Sunday, August 30, 2009

Great lyrics on a Sunday

Sunday is a day for words. I am currently missing the liturgy around the Lord's table that our congregation in St. Paul used each week. I wanted to live in the world described by that slice of the liturgy. Words can provide a merciful place to live.

In a similar way, a great song lyric is gold. Usually, a great lyric is made by more than a clever turn of phrase. It's great if it sounds great when its sung. So, melody and rhythm and attitude have a lot to do with it as well. So, some of my favorite lyrics from an ipod genius playlist today, not in any order of greatness or in any sense exhaustive.

"But let me tell you I got some news for you
And you'll soon find out it's true
And then you'll have to eat your lunch all by yourself"

The last phrase is the clincher here. That will show you, you'll have to eat your lunch all by yourself. And Glen Frey sings it perfectly in the Eagles rendition. My understanding is that this is a Jackson Browne song, which brings us to the next lyric.

"Doctor, my eyes
Cannot see the sky
Is this the prize for having learned how not to cry"

This whole song is an amazing lyric. Browne is one of the best, I think. So, another verse from a great song, The Pretender.

I'm going to rent myself a house
In the shade of the freeway
Gonna pack my lunch in the morning
And go to work each day
And when the evening rolls around
I'll go on home and lay my body down
And when the morning light comes streaming in
I'll get up and do it again
Say it again

Great use of the amen. Which brings us to the use of halleljuah. No lyricist can match Leonard Cohen.

You say I took the name in vain
I don't even know the name
But if I did, well really, what's it to you?
There's a blaze of light
In every word
It doesn't matter which you heard
The holy or the broken Hallelujah


Finally, great lyric from a great Dixie Chicks song.

How long do you want to be loved?
Is forever enough? Is forever enough?

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