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01.09.15 My Top 100 Albums Of 2014 09.29.14 Some Good Albums: A 2014 Story
05.07.14 Summer 2014 Live, An Anticipatory List 04.16.14 Aids' Top 100: Current Favourite Albums
01.10.14 Aids' 2013: Albums Of The Year 01.02.14 Aids' 2013 In Last.fm Scrobbles
11.24.13 Boobs11.18.13 Watch This Visual Ep
11.09.13 Usernames.09.23.13 The National Setlist (vancouver, Sep 22
06.16.13 Free Internet05.30.13 15 Favourite Rap Albums
04.28.13 Stickers On My Longboard04.22.13 Aids' Vinyl Pt. 2 Of 2
04.22.13 Aids' Vinyl Pt. 1 Of 204.14.13 Top 25 Musical Cities, According To Rat
04.05.13 List=digs03.18.13 Music To Trim Hedges To
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Aids' Top 50 Lyricists

When I first started listening to music, I almost never cared about lyrics. Now, they are what attaches me to (most of) my favourite music. I owe so many lyricists thanks for their words' contributions to my life. These are my personal favourites, and anything that you think might be a glaring omission probably just didn't have that big of an impact on my life.
50Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest


I usually enjoy Deerhunter more because of their music, but Bradford Cox writes
some trippy, introspective lyrics sometimes, like these on Helicopter -- "Oh these
drugs they play on me. These terrible ways, they don't pay like they used to pay. I
used to make it day to day. No one cares for me, I keep no company. I have
minimal needs, and now they are through with me, now they are through with me.
Now they are through with me...."
49TV on the Radio
Dear Science


Tunde Adebirupe's lyrics rarely make much sense, but I mean that in the best
possible way. Dancing Choose -- "He's a what? He's a what? He's a newspaper
man and he gets his best ideas from a newspaper stand. From his boots to his
pants, to his comments and his rants, he knows that any little article will do.
Though he expresses some confusion about his part in the plan, and he can't
understand that he's not in command, the decision's underwritten by the cash in his
hand, bought a sweater for his weimariner too."
48Fugazi
13 Songs


Waiting Room is one of the greatest songs ever written, and Ian MacKaye gets a
spot on this list for just that -- "...and I won't make the same mistakes because I
know how much time that wastes. And function, function is the key inside the
waiting room. I don't want the news (I cannot use it). I don't want the news (I
won't live by it). Sitting outside of town, everybody's always down (tell me why).
Because they can't get up (ah come on, get up), up from the waiting room. Sitting
in the waiting room, sitting in the waiting room..."
47 Rage Against the Machine
Rage Against the Machne


Zach de la Rocha (and Tom Morello) are two switched-on individuals, Know Your
Enemy gets me fired up every time -- "Born with insight and a raised fist, a witness
to the slit wrist. We move into '92, still in a room without a view. Ya got to know,
ya got to know, that's when I say "go, go go." Amp up and amplify, defy. I'm a
brother with a furious mind, action must be taken. We don't need the key, we'll
break in. Something must be done about vengeance, a badge, and a gun. Cause I'll
rip the mike, rip the stage, rip the system -- I was born to rage against em. First
in your face, in the place, and I'll drop the style clearly. Know your enemy!"
46The Tallest Man on Earth
The Wild Hunt


Kristian Matsson weaves tales in English pretty good for a Swede, if you ask me.
Take this example, from The Wild Hunt's title track -- "And old machine's abandoned by the ancient racists and I hear them hiummin down below the hollow
earth. Oh hell I guess I know no while I will go under to, but just for now I'll let the
spring and storm return. I left my heart to the wild hunt a-comin. I live until the
fall. And I plan to be forgotten when I'm gone, yes I'll be leavin in the fall."
45Neil Young
Harvest Moon


Canada rules! I know he didn't write this song on his own but it's my favourite
Young tune so leave me be! Helpless -- "There is a town in north Ontario, with
dream comfort memory to spare. And in my mind, I still need a place to go, all my
changes were there. Blue blue windows behind the stars, yellow moon on the rise.
Big birds flying across the sky, throwing shadows on our eyes leaves us, helpless
helpless helpless helpless...."
44Arcade Fire
The Suburbs


