What’s Your Favorite Song Lyric?


Ever hear a song lyric that stopped you dead in your tracks, stirred something deep within you, or excited your imagination, or even made you chuckle with delight at the gift of the artist? I thought so. And now’s your chance to share it.

I had the privilege of sharing a meal with 3 of my fellow Rabbit Room contributors the other day when I was in Nashville for a writing trip. Randall Goodgame, Eric Peters, Andrew Peterson, and myself partook of some comfort food at Tommy’s – I had meatloaf while the other guys all had pork, I believe (though I tried to tell them they shouldn’t since Jesus didn’t eat pork.)

With writing on my mind, our conversation turned to our favorite song lyrics, and I told the fellas that we should write a post about our favorite lyrics of all time and ask others to submit theirs. I imagine most of us who visit the Rabbit Room know the pleasure of being moved by a great song lyric, and if that’s you, then it’s time for you to share it with the rest of us. We’d love to hear from you, the readers (and even the other contributors), about those moments when you heard a song and went, “Ahh! how’d they do that to me!” I think it’s best to not necessarily post a whole song, but only the portion of a song that best represents the lyric. If you have to post the whole song, do it, but I think brevity will be better here – and feel free to do multiple posts if you think of others.

Speaking of brevity, I’ll stop writing about it and start doing it, giving an example of how to post:

“song lyric here”

— Artist
“Name Of Song”
Title Of Album Song Came From

So like this:

“Use your intuition
It’s just like goin’ fishin’
You cast your line and hope you get a bite…”

— Paul Simon
“Father & Daughter”

Jason Gray is a recording artist with Centricity Records. His latest single, out now, is "When I Say Yes".


  1. Tim Bourne

    I’d be remiss if our kind proprietor didn’t get the first mention:

    “Take a ride on the mighty lion
    Take a hold of the golden mane
    This is the love of Jesus
    So good but it is not tame”

    -Andrew Peterson
    “Little Boy Heart Alive”
    The Far Country

  2. Stephen @ Rebelling Against Indifference

    This was my favorite lyric of last year, by a long shot. And it’s one of those lyrics that can tell you a lot about someone else by their reaction to it, I think:

    Pour me a drink Theresa / In one of those glasses you dust off / And I’ll watch the bones in your back / Like the stations of the cross //

    Opening lines of Bruce Springsteen’s “I’ll Work For Your Love”, from “Magic”.

    The rest of the song is just as good, like this line:

    The pages of Revelation / Lie open in your empty eyes of blue / I watch you slip that comb through your hair and this I promise you // I’ll work for your love…

  3. Tim Bourne

    One more: this line made me weep in the car in the middle of rush hour. I was heading to my first day at my first post collegiate job and new they would think I was crazy when I walked in with red eyes.

    “He’s more than the laughter or the stars in the heavens
    As close a heartbeat or a song on our lips
    Someday we’ll trust Him and learn how to see Him
    Someday He’ll call us and we will come running
    and fall in His arms and the tears will fall down and we’ll pray,
    I want to fall in love with You”

    -Jars of Clay
    “Love Song for a Savior”
    Jars of Clay (Self Titled)

  4. Christopher Culver

    This absolutely killed me when I heard it

    “Let us not take this for granted, Let’s not waste this second hand
    Let your love rage like a lion, Let your heart break like a lamb”
    Andrew Osenga – Early in the Morning

  5. Jim A

    Jason, great idea.
    If I asked my 5 year old daughter this question, it would have to be:
    “Well I’ve never devoured any octopus brains, or drunk any elephant sweat…” – Andrew Peterson “Dreams”Appendix M version
    I know this because we listent to Dreams about 9 times every Monday evening.

    For me, this is a tough one (outside of “fat bottom girls you make the rockin world go ’round”) as there are so many great lines out there, some that I’ve just come upon, some that have been warm close friends of mine for years. So I suppose I’ll have to throw out a few here.

    “I mount up with waxen wings,High to reach the sun.
    And I am no further than,Than when I first begun.

    So I build a mount of Athos To shape your form against the sky;
    With my home in your hands To show all the people why,
    To show all the people why.

    Everything I do, It’s not enough for you.” -Caedmon’sCall (by Aaron Tate) “Not Enough” My Calm//Your Storm, Self Titled

    And more recently:
    “God loves that guy…” – Andy Gullahorn “That Guy” Reinventing the Wheel.
    Context around that line probably needed but when it first appears in the song it’s a sucker punch to the gut that sticks around faaar longer than you’d like it to.

  6. Andrew Groves

    “Cause I am a whore I do confess
    I put you on just like a wedding dress
    And I run down the aisle, I run down the aisle
    I’m a prodigal with no way home
    But I put you on just like a ring of gold
    And I run down the aisle, I run down the aisle to you.”

    -Derek Webb
    “Wedding Dress”
    She Must and Shall Go Free

  7. Cheesecake Jones

    Chris Rice’s “Wind and Spirit” has a line that profoundly effected me:

    “The slender grasses bend and bow
    And kiss the ground
    And in them I see the beauty of the souls
    Who let the Spirit lay them down”

    The song draws a comparison between a storm coming to a thirsty land and God’s spirit coming to a thirsty soul. This line taught me as much as an entire sermon series could have. Sometimes I don’t have to prostrate myself before God… I just have to let myself go, and simply the power of the presence of God will prostrate me!

  8. The Proprietor

    Well, the first thing that popped into my head while I was exercising my freedom by eating that scrumptious pork was one of my favorite Rich Mullins lyrics:

    Down the brown brick spine of some dirty blind alley
    All those drain pipes are dripping out the last sons of thunder
    While off in the distance ,
    The smokestacks were belching back this city’s best answer

    –Rich Mullins
    “Land of My Sojourn”, A Liturgy, a Legacy, and a Ragamuffin Band

    Okay, so “belching” might not be the most sonorous word to sing, but I think that’s the point. I sang this song in the shower and on the stage for years before the aforementioned Aaron Tate pointed out that “the last sons of thunder” were raindrops. (I kept picturing those Zebedee boys.) The imagery is so vivid and weighty that I loved it without even understanding it. But my respect for Mullins deepened when I realized that it’s a picture of God’s blessing (rain) trickling down to the dirtiest parts of humanity (the city’s dirty alley), while our best efforts to show gratitude or give praise or live obediently are no more than filthy rags (smoke belching into the sky).

    In the next verse, when Rich abandons the city imagery for the countryside pocked with “stables, like the one that Christ was born in,” it feels like a deep breath of clean air.

  9. Randall Goodgame

    This really is an impossible question, there can hardly be only one. Eric, I can’t remember, did you ever come up with one at Tommy Boy’s? Or were you too distracted by the juicy pork and the homemade mashed potatoes? My sentimental favorite is from my childhood hero, Jimmy Buffett. The whole song is unbelievably poetic, but here’s how it begins…

    As the son of a son of a sailor
    I went out on the sea for adventure
    Expanding the view of the captain and crew
    like a man just released from indenture

    As a dreamer of dreams and a travelin’ man
    I have chalked up many a mile
    Read dozens of books about heros and crooks
    and I’ve learned much from both of their styles.
    Jimmy Buffet
    “Son of a Son of a Sailor”

  10. euphrony

    Here are two:

    “And this is grace, an invitation to be beautiful”

    Sara Groves
    “Add to the Beauty”
    Add to the Beauty

    gives me shivers every time


    “And in stubborn spite of my stubborn spite
    I am loved nonetheless
    I am loved all the more
    And I believe there is love enough for the taking”

    Andrew Peterson
    “Love Enough (or The Ballad of Hansberry Brown)”
    Carried Along

    this one pops up in my head nearly every day; so descriptive of myself

  11. Jason Gray


    Oh man… these are all so good. I’m thinking this is going to turn into a way to find new music, too, since I LOVED that Springsteen line and hadn’t yet bought the album.

    I’ve got several I want to post personally, but will dole them out gradually.

    This one is kind of mystical, but has always moved me and struck me as a great example of keeping mystery in tact when singing about God.

    “They have spoken of the river
    Forever bending inside the fever
    Of the saints that walk all night with no domain
    In the end the thing that keeps them walking
    Is your shine

    Your shine when they wear no coat
    Your shine when the feeling’s low
    Your shine when it’s too late to turn around…”

    –Daniel Lanois

    Okay, now read it again. C’mon, do it. Please?

    What I love about this lyric is that it requires rumination – you have to sit with it awhile and let it reveal itself to you.

    Also, a one liner that I think is one of the most succinctly beautiful and true lyrics I’ve heard in a long time:

    “This is grace
    An invitation to be beautiful”

    –Sara Groves
    “Add To The Beauty”
    Add To The Beauty

  12. Randall Goodgame

    OK, one more recent lyric that cuts too deep to express is from Sara Groves’ new record “Tell Me What You Know”

    Actually, I’d rather not type out the lyric, because you’d be better served hearing it in its intended context.

    Go buy the song on itunes… it is 99¢

    “When The Saints”

    By Sara Groves

  13. Nathan Bubna

    “Every child will learn how the asphalt burns when he takes a sharp turn too wide. Nobody gets a smooth ride.”
    – The Choir
    “Nobody Gets A Smooth Ride”
    O How The Mighty Have Fallen

    oh, and ditto on the “Wedding Dress” lyric. That song still makes me cry.

  14. Caleb Land

    “You’re my water/ You’re my wine/ You’re my whiskey from time to time/ Sweet intoxication/ When your words wash over me/ Every time your lips move/ You speak to me.”

    Over the Rhine
    “Drunkards Prayer”

  15. Micah Taylor

    This doesn’t just explain love for me but it makes something so abstract very concrete.

    “The Mississippi’s mighty but it starts in Minnesota at a place where you could walk across with five steps down and i guess that’s how you started like a pinprick to my heart but at this point you rush right through me and i start to drown”

    -Indigo Girls (Emily Saliers)
    Rights of Passage

  16. Hope

    “When my life is through, Lord I hope that you, will be pleased with me.”
    Rita Springer / All My Days / All I Have

  17. Jason Gray


    One of the reasons why I’m a contributor here is because I’m a friend of Andrew’s. And I’m a friend because I was a fan who stalked him continually, camping outside on his front lawn long enough to where he finally invited me in.

    So at the risk of appearing like I’m committing a kind of nepotism here in the rabbit room, I’d like to offer a few of my own favorite A.P. lyrics.

    There’s so mnay to draw from, but I’ll try to restrict myself to two, and though I want to put down the whole lyric, I’ll encourage you to check out the whole thing for yourself if you’d like:

    “It’s enough to drive a man crazy; it’ll break a man’s faith
    It’s enough to make him wonder if he’s ever been sane
    When he’s bleating for comfort from Thy staff and Thy rod
    And the heaven’s only answer is the silence of God…

    …There’s a statue of Jesus on a monastery knoll
    In the hills of Kentucky, all quiet and cold
    And He’s kneeling in the garden, as silent as a Stone
    All His friends are sleeping and He’s weeping all alone

    And the man of all sorrows, he never forgot
    What sorrow is carried by the hearts that he bought
    So when the questions dissolve into the silence of God
    The aching may remain, but the breaking does not
    The aching may remain, but the breaking does not
    In the holy, lonesome echo of the silence of God”

    –Andrew Peterson
    “The Silence Of God”
    Love And Thunder

    When one of my best friends died young last year and I was working through my own issues of feeling angry and disappointed that God didn’t intervene, this song gently reminded me that as heart broken as I was, I could be confident knows the sting of the sorrow of the hearts that he bought.

    The other that wrecks me every time is this one, and tried as I might to parse this lyric, I think it has to be posted as a whole, because it is the telling of this story that is the most moving part of this lyric, I think.

    [Proprietor’s note: My confidant and producer Ben Shive wrote the lion’s share of this song. I wrote the lyrics to the chorus and his nimble, poetic mind concocted the verses except for a word or two.]

    “Wake up little Isaac
    And rub your tired eyes
    Go and kiss your mama
    Well be gone a little while
    Come and walk beside me
    Come and hold your papas hand
    I go to make an altar
    And to offer up my lamb

    I waited on the Lord
    And in a waking dream He came
    Riding on a wind across the sand
    He spoke my name
    Here I am, I whispered
    And I waited in the dark
    The answer was a sword
    That came down hard upon my heart

    Holy is the Lord
    Holy is the Lord
    And the Lord I will obey
    Lord, help me I don’t know the way

    So take me to the mountain
    I will follow where You lead
    There I’ll lay the body
    Of the boy You gave to me
    And even though You take him
    Still I ever will obey
    But Maker of this mountain, please
    Make another way

    Holy is the Lord
    Holy is the Lord
    And the Lord I will obey
    Lord, help me I don’t know the way”

    –Andrew Peterson
    “Holy Is The Lord”
    City On A Hill, Volume 3

  18. Loren Eaton

    “Do we give up this search and turn out the light / And give up this holy ghost that rattles through the night?” (Jars of Clay, “The Edge of Water”)

    Also …

    “I trembled at the voice of God, / A voice of love and thunder deep. / With love He means to save us all, /And Love has chosen you and me. / Long after we are dead and gone, / A thousand years our tale be sung, / How faith compelled and bore us on, / How barren Sarah bore a son. / So come to Canaan, come.” (Andrew Peterson, “Caanan Bound”)

  19. Taya Gray

    “We are soot-covered urchins
    Running wild and unshod.
    We will always be remembered
    As the orphans of God.

    They will dig up these ruins
    Make flutes of our bones
    Blow a hymn to the memory
    Of the orphans of God.”

    Mark Heard
    “Orphans of God”
    High Noon

  20. CalebC.

    “I was made to love magic,
    All it’s wonder to know.
    But you all lost that magic,
    many, many years ago.”

    – Nick Drake
    Made to Love Magic

  21. Nate

    “Nobody tells you when you get born here
    how much you’ll come to love and how you’ll never belong here.
    So I call you my country, but I’m lonely for my home
    and I wish that I could take you there with me.”

    –Rich Mullins
    “Land of My Sojourn”, A Liturgy, a Legacy, and a Ragamuffin Band

  22. Christiana

    i have stumbled i have strayed
    you can trace the tracks i made
    all across the memories my heart recalls
    but i’m just a refugee
    won’t you say a prayer for me
    cause sometimes even the strongest soldier falls

    Buddy Miller
    “Wide River to Cross”
    The Universal United House of Prayer

    When the Saints by Sara Groves has brought tears to my eyes nearly every time I have listened to it. I always hit repeat at least once.

  23. Theresa Croteau

    Well mine would have to be:

    And when you come the hills
    Will breathe like a baby
    Pulled up heaving from the bottom of the ocean
    The sooner the better now
    When you come to cover me with your kisses
    Fresh like a daisy chained up in a lion’s den
    I’ll know you by the thunderclap
    Pouring like a rain of blood to my emotions
    And that is why
    I stumble to my knees
    And why underneath the heavens
    With the stars burning and exploding
    I know I could never let you down

    “When you Come”
    Crowded House

    Well, I realize that falling down ain’t graceful
    But I thank the Lord that falling’s full of grace
    Sometimes I take my eyes off Jesus
    And you know that’s all it takes

    Well I wish that I could say that at the close of every day
    I was happy with the way that I’m behaving

    ‘Cause Job, he chased and answer
    The wise men chased the Child
    Jacob chased her 14 years and he
    Captured Rachel’s smile
    Moses chased the Promised Land
    Joseph chased a dream
    David, he chased God’s own heart
    All I ever seem to chase is me

    “The Chasing Song”
    Andrew Peterson

    and I guess a “guilty pleasure” lyric would have to be (I think the writing is excellent )

    You come out at night
    That’s when the energy comes
    And the dark side’s light
    And the vampires roam
    You strut your rasta wear
    And your suicide poem
    And a cross from a faith that died
    Before Jesus came
    You’re building a mystery

    You live in a church
    Where you sleep with voodoo dolls
    And you won’t give up the search
    For the ghosts in the halls
    You wear sandals in the snow
    And a smile that won’t wash away
    Can you look out the window
    Without your shadow getting in the way

    So many more I could say but those sprang to mind first.

