Tuesday, January 23, 2007


Top 10 Songwriters - Again

Note: I originally posted this on January 10th, but then I had three days off an posted a just plain silly number of times over the next couple of days and it sort of got burried. And people wanted to add to it. So I'm reposting it here with the additions. People are still adding to this, so I'll artificially keep this at the top of blog for the next week and make changes accordingly.

And don't forget to vote (Chicago Democratic election rules apply).

Not quite the turnout as last time, but still it's a worthwhile exercise. On the heels of Novermber's Top 10 Guitarists, now we have Top 10 Songwriters.

As a poor songwriter myself, it's an interesting list to look at, I gave my own list quite a bit of though, and seeing Jack's list brings forgotten (by me, anyway) songwriters back to my conciousness.

BOJ's List

I tried to pick songwriters who have touched me in a personal way. Even at that, I had to leave off a number who have meant a lot to me like Ed Robertson & Steve Page of Barenaked Ladies, Mojo Nixon and John Coltrane (writing out lyrics for him here would have been a hoot!). For me, a great songwriter makes me chuckle, think and take a different look at myself. These 10 definitely all do that.

10) Shawn Michael Bitz - Abby SomeOne - As much as I tried, I couldn't leave off the best songwriter I personally know. SMB always provides lyrics that crystalize my thoughts better than I ever could. And I left Paul Simon off of my list for this guy.

She ain't shy
But she's careful what she take
She's got her foot on the gas
But she's tappin' on the brake


9) "Icepick" James Harman - I was so into his music, then I moved to SoCal where James spends his winters. I could see him every Wendesday in February at Blue Cafe in the LBC. The guy can write a song about anything! An example that he grabbed off of a locksmith's van while stuck in traffic:

I got a double chambered dead-bolt
And a flame-tempered shank
That's a killer combination, child
Take that to the bank
Oh, I'm your lock doctor, baby
And I hold the master key

"Lock Doctor"

8) Ben Folds - Ben Folds Five - Solo - A poetic, yet conversational style. Ben's songs are like talking to friends for me. And he has this sort of unnatural attraction to the music of William Shatner.....

'Cause my peers they criticize me
And my ex-wives all despise me
Try to put it all behind me
But my redneck past is nipping at my heels


7) Randy Newman - His mean-spirited but thoughtful lyrics have always struck a chord with me. If you've only heard his few songs that got radio airplay, you're really missing out.

Asia's too crowded, Europe's too old
Africa's too hot and Canada's too cold
And South America stole our name
Let's drop the big one
There'll be no one left to blame us

"Political Science"

6) John Lee Hooker - Songwriting at its best is poetry. And like they taught us in high school English, great poetry doesn't have to rhyme. That doesn't always work in music, but Hook made it work, even avoiding the obvious rhyme at times.

Every time I see you
Walkin' down the street
I gets a thrill, baby
From my head down to my toes

"I'm in the Mood"

5) Willie Nelson - If Willie had written nothing but Crazy, America's greatest pop song, he'd make my list. Nashville didn't have a clue what to do with him, so he went off and reinvented country music through "outlaw country."

I'm crazy for cryin'
Crazy for tryin'
And crazy for lovin' you


4) Bruce Springsteen - & the E Street Band - We've seen Springsteen grow up from a kid writing about cars and failed (or failing) relationships to a socially conscious songwriter on par with Bob Dylan.

There were ghosts in the eyes
Of all the boys you sent away
They haunt this dusty beach road
In the skeleton frames
Of burned-out Chevrolets

"Thunder Road"

3) John Lennon & Paul McCartney - The Beatles - Can you make this list without mentioning them? Prolific, has any duo ever written more memorable songs? Their stuff even worked auf Deutsch.

Sie liebt dich - yeah yeah yeah
Sie liebt dich - yeah yeah yeah
Denn mit dir allein' kann sie nur glücklich sein!
Denn mit dir allein...
Mit dir allein..

"Sie Liebt Dich" ("She Loves You")

2) Bob Dylan - Again, how do you leave someone like Dylan off of this list? As good an American Songwriter as there will ever be, politically, socially, in every way possible. And definitely not above the relationship song. Sue Foley loves his tunes, she covered the following, and it gives me a very special feeling to hear her sing it.

