Most moving, poignant or thought-provoking song lyrics

Of all things this thread was inspired by a post in the most hated song thread. In some ways it picks up from the most poignant lyrics of all time thread from summer 2019, but that mainly listed songs, whereas here I’m thinking it may be nice to post the lyrics themselves.

To kick off is this one, called Love Song:

Everybody has wisdom, everyone understands
Food when we are hungry, the touch of loving hands
No one is anyone’s property, no one should be a slave
The joining of hearts in free will, begins a tidal wave

Don’t hold back, don’t think that hope is pointless
Love is a, love is a, love is a, love is an open door
Don’t believe that life is closed against us
Love is a, love is a, love is a, love is an open door

And it doesn’t make any difference, the colour of anyone’s skin
We need the rejection of prejudice, let peace come flooding in
Jealousy is just a parasite, hatred is disease
Respect for human dignity, become skittering wind blown leaves

(Chorus)

The time is surely coming when we could all be free
When eyes for so long blinded, in opening shall see
That children may grow happily safe in the love of all
The earth a fertile garden where nobody need crawl

(Chorus)

Love is a, love is a, love is an open door

And if it seems that your hoping heart has led you into pain
Take a tip from the carpenter forgive and love again
And again

By Twelfth Night, it became something of an anthem as the closing song of their live set. The religeous reference in the closing words is easily ignored if not to anyone’s beliefs, rather it is the overall thrust of the song that carries it, and beautiful I think it is too.

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As the antidote to the horrible ABBA song lyrics I posted in the other thread, here is the last part of the best Christmas song (IMHO) by Greg Lake.

I wish you a hopeful Christmas
I wish you a brave New Year
All anguish pain and sadness
Leave your heart and let your road be clear

They said there’ll be snow at Christmas
They said there’ll be peace on Earth
Hallelujah Noel, be it Heaven or Hell
The Christmas we get we deserve

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So many, Loudun Wainright 3rd and very personal , You don’t phone or your mother and I.

More general but equally moving as I get older

They paved paradise and put up a parking lot
With a pink hotel, a boutique, and a swingin’ hot spot
Don’t it always seem to go
That you don’t know what you got 'til it’s gone
They paved paradise and put up a parking lot

They took all the trees, and put em in a tree museum
And they charged the people a dollar and a half to see them
No, no, no
Don’t it always seem to go
That you don’t know what you got 'til it’s gone
They paved paradise, and put up a parking lot

Hey farmer, farmer, put away your DDT
I don’t care about spots on my apples
Leave me the birds and the bees
Please

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I know that missing you
Has just begun
There’s years to come
And trying to sleep tonight
Next to your kin
Is fully lovely
As I’ve ever been
But I wouldn’t trade my life
For someone’s millions
And I know you left
For a reason
And the trees and flowers
And creeks and rocks
Hold your face
With every season

I know I will contine
To try and please you
And even in some ways
To try and be you
But also my fulfillment
Will be to do what I do
As you taught me to
I know that missing you
Has just begun
Love me family
And just sleep to all of us

Bonnie Prince Billy.

Chokes me every time

My young man wears a frown
With his eyes all closed and his head bowed down,
My young man never sleeps.
The rain it falls upon his back
The dust before his eyes is black,
Oft the times, oft the times my young man weeps.

My young man wears a coat,
Once, long ago, a bonnie coat
Which my young man wore with pride.
Now I dress the coat all on his back,
For love for him I will not lack,
But to see it now, that collier’s coat, I can’t abide.

My young man, where’s he gone?
Once in his eyes my whole world shone
Now my young man he looks away.
Man and wife we used to be
Now he’s like a child upon my knee
And in my arms I help my young man through the day.

A young girl no more am I
But I shall not weep and I will not cry,
For my young man needs me still.
If someone’s watching up above
You’ll see how much my dear I love,
So leave him here, I need him now and always will.
Oh if someone’s watching up above
You’ll see how much my dear I love,
And If he must go, let your best angels keep him well

My Young Man
Kate Rusby

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His Primrose Hill is one of my very favourite songs.

