Sep 17 2013
07:16 pm

Songs that have popped up recently on my shuffle play got me to thinking about great opening lyrics that tell a story in a couple of lines and pull you in. Here are some of my favorites, off the top of my head:

Wise men say only fools rush in
But I can't help falling in love with you

The Mississippi delta was shining like a National guitar
I am following the river down the highway
Through the cradle of the Civil War

Trailers for sale or rent
Rooms to let fifty cents

And probably my all-time favorite:

I met a gin-soaked barroom queen in Memphis
She tried to take me upstairs for a ride

Bonus "not necessarily literary but makes you turn up the volume every time you hear it" entry:

Get your motor runnin'
Head out on the highway

What are your favorites?

redmondkr's picture

Oh, I gotta million of 'em

From Mary Wells in 1962:

Other girls are filling your head with jive
Now you're acting like you don't know that I'm alive
Love, you better wake up
Yeah, before we break up
And you lose me, little me
The one who really loves you


It's a girl, my Lord in a flat bed Ford
Slowin' down to take a look at me.

Bbeanster's picture

On Ragland Road on an autumn

On Ragland Road on an autumn day, I saw her first and knew...

R. Neal's picture

Oh, and Wake up maggie I

Oh, and Wake up maggie I think I got something to say to you

Tamara Shepherd's picture


You spent the night like you were spending a dime.


It won't hurt when I fall off this barstool
Like it hurt when you left me.

(That second one might have been Bean's kid brother, but I can't quite recall. Betty?)

Bbeanster's picture

I can hear her heart beat for

I can hear her heart beat for a thousand miles

(It's a Van Morrison night up in here)

R. Neal's picture

Hey, where did we go Days

Hey, where did we go
Days when the rains came?
Down in the hollow
Playing a new game,
Laughing and a-running, hey, hey,
Skipping and a-jumping
In the misty morning fog with
Our, our hearts a-thumping
And you, my brown-eyed girl

redmondkr's picture



Bbeanster's picture

Well I met you on a midway at

Well I met you on a midway at a fair last year
And you stood out like a ruby in a black man's ear
You were playing on the horses
You were playing on the guitar strings
You were playing like the devil wearing wings

Wearing wings, you looked so grand, wearing wings
Do you tie them to your shoulders just to sing?

(and a Bonnie Rait/Joanie Mitchell kind of night)

When I was a young girl, I had me a cowboy

Bbeanster's picture

You're as sweet as Tupelo

You're as sweet as Tupelo honey
You're an angel in the first degree

R. Neal's picture



R. Neal's picture

I can turn a grey sky blue, I

I can turn a grey sky blue,
I can make it rain, whenever I want it to

R. Neal's picture

And in the chorus

And in the chorus category:

Layla, you've got me on my knees.
Layla, I'm begging, darling please.
Layla, darling won't you ease my worried mind.

One of the great unrequited love ballads of all time, musically and otherwise.

redmondkr's picture

He was working through

He was working through college
On my grandpa's farm
I was thirsting for knowledge
And he had a car.

R. Neal's picture

All my friends In a low rider

All my friends
In a low rider

redmondkr's picture

Peggy Lee's first hit in

Peggy Lee's first hit in 1942

You had plenty money in 1922
You let other women make a fool of you
Why don't you do right
Like some other men do?
Get out of here and
Get me some money too.

redmondkr's picture

Now you say you're lonely You

Now you say you're lonely
You cry the long night through
Well you can cry me a river
Cry me a river
I cried a river over you

Either Julie London or Crystal Gayle or Etta James will be fine on this one.

R. Neal's picture



R. Neal's picture

I fall to pieces Each time I

I fall to pieces
Each time I see you again
I fall to pieces
How can I be just your friend?

redmondkr's picture

Oh yeah!

Oh yeah!

ATSF616's picture


When I was a child my family would travel
Down to western Kentucky where my parents were born
There's a backwards old town that's often remembered
So many times that my memories are worn

R. Neal's picture



Mello's picture



R. Neal's picture

Busted flat in Baton Rouge,

Busted flat in Baton Rouge, headin' for the trains,
Feelin' nearly faded as my jeans.