But if you got to go
It's all right
But if you got to go, go now
Or else you gotta stay all night

"If You Gotta Go, Go Now"

1) Willie Dixon - Chess Blues 1950's to 1970's - Responsible for so many fine blues tunes from the likes of Muddy Waters, Sonny Boy Williamson, Little Walter, Howlin' Wolf, etc. His songs were always simple but perfectly constructed.

I am your backdoor man
Well the men don't know
But the little girls understand

"Backdoor Man"

Jack's List

Jack is a fine guitarist and music lover. We work the same shift, and during some of the quiet time over the holidays, Jack and I had some nice musical moments, he on guitar, me on harp, just jamming, making stuff up on the fly. Something I hadn't done in a long time. Something I miss. Easily my favorite moments at work.

I don't know which was harder, choosing my favorite top ten guitarists or this recently completed list of song writers. In any case, here are my picks, accompanied by excerpts from their compositions, along with my comments.

1) Lennon/McCartney--What actually needs to be said? These guys wrote so many beautiful melodies and lyrics, and in my mind, have stood the test of time. Today's youth is discovering the magic of their compositions, which were written well over 30 years ago.

Words are flowing out like endless rain into a paper cup
They slither wildly as they slip away across the universe
Pools of sorrow, waves of joy are drifting through my opened mind
Possessing and caressing me.....

"Across The Universe"

2) George Harrison--This guy was writing in the shadows of two giants while a member of the Beatles, so it was understandable why his contributions were at the time, maybe not fully appreciated. I've always enjoyed his solo work, but it wasn't until after his death, and after viewing on DVD "Concert for George", which was a gathering of his musical friends playing his music in tribute to him, I realized how many great songs he too wrote. Here are some of them: “Isn’t It a Pity”, “Old Brown Shoe”, “Beware of Darkness”, “Here Comes the Sun”, “Something”, “When We Was Fab”, “Love Comes To Everyone”, “Give Me Love”, “All Those Years Ago”, “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”, “All Things Must Pass”……..

Sunset doesn’t last all evening
A mind can blow those clouds away
After all this, my love is up and must be leaving
Its not always going to be this grey
All things must pass
All things must pass away
All things must pass
None of life’s strings can last
So, I must be on my way
And face another day

“All Things Must Pass”

3) James Taylor--I like heavy sounds emanating from electric guitars, but I like even more the sweet sound of an acoustic guitar. When it's a song played by James Taylor--it's icing on the cake. Sweet Baby James, Fire and Rain, You've Got a Friend(Carole KIng), Copperline, Wandering, Mexico........

But baby, don't you throw your love away
I hate to seem unkind
It's only that I understand the man
That the monkey can leave behind
I used to think he was a friend of mine

"A Junkie's Lament"

4) Billy Joel--the piano man. Yea, but that wasn't even in my top ten favorites of his. "New York State of Mind" gets my nod as being his best. A cross between jazz, blues and rock, it has some great killer chord progressions, and the words ain't bad either:

It was so easy living day by day
Out of touch with the rhythm and blues
But now I need a little give and take
The New York Times, The Daily News
It comes down to reality
And it's fine with me 'cause I've let it slide.....

"New York State of Mind"

5) Paul Simon-All I have to do to state my case for this man is list five songs of his, with partial lyrics to the last: "Bridge Over Troubled Waters", "Homeward Bound",
"The Sounds of Silence", "Still Crazy After All These Years", and "The Boxer".

Asking only workman's wages I come lookin' for a job,
But I get no offers, just a come-on from the whores on Seventh Avenue
I do declare there were times when I was so lonesome, I took some comfort there…

"The Boxer"

6) Randy Newman--Now a comfortably numb Hollywood score writer for the big screen, he has done very well for himself--deservedly so. But he has been writing great songs forever. Like "Guilty", "I Think It's Going To Rain Today", "It's Money That Matters", "Political Science", and my favorite--"Louisiana 1927".

The river rose all day
The river rose all night
Some people got lost in the flood
Some people got away alright.....
Louisiana, Louisiana
They're tyrin' to wash us away
They're tryin' to wash us away

"Louisiana 1927"

7) Jackson Browne--One of my favorite musician/songwriters from the '70's. I've always thought his early work was his best, especially his second album "For Everyman".

