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Strophes from our prophets: perspectives from music

Take my advice,
don't listen to me.
- Neil Young, "Hippie Dream"

I felt so symbolic.
- Counting Crows, "Mr. Jones "

Heard it in a love song
Can't be wrong
- Marshall Tucker Band, "Heard it in a Love Song"

Just a lazy cat in a dog eat dog world
You know the pretty bird always catches the worm.
- The Supreme Beings of Leisure, "Golddigger"

They'll never understand how hard it is to be you.
An endless game that you always lose.

- The Supreme Beings of Leisure, "Rock and a Hard Place"

And I would be the one
to hold you down,
kiss you so hard,
I'll take your breath away

- Sarah McLachlan, "Rock and a Hard Place"

A change of scene would sure be great
The thought is nice to contemplate
But the question begs why would you wait
And be late for your life.

- Mary Chapin Carpenter, "Late for your Life"

Ah, but I was so much older then
I'm younger than that now.

- The Byrds (Bob Dylan), "My Back Pages"

God have mercy on the man who doubts what he's sure of.
- Bruce Springsteen, "Brillient Disguise"

What have the years of your life taught you to be?
- Kansas, "Hold On"

All we are is dust in the wind.
- Kansas

We're more than just ashes,
our spirits are more than just dust.

- Jefferson Starship, "The Awakening"

No one knows what it's like
To be the bad man
To be the sad man
Behind blue eyes

- The Who, "Behind Blue Eyes"

There's revolution
but they don't know what their fighting.

- Jethro Tull "Living in the Past"

I need some sentimental hygiene.
- Warren Zevon

So often times it happens that we live our lives in chains,
and we never even know we have the key.

- Eagles

Meet the new boss,
same as the old boss.

- The Who, "Won't Get Fooled Again"

We are the children of Paradise
On our own now since the fall
All the things that are worth having
Are never ours to keep.

- Carole King "Come Down Easy"

We are all of us in the gutter,
some of us are looking at the stars.

- The Pretenders, "Message of Love"

Because you're mine
I walk the line.

- Johnny Cash, "I Walk the Line"

All I want is a Ring-dang-do.
- Sam the Sham and the Pharoes

I kissed a girl and I liked it
taste of her cherry chapstick

- Katy Perry, "I Kissed A Girl"

There's a rose in the fisted glove
and the eagle flies with the dove
and if you can't be with the one you love, honey,
love the one your with.
There's a girl right next to you,
and she's just waiting for something to do.

-- CSNY

Bobby told Lucy, "The world ain't round...
Drops off sharp at the edge of town
Lucy, you know the world must be flat
'Cause when people leave town, they never come back"
They go ninety miles an hour to the city limits sign
Put the pedal to the metal 'fore they change their mind
-- Hal Ketchem, "Small Town Saturday Night"

Don't you know it's a waste of the day
caught up in endless solutions
that have no meaning
just another hunch
based upon jumped conclusions.
-- Joe Walsh, "Life of Illusion"

It ain't me, It ain't me
I ain't no Senator's son
It ain't me, it ain't me
I ain't no fortunate one.

-- Creedence Clearwater Revivial, "Fortunate Son"

I was raised by the praise
of a fan who said I upset her.

- Buffalo Springfield

To keep in silence I resigned
my friends would think I was a nut,
Turning water into wine,
open doors would soon be shut.

- Peter Gabriel

You're so vain.
I bet you think this song is about you.

- Carly Simon, "You're So Vain"

I'm doing all right
getting good grades
The future's so bright
I gotta wear shades

- Timbuk 3

You can't run away forever,
but there's nothing wrong with getting a good head start.

- Jim Steinmen, "Rock and Roll Dreams"

My smile is my make up
I wear since my break up with you..

- Smokey Robinson & The Teardrops, "Tracks of My Tears"

Everybody hurts
sometimes.

- REM, "Everybody Hurts"

I would feed myself on silence
wash it down with empty nights

- Heart, "Nothin' at All"

Come on now, try and understand
The way I feel under your command

- Patti Smith, "Because the Night"

Get your kicks
on route 66..

- Bobby Troup, "Route 66!"

If it's a man's world,
then I'm glad I'm a girl.

- Penelope Houston, "Glad I'm a girl."

As for my foolish behavior
It's just a character flaw.

- Joe Ely, "Character Flaw."

Two gunslingers
walked out in the street and one said
I don't wanna fight no more
and the other gunslinger
thought about it
and he said, yea
what are we fighting for?
I'm taking control of my life.

- Tom Petty, "Two gunslingers"

I'm a man of means by no means
King of the road.

- Roger Miller, "King of the Road"

Whole lot of shakin' going on
- Jerry Lee Lewis, "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On"

Big John's been drinkin'
since the river took Emmy Lou.

- Neil Young "Powderfinger"

If all this should have a reason
We would be the last to know.
So let's just hope there is a promised land
Hang on 'til then
As best as we can.

- Steppenwolf, "New Kid in Town"

They will never forget you
till somebody new comes along.

- The Eagles "New Kid in Town"

If you believe in forever, then life is just a one-night stand. 
~Righteous Brothers, "Rock & Roll Heaven"

It's better to burn out then to fade away.
- Neil Young, "My my, hey, hey"

Freedom's just another word for nothin' left to lose.
Nothin' ain't worth nothin' but it's free.