ATSF616's picture

Ring them bells, ye

Ring them bells, ye heathen
From the city that dreams
Ring them bells from the sanctuaries
’Cross the valleys and streams
For they’re deep and they’re wide
And the world’s on its side
And time is running backwards
And so is the bride

Bbeanster's picture

She arrives in all her

She arrives in all her splendor
Each night at nine o'clock
Her chariot is the crosstown bus
That stops right down the block
Now the old piano minstrel plays her tune as she walks in
And the Queen of the Silver Dollar's home again

She's the Queen of the Silver Dollar
She rules this smokey kingdom
Scepter is a wine glass and a bar stool is her throne
Now the jesters flock around her tryna to win her favors
To see which one will take the queen of the Silver Dollar home

R. Neal's picture

Take the last train to

Take the last train to Clarksville
I'll meet you at the station

redmondkr's picture

I was born right

I was born right here
December '43
Dad was a captain in the Army
Fightin' the Germans in Sicily
My poor little mamma
Didn't know a soul in L.A.
Went down to the Union Station
Made our getaway
Got on the Dixie Flyer
Bound for New Orleans
Across the state of Texas
To the land of dreams

R. Neal's picture

It was the third of June,

It was the third of June, another sleepy, dusty Delta day
I was out choppin' cotton and my brother was balin' hay
And at dinner time we stopped and walked back to the house to eat
And Mama hollered out the back door "y'all remember to wipe your feet"
And then she said "I got some news this mornin' from Choctaw Ridge"
"Today Billie Joe MacAllister jumped off the Tallahatchie Bridge"

R. Neal's picture

Bus stop, wet day, she's

Bus stop, wet day, she's there, I say
Please share my umbrella
Bus stop, bus goes, she stays, love grows
Under my umbrella

CE Petro's picture

I'll Play

Although I'll say that most of my favorite songs don't have lyrics, but here are a few timeless selections.

Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends
We're so glad you could attend
Come inside! Come inside!
There behind a glass is a real blade of grass
be careful as you pass.
Move along! Move along!


Them that's got shall get
Them that's not shall lose
So the Bible said and it still is news
Mama may have, Papa may have
But God bless the child that's got his own

Gotta add:

When the truth is found to be lies
and all the joy within you dies
don't you want somebody to love

While I'm in this genre let's add:
If you smile at me you know I will understand
Cause that is something everybody everywhere does
In the same language

R. Neal's picture

+1 on those, especially God

+1 on those, especially God Bless the Child.

redmondkr's picture

You get a shiver in the

You get a shiver in the dark,
It's raining in the park, but meantime:
South of the river, you stop and you hold everything.
A band is blowin' Dixie, double-four time.
You feel alright when you hear that music play.

R. Neal's picture

When Daddy told me what

When Daddy told me what happened
I couldn't believe what he just said
Sonny shot himself with a 44
And they found him lyin' on his bed

R. Neal's picture

Please allow me to introduce

Please allow me to introduce myself...

Average Guy's picture

Oh, they like to get you in a

Oh, they like to get you in a compromising position
They like to get you there and smile in your face
Well, they think they're so cute when they got you in that condition
Well I think it's a total disgrace
And I said:

I fight authority, Authority always wins
Well, I fight authority, Authority always wins
Well, I've been doing it since I was a young kid
I come out grinnin'
Well, I fight authority, Authority always wins

R. Neal's picture

My favorite John (Cougar)

My favorite John (Cougar) Mellencamp song.

ATSF616's picture

Louisiana 1927

What has happened down here is the wind have changed
Clouds roll in from the north and it started to rain
Rained real hard and rained for a real long time
Six feet of water in the streets of Evangeline

AC's picture

"Sometimes I think...I've

"Sometimes I think...I've almost fooled myself."

Joe Henry...from "Richard Pryor Addresses A Tearful Nation"

Rachel's picture

Sam Stone came home,To his

Sam Stone came home,
To his wife and family
After serving in the conflict overseas.
And the time that he served,
Had shattered all his nerves,
And left a little shrapnel in his knee.

Gets my vote for the saddest song ever.

Rachel's picture

I pulled into Nazareth, was

I pulled into Nazareth, was feelin' about half past dead;
I just need some place where I can lay my head.
"Hey, mister, can you tell me where a man might find a bed?"
He just grinned and shook my hand, and "No", was all he said.

Rachel's picture

One pill makes you larger And

One pill makes you larger
And one pill makes you small
And the ones that mother gives you
Don't do anything at all
Go ask Alice, when she's ten feet tall

CE Petro's picture

Grace & Rabbits

Have you seen any of Grace Slick's paintings, Rachel? A lot of them have white rabbits in them. She's not a bad painter.

Always loved her voice, not only does she have an incredible range, she has incredible breath control.

Rachel's picture

No, I haven't seen them.

No, I haven't seen them. Will have to check into that. And yeah, I loved Grace.

R. Neal's picture

What a drag it is getting

What a drag it is getting old.
Things are different today,
I hear every mother say
Mother needs something today to calm her down
And though she's not really ill
There's a little yellow pill

B Harmon's picture

I met her in a club down in

I met her in a club down in old Soho
Where you drink champagne and it tastes just like cherry-cola
See-oh-el-aye cola
She walked up to me and she asked me to dance
I asked her her name and in a dark brown voice she said Lola
El-oh-el-aye Lola la-la-la-la Lola

jmcnair's picture


I been warped by the rain, driven by the snow I'm drunk and dirty don't ya know, and I'm still,

Your daddy says I'm no good
Your momma says keep away
Got to tell you truthful girl you can never make me stay.

