Great lines from songs


The other day I was experimenting with Kris Kristofferson’s Nobody Wins and I was struck by this one line in the song. It seemed to just stand apart and emit this glow that could not be ignored. As usual, my mind, or whatever is inside my cranial cavity, wandered off into this dreamlike state and other songs and lines wafted through like a pageant of great emotional meaning. It could not be ignored, so I asked folks on Facebook to vote on things to write about, as follows:

  1. Great lines from songs (1 vote + another another who said start with #3 and then write the rest)
  2. Curiosity – the Instrument of Growth (1 vote)
  3. Punjabi Achari Chinese Eggplant Recipe (5 votes and winner)
  4. A photograchic essay of Landscapes (no votes at all!)
  5. Great Women singers (possibly with me attempting to play along, but not sing along) (1 vote from a devoted fan and glutton for punishment)

So, I wrote the Punjabi Achari Chinese Eggplant Recipe. I mean, one has to respect the voting public’s desire, and unsurprisingly, it gathered a lukewarm response. Anyway, here I am with what I actually wanted to write about and damn the torpedoes!

Helpful tip: I haven’t given links, but I have given you name of performer + name of song. Youtube …

Here we go then!

Govt Mule – Soulshine

But life can take the strongest man And make him feel so alone

A great song, with a lesson for the best of us. The line offers up a view of the world that is closer to the truth than most lines.

┬áCat Stevens – Moonshadow

Did it take long to find me? I ask the faithful light
Oh, did it take long to find me? And, are you gonna stay the night?

This song, and these lines in particular, could have been whiny. It isn’t and they aren’t, likely due to Cat and his handling of the words and music. (The only Cat I can tolerate… ­čÖé )

The Grateful Dead – Ripple

If I knew the way, I would take you home

The song itself is full of sentiments, sentiments that can bring tears to one’s eyes. If the one is slightly middle-aged, mildly maudlin and vastly confused about the world and their place within it.

Joan Baez – Diamonds and Rust

And if you’re offering me diamonds and rust, I’ve already paid

The song is about Joan’s relationship with Bobby The Nobel Laureate.

Jim Croce – Lover’s Cross

And bridges are meant for burning when the people and memories they join aren’t the same

What a great way to offer a view into a view! Sometimes, a clean break is best, indeed.

┬áChris Rea – The Road to Hell

This ain’t the upwardly mobile freeway, this is the road to hell

A tip to the road so many take, the road that goes sometimes takes the rider down into the very depths of life.

Dave Mason – Took More than you gave

Seems to me the simple things are hardest to explain

It’s so simple and so hard.

The Who – We won’t get fooled again

For I know that the hypnotized never lie

A song famous for the most famous scream in rock history, but in my opinion, highly caustic about the world and politicians and the mistakes we keep making over and over. This line sums it up – we do get fooled, over and over, again, because we’re hypnotized.

Otis Redding – Sitting on the dock of the bay

‘Cause I’ve had nothin’ to live for It look like nothin’s gonna come my way

What a depth of philosophical despair. Hard to fathom, harder still to deal with it.

The Grateful Dead – Scarlet Begonias

‘Once in a while you get shown the light, In the strangest of places if you look at right

Robert Hunter was a most excellent poet and lyricist and his partnership with Jerry Garcia produced this excellent method of looking at our problems. Shift perspective!

Jefferson Airplane – Lather

And the children call him famous What the old men call insane

And ain’t that just the absolute indictment of our views on the oddities of our fellow human beings?

Woody Guthrie – The Car Song

Brrrm brm brm brm brm brm brm, brrrm b’ brrrm, etc etc

I love this song! Everybody in my house detests it! You go listen to it and tell me I’m insane! I’ll say the kids call me famous (see above!)

Flying Burrito Brothers or Rolling Stones – Wild Horses

Faith has been broken, tears have been cried

A Gram Parsons classic taken over by Mick and Keith and made famous. I prefer the FBB version, myself. I have nothing to say about this line, except that is just what the song requires. It fits, it works and it does a bloody good job!

Ringo Starr – Early 1970

When I get to town I wanna see all three

What a delight of a song! It deserved more play than it got. Here’s Ringo talking about Paul, who lives on a farm, got plenty of charm with a whole lotta sheep, beep beep and John, who lives with his mama by his side, she’s Japanese and then the tempo picks up and we have George, the long-haired, cross-legged guitar picker, with his long-legged lady in the garden picking daisies for his soup. In the context of the Big Breakup of The Beatles, it’s a lovely sentiment.

The Moody Blues – Question

Why do we never get an answer when we’re knocking at the door With a thousand million questions about hate and death and war?

Indeed. Why don’t we? Is it because the people who get to ask the questions are in bed with the people they’re supposed to be holding to account? This could be a whole rant in itself!

Cream – White Room

Yellow tigers crouched in jungles in her dark eyes

Ah man! Poetry! Sheer and evocative! Go listen to the whole thing now, ignore, if you can the make up of the song itself and ending solos (plural)

Bob Dylan – Love minus zero/No limit

She knows there’s no success like failure and failures no success at all

Stand out line!! No wonder he got a Nobel Prize for literature!

Police – Do do do da da da

Words are hard to find. They’re only cheques I’ve left unsigned From the banks of chaos in my mind

Aiyiyi! Could you write something like this? Amazing!

Jimi Hendrix – The Wind cries Mary

A broom is drearily sweeping Up the broken pieces of yesterday’s life
Somewhere, a queen is weeping Somewhere, a king has no wife
And the wind, it cries, “Mary”

Poetry no get better than this, my friends! And who would have thunk it of Jimi H, the master of acoustic feedback?

ELP – C’est la vie

Is there no song I can play for you?

Poor chap. He has no answer, does he? It’s over….

And finally the line that kicked off this review!


Kris Kristofferson – Nobody Wins

The loving was easy, it’s the living that’s hard

I have nothing much to say about this. There’s not much I can say about this. Examine it for yourself.┬áTo me, it speaks the truth about so much we hold dear, people, gizmos, icons, blogs, books, ideas, and indeed, life itself.

That’s it for now! We could probably do more of this, but for now, we’re done.

Thank you for your patience and fortitude

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