what’s the greatest song line you’ve ever heard

 
       
 
Nov 06, 2016, 07:50 PM

I just think it would be neat to hear from other folks that actually listen to the words of songs. Some of yall might have to think on this question. As for me, I know mine.  The song that it’s in is one of those that strikes a strong memory for me, and as soon as the first two seconds of the song starts, I am back in that memory. The song is “The dance”. If you listen to the song, you will realize that it is actually a very short song lyrically. But I think it says so much for those few lines.
Holding you..I held everything
for a moment..wasn’t I a king
If I’de only known..how the king would fall
then whose to say..I might have changed it all

I did a little looking around on this song. This song actually got passed around and turned down several times in Nashville. I think Garth Brooks has the ability to pick some GREAT songs and also some duds.  He nailed this song.
  Anyway. I would love to get some of your songs and maybe why the lines move you..Johnny

[ Edited: 06 November 2016 07:53 PM by johnny wallace]
 
     
johnny wallace Joined Oct 28, 2016
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Nov 07, 2016, 02:02 AM

I don’t know either, but this is right up there:

I got a sixty-nine Chevy with a 396
Fuelie heads and a Hurst on the floor
She’s waiting tonight down in the parking lot
Outside the Seven-Eleven store

Puts you right there outside the Seven-Eleven - tells you so much in a few lines about the car, of course, but also about the narrator. draws you in completely within a few seconds of starting the song. I don’t think I need to say who wrote it, do I?

Then there is that quaint old Scottish folk song, The Ball of Kirriemuir:

Four and twenty virgins came down from Inverness
And on the train going home again there were four and twenty less…

An attention-grabbing opening which is but a prelude to many interesting verses.

 
     
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Gavin Sinclair Joined Dec 02, 2014
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Nov 07, 2016, 07:56 AM

An interesting question which shows how important or unimportant the words of a song really are. Gavin, I love those lines from that Scottish folk song.

Here are my favorite lines taken from one of the best pop songs ever written:

I really only met her ‘bout a week ago
But it doesn’t seem to matter to my heart I know
That I love her
I’m hoping that I never recover
‘Cause she’s good for me
And it would really make me happy
To never let her slip away

(Andrew Gold)

 
     
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Robert Baitinger Joined Jun 01, 2006
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Nov 15, 2016, 11:28 PM

A couple good ones from two of my all time favorite artists.


The White Buffalo - Go The Distance

She was down at the bar at the neighborhood
Gossip runs quick when the liquor’s good
Truth and drinks they get watered down
She overheard from someone I was messin around
People talk and that’s understood
But don’t you listen to him well he’s a f&#kin; peckerwood
And all that s&#t comes off my shoe
Doesn’t matter to me
But it matters to you


Audra Mae - Two Melodies

I only want
Bread in my oven
The people I’m lovin
To stick around a while

I only want
A porch built for talkin
And a chair made for rockin
And that southern comfort style

I wish I was born with Papa’s silver spoon
But all I have to offer is a melody or two
And baby I’ll sing them both for you

 
     
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John Evans Joined Oct 01, 2016
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Nov 16, 2016, 03:26 AM

Hank Jr.
“I used life-savers to help me get off cigarettes,
but darlin’ for your love I aint found no life-savers yet”

Kenny Chesney
“She thinks my tractor’s sexy”

WnW
“Lone star belt buckles and old faded levis
and each night begins a new day”
“Mammas don’t let your babies
grow up to be cowboys”

John Denver
“All my memories gather around her
modest lady, stranger to blue water
Dark and dusty painted on the sky
misty taste of moonshine, teardrop in my eye
Country roads, take me home…....”

GnR
“Tied up, tied down, up against a wall
be my rubber-maid baby and we can do it all
My, your way, anything goes tonight”

NiN
“Head like a hole, black as your soul
i’d rather die than give you controll
Bow down before the one you serve
you’re going to get what you deserve”

Billy Joel
“And the piano, it sounds like a carnival
and the microphone smells like a beer
And they sit at the bar and put bread in my jar
and say,“Man what are you doing here”

Cash
“When I was just a baby, my mamma told me son
don’t ever pick a guitar and don’t ever play with guns
But I shot a man in Reno, just to watch him die
now when I hear that whistle blowing I hang my head and cry”

Afroman
“I was going to go to work, but then I got high”
“‘Cause I got high” “‘Cause I got high” “‘Cause I got high” :)

[ Edited: 16 November 2016 04:09 AM by PIGSWAPWHAFTCA]
 
     
PIGSWAPWHAFTCA Joined Aug 27, 2016
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Nov 16, 2016, 02:18 PM

