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Honored Social Butterfly

Songs with Clever Lines

So which lines jump out at you as especially clever or well written?

 

To start:  "We have to shout above the din of our Rice Crispies" ("Synchronicity II," the Police)

              "Is her power all in her club sandwich?" ("Waitress," Tori Amos)

 

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Social Butterfly

Are You Lonesome Tonight - Elvis Presley

 

Honey, You lied when you said you loved me

And I had no cause to doubt you

But I'd rather go on hearing your lies

Than to go living without you

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Honored Social Butterfly

Bette Davis Eyes  -  Kim Carnes 

 

Her hair is Harlow gold, her lips sweet surprise
Her hands are never cold, she's got Better Davis eyes
She'll turn the music on you, you won't have to think twice
She's pure as New York snow, she got Bette Davis eyes
And she'll tease you, she'll unease you
All the better just to please you
She's precocious, and she knows just
What it takes to make a pro blush
She got Greta Garbo's standoff sighs, she's got Bette Davis eyes
She'll let you take her home, it works her appetite
She'll lay you on the throne, she got Bette Davis eyes
She'll take a tumble on you, roll you like you were dice
Until you come out blue, she's got Bette Davis eyes
She'll expose you, when she snows you
Hope you're pleased with the crumbs she throws you
She's ferocious and she knows just
What it takes to make a pro blush
All the boys think she's a spy, she's got Bette Davis eyes
And she'll tease you, she'll unease you
All the better just to please you
She's precocious, and she knows just
What it takes to make a pro blush
All the boys think she's a spy, she's got Bette Davis eyes
 
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Donna Weiss / Jackie De Shannon
 
Jackie De Shannon recorded the original version in 1975 in a jazz r&b style. You can find the original on YT. The Kim Carnes' version in 1981 was an amazing transformation. The lyrics are terrific in either case!
 
"Music can change the world because it can change people." - Bono
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Social Butterfly

High Hopes - Frank Sinatra

 

Just what makes that little old ant

Think he'll move that rubber tree plant

Anyone knows an ant, can't

Move a rubber tree plant

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Conversationalist

Rocket Love - Stevie Wonder

 

A female Shakespeare of your time
With looks to blow Picasso's mind
You were the best
Your body moved with grace and song
Like symphonies by Bach or Brahms
Nevertheless, oh oh
You took me riding in your rocket gave me a star
But at a half a mile from heaven you dropped me back down to this cold, cold world   
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Contributor

 error

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Silver Conversationalist

From Peter Green (RIP) and Fleetwood Mac:

 

"Don't ask me what I think of you. I might not give the answer that you want me to."

 

https://youtu.be/Z-C6p-GwHfA

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Conversationalist

Jerry Butler "He Will Break Your Heart"

 

He uses all the great quotations
He says the things I wish I could say
Whoa, but he's had so many rehearsals
Girl, to him you're just another play
But wait
And when the final act is over
And you're left standing all alone
When he takes his bow and makes his exit
Oh, oh, I'll be there to take you home 
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Honored Social Butterfly

California (U2):

 

"I've seen for myself
There's no end to grief
That's how I know
That there is no
There is no end to love"
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Honored Social Butterfly

Who By Fire (Leonard Cohen):

 

"And who by fire, who by water
Who in the sunshine, who in the night time
Who by high ordeal, who by common trial
Who in your merry merry month of may
Who by very slow decay
And who shall I say is calling?"

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Honored Social Butterfly

Wind Of Change  -  Scorpions

 

The wind of change
Blows straight into the face of time
Like a storm wind that will ring the freedom bell
For peace of mind
Let your balalaika sing
What my guitar wants to say

 

 

"Music can change the world because it can change people." - Bono
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Social Butterfly

Are You Lonesome Tonight - Elvis Presley

 

"You read you lines so cleverly and never missed a cue, then came act two"

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Honored Social Butterfly

Don't Make Me Wait (Sting and Shaggy):

 

"I'm already sold on the idea of you and I
Just tell me where I need to sign"

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Honored Social Butterfly

Emotional Allegiance (Johnny Clegg):

 

"I don't want to be a tourist in your heart
I don't want to visit someone else's ruins
Don't want a day trip to the feelings in the dark"

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Silver Conversationalist

"It's too easy humming songs to a girl in a yellow dress."