Win Butler may be greasy as hell, but he writes good music, especially Srawl II
(Mountains Beyond Mountains) -- "They heard me singing and they told me to stop,
quite these pretentious things, and just punch the clock. These days my life I feel
has no purpose, but late at night the feelings swim to the surface Cause on the
surface the city lights shine. They're calling at me, "Come and find your kind."
Sometimes I wonder if the world's so small that we can never get away from the
sprawl."
43Kendrick Lamar
good kid, m.A.A.d city


dis nigga be on some otha shit this time tho fo real. Sing About Me, I'm Dying of
Thirst -- "And I love you cause you love my brother like you did. Just promise me
you'll tell this story when you make it big, and if I die before your album drops I
hope you will sing about me. When the lights shut off and its my turn to settle
down, my main concern -- promise that you will sing about me, promise that you
will sing about me."
42Foo Fighters
The Colour and the Shape


The Foo Fighters aren't particularly known for their touching lyrics, but every once
in a while, Dave Grohl hits the nail on the head. I can think of no better example of
this than in Everlong -- "Breath out so I can breath you in, hold you in. And now I
know you've always been out of your head, out of my head I sang. And I wonder,
when I sing along with you, if everything could ever feel this real forever, if
anything could ever be this good again. The only thing I'll ever ask of you: you've
got to promise to not to stop when I say when. She sang..."
41Radiohead
Kid A


Thom Yorke's lyrics are not a huge part of why I love Radiohead so much, but every
once in a while, they're simplicity overpowers me, as with How to Disappear Completely (by far my favourite song of theirs) -- "In a little while I'll be gone. The
moment's already passed, yeah it's gone. I'm not here, this isn't happening. I'm not
here, I'm not here."
40Neutral Milk Hotel
In the Aeroplane Over the Sea


I'd let Jeff Magnum's semen stain my mountain tops anyday. from the title track --
"What a beautiful face I have found in this place that is circling all round the sun.
And one day when we meet on a cloud, I'll be laughing out loud, I'll be laughing with
everyone I see. Can't believe how strange it is to be anything at all."
39Hop Along
Get Disowned


I think I like Hop Along, Queen Anslies a bit better at this point, but it's all the work
of Frances Quinlan, so it's all good. Kids on the Boardwalk, a 2012 cut, has some
great lyrics -- "I've been ignoring the cost. Is this love, is this love that I've lsot?
Worst of all, ain't nothing big, ain't nothing big about this at all. Honey I don't want
to be ok with never seeing you again. You kids are on the boardwalk come back in
to the dry, choked up land. I want truth in beauty, I want to love someone simply.
I want truth in beauty, I want o love something without it having to need me."
38Propagandhi
Supporting Caste


I'm not sure who is responsible for the lyrics in Progagandhi (I think there are at
least three of them that have contributed over the years) but I love them. This
example is from Potemkin City Limits (the track, not the album) -- "Francis shut his
eyes and felt the hand of the humanity brush over him but then his killers back
turned for a moment. A blinding ray of light spread across the floor. In a crimson
pool he saw his own reflection, as he bolted for the door. Not just some fractured
fairy tale, although I wish that that were true. This is a fable far too real, that we
somehow still cling to."
37Bon Iver
For Emma, Forever Ago


Justin Vernon gets included for one album alone. The Wolves (Act I and II), so
powerful -- "and the story's all over you. In the morning I'll call you. Can't you find
a clue when your eyes are all painted Sinatra blue. What might have been lost.....
What might have been lost...... Don't bother me."
36Alexisonfire
Watch Out!


Alexisonfire are one of the only bands I know of that can be as playful as they are
most of the time, yet still retain the composure to talk about issues like rape, as in
That Girl Possessed -- "Who knew her legacy would destroy her future? You had
such promise before your rape. Born innocent, but something had to give.
Exploitation, erotica, and horror, even a spread in Oui magazine. And then your
habit of getting caught, what a frightful night. Born innocent, but something had
to give. We won't forget that girl possessed."
35The Thermals
The Body, The Blood, The Machine


