Jefferson Airplane – John Mayer- Kenny Rogers – The Best Song Lyrics of Modern America – Part 5

By February 19th, 2019

Blog No 93

February 20, 2019 

The Best Song Lyrics of Modern America- Part 5

– The Poetry of Modern America –

By Mack W. Borgen
Author, National Award-Winning Dead Serious and Lighthearted – The Memorable Words of Modern America – Volumes I (1957-1976), II (1977-1993), and (III (1994-2015).
All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any storage or retrieval system, except in the case of brief quotations embedded in critical articles and reviews, without the prior written permission of the author.  

 

Author’s Note: Winter view from our former home deck on the Swan River in Bigfork, Montana. 

Introduction and Background

Song lyrics are the real poetry of Modern America. The lyrics of our favorite songs roll around in our heads for decades. Almost unconsciously, every day we honor the words of America’s songwriters who said something in that perfect, poetic, or clever way.

Here is Part 5 of my assembled list — done over the last eight years in conjunction with my research for my last series of books, Dead Serious and Lighthearted – The Memorable Words of Modern America.  For an explanation about the background of this Best Lyrics project, see below.

Also, please see my publishers new Direct-From-Publisher Special Book Sales Offerings. Just go to http://mackwborgen.com/shop/ . All directly ordered books will be signed by the author and shipped within five business days. Free shipping for orders of 10 or more books for your family, friends, or clients.

          But, now, …  The Best Lyrics of Modern America

– From 1957 through 2015 –

Enjoy.

 

The Mid-1960s 

Greatest Lyric Single-Lines: 

Just Dropped In (Kenny Rogers and The First Edition) (1968).

                        “I just dropped in to see what condition my condition was in”

 The Sixties

White Rabbit (1967) (Jefferson Airplane).

            “One pill makes you larger

            And one pill makes you small

            And the ones that mother gives you

            Don’t do anything at all

            Go ask Alice

            When she’s ten feet tall”

             …

            “When logic and proportion

            Have fallen sloppy dead

            And the White Knight is talking backwards

            And the Red Queen’s ‘ off with her head!’

            Remember what the dormouse said:

            ‘Feed your head’

            ‘Feed your head.’ ” 

(Author’s Note: The Jefferson Airplane was a special band for me and my friends. When I was a young man, several lifetimes ago, I attended the University of California at Berkeley. At the time, the San Francisco music scene was just getting rolling. Every few months in the house where I lived, we would slide our dining room tables together on Friday nights in order to create “a stage,” and then we’d host a party from 8:00 until sunrise. Our favorite “local band” for these parties was Grace Slick and Marty Balin’s Jefferson Airplane. They would play at our parties for a few hundred dollars and all the beer they wanted to drink. But then they recorded their Surrealistic Pillow album and hit the big time. After that, we never saw them again — except when we could scrounge the money for their concert tickets. But, still, I can remember Grace in our “living room/dance floor” bellowing out White Rabbit – even if we didn’t fully understand what the words really meant.

The Eighties 

Designer Music (1980) (Lipps, Inc.).

”Everywhere you go

Lights flash

All got got to have

Is the cash 

While you think you’re able

It’s got to have a label!”

. . .

“If Calvin says it’s smashin’

It’s got to be flashin’”

“Following the crowd

It’s their game

Everything depends

On which name 

It’s got to be designer

There could be no finer”

“Wearin’ your Sassons

Stop the show

Got to be in Vogue

With Polo 

Stick it in your sweater

It’s got to make it better.” 

The 2000s 

Waiting for the World to Change (2006) (John Mayer) (B: 2007 Bridgeport, CT). 

“Me and all my friends

We’re all misunderstood

They say we stand for nothing and

There’s no way we ever could

Now we see everything that’s going wrong

With the world and those who lead it

We just feel like we don’t have the means

To rise above and beat it.”            

. . .

“So we keep waiting

Waiting for the world to change …”

 . . . 

“Now if we had the power

To bring our neighbors home from war

They would have never missed a Christmas

No more ribbons on the door

And then you trust your television

What you get is what you got

Because when they own the information

They can bend it all they want.” 

COUNTRY WESTERN 

The Best of My Love (Eagles) (1975). 

“We try to talk it over but the words come out too rough.

I know you were tryin’ to give me the best of tour love.”

“Beautiful faces and loud empty places,

Look at the way we live.

Wastin’ our time on cheap talk and wine

Left us so little to give.”

“But every mornin’ I wake up and worry

What’s gonna happen today.

You see it your way and I see it mine.

But we both see it slippin’ away.” 

Explanation and Background of These

“The Best Songs Lyrics of Modern America” Blogs

Song lyrics are the real poetry of Modern America. The lyrics of our favorite songs roll around in our heads for decades. Almost unconsciously, every day we honor the words of America’s songwriters who said something in that perfect, poetic, or clever way.

About nine years ago, in 2010, when I started my research for my books, Dead Serious and Lighthearted – The Memorable Words of Modern America. I spent much of the initial year assembling, sorting, and selecting those “memorable” song lyrics to be included in my books.

However, I eventually decided that it was necessary to exclude song lyrics from my books. This was done partly in deference to the needs of book brevity and in bowing recognition to the unavoidable subjectivity of making such selections. But it was also done because most songs are almost definitionally “intra-generational” in that they remain the separate and proud province of each generation. They are a part of each generation’s formative and collective memory – but not beyond that.

Nevertheless, as a result of that year of research, I assembled a relatively massive collection of what may be, by some measures of broad consensus, the greatest song lyrics of Modern America.

I have decided to start presenting them here for your remembrance and enjoyment. I confess that this is partly triggered by the fact that I have already done the fun, but painstaking, work of such assemblage. However, these lyrics blogs are also triggered by the fact that America needs – maybe now more than ever — to reach back and enjoy something or, as best said in 1967 by the Beatles in their song A Day in the Life” — “I read the news today, oh boy.”

Thus, starting back on October 9, 2018 with Blog No. 83, I have started posting some excerpts of this author’s humble suggestions of The Best Song Lyrics of Modern America.

PLEASE ORDER A SET OF MY BOOKS 

The other “serious” and “lighthearted” words of our generations are presented in my three volumes of Dead Serious and Lighthearted – Volume I (1957-1976), Volume ((1977-1993), and Volume III (1994-2015). All three volumes (and my earlier books, The Relevance of Reason (Vols I and II)) can now be ordered. Just go to https://mackwborgen.com/shop/ . All books will be signed by the author and will be shipped within five business days. My books are, of course, available on Amazon etc. and at some independent book stores — but the easiest purchases are by going to my website at mackwborgen.com and clicking the “Book Order” tab.

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