Seems like I've always been looking for some other place
To get it together
Where with a few of my friends I could give up the race
And maybe find something better
But all my fine dreams and
Well thought out schemes to gain the motherland
Have all eventually come down to waiting for Everyman
Waiting here for Everyman…

"For Everyman"

8) Fagen/Becker (Steely Dan) These off-the-wall guys with their off-the-wall lyrics and their smooth jazz/rock sounds captured my attention from the first time I heard them. It's funny how I didn't think of Steely Dan as smooth jazz/rock back then. I guess they weren't. But probably now. Love Larry Carlton's guitar playing. I've got pretty much all their recordings. Numerous great songs: "Aja", "Kid Charlemagne", "Hey Nineteen", "Reelin' In the Years", "Royal Scam", "Third World Man", "Gaucho", "Any Major Dude Will Tell You".............

Are you with me, Doctor Wu?
Are you really just the shadow of the man that I once knew?
She is lovely, yes, she's sly, and you're an ordinary guy.
Has she fin'lly got to you?
Can you hear me, Doctor?
Are you with me, Doctor?

"Doctor Wu"

9) Gilmore/Waters (Pink Floyd)--Best album of the 70's? "Dark Side of the Moon". And an even better album from Pink Floyd some 20 years later--"Division Bell". The following music not too shabby either.

There is no pain, you are receding.
A distant ship's smoke on the horizon.
You are only coming through in waves.
Your lips move but I can't hear what you're sayin'.
When I was a child I caught a fleeting glimpse,
Out of the corner of my eye.
I turned to look but it was gone.
I cannot put my finger on it now.
The child is grown, the dream is gone.
I have become comfortably numb.

"Comfortably Numb"

10) Jagger/Richards (Rolling Stones)--Gotta give these bad boys alot of credit for longevity. These rockers have been crankin' out songs for 75 years now--and are still going strong in their mid-90's. I think they were around when Christ was on Earth. Maybe they should write a song about that......"Sympathy for the Devil", "Jumpin' Jack Flash", "Ruby Tuesday", "Wild Horses", "Brown Sugar", "Gimme Shelter", "Honky Tonk Woman", and my favorite, especially the sax instrumental break, is "Waiting On A Friend".

Don't need a whore
I don't need no booze
Don't need a virgin priest
But I need someone I can cry to
I need someone to protect
Making love and breaking hearts
It is a game for youth
But I'm not waiting on a lady
I'm just waiting on a friend

“Waiting On A Friend”

Honorable Mention: Frey/Henley(Eagles), Jimmy Webb, Gordon Lightfoot, John Prine, Sting, Sir Elton John

Jason's List

Another guy from work. Jason sent his list a long time ago, promising to finish it by adding lyrics and the like. Well, I'm posting now, so this is what goes up. With all the complaints about a lack of female songwriters on this list, it should be noted that Jason's list was created before any of those comments. Pretty cool, even if one of the women is Shania Twain and he uses her to make a dig at fellow Canadian, Sue Foley.....

John Lennon/Paul McCartney - Two brains are better than one and better than all

Stevie Wonder - Anyone who can write song lyrics in brail has got skills.

Dave Matthews - This man and his band continue to be the voice of my generation and even Jack’s generation, 13 years after putting out their first CD “Remember Two Things.”

Kenneth “BabyFace” Edmonds - The songwriter who had the most #1’s on the Billboards Top 40 during the ‘90s including the song “Change the World” which was performed by Eric Clapton. Other artist “BabyFace” has written songs for include: Boyz II Men, Madonna, Celine Dion, Michael Jackson, Mariah Carey

Johnny Cash

Toby Keith
- His song “Should’ve Been a Cowboy” was played on the radio more than any other song in the ‘90s. Plus, anyone who loses his record label and pays for the rights for all of his songs that he wrote and then signs with an unknown record label and has his first single called “How Do You Like Me Know” has got to have an iron pair of ….. to make it on this list.

Shania Twain - The most beautiful Canadian songwriter, sorry Sue Foley but you have nothing on Shania, making it BIG in Nashville. Enough said, eh!