- Kris Kristofferson, "Me and Bobby McGee"

Somewhere over the rainbow
Bluebirds fly.
Birds fly over the rainbow -
Why then, oh why can't I?

- E. Y. Harburg, "Over the Rainbow"

I've got a smile for everyone I meet
as long as you don't try dragging my bay
or dropping the bomb on my street.

- The Pretenders, "Middle of the Road"

Slow, slow, don't go so fast,
Don't you think that love can last.
Lord! Lord above,
now your trying to trick me in love.

- Free, "All Right Now"

This is no social crisis
Just another tricky day for you.

- The Who

Even telepathic children
have to eat their vegetables.

- Jefferson Starship,"Wildeyes"

There are many here among us
who feel that life is but a joke.
But you and I have been through that,
and this is not our fate.

- Bob Dylan, "All along the watchtower"

I said: Hey baby, don't put my love on a shelf.
She said: Don't give me no lines,
and keep your hands to yourself.

- Georgia Satellites

He who made kittens
put snakes in the grass.

- Jethro Tull, "Bungle in the Jungle"

People speak of love, don't know what they're thinking of
Wait around for the one who fits just like a glove
Speak in terms of belief and belonging
Try to fit some name to their longing.

- Jackson Brown, "In the Shape of a Heart"

What do you want from life
To kidnap an heiress
or threaten her with a knife
What do you want from life
To get cable TV
and watch it every night

- The Tubes, "What Do You Want From Life"

You've got to stand for somethin'
or your gonna fall for anything.

- John Cougar Mellencamp

I can't get no satisfaction.
- Rolling Stones

I was campaignin', shouting like a southern diplomat.
- Chuck Berry, "Nadine"

Moving through the traffic like a mounted cavalier.
- Chuck Berry, "Nadine"

My mother had my sister learning Bach and Strauss
For years it was the only music in our house
But I got my guitar and I rearranged Bach
And came up with some good old folk and country rock

- Chuck Berry, "Viva Viva rock'n'roll"

Just when I thought it couldn't get any worse
Baby, you came back to me.

- Jimmy Thackery, "You Came Back to Me"

Ask the mirror on the wall
Who's the biggest fool of all,

- Moody Blues, "Don't You Feel Small"

Yeah, the house is a rockin',
don't bother knockin'

- Stevie Ray Vaughan, "The House Is Rockin'"

We gotta get you a woman,
Its like nothin else to make you feel sure you're alive.

- Todd Rungren, "We Gotta Get You a Woman"

Paranoia strikes deep
Into your life it will creep
It starts when you're always afraid
You step out of line, the man come and take you away

- Buffalo Springfield, "For What It's Worth"

It increases my paranoia,
like looking at my mirror and seeing a police car.

- CSN&Y, "Almost Cut My Hair"

And if California slides into the ocean,
like the mystics and statistics say it will.
I predict this motel will be standing,
until I pay my bill.

- Warren Zevon, "Desperados Under the Eaves"

Don't try to lay no Boogie-Woogie
On the king of Rock and Roll.

- Long John Baldry, "Conditional Discharge"

But nothing worth having comes without some kind of fight --
Got to kick at the darkness 'til it bleeds daylight

- Bruce Cockburn, "Lovers in a Dangerous Time"

I can see by your coat my friend that you're from the other side
There's just one thing I got to know
Can you tell me please who won

- Jefferson Airplane, "Wooden Ships "

This is what love is
to be out of place.

- Wilco, "Impossible Germany"

You Yankees are so silly about matters of the heart,
Don't you know that women are the only works of art.

- The Eagles, "Drivin' With Your Eyes Closed"

He's old enough to know what's right
And young enough not to choose it.

- Rush, "New World Man"

Why am I soft in the middle
when the rest of my life is so hard?

- Paul Simon, "You can call me Al"

Talk about a dream,
try to make it real,
you wake up in the night
with a fear so real,
you spend your life waiting
for a moment that just don't come.
Don't waste your time waiting.

- Bruce Springsteen

Out on the road today,
I saw a deadhead sticker on a Cadillac.
A little voice inside my head said,
Don't look back,
You can never look back.
Thought I knew what love was,
What did I know.

- Don Henley, "The Boys of Summer"

Silver the lightening that shattered the lock on my door.
- Jefferson Starship, "The Awakening"

It takes a God to make man live,
and a bullet makes him dead.

- Brewer and Shipley, "Easy Rider"

Why am I soft in the middle
when the rest of my life is so hard

- Paul Simon

Looks like it's me and you again
tonight, Rosie.

- Jackson Browne, "Rosie"

God is great, God is good
He guards your neighborhood
Though it's generally understood
Not quite the way you would.

- Jackson Browne, "Soldier of Plenty"

When you see through love's illusions,
there lies the danger,
and your perfect lover just looks like a perfect fool,
so you go running off in search of a perfect stranger.

-- Jackson Brown, "Fountain of Sorrow"

While the future's there for anyone to change
Still you know, it seems it would be easier sometimes to change the past.

-- Jackson Brown, "Fountain of Sorrow"

Last modified 8/21/11; posted 11/21/05; original content. © 2011, 2005 John P. Nordin