Good ol' Hutch, Here's Your Future is so damn good -- "God reached his hand down
from the sky. God asked Noah if he wanted to die, he said, "No Sir, oh, no Sir!" God
said, "Here's your future, it's gonna rain.." So we're packing our things, we're
building a boat. We're gonna create the new master race cause we're so pure, oh
Lord we're so pure! So here's your future. God told his son, "It's time to come
home. I promise you won't have to die all alone. I need you to pay for the sins I
create." Son siad, "I will, but Dad, I'm afriad!" So here's your future..."
34Frightened Rabbit
The Midnight Organ Fight


Scott Hutchison's sexy Scottish voice is second only to his magnificent lyrics, like
this one from Good Arms vs. Bad Arms -- "...and leave the rest at arm's length.
Just roll over boy and don't make me do this. Leave the rest at arm's length, I am
armed to the teeth and I'm heavy set. Leave the rest at arm's length, I'm not
ready to see you this happy. And leave the rest at arm's length, I'm still in love you
I just can't admit it yet."
33Elton John
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road


The dads of sputnik will agree with me on this one! From Candle in the Wind, one
of the most beautiful eulogies every written -- "Goodbye Norma Jean. Though I
never knew you at all, you had the grace to hold yourself while those around you
crawled. Goodbye Norma Jean, from the young man in the 22nd row who sees you
as something more than sexual, more than just our Marilyn Monroe."
32Modest Mouse
The Moon & Antarctica


Isaac Brock's words are scathingly clever, like here in 3rd Planet -- "Everything that
keeps me together is falling apart, and I've got this thing that I consider my only
art of fucking people over. My boss just quite the job, says he's goin to find blind
spots and he'll do it... The 3rd planet is sure that they're being watched by an eye
in the sky that can't be stopped, and when you get to the promise land, you get to
shake that eye's hand."
31Japandroids
Post-Nothing


Brian King and David Prowse write simple songs about being young and not giving a
fuck. Success. Young Hearts Spark Fire -- "We finished our own lives, now we
finished off the wine. Now we're used to staying up all night. Two hearts beating,
oh yeah, oh yeah. Well you can keep tomorrow, after tonight we're not gonna
need it. Be there, be down, background but too drunk to feel it. Ohhhh we used
to dream, now we worry about dying. I don't wanna worry about dying, I just
wanna worry about sunshine girls."
30Nick Drake
Pink Moon


Legend, that is all. Lyrics from Harvest Breed -- "Falling fast and falling free you
look to find a friend. Falling fast and falling free, this could just be the end. Falling
fast you stoop to touch and kiss the flowers that bend, and you're ready now for
the harvest breed."
29Off Minor
The Heat Death of the Universe


Jamie Behar is the greatest screamo vocalist, hands down. Take this short lyric
from their opus' title track -- "Good things go for those who wait too long to say,
but who's to say that this is the end? I am. This time we have permanence. This
time we are separated by an infinite distance."
28The Rural Alberta Advantage
Departing


I just recently saw these guys live, and I got a chance to tell Nils Edenloff how
much his lyrics meant to me, especially on Departing. The track Coldest Days is
too much for me to handle most of the time -- "Our love is locked in an empty
home, in a creak chest pumping through an empty stone. And I would never be the
one to hold your creaky chest holding an empty stone. Our love was holding on
though the frostbitten dawn. I never know what to start to pick up and change. I
held you in the coldest days, oh I held you in the coldest ways. I never knew what
to start to pick up and change..."
27Say Anything
...Is a Real Boy


...Is a Real Boy contains the sort of lyrics that, well, that Max Bemis wishes he
could still write. Like this glorious piece of simplistic poetry from Yellow Cat (Slash)
Red Cat -- "I watch my yellow cat invade my red cat in the yard. The fline war had
raged for years, so I assume it'd be to hard for me to drive my foot between them;
I would never risk the scratch, just to prove to one or both of them a cat is just a
cat. Again I watching my cousin Greg watch MTV inside his home. He makes fun
of the hip-hop videos from the couch he rides alone. Snug in the cushion of his
cackling, he forgets his looming doubts. He has relied on this for years, you will not
yank the carpet out."
26Pink Floyd
Meddle