Hank Williams:

Hey Good Lookin’ whatcha got cooking
How’s about cooking somethin’ up with me

 
     
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Guy E. Trépanier Joined Dec 05, 2005
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Nov 16, 2016, 03:09 PM

THE THE - SLOW EMOTION REPLAY

you’ve gotta work out your own salvation
with no explanation
to this earth we fall
on hands and knees we crawl
we look up to the stars
we reach out and pray
to a deaf dumb and blind god , who never explains

 
     
sandor nevery Joined Jun 08, 2014
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Nov 16, 2016, 05:24 PM

for me it’s the beatles song “in my life”

all my life though some have changed
some forever not for better

 
     
dennis dawe Joined Apr 17, 2010
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Nov 16, 2016, 09:07 PM

Some really good verses here.  Some I know well. Some I have never heard before.  I do plan on looking those up and giving them a listen.  Johnny

 
     
johnny wallace Joined Oct 28, 2016
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Nov 18, 2016, 06:35 PM

The lady who wrote,

Ten years ago, on a cold, dark night, a man was killed, ‘neath the town hall light.

...was the mentor to the guy who wrote,

Take the ribbon from your hair. Shake it loose and let it fall.

...and,

Don’t look so sad. I know it’s over.

...and,

Busted flat in Baton Rouge, headin for the trains, feelin’ near as faded as my jeans.

How about,

Ain’t it just like the night, to play tricks when you’re tryin’ to be so quiet?

,,,and,

You’ve got a lot of nerve, to say you are my friend.


These are all first lines, the lines that probably hooked the songwriter, and that hooked me when I heard them, made me want to hear more.

How about,

Well she was just seventeen, if you know, what I mean, and the way she looked, was way beyond compare.

And that was enough exposition. From there they go right to the Chorus Refrain,

Now I’ll never dance with another, When I Saw Her Standing There.

She came in through the bathroom window.

It was twenty years ago today, Sergeant Pepper taught the band to play.

Wise men say, only fools rush in, But I can’t help Falling In Love with you.

So many.

There will always be another song to be written. Someone will write it. Why not you? http://www.garyeandrews.com

 
     
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Gary E. Andrews Joined Apr 12, 2005
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Nov 19, 2016, 10:37 AM

As the Songwriter YOU are the first listener. YOU should be ‘hooked’ the same way you hope other listeners will be hooked.

‘Hooked’ is a metaphor, like a fish being ‘hooked’ I suppose, and can’t get away. The listener can’t say, ‘Oh well. I’m not listening to that.’ No. The listener should not have a choice. Something in the word meanings, the timbre of the vocal delivery, the sense of a Singer-Character in a reality, the Melody, the arrangement (instrumental accompaniment) should have that ‘Hook Factor’, that ability to insist the listener imagine what is being described, and want to know the rest of the story.

Hook Factor should keep the listener engaged and get them to THE Hook, that main idea, the title line, the summary line of the story.

I hear Songs delivered as if that first line doesn’t matter. It is delivered in a casual ‘do-or-don’t’ pay attention way. The strategic Rhyme-Word at the end of the line is dropped so if you’re not paying attention you may not get it. I have a theory that Bob Dylan’s vocal technique, considered odd by many, is due to his own awareness that those last words needed more expressive delivery to stay up and get into the listeners’ ears and mind.

The word meaning should hook you. The delivery should aid and abet the Hook Factor. Knowing when you’ve got them hooked and it’s enough and it’s time to get to THE Hook, the main idea, is a judgment call. How much is ‘enough’? ‘Enough’ is an elusive concept. Does it take four lines, six, eight? Do they have enough of the story exposition to ‘get’ THE Hook and the Chorus?

In “Long Black Veil” the Song/Story goes on to tell, “There were few at the scene, but they all did agree, that the man who ran, looked a lot like me.” See the very conversational, story-tellling, straightforward delivery? The Hook Factor is strong. An amateur can deliver the Song with minimal vocal skill. The listener doesn’t have to ponder an abstract or hidden meaning.

“The judge said, “Son, what is your, al-i-bi. If you were somewhere else, you won’t have to die.” “I spoke not a word, though it meant my life. I had been in the arms, of my best friend’s wife.” BANG! What a story! I get it. The only witness for the defense might expose the affair and have that whole mess to deal with. She’s stuck. He’s stuck. I can easily imagine her testifying that he came by the house, looking for her husband, his best friend, at the time in question. The trial’s over, the story’s over, let’s all go watch tv. But that conflict is infinitely interesting! And that is ENOUGH. The Songwriter goes straight to the Chorus at about 1 minute in. And what a powerful Chorus it is, in word meaning, summarizing the whole point of the story, and Melodically setting that hook irresistably in our minds.

