Who is the most intelligent song lyricist who ever lived?

Discussion in 'Other Music archive (read-only)' started by mcrickson, Aug 22, 2009.

  1. klivert70

    klivert70 Unloveable

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    Sir William of Bragg and of course El Moz.:thumb:
     
  2. mcrickson

    mcrickson Reckless Endangerment

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    Hannon is definitely amazing -- his voice alone does wonders for me.

    Should I be surprised that no one else is saying Devoto? :blushing: :o
     
  3. Qvist

    Qvist Active Member

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    Measuring lyric writers by intelligence doesn't quite compute for me somehow. But the one I would most immediately connect with the adjective "intelligent" is Paddy McAloon of Prefab Sprout, whose lyrics are perhaps more clever than any other thing. Remarkably, that doesn't stop them from being endearing.

    cheers
     
  4. Qvist

    Qvist Active Member

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    OK, I'm going to pick a quarrel on that point. :) You can say many things about Billy Bragg's lyrics, but that they are intelligent is not one of them, in my frank opinion.

    Take "Between the Wars", a song I love very, very much. As for the lyrics, you can laud its committment, dedication, poetical qualities and other things besides, But taken as a statement about what it purports to be about, I would say it is deficient to the point of downright stupidity. As far as I can tell, he's angry at the government for re-arming against Hitler, as if it was still 1932 and it was all about avoiding a re-run of the first world war. He's paying wistful homage to the anti-war sentiment of the 20s and early 30s, as if that didn't turn out to be disastrously misguided. It was understandable at the time after the carnage of the trenches of the great war, but by the 1980s you'd think he'd noticed Auschwitz and put 1+1 together. I know, obviously he had, but then why write a song that argues that arming to confront that evil was inherently contrary to working class interests and idealism? Does he think Hitler would have let him keep his green fields and factory floors in peace? Then again, maybe as a historian I am hearing it differently from other people.

    Great song though, as long as you don't think too much about the lyric. :)

    cheers
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2009
  5. Klairie

    Klairie New Member

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    With you on that one and so excited about seeing him the week after next!
     
  6. mcrickson

    mcrickson Reckless Endangerment

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    :eek:
    You are so lucky!
    (Magic, Murder, and the Weather reference there ;))

    But honestly, I really wish I could see the man. I doubt this new Magazine outfit will do a U.S. tour though, so chances are extraordinarily slim of that ever happening :(
     
  7. j0wled

    j0wled New Member

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    Techno Techno Techno TECHNO. Inspired? You might well think so...



    Brian May is obviously one of the most intelligent songwriters, what with his master's degree and all, but the lyrics to Fat Bottomed Girls... well. I don't know that his qualifications in astrophysics really helped him there.
     
  8. andyd2809

    andyd2809 New Member

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    My vote is for Michael Stipe. Literate, original lyrics that almost pass into the sub-conscious at their best.
     
  9. Leigh94

    Leigh94 Guest

    Lady GaGa :thumb:
     
  10. Harsh Truth

    Harsh Truth Ever Felt Had?

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    lets not forget to add Nick Lowe to this list!
     
  11. Happy Maudlin

    Happy Maudlin Corinthian and Caricature

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    Neil Tennant
     
  12. Nats1977

    Nats1977 New Member

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    I don't need to answer now - my thoughts exactly:)

    I'll add Luke Haines to the list however...
     
  13. fuckfrankie

    fuckfrankie New Member

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    Morrissey of course

    also Nick Cave, Stuart Staples, Lee Hazelwood at times... and um...GG Allin. it had to be hard to come up with so many songs about rape!
     
  14. MissGladys

    MissGladys (used to be) a sweet girl

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    I'm surprised no one mentioned him before! he is absolutely amazing.
     
  15. hot tea

    hot tea New Member

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    patti smith is in the top ten.
     
  16. oye terence

    oye terence ampersand after ampersand

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    Stephin Merritt, without a doubt.
     
  17. kyleleonard

    kyleleonard Jeff Buckley Is God

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    Jeff Buckley = GOD.

    end of.
     
  18. down_in_albion

    down_in_albion Clandestine global evil

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    Seconded.
     
  19. swansong

    swansong New Member

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    Conor Oberst, Leonard Cohen, Nick Cave, Morrissey.
     
  20. Happy Maudlin

    Happy Maudlin Corinthian and Caricature

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    Paul Heaton of the Beautiful south fame. The lyrics was cynic-pop gold.
    Ani DiFranco has original fresh lyrics. She somehow expresses things that are aptly fitting for the emotions she is singing about.
    Even Liz Phair for encapsulating indie lo-fi aesthetic with female perspective (i.e. before adult contempo pop makeover in 2000)
    Lloyd Cole is pretentious yet he's aware of it and I love his references.
    There are are brilliant composers as well, therefore a composer thread should be up for candidacy. My vote is for Vince Clark, Kevin Sheilds of My Bloody Valentine and Dean Garcia, particularly for the bass arrangements.
     
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