Words. Wickedly, wonderfully powerful words. I love the way they wrap around, and cut through, and dance all about. I love that a single word, spoken just so, can cast a spell…or break one. I love that words can fill pages and pages of a book so splendidly that it causes you to long to live inside it’s covers. I love that letters strung together make words, which make sentences, phrases, paragraphs, stories, songs…Ah, songs. I love that words, put to music, can create a soundtrack to your entire life, spanning your every step and stage, every emotion, dream, hope, fear.
What’s funny to me, and so hard to explain, is how the simplest of words, or phrases- the ones which seem most innocuous, are often the ones that resonate the deepest, lingering in my heart forever. Some I could hear over and over again and never be tired of them, some, so painful that to hear them just once more feels like the cut of a razor blade.
There are so many of the “obvious” song lyrics, the ones that move nearly all of us with their messages: Let It Be, Mercy Me, If I Can Dream… the list is long, and you’d likely know each one. So, instead, I wanted to share these (perhaps) slightly odd selections that I deeply love, along with a little explanation for each. Hopefully, it will either resonate with you, or maybe just give you something new to fall in love with, musically.
Here they are, and in no particular order:
15 Song Lyrics That Stole My Heart:
1) “Don’t worry/bout a thing/cuz everything little thing’s gonna be alright” Three Little Birds, Bob Marley. I mean, right?! What’s cooler than Bob Marley telling you it’s all going to be ok? Sometimes, you just need to be reminded of that, we all do. I heard this song once when I’d really needed it, so: Thanks Bob.
2) “But something I just can’t explain/something in me needs this pain/I know I’ll never see your face again” Waiting For That Day, George Michael. Ah, this little nugget. Devastating song at the time- as in the kind you play over and over again, just so you won’t stop crying. I was a teen, had just broken off permanently from a long term tumultuous and dramatic relationship, and this was his parting gift- a mix tape with this song. Now, it has a kind of sweet nostalgia… to have been so innocently unaware of all life held in store, and that this was just a moment that would pass.
3) “Johnny hit his knees/ and there he prayed/take the very breath you gave me/take this heart from my chest/i’ll gladly take her place if you let me /make this my last request /take me out of this world /God please don’t take the girl” Don’t Take the Girl, Tim McGraw. If you’ve never heard it, and plan to- grab a box of tissues. This was the song that made me fall head over heels in love with country music. It’s the love story of a lifetime, how does one NOT fall in love with it?
4) “There’s a sorrow in your voice/it’s abounding” Let It Go, Ingrid Michaelson. Now, here’s one that never made it “mainstream”, but a gem nonetheless. There was a cute little song from this performer that played in an Old Navy ad years back, I loved it, downloaded the CD, and binge listened to it. This woman’s voice was spectacularly unique at the time (and much emulated now, if you ask me) and she caught me with this word: abounding. And in the context of the song- where she has this love for someone who’s sorrow is so deep, so vast, that it is abounding… I was so moved by those words, I’ve never let them go.
5) “In my life/ I love you more” In My Life, The Beatles. Does this need explanation? I’ll just say, and with a tear in my eye just thinking it, this- this is the love I have for my husband and my children. Timeless, bottomless, dare I say it- abounding.
6) “I’ve seen you smilin’ in the Summer sun/I’ve seen your long hair flyin’ when you run/I’ve make my mind up that it’s meant to be/ Someday lady you’ll accomp’ny me” You’ll Accomp’ny Me, Bob Seger. Can’t give you much on this one. I just heard it one day, walking through a store, and I literally froze, stood stock still, and listened to every word and instantly became a Bob Seger addict. He paints a beautiful picture with this song, simple as that.
7) “He looked at me and smiled and said/I raise my hand/bow my head/findin’ more and more truth in the words written in red/they tell me there’s more to life than just what I can see/ Oh, I believe” Believe, Brooks & Dunn. Ah. Sigh. Tissue every time. This is one is pivotal for me, because I finally accepted my undeniable belief in God. Something I very rarely discuss with anyone, save my husband. I have a deep, profound, and genuine faith. That is confusing, perhaps, to those that know me because I don’t belong to any church, nor am I likely to. My church, as well as my God, are in my heart. Enough said on that, except to add that I am moved to tears by any song of faith that I hear.
8) “I have my own life/and I am stronger than you know” Stevie Nicks/Don Henley, Leather and Lace. This was a line that caught me after I’d gone through my divorce, and I wasn’t always feeling so strong. But I wanted to, more than anything. And just as it goes, I heard this line “..and I am stronger than you know” and it was a message, and I tell myself it all the time.
9) “I took a picture that I don’t like to look at” Do You Remember, Jack Johnson Aww, this song. It is so, so sweet and this part of the song hurts my heart. I love how a song that has no relatable meaning to me can cause such a wave of sympathetic pain for someone else. I actually wince a little when I heard that line, winced for the couple in the song!
10) “Oh say does that start spangled banner yet wave/o’er the land of the free/and the home of the brave” Star Spangled Banner, Our National Anthem. To explain the reason that this song is on here, you’ll have to read: My Two Americas
11) “You’re a bitch, girl/And you’re goin’ to far/ cuz you know it don’t matter anyway” Rich Girl, Hall & Oates Well, I’ve never been a rich girl, but I was spoiled and privileged according to a boy I’d had a big fat crush on back in the day. He’d play this song to me, and for only reasons a teen age girl would understand- I loved it.
12) “Sail on Silver girl/sail on by/Your time has come to shine/All your dreams are on their way/See how they shine/If you need a friend/ I’m sailing right behind.” Bridge Over Troubled Waters, Elvis Presley version And ONLY Elvis’ version does it for me. So emotional to watch him sing this.
13) “But time makes you bolder/children get older/and I’m getting older, too” Landslide, Fleetwood Mac This probably falls under the ‘obvious’ songs category, and it really is pretty self explanatory, I think? It’s so literal for me right now, as my kids are now out of the nest and I learn who I am in this new chapter of my life.
14) “Oh, I’d tell you why/the ocean’s near the shore/I could think of things I never thunk before/and then I’d sit/and think some more…” If I Only Had A Brain, Wizard of Oz. Oh, how I love the Scarecrow. His sweet gentle nature, his clumsy faltering… just simply my favorite of all.
15) “Forgive me pretty baby/ but I always take the long way home.” Long Way Home, Norah Jones I just love her wandering soul, I can hear her smiling as she sings this line. Love it.
I could go on for days, maybe even weeks, with all the words and lines that just get me right there, for one reason or another. But, as fun as this has been for me, I’ll spare you. Hopefully, this makes you think of all the song lyrics that have affected you over the years. If so, I’d absolutely LOVE to hear what they are, so please feel free to leave them in the comments!