"The four Kings of EMI are sitting stately on the floor"

 

Randy Scouse Git - written by Mickey Dolenz, performed by the Monkees.

 

About a party welcoming the Monkees that was hosted by the four Kings of EMI - The Beatles.

The girl in yellow dress? Mama Cass Elliot.

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Silver Conversationalist

"Good old General Hand Grenade
Ridin' in a motorcade
Sippin' on a lemonade
And waving at his fans

Isabella Band Aid
Wavin' at the Shrine parade
Eatin' toast and marmalade
And getting sticky hands

Good old General Hand Grenade
Ridin' in a motorcade
Lookin' for the cavalcade
To take him off to war

Isabella Band Aid
Suckin' on a Gatorade
Lookin' at the mess he made
And wonderin' what it's for

People gettin' high

People gettin' low

People gettin' nowhere

Cause they don't know where to go"

 

General Hand Grenade - Trooper  https://youtu.be/HwtKTpfNevU

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Silver Conversationalist

"Said my get up and go must've of got up and went."

 

Sweet Emotion - Aerosmith

 

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Silver Conversationalist

'Innocence and undying love will reign"

 

From "All Of The Above" - Transatlantic

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Regular Contributor

Oh Very Young by cat stevens
 
Oh very young, what will you leave us this time
You're only dancin' on this earth for a short while
And though your dreams may toss and turn you now
They will vanish away like your dads best jeans
Denim blue, faded up to the sky
And though you want them to last forever
You know they never will
...
And the patches make the goodbye harder still
 
Oh very young what will you leave us this time
There'll never be a better chance to change your mind
And if you want this world to see a better day
Will you carry the words of love with you
Will you, will you ride the great white bird into heaven
And though you want to last forever
You know you never will
...
And the goodbye makes the journey harder still
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Honored Social Butterfly

Gypsy (1982), Fleetwood Mac. From the

Mirage album, Stevie Nicks, songwriter. Has been my fav Mac song for forever 😎

 

So I’m back to the velvet underground

Back to the floor that I love

To a room with some lace and paper flowers

Back to the Gypsy that I was

To the Gypsy that I was

 

 

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Honored Social Butterfly

Black Water (1974), Doobie Brothers.

From the album “What were once vices

are now habits” Songwriter is Patrick

Simmons, who is on lead vocals. Hard

to believe this was the B side to Another

park, another Sunday!

 

Well, if it rains, I don’t care

Don’t make no difference to me

Just take that streetcar that’s goin’ uptown

Yeah, I’d like to hear some funky Dixieland

and dance a honky-tonk

And I’ll be buyin’ ev’rybody drinks all ‘roun’

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Honored Social Butterfly

Sting In The Tail  -  Scorpions

 

I'm driving out of town just follow my heart
I think I'm gonna be a rock 'n' roll star
The girls would go mad I'd give 'em all I can give
If I had a cheap guitar and one dirty riff

 

 

 

 

"Music can change the world because it can change people." - Bono
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Honored Social Butterfly

Tangled up in blue, 1975.  Dylan. This

song, like all of his songs, is so cleverly

worded it’s hard for me to pick a verse.

Kudos to Dylan for writing this

masterpiece. From Verse 2:

 

She was married when we first met

Soon to be divorced

I helped her out of a jam I guess

But I used a little too much force

We drove that car as far as we could

Abandoned it out west

Split up on a dark sad night

Both agreeing it was best

She turned around to look at me
As I was walkin’ away

I heard her say over her shoulder

We’ll meet again someday

On the avenue

Tangled up in blue

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Honored Social Butterfly

Volcano (U2):

 

"Your eyes were like landing lights
They used to be the clearest blue
Now you don't see so well
The future's gonna land on you"

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Contributor

Adelaide's Lament by Frank Loesser (from the musical, Guys and Dolls)

 

The average unmarried female
Basically insecure
Due to some long frustration may react
With psychosomatic symptoms
Difficult to endure
Affecting the upper respiratory tract.

