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Music, weird or not, loud or quiet, helps us live the life we want to live, or at least aim for that dreamy one. Music can change lives and manipulate perceptions and thoughts. It can break down mountains and prejudices, it can change worlds.
Yes, music changes worlds with words. So here is a great selection of some of the most famous lyrics in the history of sounds that have had a great impact on our society.
Life on Mars, David Bowie (1971)
Abstract, sci-fi aroma lyrics that combine vivid imagery with art to perform a personal David Bowie meaning:
“It’s a god-awful small affair/ To the girl with the mousy hair/ But her mummy is yelling, “No!”/ And her daddy has told her to go/ But her friend is nowhere to be seen/ Now she walks through her sunken dream/ To the seat with the clearest view/ And she’s hooked to the silver screen”.
Let it be, The Beatles (1970)
This one cannot be classified as a song. It is way more than that. It is McCartney’s wish to be visited by Mary, his mother:
“And when the broken hearted people/ Living in the world agree,/ There will be an answer, let it be./ For though they may be parted there is/ Still a chance that they will see/ There will be an answer, let it be./ Let it be, let it be. Yeah/ There will be an answer, let it be.”
Common people, Pulp (1995)
An anthem, a hymn of sarcasm, witty and whimsical words put together to entertain:
“She came from Greece she had a thirst for knowledge/ She studied sculpture at Saint Martin’s College/ That’s where I/ Caught her eye/ She told me that her Dad was loaded/ I said “In that case I’ll have a rum and coca-cola”/ She said “Fine”/ And in thirty seconds time she said”.
Jolene, Dolly Parton (1974)
A country narrative of jealousy, love and grit sung by a housewife who fights for the love of her man:
“Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene/ I’m begging of you please don’t take my man/ Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene/ Please don’t take him just because you can/ Your beauty is beyond compare/ With flaming locks of auburn hair/ With ivory skin and eyes of emerald green/ Your smile is like a breath of spring/ Your voice is soft like summer rain/ And I cannot compete with you, Jolene”.
Light my fire, The Doors (1966)
Everything about this song is sensual, seductive, with a slight tough of a mesmerising dream:
“You know that it would be untrue/ You know that I would be a liar/ If I was to say to you/ Girl, we couldn’t get much higher/ Come on baby, light my fire/ Come on baby, light my fire/ Try to set the night on fire/ The time to hesitate is through/ No time to wallow in the mire/ Try now we can only lose/ And our love become a funeral pyre”.
Of course, there are hundreds of artists with great lyrics that have contributed on building the world we live in today, who have had a say in the way we rebel, act and laugh.
Space oddity (David Bowie 1969), What a Wonderful World (Louis Armstrong), Your Song (Elton John), Smells Like Teen Spirit (Kurt Cobain 1991), Somebody To Love (Freddy Mercury 1976), Take Me To Church (Andrew Hozier-Byrne 2013), Run (Snow Patrol 2013), Everytime We Say Goodbye (Cole Porter 1944), Watching the Detectives (Elvis Costello 1977), Anarchy in the UK (The Sex Pistols 1976), My Funny Valentine (Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart 1937), just to name a few.