Rogers Waters may have been asshole but we have him to thank for developing
Pink Floyd into one of the best bands that ever existed. This one-liner from Echoes
always got to me in some weird, surrealistic hippie kind of way -- "Strangers
passing in the street, by chance two passing glances meet. I am you and what I
see is me."
25Frank Turner
Love, Ire & Song


He would be way higher on this list if the rest of his work stacked up to Love, Ire &
Song and Sleep is For The Week. From the title track on Love, Ire & Song -- "Well
it was bad enough the feeling, and the first time it hit, when you realized your
parents had let the world all go to shit, and that the values and ideals for which
many had fought and died had been killed off in the committees and left to die by
the wayside. But it was worse when we turned to the kids on the left, and got let
down again by some poor excuse for a protest, yeah by idiot fucking hippies in 50
different factions, who are locked inside some kind of 60s battle re-enactment.
And I hung up my banner in disgust and I heard for the door. Oh but once we were
young and we were crass enough to care, but I guess you live and learn. We won't
make those mistakes again, no. But surely just for one day we could fight and we
could win, and if only for a little while we could insist on the impossible."
24Streetlight Manifesto
Everything Goes Numb


Tomas Kalnoky saved my life last year with A Better Place, A Better Time -- "...and
when you wake up everything is going to be find. I guarantee that you'll wake in a
better place and in a better time. So you're tired of living, and you feel like you
might give in, well don't -- it's not your time. And even if it was I would never let
you go. You could run run run run but I will follow close. Someday you will say
"that's it, that's all" but I'll be waiting there with open arms to break your fall. I
know that you think that you're on your own but just know that I'm here and I'll
lead you home if you let me. She said "forget me" but I can't."
23Kanye West
My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy


Yeezy taught me (to enjoy rap for what it is, ego and all). POWER -- "...Now I
embody every characteristic of the egotistic. He knows he's so fuckin gifted. I
just needed time alone with my own though. Got treasures in mind but couldn't
open up my own vault. My childlike creativty, purity, and honesty is honestly being
crowded by these grown thoughts. Reality is catchin' up with me, takin my inner
child' I'm fighting it for custody. With these responsibilities that they entrust in me,
as I look down at my diamond encrusted piece, thinkin no one man should have all
that power. The clock's ticking, I just count the hours. Stop trippin, I'm trippin off
the powder. Til then, fuck that, the world's ours."
22Brand New
Daisy


So many of Jesse Lacey's lyrics mean so much to me, but I seem to be alone in
connecting with Gasoline deeply -- "So you try to put a fire out but you used
gasoline, and when the congregation gathered round, you're screaming "It wasn't
me!" So there's a sickness that is going around, and no one's got a vaccine. I think
we're treading holy water. I think it's time we all came clean. I swear it's like dying
to catch a ghost. I feel like I'm trying to hold smoke. (...) I wanna know what I've
become. You think that no one else is lonesome? You think that you're the only
one? It feels like i'm jumping towards a train. Well I'll try to find a way."
21The National
Cherry Tree


Matt Beringer's voclas and lyrics are both out of this world. There are so many
great examples of his magnificent lyricism, but I choose All Dolled-Up In Straps - an
underrated gem -- "I think I saw you riding in a car. You looked happy for a
woman. Black fingers in your mouth and a white pearl choker. My head plays is
over and over -- don't interrupt me. I think I saw you reaching for a glass with you
lanky white arms. Nothing else moves that way, are you kidding me? My head plays
it over and over -- don't interrupt me. All dolled-up in straps, all colored in. Now,
love, where have you been? Dolled-up in straps, all colored in. Now, love, where
have you been?"
20The Antlers
Burst Apart


Peter Silberman's (essentially) solo album Hospice received massive praise for its
lyrical concept and execution, but it is on their follow up, Burst Apart, that both
The Antler's music and Silberman's lyrics shine the brightest. Take this example from
the album closer, Putting the Dog to Sleep -- "Well my trust in you is a dog with a
broken leg, tenants too torn to beg for you to let me back in. Said I can't prove to
you you're not gonna die alone. Trust me to take you home, to clean up that blood
all over your paws. You can't keep running out, kicking yourself off the ground,
kicking yourself in the head, cause we give you little. Put your trust in me, I'm not
gonna die alone. Put your trust in me, I'm not gonna die alone...I don't think so..."
19Joni Mitchell
Both Sides Now