Smokey Robinson - The only man in musical history to simultaneously be in the Songwriters Hall of Fame & the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame.

Joni Mitchell

John Cougar Mellencamp or John Cougar or John Mellencamp
- “This is ourrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr Country!”

Slick's List

Taken from comments to the January 10th post. Check out Slick's Blog, Broken Machines for more of his thoughts on music and other stuff.

Tom Waits
Leonard Cohen
Elvis Costello
Jeff Tweedy
Van Morrison
David Byrne
Elliot Smith
Warren Zevon
Donald Fagen
Vic Chestnut
Tom Waits

That One Gal's List

That One Gal showed up unexpectedly on my blog while I was living in the RC. She caught some of my rantings on the Acrossroads site and rembered me from my Patient 957 days. After a series of cryptic blog comments, I actually figured out who she was and she seemed impressed with me for that.

After a complaint that there were no female songwriters on the January 10th post, I asked her to submit a list.

Important Note: T1G and I have been involved in a fake relationship for some time now. I know I've been a bit of a hard ass about limiting people to just 10 entries, but T1G
is my fake girlfriend, so she gets special treatment.

I ended up with two lists. As I was trying to narrow down the choices, it became clear to me that songwriters clearly fall into two categories, at least for me they do. Songwriters who are known for performing their own material and songwriters who often labor away behind the scenes producing remarkable songs that other performers popularize. So list #1 is the former, list #2 the latter. While some of the talent on list #2 are terrific performers in their own right who tour regularly they, in my opinion, remain best known for writing great songs that others perform. I started an honorable mention list but it just kept getting longer and I couldn’t bear to edit any of them out so I decided not to include hm’s. For better or worse, for your perusal, these are my favorite songwriters, in no particular order.

List #1

1) Shawn Michael Bitz – As the single constant in the band Abby SomeOne, SMB is a terrific singer, an even better songwriter, and is someone I regard as a friend. Why isn’t this stuff getting national air play!! He writes from a very personal pov about love (Diamond, Twin City Lady), the music industry (Record Machine, Music Man), relationship negotiations (Mrs Maybe, Nasty Weather), and hope & healing (Mother, Getting Over You, Mustard Seed). The following is from Love You Right which appears on the cd, Fist.

I don’t want to be the one who leaves you feeling down
scares away your dreams to places where they can’t be found
listen to me baby I don’t want to be around
if I can’t love you right
got to believe in myself
got these scars that just don’t want to heal
I’ve been drinking from your wishing well
dreaming secrets I could never tell

2) Bonnie Raitt – I love Bonnie, I worship Bonnie, you almost forget what a great guitarist she is because she sings so remarkably. Stop me before I gush. I wouldn’t call her a prolific songwriter, she just as often records and performs songs written by others, but she’s as good as it gets. She’s at her bluesy best with sly takes on love like The Road’s My Middle Name and Spit of Love, part of which follows.

there’s a howlin at my window, baby
I hear him closin in
that green-eyed jackal’s got the scent
knows I’ll let him in
he slinks in by me at the fire
more bitter than the cold
and it’s a rage as old as Hades
that’ll sputter on these coals
I’m callin on the Furies, to let the toast begin
I’m roasting on that spit of love again

3) Donald Fagen/Walter Becker — Of course, of Steely Dan fame. Lush, gorgeous melodies that can now be heard in elevators. But listen a little closer to the words and you’ll discover what’s being depicted is often the dark, unpretty, seamy underside of life. I like the ironic interplay between the beautiful, complex music and the sometimes twisted lyrics. From their earlier stuff such as My Old School and Riki Don’t Lose That Number, Deacon Blues and FM , I find myself unable to pick a favorite. So I’ll go with more recent fare, the clever and more than a little sick, Cousin Dupree, a lovely song about keeping things in the family.

One night we're playin' gin by a cracklin' fire
And I decided to make my play
I said babe with my boyish charm and good looks
How can you stand it for one more day
She said maybe its the skeevy look in your eyes
Or that your mind has turned to applesauce
The dreary architecture of your soul
I said - but what is it exactly turns you off?

