bus radio, “Fifty ways to leave your lover alone”
I laughed at the irony
But life is stupid, the irony’s all lost on me”
Talking Heads “Uh-Oh, Love Comes to Town”
This line always makes me laugh.
“I’ve been to college, I’ve been to school
I’ve met the people that you read about in books”
Devendra Banhart – “Queen Bee”
I just really like this song and for some reason this is what sticks.
“I saw everything I’ve seen
And I meant everything I mean”
Of Montreal – “A Sentence of Sorts in Kongsvinger“
“I spent the winter with my nose buried in a book
While trying to restructure my character
Because it had become vile to its creator”
“My mind rejects the frequency
It’s just verbosity to me”
Lou Reed – “The Trouble with Classicists”
“The trouble with a classicist he looks at a tree That's all he sees, he paints a tree The trouble with a classicist he looks at the sky He doesn't ask why, he just paints a sky”
“I think sometimes it hurts you when you stay too long in school I think sometimes it hurts you when you're afraid to be called a fool”
Psychedelic Furs – “The Ghost in You”
This along with “Whiter Shade of Pale” from this list are two of my all-time favorite songs ever. I love the whole song but these two parts of the song have always been ones that I have to stop and listen to
“A man in my shoes runs a light and all the papers lied tonight but falling over you is the news of the day”
“A race is on, I’m on your side
And hearing you my engines die
I’m in a mood for you
For running away”
Matraca Berg – “Along for the Ride”
I always wish that people would be more proactive or would take the reins of their own lives (myself included sometimes). Go after what you want. This song vocalizes that for me, especially this part. Also, I would like to buy everyone an old ragtop.
“We can keep the wheels in motion
Me, I’m not sitting by the ocean
Waiting for ships to come in
I wanna buy you an old ragtop
I want to drive in between the rain drops”
Jesus and the Mary Chain – “Halfway to Crazy”
Also just another one of my favorite songs that I can listen to over and over, but again this is what stays in my head.
“That’s me being torn at the seams
Going mad in the middle of a dream
Catch me getting it wrong from the start
Catch me ’cause I’m falling apart”
Chikita Violenta – “Roni”
Slips into nothing
When all the hype that broke the rules…
Girls – “Solitude”
“I’m listening to this song
Tear me all apart
I’m sleeping in my clothes next to the books”
Band of Skulls – “Cold Fame”
“Now all your dreamin’ will have to wait, what you deserve you’ll anticipate.
Play your 45 records late at night, open all the windows, turn out the light.
Mysterious creatures will fill the room, a midnight show just put on for you.”
Shooter Jennings – “Fourth of July”
I listen to a lot of music , it’s on in the background for most of my day. Sometimes I do get what I call musical overload and have to hit the re-set button. Switching over to listening to Country Music or PowerPop is my re-set button. Also, as far as I know a little George Jones never hurt anyone.
“We sang ‘Stranglehold’ to the stereo
Couldn’t take no more of that rock n’ roll
So we put on a little George Jones and just sang along”