No regrets Coyote
We just come from such different sets of circumstance.

Rachel's picture

Well, I'm running down the

Well, I'm running down the road
tryin' to loosen my load
I've got seven women on
my mind,
Four that wanna own me,
Two that wanna stone me,
One says she's a friend of mine

Just yesterday morning, they let me know you were gone.
Suzanne, the plans they made put an end to you.
I walked out this morning and I wrote down this song,
I just can't remember who to send it to.

Rachel's picture

And then there's

And then there's Lenny:

Suzanne takes you down to her place near the river
You can hear the boats go by
You can spend the night beside her
And you know that she's half crazy
But that's why you want to be there
And she feeds you tea and oranges
That come all the way from China
And just when you mean to tell her
That you have no love to give her
Then she gets you on her wavelength
And she lets the river answer
That you've always been her lover

I've heard there was a secret chord
That David played, and it pleased the Lord
But you don't really care for music, do you?
It goes like this
The fourth, the fifth
The minor fall, the major lift
The baffled king composing Hallelujah

Rachel's picture

And probably my favorite

And probably my favorite Dylan (and now I'm shutting up):

Early one morning the sun was shining
I was laying in bed
Wond'ring if she'd changed at all
If her hair was still red
Her folks they said our lives together
Sure was gonna be rough
They never did like Mama's homemade dress
Papa's bankbook wasn't big enough
And I was standing on the side of the road
Rain falling on my shoes
Heading out for the East Coast
Lord knows I've paid some dues getting through
Tangled up in blue.

R. Neal's picture

The pump don't work 'cause

The pump don't work 'cause vandals took the handle.

R. Neal's picture

Willing. One of my favorite

Willing. One of my favorite road songs.

Bbeanster's picture

If today were not an endless

If today were not an endless highway

If tonight were not a crooked trail

If tomorrow wasn't such a long time

Then lonesome wouldn't mean nothing to me at all

Bbeanster's picture

Doncha feel my legDoncha you

Doncha feel my leg
Doncha you feel my leg
Cause if you feel my leg, you'll want to feel my thigh
If you feel my thigh you'll want to feel up high
You'll get a big surprise, So don't you feel my leg

Bbeanster's picture

The Sisters of Mercy, they

The Sisters of Mercy, they are not departed or gone.
They were waiting for me when I thought that I could not go on

They brought me their comfort and later they brought me this song.
I hope you run into them, you who've been traveling so long.

madelinerogero's picture

It's nine o'clock on a

It's nine o'clock on a Saturday
The regular crowd rushes in
There's an old man sitting next to me
Makin' love to his tonic and gin

R. Neal's picture

Good one. Reminds me of

Good one. Reminds me of this...

Come out, Virginia
Don't let me wait.
You Catholic girls start much too late.
But sooner or later it comes down to fate.
I might as well will be the one.

Married that Catholic girl, before it was too late, because it was fate, and I might as well have been the (lucky) one.

madelinerogero's picture

And don't forget: She can

And don't forget:

She can kill with a smile
She can wound with her eyes
She can ruin your faith with her casual lies
And she only reveals what she wants you to see
She hides like a child
But she's always a woman to me.

R. Neal's picture

Clearly you know the Mrs.!

She can kill with a smile

Clearly you know the Mrs.! :)

(Yes, I'm a hopeless romantic. It's all her fault.)

madelinerogero's picture

Sweet! So you must know how

Sweet! So you must know how to "leave a tender moment alone."

OK - I'll stop with the Bill Joel songs now, but I admit he's a favorite of mine.

Bbeanster's picture

I'd lay my head on the

I'd lay my head on the railroad tracks
And wait for the Double "E"
But the railroad don't run no more
Poor, poor pitiful me

R. Neal's picture

I hear the train a

I hear the train a comin'
It's rolling round the bend
And I ain't seen the sunshine
since I don't know when

Bbeanster's picture

I went home with the

I went home with the waitress
The way I always do
How was I to know
She was with the
Russians, too?

jmcnair's picture


That's just what herself said at the other end of the couch.

Bbeanster's picture

I hope you're not referring

I hope you're not referring to Zevon's 'Don't feel my leg,' But I suspicion you are... my condolences, Dude. Better luck tomorrow. :-)

Mello's picture

Crimson flames tied through

Crimson flames tied through my ears. Rollin' high and mighty traps...

Half-wracked prejudice leaped forth
“Rip down all hate,” I screamed

redmondkr's picture

Our friend Val Owens does a

Our friend Val Owens does a marvelous job on At Last

At Last, my love has come along
My lonely days are over
And life is like a song

And our friend Kay Newton wrote this little piece for her.