  24. Stephen

    “Love is a danger / it can make you let your guard down / but if you are never broken / you will never be made whole”.

    ~ JJ Heller – “Why Is It Colder?” – “The Pretty and the Plain”

  25. Chris

    “Another tune forms in my head
    More harmonies more empty words
    Oh I could play these songs ’til I was dead
    And never approach the sound that I once heard
    I remember when I was just a kid
    Listening in the sky
    Believing that the wind would stir…”

    — Rich Mullins, The River

  26. Linda Gilmore

    One of my favorite lyrics right now is from Andrew Osenga:

    one day I believe
    I will open up my eyes
    to see the good work that was begun
    and I’ll be the only things I’ve ever wanted
    to be
    and I’ll know that I belong

    “Swing Wide the Glimmering Gates” from Letters to the Editor

    Absolutely great song.

  27. Bryant Dittmer

    And in my best behavior
    I am really just like him
    Look beneath the floorboards
    For the secrets I have hid

    John Wayne Gacy, Jr.
    Sufjan Stevens

  28. Brannon McAllister

    “We heard the fireworks / Rushed out to watch the sky / Happy go lucky / Fourth of July”

    – Paul Simon
    “How Can You Live In The Northeast”

    “The streets are cracked / And there’s glass everywhere / And a baby stares out / With motherless eyes / Under long gone beauty / On fields of war / Trapped in lament / To the poet’s core”

    – Emmylou Harris (Daniel Lanois)
    “Where Will I Be”
    Wrecking Ball

    “Like a million parachutes / the snow still falls / The dogs are asleep now / There’s no one to call / I’ll put on some records / And wait for the light / Under those million parachutes / Now a blanket of white.”

    – Sixpence None The Richer
    “Million Parachutes”
    Divine Discontent

  29. Bryant Dittmer

    Would you not like to be
    on top of the world with your legs hanging free

    Dave Matthews Band
    Lie In Our Graves

    It’s just a feel good line.

  30. Julie

    Oh! So many great ones! I thrid or fourth When the Saints by Sarah Groves.

    Here’s one that’s really powerful with the rest of the lyrics, so if you haven’t heardt it, you need to.

    “to turn away and not become
    another nail to pierce the skin of one who loves
    more deeply than the oceans
    more abundant than the tears
    of a world embracing every heartache”

    Jars of Clay
    “World’s Apart”
    Jars of Clay


    “this hollow in my chest is filled with reasons not to sing but I found one, I know we are not alone, we feel an unseen love
    we are sons and heirs of grace
    we are children of a light that never dims
    a love that never dies, keep your chin up child
    and wipe the tears from your eyes”

    “Music Box”

  31. Pete Peterson

    I could type entire Springsteen songs in here but I’ll try to control myself. A few favorites:

    “It’s a sad man my friend whose living in his own skin
    and can’t stand the company

    Every fool’s got a reason to feel sorry for himself
    and turning his heart to stone

    Tonight this fool’s halfway to heaven and just a mile out of hell
    and I feel like I”m coming home”

    “Better Days”
    -The Boss

    “This train carries saints and sinners
    this train carries losers and winners
    this train carries whores and gamblers
    this train carries lost souls
    this train carries broken-hearted
    this train, theives and sweet souls departed
    this train carries fools, carries kings
    this train, all aboard
    come on this train, dreams will not be thwarted
    on this train, faith will be rewarded”

    “Land of Hope and Dreams”
    -The Boss

    “I see you Mary in the garden
    in the garden of a thousand sighs

    there’s holy pictures of our children
    dancing in a sky filled with light

    may I feel your arms around me
    may I feel your blood mix with mine

    a dream of life comes to me
    like a catfish dancing on the end of my line.”

    “The Rising”
    -The Boss

    Ok, enough Springsteen. You get the idea. I swear this next one is the story of my life, gets me choked up every time.

    “There a road, it leads away from here
    and everyday I stand in place and I watch it disappear

    And there’s a bird, circles in my mind
    Security’s a whore in me that never lets me fly

    And you, you look like freedom
    You, you look like change

    You look like the avalanche I need”

    -Heather Nova

    Another one that describes me down to the detail and gives me occasional hope that maybe other people are just as screwed up as I am:

    “I have a dream of living a life
    that’s easier said than done

    Stare in the mirror, I’m unfascinated
    with everything I have done

    I’m faking my way, living it down
    Oh my God, I’m lazy and I’m frenzied

    Licking my wounds and moving ahead
    I can’t take this wine and bread

    I’m not even close to where I want to be.”

    “Not Even Close”
    -Katie Herzig

    One more and I’ll stop depressing people with my issues:

    “Put your defense down
    Open up your heart and lay all of it out

    I know how hard it sounds
    But lonliness will have its way in feeding your doubts”

    “Waiting on the Light to Change”
    -Matthew Perryman Jones

    Well darn it, I’m done I guess. I hate passing up all the great bits from folks like Patty Griffin, Pierce Pettis, Eric Peters, Van Morrison and Tenacious D but this could go on forever.

  32. Ed Eubanks

    I have three… though my “favorite” changes frequently. These are the ones that come to mind most often:

    “I don’t wanna burn no books // Don’t wanna argue rock ‘n’ roll // I don’t wanna shoot anyone with my high-powered doctrine gun”

    Bob Bennett, “Madness Dancing” from Matters of the Heart and Lord of the Past

    “If you have loved, then you have cried.”

    John Gorka, “Riverside” from Old Futures Gone

    “In my secret heart– where I really live– I am longing for peace and the will to forgive.”

    Bob Bennett, “My Secret Heart” from Songs from Bright Avenue

  33. Julie

    “painted skies,
    I’ve seen so many that cannot compare to
    your ocean eyes.”

    “The Sun and the Moon”
    THe Everglow

  34. Stephen

    I’ve got a lot. Here’s another one I quote all the time:

    ” I woke up from a dream about an empty funeral / But it was better than a party full of people I don’t really know”

    ~ Jars of Clay, “Dead Man”, from the album “Good Monsters”

    I usually listen to that song, cranked all the way up on my car stereo, along with another track from that album, “Work”:

    I have no fear of drowning / It’s the breathing / that’s taking all this work // Do you know / what I mean / when I say / “I don’t wanna be alone” / Do you know / what I mean / when I say / “I don’t wanna be alone” //

  35. Curt McLey

    Mark Heard always had the gift, but his best writing came in later years. Still, this little song from the mid 80s provided a hint of the man’s lyrical genius.

    True Confessions

    Oh the sun runs its course from the east to the west
    With the best of our motives illumined
    Then it sinks with a sigh in the dusk of the heart
    And our virtue lies worthless as rumour

    You can be what you like if you like what you are
    We reflect but the sum of our creeds
    But we don’t seem to seize on the tenets we hold
    And they slip through the sieve of our deeds

    When we see our mistakes we ache with regret
    And the pain makes a lasting impression
    But we are stoics at heart when the time is at hand
    To beat our breasts and make a true confession

    Written by Mark Heard © 1984 Kenwood Music
    from “Ashes and Light”

    My favorite Mark Heard song is called “Nod Over Coffee.” It doesn’t really lend itself to parsing. Like many great lyrics, it best shimmers as a complete work. If you are so inclined, follow this link which is a segue beginning at Cornerstone with Mark and Pierce Pettis, then finishes with a passionate Pierce Pettis performance at the Mark Heard tribute concert.

  36. brandi

    A song is in its singing
    A gift is in its bringing
    And I am in my being here with you
    “I Am In My Being Here With You”

    Never trust a big butt and a smile
    -Bel Biv Devoe 🙂

    And I love it when Van Morrison sings “I wanna rock your gypsy soul” on Into the Mysic (Moondance).

  37. Jim A

    I can’t just post a single line from this great Arlo Guthrie song but i’ll limit it to these 4 stanzas:

    If the pearly gates were closed this morning
    And everyone there had to leave
    And death was nothing but a moment
    Beyond the breaths you took to breathe

    If all the doors were closed in heaven
    Who would dare abuse a child
    Or let a little kid go hungry
    Or not return a simple smile

    If the pearly gates were closed this morning
    And the host of heaven was on the street
    I wonder if they’d look much different
    From the likes of you and me

    So I hope they close the doors to heaven
    And all the angels up above
    Come and build a home among us
    Remind us what it is to love

    “Doors of Heaven”
    Arlo Guthrie

  38. Kelly

    There’s just so much here, I am newly impressed every time I hear it:

    “And I’ve seen by the highways on a million exit ramps
    Those two-legged memorials to the laws of happenstance
    Waiting for four-wheeled messiahs to take them home again
    But I am home anywhere if You are where I am

    And if you listen to my songs I hope you hear the water falling
    I hope you feel the oceans crashing on the coast of north New England
    I wish I could be there just to see them, two summers past I was
    And the Holy King of Israel loves me here in America”

    – Rich Mullins
    “Here in America”
    A Liturgy, A Legacy, and A Ragamuffin Band

    And one that makes me smile every time:

    “Along come a young girl,
    She’s pretty as a prayerbook,
    Sweet as an apple, on Christmas day,
    I said good gracious, can this be my luck,
    If that’s my prayerbook,
    Lord let us pray….”

    -Paul Simon
    “That Was Your Mother”

  39. Nathan Bubna

    Since i’m thoroughly enjoying these comments, i’ll add a couple more. Here’s my favorite line from a song that helped me have courage to give a sure-to-cause-me-much-pain letter to the woman who would (four years later) become my wife.

    “Maybe redemption has stories to tell /
    maybe forgiveness is right where you fell ”
    “Dare You To Move”
    Learning to Breath

    also instrumental then was the song “The Loser” from the same album, which reminded me “Only the losers win / they’ve got nothing to prove / in the end they’ll be the ones with nothing to lose”

  40. Tony Lipsey

    Aside from every Andrew Peterson lyric ever penned…

    “Soon there were sacred chips, and virgin mary chicken strips, and prince of peace apple pie.”

    – Andrew Gullahorn
    Holy Flakes
    Room To Breathe

    **Just a brilliant song on multiple levels!

  41. Micah Pick

    “You smell like sweet magnolium, and Pentacostal residue, I’d like to get to know you, and shake that holy fire right out of you.”

    Over the Rhine
    ‘Who am I Kidding but Me’
    The Trumpet Chile

    “if I’m a crown without a king, if I’m a broken open seed
    if I come without a thing, then I come with all I need”

    In a Sweater Poorly Knit
    Brother Sister

    “I dreamed you were a cosmonaut
    of the space between our chairs
    and i was a cartographer
    of the tangles in your hair”

    Andrew Bird
    Armchair Apocrypha

    “He spoke through the prophets
    Crucified for our salvation
    He suffered and was buried
    And on the third day He rose born again
    She held my hand”

    Steven Delopolous
    She Held My Hand

    Okay I’m done….for now. I went through the whole list so far going “oh yeah.” “Definately. “Oh, why didn’t I think of that yet.” I love this place.

  42. Jason Gray


    “Put all your love where it hurts the most
    Expect a little visit from the Holy Ghost…”

    –Bill Mallonee & The Vigilantes Of Love
    “Solar System”
    Audible Sigh

  43. Molly

    It’s taken me years in the race just to get this far
    Still there is no end in sight,
    There’s no end in sight
    ‘Cause I’ve carried my cross into dens of the wicked
    And you know I blended in just fine

    Well, I’m weak and I’m weary of breaking His heart
    With they cycle of my sin, of my sin
    Still He turns His face to me and I kiss it
    Just to betray Him once again

    from the Proprietor’s “Come Lord Jesus” always catches me off guard, in one of those ‘ouch’ moments we have.

  44. Russ Ramsey

    Great Thread here! Its funny how a great lyric is often that because of how it is delivered just as much as how it is written, eh? Here’s three of mine…

    “If you could paint her, she’d be a Picasso.
    She’s got a few things out of place.
    Like when she smiles, its slightly out of line.
    It’s half awkward, half grace.”

    Ellis Paul
    Here She Is, from “Stories”


    “And the steams are all swollen with winter,
    winter unfrozen and free to run away now.
    And I’m amazed when I remember
    Who it was that built this house
    And with the rocks I’ll cry out

    Be praised for all you tenderness
    By these works of your hands
    Suns that rise and rains that fall to Bless
    And bring to life you lands.
    Look down upon this winter wheat
    And be glad that you have made
    Blue for the sky and the color green
    That fills these fields with praise.

    Rich Mullins
    “The Color Green” from Liturgy, Legacy and a Ragamuffin Band

    And also

    “I took the money. I spiked your drink.
    You miss too much these days if you stop to think.
    You lead me on with those innocent eyes
    You know I love the element of surprise.
    In the garden I was playing the tart
    I kissed your lips and I broke your heart and you
    You were acting like it was the end of the world.”

    “Until the End of the World” from Achtung Baby

  45. Electroluminescence

    “Sin is real, it doesn’t feel, It always, only always, steals.
    Run to the cross the only joy that’s real.”

    “So Blue.”

    this has been one of my favourite lyrics for years… it’s so simple… but reallly…. what else do we need to know?!

  46. euphrony

    We could probably do a separate post entirely on the thoughtful lyrics of Sara Groves, or Mark Heard (“Nod Over Coffee” is a fav of mine, Curt)

    Jason, you opened a can of worms. I posted then came back a little later to find a stack of replies.

    I like Pierce Pettis’ “She Walked Away just Like Jim Brown (She is History)”. Mournful contemplation of divorce, and only a man could compare it to a football player leaving the game in his prime.

    I’m a sucker for some of Rush’s lyrics:
    There’s a snake coming out of the darkness
    Parade from paradise
    End the need for Eden
    Chase the dreams of merchandise

    There is tic and toc in atomic
    Leaders make a deal
    The cosmic is largely comic
    A con they couldn’t conceal

    There is no safe seat at the feast
    Take your best stab at the beast
    The night is turning thin
    The saint is turning to sin

    “Anagram (For Mongo)”

  47. Jason Gray


    Here’s a lyric that sums up to me the reason why people are posting here in the first place – because the best songs aren’t sung, they are bled.

    “I don’t wanna waste your time
    With music you don’t need
    Why should I autograph the book
    That you won’t even read
    I’ve got a different scar for every song
    And blood left still to bleed
    But I don’t wanna waste your time
    With music you don’t need…”

    –Over The Rhine
    “I Don’t Want To Waste Your Time”
    The Trumpet Child

    And another:

    “The trumpet child will blow his horn
    Will blast the sky till it’s reborn
    With Gabriel’s power and Satchmo’s grace
    He will surprise the human race

    The trumpet he will use to blow
    Is being fashioned out of fire
    The mouthpiece is a glowing coal
    The bell a burst of wild desire…

    …The rich forget about their gold
    The meek and mild are strangely bold
    A lion lies beside a lamb
    And licks a murderer’s outstretched hand

    The trumpet child will lift a glass
    His bride now leaning in at last
    His final aim to fill with joy
    The earth that man all but destroyed”

    –Over The Rhine
    “The Trumpet Child”
    The Trumpet Child

  48. Jim A

    ok, I hate to post a third time here but in given the season, I just can’t pass this up:

    “all of our problems gonna disappear
    when we can whisper right in that President’s ear
    he could walk right across the reflection pool
    in his combat boots and ten thousand dollar suit”

    Derek Webb
    “A Savior on Capitol Hill”
    The Ringing Bell

  49. Jud

    Having two young daughters, this one from “Slugs and Bugs” gets me every time:

    My baby loves me so
    She loves me as I am
    She lifts her little hands
    Her wish is my command
    I’ll pick her up forever if I can

    I’m almost 30 years old, but I swear I could listen to that album non-stop and never get sick of it. It’s my dream to hear it live someday . . .