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A Dream Goes on Forever

A million old soldiers will fade away
But a dream goes on forever
I’m left standing here, Ive got nothing to say
All is silent within my dream

A thousand true loves will live and die
But a dream goes on forever
The days and the years all go streaking by
But the time is stopped within my dream

We all have our everyday hopes and fears
And you’ll find no exception in me
But that doesn’t get me through a sea of tears
Over life’s biggest tragedy

You’re so long ago and so far away
But a dream goes on forever
I guess I believe that I’ll see you one day
For without it there is no dream

You’re so far away and so long ago
But my dream lives on forever
How much I love you you’ll never know
'Till you join me within my dream
How much I love you you’ll never know
'Till you join me within my dream

And add the moving and poignant music/vocals

Guess it shows how much our tastes differ.

“Meanwhile back in some secluded spot
He says, “Will you please” and she says, “Stop”
If I ever lose this good thing that I got
I never want to hear the song you dedicated tonight

You see I knew that song so long before we met
That it means much more than it… might”

Any guesses?

Highway patrolman by Bruce Springsteen

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This one is a relatively quiet song from a rock band, that I first came across when I was about 19, about the time I left home. It made me reflect on my own parents, and maybe look on them a little differently:

Parents

When I was a little boy
They would say to me
Don’t go in the world and play
It’s bad company

All they had was child and faith
Let him grow and let him wait
Just to find out what it was to be free

But now I’m over twenty one
Growing up I’ve had my fun
And I know it’s got to be

Baby lying in a womb
Are you free or in a tomb
Let me in,
I feel I want to cry.

Oh the road is long
Oh the road is long
Come on back, back.

Wash your hands and up to bed
Mind your manners
Or you’re dead
Mind the cars cos you’ve got school on Monday

Put my trust in God
Who is he I know not what
Something mummy said one Sunday.

Maybe love is life but life is not
It’s something I need plenty of.
Oh! I wish I’d died and never lived a day.

Now there’s no one near me now
Tell me what to do and how
Take me back and sing my cares away.

Take me let me sing my cares away
Oh! the road is there
Oh that road is there
Come on back, back.

Oh! I’m empty now
Rainy pain has left me now.
Think of what my people used to say.

Black is black and white is white
Which to choose and which is right
Guide me to a place where I can stay.

Wrap me up and keep me warm
Hide myself far from the storm
Sleep and love will keep my mind at rest.

Only now I realise what my parents had to try.
Love you all and keep you all my life.

Oh that road is there
Oh the road is there
Come on back, back.

Budgie

Interesting. Those lyrics strike me as fairly mundane so I presume they have some personal resonance?

To an 18yr old not used to listening to the words of a song, just the music, they did have a resonance - and every time I hear it now of course it transports me back and reminds me of my own parents.

Now I know that you’re all King Horse…

Yes, from my favourite Costello album.

“Stolen Car,” by Beth Orton. Gets me every time.

You walked into my house last night
I couldn’t help but notice
A light that was long gone still burning strong
You were sitting, your fingers like fuses
Your eyes were cinnamon

You said you stand for every known abuse
That was ever threatened to anyone but you
And why should I know better by now
When I’m old enough not to?

While every line speaks the language of love
It never held the meaning I was thinking of
And I can’t decide over right or wrong
I guess sometimes you need the place where you belong

Some may sing the wrong words to the wrong melody
It’s little things like this that matter to me
Others feel that you should stand
For every known abuse to hand
And all the things that they could never see

You said you stood for every known abuse
That was promised to anyone like you
Don’t you wish you knew better by now
When you’re old enough not to?