Canada > other places, exhibit D. Both Sides Now -- "I've looked at love from both
sides now, from give and take, and still somehow...it's love's illusions I recall. I
really don't know love at all."
18Death Cab For Cutie
Transatlanticism


Ben Gibbard aka the prototypical indie lyricist. From Transatlanticism -- "The
Atlantic was born today, and I'll tell you how -- The clouds above opened up and
let it out. I was standing on the surface of a perforated sphere when water filled
every hole, and thousand upon thousands made an ocean, making island where no
islands should go. Those people were overjoyed; they took to their boats. I
thought it less like a lake and more like a moat. The rhythm of my footstep
crossing flatlands to you door has been silence forever more. The distance is
simply much too far for me to row, it seems farther than ever before. Oh no. I
need you so much closer, I need you so much closer...."
17Refused
The Shape of Punk to Come


Seeing Refused's reunion tour this summer ignited something in me that I thought
was long dead, and I don't think I was alone. The Shape of Punk to Come is one of
the most influential punk albums ever released, and Dennis Lyxzen's lyrics are a big
part of that. This is from the album's massive closer, Tannhauser/Derive -- "...and
every desire that we earn will guide us, alive, living, loving, and searching, ans
searching. So where do we go from here? Just about anywhere. Disorientated but
alive - boredom won't get me tonight. Boredom won't get me tonight."
16Okkervil River
Don't Fall In Love With Everyone You See


I only heard Okkervil River for the first time a couple of months ago, and I've only
heard half of their discography, but Will Sheff's powerful lyrics have insured that my
love affair with them grows at a rapid pace. The song Westfall is absolute genius:
a tale of murder and a commentary on human nature. This expert paints some of
the picture, but do yourself a favour and listen to the full thing -- "...Now with all
these cameras focused on my face, you'd think they could see it through my skin.
Looking for evil, thinking they can trace it, but evil don't look like anything. Evil
don't look like anything..."
15Rise Against
Siren Song of the Counter Culture


An inclusion for the young, politically-angsty, left-leaning Adrian. I still appreciate
Tim McIlrath's lyrics and their effect on my formative years. This one liner from
Rumors of My Demise Have Been Greatly Exaggerated is McIlrath at his punchiest
and most effective -- "Shots fired into the sky are now returning, where the fuck
will you hide?"
14Hey Rosetta!
Seeds


Tim Baker writes some phenomenal lyrics, but he absolutely nailed it on Welcome --
"Sorry, this is it. It's cold and hard and badly lit, and there's no backing out of it.
So forget where you've been -- it'll never be that good again, and we must only
look ahead. Soon you're 33, and everything you tried to be was pulled apart by
fear and greed. Let young hands build you up, and carve your face in honest rock,
with sunlight on your noble jaw. May young hands build you up..."
13Pianos Become the Teeth
The Lack Long After


The death of vocalist Kyle Durfey's dad inspired most of the lyrics on 2011's The
Lack Long After, and the way he presented his feelings about his dead dad were
mature beyond his years. The lyrics on the album closer I'll Get By are chilling --
"It's been a rough while and some days are worse than others. There's no proper
way to feel, no mirth, no levity, no amazing grace, just a flame on a lake, floating
away. I can't let you lay. I want you to know I'm learning patience against my
will. I want you to know I'll get by, always barely scraping with just a hunger, with
just a heart apart. It's a hell of a thing."
12Aesop Rock
Labor Days


Ian Bavitz is my favourite rapper thanks, almost entirely, to his genius way with
words. Man I'm so lame: my faovurite rapper WOULD be a skinny Jewish guy.
Anyway, No Regrets, a song about the life of a girl/woman named Lucy, is genius --
"...She'd never spoken once throughout the spanning of her life until the day she
leaned forward, grinned, and pulled the nurse aside. She said "Look, I've never had
a dream in my life, because a dream is what you wanna do but still haven't
pursued. I knew what I wanted and did it till it was done, so I've been the dream I
wanted to be since day one!" Well, the nurse jumped back. She'd never heard
Lucy talk, especially words like that. She walked over to the door and pulled it
close behind. Then Lucy blew a kiss to each one of her pictures and she died."
11mewithoutYou
Brother, Sister