  50. John Goodgame

    Good job, Randall, bringing in the ghosts of old Florida.

    “She thought I was a saint, not a sinner gone astray.”

    — The Ballad of Spider John, Willis Alan Ramsey

  51. Keith (Can't pick just one) Krepcho

    I just wanted to do a list of songs where every lyric was my favorite before i wrote one specific one. Sorry I’m cheating.

    Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door – Bob Dylan – The only song I will sing at Karaoke.
    Both Of Us’ll Feel The Blast – Waterdeep – Who knew death could be so fun?
    The Kind of Heart – John Davis – I never thought math could be this insightful.
    John Wayne Gacy, Jr. – Sufjan Stevens – Not one you’d play on repeat, but the last line is devastating.
    One By One – Jeff Tweedy – His solo show “Sunken Treasure” is amazing.

    “In the fury of the moment I can see the Master’s hand
    In every leaf that trembles, in every grain of sand.

    I gaze into the doorway of temptation’s angry flame
    And every time I pass that way I always hear my name.
    Then onward in my journey I come to understand
    That every hair is numbered like every grain of sand.”

    -Bob Dylan
    -Shot of Love
    -Every Grain of Sand

  52. Steve B.

    Would you take the place of this man
    Would you take the nails from his hands

    Jeremy Camp
    “This Man”

    I had this CD in my car when driving home from seeing The Passion of The Christ. Wow, what am impact. I had tears streaming down my face as I drove.

  53. Micah Pick

    “Muddy my eyes and show me I was blind”
    Jeremy Casella

    “Gotta cut through all the static
    Straight into the the heart of what I know is real
    Get a handle on the difference
    Between what I know is true and what I feel”
    Jeremy Casella
    The Space Between the Living and the Dying

    “If I’d never had a problem, I’d never know God could solve them, I’d never know what faith in his Word would do.”
    Andre Crouch
    Through it All
    Any Church that still knows good music

    “Yes tis sweet to trust in Jesus, just from sin and self to cease, just from Jesus simply taking, life and rest and joy and peace.”
    Louisa Stead
    Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus
    Same as Above (That line gets me every time)

  54. Alex Green

    Way back when You first calmed me
    At peace with you I’d always be
    But now it’s empty methodology
    The fine white tomb that no one sees.

    Caedmon’s Call
    My Calm// Your Storm
    My Calm// Your Storm

    Also, from good old AP one of the most powerful discriptions of the resurection I’ve ever heard:
    High noon in the valley of the shadow
    When the shadows were shot through with light
    When Jesus took in that breath
    And shattered all death with his life
    Be gone, you wages of sin
    Go on, don’t you come back again
    I’ve been raised and redeemed
    You’ve lost all your sting
    To the victor of the battle
    High noon in the valley of the shadow

    High Noon
    Love & Thunder
    Andrew Peterson

  55. Johnny

    this is a great great thread. lyrics can really knock you off your feet. just as in Andrew Peterson’s “Over My Head” song. i hope this is correct since i didn’t see the actual lyrics on this site i’m going by what i remember.

    I’m in over my head
    If they knew i was nothing but gold plated lead
    they’d stone me, disown me, and leave me for dead
    i’m in over my head.

    “Over My Head”
    Andrew Peterson

    also, another artist who everyone should check out is Sufjan Stevens. I highly highly recommend any song he has done. since the hard hitting lines from “john wayne gacy” have already been posted, i will post the last lines to another song of his.

    Still I go to the deepest grave,
    Where I go to sleep alone

    “The Seer’s Tower”
    Sufjan Stevens

  56. Ron Davis

    “Sometime the only difference
    ‘tween a pilgrim
    And a prodigal son
    Is just the difference
    ‘tween the dream you begin
    And the thing you become”

    – Pierce Pettis
    “Long Way Back Home”
    State of Grace

    “They always invite me for Christmas
    But this will be the first time that I go”

    – Randall Goodgame
    * best Goodgame song ever?

    “tomorrow makes so many promises
    are they empty just like a politician’s
    or will tomorrow keep its word
    and we’ll realize in the morning
    that this is the better life – we’re living it
    and nothing do we lack, no nothing at all
    a bigger house, more money in the bank
    couldn’t add a thing to all we’ve got.”

    – Arthur Alligood
    “Far From Today”
    Under the Gray

  57. Electroluminescence

    “corporations rise
    as the working man will fall
    we bit the apple
    now the apple is eating us
    we want our 15 minutes
    and then we want it all
    and watch our own image bleeding us”

    -Kevin Max
    “Your Beautiful Mind.”
    The Imposter

    The song FADE TO RED by Kevin Max is phenomenal. every lyric in that song is captivating.

    but these lines are my favourite:

    “everywhere there is hope
    there is oblivion.”
    “even when there is love
    there is also hate”
    “everywhere there is joy
    there is also dread”


    “and when the sun breaks through the dark ( we know we’re close to it)
    and when the son shines through my heart ( i know i’m close to it, close to it)”

    -Kevin Max
    Fade to Red
    The Imposter

  58. Julie

    I find it really interesting to see the diversity of the music represented here (mewithoutyou anyone?)
    Russ Ramsey, I was just about to post lyrics from The Color Green, but I see you beat me to it. Great song!
    Stephen, great Jars of Clay lyrics. They have a ton of great ones!

    Here’s a great Switchfoot classic:

    “There’s a song that’s inside of my soul
    It’s the one that I’ve tried to write over and over again
    I’m awake in the infinite cold
    But You sing to me over and over again

    So I lay my head back down
    And I lift my hands
    and pray to be only Yours
    I know now you’re my only hope

    Sing to me the song of the stars
    Of Your galaxy dancing and laughing
    and laughing again
    When it feels like my dreams are so far
    Sing to me of the plans that You have for me over again

    I know now you’re my only hope”

    “Only Hope” (I know the meaning and perspective were changed when it was sung in A Walk to Remeber, but listen to it in its original context and its absolutely beautiful!)
    New Way to be Human

  59. Ben Yancer

    “You’re a painting with symbols deep, symphony
    soft as it shifts from dark beneath
    a poem that flows, caressing my skin
    in all of these things you reside and I
    want to flow from the pen, bow and brush
    with paper and string, and canvas tight
    with ink in the air, to dust your light
    from morning to the black of night”

    –Sixpence None the Richer
    “Melody of You,” Divine Discontent

    “Oh, We stutter and we stammer till You save us
    A symphony of chaos till You play us
    Phrases on the pages of unknown
    ‘Til You read us into poetry and prose”

    –Nichole Nordeman
    “Healed,” Woven & Spun

    “Change comes like the splitting of wood
    like the plow blade turns the soil on the ground
    and the change comes like it should.”

    –Sandra McCracken
    “Traincar,” Gravity | Love

    “And how can I stand here with you and not be moved by you?”

    “Everything,” No Name Face

  60. Stephen @ Rebelling Against Indifference

    Julie, what was funny was as I hit ‘submit’ posting the Jars of Clay lyrics, the guys from Jars walked into the coffee shop I was sitting in.

    Pete, my favorite Matthew Perryman Jones lyric is from Refuge: // Take me to a place / where Love can mend these wounds / where mystery can dance with truth / and the broken soul finds refuge. //

    And because you mentioned Pierce Pettis, here’s my favorite line of his that is similar to the Springsteen lyric I quoted earlier:

    I hear your wicked laugh / Sunlight through an open window / All around your angel face / I swear I see a halo // Long hair and your dress undone / You’re innocent and shameless / More fun than a loaded gun / And every bit as dangerous //
    ~ Pierce Pettis, “Rodeo Around the World”, from the album “Great Big World”

  61. Micah Pick

    For the record, I enjoy my mewithoutyou in small and rare doses due to their style, but its worth it every now and then to have my ears filled with such great lyricism.

  62. Keith (Can't pick just one) Krepcho

    can’t believe i forgot this one…

    “And a woman’s lies, makes a life like mine.”

    -Hank Williams
    -Hank Williams: Lost Highway
    -Lost Highway

  63. Chris R

    AP and Andy Osenga are my favorite songwriters ever, so its hard to pick stuff that hasn’t been mentioned and not simply write their entire catalog. Here are a few recent favorites:

    The play count for this song on my iTunes is 123… needless to say it is impactful
    “Now love is not a feeling in your chest
    it is bending low to wash anothers feet”
    Andrew Peterson
    For the Love of God
    The Far Country

    This lyric has… it is powerful… it is brilliant
    “I can feel a prayer rising
    I don’t even know the words
    still the groaning is the postage
    and it will not be returned
    though we’re living in this rubble
    of our reckless plans and games
    we are reaching for the promise
    that we will not stay the same”
    Andrew Osenga
    New Beginning
    The Morning

    “I am my beloved and my beloved’s mine
    so you bring all your history and i’ll bring the bread and the wine
    and we’ll have us a party, where all the drinks are on me
    cause as surely as the rising sun, oh you will be set free”
    Derek Webb
    She Must and Shall Go Free

    there are so many more that could be added but I will stop here… for now

  64. Russ Ramsey

    David Wilcox is just a plain and simple lyrical genius. His song “Down Here” is one when I heard I just kind of laughed to myself and thought “There’s two kinds of people in this world– those who can’t write like David Wilcox, and David Wilcox. Here’s the lyric (but it is very much one that depends on its delivery for its impact. If you’ve hrd it, you might know what I mean.):

    So you want to get close to the wild and strange
    you want to stand at the edge of the river of change
    you got a hungry soul, but a cautious mind
    so you can’t quite leave your world behind
    So you come for a visit, but you lose your nerve
    out at the edges of the bell-shaped curve.
    But I saw your soul when you dropped your fear
    and came walking in the world of the wild down here.

    Down here we always got each other
    Down here and it’s how we know
    Down here that we’re sister and brother
    Down here in the land below
    Down here we see you looking in
    Down here with your longing stare
    Down here we got a feeling of belonging
    Down here because we’re not up there.

  65. Katherine

    “Maybe sometime if you get a chance
    Go out and walk on the water
    And do a little dance…”

    Jared Crump
    “The Feeding Hand”
    Shot in the Dark

  66. Matt Conner

    She is like a cigarette inside an ashtray
    nothing but a fire sets her free
    filling up my lungs until my body needs her
    holding on so i can never breathe

    She is like a gravestone sitting in the church yard
    crooked from the ground in which she sleeps
    whispering my name until i go to meet her
    underneath the ground she finds her peace

    William Fitzsimmons
    Album: Goodnight
    Song: “Mend Your Heart”

  67. Matt Conner

    One more…

    All at once you look across a crowded room
    To see the way that light attaches to a girl

    Counting Crows
    Album: Recovering the Satellites
    Song: “A Long December”

  68. Katherine

    “It doesn’t seem there’s any way
    To get back the price I paid
    It’s just a vapor in the wind
    That suffocates you in the end”

    Jaron Kamin
    “No Hand to Hold”

  69. Theresa Croteau

    Ok I already posted here but I just have to say to Nathan Bubna, I love that song too it was one I so considered for this thread (Dare to Move) and it speaks to me more and more as I hear it.

    Oh, and Julie now I want that Switchfoot album. What I read was just beautiful.

    …waits for more entries to read

  70. Brian

    “I am the only one to blame for this
    Somehow it all adds up the same
    Soaring on the wings of selfish pride
    I flew too high
    And like Icarus I collide
    with a world I tried to hard to leave behind
    To rid myself of all but love
    To give and die”

    ~ Jars of Clay, “Worlds Apart”

  71. elijah

    This is a great post, Jason. It’s a blast reading everyone’s responses.

    “One thing they don’t tell you ’bout the blues when you got ’em is you keep on falling ’cause there ain’t no bottom.
    There ain’t no end.
    At least not for Lillian.”

    Emmylou Harris
    “Red Dirt Girl”
    Red Dirt Girl

    “I’m only alive with you.
    I can’t get by, and I won’t get through.
    Put me in the river.
    Let me say, ‘I do.’
    I’m only alive with you.”

    Jars of Clay
    “Only Alive”
    Who We Are Instead

    I feel like I could list about every lyric from that Jars record.

    “And her sky is just a petal pressed in the book of a memory
    Of a time he thought he loved her and they kissed
    And her friends say, ‘Ah, he’s a devil.’
    She says, ‘No, he’s a dream.’
    And this is the world as best as I can remember it”

    Rich Mullins
    “Jacob and Two Women”
    The World As Best As I Can Remember It, Vol. 1

    And I love this next Rich Mullins lyric because I think he wanted to write something else for the last line but had to change it to meet the expectations of the people in charge. Rich said in interviews that one of his favorite things about Christmas as a kid was that he got to sing “Where ox and ass are feeding” in church.

    “Well, he gave the donkey language
    And the donkey plainly brayed,
    ‘Well, there’s an angel about to strike you from the path’
    Then old Balaam’s eyes were opened
    And he realized he’d been saved
    By his donkey from the angel of God’s wrath”

    Rich Mullins
    “Who God Is Gonna Use”
    [same album as before]

    I also adore “Kansas” by Eric Peters. That song was the song of my summer last year.

    I think Randall Goodgame’s “Part 1” is one of the best songs I’ve ever heard, especially “And he played like Harry Truman without those coke bottles that only Marcie wore, like Harry Truman without the atom bomb, without the burden of a third world war.” How does one go from Snoopy and Schroeder to Harry Truman and the atom bomb and make it work so well?

    And since someone mentioned the song earlier, I’ll post my favorite lyric from my favorite Waterdeep song, “Both of Us’ll Feel the Blast.”

    “But dying’s overrated
    It’s a ticket on a train
    And as long as I can hold your hand
    I know that I’ll stay sane
    And maybe I’m an idiot
    For thinking that that’s true
    But I believe that Jesus knew what He was doing when He gave me you”


    “And I know that there’s no secrets
    When you’re sitting at that table
    But I believe we’ll smile real knowingly when we read the label
    And it says, ‘Passion sacrificed to keep from going crazy’
    And we’ll tip our glasses to the Host Who used to look so hazy”

    “Both Of Us’ll Feel the Blast”
    Sink or Swim

    What a fantastic song.

    I feel ashamed of leaving out so many great lyrics from Andy Osenga (The second verse of “New Mexico” – “I know no martyrs died to pass that on” – hits me square in the gut.) and Derek Webb (“Zeros and Ones” and “Name” are unbelievable.) Martin Smith of Delirious? is stalwart (Check out “Angel In Disguise” off the album Touch and “Fires Burn” off The Mission Bell.) and David Ruis writes great not-what-you’re-expecting songs for congregational worship. Ruis’ “We Will Dance” is one of my favorite songs ever.

    I better click submit now before I go any longer.

  72. Jason Gray


    I’m so grateful you mentioned Goodgame’s “Ode To Schroeder.” I was going to soon if nobody else mentioned it. Another great lyric:

    “Charlie Brown, Charlie Brown
    What’s it like in God’s hometown
    Do the angels make Lucy keep the football down
    Is every cartoon a full color affair
    Since everyday is just like Sunday there…”

    Pretty good songwriter for a guy who eats pork.

    I think Randall has one of the kindest voices I’ve heard in music. I’m willing to believe anything he sings because as the listener I sense that he cares about me and wants to share something good with me. That’s what I hear in his voice.

  73. Greg Sykes

    What a great thread! Let me get the obligatory Rich references out of the way quickly. I’ll keep these two short because that’s what always strikes me about his lyrics . . . 10 to 12 words pack such a punch.

