Get Your Mind off Coronavirus – The Best Songs Lyrics of Modern America – PART 13

By March 9th, 2020

Blog No 115
March 10, 2020 

The Best Song Lyrics of Modern America- Part 13

– The Poetry of Our Time –

READING TIME: 6 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, please go to my website at https://www.mackwborgen.com/
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 Introduction

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 13 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.
And, maybe, get your mind off the coronavirus; off the stock market. Just order a set of my books — fast, easy, fun, informative, and appreciated.
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But, now, … The Best Lyrics of Modern America – Part 13

– From 1957 through 2015 –

 This Week – Some of the Best-Said, Short Lines Ever

I Fought the Law and the Law Won (1966) (Bobby Fuller Four) (Group) (Years Active 1962-1966) (The group, originally from El Paso, TX., disbanded in 1966 after Bobby Fuller died under mysterious circumstances in Hollywood, CA).

Breaking rocks in the hot sun,

        I fought the law and the law won.” 

Dream On (1976) (Aerosmith) (Group) (Years Active 1970 – Present). 

        “Dream until your dream comes true.” 

The Nineties 

The Great Song of Indifference (1995) (Bob Geldof  (previously a member of The Boomtown Rats) (Group) (Years Active 1975-1986, 2013-Present) (Bob Geldof – B: 1951, Dublin, Ireland). Curiously, it was Geldof, an anti-poverty activist,  who was one of the primary forces behind the extraordinary Band-Aid (1984) and the Live-Aid (1985) concerts which raised money to help alleviate the famine in Northern Africa.

         “I don’t care if you live or die

        Couldn’t care less if you laugh or cry …

        I don’t mind if culture crumbles

        I don’t mind if religion stumbles

        I can‘t hear the speakers mumble.”

        …

        “I don’t care if the Third World fries

        It’s hotter there I’m not surprised

        Baby, I can watch whole nations die

        And I don’t care at all.” 

The 2010s 

American Dreamz (2018) (Tom MacDonald) (B: 1998, Canada). (Note: This is a newer song and slightly after my 1957-2015 definition of Modern America. It is here included because MacDonald is one of a group of increasingly popular and possibly noteworthy, “politically-incorrect” rappers. As evidenced by this song, some rap is no longer about just sex, drugs, and attitude.)

        “A gun don’t make you a soldier with a purple heart

        A gun cannot protect us if we don’t know where our morals are

        Students fill the classes and the graves

        And you claim it’s a conspiracy to take your guns away

        All the while the families torn apart and trying to ask

        Why their son deserved to die at his desk in the class. …”

        – – – 

        “We don’t want no politician making money offs bullet holes

        They’re digging ours graves, the home of the brave, has gone up in flames….”

Country Western 

Forty Hour Week (1985) (Alabama) (Group) (Years Active 1969-2004; 2006-2007; and 2010-Present).

         “There are people in this country who work hard every day

         … But the fruits of their labor are worth more than their pay.”

         – – – 

         “Hello Detroit auto workers, let me thank you for your time

        You work a forty hour week for a livin’, just to send it down the line.

        Hello Pittsburgh steel mill workers, let me thank you for your time

        You work a forty hour week for a livin’, just to send it down the line.” 

Explanation and Background of These

“The Best Lyrics of Modern America” Blogs

As noted above, song lyrics are the real poetry of Modern America, and about ten 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 have started posting some excerpts of this author’s humble suggestions of The Best Lyrics of Modern America.

New Blog Feature – The Fancypants Word of the Day 

Lugubrious (Adjective; Origin: Latin)      1) Sad or gloomy; 2) Exaggeratedly mournful.

Example 1: “The loss of his friend cast a lugubrious shadow over the gathering.”

Example 2: “His lugubrious attitude seemed more about getting attention than mourning any loss.”

The Gen Z* Slang Word or Phrase of the Day

Introduction: Communicating with younger generations is oftentimes difficult enough – especially since their conversations are dominated by memes, ever-changing social media platforms, and 280-character tweets. Nevertheless, our ability to “talk” with one another is important – and even if not important, it is at least useful. These short slang definitions might help.

Cap / No Cap. To “cap” is to lie about something, whereas “no cap” means to tell the truth.

Example 1: “What you just said is cap, there’s no truth in that whatsoever.”

Example 2: No cap! It was the best game I’ve ever seen.:”

Source: The New York Times.

* Definitions of Generations: Baby Boomers (1946-1964), Gen X (1965-1980), Millennials (1981-1996), and Gen Z (1997- ).

It’s Time.

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