In other words, just from waiting around for that plain little band of gold
A person can develop a cold.

You can spray her wherever you figure the streptococci lurk
You can give her a shot for whatever she's got, but it just won't work
If she's tired of getting the fish eye from the hotel clerk
A person can develop a cold.

The female remaining single
Just in the legal sense
Shows a neurotic tendency, see note: (looks at note)
Chronic organic syndromes
Toxic or hypertense
Involving the eye, the ear, the nose, and throat.

In other words, just from worrying whether the wedding is on or off
A person can develop a cough.

You can feed her all day with the vitamin A and the Bromofizz
But the medicine never gets anywhere near where the trouble is.
If she's getting a kind of name for herself, and the name ain't his
A person can develop a cough.
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Honored Social Butterfly

Apple Scruffs (1970)  George Harrison.
The 
Apple Scruffs were the devoted

admirers  and fans of the Beatles,

so legend says 🤷‍

 

Now I’ve watched you sitting there

Seen the passers-by all stare

Like you have no place to go 

But there’s so much they don’t know

About Apple Scruffs

 

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Honored Social Butterfly

The Miracle (of Joey Ramone)--U2:

 

"We got language so we can't communicate
Religion so I can love and hate
Music so I can exaggerate my pain, and give it a name"

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Honored Social Butterfly

Written by Rick Nelson, the entire song is a clever description of an evening at "The Garden", but the descriptions of John Lennon and George Harrison in verse two, ingenious! Another talent, gone too soon. RIP Rick.

 

Garden Party  -  Rick Nelson

 

Went to a garden party to reminisce with my old friends
A chance to share old memories and play our songs again
When I got to the garden party, they all knew my name
No one recognized me, I didn't look the same

 

People came from miles around, everyone was there
Yoko brought her walrus, there was magic in the air
And over in the corner, much to my surprise
Mr. Hughes hid in Dylan's shoes wearing his disguise

 

Played them all the old songs, thought that's why they came
No one heard the music, we didn't look the same
I said hello to "Mary Lou", "She Belongs to Me"
When I sang a song about a honky-tonk, it was time to leave

 

Someone opened up a closet door and out stepped Johnny B. Goode
Playing guitar like a-ringin' a bell and lookin' like he should
If you gotta play at garden parties, I wish you a lotta luck
But if memories were all I sang, I rather drive a truck
 
And it's all right now, learned my lesson well
You see, ya can't please everyone, so you got to please yourself
 
 
"Music can change the world because it can change people." - Bono
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Honored Social Butterfly

Late for the Sky (Jackson Browne):

 

"You never knew what I loved in you
I don't know what you loved in me
Maybe the picture of somebody you were hoping I might be"

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Honored Social Butterfly

Abracadabra  Steve Miller Band. This

song, about a guy hot for the girl of

his dreams has pretty simple and

predictable lyrics, except for Verse Six:

 

I feel the magic in your caress

I feel magic when I touch your dress

Silk and satin, leather and lace

Black panties with an Angels face 

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Honored Social Butterfly

Piano Man  Billy Joel (1973) This song,

based on his own experience as a

piano-lounge singer for six months just

to pay rent under an assumed name.

He has said he has no idea why the song

became so popular. I find the song extremely

cleverly worded and one of my favs of his.

From Verse Five:

 

Now John at the bar is a friend of mine

He gets me my drinks for free

And he’s quick with a joke or to 

light up your smoke

But there’s someplace that he’d rather be
He says “Bill, I believe this is killing me”

As the smile ran away from his face

”Well I’m sure that I could be a movie star

If I could get out of this place”

 

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