Bus Stop Boogie

Well my man up a quit me
I thought I would die
Felt like all I could do
Was just sit around and cry
But my mamma told me honey
There's no need to fuss
Because missing a man
Is just like missing a bus

Sometimes you gotta miss one but just hold on
And pretty soon another one will come right along.

jmcnair's picture

One more fave

Caught a train from Alexandria
Just a broken man in flight
Running scared with his devils
Saying prayers all through the night

WhitesCreek's picture

This one!

This one!

Stick's picture

You want to grow up to paint

You want to grow up to paint houses like me
A trailer in my yard till you're 23
You want to be old after 42 years
Keep dropping the hammer and grinding the gears

R. Neal's picture

If you smile at me you know I

If you smile at me you know I will understand
Cause that is something everybody everywhere does
In the same language
I can see by your coat my friend that you're from the other side
There's just one thing I got to know
Can you tell me please who won?

R. Neal's picture

Well I came upon a child of

Well I came upon a child of God, he was walking along the road
And I asked him tell where are you going, this he told me:
I'm going down to Yasgur's farm, going to join in a rock and roll band.

Bbeanster's picture

Come, thou Fount of every

Come, thou Fount of every blessing, tune my heart to sing thy grace;

Streams of mercy, never ceasing, call for songs of loudest praise.

Teach me some melodious sonnet, sung by flaming tongues above.

Praise the mount! I'm fixed upon it, mount of thy redeeming love.

Rachel's picture

Ah, the good old Baptist

Ah, the good old Baptist hymnal. I probably still know the first, second, and last verse of every song in it (for some reason, Baptists never sing the third verse).

Bbeanster's picture

no, No, No, Rach! The

no, No, No, Rach!

The METHODIST hymnal!!!!

Damn Baptists stole it.

Rachel's picture

There's something happening

There's something happening here
What it is ain't exactly clear
There's a man with a gun over there
Telling me I got to beware.

R. Neal's picture

Good call.

Good call.

Rachel's picture

You say you want a

You say you want a revolution
Well you know
We all want to change the world

Mello's picture

Who else is gonna bring you a

Who else is gonna bring you a broken arrow
Who else is gonna bring you a bottle of rain
There he goes, moving across the water (that's right)
There he goes, turning my whole world around

R. Neal's picture

One for Betty

Because it's a pretty great song:

Oh Tennessee, I long to come back home.
I guess your dew has settled on my soul.
Everyday I stayed away,
You called my heart back home to stay.

Bbeanster's picture

Awwwwww. Thanks. Now I'll

Awwwwww. Thanks.

Now I'll have to get drunk.

Bbeanster's picture

Cuando salí de Cuba, dejé mi

Cuando salí de Cuba, dejé mi vida dejé mi amor.

Cuando salí de Cuba, dejé enterrado mi corazón.

Rachel's picture

One more before bed: Thank

One more before bed:

Thank God for north Knoxville
Where this town still looks like itself

Bbeanster's picture

(link...) On Dec. 10, 1755,


On Dec. 10, 1755, at age 20, Robert (Robinson) finally yielded his life to Christ, and very soon thereafter answered a call to the ministry. Three years later, as he was preparing to preach a sermon at the Calvinist Methodist Chapel in Norfolk, England, Robert wrote Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing to complement his sermon. The music for the hymn was composed by Asahel Nettleton in 1813.

Methodists have it all over the Baptists, music-wise, mostly thanks to Charles Wesley. i always loved that flaming tongues image.

R. Neal's picture

Leon Russell got his start

Leon Russell got his start playing in a Methodist Church as a youngster, but got kicked out for getting a little too much into the rock and roll boogie woogie gospel spirit.

In my younger years, I took piano lessons from a guy who taught from the Baptist Hymnal. He eventually told my Mom that she was paying him to listen to me practice.

(I eventually learned more piano from listening to Leon Russell records, but not enough to be proficient.)

Bbeanster's picture

This is a fabulous site for

This is a fabulous site for hymns:


And one last one. The best hymn ever:


Thag13's picture

That Hotel in California.....

On a dark desert highway,
Cool wind in my hair,
Warm smell of "colitas"
Rising up through the air,

Thag13's picture

Granted, Im more of a Metal head...

I would post a few of those, but I dont think thats what the Boss here wants....

Speaking of Don Henley....Nobody on the road
Nobody on the beach
I feel it in the air
The summer's out of reach

SnM's picture

Everywhere is freaks and

Everywhere is freaks and hairies
Dykes and fairies, tell me where is sanity
Tax the rich, feed the poor
Till there are no rich no more...

I can see her lyin' back in her satin dress
In a room where you do what you don't confess.
Sundown, you better take care
If I find you bin creepin' round my back stairs...

If I could save time in a bottle
The first thing that I'd like to do
Is to save every day
Till Eternity passes away
Just to spend them with you...

You come home late and you come home early
You come on big when you're feeling small
You come home straight and you come home curly
Sometimes you don't come home at all...