    Number One:
    Jacob, he loved Rachel and Rachel, she loved him
    And Leah was just there for dramatic effect
    “Jacob and 2 Women” – The World as Best I Remember It, Vol. 1

    Number Two:
    And if I weep let it be as a man
    Who is longing for his home
    “If I Stand” – Winds of Heaven . . . Stuff of Heaven

    Here’s where I’d normally include an AP reference, but it doesn’t seem necessary on this site. Everybody knows his stuff. But, I would like to go somewhere I don’t think anyone else has gone. John Hiatt is one of my favorites, and I want to include the ending to one of his narrative songs that hooks me every time (it’s so much stronger in context, though):

    Now it finally got so quiet you could hear a pin drop
    They started dropping like flies
    The oldest little Indian got sick and vanished
    The big chief went two years later
    The mother raised the six little Indians up
    The best she could
    To be housewives, musicians, and insurance salesmen
    But they all shared this common denominator
    You see, all the characters in the big chief’s stories
    Were named after the seven little Indians
    And like I said, in his stories everything
    Always worked out for the better
    And now as I’m telling this stuff to my own kids
    Dancing around in that blue TV light
    Well, I wish I had those mukluks, those sealskin gloves
    And that coat with beads around the collar
    “Seven Little Indians Lyrics” — Stolen Moments

  74. Elise (her husband can't pick just one) Krepcho

    I may have accidentally posted this twice…but i think i put in the wrong e mail the first time…

    I’m going for a Jazz Standard. Nobody writes lyrics like these anymore:


    Look at me, I’m as helpless as a kitten up a tree.
    And I feel like I’m clinging to a cloud
    I can’t understand, I get misty just holding your hand.

    Walk my way, and a thousand violins begin to play
    Or it might be the sound of your ‘hello’
    that music I hear, I get misty whenever you’re near.

    Can’t you see that you’re leading me on
    And it’s just what I want you to do
    Don’t you notice how hopelessly I’m lost?
    That’s why I’m following you.

    On my own, when I wander through this wonderland alone
    Never knowing my right foot from my left
    My hat from my glove, I’m too misty and too much in love.

    such a great love song!

    As performed by: Ella Fitzgerald (BUT originally Sarah Vaughn’s signature song)
    Music & Lyrics: Erroll Garner & Johnny Burke
    Album: Ella Fitzerald live from Berlin and any other album she sings it on!

  75. josh

    Wow. Where to start…
    Pretty much the entire Andrew Peterson catalog. One of my favorites has already been mentioned:
    “In stubborn spite of my stubborn spite I am loved nonetheless…”
    Love Enough, Carried Along, Andrew Peterson
    Another one I really like is “Have you ever heard that Jesus is the answer, and thought about the many doubts you hide/Have you wondered how he loves you if He really knows how dark you are inside…”
    No More Faith, Clear to Venus, Andrew Peterson
    One of the things I love about AP’s lyrics isn’t always the clever turn of phrase (although those are also plentiful), but the honesty and candor to say the stuff that we all think.
    There are lots more, too, High Noon in particular–the same passage an earlier comment mentioned.

    “I’m building a lean-to shelter out of your promises/dressed in heavy sackcloth with a heart that of Thomas.”
    The Iron Did Swim, Land of the Living, Eric Peters
    …”Here I am praying/putting words in your mouth”
    The Last Frontier, Land of the Living, Eric Peters
    There are a lot of little lyrical gems in Eric’s music; these are just a couple that spring immediately to mind.

    “I did not catch her name, I did not catch her tears/but it hit me like a train when her story hit my ears…”
    I Did Not Catch Her Name, War and Peace, Randall Goodgame (Actually, the whole song is amazing, and one of my favorites by him).

    Not one of my favorite songs, and I believe it’s a cover (I can’t remember who did the original) but the Be Good Tanyas sing a line I love in “Keep it Light Enough To Travel” “Promise we won’t go into nightclubs/Cause I think that it’s obscene/What kind of people go to meet people/Where you can’t be heard or seen?”

    –the whole album Blood on the Tracks by Bob Dylan. I’m not a huge Dylan fan, but this album is amazing to my ears. The way the man strings words together is unreal.

    I also love “Caroline” by Old Crow Medicine Show–it might be the plaintive delivery and sparse accompaniment as much as the lyrics, though:
    They say you were born in St. Claire’s hospital
    I say you were born up in the sky
    You come floatin’ down over New Orleans
    To the sweet green levee on the river side
    And your voice chirped like old squeaky shoes
    And momma always said we had nothing to lose
    And so we danced on the street corner

    Oh Caroline
    (Round) Caroline
    Heartbroken hard times, they never got us down
    Walkin’ the same line through every single southern town
    Hand in hand your arm ‘round mine
    Oh Caroline

    Oh Caroline
    (Round) Caroline
    I seen it all change and watch it change some more
    Seen hard times standin’ right outside your door
    Tell me gal what’s on your mind
    Oh Caroline

    We were the Cardinals’ biggest fans
    Turnin’ flips like Ozzy Smith all through the night
    ‘Til we got traded away
    To the Red Clay Southern League up on the Georgia line
    You be the pitcher and the catcher too
    I’m the home run king before his muscles grew
    Gonna knock the cover off this time

    Oh Caroline
    (Round) Caroline
    Heartbroken hard times, they never got us down
    Walkin’ the same line through every single southern town
    Hand in hand your arm ‘round mine
    Oh Caroline

    Oh Caroline
    (Round) Caroline
    I seen it all change and watch it change some more
    Seen hard times standin’ right outside your door
    Tell me gal what’s on your mind
    Oh Caroline

    These are different days
    And the pace of the world has us thinking there’s no time
    To turn the other way
    Take my hand and we’ll walk on down the line
    Though we may be a thousand miles apart
    A brother and a sister have a single heart
    And the beat don’t stop for nothin’

    Oh Caroline
    (Round) Caroline
    Heartbroken hard times, they never got us down
    Walkin’ the same line through every single southern town
    Hand in hand your arm ‘round mine
    Oh Caroline

    Oh Caroline
    (Round) Caroline
    I seen it all change and watch it change some more
    Seen hard times standin’ right outside your door
    Tell me gal what’s on your mind
    Oh Caroline

    Oh Caroline
    Oh Caroline
    Oh Caroline
    Oh Caroline
    Oh Caroline

    There are so many more great lyrics, and as soon as I’m done typing I’m sure I’ll think of a dozen others, but that’s all I got for now.
    Great list, by the way. I think I may have to check out Over the Rhine now.

  76. Peter B

    What a viral thread (did I use that term the right way?)

    My Baby Loves to Dance is indeed fantastic… but Randall’s Beautiful Girl is just as much a masterpiece (I need one for each of my girls, so there they are).

    I know that moons rise and time flies,
    and sweet little girls get older.
    But when your tooth aches or your heart breaks,
    will you still cry on my shoulder?

    Hey, beautiful girl,
    Daddy loves you — he loves you,
    most beautiful girl in the whole wide world.

    Chris, The River is one of those where I couldn’t pick just one line or verse. A single strain and I’m back on the 500-mile drive back to Texas on a late Sunday night, having left my heart behind in Jackson, Mississippi.

    There’s plenty of AP I could write here, but I’ll go with the first one that made my face rain:

    Isn’t it love to look down from the sky,
    see your only son on the cross asking why,
    and somehow let him die that way
    and not call the whole thing off?

    Isn’t it Love
    Clear to Venus

  77. Brad Johnson

    “Shes dear to me and so expensive
    Im not talking bout money
    When money talks I hate to listen
    But lately its been screaming in my ear”

    Ben Folds

  78. easton crow

    The ones that come back over and over are the ones from my childhood-
    There is a fountain filled with blood
    Drawn from Immanuel’s veins;
    And sinners plunged beneath that flood
    Lose all their guilty stain.
    “There is a Fountain”- Cowper

    See from His hands, His face, His feet
    Sorrow and Love flow mingled down.
    Did e’re such love and sorrow meet,
    Or thorns compose so rich a crown?
    “When I survey the Wondrous Cross”

    Jesus sought me when a stranger
    Wandering from the fold of God.
    He to rescue me from danger
    Interposed His precious blood.
    “Come Thou Fount”

  79. Abby

    Such a great post…

    I have a couple that just bring my heart to a new place everytime I listen:

    ‘I wish I could crash like the waves, turn like the autumn leaves, in effort to praise you.
    I wish I could smell like the forest, the fragrance lifting a mighty chorus, in effort to praise you.
    I wish I could roll like the thunder, to leave the earth below in wonder, in effort to praise you.
    I wish I could fall like the summer rain, and every drop would sing your name, in effort to praise you.’
    Watermark / ‘Gloria’ / Watermark

    ‘When you can’t find the strength to slumber, when you’re thrown by every swell, know that you’re not going under, with the Captain at the helm.’
    AP / ‘Steady as She Goes’ / Clear to Venus

    ‘High noon in the Valley of the Shadow, when the shadows were shot through with light. Jesus took in that breath and shattered all death with his life.’
    AP / ‘High Noon’ / Love and Thunder

    ‘So keep’em coming these lines on the road,
    And keep me responsible be it a light or heavy load,
    And keep me guessing with these blessings in disguise,
    And I’ll walk with grace my feet and faith my eyes.’
    Caedmon’s Call / ‘Faith my Eyes’ / 40 Acres

    So good.

  80. Bill P.

    Everything is open
    Nothing is set in stone
    Rivers turn to oceans
    Oceans tide you home
    Home is where the heart is
    But your heart had to roam
    Drifting over bridges
    Never to return
    Watching bridges burn

    You’re driftwood floating underwater
    Breaking into pieces, pieces, pieces
    Just driftwood, hollow and of no use
    Waterfalls will find you, bind you, grind you

    Nobody is an island
    Everyone had to go
    Pillars turn to butter
    Butterflying low
    Low is where your heart is
    But your heart has to grow
    Drifting under bridges
    Never with the flow

    And you really didn’t think it would happen
    But it really is the end of the line
    So I’m sorry that you’ve turned to driftwood
    But you’ve been drifting for a long, long time

    Everywhere there’s trouble
    Nowhere’s safe to go
    Pushes turn to shovels
    Shovelling the snow
    Frozen you have chosen
    The path you wish to go
    Drifting now forever
    And forever more
    Until you reach your shore

    by Travis
    from “The Man Who” CD

  81. John Michalak

    One of my fave’s…

    God’s Own Fool
    By Michael Card

    Seems I’ve imagined Him all of my life
    As the wisest of all of mankind
    But if God’s Holy wisdom is foolish to men
    He must have seemed out of His mind

    For even His family said He was mad
    And the priest say a demon’s to blame
    But God in the form of this angry young man
    Could not have seemed perfectly sane

    We in our foolishness thought we were wise
    He played the fool and He opened our eyes
    And we in our weakness believed we were strong
    He became helpless to show we were wrong

    And so we follow God’s own fool
    For only the foolish can tell
    Believe the unbelievable
    Come be a fool as well

    So come lose our life for a carpenter’s son
    For a man who had died for a dream
    And you’ll feel the faith His first followers had
    And you’ll feel the weight of the beam

    So surrender the hunger to say you must know
    Have the courage to say I believe
    For the power of paradox opens your eyes
    And blinds those who say they can see

    So we follow God’s own Fool
    For only the foolish can tell
    Believe the unbelievable, come be a fool as well

  82. Stephen

    I can’t pick a favorite, but here are two that have kept me sane lately:

    “The waiting is the hardest part
    Every day, you get one more yard
    You take it on faith, you take it to the heart
    The waiting is the hardest part.”
    “The Waiting” by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers on the Hard Promises album

    “Maybe the sun will shine today
    The clouds will blow away
    Maybe I won’t feel so afraid
    I will try to understand
    Either way.”
    “Either Way” by Wilco from the Sky Blue Sky album

  83. Andrea

    “Where the sacred rivers meet beneath the shadow of the Keeper of the Plains”

    Calling Out Your Name
    The World as Best as I Remember it Vol. 1
    Rich Mullins (of course)

    That one stopped me in my tracks. Also:

    “I’ve sung in mountain cathedrals, with steeples rising high, and altars made of evergreen, and windows made of sky.”
    Mountain Cathedral
    Matters of the Heart
    Bob Bennett

    Good post idea–thanks!

  84. Jason Gray


    There’s been a few mentions of Mark Heard here, and I’ve been trying to think all day of the consummate Mark Heard lyric to post, but they’re all so amazing. If you haven’t heard of Mark, you owe it to yourself to check him out.

    So I’ve decided that my next post I write for the rabbit room will be about Mark Heard. Until then, here are handful of his lyrics that have consistently moved me every time I’ve heard them these past 17 years since I discovered his music.

    “The colors here are monochrome
    Studies in one shade of grey
    The good times and the hard times
    Cut from the same grey cloth
    And all the fires that crackle here
    Consume but do not burn
    All light and no heat
    And I just wanna get warm
    I just wanna get warm

    The days they rattle past me
    Like a tunnel round a train
    Landscapes and heartaches
    I don’t know what I feel
    All I know is my condition
    Is worse than I can tell
    The small talk and the slow burn
    And I just wanna be healed
    I just wanna get well”

    — Mark Heard
    “I Just Wanna Get Warm”
    Second Hand

    “Fire in my shallows, sap of my soul
    I’m hungry for mercy and thirsty for slack
    Out in the outland, the flesh and the dust
    Weight of the tired earth is breaking my back

    Hope where I left it under the skin
    Countenance of maidens, the stance of the laddies
    The healing of old wounds, the trust of my kin
    The voices of children calling me Daddy

    Your love
    Never can fail to pierce me
    Hammers and nails
    Rhythm of passion louder than Hell
    Thunder of Heaven
    Hammers and nails”

    — Mark Heard
    “Hammers and Nails”
    Satelite Sky

    And finally, the last lyric of Mark’s last record before his death:

    “Treasure of the broken land
    Parched earth give up your captive ones
    Waiting wind of Gabriel
    Blow soon upon the hollow bones”

    — Mark Heard
    “Treasure Of The Broken Land”
    Satellite Sky

  85. Josh W

    In the time of my confession, in the hour of my deepest need
    When the pool of tears beneath my feet flood every newborn seed
    There’s a dyin’ voice within me reaching out somewhere,
    Toiling in the danger and in the morals of despair.

    Don’t have the inclination to look back on any mistake,
    Like Cain, I now behold this chain of events that I must break.
    In the fury of the moment I can see the Master’s hand
    In every leaf that trembles, in every grain of sand.

    Oh, the flowers of indulgence and the weeds of yesteryear,
    Like criminals, they have choked the breath of conscience and good cheer.
    The sun beat down upon the steps of time to light the way
    To ease the pain of idleness and the memory of decay.

    I gaze into the doorway of temptation’s angry flame
    And every time I pass that way I always hear my name.
    Then onward in my journey I come to understand
    That every hair is numbered like every grain of sand.

    I have gone from rags to riches in the sorrow of the night
    In the violence of a summer’s dream, in the chill of a wintry light,
    In the bitter dance of loneliness fading into space,
    In the broken mirror of innocence on each forgotten face.

    I hear the ancient footsteps like the motion of the sea
    Sometimes I turn, there’s someone there, other times it’s only me.
    I am hanging in the balance of the reality of man
    Like every sparrow falling, like every grain of sand.

    Every Grain of Sand
    Robert Zimmerman

  86. Jenni

    Wow, I had a hard time not writing down all of these lyrics in my Moleskine. Very inspiring. Those Springsteen lyrics are a-ma-zing.

    There are so many lyrics that come to mind (Over the Rhine, Lori Chaffer….), but currently, I can’t get Sandra McCracken’s song “Ten Thousand Angels” out of my head. For example:

    “how long you have traveled in darkness weeping
    no rest in language, no words to speak
    but there in the wreckage
    beneath bricks and bindings
    love has come, love has come for you

    against the night sky of your waiting
    your face is like starlight when he walks in….”

  87. Tim Bourne

    What a fantastic thread with so many great lyrics. Can’t believe how fast this one as grown since this morning. I can’t resist adding one more:

    “Got a stack of books so I could learn how to live;
    Many are left half-read covered by the cobwebs on my shelf.
    And I got a list of laws growing longer everyday;
    If I keep pluggin away, maybe one day Ill perfect myself.
    Oh, but all of my labor seems to be in vain;
    And all of my laws just cause me more pain;
    So I fall before you in all of my shame;
    Ready and willing to be changed-

    Own me
    Take all that I am,
    And heal me!
    With the blood of the lamb.
    Mold me with your gracious hand;
    Break me till Im only yours-
    Own me!

