great lyrics and poetry

Once I read Eugene Onegin* by Alexander Pushkin—a 'novel' set in sonnets with a fantastic translation by Charles Johnston. It taught me a lot about lyrics and poetry.

And did those feet in ancient time
by William Blake

And did those feet in ancient time.
Walk upon England's mountains green:
And was the Holy Lamb of God,
On England's pleasant pastures seen!
And did the Countenance Divine,
Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
And was Jerusalem buildéd here,
Among these dark Satanic mills?

 

Bring me my bow of burning gold;
Bring me my arrows of desire:
Bring me my spear: O clouds unfold!
Bring me my Chariot of fire!
I will not cease from mental fight,
Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand:
Till we have built Jerusalem,
In England's green and pleasant Land.

Paul Simon songs, like...

American Tune

Many’s the time I’ve been mistaken
And many times confused
Yes, and I’ve often felt forsaken
And certainly misused
Oh, but I’m all right, I’m all right
I’m just weary to my bones
Still, you don’t expect to be
Bright and bon vivant
So far away from home, so far away
from home.

I don’t know a soul who’s not been battered
I don’t have a friend who feels at ease

I don’t know a dream that’s not been shattered
Or driven to its knees
Oh, but it’s all right, it’s all right
For lived so well so long
Still, when I think of the road
we’re travelling on
I wonder what went wrong
I can’t help it, I wonder what’s gone wrong.

 

 

 

And I dreamed I was dying
And I dreamed that my soul rose unexpectedly
And looking back down at me
Smiled reassuringly
And I dreamed I was flying
And high above my eyes could clearly see
The Statue of Liberty
Sailing away to sea
And I dreamed I was flying.

Oh, we come on the ship they call
the Mayflower
We come on the ship that sailed the moon
We come in the age’s most uncertain hour
And sing an American tune
Oh, it’s all right, it’s all right
It’s all right, it’s all right
You can’t be forever blessed
Still, tomorrow’s going to be
another working day
And I’m trying to get some rest
That’s all I’m trying to get some rest.

© 1973 Words and Music by Paul Simon

I Cheat the Hangman

by Pat Simmons

The days grow short, the nights are gone
Since you were here, I can't go on
I cried for you, to no avail.
Now my life runs cold when the night winds wail
But I cheat the hangman, cheated him many times before
The bell that tolls the hour has turned sweet lips to sour
Yes, I cheat the hangman and even when life has flown away
I leave a kiss behind.

The rain that fell upon my stone
Like tears you cry I shared alone
I walk the night, I cannot sleep
The love you spend you cannot reap.

The glow of love will then shine
Lighted windows stare at the lonely stranger there, returning home
Only lighted windows stare at the lonely stranger there, returning home.

I Cheat the Hangman is a song, on the Doobie Brothers' album, Stampede.  The music is sensational. It can be downloaded from the iTunes Store or at other places on the 'net.

*Pushkin's Eugene Onegin has interesting asides in the sonnets themselves, like…