4) Hank Harris – At the tender age of nineteen I got in through the back door of the Lantern Lounge in Brookings, SD and first heard the legendary Red Willow Band. These were the days before drinking and driving was an issue and if you were cute and female you could smile at the bouncer and get in underage. This was when I fell in love with a voice that has only gotten better over the years. Hank writes songs with a social conscience (Fantasy Land, Genuine Artificial), bluesy hopelessness (Battle the Bottle, Nothing at All), sideways takes on failed love (Lies of Love, Beautiful Lie), and sings beautifully. He has an absolutely buttery voice that only improves with age. He can sing anything, from western swing to new age, and pull it off successfully. I really love his unconventional love song, New Religion, from his cd, Here.

she’s my new religion, she’s my new regime
she’s my new religion, she’s my new disease
she can make me pray
she can bring me to my knees
the angel band will play
come take me down to the river
take me to the river
she’s my new division, she’s my new reply
she’s my MSG, my formaldehyde

5) Lyle Lovett – He’s just so damn clever, so smart, and does it all so effortlessly. Well, I don’t know that it’s effortless for him, maybe it just looks that way. Often tongue-in-cheek, always dead-on, nails it, says it like we all would like to be able to. This is from his song, If I Had a Boat.

if I had a boat, I’d go out on the ocean
and if I had a pony, I’d ride him on my boat
and we could all together
go out on the ocean
me upon my pony on my boat

6) Sarah McLachlan – From an angry growl to a breathy soprano McLachlan tears her way through a song. She’s ferocious, she’s gentle, she’s angry, she’s apologetic, sometimes sweet, other times gritty. I just love her. In Building a Mystery, she is alternately mystified by and angry with some man, a theme she uses more than once, a theme that is universal among women in trying to understand you guys.

you woke up screaming aloud a prayer from your secret god
you feed off our fears and hold back your tears
give us a tantrum and a know it all grin
just when we need one when the evening’s getting thin
you’re a beautiful, a beautiful fucked up man
you’re setting up your razor wire shrine

7) John Lennon/Paul McCartney – What Jack said.

8) Paul Simon – From his work with Art Garfunkel to his solo career, he is so very good! He’s been through it all, writes beautiful melodies and unconventional lyrics. It takes a confident guy to appear on SNL in a turkey costume and sing Still Crazy After all These Years. I love Mrs. Robinson, The Boxer, Homeward Bound, Fifty Ways to Leave Your Lover…I could go on and on. Some of his most interesting songs are on Graceland, as is this one, called Under African Skies.

Joseph’s face was black as night
The pale yellow moon shone in his eyes
His path was marked
By the stars in the southern hemisphere
And he walked his days under African skies
This is the story of how we begin to remember
This is the powerful pulsing of love in the vein
After the dream of falling and calling your name out
These are the roots of rhythm
And the roots of rhythm remain

9) Elvis Costello – Red Shoes. Indoor Fireworks. Alison. Everyday I Write the Book. I finally saw him in concert in April 2004. I really wish Emmylou Harris had been there to sing this duet with him, alas I have only heard them together on my stereo. Here are the words to that song, The Scarlet Tide.

Well I recall his parting words
Must I accept his fate?
Or take myself far from this place
I thought I heard a black bell toll
A little bird did sing
“Man has no choice
when he wants everything”
We’ll rise above the scarlet tide
That trickles down through the mountain
And separates the widow from the bride
Man goes beyond his own decision
Gets caught up in the mechanism
Of swindlers who act like kings
And brokers who break everything
The dark of the night was swiftly fading
Close to the dawn of day
Why would want him just to lose him again

10) Sting – You know, Gordon what’s his name, The Police. That guy. He’s good. Am I sounding like a broken record yet? I think I’ve run out of adjectives. Let’s use some of Sting’s words instead. This is from They Dance Alone, which appears on Nothing Like the Sun.

Why are these women here dancing on their own?
Why is there this sadness in their eyes?
Why are the soldiers here
Their faces fixed like stone?
I can’t see what it is they despise
They’re dancing with the missing
They’re dancing with the dead
They dance with the invisible ones
Their anguish is unsaid

In liner notes on the cd Sting explains this solo dance. “The “Cueca” is a traditional Chilean courting dance. The “Cueca Solo” or the dance alone is performed publicly by the wives, daughters, and mothers of the “disappeared”. Often, they dance with photographs of their loved ones pinned to their clothes. It is a symbolic gesture of protest and grief in a country where democracy doesn’t so much need to be defended as exercised.”

