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Thread: Best Lyrics Ever - Prog & Related

  1. #51
    Quote Originally Posted by Sturgeon's Lawyer View Post
    Yeah, it sounds nice, fits the music very well, but what the Hell is it about? I don't believe even Anderson could answer that one coherently.
    I think that's part of what I like about these and many other lyrics - that they don't have a straightforward meaning. To me, that's good thing. They are somewhere between meaningful and meaningless. There are lots of lyrics that don't have a straightforward meaning that I love ("I am the Walrus" comes to mind). What I like in particular about these and some other Jon A lyrics, is that (to me) they *hint* at meaning something. They are not literal, but they aren't meaningless either (to me). They sound nice, but it's not just the sound, the words evoke things I can't put into words.. and that's a good thing.

  2. #52
    Quote Originally Posted by thos View Post
    I think that's part of what I like about these and many other lyrics - that they don't have a straightforward meaning. To me, that's good thing. They are somewhere between meaningful and meaningless. There are lots of lyrics that don't have a straightforward meaning that I love ("I am the Walrus" comes to mind). What I like in particular about these and some other Jon A lyrics, is that (to me) they *hint* at meaning something. They are not literal, but they aren't meaningless either (to me). They sound nice, but it's not just the sound, the words evoke things I can't put into words.. and that's a good thing.
    H'mmm. I kind of see what you're saying. Like Alice reading "Jabberwocky":
    "It seems very pretty," she said when she had finished it, "but it's rather hard to understand!" (You see she didn't like to confess, even to herself, that she couldn't make it out at all.) "Somehow it seems to fill my head with ideasóonly I don't exactly know what they are!"
    And yet...
    and yet ...
    "I Am the Walrus" and "Jabberwocky" are clever. Even "Close to the Edge" has some brilliant moments of cleverness. TfTO just seems, to me, pretentious and self-important. To me, it doesn't fill my head with ideas.
    Maka ki ecela tehani yanke lo!

  3. #53
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    "Second Nature" by Rush

    A memo to a higher office
    Open letter to the powers that be
    To a god, a king, a head of state
    A captain of industry
    To the movers and the shakers...
    Can't everybody see?

    It ought to be second nature
    I mean, the places where we live
    Let's talk about this sensibly
    We're not insensitive
    I know progress has no patience
    But something's got to give

    I know you're different
    You know I'm the same
    We're both too busy
    To be taking the blame
    I'd like some changes
    But you don't have the time
    We can't go on thinking
    It's a victimless crime
    No one is blameless
    But we're all without shame
    We fight the fire while we're feeding the flames

    Folks have got to make choices
    And choices got to have voices
    Folks are basically decent
    Conventional wisdom would say
    But we read about the exceptions
    In the papers every day

    It ought to be second nature
    At least, that's what I feel
    Now I lay me down in Dreamland
    I know perfect's not for real
    I thought we might get closer
    But I'm ready to make a deal

    Today is different, and tomorrow the same
    It's hard to take the world the way that it came
    Too many rapids keep us sweeping along
    Too many captains keep on steering us wrong
    It's hard to take the heat
    It's hard to lay blame
    To fight the fire while we're feeding the flames

  4. #54
    Quote Originally Posted by Sturgeon's Lawyer View Post
    Yeah, it sounds nice, fits the music very well, but what the Hell is it about? I don't believe even Anderson could answer that one coherently.
    Speak to me of summer,
    Long winters longer
    than time can remember
    setting up of other roads
    to travel on in old accustomed ways


    It's 1971. He wants to hear the fresh voices of the younger generation, from the "summer" (of love?), rather than the boring old farts stuck in the past traveling "in old accustomed ways."


    I still remember
    the talks by the water
    the proud sons and daughters
    that knew the knowledge of the land
    spoke to me in sweet accustomed ways


    He remembers the words of the young and their vision ("sweet accustomed ways"); their "knowledge of the land" may refer to the back-to-the-land movement that was popular among the young in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

  5. #55
    For latter day prog:

    Feel the blood rushin' through my veins
    Baby it's not because I'm ready to blow
    Standin' still doesn't work for me
    Takin' my shot
    I've got places to go

    Once you get just a little taste
    And you feel the heat coming on strong
    There's no way you're turning back
    Oh I've got to keep moving on
    Do or die, any day or night
    My eyes stay on the prize

    With the road underneath my feet
    I'm learning how to fly

    chorus:

    I can't slow down
    I'm on the run, chasing down the dream
    I won't slow down
    I need some room, to roam, to breathe
    And no matter how the world may change
    It's the fire inside, a burning flame, no
    I won't slow down
    I can't slow down
    Last edited by yamishogun; 1 Week Ago at 02:38 AM.

  6. #56
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    Wow, some great choices so far; reminds me of the lyrical wealth of the music I love.