    Ginny Owns
    “Own Me”
    Without Condition

  88. Alex Green

    I can’t help but add another verse that has been in my head ever since I started thinking about this post.

    And You know the plan You have for me
    And You can’t plan the ends and not plan the means
    And so I suppose I just need some peace
    To get me to sleep

    Caedmon’s Call
    Table For Two
    40 Acres

  89. Brad Johnson

    “Hesitating Beauty”
    Woody Guthrie
    performed by Wilco
    Mermaid Avenue

    For your sparkling cocky smile I’ve walked a million miles
    Begging you to come and wed me in the spring
    Why do you my dear delay
    What makes you laugh and turn away
    You’re a hesitating beauty, Nora Lee

    Well I know that you are itching to get married, Nora Lee
    And I know how I’m twitching for the same thing, Nora Lee
    By the stars and clouds above we could spend our lives in love
    You’re a hesitating beauty, Nora Lee

    We can build a house and home where the flowers come to bloom
    Around our yard I’ll nail a fence so high
    That the boys with peeping eyes cannot see that angel face
    My hesitating beauty Nora Lee
    Well I know that you are itching to get married Nora Lee
    And I know how I’m twitching for the same thing Nora Lee
    By the stars and clouds above we can spend our lives in love
    If you quit your hesitating, Nora Lee

    We can ramble hand in hand across the grasses of our land
    I’ll kiss you for each leaf on every tree
    We can bring our kids to play where the dry leaves blow today
    If you quit your hesitating, Nora Lee

    Well I know that you are itching to get married, Nora Lee
    And I know how I’m twitching for the same thing, Nora Lee
    By the stars and clouds above we could spend our lives in love
    If you quit your hesitating, Nora Lee

  90. Sean Kirkland

    I love lyrics. It’s been fun reading these comments.

    Here are some of my favorites:

    (practically the whole song, but here is the paradoxical treasure)
    “Sweet the sin, bitter the taste in my mouth…….
    You got to cry without weeping, talk without speaking, scream without raising your voice…” U2/”Running to Stand Still”/Joshua Tree

    From one of the best songwriters of our time, in my opinion:

    “In time you’ll see that some things
    travel faster than light
    In time you’ll recognise
    that love is larger than life
    And praise will come to those whose kindness
    leaves you without debt
    And bends the shape of things
    that haven’t happened yet” Neil Finn/”Faster Than Light”/Try Whistling This

    Another great lyricist and creative musician:

    “Walkin’ with you down from Echo Park
    The ghosts fillin’ the trees
    The fire never understands the spark
    The way it is with you and me” Joseph Arthur/”Echo Park”/Our Shadows Will Remain

    also from JA

    “There are things we cannot know
    Invisible hands which guide the show from up above
    And sometimes you are forced to go
    Far away and shut the door
    On the one you love
    Well I dont know now where you are
    Your photograph sits like a scar against my wall
    Such a pretty face
    The sunshine in your eyes
    Taken on that day
    When all we had was love” JA/”Invisible Hands”/Come To Where I’m From

    another one …..

    “To make a mountain of your life
    Is just a choice
    But I never learned enough
    To listen to the voice that told me
    Always love… Hate will get you every time
    Always love… Don’t wait til the finish line” Nada Surf/”Always Love”/The Weight Is A Gift

    and finally (I really could go on and on here….) one from Peter Gabriel, who is a very heartfelt and unique artist:

    “Im digging in the dirt
    Stay with me I need support
    Im digging in the dirt
    To find the places I got hurt
    To open up the places I got hurt” PG/”Digging in the Dirt”/Us

  91. Brad Johnson

    “we come to you”
    derek webb
    i see things upside down

    as you came to us so we come to you
    fragile as a baby hopeful and new
    but learning fast that to walk is to fall
    soon we’ve done it all

    we come broken and we come undone
    we come trying hard to love everyone
    but we come up short in all that we do
    because we do
    so we come to you

    as you came to us so we come to you
    dirty and hurting then dead in the tomb
    but raised redeemed to show off the scars
    ‘cause you’ve brought us this far


    you came to show the way not around but through
    so through it all we come to you

  92. Seth Ward

    Wow. Too many to list. But the first ones off the top of my noggin…

    Paul Simon: Kathy’s Song

    And so you see I have come to doubt
    All that I once held as true
    I stand alone without beliefs
    The only truth I know is you

    And as I watch the drops of rain
    Weave their weary paths and die
    I know that I am like the rain
    There but for the grace of you go I

    Dylan: Shelter From the Storm (Always think about an Allegory of the Church when I hear this one.)

    Not a word was spoke between us, there was little risk involved
    Everything up to that point had been left unresolved.
    Try imagining a place where it’s always safe and warm.
    “Come in,” she said,
    “I’ll give you shelter from the storm.”

    I was burned out from exhaustion, buried in the hail,
    Poisoned in the bushes an’ blown out on the trail,
    Hunted like a crocodile, ravaged in the corn.
    “Come in,” she said,
    “I’ll give you shelter from the storm.”

    Suddenly I turned around and she was standin’ there
    With silver bracelets on her wrists and flowers in her hair.
    She walked up to me so gracefully and took my crown of thorns.
    “Come in,” she said,
    “I’ll give you shelter from the storm.”

    Rich: Calling Out Your Name

    Well the moon moved past Nebraska
    And spilled laughter on them cold Dakota Hills
    And angels danced on Jacob’s stairs
    Yeah, they danced on Jacob’s stairs
    There is this silence in the Badlands
    And over Kansas the whole universe was stilled
    By the whisper of a prayer
    The whisper of a prayer

    And the single hawk bursts into flight
    And in the east the whole horizon is in flames
    I feel thunder in the sky
    I see the sky about to rain
    And I hear the prairies calling out Your name

    “The Love of God”

    There’s a wideness in God’s mercy
    I cannot find in my own
    And He keeps His fire burning
    To melt this heart of stone
    Keeps me aching with a yearning
    Keeps me glad to have been caught
    In the reckless raging fury
    That they call the love of God
    Now I’ve seen no band of angels
    But I’ve heard the soldiers’ songs
    Love hangs over them like a banner
    Love within them leads them on
    To the battle on the journey
    And it’s never gonna stop
    Ever widening their mercies
    And the fury of His love
    Oh the love of God
    And oh, the love of God
    The love of God
    Joy and sorrow are this ocean
    And in their every ebb and flow
    Now the Lord a door has opened
    That all Hell could never close
    Here I’m tested and made worthy
    Tossed about but lifted up
    In the reckless raging fury
    That they call the love of God

    (And the Color Green but someone else got to that one first. Also LOVE God’s Own Fool, by Card.)


  93. Jacob T

    This one always makes me smile. Maybe I just miss the bayou.

    It’s cold down on the bayou
    they say it’s in your mind
    but the moccasins are treadin’ ice
    and leavin strange designs
    Cajuns say the last time
    that this happend they weren’t here
    All Beaumont’s full of penguins
    and I’m a-playin’ it by ear.

    Townes Van Zandt
    “Two Girls”
    “Live at the Old Quarter, Houston, Texas”

    Another Texas goody,

    Three in the front seat they sat on each side
    That green-and-white 58 Fairlane it would glide
    Down farm roads past open fields seeming like no big deal
    As it was happening I never felt a thing

    But now looking back it seems like it was everything
    Singing with mom just so we could hear ourselves sing
    Stealing a drink from the cold can in daddy’s lap
    Protected by only a small thin brown paper sack

    Lyle Lovett
    “South Texas Girl”
    Album: “It’s Not Big, It’s Large”

  94. David Rabe

    The beauty of the rabbit-like way that replies have proliferated is that each of us resonates with something slightly different. It reminds me of C.S. Lewis’ observations in (i)The Problem of Pain”(/i) on the “secret signature of each soul”, and how we all can love the same Savior yet feel his beauty and Truth in a wide variety of places.

    Resisting the urges to post the many, many lyrics from Andrew Peterson, Jars of Clay, and Caedmon’s Call that resonate with me, I’ll put down this excerpt from a song that levels me every time with the sheer poetry of it:

    Well, the cadence of the sea is just as steady
    And the chorus of the hills is just as strong
    And the faithfulness of God is just as mighty
    as it was
    When the shepherd slew the giant with a stone.

    Andrew Peterson
    “Song and Dance”
    Clear to Venus

    Also, I think Switchfoot deserves another mention. Every time I listen to (i)Beautiful Letdown(/i) I’m struck by the lyrics.

    It was a beautiful letdown
    The day I knew
    That all the riches this world had to offer me
    Would never do

    “Beautiful Letdown”

    All the riches of the kings end up in wills
    We’ve got information in the information age
    But do we know what life is
    Outside of our convenient Lexus cages?


  95. Arthur

    “And upwards to the heavens and inwards toward the heart
    Are lonely roads to travel through the forest in the dark
    So let wonder be your lantern and abandon be your spark
    As you find your way back home”

    Chase the Western Sky
    Greg Adkins

    “I’m tired of drawing straws with the sons of Cain.”

    Mark Heard
    Hammer & Nails(I think)

  96. Paul Burkhalter

    Ok, I’m gonna be a little bold here and post a poem by a not-well-enough known poet for a crowd that can appreciate:

    “As the seed corn sheddeth on the threshingfloor
    That which once was precious–needed now no more–
    So the nearest, dearest that would hold in thrall
    Let Thy winnowing fingers loosen:
    Love be Lord of all.

    As the seed corn falleth in the quiet ground;
    As it lieth hidden, with no stir nor sound–
    So would I, Thy seed corn, deep in stillness fall,
    That of me there may be nothing:
    Thou be all in all.

    As the seed corn springeth lowly at Thy feet–
    Spear of green uplifteth, yieldeth ear of wheat–
    So in tender mercy, though the seed be small,
    Let it bring forth for thy glory
    Who art Lord of all.”

    “Like Seed Corn” by Amy Carmichael

    After all, there’s a thin line between poetry and songwriting.

    And oh what the heck, I haven’t seen this one posted yet:

    “But the baby in the womb
    He was the maker of the moon
    He was the author of the faith
    That could make the mountains move.”

    “Labor of Love” by The Proprietor

  97. Jason Gray


    Oh man, I swore I wasn’t going to comment anymore. It’s so unseemly for me to comment on my own post! But I remembered a couple I would feel bad about not mentioning:

    “Well I looked my demons in the eye
    Laid bare my chest said do your best to destroy me
    See I’ve been to hell and back so many times
    I must admit you kind of bore me

    There’s a lot of things that can kill a man
    There’s a lot of ways to die
    Yes and some already dead who walk beside me
    There’s a lot of things I don’t understand
    Why so many people lie
    Well it’s the hurt you hide that fuels the fires inside me

    Must I always feel this way?
    So empty, so estranged?”

    –Ray Lamontagne
    ‘Til The Sun Turns Black


    “The last time I saw Jesus
    I was drinking bloody mary’s in the South
    In a barroom in New Orleans
    Rinsin’ out the bad taste in my mouth

    She wore a dark and faded blazer
    With a little of the lining hanging out
    When the jukebox played Miss Dorothy Moore
    I knew that it was him without a doubt…

    …I know I’m not a martyr
    I’ve never died for anyone but me
    The last frontier is only
    The stranger in the mirror that I see

    But when I least expect it
    Here and there I see my savior’s face
    He’s still my favorite loser
    Falling for the entire human race…”

    –Over The Rhine
    “Jesus In New Orleans”

    And finally (and this one is way better in context – makes me sob every time I hear it):

    “Oh the glory when he took our place
    But he took my shoulders and he shook my face
    And he takes and he takes and he takes”

    –Sufjan Stevens
    “Casimir Pulaski Day”

  98. Stephen @ Rebelling Against Indifference

    To get us to 100 comments, here’s an Osenga lyric I haven’t seen mentioned yet that I frequently find myself listening to late at night over and over:

    Jesus, Jesus, Jesus
    I did what I planned to do
    And I feel like I knew I would feel
    Now I want to come back to You

    I get scared that forgiveness
    Is for better people
    So I give up trying to fight
    Jesus, you’ll have to come get me
    Cause it’s too far to walk tonight

    There’s an angel on my left shoulder
    And ten devils on my right
    Jesus, you’ll have to come get me
    Cause it’s too far to walk tonight

    ~ Andrew Osenga, “Too Far To Walk”, from “Photographs”

  99. Joel Bassett

    “There’s a sudden joy that’s like
    a fish, a moving light,
    I thought I saw it,
    rowing on the lakes of Canada.”

    – The Innocence Mission
    “The Lakes of Canada”
    Birds of My Neighborhood

    “Don’t put your trust in walls
    ‘Cause walls will only crush you when they fall.”

    – Ray Lamontagne
    “Be Here Now”
    Till The Sun Turns Black

    “We can’t see what’s ahead and we cannot get free of what we’ve left behind.
    I’m reeling from these voices that keep streaming in these ears,
    All these words of shame and doubt, blame and regret.
    I can’t see how you’re leading me unless you’ve led me here
    Where I’m lost enough to let myself be led.”

    – Rich Mullins
    “Hard To Get”
    The Jesus Record

    “Let us wonder, grace and justice
    join and point to mercy’s store.
    When through grace in Christ our trust is
    Justice smiles and asks no more.”

    – John Newton
    “Let Us Love and Sing and Wonder
    Indelible Grace III: For All The Saints

  100. David V.

    This is impossible… and yet,

    The priest wore black on the 7th day and sat stone-faced while the building burned.
    I waited for you on the running boats near the cypress tree while the springtime turned,
    Slowly into autumn.

    Idiot Wind ~ Bob Dylan, “Blood on the Tracks”

    Now I listen to my sweetheart and I listen to my thirst.
    I don¹t spend time listening to other people¹s words.
    Sometimes they¹re right most times the reverse.
    They say the best is for the best when the best¹s for the worse

    Once I knew a girl in the hard hard times.
    She made me a shirt out of fives and dimes.
    Now she¹s gone but when I wear it she crosses my mind.
    And if the best is for the best then the best is unkind

    Best for the Best ~ Josh Ritter, “The Animal Years”

    and one more…

    Thought I might get a rocket ride,
    When I was child
    But it was a lie, that I
    Told myself when I needed something good.
    At 17 had a better dream.
    Now I’m 33
    And it isn’t me, but I’d
    Think of something better if I could.

    All My Friends ~ Counting Crows “This Desert Life”

  101. Kyle

    “The Truth is a river where the strong can swim down deep / And the weak and the broken can walk across so easily”
    -“Beautiful Mystery”
    Caedmon’s Call

    “Cause around here everybody’s trying to find someone to be / Every guy’s trying to find respect in the eyes of a girl who just wants to be loved / We’re children playing with guns / Children playing with hearts”
    -“We Go On”
    Andrew Osenga

  102. Lauren Voges

    The trumpet child will blow his horn
    Will blast the sky till it’s reborn
    With Gabriel’s power and Satchmo’s grace
    He will surprise the human race

    The trumpet he will use to blow
    Is being fashioned out of fire
    The mouthpiece is a glowing coal
    The bell a burst of wild desire

    The trumpet child will riff on love
    Thelonious notes from up above
    He’ll improvise a kingdom come
    Accompanied by a different drum

    The trumpet child will banquet here
    Until the lost are truly found
    A thousand days, a thousand years
    Nobody knows for sure how long

    The rich forget about their gold
    The meek and mild are strangely bold
    A lion lies beside a lamb
    And licks a murderer’s outstretched hand

    The trumpet child will lift a glass
    His bride now leaning in at last
    His final aim to fill with joy
    The earth that man all but destroyed

    Over the Rhine
    “The Trumpet Child”
    “The Trumpet Child”

    One of my favorite songs, not only for its musical beauty, but its amazing lyrics.

