Best Songs Lyrics of Modern America – Part 9 – Bread – Lovin’ Spoonful – Gordon Lightfoot – Bon Jovi

By June 24th, 2019

Blog No 101 
June 25, 2019 

The Best Song Lyrics of Modern America- Part 9

– The Poetry of Modern America –

By Mack W. Borgen

Recipient of Eight National Book Awards  

For a “cleaner” / non-email presentation of this blog and to review my other blogs, essays, and articles, please go to my website at https://www.mackwborgen.com/    

 

 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 9 of my assembled list — done over the last nine 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, just go to http://mackwborgen.com/shop/ .

But, now, … The Best Lyrics of Modern America (From 1957 through 2015) 

The Best Lines and Short Riffs from Lighter Times and Memory Lane

The Little Old Lady from Pasadena (1964) (Jan and Dean) (Years Active 1958-2004) (William Jean Berry (B: 1941 – D:2004) and Dean Torrance (B: 1940)).

The little old lady from Pasadena

(Go granny, go granny, go granny go) …

Well, she’s gonna get a ticket, sooner or later,

‘Cause she can’t keep her foot off the accelerator.”

Goodbye Girl (1978) (David Gates) (B: 1940, Tulsa, OK) (Co-Lead singer of the group Bread).

“I know it’s hard believin’

The words you’ve heard before

But darlin’ you must trust them

Just once more.” 

The Sixties

Did You Ever Have to Make Up Your Mind (1966) (Lovin Spoonful (Group)) (Years Active

1965-1969, 1979, 1991 – Present).

“Did you ever have to make up your mind?

Pick up on one and leave the other one behind.

It’s not often easy, and not often kind

Did you ever have to make up your mind?

… 

Did you ever have to finally decide?

Say yes to one and let the other one behind.

There’s so many changes and tears you must hide

Did you ever have to finally decide?

Sometimes you really dig a girl the moment you kiss her

And then you get distracted by her older sister

When in walks her father and takes you in line

And says ‘Better go home, son, and make up your mind.’” 

The Seventies

Sundown (1974) (Gordon Lightfoot) (B: 1938, Ontario, Canada).

“Sundown, you better take care

If I find you been creepin’ ‘round my back stairs …

Sometimes I think it’s a shame

When I get feelin’ better when I’m feelin’ no pain …

Sometimes I think it’s a sin.”           

The Nineties

Blaze of Glory (1991) (Bon Jovi (Group)) (Years Active – 1983 – Present (Except 1990-1991

and 1997-1999).

“I wake up in the morning

And I raise my weary head

I got an old coat for a pillow

And the earth was last night’s bed.

… 

I don’t know where I’m going

Only God knows where I’ve been

I’m a devil on the run

A six-gun lover

A candle in the wind.

… 

When you’re brought into this world

They say you were born in sin

Well, at least they gave me something

I didn’t have to steal or have to win.

You ask about my conscience

And I offer you my soul;

You ask if I’ll grow to be a wise man

Well, I ask if I’ll grow old.”

AND IN HONOR OF INDEPENDENCE DAY, THE 4TH OF JULY

 Country Western

Independence Day (Martina McBride) (B: 1966, Sharon, KS).

“Well she seemed alright by dawn’s early light

Though she looked a little worried and weak

She tried to pretend he wasn’t drinking again

But Daddy left the proof on her cheek

And I was only 8 years old that summer

And I always seemed to be in the way

So I took myself down to the fair in town

On Independence Day. …

Let freedom ring

Let the white dove sing

Let the whole world know that today is the day of reckoning 

Let the weak be strong

Let the right be wrong

Roll the stone away

Let the guilty pay

It’s Independence Day.”

Explanation and Background of These

“The Best 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 on October 9, 2018 with Blog No. 83, I started posting some excerpts of this author’s humble suggestions of The Best Lyrics of Modern America – The Poetry of Modern America..

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