ENJOY – The Best Song Lyrics of Modern America – Part 2

By October 23rd, 2018

Blog No 84

 October 24, 2018

 The Best Lyrics of Modern America – Part 2

 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 2 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. Getting ready for Christmas? — To order copies of my three volumes of Dead Serious and Lighthearted – Vol I (1957-1976), Vol ((1977-1993), and Vol III (1994-2015) just go to www.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.

The Best Lyrics of Modern America

– From 1957 through 2015 –


The Late 1950s

Dream Lover (Bobby Darin) (1959) (B: Walden Robert Cassotto, 1936, New York, NY – D:  1973 (Age 37), Los Angeles, CA).

 “I want a dream lover

So I don’t have to dream alone.”

The Sixties

Think (Aretha Franklin) (1968) (B: 1942, Memphis, TN – D: 2018 (Age 76), Detroit, MI).

 “I ain’t no psychiatrist

I ain’t no doctor with degrees

But it don’t take too much I.Q.

To see what you’re doing to me.”

“You better think (think)

Think about what you’re tryin’ to do to me.”

And while we’re quoting some Aretha …..

Respect (Aretha Franklin) (1967)


Find out what it means to me.”

 Country Music – The Nineties

Ships That Don’t Come In (Joe Diffie) (1992) (B: 1958, Tulsa, OK).

“I could tell he’d had a tough life,

By the way he sat and stared,

And me, I’d come to push and shove,

So I pulled up a chair.

 . . .

We talked of roads untraveled,

We talked of love untrue,

Of strings that come unraveled,

We were kings and kindred fools.

 . . . 

And just when I’d hit bottom,

That old man raised his glass,

And said at least we had our chances,

There’s those who never had.

. . .

 ‘Cuz the things we’re calling heartache,

Hell, they’re hardly worth our time,

We bitch about a dollar,

When there’s those without a dime.

. . . 

And so he ordered one last round,

He said I guess we can’t complain,

God made life a gamble,

And we’re still in the game.”

Explanation and Background

About “The Best Lyrics of Modern America” Blogs

Eights years ago, in 2010, when I started my research for my books, Dead Serious and Lighthearted – The Memorable Words of Modern America. I spent nearly a 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 forthcoming 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 with the October 9, 2018 Blog No. 83, I have started posting some excerpts of this author’s humble suggestions of The Best Lyrics of Modern America.

And don’t forget, have fun … buy some books.   Go to www.mackwborgen.com/shop/ .

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