List #2

1) Cindy Walker – Last year Willie Nelson devoted an entire cd to the songs of Cindy Walker. Need I say more? One of my all time favorite songs is one she wrote with Eddy Arnold back in 1955, You Don’t Know Me.

you give your hand to me and then you say hello
and I can hardly speak, my heart is beating so
and anyone could tell you think you know me well
but you don’t know me…
no, you don’t know the one who dreams of you at night
and longs to kiss your lips and longs to hold you tight
to you I’m just a friend that’s all I’ve ever been
but you don’t know me

2) Rodgers & Hart – Three words. My Funny Valentine. This is as perfect as songwriting ever gets. Deceptively simple yet difficult to sing well. I happen to like Elvis Costello’s take on this song. The full lyric follows.

my funny Valentine
sweet comic Valentine
you make me smile with my heart
your looks are laughable
but you’re my favorite work of art
is your figure less than Greek
is your mouth a little weak
when you open it to speak
are you smart
don’t change a hair for me
not if you care for me
stay, little Valentine, stay
each day is Valentine’s day

3) Jimmy Webb – He regularly tours and has a solid fan base of a wide range of ages. People who loved his songs in the 60’s now bring their grandchildren to hear him perform. Jimmy Webb has written pop and country hits for a wide range of singers, from Glen Campbell to The Fifth Dimension. This line from Wichita Lineman absolutely gives me chills every time I hear it.

I need you more than want you
and I want you for all time

4) John Hiatt – I saw John Hiatt at JazzFest 2004 in Sioux Falls. What a nice guy! He strolled around the festival listening to other entertainers with his wife, comfortably mixing with us commoners while eating cotton candy. It was great fun to hear him sing Thing Called Love having only heard it sung by Bonnie Raitt.

and you ain’t some icon carved out of soap
sent down here to clean up my reputation
and baby I ain’t your Prince Charming
now we can live in fear or act out of hope
for some kind of peaceful situation
baby, don’t know why the cry of love is so alarming

5) Karla Bonoff – When Linda Ronstadt does a Karla Bonoff song, there is a certain tone to her voice, an attitude that has got to come straight from Bonoff’s writing. The material demands to be presented in a certain way and that is a testament to the songwriter. On her cd Cry like a Rainstorm, Howl Like the Wind, Ronstadt teams up with Aaron Neville on Bonoff’s All My Life. I don’t know if the song was written as a duet but it plays wonderfully as one. The following lines are from Trouble Again.

well, I wake up in the night, now
and don’t you know I think of you?
it’s the fire in your eyes,
it keeps on cutting through
there’s nowhere I can run to
can’t seem to lose the thought of you
I never really was a bad girl
but you got me in trouble again

6) Burt Bacharach/Hal David – Any Day Now, What the World Needs Now is Love, Walk on By, Alfie, The Look of Love, Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head, the list goes on and on and on. Grammies and Oscars and Tonys. Anyone who is anyone in pop music who had a top 40 hit from the early sixties to the present has done a song written by Burt Bacharach. Scoff if you will, but the melodies are infectious and hummable and stick in your head. My personal favorites are Baby It’s You and I’ll Never Fall in Love Again. The late Karen Carpenter is the voice behind Close to You.

why do stars fall down from the sky
every time you walk by
just like me they long to be close to you
why do birds suddenly appear
every time you are near
just like me they long to be close to you
on the day that you were born
the angels got together
and decided to create a dream come true
so they sprinkled moondust in in your hair of gold
and starlight in your eyes of blue

7) Kris Kristofferson – A remarkable songwriter whose personal bouts with alcoholism and drug use have made him a less than reliable performer…but probably provided him with endless fodder to draw from. Sunday Morning Coming Down, with all its gritty detail, is unapologetic about his life’s condition. My favorite song of his is an old country ballad, For The Good Times.

Lay your head upon my pillow.
Hold your warm and tender body close to mine.
Hear the whisper of the raindrops,
Blowin' soft against the window,
And make believe you love me one more time,
For the good times.

