Lyrical Fragments

Some songs contain fragments that give me a tingle every time I hear them.  Whether a great line in an otherwise forgettable song, or one of many lines in a timeless one, they stick to my brain like Velcro.  Here are 20 favorites (alphabetical by artist):

1. “Cuz I hate to tell you son, but that train don’t stop here anymore.” – The Band from “Mystery Train” (Off The Last Waltz ’78 w/Paul Butterfield).

2. “As I was motor-vatin’ over the hill, I saw Maybelline in a Coupe de Ville.” – Chuck Berry from “Maybelline” (1955).

3. “… but reality, it’s not for me, and it makes me laugh.” – Beach Boys from “Disney Girls” (1971).

4. “I walk around the block and I think, Maybe you’ll change.” – Karla Bonoff from “I Can’t Hold On” (1978).

5. “If you’ve never stared off into the distance, then your life is a shame.” – Counting Crows from “Mrs. Potter’s Lullaby” (1999).

6. “Even the bad guy gets a bullet in the end.” – Dire Straits from “Once Upon a Time in the West.” (1979).

7. “I ordered some Suzette…  I said, ‘Could you please make that Crepes?’” – Bob Dylan from “Bob Dylan’s 115th Dream” (1965).

8. “She came from Providence… the one in Rhode Island.” – The Eagles from “The Last Resort” (1976).

9. “I got the wishin’-I-was-downtown-waitin’-on-a-Greyhound, Continental Trailways Blues.” – Steve Earle from “Continental Trailways Blues” (1987).

10. “He’s an artist, a pioneer. We’ve got to have some music on the New Frontier.” – Donald Fagen from “New Frontier” (1982).  [He = Dave Brubeck]

11.  “We stopped over in Santa Fe; that bein’ a point just about halfway…” – Grateful Dead from “Me and My Uncle” (1969).

12. “When the bankers swarm like locust out there turning away our yield.” – Nanci Griffith from “Trouble in the Fields” (1987).

13. “… with them windshield wipers clappin’ time…” – Kris Kristofferson from “Me & Bobby McGee” ( 1970).

14.  “Milk truck pulls the sun up.”* – Randy Newman from “Living Without You” (1968).

15.  “At the beach in Indiana, I was 9 years ole; I heard Little Richard singin’ ‘Tutti Frutti’ from the top of a telephone pole.” – John Prine from “I Ain’t Hurtin’ Nobody” (1995).

16.  “If you’re walkin’ ‘round thinkin’ that the world owes you somethin’ cuz you’re here…You goin’ out the world backwards like you did when you first come here.” – Staples Singers from “Respect Yourself” (1970).

17. “…Cuz tonight I’m gonna take that ride, ‘cross the river to the Jersey side.” – Tom Waits from “Jersey Girl” (1980).

18.  “It’s a boy, Mrs. Walker… It’s a boy.” – The Who from “It’s a Boy” (1969).

19. “New York… just like I pictured it; Skyscrapers… and everything!” – Stevie Wonder from “Livin’ For the City” (1973).

20.  “Dad, get me out of this!” – Warren Zevon from “Send Lawyers, Guns, and Money” (1978).

Onward,  Malcolm Gauld

* All-Time Favorite