Rachel's picture

Well I'll be damned Here

Well I'll be damned
Here comes your ghost again
But that's not unusual
It's just that the moon is full
And you happened to call

There's not a woman in the world who doesn't identify with that song.

Andy Axel's picture

Four seasons in one day Lying

Four seasons in one day
Lying in the depths of your imagination
Worlds above and worlds below
The sun shines on the black clouds hanging over the domain

Even when you're feeling warm
The temperature could drop away
Like four seasons in one day

Andy Axel's picture

"L.A. proved too much for the

Andy Axel's picture


Crying parents tell their children
If you survive don't do as we did
A son exclaims there'll be nothing to do to
Her daughter says she'll be dead with you

While foreign affairs are screwing rotten
Line morale has hit rock bottom
Dying embers stand forgotten
Talks of peace were being trodden

Stand or fall
State your piece tonight

Andy Axel's picture

Tin soldiers and Nixon coming

bizgrrl's picture

Power to the people

Power to the people

fischbobber's picture

Other peoples lyrics that keep playing in my head

Low, gray clouds rollin over my head
I'm walkin' up a hill to get my fortune read
I can still take rejection but it does get harder to do
I wish I could show you how you hurt me
In a way that wouldn't hurt you too.

Tennis shoes hangin' from a telephone wire
I got a little money ; I could get a little higher
I was alright awhile, but you know how it goes
Everything in moderation, including moderation I suppose..........

.......You too will wake up one morning with a lot more memories than dreams......

WhitesCreek's picture

Opening lines Most Beautiful Love Song Ever Dept.

It was Christmas in Prison, the food was real good

We had turkey and pistols carved out of wood

And I dream of her always even when I don't dream

Her name's on my tongue and her blood's in my stream

rikki's picture


I met someone at the dog show
She was holding my left arm
But everyone was acting normal
So I tried to look nonchalant
We both said, "I really love you"
The Shriners loaned us cars
We raced up and down the sidewalk twenty thousand million times

EricLykins's picture

The first to pop in my head

The first to pop in my head on this thread was "Here's a little story 'bout a man named Jed, but it wasn't long before side C of Exile on Main Street set to spinning out that piano...
I'm the man on the mountain, come on up.
I'm the plowman in the valley with a face full of mud.
Yes, I'm fumbling and I know my car don't start.
Yes, I'm stumbling and I know I play a bad guitar.

bizgrrl's picture

Imagine there is no

Imagine there is no heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today

fischbobber's picture

Opening lines Philosophy and Observation 101

I know a guy's gotta lot to lose
He's a pretty nice fellow kinda confused
He's got muscles in head ain't never used
Thinks he own half of this town

When he starts drinking heavy he gets gets a big red nose
Beats his old lady with a rubber hose
Then he takes her out to dinner, buys her new clothes
That's the way that the world goes round


People will know when they see this show
The kind of a guy I am
They'll understand just what I stand for
And what I just can't stand

They'll perceive what I believe in
And what I know is true
And they'll recognize I'm a one man guy
Always was, through and through

Treehouse's picture

Not quite the beginning but good

Because I'm still in love with you
I want to see you dance again
Because I'm still in love with you
On this harvest moon.

Andy Axel's picture

I used to be disgusted Now I

I used to be disgusted
Now I try to be amused
Since their wings have gotten rusted
You know the angels want to wear my red shoes...


Rachel's picture

Not strictly the opening

Not strictly the opening lines since the chorus is first, but still....

Eleanor Rigby picks up the rice in the church where a wedding has been,
Lives in a dream
Waits at the window, wearing the face that she keeps in a jar by the door
Who is it for?

Andy Axel's picture

Tears of a Clown

If there's a smile on my face
It's only there trying to fool the public
But when it comes down to fooling you
Now honey, that's quite a different subject

So don't let my glad expression
Give you the wrong impression

CE Petro's picture


Joni Mitchell came to me reading the news today:

They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot

JMG's picture

Dang, That's a lot and oddly

Dang, That's a lot and oddly enough I recognise most of them. Unfortunately my mind's a blank right now.

rikki's picture

Mr. Miller

When I wanted to tell her all that I felt
Common sense said, "Keep it under your belt"
As coal turns to diamonds inside of my hands
Loving that girl is too hard on a man


My old man could be your dad's old man
He lied about his age to fight Japan
It wasn't long before he came back home
He had some help from the atom bomb


Well a Ford 460 is an engine pretty mean
Shitting out bolts and pissing gasoline
Seven and quarter tons of pure mule power
Rolling down the road at eight miles a gallon


EricLykins's picture

Melinda, your mother don't

Melinda, your mother don't like me I can tell by her smile.

Mark Harmon's picture

I Speak of the Pompatus of Love

Some people call me the Space Cowboy
Yeah! Some call me the gangster of love.
Some people call me Maurice,
'cause I speak of the Pompatus of Love.

