Lyrics That Paint Pictures

This happens to me whenever I go to a concert: I’m left with a kind of lyrics hangover that has me wandering around the house for the next few days, humming lines from songs I heard at the show and pondering the clarity of thought that led the musical artist in question to write a particularly descriptive and haunting passage…

When my brother and I want to celebrate a special occasion, we’ll go to a concert together. And, a couple of weeks ago, in honor of his birthday, we had the pleasure of seeing Matchbox Twenty and the Goo Goo Dolls on tour together. It was an open-air venue in the northern Chicago suburbs, and we were fortunate to have a beautiful and temperate night. But the best part was getting to experience it together, letting the music infuse its passion within us, and spending the whole car ride home talking about the lyrics we found most meaningful.

The lead singers of both bands are among my favorite modern songwriters, but this song snippet, written by Rob Thomas of MB20, is a lyric that paints such a vivid picture in my mind that I’ve never been able to shake it: “All day, staring at the ceiling making friends with shadows on my wall…” (“Unwell”) And Jackson Browne has another that I love: “Between the darkness on the street and the houses fillin’ up with light, between the stillness in my heart and the roar of the approaching night…” (“Tender is the Night”).

I can think of plenty of evocative lines from songs written by Johnny Rzeznik, Elton John, Billy Joel and, in my opinion, one of the kings of imagery, Don Henley, whose lyrics to “The End of the Innocence” will always stick with me. Have you heard it? Below is a live version:

What is a song or two that has lyrics that paint pictures in your mind? I’d love to know! And best wishes to all of you for a wonderful weekend 🙂 .

About Marilyn Brant

Marilyn Brant is a chocolate addict, a music junkie and the USA TODAY bestselling author of ACCORDING TO JANE (2009), FRIDAY MORNINGS AT NINE (2010) and A SUMMER IN EUROPE (2011), all from Kensington Books, as well as a number of light romantic comedies, including THE SWEET TEMPTATIONS COLLECTION (2013) and PRIDE, PREJUDICE AND THE PERFECT MATCH (2013). Her latest novel -- a coming-of-age romantic mystery called THE ROAD TO YOU -- was just released in October 2013!
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6 Responses to Lyrics That Paint Pictures

  1. Edie Ramer says:

    I can think of many. “Walking on Broken Glass” by Annie Lennox. Just the title gives an image. “Come to My Window” by Melissa Etheridge. “I Need You” by Time McGraw and Faith Hill. Those are just a few that give me shivers.

    This is from Walking on Broken Glass:

    The sun’s still shining in the big blue sky
    But it don’t mean nothing to me
    Oh let the rain come down
    Let the wind blow through me
    I’m living in an empty room
    With all the windows smashed
    And I’ve got so little left to lose
    That it feels just like I’m walking on broken glass

    The concert sounds wonderful. I hope you have a great weekend, too!

  2. Edie,
    Thank you so much for sharing this!
    I’ve heard many songs by Annie Lennox (and was a fan of hers when she was part of the Eurythmics 😉 ), but I wasn’t familiar with the one you quoted. You’re right — it’s a haunting lyric — and I’m going to YouTube now so I can listen to it with the music!
    Marilyn Brant`s last blog was …Happy July!

  3. Dale Mayer says:

    Hi Marilyn,

    Oddly enough I rarely hear lyrics! I love music but more for the beats than the words. For example I love the Pink Panther and Baby Elephant walk for the tunes.

    My kids have music on all the time – I just want to tell them to turn that racket off! lol.
    Dale Mayer`s last blog was …Contests & Giveaways!

  4. LOL, Dale!
    One of my good friends and writing CPs feels similarly to you. A bunch of us are always quoting lyrics, but she just rolls her eyes at us ;).
    My son rarely ever listened to the radio until this past year, now he has it on ALL the time…and even I’m getting a little tired of it!

  5. Marilyn, I love lyrics, and seem to be the only person I know who actually listens to them carefully, LOL!

    It doesn’t surprise me that Edie mentioned a song I ADORE by Annie Lennox. I love so many of her songs. I love the lyrics of the British / US group Beautiful South, as well. Very clever, fun and quite sharp and sardonic at the same time.

    From Good As Gold by them:

    I want my sun-drenched, wind-swept Ingrid Bergman kiss
    Not in the next life
    I want it in this. I want it in this . . .

    I also love Don Henley’s The End of the Innocence.

  6. Michelle,
    I am now going to have to make another trip to YouTube!
    I really enjoyed the Annie Lennox song when I listened to it yesterday, and I can already tell from the lyrics that I’ll want to hear all of “Good As Gold”…so, thank you!! I love wonderful new musical suggestions ;).
    Happy weekend, all!!
    Marilyn Brant`s last blog was …Prairie Dogs, Mountain Majesties & Route 66…oh, my!

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