    I don't really know who to thank for this little slice of life, Andy Partridge or Mike Keneally, but it's beautiful, and so well set on Wing Beat Fantastic. The couplet in the second verse ["What if you should see me here?/I'd whirl blue and disappear] slays me every time.

    Your House

    I walked slowly at first
    Tried not to break into a run
    I knew that was your house at the end of the road
    With one tree either side
    How I wished that I could hide
    But hey, this is crazy when after all itís only your house

    I came back the next day
    Drawn by some strange magnetic pull
    Itís just brick and mortar but you might be inside
    What if you should see me here?
    Iíd whirl blue and disappear
    I know this is crazy Ďcause after all itís only your house

    I got the number from a friend of a friend of a friend
    He told me which street it was and said that you lived near the end
    I only saw you that one time
    That permanent bright summer sometime
    Now here I am making a fool of myself
    Why am I so nervous?
    Itís only your house

    I wonít be back again
    Donít want you thinking Iím some creepy guy
    If I were to meet you what could I really say?
    Youíd think I was insane
    I donít even know your name
    But hey this is crazy, when after all itís only your house

    Look I know this is crazy Ďcause after all itís only your house
    David
    Happy with what I have to be happy with.

  7. #57
    Quote Originally Posted by SongForAmerica View Post
    Speak to me of summer,
    Long winters longer
    than time can remember
    setting up of other roads
    to travel on in old accustomed ways


    It's 1971. He wants to hear the fresh voices of the younger generation, from the "summer" (of love?), rather than the boring old farts stuck in the past traveling "in old accustomed ways."


    I still remember
    the talks by the water
    the proud sons and daughters
    that knew the knowledge of the land
    spoke to me in sweet accustomed ways


    He remembers the words of the young and their vision ("sweet accustomed ways"); their "knowledge of the land" may refer to the back-to-the-land movement that was popular among the young in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
    Not all of his lyrics are incomprehensible. But honestly, when he writes something like this:

    Yesterday a morning came, a smile upon your face
    Caesar's palace, morning glory, silly human race,
    On a sailing ship to nowhere, leaving any place,
    If the summer change to winter, yours is no disgrace

    Battleships confide in me and tell me where you are,
    Shining, flying, purple wolfhound, show me where you are,
    Lost in summer, morning, winter, travel very far,
    Lost in musing circumstances, that's just where you are


    I can't help but think he's throwing words at the paper and seeing what sticks. Shining, flying, purple wolfhound? Hell, that's not even surrealism. It's alphabet soup.
    Maka ki ecela tehani yanke lo!

  8. #58
    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
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    "Alphabet soup" or not it made Jon a millionaire. By not referencing reality his lyrics become timeless, and equally valid to non-English speakers, and open to endless speculation by adolescent boys with nothing better to do.

  9. #59
    Quote Originally Posted by Sturgeon's Lawyer View Post
    Not all of his lyrics are incomprehensible. But honestly, when he writes something like this:

    Yesterday a morning came, a smile upon your face
    Caesar's palace, morning glory, silly human race,
    On a sailing ship to nowhere, leaving any place,
    If the summer change to winter, yours is no disgrace

    Battleships confide in me and tell me where you are,
    Shining, flying, purple wolfhound, show me where you are,
    Lost in summer, morning, winter, travel very far,
    Lost in musing circumstances, that's just where you are


    I can't help but think he's throwing words at the paper and seeing what sticks. Shining, flying, purple wolfhound? Hell, that's not even surrealism. It's alphabet soup.
    SF author Alastair Reynolds managed to write those exact words into one of his novels, and in a way that managed (just) to make sense. Reynolds appears to be a bit of a prog fan, he gets similar references into quite a few of his works.

  10. #60
    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    "Alphabet soup" or not it made Jon a millionaire. By not referencing reality his lyrics become timeless, and equally valid to non-English speakers, and open to endless speculation by adolescent boys with nothing better to do.
    So you're basically saying that it's the English-language equivalent of Kobaian?
    Maka ki ecela tehani yanke lo!

  11. #61
    Member bill g's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SongForAmerica View Post
    Speak to me of summer,
    Long winters longer
    than time can remember
    setting up of other roads
    to travel on in old accustomed ways


    It's 1971. He wants to hear the fresh voices of the younger generation, from the "summer" (of love?), rather than the boring old farts stuck in the past traveling "in old accustomed ways."


    I still remember
    the talks by the water
    the proud sons and daughters
    that knew the knowledge of the land
    spoke to me in sweet accustomed ways


    He remembers the words of the young and their vision ("sweet accustomed ways"); their "knowledge of the land" may refer to the back-to-the-land movement that was popular among the young in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
    Thank you for that. I like TFTO lyrics, they evoke a mood that matches the music. They're not meant to be brilliant but to create a mood. Those that find it pretentious I think are missing the point.