When every line speaks the language of love
And never held the meaning I was thinking of
And I can’t decide over right or wrong
You left the feeling that I just do not belong

One drink too many and a joke gone too far
I see a face drive like a stolen car
Gets harder to hide when you’re hitching a ride
Harder to hide what you really saw

Oh yeah, you stand for every known abuse
That I’ve ever seen my way through
Don’t you wish I knew better by now?
Well I think I’m starting to

When every line speaks the language of love
And never held the meaning I was thinking of
And I’ve lost the line between right or wrong
I just want to find the place where I belong

Why should you know better by now
When you’re old enough not to?
I wish I knew better by now
When I’m old enough not to

Gosh @Innocent_Bystander, I love the Twelfth Night song, and now that you mention Parents, I’m going to spin some Budgie on vinyl - happy memories.

An old favourite of mine, Am I really Losing You? By Pendragon:

Am I Really Losing You?
Am I really losing you?
Is that Mr. Nobody there?
Is it still all for one and one for all?
Standing in an empty castle
Or fading into thin air
When I was a boy
I dreamt that God lived in the sun
Memories like dusty toys
Never needing anyone
Am I really losing you?
Or has life just begun?

Standing on Earl’s Court station
We can see the ones that have gone
The ones who gave up hope long ago
The ones that don’t belong long
Sad looking faces shuffling through their lives
Just waiting to find out what lies behind
The big white door
But like a shooting star
Will you just pass us by?
And fade away into the light
And race across the sky
One freezing night

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Even more poignant with the passing of the great John Prince from COVID earlier this year.

Hello In There

We had an apartment in the city
Me and Loretta liked living there
Well, it’d been years since the kids had grown
A life of their own, left us alone
John and Linda live in Omaha
And Joe is somewhere on the road
We lost Davy in the Korean war
And I still don’t know what for, don’t matter anymore

You know that old trees just grow stronger
And old rivers grow wilder every day
Old people just grow lonesome
Waiting for someone to say, “Hello in there, hello”

Me and Loretta, we don’t talk much more
She sits and stares through the back door screen
And all the news just repeats itself
Like some forgotten dream that we’ve both seen
Someday I’ll go and call up Rudy
We worked together at the factory
But what could I say if he asks “What’s new?”
“Nothing, what’s with you? Nothing much to do”

You know that old trees just grow stronger
And old rivers grow wilder every day
Old people just grow lonesome
Waiting for someone to say, “Hello in there, hello”

So if you’re walking down the street sometime
And spot some hollow ancient eyes
Please don’t just pass 'em by and stare
As if you didn’t care, say, “Hello in there, hello”

Source: LyricFind

Songwriters: John Prine

Hello In There

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Some of these are fantastic. Made me look up the songs that go with them
Another contribution from one of my favourite artists. This has become a staple of his live shows as much as the angry politics.

Billy Bragg: Tank Park Salute

Kiss me goodnight and say my prayers
Leave the light on at the top of the stairs
Tell me the names of the stars up in the sky
A tree taps on the window pane
That feeling smothers me again
Daddy is it true that we all have to die

At the top of the stairs
Is darkness
At the top of the stairs
Is darkness

I closed my eyes and when I looked
Your name was in the memorial book
And what had become of all the things we planned
I accepted the commiserations
Of all your friends and your relations
But there’s some things I still don’t understand

You were so tall
How could you fall?

Some photographs of a summer’s day
A little boy’s lifetime away
Is all I’ve left of everything we’ve done
Like a pale moon in a sunny sky
Death gazes down as I pass by
To remind me that I’m but my father’s son

I offer up to you
This tribute
I offer up to you
This tank park salute

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Could be anything by Dylan of course, but many (many!) years ago I was playing some songs in a bar in Poland feeling pretty homesick. Towards the end of a clumsy rendition of Tambourine Man these lyrics just moved me so much I barely held it together to the end of the set. Thankfully it was well received. Gets me every time I hear them now.

Yes, to dance beneath the diamond sky
With one hand waving free
Silhouetted by the sea
Circled by the circus sands
With all memory and fate
Driven deep beneath the waves
Let me forget about today until tomorrow

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Yes gets me every time, it’s right from the heart, love Bill, he hasn’t bettered this IMHO.

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