Friday, 7 September 2012

Lyric Snippets

I’m often awake in the middle of the night. I try not to disturb Mr A so the only part of me that can be active is my brain. This is dangerous territory. Thoughts can rapidly tumble into places that are even darker than the sky beyond the curtains and so I force my brain to concentrate on one of my many night-time mind-games. 

A few nights ago I chose one of my favourite games, lyric snippets. There was already a song going round my head, Just Can’t Say Goodbye by Lionel Richie. You probably won’t know it but it begins, 

“Here I stand, without an overcoat in January. Where did I go wrong...” 

That gets to me every time. In fact, I’ve written a poem inspired by it.

Last year I posted a blog called I Love Lyrics and a lot of people put the title of their favourite song in the comments below. This time I’m not thinking of whole songs, but just a snippet of lyric, a line that can be taken away and mulled over, like these:

“No one else can make me feel the colours that you bring...” 
Minnie Riperton, Loving You

“What do I do when lightning strikes me...” 
Joe Cocker, Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word

“Sometimes the sun goes round the moon...” 
Vanessa Williams, Save the Best for Last

“Things that we were after were much better from afar...” 
Neil Sedaka, The Hungry Years

Before I throw this post open to you to add your own favourite lyric snippet, I’d like to share with you a lyric-related memory:

When I was at College, many years ago, I was obsessed with song lyrics. In those days, before Googling lyrics was invented, I collected lyrics in a notebook. [Sad, I know!] One day, in the middle of a Business Studies lesson, I was happily scribbling down the words to a Rolling Stones song when the teacher snuck up behind me and snatched the book. He took great delight in reading aloud the following lyrics:  
“Let’s spend the night together. Now I need you more than ever...” 
In those days spending the night with someone was as bad as shouting out the F word in class. I can still remember my embarrassment and a look of utter disapproval and disappointment on the teacher’s face.
And now, do please share your favourite or most inspiring lyric snippet. Remember, it’s not the song, it’s a short piece from the lyrics, a thought that we can take away as inspiration for our writing... or even our lives!


  1. I shall survive....

    Hugs and chocolate,

  2. If I could save time in a bottle...

    That one has been playing with my mind for a couple of days, and I don't know why.

  3. He ain't heavy, he's my brother - used to reduce one of my boys to tears every time,

  4. Oh I remember Let's spend the night together - played loud enough to upset the neighbours.

    It came out at roughly the same time as Norwegian wood ... and then she said, it's time for bed - that was pretty shocking at the time.

    I like:
    It's not the money that you make that matters
    but the love you leave behind you when you're gone.
    (But my post-menopausal memory has eaten the name of the singer!)

  5. 'Never been lonely, never been lied to /Never had to scuffle in fear, Nothing denied to. Born in the instant, The church bells chime, And the whole world whispering, Born at the right time'

    Paul Simon. Just a bit of the bestsongwriter in the woirld.

  6. "Does the noise in my head bother you?"
    Aerosmith, Something's Gotta Give (and they used it as the title for Steve Tyler's official biography). Great line!

  7. Want to change my clothes, my hair, my face ...from Dancing in the Dark - Bruce Springsteen

    He captured teen/early 20s angst for me.

    Great post and lots to think about (and hum)

  8. I do the same thing - my husband is often asleep long before I am and song lyrics help me fall asleep - I thought I was the only one who did that :) Lyrics I love - "dance along the light of day" from Train's song Drops of Jupiter. Funny story about Rolling Stones lyrics - I once heard a radio DJ say, "I think this is the song you meant when you requested I'll Never Leave Your Pizza Burning" - he played Beast of Burden :)

  9. I'm one of those people who can't remember song lyrics even when I've heard them a million times. Your Rolling Stones story has me smiling :)

  10. Know what it feels like to be awake in the early hours! Song lyrics I remember

    'I'm never gonna dance again, guilty feet have got no rythm' Careless Whisper, George Michael.

    'Half of me is you, half of me is leaving' In your Smile, Alistair Griffin.

    'someone left the cake out in the rain' Macarthur Park, Richard Harris

  11. From Jon Bon Jovi's "Live Before You Die".......One day you're going to have to say hello to goodbye...Shout it out, let someone, somewhere, know that you're alive.

  12. But these miss you nights ,they're the longest. Of course from Cliff's Miss You Nights How I cried over that song. Great post.

  13. So many great ones in your post and in the comments! One of the ones that always gets me is Summertime...

    One of these mornings, you're going to rise up singin
    Spread your wings and take to the sky...

    Always sang that one to my kids when they were little :)

  14. Hi Shelly, many a time I sang that when I divorced my first husband.

    Hi Patricia, that's a lovely thought. What moments would we choose to capture in our bottles though?

    Hi Lizy, your son sounds lovely. Another favourite song of mine.

    Hi Jo, is that song Everything Possible. Not sure but I like the sentiments.

    Hi Carol, Paul Simon is amazing, agreed!

    Hu Beth, I've not heard that one before. Showing my age now!

    Hi Joanne, Springsteen certainly did teenage angst well. I'm humming them all too.

    Hi Susannah, good to have met a fellow insomniac with a song lyric fetish. There can't be many of us surely!

    Hi Karen, I seem to have a million song lyrics stored in my head. Sometimes I wish I could remove them for some of the more important stuff that I keep forgetting these days!

    Hi Rosie, another insomniac! Lovely choices. Not sure I know what MacArthurs Park was all about though.

    Hi Delores, great choice. We should use that snippet as a morning wake up call!!

    Hi Ann, our first Cliff snippet, and one of the great ones too!

    Hi Jemi, Summertime has got to be one of the most moving song lyrics of all time, and the music is equally beautiful. Excellent choice.

  15. When I'm Back on My Feet Again - sung by Michael Bolton but written by Dianne Warren. I first heard it at a difficult time in my life and it gave me a lot of strength. The whole song is important to me but I used to sing very loudly on the second chorus:

    And I'm not gonna crawl again
    I will learn to stand tall again
    No I'm not gonna fall again
    Cause I'll learn to be strong

  16. "Why do birds suddenly appear,
    every time you are near?
    Just like me, they long to be,
    Close to you."

    The Carpenters sang this in the early 70's. I remember dancing to it at my older brother's Bar Mitzvah and it still makes me tear up today.

    Sorry your teacher did that to you. You never did say what your grade was in the class! Julie

  17. Rosalind, What an embarrassing "lyric" story! Funny now, but I'm sure it wasn't then!

    P.S. Hope you sleep better tonight!

  18. "You run and you run to catch up with the sun, but it's sinking. Racing around to come up behind you again. The sun is the same, in a relative way, but you're older. Shorter of breath, one day closer to death."

    - Pink Floyd.

    Those pictures are great. That floor tile is fascinating!

  19. Hi, Ros
    I've had poems about snowdrops running through my head this last week. I'm writing a story for People's Friend set in February in the 1950s.
    This is a Tennyson poem:

    Many, many welcomes,
    February fair-maid!
    Ever as of old time,
    Solitary firstling,
    Coming in the cold time,
    Prophet of the gay time,
    Prophet of the May time,
    Prophet of the roses,
    Many, many welcomes,
    February fair-maid!

    I couldn't find any pre 1950s songs about snowdrops.

    Pop over to my blog to see another nostalgic painting that illustrated another 1950s story about the folk in 'my' prefab village.