8) Beth Neilsen-Chapman – I became familiar with this songwriter when I couldn’t get a song out of my head. A song that played over a funeral scene on the program Charmed. After I bought her cd Sand and Water, I realized how many of her songs I had heard, but didn’t know who had written them. She is nothing short of amazing. That song that was stuck in my head follows in part.

all alone I didn’t like the feeling
all alone I sat and cried
all alone I had to find some meaning
in the center of the pain I felt inside
all alone I came into this world
all alone I will someday die
solid stone is just sand and water, baby
sand and water, and a million years gone by

9) Leonard Cohen – This guy draws inspiration, from among other things, a dead, gay Greek poet by the name of Constantine Cavafy. A really great collection of Cohen’s songs can be found on Jennifer Warnes’ cd, Famous Blue Raincoat. Warnes has an incredible voice and brings Cohen’s songs to life. The following is from the song Bird on a Wire.

I saw a beggar leaning on his wooden crutch
he cried out to me
don’t ask for so much
and a young man leaning in his darkened door
he called out to me
why not ask for more

10) John Prine – He tells stories. Better than just about anyone else. I really enjoy his cd, In Spite of Ourselves, the title song being a duet with Iris DeMent. Probably my favorite song he has written is Angel from Montgomery, I’m sharing a few lines from the third verse of that song.

There's flies in the kitchen I can hear 'em there buzzing
And I ain't done nothing since I woke up today.
How the hell can a person go to work in the morning
And come home in the evening and have nothing to say.

Diva Llama's List

Who is Diva Llama? We've traded a few comments over at Too Lazy To Be Evil, but I really don't know who she is. She commented on the previous Top 10 Songwriters List, though, so she gets an entry here.

Yes, I'm with that1gal! More women in the lists.

Here's mine (with women):

Suzanne Vega
Dolly Parton
Lucinda Williams
Tori Amos
Carole King
Lyle Lovett
Paul McCartney
Roger Waters
Tom Waits

Thanks for the opportunity, BOJ!

Like last time, I'll continue to take submissions to this list. Just leave a comment or send me an email. Also, feel free to comment on the lists here. You can continue to tell Jack just how off base he was, though last time those type of comments seemed to be aimed more at me than at him.



Thanks for giving me so much space! You know I'll eventually get around to making it up to you, in the most sincere fake way I can manage.

How much of my 15 minutes of fame does this use up?
Awesome lists, although I don't have a favorite. I'd have to pick and chose among the lists, so no vote from me on your poll this time!
I'll go more the way of song writers/groups who have made me laugh the most with their lyrics... some here are very obscure:

10 Biker Joe Warren
- Hershey Highway
9 The Happy Schnapps Combo
- The Bears Still Suck Polka
8 Phil Collins/Genesis
- I Can't Dance
7 Roger Waters (solo career)
- What God Wants
6 Save Ferris
- Spam
5 Country Dick Montana (The Beat Farmers)
- Tie My Pecker To My Leg
4 Warron Zevon
- I'll Sleep When I'm Dead
3 Jack Black/Tenacious D
- Fuck Her Gently
2 Weird Al
- too many fav's to list here
1 Mojo Nixon/Skid Roper
- way too many fav's to list here

~ Quinn
Great Lists, I would give honorable mention to Aimee Mann and Paul Westerberg....great songwriters...also if you have not heard the Elvis Costello/Burt Bacharach album I highly recommend it...T
Anonymous: I have heard the Costello/Bacharach ablum and I was quite suprised. I didn't expect that collaboration, let alone what came of it. Amaing.

Quinn: I could do a top ten novelty songs. That'd be fun for me anyway, I don't know about anyone else.

You should check out a song called I Miss Paul from The Steven Banks Show. It's track number 14 on the page linked.

In the show, Steven thought he bought John Lennon's guitar on a PBS auction (spending his rent money), but found out he'd actually purchased Julian Lennon's Guitar case.

At the end of the episode, some paper falls out of the case and it's a song John had written for Julian called I Miss Paul. I wish the whole thing were on the site, but what's there is pretty funny.
I'd be all for a top ten novelty songs list... I know more about that than I do about the real song writers everyone put into their lists. You know me, I like the little obscurities that are often overlooked by people regardless of how great they are.

"The Dude Abides"
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The Bert Convey
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