  12. #62
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    I like The Lobster of the Fairport Convention. With the music, the effect is terrific
    "The Lobster"

    Like a lobster I can swim
    And can grow another limb
    Where a powerless stump you saw
    I have grown a powerful claw

    Where you thought me safely drowned
    In the depths I swim around
    Thither when you too descend
    With my claw I'll tear you, friend

  13. #63
    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Machines were mice
    And men were lions
    Once upon a time

    But now that they live
    The opposite
    It's twice upon a time

  14. #64
    He's dressed up all black & white
    Striped shirt tall silk hat & tights
    He capers & he grins for the passersby
    It'll really entertain them when they see him die

    In the heart of the city it's murder time
    It ain't no crime to kill a mime
    In the heart of the city it's murder time
    It ain't no crime to kill a mime

    I'll introduce this phony to authentic silence
    Harvesting mimes don't need no license
    His body is the canvas where I'll paint my rage
    Death is entertainment in the TV age

    In the heart of the city it's murder time
    It ain't no crime to kill a mime
    Don't need no reason don't need no rhyme
    It ain't no crime to kill a mime

    The silencer is heavy in my sweating palm
    I reach inside to find the zen archer's calm
    I execute the coup with style and grace
    And bow to the crowd with a smile on my face

    In the heart of the city it's murder time
    It ain't no crime to kill a mime
    Assassinating artists is a task sublime
    It ain't no crime to kill a mime

    --Visual Purple, "Street Critic"
    Maka ki ecela tehani yanke lo!

  15. #65
    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
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    I've seen things you people wouldn't believe
    Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion
    I watched C-beams glitter in the dark
    near the Tannhšuser Gate
    All those moments will be lost in time
    like tears in rain.

  16. #66
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    Another by Al Stewart. Gives me the chills.


    In the sapling years of the post war world
    In an English market town
    I do believe we travelled in schoolboy blue
    The cap upon the crown
    Books on knee
    Our faces pressed against the dusty railway carriage panes
    As all our lives went rolling on the clicking wheels of trains
    The school years passed like eternity
    And at last were left behind
    And it seemed the city was calling me
    To see what I might find
    Almost grown, I stood before horizons made of dreams
    I think I stole a kiss or two while rolling on the clicking
    wheels of trains
    Trains
    All our lives were a whistle stop affair
    No ties or chains
    Throwing words like fireworks in the air
    Not much remains
    A photograph in your memory
    Through the coloured lens of time
    All our lives were just a smudge of smoke against the sky
    The silver rails spread far and wide
    Through the nineteenth century
    Some straight and true, some serpentine
    From the cities to the sea
    And out of sight
    Of those who rode in style there worked the military mind
    On through the night to plot and chart the twisting paths of
    trains
    On the day they buried Jean Juarez
    World War One broke free
    Like an angry river overflowing
    Its banks impatiently
    While mile on mile
    The soldiers filled the railway stations arteries and veins
    I see them now go laughing on the clicking wheels of trains
    Trains
    Rolling off to the front
    Across the narrow Russian gauge
    Weeks turn into months
    And the enthusiasm wanes
    Sacrifices in seas of mud, and still you don't know why
    All their lives are just a puff of smoke against the sky
    Then came surrender, then came the peace
    Then revolution out of the east
    Then came the crash, then came the tears
    Then came the thirties, the nightmare years
    Then came the same thing over again
    Mad as the moon
    That watches over the plain
    Oh, driven insane
    But oh what kind of trains are these
    That I never saw before
    Snatching up the refugees
    From the ghettoes of the war
    To stand confused
    With all their worldly goods, beneath the watching guard's disdain
    As young and old go rolling on the clicking wheels of trains
    And the driver only does this job
    With vodka in his coat
    And he turns around and he makes a sign
    With his hand across his throat
    For days on end
    Through sun and snow, the destination still remains the same
    For those who ride with death above the clicking wheels of trains
    Trains
    What became of the innocence
    They had in childhood games
    Painted red or blue
    When I was young they all had names
    Who'll remember the ones who only rode in them to die
    All their lives are just a smudge of smoke against the sky
    Now forty years have come and gone
    And I'm far away from there
    And I ride the Amtrak from NewYork City
    To Philadelphia
    And there's a man to bring you food and drink
    And sometimes passengers exchange
    A smile or two rolling on the humming wheels
    But I can't tell you if it's them
    Or if it's only me
    But I believe when they look outside
    They don't see what I see
    Over there
    Beyond the trees it seems that I can just make out the stained
    Fields of Poland calling out to all the passing trains
    Trains
    I suppose that there's nothing
    In this life remains the same
    Everything is governed
    By the losses and the gains
    Still sometimes I get caught up in the past I can't say why
    All our lives are just a smudge of smoke
    Or just a breath of wind against the sky

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