Destroyer's picture

The screen door slams

The screen door slams,
Mary's dress waves,
Like a vision she dances across the porch as the radio plays
Roy Orbison's singing for the lonely

And just for fun . . .

It was all I could do to keep from crying . . .

Rachel's picture

Look out mama, There's a

Look out mama,
There's a white boat coming up the river

Rachel's picture

Come gather 'round

Come gather 'round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown

fischbobber's picture

Young Stuff

Hey hey, my my,
Rock and roll will never die

Fourteen junkies too weak to work
One sells diamonds for what they're worth
Down on pain street disappointment lurks

Tin soldiers and Nixon's coming
We're finally on our own
Last summer I hear them calling
Four dead in Ohio

Rachel's picture

I thought it was "this summer

I thought it was "this summer I hear the drumming."

Up Goose Creek's picture

forgettable openings

Dang, I can't even remember the opening lyrics to my favorite ear worm.

Thanks to google:

As you brush your shoes / Stand before the mirror / And you comb your hair / Grab your coat and hat

WhitesCreek's picture

Don't it always seem to go...

They paved paradise and put up a parking lot
With a pink hotel, a boutique and a swingin' hot spot

Mello's picture

hey farmer farmer

Hey, farmer, farmer, put away that D.D.T., now!
Give me spots on my apples
But leave me the birds and the bees, please!

I've been singing this part of the song for the last few weeks as we bring in the apples and the pears. We have some very ugly but very tasty fruit.

Average Guy's picture

A long, long time ago I can

A long, long time ago
I can still remember how that music used to make me smile
And, I knew if I had my chance that I could make those people dance, and...
Maybe they'd be happy for a while

I was actually thinking less about the song and more about what you might be doing with them apples! ;-)

Min's picture

Walking in Memphis

Put on my blue suede shoes,
And I boarded a plane.
Touched down in the land of the Delta Blues
In the middle of the pouring rain.

Somebody's picture

I jumped straight at it when

I jumped straight at it when I had the chance
I joined the army and I went to France
At Roosevelt's request
Two weeks of sitting in the mud
Made me lie to the man that I could drive a truck
For the Red Ball Express

Mike Cohen's picture


When we come to the place where the road and the sky collide....

Mike Cohen's picture

The Grievous Angel

He's gone 40 years today...

In South Carolina there are many tall pines
I remember the oak tree that we used to climb
But now when I'm lonesome, I always pretend
That I'm getting the feel of hickory wind

Rachel's picture

Do you have the tribute album

Do you have the tribute album from a few years ago? Fantastic.

Mike Cohen's picture


Yes...but nothing, absolutely nothing beats listening to he and Emmylou sing together.

Mike Cohen's picture

And for the REAL John Stewart

I can't hold it on the road
When you're sitting right beside me
And I'm drunk out of my mind
Merely from the fact that you are here

Mike Cohen's picture

Because someone I know wants this played at their funeral...

I want to live,
I want to give
I've been a miner
For a heart of gold.

R. Neal's picture


I been warped by the rain, driven by the snow
I'm drunk and dirty don't ya know, and I'm still, willin'

redmondkr's picture

Piece of My Heart

Didn't I make you feel like you were the only man - yeah!
An' didn't I give you nearly everything that a woman possibly can ?
Honey, you know I did!
And each time I tell myself that I think I've had enough,
But I'm gonna show you, baby, that a woman can be tough.

I want you to come on, come on, come on, come on and take it!
Take another little piece of my heart now, baby!
Oh, oh, break it!
Break another little bit of my heart, you know you will
Oh, oh, have a!
Have another little piece of my heart now, baby,
You know you got it if it makes you feel good,

Rachel's picture

This one always gets me up

This one always gets me up off the couch:

When I get off of this mountain
You know where I wanna go
Straight down the Mississippi River
To the Gulf of Mexico.

ATSF616's picture

A bit more obscure, perhaps

The roads we ran and the folks we knew
The risky things that we used to do
Now it's over and I know we're through
And I wish we had our time again
I wish we had our time

-- John Hartford

ATSF616's picture

In a John Hartford mood tonight

Where does an old time river man go after he’s passed away?
Does his soul keep a watch on the deep for the rest of the river days?
Does he then come back as a channel cat
Or the wasps that light on the wheel
Or the birds that fly in the summer sky
Or the fish swimming under the keel?

jmcnair's picture

In honor of the day

Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum
Hoist the mainsail, here I come
Ain't no room on board for the insincere
You're my witness, I'm your mutineer

fischbobber's picture


I called up my friend LeRoy on the phone
I said, Buddy, I'm afraid to be alone

fischbobber's picture

A friend of mine named Steve Goodman wrote that song......