Aaron Weiss may be a no-good bible-thumper, but this line, the opener from
mewithoutYou's 2006 masterpiece, Brother, Sister, is good enough for me to forget
that I care (also, I know there is disagreement on the exact wording of this lyric,
but it is the genius sentiment that is important here) -- "I do not exist, I faithfully
insist."
10Dan Mangan
Nice, Nice, Very Nice


My love affair with Dan's music has been growing at an alarming rate. If you've not
heard it, Basket is, without a doubt, one of the greatest lyrical folk songs ever
written -- "And we are old so our son took the dog away, and fair enough, I guess
we're tired all the time....all the time. And you know dogs, they need ample time
outside. So I'll stay but I'm telling you, I don't want to stay. So I'll brace myself
against the wall and hope to god that I don't fall. My bones are worn, my hip won't
hold - I used to be so young, how did I get so old? Won't you take this cane and
hold my hand, you're holding on to all I have - just a basket full of memories and I
am losing more each day it seems. But if I can make it to the street, I'll steal a
car, or a bike, whatever there is to steal - and it might get cold, I just don't care -
I'm going 'till I'm getting there. I'll ride my steed all through this town 'till I have
looked and I have found your peaceful memory. Won't you return to me?"
9The Dismemberment Plan
Emergency & I


Travis Morrison has earned his spot in the top 10 almost 100% for this lyric from
Spider in the Snow (not to say the rest of his work isn't brilliant, but this song is
just on another level) -- "The only thing worse than bad memories is no memories
at all. From the age of 20 to 22 I had five friends, none of whose names I can
recall. As I would walk down K Street to some temping job as winter froze the life
out of fall, yeah, I must have been having a ball."
8La Dispute
Somewhere at the Bottom of the River...


This is the one entry on this list guaranteed to attract some ridicule, but I don't
care. During a certain phase in my life, Jordan Dreyer's lyrics hit home for me in a
way that few have before or since. I no longer obsess over the concept contained
within "Somewhere at the Bottom..." but that album defined me for the better part
of a year, and I am infinitely in debt to Jordan Dreyer for speaking to me in a way
that no real person could at that point in my life. These lyrics from Andria illustrate
the point that anyone must eventually come to following a painful breakup -- "I still
remember how the distance tricked us and lead us helpless by the wrist into a pit
to be devoured. I still remember how we held so strong to this, though we had
never really settled on a way out. I still remember the silence, and how we'd
always find a way to turn and run to our mistakes. I still remember how it all came
back together just to gall apart again. My dear, I hear your voice in mine, I've been
alone here, I've been afraid, my dear. I've been at home here -- you've been a
way for years. I've been alone. .... I breathed your name into the air; I etched
your name into me. I felt my anger swelling -- I swam into its sea. I held your
name inside my heart but it got buried in my fear. It tore the wiring of my brain; I
did my best to keep it clear. So dear no matter how we part, I hold you sweetly in
my head. And if I do not miss a part of you, a part of me is dead. If I can't love
you as a lover, I will love you as a friend. And I will lay a bed before you -- keep
you safe until the end."
7The Beatles
Revolver


John Lennon/Paul McCartney was the best songwriting duo the world has ever
seen. If you disagree you are wrong, plain and simple. So many great songs to
choose from, but I'm gonna go with the timeless cliche of Eleanor Rogby here --
"Eleanor Rigby picks up the rice in a church where a wedding has been, lives in a
dream. Waits at the window wearing a face that she keeps in a jar by the door.
Who is it for? All the lonely people, where do they all come from? All the lonely
people, where do they all belong?"
6Laura Stevenson and the Cans
Sit Resist


It is impossible to quantify the effect that Laura Stevenson's lyrics on Sit Resist did
for me over the past couple of years. I See Dark -- "Take this, go on, take it and
you'll see your ache will soon break. Do this in memory of what you used to be. But
that lump on a cot in a dark room, takes her time wasting away, trapped inside of a
body that hates her. Take your time and then someone will take you. Cause I've
seen dark, and I can not right it. I see dark, I know you are tired of fighting. We'll
lay with the lights out. I'll lie if you want me to, but I will lie next to you. I can
hear them too, I can hear them too..."
5Bob Dylan
Blood On The Tracks