  103. joel vk

    And the wrens have returned and they’re nesting
    In the hollow of that oak where his heart once had been
    And he lifts up his arms in a blessing for being born again

    the clincher in “the color green” by rich mullins


    Behold, the Lamb of God
    Who takes away our sin
    Behold the Lamb of God
    The life and light of men
    Behold the Lamb of God
    Who died and rose again
    Behold the Lamb of God who comes
    To take away our sin

    “behold the lamb of God”–AP

  104. Billy Marsh

    Wow, there’s so many and I know most of the songs mentioned and can testify to their lyric power. But mine absolutely has to be a Michael Card song. What a poet, eh? “Joy in the Journey” brings me near to tears everytime and is a life-changing song for me.

    There is a joy in the journey
    There’s a light we can love on the way
    There is a wonder and wildness to life
    And freedom for those who obey

    All those who seek it shall find it
    a pardon for all who believe
    Hope for the hopeless and sight for the blind

    To all who’ve been born of the Spirit
    And who share incarnation with Him
    Who belong to eternity, stranded in time
    And weary of struggling with sin

    Forget not the hope that’s before you
    And never stop counting the cost
    Remember the hopelessness when you were lost

  105. Sean Kirkland

    I definitely second one of the first comments left on here, by Christopher Culver, regarding Andrew Osenga’s lyrics to “Early in the Morning.” The whole song is beautiful and those last lyrics are amazingly good.

  106. Julie

    “Julie, what was funny was as I hit ’submit’ posting the Jars of Clay lyrics, the guys from Jars walked into the coffee shop I was sitting in.”

    You’re kidding right!? You absolutely can’t be serious!

  107. Billy Marsh

    After thinking more about song lyrics, I have to submit some of the lyrics of a classic Jackson Browne song. They are lyrics that I never get tired of hearing and that always remain just as fresh, insightful, and poetic as they were when I first heard them.

    “The Late Show” From the album, Late for the Sky
    Everyone I’ve ever known has wished me well
    Anyway that’s how it seems, it’s hard to tell
    Maybe people only ask ya how you’re doing
    Cause that’s easier than lettin’ on how little they could care

    But when you know that you’ve got a real friend somewhere
    Suddenly all the others are so much easier to bear . . . . .

    [later in the song]
    Look . . .
    It’s like your’e standing in the window of a house that nobody lives in
    and I’m sitting in a car across the way
    Let’s just say
    It’s an early model Chevrolet
    Let’s just say
    It’s a warm and windy day
    You go and pack your sorrow, the trashman comes tomorrow
    Leave it at the curb and we’ll just roll away

  108. Sarah

    “no way construction of this tricky plan
    was built by other than a greater hand
    with a love that passes all our understanding
    watching closely over the journey
    yeah but what it takes to cross the great divide
    seems more than all the courage i can muster up inside
    but we get to have some answers when we reach the other side
    the prize is always worth the rocky ride”

    – Indigo Girls
    “The Wood Song”
    Swamp Ophelia

  109. Micah Taylor

    “But there’s rebel graffiti on the walls
    Inside the colosseum
    I’m sure kingdom people have felt this way about the church.

    “Down below in the catacombs
    The defiant ones are meeting
    Hiding in the underground
    Blood brothers pass the cup around
    And they pay no heed to the roaring sound
    Of the lions of the colosseum”

    – Pierce Pettis
    Lions Of The Colosseum
    Chase the Buffalo

  110. Deena

    I don’t ever remember crying for a song except patriotic ones (what can I say!). Then in 2006 I hear “LITTLE IS MUCH” by the band downhere. I cried when I heard the lyrics. Then after I bought the CD I would cry when I heard it for other people too.

    “What is the measure of a life well-lived
    If all I can offer seems too small to give
    This is a song for the weaker, the poorer
    And so-called failures

    Little is much when God’s in it
    And no one can fathom the plans He holds
    Little is much when God’s in it
    He changes the world with the seeds we sow
    Little is much, little is much

    Who feels tired and under-qualified
    Who feels deserted, and hung out to dry
    This is a song for the broken, the beat-up
    And so-called losers

    Consider a Kingdom in the smallest seed
    Consider that giants fall to stones and slings
    Consider a child in a manger
    Consider the story isn’t over
    What can be done with what you still have?”

    If anyone is interested in it you can hear it at

  111. Micah Taylor

    Oops! I kinda beefed the one from before. The kingdom/church comment was supposed to be at the top. I’ll make it up to Pierce with another fav of mine.

    “Little River Canyon in a crazy quilt of trees
    I’m looking at that smokey water choked with fallen leaves
    Fallen like a million childish dreams
    And just washed away like nothing in that frigid stream”

    – Little River Canyon
    Pierce Pettis
    State of Grace

  112. Joy C.

    Wow! 112 responses already. Check out this one, which I’ve written on my Bible flyleaf:

    “Well, I’ve never seen the Spirit Wind but I have seen the tall grass bend so I’ll follow it wherever it may lead me…”
    (And just about everything else AP has written…)

    By Andrew Peterson,
    “Venus”, on Clear to Venus

  113. Russ Ramsey

    Spotlight, magnetic, razor rhythm
    Laser love
    Guitar, drums, load up, stun!
    Jet black johnny b
    Ah gene jenie, killer queen
    Dizzy lizzy major tom
    So cmon
    Rocket baby!
    Cmon, we’re gonna fly
    (rocket yeah!)

    By Def Leppard, from Hysteria

    Who’s with me?

  114. Micah Taylor

    I promised myself I wouldn’t post whole songs but it was near impossible to pull just one part of this song. Mark Erelli has a way of kickng me in the songwriting buttocks.

    There are seven sisters weeping
    Down by the old oxbow
    As the coffee colored river
    Swells with melting snow

    Soon a bittersweet new season
    Will turn the gray to green again
    And I’ll have to find a way
    To say goodbye to you, my friend

    I’m gonna miss you this I know
    Though I’ll be just another memory when I go
    Will you forgive me all my sins
    And gather me back in
    Like the prodigal son no more to roam
    Will you let me once again call you home

    The sky is open like a chalice
    All along the river road
    Where the patchwork field tobacco barns
    Shiver in the cold

    I could drink it in for hours
    And never take my fill
    I tell myself that I’ll forget
    But I know I never will


    The wild birds take their passage
    Across the vernal sky
    Like an arrow loosed from God’s own bow
    So swift and true they fly

    Lord, draw me from your quiver
    Take away my tears
    Shoot me o’er the seven sisters
    Somewhere far away from here

    – Call You Home
    Mark Erelli
    The Memorial Hall Recordings

  115. Seth Ward

    So many good songs! I forgot about half of them and went a’ geekin’ out listening half the night last night.

    One more: Johnny Cash “When the Man Comes Around.”

    There’s a man goin’ ’round takin’ names. An’ he decides who to free and who to blame. Everybody won’t be treated all the same. There’ll be a golden ladder reaching down. When the man comes around.

    The hairs on your arm will stand up. At the terror in each sip and in each sup. For you partake of that last offered cup, Or disappear into the potter’s ground. When the man comes around.

    Hear the trumpets, hear the pipers. One hundred million angels singin’. Multitudes are marching to the big kettle drum. Voices callin’, voices cryin’. Some are born an’ some are dyin’. It’s Alpha’s and Omega’s Kingdom come.

    And the whirlwind is in the thorn tree. The virgins are all trimming their wicks. The whirlwind is in the thorn tree. It’s hard for thee to kick against the pricks.

    Till Armageddon, no Shalam, no Shalom. Then the father hen will call his chickens home. The wise men will bow down before the throne. And at his feet they’ll cast their golden crown. When the man comes around.

    Whoever is unjust, let him be unjust still. Whoever is righteous, let him be righteous still. Whoever is filthy, let him be filthy still. Listen to the words long written down, When the man comes around.

  116. josh

    The Man Comes Around is awesome! He’s got the perfect armaggedon-ny voice for it, too. I almost posted that one myself–one of my favorite songs ever, by anyone–good choice.

    Another one that hit me pretty good the first time I heard it is
    “You’ve been more than patient all these years/If it were me I would’ve given up long ago/the first time that you pulled me from the mire/And I brushed you off to dig another hole.”
    Desperate Man, Reinventing the Wheel, Andy Gullahorn

    “I love because he loved me when I had nothing.”
    Love Is Still a Worthy Cause, Tell Me What You Know, Sara Groves.

    I’ll second Randall Goodgame’s recommendation for “When the Saints Go Marching In” by Sara Groves, too. Not sure if it’s the same part I’m thinking of, but that song still gives me chills almost every time.

  117. Kristin

    I’m sure there are more in depth ones I could quote, but this one comes to mind almost weekly….

    “I pray on Sunday how much I want revival
    and then on Monday I can’t even find my Bible.”

    Hillsongs/Darlene Zschech

  118. Katherine

    “We were so sure we would change the world”

    Andrew Osenga
    “We were sure we would change the world”

    Makes me watery every time…

  119. Elise (apparently also can't pick just one) Krepcho

    “A man needs something he can hold on to
    a nine-pound hammer or a woman like you
    either one of these things will do”

    -Ray Lamontagne

    “I wish the world was flat like the old days
    and we could travel just by folding a map…”

    -The New Year
    -Death Cab for Cutie

    “Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise,
    Thou mine inheritance, now and always:
    Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,
    High King of heaven, my Treasure Thou art.

    High King of heaven, my victory won,
    May I reach heaven’s joys, O bright heav’ns Son!
    Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
    Still be my vision, O ruler of all”

    from Be Thou My Vision- old Irish Hymn

    and this little gem:

    “I call to the Lord who is worthy of praise
    And all my enemies don’t know where to face
    The cords of death have entangled my feet
    I cried to You and from your temple
    You heard me and you rescued me

    He rode down on the wings of the wind
    Darkend clouds were like a canopy around him
    He shot his arrows and he scattered my foes
    With bolts of lightening they all became exposed

    So I’ll sing halleluja
    Halleluja praise the Lord

    You, O Lord keep my lamp burning bright
    My God turns my darkness into light
    With my God I can scale a wall
    With your help, I can win a war and not even fall

    He makes my feet like the feet of a deer
    And lets me stand on the heights high above my fears
    He makes the path broad beneath my feet
    So my ankles don’t turn and ruin me ”

    -Psalm 18
    -Waterdeep (Lori Schaffer)
    Hidden track on Sink or Swim…I think?

    by the way…i’m a music teacher and i’m always stressing to my students the importance of listening to the lyrics of the songs they like. I’m really enjoying this post.

  120. euphrony

    “have a friend who just turned eighty-eight
    and she just shared with me that she’s afraid of dying.
    I sit here years from her experience
    and try to bring her comfort.
    I try to bring her comfort
    But what do I know? What do I know?
    She grew up singing about the glory land,
    and she would testify how Jesus changed her life.
    It was easy to have faith when she was thirty-four,
    but now her friends are dying, and death is at her door.
    And what do I know? What do I know?”

    Sara Groves
    “What Do I Know”

    This song stops me in my tracks when I start thinking I really know something. Reminds me to be humble, to listen to others, and teach (lecture) less and love more.

  121. euphrony

    Correction of Arthur’s above Mark Heard reference, expanded, as it is a favorite of mine as well:

    “I don’t want to be lonely, I don’t want to feel pain
    I don’t want to draw straws with the sons of Cain
    You can take it as a prayer if you’ll remember my name
    You can take it as the penance of a profane saint

    Knock the scales from my eyes
    Knock the words from my lungs
    I want to cry out
    It’s on the tip of my tongue”

    Mark Heard
    “Tip of my Tongue”
    Satellite Sky

  122. Justin

    This one has ruined me lately:

    ‘We are His portion and He is our prize
    Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes
    If grace is an ocean we’re all sinking.
    So heaven meets earth like a sloppy wet kiss
    And my heart turns violently inside my chest
    I don’t have time to maintain these regrets
    When I think about…the way…

    He loves us
    Oh how he loves us’

    Wonderful song written by John Mark McMillan, but performed live by Kim Walker on album called “We Cry Out.” Her and the band are out of Bethel Church in Redding, Cal. You can check them out on Youtube – type in Jesus Culture (which is the name of their service) or Kim Walker and He Loves Us.


  123. joel vk

    “Someday I will live
    in a house that’s built by
    hands that hold the world”

    “tanzania’–alli rogers
    from her album “day of small things”

  124. Amy

    Wow! Well AP is my favorite lyricist and I’ve already seen many of my favorite lyrics of his posted here, like the “Silence of God” and “High Noon” Also Rich Mullin’s “The Love of God”

    I’ve also seen some of my favorite hymns like “Be Thou My Vision”. So I’ll try to branch out and share some others.

    Here are some from my favorite hymn: “Once it was the blessing, Now it is the Lord;
    Once it was the feeling, Now it is His Word.
    Once His gifts I wanted, Now the Giver own;
    Once I sought for healing, Now Himself alone

    Once it was my working, His it hence shall be;
    Once I tried to use Him, Now He uses me.
    Once the power I wanted, Now the Mighty One;
    Once for self I labored, Now for Him alone.”
    Himself by AB Simpson

    I also recently discovered the hymn “Dear Lord and Father of Mankind” and love those words too, for example, how beautiful is this? “Breathe through the heats of our desire
    Thy coolness and Thy balm;
    Let sense be dumb, let flesh retire;
    Speak through the earthquake, wind, and fire,
    O still, small voice of calm.” John G. Whittier

    For something more contemporary, I love these words from “Captivate Me” by Charlie Hall
    “Your face is beautiful
    And Your eyes are like the stars
    Your gentle hands have healing
    There inside the scars”

    and these words from Nichole Nordman’s “River God”
    “ometimes raging wild
    sometimes swollen high
    never have I known this river dry
    The deepest part of you
    is where I want to stay
    and feel the sharpest edges wash away”

    And finally, something a little less spiritual, but that I related to deeply at the time….Sarah McLachlan’s “Do What You Have to Do”
    “a glowing ember
    burning hot
    burning slow
    deep within I’m shaken by the violence
    of existing for only you”

  125. Jason Gray


    I remembered another that I have to share, and since this was my post, I’m not going to feel bad anymore for leaving multiple comments 🙂

    Pierce Pettis’ name has been mentioned here a number of times, but I’ve only seen a handful of actual lyric quotes. So since he is one of the premier writers of our time, and an artist whose work has moved me deeply, I’ll throw a couple more in the ring:

    Could this be one of the most poignant and convicting lyrics about racism?

    “Football games beneath the lights
    No one ever dared to cross the color line
    Black faces watched through the fence outside
    Alabama 1959

    Don’t use that word my mother said
    It isn’t Christian, call them colored folks instead
    So I learned to be polite
    In Alabama 1959”

    –Pierce Pettis
    “Alabama 1959”
    Great Big World

    And his portrait of small town southern living is enough to make me pull up my Minnesota roots and head south:

    You don’t have to wait for good times
    To come ’round
    When all the shooting stars
    Come falling down
    We’ll just pick ’em up like
    Pennies from the ground
    Here in Moontown

    Tourists stop for gas
    All heading southbound for Orlando
    Wondering how we could ever stand it here
    Stuck in this dry county, no Budweiser
    No Black Label
    But we can dream you under the table
    Here in Moontown…”

    –Pierce Pettis
    State Of Grace

    And the one that is almost too obvious to mention, but I don’t think anyone else has so…

    “When you start to doubt if you exist
    God believes in you
    Confounded by the evidence
    God believes in you
    When your light burns so dim
    When your chances seem so slim
    And you swear that you don’t believe in him
    God believes in you”

    –Pierce Pettis
    “God Believes In You”
    Everything Matters

    Love all the posts everybody – even the Def Leppard! – thanks for sharing.