Riding on the City of New Orleans
Illinois Central Monday morning rail
Fifteen cars and fifteen restless riders,
Three conductors and twenty-five sacks of mail.

Rachel's picture

You actually knew Steve

You actually knew Steve Goodman? Cool.

fischbobber's picture


It was a play on words. Back in the day "You Never Even Called Me by my Name" was my generations drinking anthem. The speaking part of the song sung by Davis Allen Coe starts out "Well a friend of mine named Steve Goodman wrote that song," and it was the most memorized and recited piece of recorded Americana prose of my generation (or at least the people I drank with) . It's sort of the first line of the rest of the song. I have some Steve Goodman albums though.

However, Tall Paul played at my wedding and I did actually sing "You Never Even Called Me By My Name" at my wedding reception, so in a sense, Steve Goodman has played a bigger part in my life than most. Goodman really did write "City of New Orleans" as well .

I do know Todd Steed and that's pretty close.

Rachel's picture

Ah. I haven't heard that

Ah. I haven't heard that song in years.

I used to wear out my one and only Steve Goodman album.

Up Goose Creek's picture

Funeral songs

Here is the song I want for my funeral:

Morning comes, she follows the path to the river's shore

Lightly sung, her song is the latch on the morning's door....

Max's picture

early nineties

When you were here before
Couldn't look you in the eye
You're just like an angel
Your skin makes me cry
You float like a feather
In a beautiful world
I wish I was special
You're so fucking special

and of course

Load up on guns, bring your friends
It's fun to lose and to pretend
She's over bored and self assured
Oh no, I know a dirty word

Mello's picture


Then there was the time
I saw the great Hank Williams
singing on the stage in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
and he was all dressed up in drag
From his rose red lips to his rhinestone hips he belted
out song after song as he drank from a brown paper bag
And the songs he sang of love and pain,
so pure perfect reflections of human imperfections,
it damn near choked me up
But the rest of the show, was kind of slow
And then someone woke me up

redmondkr's picture

I tried so hard my dear to

I tried so hard my dear to show that you're my every dream.
Yet you're afraid each thing I do is just some evil scheme
A memory from your lonesome past keeps us so far apart
Why can't I free your doubtful mind and melt your cold cold heart

redmondkr's picture

I know very little about Jim

I know very little about Jim Croce. I know I loved his music and Legacy.com, the obituary folks, are running this quiz for you guys who do know.

Andy Axel's picture

Paul Kelly - Careless

How many cabs in New York City?
How many angels on a pin?
How many notes in a saxophone?
How many tears in a bottle of gin?
How many times did you call my name?
Knock at the door but you couldn't get in?

I know
I've been
I've been
Wrapped up in a shell
Nothing could get through to me


Observer's picture

Looking through some

Looking through some photographs I found inside a drawer
I was taken by a photograph of you
There were one or two I know that you would have liked a little more
But they didn't show your spirit quite as true

You were turning 'round to see who was behind you
And I took your childish laughter by surprise
And at the moment that my camera happened to find you
There was just a trace of sorrow in your eyes

Mello's picture

oh, don't stop there-

there are probably two dozen Jackson Browne songs that should be listed.

Keep a fire burning in your eye
Pay attention to the open sky
You never know what will be coming down
I don't remember losing track of you
You were always dancing in and out of view
I must've always thought you'd be around
Always keeping things real by playing the clown
Now you're nowhere to be found

I don't know what happens when people die
Can't seem to grasp it as hard as I try
It's like a song playing right in my ear
That I can't sing
I can't help listening

Rachel's picture

I'll play: Looking out at the

I'll play:

Looking out at the road rushing under my wheels
Looking back at the years gone by like so many summer fields
In sixty-five I was seventeen and running up one-o-one
I don't know where I'm running now, I'm just running on

Observer's picture

I never picked cotton But my

I never picked cotton But my mother did And my brother did And my sister did And my daddy died young Workin' in the coal mine

When I was just a baby Too little for a cotton sack I played in the dirt While the others worked 'Til they couldn't straighten up their backs I made myself a promise When I was big enough to run That I'd never stay a single day In that Oklahoma sun

Tom Humphrey's picture

I was cuttin' a rug in a

I was cuttin' a rug in a place called The Jug with a gal named Linda Lou

Rachel's picture

I've been walkin' in my

I've been walkin' in my sleep
Countin' troubles 'stead of countin' sheep
Where the years went I can't say
I just turned around and they've gone away

I introduced my spouse to the Nancy Griffith album this is on (although she didn't write the song) when we were first dating. I think that (along with my fondness for the Falafel Hut and Chez Guevara, and the fact that I had acually read Foucault's Pendulum) is how I hooked him.

SnM's picture

Very superstitious, writing's

Very superstitious, writing's on the wall
Very superstitious, ladders bout' to fall...

Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose
And sometimes the blues get hold of you
Just when you thought you had made it...

