top 8 favourite song lyrics

Do you know why you love a song? Melodies carry emotion. Song lyrics add depth. They give music a whole new level of interpretation. This list is made up of some of my favourite song lyrics (that I can remember) that are vivid, consequential, insightful or evocative. Or just beautiful, really. Hope you enjoy (music playlist down below)!

 1. Vincent – Don McLean
and when no hope was left in sight
on that starry, starry night
you took your life, as lovers often do
but I could have told you, Vincent
this world was never meant for one
as beautiful as you

Things to love:
+ the slight pause after 'starry night'
+ the tragedy being told
+ the quiet acknowledgement of the unappreciated, of beauty gone unnoticed around the world

2. I Will Follow You into the Dark – Death Cab for Cutie
if Heaven and Hell decide that they both are satisfied
illuminate the NOs on their vacancy signs
if there's no one beside you when your soul embarks
then I'll follow you into the dark

Things to love:
+ the wittiness of Heaven and Hell 'vacancy signs'
+ the kind of love it takes to follow someone into the unknown
+ the idea of neither heaven nor hell, and braving death

3. Yesterday – The Beatles
all my troubles seemed so far away
now it looks as though they're here to stay
oh, I believe in yesterday

Things to love:
+ the lyrics were written to suit the melody (Paul McCartney came up with the melody first, so the very first lyrics to the melody were "Scrambled eggs//Oh my baby, how I love your legs")
+ the sorrowful guitar melody and lyrics together are weary and remorseful
+ if you've ever been amazed at how much things can change in a day, these few words can have a thousand meanings

4. Drink With Me РLes Mis̩rables Musical
drink with me to days gone by
can it be you fear to die?
will the world remember you
when you fall?
could it be your death
means nothing at all?
is your life just one more lie?

Things to love:
+ the last thoughts before the rebels' deaths in Les Mis
+ a welcomed pause from the violence and tension of the revolution
+ the slow realisation that they are doomed to die – "could it be your death means nothing at all?"
+ realistic, unglorified treatment of facing death

5. Between the Bars – Elliott Smith
drink up, baby, stay up all night
with the things you could do, you won't but you might
the potential you'll be, that you'll never see
the promises you'll only make

Things to love:
+ Elliott Smith is very, very hard to listen to in the background. He always inches in to the foreground of my attention like an earthworm.
+ alcohol speaks to him – 'drink up, baby'
+ absolutely numb feeling as we realise the narrator has trapped himself in a vicious cycle – alcohol abuse, trying to escape, making false promises, failing, back to alchohol abuse

6. Through The Valley – Shawn James
surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life
and I will dwell on this earth forevermore
still I walk beside the still waters and they restore my soul
but I can't walk on the path of the right because I'm wrong

Things to love:
+ another song about neither Heaven nor Hell (I love this topic so much!!)
+ he isn't evil, since surely he will be good and merciful, nor is he righteous
+ so he dwells in a metaphorical Fields of Asphodel because of his moral ambiguity, where there is no salvation
+ thoughtful take on the traditional good vs. evil argument

7. Scarborough Fair – Simon & Garfunkel
tell her to reap it with a sickle of leather
war bellows blazing in scarlet battalions
parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme
generals order their soldiers to kill
and gather it all in a bunch of heather
and to fight for a cause they've long ago forgotten
then she'll be a true love of mine

 Things to love:
+ the whole song is a message to his ex-lover, asking her to do impossible tasks in order to win back his love
+ it was once believed parsley removed bitterness or bad emotions, sage represented strength and wisdom, rosemary represented love and faith, thyme gave courage (a knight's lady would sew thyme leaves into his tunic). I always thought the herbs were the things the ex-lover must have to restore their relationship.
+ the war parallel! The ex-lover's tasks are impossible, the soldiers' tasks are just as so. They are a wasted effort for a cause 'they've long ago forgotten'.
8. Twilight – Elliott Smith
go off to sleep in the sunshine
I don't want to see the day when it's dying
she's a sight to see, she's good to me
but I'm already somebody's baby

Things to love:
+ one of the more positive Elliott Smith lyrics
+ the girl is sunshine, but the narrator is already 'somebody's baby' – substance abuse and misery
+ the feeling of knowing a relationship won't last – he doesn't want to see the sun set

So did you like any of the lyrics? What are some of your own personal favourites?



  1. I love Death Cab for Cutie! XD

  2. All of these lyrics sound so pretty but meaningful. Cool blog post idea!

    Nabila | Hot Town Cool Girl

  3. The yesterday lyrics are really great- fantastic song too. I love the lyrics "maybe it's a dream and if I scream it will burst at the seams" from Traffic in the Sky by Jack Johnson. It really captured my imagination when I first heard it.

    1. Right?? Oh wow, I love the rhyming and rhythm in that one. I'll definitely give the song a listen!

  4. Such a lovely blog!

    I would sincerely appreciate it if you checked out my book reviews blog at and possibly give it a follow as well! Excited to read more of your posts!

    - El

  5. Can't go wrong with Death Cab and Elliot Smith <3

  6. I love all of your song choices, oh my gosh-- you're super well-rounded with what you listen to, Jo!

    xoxo Abigail Lennah | ups & downs

  7. This is a brilliant blog post idea, and you have executed it perfectly. Some of these lyrics are so incredibly beautiful<3


  8. Love your music taste! esp 1, 2, 3, and 5 <3

    1. Those songs are so universally great. <3

  9. You win my votes with Les Mis and The Beatles! I don't know the other songs, but I'll certainly take a look at that Spotify playlist you set up. :) Because they all sound fascinating!

    1. Right? That's awesome - thanks for having a listen!

  10. Wow, those are thought provoking lyrics - the type I like best. I think music is a powerful way to convey things we would never say, questions we would never ask, and translate feelings we don't know how to express. Sometimes I find my music choices teach me about myself. It's a fascinating topic - and great idea for a post, Jo. :)

    1. I can definitely agree with that! I also find that a person's taste in music can say a lot about that person. I think we tend to pick songs that feel right for us, like finding clothes that look good. So I definitely agree it speaks volumes about who we are. :) And thank you!