  126. Sarah Slice

    “There’s a burning down inside of me, because the battle seems so lost.
    It’s raging on so silently, that we forget it’s being fought. So amen, Come Lord Jesus.”
    Come Lord Jesus (this is an older song, but it has recently become one of my favorites)
    -Andrew Peterson, Carried Along

    “It is finished, saints the dying words record.
    It is finished. Glory to the risen Lord.”…
    “Heavenly blessings without measure flow to us, from Christ the Lord.”
    The Memorable Hymn
    -Conspiracy Among Friends, Anthem

  127. Caroline B

    “Every now and then
    the things I lean on lose their meaning
    and I find myself careening
    to the places where I should not let me go.
    But she has the power to go
    where no one else can find me
    yes, and silently remind me
    of the happiness and good times that I’ve known.”

    James Taylor
    “Something In The Way She Moves”
    James Taylor (1968)

    So good.

  128. Chris Pennington

    I haven’t read through all of these as of yet… so this might be a repeat…

    “Well the sun is surely sinking down,
    And the moon is slowly rising.
    So this old world must still be spinning ’round,
    And I still love you.
    So close your eyes.
    You can close your eyes, it’s all right.
    I don’t know no love songs,
    And I can’t sing the blues anymore,
    But I can sing this song,
    And you can sing this song when I’m gone.
    You can close your eyes.”

    James Taylor
    -You Can Close Your Eyes
    Mudslide Slim and The Blue Horizen

  129. Dieta

    What’s that on the ground?
    It’s what’s left of my heart
    Somebody named Jesus broke it to pieces
    And planted the shards

    Andrew Peterson,
    Just as I Am
    Love and Thunder

  130. Chelsey

    “The only thing that isn’t meaningless to me
    is Jesus Christ and the way He set me free
    and this is all that I have,
    this is all that I am.”

    — Sara Groves

  131. Curan

    “if i were you,i fall in love with me”

    If I Were You
    Collin Raye
    Direct Hits

    dunno the authors but this is where im at right now. 🙂

  132. Ron Davis

    “Sometimes soldiers die setting people free
    That’s more like Jesus than I’ll ever be.”

    – Randall Goodgame
    “Susan Coats’ Pants”
    War and Peace

    I’m not sure how I forgot that one. I’ll never forget seeing Randall play that song at the BTLOG Nashville show the year before they moved it to the Ryman. He sang that line (while wearing the pants), and there was a literal, audible gasp that came from the entire crowd.

    Then I lost a friend in Iraq in 2005. That CD really dug itself a special place in my library. I’m going to go listen now…

  133. Matt

    “I lay my burdens, at your nail-scarred feet,
    I know you’ll cradle me when I weep,
    And I will fear no more the angry world outside,
    While I safe in your embrace abide

    So let Your love cover me
    Like a pair of angel wings
    You are my family, You are my family”

    Ryan Long
    Waiting by the Window
    *verse by Ryan Long, chorus by Pierce Pettis

  134. Liz

    It seems that love blooms out of season
    And much joy can blossom from many tears

    Rich Mullins
    Hello Old Friends
    The World As Best As I Remember It Vol. 2

    The headlines in the dailies
    Are the horses in a race
    They lead you to believe
    That life and death are commonplace
    Some believe it
    And I’m crying again

    Mark Heard
    I’m Crying Again
    Stop the Dominoes

  135. Taya Gray

    Mingling here, your blood and my tears
    As you whittle my kingdom away
    I see that you suffer too, in making me new
    For the blade of love, it cuts both ways

    You peel back the bark
    Tear me apart
    To get to the heart of what matters the most
    I’m cold and I’m scared
    As your love lays me bare
    In the shaping of my soul
    The cut makes me whole.

    The Cut
    Jason Gray
    All the Lovely Losers

  136. whipple

    Wow. So much good stuff to read. I’m having to post before reading the rest of the comments.

    Three things:

    “Her father would tear out like a page of the Bible
    Then he’d burn down the house to announce his arrival”

    -Patty Griffin, Sweet Lorraine, from Living With Ghosts

    “I have seen by the highways of a million exit ramps
    Those two legged memorials to the laws of happenstance
    Waiting for four-wheeled messiahs to take them home again
    I am home anywhere, if you are where I am”

    -Rich Mullins, Here In America, from A Liturgy, a Legacy and a Raggamuffin Band

    “The trumpet child will blow his horn
    Will blast the sky till it’s reborn
    With Gabriel’s power and Satchmo’s grace
    He will surprise the human race

    The trumpet he will use to blow
    Is being fashioned out of fire
    The mouthpiece is a glowing coal
    The bell a burst of wild desire”

    Over the Rhine, The Trumpet Child, from the album of the same name

  137. whipple

    Holy crap, and I almost forgot:

    “Tell me your deep dark secret,
    And I will tell you mine.
    Oh, is that your deep dark secret?
    Oh, well never mind.”

    Vigilantes of Love, Certain Slant of Light, from Blister Soul

  138. Josh W

    would you not like to be sitting on top of the world with your legs haning free… I can’t believe that we would lie in our graves wondering if we spent our living days well.

    David J. Matthews
    Lie in our Graves

  139. Jim A

    Reading some of these comments surrounding this growing list, I think it would be quite incomplete without this lyric:

    “The truth was like a hammer to a darkroom wall that let the line shine thu
    cause he knew carrying secrets to the grave, was impossible to do,
    oooh oooh, the secrets carry you”

    “The Secret”
    Andy Gullahorn
    Room To Breathe

  140. Stephen @ Rebelling Against Indifference

    Speaking of Gullahorn, here’s my favorite lyric of his:

    The local priest soon got word / of the vagrants in the empty church / He was told to go to the house of God / And clear them out because after all / It was holy ground // He was met at the door by a man with open arms / Saying “welcome to the one place we belong” / He saw the shiny floors beneath the sleeping bags / He could hear the sound of laughter down the hall / Later on that night / As they broke the bread / He asked them if there’s room / for an extra bed //

    It was holy ground / It was holy ground / It was holy ground //

    Andy Gullahorn, “Holy Ground” from “Reinventing the Wheel”

  141. Matt Algren

    #7, Cheesecake Jones, Wind and Spirit is one of my favorite Chris Rice songs. I love the ‘dead brown leaves are stirred to scratch their circle dances’ bit, but the whole song is similarly expressive, so I’m putting the whole song down here.

    I hear a sound and turn to see a new direction on that rusty weather vane
    Suddenly the dead brown leaves are stirred to scratch their circle dances down the lane
    And now the sturdy oaks start clappin’ with the last few stubborn leaves that won’t let go
    I can hear Old Glory snappin’ and her tattered rope now clangin’ against the pole

    And my breath is snatched away
    And a tear comes to my eye
    Feels like somethin’s on the way
    So I look up to the sky, I look up to the sky and…

    From the corners of creation
    Comes the Father’s holy breath
    Ridin’ on a storm with tender fierceness
    Stirring my soul to holiness
    Stirring my soul to holiness

    I see the lifeless dust now resurrected, swirling up against my window pane
    And carried ‘cross the distance comes the long awaited fragrances of earth and rain
    And out across the amber field the slender grasses bend and bow and kiss the ground
    And in them I see the beauty of the soul’s who let the Spirit lay them down

    And it takes my breath away
    And a tear comes to my eye
    Feels like somethin’s on the way,
    So I look up to the sky, I look up to the sky and…

    From the corners of creation
    Comes the Father’s holy breath
    Ridin’ on a storm with tender fierceness
    Stirring my soul to holiness
    Stirring my soul to holiness

    And like a mighty wind blows with a force I cannot see
    I will open wide my wings, I will open wide my wings
    I will open wide my wings and let the Spirit carry me

    From the corners of creation
    Comes the Father’s holy breath
    Ridin’ on a storm with tender fierceness
    Stirring my soul to holiness
    Stirring my soul to holiness

  142. eric

    nice post, jason. i never made my contribution over lunch that day b/c i was too busy stuffing my jowls with mashed potatoes and sin-laden BBQ pork (ahem). besides, i am awful at lyric retention (why does this sound like a chronic disease?).

    i’m glad someone quoted bill mallonee/vigilantes of love. here’s what i dug up in my iTunes library (see, i had to go search it out b/c i couldn’t remember)

    “sunset is an angel weeping, holding out a bloody sword.
    no matter how i squint i cannot make out what it’s pointing toward.
    sometimes you feel like you’ve lived too long. days drip slowly on the page
    and you catch yourself pacing the cage.”

    “pacing the cage”
    bruce cockburn
    the charity of night

    i also hope to quote another Canadian, chantal kreviazuk, but i’m unable to hone in on it at present.

  143. Jason Gray


    Ahhh! Cockburn! Thanks for bringing him into the fray, Eric. He’s written some truly original and staggering lyrics. It was worth the wait to get this from you. All pork eating is forgiven…

    I’m glad, too, that a number of Vigilantes of Love/Bill Mallonee lyrics are popping up.


  144. d patton

    pierce has already been mentioned a number of times so i’ll lay off that one. but i think (if i read carefully) that john hiatt is only mentioned one other time so here are a couple of my favorite hiatt lines…..

    she came on to him like a slow moving cold front
    his beer was warmer than the look in her eyes
    “icy blue heart”

    and for all of you nashvillians….

    Well this ain’t no hotel I’m writin’ you from
    It’s the Tennessee prison up at Brushy Mountain
    Where yours sincerely’s doin’ five to eight
    Stampin’ out my time makin’ Tennessee plates
    “Tennessee Plates”

  145. elijah

    whipple, thanks for mentioning that Rich Mullins lyric from “Here In America.” It’s one of my very favorites. I believe he wrote that song while hitchhiking.

  146. Billy

    I was going to follow with a line or 30 from my favorite artist Sara Groves but she has been a pretty popular target in this thread. so I went with some one that doesn’t always capture me with lyrics but on this one occasion did just that.

    Song title: Wholly yours
    Artist: David Crowder band
    CD: ACollission

    “I am full of earth, you are heavens worth
    I am stained with dirt prone to depravity
    You are everything that is bright and clean
    the antonym of me, you are divinity
    But a certain sign of grace is this:
    from the broken earth flowers come up pushing through the dirt”

    That isn’t even the best part of the song the very last line of the song says “I am full of earth, and dirt, and you.”

    It is one of those lines that reminds me of who I am and who God is. And in spite of both of those things He chooses to be with me.


  147. Chrissy Ludlum

    “I wanted the ocean to cover over me
    I want to sink slowly without getting wet
    Maybe someday, I won’t be so lonely
    And I’ll walk on water every chance I get.”

    -Time and Time Again
    Counting Crows
    August and Everything After

    “So I lay down, what I cannot hold in my hands
    Every sorrow and hope spinning out of control
    And here I find sweet resolution comes in letting go
    And we will find shelter here.”

    Sandra McCracken

    “Upon that cross of Jesus, mine eye at times can see
    The very dying form of One Who suffered there for me;
    And from my stricken heart with tears two wonders I confess:
    The wonders of redeeming love and my unworthiness.”

    -Beneath the Cross of Jesus
    Elizabeth C. Clephane

  148. Ryan

    I’m glad JT finally made the list, but it took way too long for my taste. Here is another one:

    “It woke me up on a Sunday
    An hour before the sun
    It had me watching the headlights
    Out on highway 591
    `Til I stepped into my trousers
    `Til I pulled my big boots on
    I walked out on the Mesa
    And I stumbled on this song”

    “Enough To Be On Your Way”

    I’m sticking with the 70’s here:

    “Isn’t that the way they say it goes
    But let’s forget all that
    And give me the number if you can find it
    So I can call just to tell them I’m fine and to show
    I’ve overcome the blow
    I’ve learned to take it well
    I only wish my words could just convince myself
    That it just wasn’t real
    But that’s not the way it feels”

    Jim Croce

    I would be remise if I did not mention Andy Gullahorn:

    “He messed up again,
    Wanted to disappear,
    But he can’t ’cause he’s easy to find,
    I see him in the mirror,
    I see him in the mirror,

    God loves that guy…”

    “That Guy”
    Reinventing The Wheel

  149. Taya Gray

    Just one more . . .

    Now touch the air softly, step gently one, two
    I’ll love you till roses are robin’s egg blue
    I’ll love you till gravel is eaten for bread
    And lemons are orange, and lavender is red

    Now touch the air softly, swing gently the broom
    I’ll love you till windows are all of a room
    And the table is laid, the table is bare
    And the ceiling reposes on bottomless air

    “Touch the Air Softly”
    Peter Mayer
    Million Year Mind

  150. Brad

    There are so many to choose from but here is one that gives me chills every time I hear it…

    “To the Cross I look, and to the Cross I cling.”

    “Sweetly Broken”
    by: Jeremy Riddle

    Okay one more…
    “There in the ground, His body lay;
    Light of the World by darkness slain;
    Then bursting forth in glourious day;
    Up from the grave He ROSE AGAIN!!!!”

    “In Chirst Alone”

  151. Andrew C

    For You open Your hand
    And satisfy the desires of all things
    My God and King
    Psalm 145
    Shane & Shane

  152. Tom Bubb

    This is at best an all too humble offering but a good friend of mine told me I should weigh in here so:

    “It’s not like I want to get married. I never asked you to kiss me. Just don’t want you to be sorry you didn’t try.”

    Nickel Creek (specifically Chris Thile)
    This Side

  153. Julie

    I was hoping somebody would mention Nickel Creek!
    Here’s another:
    “Can I be used to help others find truth
    When I’m scared I’ll find proof that it’s a lie
    Can I be led down a trail dropping bread crumbs
    That prove I’m not ready to die

    Please give me time to decipher the signs
    Please forgive me for time that I’ve wasted

    I’m a doubting Thomas
    I’ll take your promise
    Though I know nothin’s safe
    Oh me of little faith”

    Nickel Creek
    “Doubting Thomas”
    Why Should the Fire Die?

  154. Tom Bubb

    Thanks Julie I’d temporarily forgotten how much I loved that song! Here’s a lengthy offering that just popped into my mind:

    Stop this train
    I wanna get off
    And go home again
    I can’t take the speed it’s moving in
    I know I can
    But honestly, won’t someone stop this train?

    So scared of getting older
    I’m only good at being young
    So I play the numbers game
    To find a way to say that life has just begun

    Had a talk with my old man
    Said “help me understand”
    He said “turn sixty-eight
    You’ll renegotiate”

    “Don’t stop this train
    Don’t for a minute change the place you’re in
    And don’t think I couldn’t ever understand
    I tried my hand
    John, honestly we’ll never stop this train”

    Once in awhile, when it’s good
    It’ll feel like it should
    And they’re all still around
    And you’re still safe and sound
    And you don’t miss a thing
    Till you cry when you’re driving away in the dark

    Stop this train
    I wanna get off
    And go home again
    I can’t take the speed it’s moving in
    I know I can
    Cause now I see I’ll never stop this train.

    “Stop this Train”
    John Mayer

    This is the best kind of sad song- one that makes you think and one that offers truth both sobering and helpful.

  155. Matt Patrick

    Though I have extremely close connections with the group, I couldn’t keep from adding some pegtop lyrics.

    where the heart-broken will find renewal
    the parched will find rain
    and the aborted find their mother
    and tell her they love her and forgive her and heal her pain

    “the Great Reverse”
    pegtop (written by David Peightal)

  156. josh

    When I go don’t cry for me/In my Father’s arms I’ll be/The wounds this world left on my soul/Will all be healed and I’ll be whole.
    “All My Tears”, Julie Miller (via Jars of Clay)

  157. Jeff Lane

    This lyric of a verse brings me to my knees everytime I hear it

    “How Did I get here
    Yesterday was so ordinary
    but today I ask for Grace
    How did I get here”

    Writen by Stacy Weaver
    CD in progress

  158. Molly

    one more … from Ron Block, that gets me each time I hear it.

    I’m not holding on to Jesus
    He’s holding on to me

    Speaks to me of the ultimate truth of our Christian walk, and of what grace is really all about. Thanks, Ron!