That's great, it starts with an earthquake,
birds and snakes, an aeroplane
Lenny Bruce is not afraid...

And you think you've seen trouble
Well you're lookin' at the man, Uh huh
Oh, the world's own original hard luck story
And a hard time losin' man...
RIP Jim Croce 9/20/73

redmondkr's picture

A kiss on the hand may be

A kiss on the hand may be quite continental
But diamonds are a girl's best friend
A kiss may be grand... but it won't pay the rental on your humble flat
Or help you at the automat
Men grow cold as girls grow old
And we all lose our charms in the end
But square cut or pear shaped these rocks don't lose their shape
Diamonds are a girl's best friend

fischbobber's picture

Mills Brothers

one cup of coffee waitress aint quite enough
this highway life aint what it seams
tonight i find the road bit pretty rough
give me a donut and a dream
i think she likes me and i ought to hang around
then i get to thinking i should try another town
i try to live one roadside diner at a time
just pour it black i dont take cream
life must be something more than one cup for a dime
tonight i need a donut and a dream

CBT's picture

There's a bunch, but a few...

Took a look down a westbound road,
right away I made my choice
Headed out to my big two-wheeler,
I was tired of my own voice

("Roll Me Away" Bob Seger)

It was 1989, my thoughts were short my hair was long
Caught somewhere between a boy and man
She was seventeen and she was far from in-between
It was summertime in Northern Michigan

("All Summer Long" Kid Rock)

You give your hand to me
And then you say hello
And I can hardly speak
My heart is beating so

("You Don't Knox Me" Willie (my fav version), written by Cindy Walker...if you've never watched her induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame, go watch it on You Tube)

Funny a woman can come on so wild and free
Yet insist I don't watch her undress or watch her watch me

("If You Could Touch Her at All" Willie, written by Waylon)

Observer's picture


City girls just seem to find out early
How to open doors with just a smile
A rich old man
And she won't have to worry
She'll dress up all in lace and go in style

Late at night a big old house gets lonely
I guess every form of refuge has its price
And it breaks her heart to think her love is
Only given to a man with hands as cold as ice


Well, I heard some people talkin' just the other day
And they said you were gonna put me on a shelf
But let me tell you I got some news for you
And you'll soon find out it's true
And then you'll have to eat your lunch all by yourself
'Cause I'm already gone
And I'm feelin' strong
I will sing this vict'ry song, woo, hoo,hoo,woo,hoo,hoo

The letter that you wrote me made me stop and wonder why
But I guess you felt like you had to set things right
Just remember this, my girl, when you look up in the sky
You can see the stars and still not see the light (that's right)

bizgrrl's picture

Left a good job in the

Left a good job in the city
Working for the man every night and day
And I never lost one minute of sleeping
Worrying 'bout the way things might have been

Listening to the Tina Turner version right now. Saw her perform it live. Awesome!

F-Stop's picture

I want to tell you all the

I want to tell you all the story
'Bout a Harper Valley widowed wife
Who had a teenage daughter
Who attended Harper Valley Junior High

jmcnair's picture


Our whole universe was in a hot dense state,
Then nearly fourteen billion years ago expansion started. Wait...

Mike Cohen's picture


Nicely done.

SnM's picture

That's great, it starts with

That's great, it starts with an earthquake, birds and snakes, an aeroplane,
Lenny Bruce is not afraid.

Stick Thrower's picture

Thread is about dead, but...

A couple of songs, sort of new to me, with great opening lines...


Well, I woke up Sunday morning
With no way to hold my head that didn't hurt.
And the beer I had for breakfast wasn't bad,
So I had one more for dessert.

Paul Simon (Lincoln Duncan)/whoever he stole the music from :

Couple in the next room
Bound to win a prize they've been goin' at it all night long...

Rachel's picture

That's one of my favorite

That's one of my favorite Paul Simon songs.

KC's picture

If I said you had a beautiful

If I said you had a beautiful body, would you hold it against me?

Rachel's picture

I'll add just one more: I

I'll add just one more:

I don't wanna die like James Agee
In the back of a taxi on the run

kheights77's picture

Hometown lyrics

I met a little girl in Knoxville, a town we all know well
And every Sunday evening, out in her home, I'd dwell
We went to take an evening walk about a mile from town
I picked a stick up off the ground and knocked that fair girl down

Bbeanster's picture

Shadows are falling and I'm

Shadows are falling and I'm running out of breath
Keep me in your heart for awhile

If I leave you it doesn't mean I love you any less
Keep me in your heart for awhile

When you get up in the morning and you see that crazy sun
Keep me in your heart for awhile

There's a train leaving nightly called when all is said and done
Keep me in your heart for awhile

WhitesCreek's picture

Malcolm Holcomb

They make the rules to suit themselves
The ones that buy and sell
The rest of us
Down the River

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