I was pretty bored this weekend, so I was reading old articles in the British online newspaper NME. They asked different artists about their favorite song lyrics. Most were at a loss to choose a favorite! 

So I thought I'd share some of mine, and maybe you can share some of yours, too. One of my all time favorite bands has got to be The Beatles. One particular favorite song of mine is on the White Album, "Julia."  Here's my favorite lyric in it:

When I cannot sing my heart/I can only speak my mind

I think a lot of us can relate to that feeling of not quite being able to articulate what we're feeling. It's a beautiful song and a simple sentiment.

Another favorite artist is Elvis Costello, who is very, very clever with his words. He did a fine album in 1989 called All This Useless Beauty,  and the title track's final verse has always been a favorite of mine.

Nonsense prevails, modesty fails
Grace and virtue turn into stupidity
While the calendar fades almost all barricades to a pale compromise
And our leaders have feasts on the backsides of beasts
They still think they're the gods of antiquity
If something you missed didn't even exist
It was just an ideal -- is it such a surprise?

REM has also been a longtime favorite band of mine. Michael Stipe is sometimes hard to distinguish, but he does do some very complicated lyrics. Automatic for the People in 1993 was a huge album for me, and the final track, "Find the River," had a favorite verse:

I have got to find the river,
bergamot and vetiver
run through my head and fall away.
Leave the road and memorize
this life that pass before my eyes.
Nothing is going my way.

Now when it comes to modern up-to-date lyrics, I also would point to the young lady Joanna Newsom as someone who has definitely got some great lines.  Not too long ago she had a very ambitious three CD album called Have One On Me. She has a great optimistic sentiment of togetherness and inclusion in a song called "81."

The unending amends you made
Are enough for one life, be done
I believe in innocence, little darling, start again
I believe in everyone.

Okay, one more. I am also a big fan of an alternative country group called The Avett Brothers. They've got some great albums, and my favorite so far is one titled Emotionalism (although they do have SEVERAL great albums). On that album, there's a song about midway through called "The Weight of Lies."  It's got a great message about truth and how your own personal truths can be freeing.

The weight of lies will bring you down
And follow you to every town,
Cause nothin happens here that doesn't happen there.
So when you run make sure you run
To something and not away from,
Cause lies don't need an aero plane
To chase you down

I'm sure I could go on and on and on with people like PJ Harvey, Radiohead, Amy Winehouse, Alanis Morissette, Mumford and Sons, John Lennon, Sharon Van Etten, Fleetwood Mac, Elliott Smith, Tom Waits, Cage The Elephant, Kacey Musgraves, and more.

I'd like to know what some of your favorites are?  Do you have any in particular that you feel are some kind of life lesson for you, or an inspiration in your life?  Some people even get tattoos with lyrics on them.  Is there a line you'd feel that strongly about?

Lyrically yours,

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