I'm going to make some lists about lyrics I love. I'll start with R.E.M. which was my first lyric love way back in middle school. You kids today don't know what it was like back then listening over and over with headphones and a pen and paper trying to work out the words so you can process them. R.E.M. was the first to put me through that.
  1. Find the River - http://youtu.be/l0RCmOF1ACU (This is arguably their most beautiful and esoteric song and the whole thing could go on this list, but here's the end.)
    The river to the ocean goes / a fortune for the undertow. / None of this is going my way. / There is nothing left to throw / of ginger, lemon, indigo, / coriander stem and rows of hay. / Strength and courage override / the privìleged and weary eyes / of river poet search naïveté. / Pick up here and chase the ride / the river empties to the tide. / All of this is coming your way.
  2. Blue - (Their best last line for sure, gave the album it's title. This whole song is an incredible testament to place and time.)
    I want Whitman proud / Patti Lee proud / My brothers proud / My sisters proud / I want me / I want it all / I want sensational / Irresistible / This is my time and I am thrilled to be alive / Living / Blessèd / I understand / Twentieth century collapse into now.
  3. It Happened Today - http://youtu.be/6mV1H8e2CgM (This line always cracks me up.)
    This is not a parable. / This is a terrible / this is a terrible thing. / Yes I will rhyme that after / after all I've done today. / I have earned my wings.
  4. Nightswimming - https://youtu.be/ahJ6Kh8klM4 (Their second most beautiful song, to me it is basically a deeply moving and far more nuanced version of Frozen's Let It Go.)
    I forgot my shirt at the water's edge / the moon is low tonight / Nightswimming deserves a quiet night / I'm not sure all these people understand / It's not like years ago / the fear of getting caught / of recklessness and water / they cannot see me naked / these things, they go away / replaced by everyday.
  5. She began to breathe / To breathe / At the thought of this freedom / Stood and whispered / To her child / Belong / She held the child and whispered / With calm / Calm / Belong
  6. Half a World Away (1) - http://youtu.be/AWiBIrPMEWk
    The lonely deep sit hollow (?) / Half a world / Half the world away / My shoes are gone / My life spent / I had too much to drink / I didn't think / I didn't think of you / I guess that's all I needed / To go it alone.
  7. Half a World Away (2) - (I'm a sucker for strange and beautiful imagery.)
    The storm it came up strong / It shook the trees / And blew away our fear.
  8. World Leader Pretend - https://youtu.be/YoQ4aR393Is (Old R.E.M. when they had less imagery and more precise lyrical complexity. This was the "new" R.E.M. when I discovered them as a middle schooler.)
    I've a rich understanding of my finest defenses / I proclaim that claims are left unstated / I demand a rematch / I decree a stalemate / I divine my deeper motives / I recognise the weapons / I've practised them well / I fitted them myself.
  9. Fall on Me - http://youtu.be/5ldjy_yRLio (Classic 80s political alternative.)
    There's the progress we have found / A way to talk around the problem / Building towered foresight Isn't anything at all / Buy the sky and sell the sky and bleed the sky and tell the sky / Don't fall on me / Fall on me.
  10. Leaving New York - https://youtu.be/OEwI3yKMxkI
    You might have laughed if I told you / You might have hidden the frown / You might have succeeded in changing me / I might have been turned around / It's easier to leave than to be left behind / Leaving was never my proud / Leaving New York never easy / I saw the light fading out.
  11. It's sweet and it's sad and it's true / how it doesn't look bitter on you. / Oh my heart / Oh my heart / Oh my heart.