Best Song Lyrics – Part 16 – And THE NEW WORDS of Our Covid 2020 Year

By December 16th, 2020

Blog No 127
December 16, 2020 



And, With That, Let Us Celebrate 

The Best Song Lyrics of Modern America – Part 16

– The Poetry of Our Time –

READING TIME: Just 10 Minutes
By Mack W. Borgen
Recipient of Eight National Book Awards.  For a “cleaner” / non-email presentation of this and my other blogs, essays, and articles, just go to my website at 


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 16 of my assembled list — done over the last ten 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.

To order copies of my books at the lowest prices, go to .

But, now, … The Best Lyrics of Modern America

– From 1957 through 2015 –


 Some of the Best Short Lines 

Waterloo, Abba (1974) (Group) (Years Active: 1972-1982, 2018 – Present).

            “The history book on the shelf

            Is always repeating itself”

I Fought the Law and the Law Won (1966) (The Bobby Fuller Four) (Group) (Years Active: 1962-1966).

            “Breaking rocks in the hot sun,

            I fought the law and the law won.”

Third-Rate Romance (1975) (The Amazing Rhythm Aces) (Group) (Years Active: 1974-1981, 1994-Present).

           “…The talk was small when they talked at all…

            Third-rate romance, low-rent rendezvous

            … ‘I’ll tell you I love you, if you want me to.’”

 The Sixties

Lay, Lady, Lay (1969) (Bob Dylan) (Born 1941: Robert Allen Zimmerman) (Duluth, MN).

            Lay, lady, lay, lay across my big brass bed

            Stay, lady, stay, stay with your man awhile,

            His clothes are dirty, but his hands are clean

            And you’re the best thing that he’s ever seen.


            Why wait any longer for the one you love,

            When he’s standing in front of you.

 The Seventies 

Sister Golden Hair (1975) (America)(Group) (Years Active: 1970 – Present). 

            “Well, I tried to make it Sunday, but I got so damned depressed

            That I set my sights on Monday and I got myself undressed

            I ain’t ready for the alter, but I do agree there’s times

            When a woman sure can be a friend of mine.

           . . . 

            Well, I keep on thinkin’ ‘bout you, Sister Golden Hair surprise

            And I just can’t live without you, can’t you see it in my eyes?

            I been one poor correspondent, and I been too hard too too hard to find

            But it doesn’t mean you ain’t been on my mind.”

The Nineties

Together Again (1997) (Janet Jackson) (B: 1966; Gary, IN).

Everywhere I go ..  Every smile I see

           I know you are there … Smilin’ back at me

           I know you are free … Cuz I can see your star

           Shinin’ down on me”

 Country Western

 Close Enough for Perfect (1982) (Alabama) (Group) (Years Active: 1969-2004, 2006-2007, 2010 – Present).

            “Right or wrong, she’s there beside me

            Like only a friend would be

            And that’s close enough to perfect for me

. . .

            Don’t worry about my woman

            Or what you think she ought to be

            She’s close enough to perfect for me.”

Not on Your Love (1995) (Jeff Carson) (Born 1963: Tulsa, OK).

           ” We both said some things we don’t really mean

            Sometimes love can be like that

            And right now, they hurt, but they’re only words

            There’s nothin’ we can’t take back.

           . . . 

            When we started out, we made a vow,

            Not to sleep ‘till we settled the fight

            And there have been times we’ve seen the run rise

            But it always worked out alright.”

Background of These “The Best Lyrics of Modern America” Blogs

 As noted above, song lyrics are the real poetry of Modern America, and about a decade ago, 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. This 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 those years 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 on October 9, 2018 with Blog No. 83, I have started posting some excerpts of this author’s humble suggestions of The Best Lyrics of Modern America.

– – –

The New Words from Our Covid-19 Year  the Day

Excerpted from Time Magazine, December 21-28, 2020 Issue

BIPOC:             A term for Black, Indigenous and most other people of color. In particular, the identities and experiences of Black and native America communities in the U.S.

Blursday:        The fuzzy merging of the time since the pandemic shut down so much of the world, making it difficult to determine what day of the week it is.

Bubble:            A small group of individuals who follow the same rules and standards for behavior – and can thus spend time together – during the pandemic,

Covidiot:         A pejorative term, for someone who ignores health and safety guidelines intended to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Defund:           To withdraw financial support, as in calls by the movement to defund the police, which promotes a public-safety model that shifts resources from law enforcement to community-led social programs and initiatives.

Doomscroll:    To addictively thumb through the deluge of bad news shared on social media in 2020, frequently undertaken at bedtime.

Karen:               A colloquial term for a white woman weaponizing her privilege often at the expense or well-being of a BIPOC individual.

Quarantini:    The day- or nighttime cocktail many have used to unwind amid remote work and Covid-19 lockdowns.

Social Distancing:       A term for a set of measures to prevent the spread of a contagious disease.

Superspreader:           A person or event responsible for transmitting an infectious disease to a large number of people.

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