“She walks these hills, in a Long Black Veil. She mourns my bones, when the night winds wail. Nobody knows, no! Nobody sees. Nobody knows but me.”

Amazing succinctness. Git ‘er done. Don’t bore us. Get to the Chorus.

There will always be another song to be written. Someone will write it. Why not you? http://www.garyeandrews.com

 
     
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Gary E. Andrews Joined Apr 12, 2005
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Mar 04, 2017, 01:04 AM

It’s a lesson too late for the learning
Made of sand, made of sand
In the wink of an eye my soul is turning
In your hand, in your hand

 
     
David Swinson Joined Feb 28, 2017
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Mar 22, 2017, 12:47 PM

I might be the strange guy here, but… the voice of Tina Arena, [Chains] wow.

and I thought a group..Mister Mister and the song..[Kyrie] was way ahead of its time..I don`t know for sure both were almost a one hit groups.  I still have Kyrie on a disc its on my driving music for the car….lol

 
     
L. Vincent Joined Sep 30, 2007
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Jun 10, 2017, 05:35 PM

That’s a tough one. So many.

I’d have to say, though, that the most mysteriously poetic line I’ve yet heard is from These Foolish Things:

The Winds of March that make my heart a dancer….

I have no clue what that means, nor do I ever want to know. It’s wonderful, and that’s all I need to know…

‘Charlie Christian got me in a world of trouble’—-me

 
     
joel fass Joined Jun 03, 2017
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Jun 10, 2017, 05:38 PM
Gary E. Andrews - 19 November 2016 10:37 AM

As the Songwriter YOU are the first listener. YOU should be ‘hooked’ the same way you hope other listeners will be hooked.

‘Hooked’ is a metaphor, like a fish being ‘hooked’ I suppose, and can’t get away. The listener can’t say, ‘Oh well. I’m not listening to that.’ No. The listener should not have a choice. Something in the word meanings, the timbre of the vocal delivery, the sense of a Singer-Character in a reality, the Melody, the arrangement (instrumental accompaniment) should have that ‘Hook Factor’, that ability to insist the listener imagine what is being described, and want to know the rest of the story.

Hook Factor should keep the listener engaged and get them to THE Hook, that main idea, the title line, the summary line of the story.

I hear Songs delivered as if that first line doesn’t matter. It is delivered in a casual ‘do-or-don’t’ pay attention way. The strategic Rhyme-Word at the end of the line is dropped so if you’re not paying attention you may not get it. I have a theory that Bob Dylan’s vocal technique, considered odd by many, is due to his own awareness that those last words needed more expressive delivery to stay up and get into the listeners’ ears and mind.

The word meaning should hook you. The delivery should aid and abet the Hook Factor. Knowing when you’ve got them hooked and it’s enough and it’s time to get to THE Hook, the main idea, is a judgment call. How much is ‘enough’? ‘Enough’ is an elusive concept. Does it take four lines, six, eight? Do they have enough of the story exposition to ‘get’ THE Hook and the Chorus?

In “Long Black Veil” the Song/Story goes on to tell, “There were few at the scene, but they all did agree, that the man who ran, looked a lot like me.” See the very conversational, story-tellling, straightforward delivery? The Hook Factor is strong. An amateur can deliver the Song with minimal vocal skill. The listener doesn’t have to ponder an abstract or hidden meaning.

“The judge said, “Son, what is your, al-i-bi. If you were somewhere else, you won’t have to die.” “I spoke not a word, though it meant my life. I had been in the arms, of my best friend’s wife.” BANG! What a story! I get it. The only witness for the defense might expose the affair and have that whole mess to deal with. She’s stuck. He’s stuck. I can easily imagine her testifying that he came by the house, looking for her husband, his best friend, at the time in question. The trial’s over, the story’s over, let’s all go watch tv. But that conflict is infinitely interesting! And that is ENOUGH. The Songwriter goes straight to the Chorus at about 1 minute in. And what a powerful Chorus it is, in word meaning, summarizing the whole point of the story, and Melodically setting that hook irresistably in our minds.

“She walks these hills, in a Long Black Veil. She mourns my bones, when the night winds wail. Nobody knows, no! Nobody sees. Nobody knows but me.”

Amazing succinctness. Git ‘er done. Don’t bore us. Get to the Chorus.

Yes, I agree: Great song, spare, to the point, fat-free.

If the Band members didn’t write it, who did?

‘Charlie Christian got me in a world of trouble’—-me

 
     
joel fass Joined Jun 03, 2017
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