If you think I need to explain my inclusion of Bob Dylan or justify him being in the
top 5, kill yourself. Idiot Wind -- "I been double-crossed now for the very last and
now I'm finally free. I kissed goodbye the howling beast on the borderling which
separated you from me. You'll never know the hurt I suffered nor the pain I rise
above, and I'll never know the same about you, your holiness or your kin of love.
And it makes me feel so sorry."
4Elliott Smith
Either/Or


A tortured genius who left us much too young. RIP. no name no. 5 -- "Well I hope
you're not waiting, waiting around for me. Cause I'm not going anywhere,
obviously. Got a broken heart and your name on my cast. Everybody's gone at
last....."
3Regina Spektor
Songs


Spektor's music meant a lot to me in the years after leaving high school. From the
moment I hear her voice crackle from the speakers of my ex's cousin's car on the
bumpy six-hour car ride down to Southern Ireland, I was hooked. So many of her
songs offer weird, convoluted stories (Daniel Cowman), or clever wordplay (The
Consequence of Sound), but the standout lyrical gem of her discography has
absolutely got to be On the Radio -- "This is how it works: You're young until you're
not. You love until you don't. You try until you can't. You laugh until you cry.
You cry until you laugh. And everyone must breath until their dying breath. No,
this is how it works: You peer inside yourself, you take the things you like, and try
to love the things you took. Then you take that love you made and stick it in to
someone else's heart, pumping someone else's blood. And walking arm and arm, you
hope it don't get harmed. But even if it does, you'll just do it all again."
2The Mountain Goats
We Shall All Be Healed


John Darnielle, simply put the most consistently prolific songwriter in music today,
perhaps of all time. Over a stunningly deep discography, Darnielle has provided us
with countless stories, complete with characters, setting, developed plot turns and
surprises. Few writers come close to touching this man's power with words.
Darnielle's touching honesty and clever metaphorical storylines are second-to-none,
and they've earned him a top-tier spot in my list of favourite lyricists. Enjoy, the
lyrical masterpiece that is No Children (I had to quote the whole thing, I hope you
agree that this was necessary) -- "I hope that our few remaining friends give up on
trying to save us, and I hope we come up with a failsafe plot to piss off the dumb
few that forgave us. I hope the fences we mended fall down beneath their own
weight, and I hope we hang on past the last exit, I hope it's already to late. And I
hope the junkyard a few blocks from here someday burns down, and I hope the
rising black smoke carries me far away and I never come back to this town again, in
my life. I hope I lie, and tell everyone you were a good wife. I hope you die, I hope
we both die. I hope I cut myself shaving tomorrow, and I hope it bleeds all day
long. Our friends say it's darkest before the sun rises, we're pretty sure they're all
wrong. I hope it stays dark forever, I hope the worst isn't over. I hope you blink
before I do, yeah I hope I never get sober. And I hope when you think of me years
down the line you can't find one good thing to say. And I'd hope that if I found the
strength to walk out, you'd stay the hell out of my way. I am drowning, there is no
sign of land. You are coming down with me, hand in unlovable hand, and I hope you
die, I hope we both die..."
1The Weakerthans
Reconstruction Site


John Samson, a true genius. No one makes the mundane seem so alive, the boring
seem so extraordinary, as this prolific Canaidan songwriter. I could go on about
him, but for the sake of brevity, enjoy these passages that, while from different
tracks and albums, work together to tell the story of a cat that grows tired of
trying to cheer up its depressed owner, and its explanation of its choice to eventually leave: from Plea From a Cat Named Virtute -- "All you ever want to do is
drink and watch TV, and frankly that thing doesn't really interest me. I swear I'm
going to bite you hard and taste your tinny blood if you don't stop the self-
defeating lies you've been repeating since the day you brought me home. I know
you're strong...." from Virtute the Cat Explains Her Departure -- "...how after
scrapping with the ferals and the tabby, I'd let you brush my matted fur. How I'd
knead into your chest while you were sleeping. Shallow breathing made me purr.
But now I can't remember the sound that you found for me. I can't remember the
sound that you found for me. I can't remember the sound......"
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