Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Top 30 Best Lyrics Ever, For Real, For All-Time, EVER!

I think this time I'm just going to let other, wiser people do the talking for me. A special commentary-free edition of PaRMLoT! (We are still totally calling this PaRMLoT, PS.)

30. “Eli’s coming, girl, you better hide your heart” – Three Dog Night, Eli’s Coming

29. “She serves him mashed potatoes / And she serves him peppered steak, with corn / Pulls her dress up over her head / Lets it fall to the floor / But does she ever whisper in his ear all her favorite fruit?” – Camper Van Beethoven, All Her Favorite Fruit

28. “I want to make a million dollars / I want to live out by the sea / Have a husband and some children / Yeah, I guess I want a family” – Tina Turner, Private Dancer

27.Soco in bed, a sunny sunday watching John McLaughlin / And having sex again and again / I'd stopped by 'cause Ellen had my copy of Nebraska / They never even put on their clothes” – The Dismemberment Plan, Ellen and Ben

26. “He was born a pauper to a pawn on a Christmas day / When the New York times said God is dead / And the war's begun / Alvin Tostig has a son today” – Elton John, Levon

25.She said that she was working for the ABC News
/ It was as much of the alphabet as she knew how to use”
- Elvis Costello, Brilliant Mistake

24. Hey, pretty baby get high with me, / We can go to my sisters if we say we'll watch the baby" – Neko Case, Star Witness

23. “You’d never know it / But buddy, I’m a kind of poet / And I’ve got a lot of things I wanna say / And when I’m gloomy, won’t you listen to me / ‘Til it’s talked away” – Johnny Mercer/Harold Arlen, One For My Baby

22.I'm aching for you baby / I can't pretend I'm not / I need to see you naked / In your body and your thought” – Leonard Cohen, Ain’t No Cure For Love

21. “I was out late the other night / Fear and whiskey kept me going” – The Mekons, Chivalry

20. Got a curse we cannot lift / shines when the sunset shifts / there's a cure comes with a kiss / the bite that binds the gift that gives” – TV On the Radio, Wolf Like Me

19. Greener grasses fade from where you wind up / everyone choose sides /
I’m back! I’m back! So sing to raise the blind up” – The Wrens, Everyone Choose Sides

18. “Well a person can work up a mean mean thirst
/ after a hard day of nothin' much at all
/ Summer's passed, it's too late to cut the grass /
There ain't much to rake anyway in the fall” – The Replacements, Here Comes a Regular

17. “It’s time to fight back, that’s what Huey said / Two shots in the dark, now Huey’s dead” – 2Pac, Changes

16. Pick out some Brazilian nuts for your engagement / Check that expiration date, man / It’s later than you think” – Pavement, We Dance

15.You know that chick that used to dance a lot?” – Thin Lizzy, The Boys are Back in Town

14. “Just before our love got lost you said, / 'I am as constant as the Northern Star' / Constant in the darkness / Where’s that at? / If you want me, I’ll be at the bar” – Joni Mitchell, A Case of You

13.Styles upon styles upon styles is what I have” – Tribe Called Quest, Buggin’ Out

12. “Her heart is as big as this whole goddamn jail / She’s sweeter than saccharine at a drug store sale” – John Prine, Christmas in Prison

11.Then she cries out / Oh my goodness, I'm about to climax / And I said cool, / “Climax!” / Just let go of my leg” – R. Kelly, Trapped in the Closet

10.So if you don't want me I promise not to linger / But before I go I've gotta ask you, dear, about the tan line on your ring finger” – Silver Jews, Random Rules

9.Everybody in the world, you have dandruff” – De La Soul, Can U Keep a Secret

8. “Here I go, deep type flow / Jacques Cousteau could never get this low” – Wu-Tang Clan, Da Mystery of the Chessboxin’

7. If I ever want to drive myself insane, / all I have to do is watch you breathing” – The Mountain Goats, There Will Be No Divorce

6. “I just wanna use your love tonight / I don’t wanna lose your love tonight” – The Outfield, Your Love

Okay, so I know I'm going to get shit for that one (and I totally said no commentary), but come on, it's the most succinct encapsulation of that singularly difficult moment, the simultaneous experience of two directly opposing emotions: a) I want to use you for sexual gratification and b) I truly care about you and don't want to lose the affection we have for each other. What's brilliant is that there isn't even a "but" separating the two sentiments; they are inextricably intertwined. And the two lines are so phonically similar! It's like you're almost lulled into the impression that, yeah, maybe sleeping with this person IS the best way to express my friendly affection. (Of course, if you're really in love with someone and you want to sleep with them, you should probably just do it. However, if your girlfriend Josie is on vacation, as is the case in the song, and you feel that she might have something to say about this... maybe hold up on the sleeping-with.) Anyway, I would not be shocked if the members of The Outfield were currently respected sociologists.

5.I'm just an animal looking for a home/ Share the same space for a minute or two / And you love me till my heart stops / Love me till I'm dead” – Talking Heads, Na├»ve Melody

4.It may be you / It could be me / It's not enough / To wait and see / And when we all / Lock arms and sing / Then bells of freedom / Ring ding ding!” – Some scientists, The Most Unwanted Song

3. “Is a dream a lie that don’t come true, or is it something worse?” – Bruce Springsteen, The River

2. “Everyone I used to know is either dead or in prison” – Tom Waits, Christmas Card from a Hooker in Minneapolis

1. “Your debutante knows what you need, but I know what you want” – Bob Dylan, Stuck Inside of Mobile With the Memphis Blues Again

2 comments:

Rob said...

peter gross these are all about sex. but excellent work putting the De La Soul lyric here, even though it should be #1

Ana-Maria Vasile said...

For me this one is the best:
“The world will break your heart 10 ways ‘til sunday, that’s guaranteed and I can’t begin to explain that or the craziness inside myself and everybody else. But guess what? Sunday is my favourite day again. I think of everything everyone did for me and I feel like a very lucky guy.” - The Silver Linings Playbook