Notable Song Lyrics in the History of Music



AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS – NOVEMBER 25: Kurt Cobain, guitar- vocal, performs with Nirvana at the Paradiso on 25th November 1991 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. (Photo by Frans Schellekens/Redferns)

Sarah Pettit

Music has had a huge influence on this world since nearly the beginning of time. From waltzing in the 13th century to now blasting rap, pop, rock, or country music on your way to school or work. Times have certainly changed, but one thing is for sure, music has evoked so many emotions in us and has touched our hearts. Especially, when the lyrics of a song resonate with us and our experiences. 


“All Apologies” by Nirvana 


“I wish I was like you, easily amused, find my nest of salt, everything’s my fault”



During the time period of this song’s release, the iconic 90’s grunge appeal was beginning to flourish throughout the world. Nirvana’s music was highly regarded at this time, but this specific song of theirs is considered legendary by some of their very committed fans. This song went on to be nominated for 1993’s Grammy Awards, “Best Rock Song” and “Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal.”


“Harvest” Neil Young 


“Old Man, Look at My Life, I’m a Lot Like You Were”



The 70’s was one of the most significant decades for the growth and change of music. This song especially highlighted the roots of classic rock but in a more modern way during the time. “Harvest” even made its way up to the Billboard Hot 100, which was and still is very impressive. Neil Young wrote this song about the caretaker of a Northern California Broken Arrow Ranch, which Young had purchased.


“Make You Feel My Love” by Adele


“When the evening shadows and star appear, and there is no one there to dry your tears, oh I hold you for a million years to make you feel my love” 



Some might find this surprising but Adele didn’t write these lyrics, another music artists named Bob Dylan did, but most people have heard only Adele’s version due to her popularity as a music artist. Nonetheless, these lyrics are very beautiful and touching to many. This song received much positive feedback from listeners all around the world, and this song peaked at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 2008.


“Imagine” by John Lennon


“You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one”



“Imagine” was released in October of 1975 and back in the 70’s there was a common theme in popular songs mentioning the importance of peace. Lennon’s music at the time influenced this theme the most. The song requires creative thinking to all listeners, to imagine a world where there is no war, no harm, and problem-free. The song was so iconic, that Lennon decided to make it the title of his documentary: “Imagine: John Lennon.”


“Innocent” by Taylor Swift


“Minds change like the weather I hope you’ll remember, today is never too late to be brand new”



Taylor Swift’s music and songwriting style is not only modern, but highly regarded. Swift produces only songs with deep meaning and none of her music has been written by anyone other than herself. This makes her songwriting even more impressive. This song specifically was about her encounters with discriminating and arrogant individuals who were at the time against her, making the lyrics more personal and emotional to listeners.


“My Girl” by The Temptations


“I don’t need no money, fortune, or fame. I got all the riches baby, one man can claim”


This song has been an iconic symbol for 60’s music. The Temptations were huge during the 60’s and this specific song has stayed popular throughout the years. In this lyric, one of the members, Smokey Robinson is talking about his wife. According to National Recording Registry, the song is considered, “culturally, historically, and artistically significant.”





“Dreams” by Fleetwood Mac


“Thunder only happens when it’s raining, Players only love you when you’re playing, When the rain washes you clean, you’ll know”



“Dreams” was Fleetwood Mac’s #1 hit song. The album won a Grammy for it’s complex and curious sound. The song is meant to be about overcoming loneliness and dark moments from the past. According to American Songwriter, Stevie Nicks once mentioned that she was having “crystal visions” of her healing and overcoming past heartbreak, while writing this song.


A lot of people who enjoy and are invested in music might say song lyrics are the most crucial part to a song. Through the years and with legendary musicians paving the pathway for modern music, songwriting has gotten to be so much more meaningful and overall beautifully touching. The future generations to come will probably have a much deeper appreciation for music and lyrics, and hopefully give credits to past music artists. Of course people have their different opinions on what music is “good and bad,” so what is a song lyric that you believe should be listed above?