Who do you think comes close to Morrissey as a great lyricist?

yes, well i think that morrissey is similar to oscar in the way that his genius lies not so much in his writing (although he's a brilliant writer, dont get me wrong): his genius, like oscar's, lies in his personality, and the way he manages to channel it into his writing.

as for cohen lyrics, take this waltz, and famous blue raincoat are my favourites. <3

Yes, yes, yes. Absolutely. Well said. Which is probably why Morrissey is at his best when he delves into the absurd and focuses on his own experiences rather than trying to preach about world issues.
Mostly agreed. Cohen is just on a different level though.

Morrissey at his best is also very unique and must be top 5—but don't quote me on that because I haven't really thought to hammer out a solid list. But objectively, Morrissey at his best is one of the wittiest lyricists of all time. He manages to be rather Wildean but in an original way.

He may be a great lyricist - but i can't stand listening to cohen.. i prefer it when others cover his songs..
Paul Simon (lyrical masterpieces as "The Boy in the Bubble", "Rene and Georgette Magritte with Their Dog after the War", "The Afterlife" or the brand new "Wristband") and Jeffrey Lee Pierce from the Gun Club ("Sex Beat", "Jack on Fire", "Carry Home", "Brother and Sister", to name a few). Jane Siberry is great too, especially her "Mimi on the Beach".
I would not say Morrissey is the best, however I would certainly name him as my personal favourite.
I like many of the other singers/lyricists mentioned in this thread, though I'd like to add Robert Smith, someone who when on form is right up there with the best.

Example 1...

He waits for her to understand
But she won't understand at all
She waits all night for him to call
But he won't call anymore

He waits to hear her say, "Forgive"
But she just drops her pearl-black eyes
And prays to hear him say, "I love you"
But he tells no more lies

He waits for her to sympathise
But she won't sympathise at all
She waits all night to feel his kiss
But always wakes alone

He waits to hear her say, "Forget"
But she just hangs her head in pain
And prays to hear him say, "No more
I'll never leave again"

How did we get this far apart?
We used to be so close together
How did we get this far apart?
I thought this love would last forever

Example 2...

There is no one left in the world
That I can hold onto
There is really no one left at all
There is only you
And if you leave me now
You leave all that we were undone
There is really no one left
You are the only one

And still the hardest part for you
To put your trust in me
I love you more than I can say
Why won't you just believe?
for me the best cure lyrics are to be found in plainsong, letter to elise, where the birds always sing, swimming the same deep water as you, cut here, or prayers for rain. off of the top of my head...
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