  159. Paul Burkhalter

    To continue on with the Nickel Creek theme……

    “Five years ago
    you pressed your hand
    into a brand new sidewalk
    its well worn now
    and though some tried
    yours is the only print there”

    Nickel Creek- “Brand New Sidewalk”

  160. eric

    dpatton, oh man, i’m glad you brought up the great and gravel-voiced john hiatt. underrated songwriter. as perhaps my favorite album of 2001-02 this song warrants mention:

    “on the rock of your love, on the stone hard truth
    on the rock of your love i found my living proof.”

    “rock of your love” (w/ julie miller)
    john hiatt
    the tiki bar is open (2001)

  161. Andie

    Pretty much any song from Rich Mullins would fit the bill. Many have already been mentioned.
    Here is one I really like that talks about the changing winds that Native Americans have had face.
    I don’t claim to understand all the lyrics, but I love it!

    I can see the iron horses’ tracks
    Pressed in the mud from the weight of all that steam and steel
    But the wind don’t blow where you want it to go
    No, the wind just goes where it will and you follow
    I can feel the breath of winter
    Driving this snow across these newly-whited plains
    Takes my breath from me and it leaves me falling
    Then it picks me up again in its own strength
    And I can hear the wild wind howling
    And I can feel it in my bones
    And I know that the howling will take me home
    I can see some traveller’s footprints
    There’s a little bit of blood in every step he made
    I wonder what kind of burden he’s bearing
    That has cut him so deeply every step along the long, long way
    In the west I see an evening
    This scarlet thread stretched beneath the gathering dark
    Red as the blood on the hands of the Savior
    And rich as the mercy that flowed from His broken heart
    And I can hear the wild wind howling
    And I can feel it in my bones
    And I know that the howling will take me home
    These men of violence, they have made this a world full of wars
    Oh God break Your silence and let Your justice shine forth
    Show some mercy, Oh Lord
    ‘Cause I can see a people dispossessed
    Broken and brave in the face of so much fear
    Driven from their homes by the greed of a nation
    Whose treaties were as good as litter
    Along the trail of their tears
    I can see the Covenant colors
    The sun and the rain have woven against the blue of the sky
    And I know if we live we will live by His promise
    I know He who made it and
    And I’m sure that He would not lie
    And I can hear the wild wind howling
    And I can feel it in my bones
    And I know that the howl

    World As Best As I Remember It volume 1

  162. Andie

    And I had been running
    Still you pursued
    I watched you move each heavy stone
    The thorns around me torn your skin
    But you kept coming through
    ‘Cause you won’t leave well enough alone


  163. Andie

    And I had been running
    Still you pursued
    I watched you move each heavy stone
    The thorns around me torn your skin
    But you kept coming through
    ‘Cause you won’t leave well enough alone

    (the whole album is stellar)

  164. Andie

    your courage asks me what I’m afraid of
    (what I am made of)
    and what I know of love
    and what I know of God


  165. Matt Algren

    Has it really been ten years since Fernando Ortega released The Breaking Of The Dawn? That’s unreal.

    Jesus, King of angels, heaven’s light,
    Shine Your face upon this house tonight.
    Let no evil come into my dreams;
    Light of heaven, keep me in Your peace.

    Remind me how You made dark spirits flee,
    And spoke Your power to the raging sea.
    And spoke Your mercy to a sinful man;
    Remind me, Jesus, this is what I am.

    The universe is vast beyond the stars,
    But You are mindful when the sparrow falls,
    And mindful of the anxious thoughts
    That find me, surround me, and bind me . . .

    With all my heart I love You, Sovereign Lord.
    Tomorrow, let me love You even more.
    And rise to speak the goodness of Your name
    Until I close my eyes and sleep again.

    The universe is vast beyond the stars,
    But You are mindful when the sparrow falls,
    And mindful of the anxious thoughts
    That find me, surround me, and bind me . . .

    Jesus, King of angels, heaven’s light,
    Hold my hand and keep me through this night.

    -Fernando Ortega
    “Jesus, King of Angels”
    The Breaking Of The Dawn

  166. Jonathan

    My aplogies if these are repeats I had to give up reading after 70 or 80 posts!

    When you love you walk on the water
    Just don’t stumble on the waves
    We all want to go there somethin’ awful
    But to stand there it takes some grace
    ‘Cause oh, we are not as strong
    As we think we are

    – Rich Mullins
    “We Are Not as Strong As We Think We Are”

    Step out the front door like a ghost
    into the fog where no one notices
    the contrast of white on white.
    And in between the moon and you
    the angels get a better view
    of the crumbling difference between wrong and right.

    – Counting Crows
    “Round Here”
    August and Everything After

  167. Gina

    Sometimes we stumbled, sometimes missed a beat
    and had to slow down to untangle our feet
    but the music was strong and it moved us along
    we knew that our meeting was much more than chance
    for such is the beauty and the charm of the dance

    -Jason Gray
    “The Dance”
    A Place called Hope

    When you pick up speed you’ll see I’ll fall behind
    But know that I will steady you as long as I can
    If I could I’d break your every fall
    but if you never fell you’d never learn to get back up again
    My son, you must learn to get back up again

    -Jason Gray
    “Learning to Ride a Bike”
    Live Vol. 1 Hoping

    It don’t matter where you’ve been before,
    there’s always room here for one more
    Come on home to a place,
    Where you never have to be
    afraid to show your face, child
    I’m talking about a place called hope….

    -Jason Gray
    “A Place called Hope”
    Live Vol. 1 Hoping

    I don’t believe you brought me this far to give up,
    So everyday I keep on fighting for it
    Show me again what I was made for
    help me to see
    How you’re moving me
    I still believe
    You’ve carried me this far

    (Brings me to tears everytime)
    -Jason Gray
    “This Far”
    All the Lovely Losers

    Like a flower beneath the concrete
    Pushing up under the weight
    To put a crack in the back of the pavement
    And break through to the light of day

    -Jason Gray
    “I’m not going down”
    All the Lovely Losers

    When My tears fall down like rain
    She wipes them from my face
    Have you seen her
    Have you seen her…..

    -Jason Gray
    All the Lovely Loosers

    What would I give for my children’s strength
    On the day that they stand alone…..
    I’d give everything that I own

    -Jason Gray
    “Everything that I own”
    All the Lovely Losers

  168. ThatRobert

    You people have posted most of mine already! Here’s a nice obscure one you haven’t done yet:

    Sing Me no psalm, you’re not king David
    Sing Me no high hushed glory be
    Sing it to one, one of the broken
    And brother you’re singing, singing to Me

    Prefab Sprout
    “One of the broken”
    Jordan: the Comeback

  169. Tony Heringer

    “There’s three sides to every story: Yours mine and the cold, hard truth.”
    Don Henley, “Long Way Home” from the Album “I Can’t Stand Still”

    “’twas grace that taught my heart to fear and grace my fears relieved”
    Amazing Grace

    There are many lines that move me, but those two are consistent parts of my soundtrack.

    Thanks for the post, it looks like it hit a chord (pun intended). 🙂

  170. Matt Christensen

    This is a genius idea! This is the first line that came to mind. Doesn’t everyone want to leave their mark on the world?

    “But I know we can’t all stay here forever, so I want to write my words on the face of today. And then they’ll paint it.”

    – Blind Melon
    Blind Melon

  171. Sean Kirkland

    Another recent one from U2:

    “Take this city,
    this city should be shining on a hill.
    Take this city,
    if it be Your will.

    What no man can own,
    no man can take….
    Take this heart,
    take this heart,
    take this heart….
    and make it break.”

    U2/”Yahweh”/How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb

  172. Mike Westendorf

    “Since, my friend you have revealed your deepest fear. I sentence you to be exposed before your peers. TEAR DOWN THE WALL”

    Pink Floyd
    “The Trial” from The Wall album

    It just really speaks to the difference between how man judges and how God’s grace works. Yeah, you have to hear the whole album for it to make the most sense. Even when God tears down our walls, the exposure leads to beauty as he rebuilds us in his image.

  173. Tom D. M.

    Been thinking about this for a while, and I don’t usually post, but this speaks to all the people that have tried to do well, and all the people that have missed the mark. O.K. it speaks to me, and has ever since the first time I heard it:

    Its these times you crucify me,
    Its these times your still my son.

    And its these times I love you…

    Andy Osenga and the Normals
    “These Times”
    Coming to Life

    This song still makes me stop EVERY time I listen to it.

  174. Jen Smith

    “The mouths of the best poets
    Speak but a few words
    And then lay down
    Stone cold in forgotten fields”

    – Mark Heard
    “I Just Wanna Get Warm”
    Second Hand

    And though they be on the dirty side, I love these lines:

    “Some call it freedom
    Some call it shackle
    But, let’s get together and build a tabernacle of holy flesh and holy mirth
    We’ll confute the enemy and enjoy the worth”

    -Bill Mallonee/Vigilantes of Love
    “Love Cocoon”

    And since I’m in a VoL frame of mind:

    “It’s lonely being lovely all the time…

    Yeah I got a heart of stone
    Everybody’s got a stain glass soul
    I’ve been sleeping at Gethsemene
    Got mother Mary and a rosary
    You had secrets and I had baggage
    Together we decided to unpack it
    Dreamed a dream now you’re laughing at it
    You’re just a girl in a leather jacket”

    -Bill Mallonee
    Fetal Position/Perfumed Letter

    “I remember the dark clouds raining dust for days on end
    Blew all the Earth out to California
    Just left us here with the wind
    Desperate times, you know everybody’s part
    It’s your own lines you’d like to forget
    Till what you were meets what you’ve now become
    And grins and says ‘Hey, haven’t we met?’ ”

    -Bill Mallonee/VoL
    Audible Sigh

    And now for something completely different:

    “I chose, and my world was shaken-
    So what?
    The choice may have been mistaken,
    The choosing was not
    You have to move on”

    -Stephen Sondheim
    “Move On”
    Sunday in the Park with George

    And for the truly surreal (out of context, at least):

    “Shovel go deep
    Heart beat true
    Chase the Kangaroo”

    -Steve Hindalong
    “Chase the Kangaroo”
    Chase the Kangaroo

  175. Jen Smith

    And I almost forgot. I saw this kid play at a music festival in Scotland summer of 2006. This lyric popped out at me.

    “I’ve got songs inside my head
    That could resurrect the dead
    And have them dancing through the headstones
    With the lovers they have left.”

    -Matt Johnston
    “Everybody Changes (So Will I)”
    A Long List of Excuses

  176. Matt Algren

    Saw an old guy today
    Staring long at a chess game
    Looked like it was half-played
    Then his tear splashed between
    The bishop and the king…oh
    He turned his face to mine
    I saw the Question in his eyes
    I shrugged him half a smile and walked away
    It made me sad, and it made me think
    And now it makes me sing what I believe

    It was love that set this fragile planet rolling
    Tilting at our perfect twenty-three
    Molecules and men infused with holy
    Finding our way around the galaxy
    And Paradise has up and flown away for now
    But hope still breathes and truth is always true
    And just when we think it’s almost over
    Love has the final move
    Love has the final move

    Heard a young girl sing a song
    To her daughter in her pale arms
    Walkin’ through a rainstorm
    “Because you’re here my little girl
    It’s gonna be a better world”…oh
    She turned her face to mine
    I saw the Answer in her eyes
    I shrugged her half a smile and walked away
    It made me smile, and it made me think
    And now it makes me sing what I believe,
    I believe,
    I believe

    It was love that set our fragile planet rolling
    Tilting at our perfect twenty-three
    Molecules and men infused with holy
    Finding our way around the galaxy
    And Paradise has up and flown away for now
    But hope still breathes and truth is always true
    And just when we think it’s almost over
    Love has the final move
    Love has the final move

    -Chris Rice
    “The Final Move”

  177. Daryl

    “Tomorrow Tomorrow” by Elliott Smith

    everybody knows which way you go straight to over no one
    wants to see you inside of me straight to over i heard the
    hammer at the lock say you’re deaf and dumb and done give
    yourself another talk this time make it sound like someone the
    noise is coming out, and if it’s not out now, then tomorrow
    tomorrow they took your life apart and called you failures art
    they were wrong though they wont know ’til tomorrow i got
    static in my head the reflected sound of everything tried to go
    to where it led but it didn’t lead to anything the noise is
    coming out, and if it’s not out now, i know it’s just about to
    drown tomorrow out

    The line “I got static in my head, the reflected sound of everything” always gets me.

  178. Nick

    ” You will always be a step ahead in the back of my head when I am trying to forget.”

    The Truth in the line is something I I think we have all felt during those times when we walk away from God.

    ” Forget”
    Jimmy Newquist
    ” Like it or Not”

  179. Jessica

    Kinda late in replying to this but oh well. I loved seeing everyone’s responses. So most of the lyrics I orginally thought of have already been stated (Wedding Dress, Table for Two, Ten Thousand Angels, Worlds Apart) but then I remembered this one off of Shane & Shane’s new album.

    “Oh the Devil’s singing over me an age old song
    That I am cursed and gone astray
    Singing the first verse so conviently over me
    But he’s forgotten the refrain
    Jesus Saves!”

    Shane & Shane
    “Embracing Accusation”

    That song seriously brings tears to my eyes and I was definitely crying when I heard it for the first time at their concert over the summer.

  180. Daryl

    Oh yeah, how could I forget Andy Partridge, and one of my favorite one-liners from a song:

    “Don’t let the loveless ones sell you a world wrapped in grey”

  181. Evie Coates

    “Further to Fly”
    Paul Simon
    Rhythm of the Saints

    There may come a time
    When you’ll be tired
    As tired as a dream that wants to die
    And further to fly
    Further to fly
    Further to fly
    Further to fly

    Maybe you will find a love
    That you discover accidentally
    Who falls against you gently
    As a pickpocket
    Brushes your thigh
    Further to fly

    Effortless music from the Cameroons
    The spinning darkness of her hair
    A conversation in a crowded room going nowhere
    The open palm of desire
    Wants everything
    It wants everything
    It wants everything

    Sometimes I’ll be walking down
    The street and I’ll be thinking
    Am I crazy
    Or is this some morbid little lie
    Further to fly
    Further to fly
    Further to fly

    A recent loss of memory
    A shadow in the family
    The baby waves bye-bye
    I’m trying, I’m flying

    There may come a time
    When I will lose you
    Lose you as I lose my light
    Days falling backward into velvet night
    The open palm of desire
    Wants everything
    It wants everything
    It wants soil as soft as summer
    And the strength to push like spring

    A broken laugh a broken fever
    Take it up with the great deceiver
    Who looks you in the eye
    And says baby don’t cry
    Further to fly

    There may come a time
    When I will lose you
    Lose you as I lose my sight
    Days falling backward into velvet night
    The open palm of desire
    The rose of Jericho
    Soil as soft as summer
    The strength to let you go

  182. Justine

    We are battered and torn from the day we are born
    In a world that has blinded and bound us;
    Is it any surprise we don’t open our eyes
    To the truth that’s disguised all around us?
    Like the secrets we keep
    And don’t know we’re keeping
    From before there was time
    Before there were lies
    Can we find You again, this far from the Garden?
    Do we dare even try?
    Do we dare pay attention
    Dare even mention
    The mystery we find ourselves caught in?
    And do we dare to remember
    All that we have forgotten?

    Carolyn Arends
    “Do We Dare”
    Feel Free (1997)

    I find it hard to just ignore
    The murdered unborn children
    Yes, times have changed but still God warns,
    “You shall not take a life.”
    I wanna save a life today
    I wanna keep one alive for my Father
    Who will avenge the blood
    Of weak and helpless ones someday
    Whose lives are spilled out like water,
    Lambs in the slaughter,
    And each one is hand-made by Jesus.

    Keith and Melody Green
    “A Billion Starving People”
    Not sure of the original album, but I have it on The Ministry Years, Vol. 2

    Both of these always bring tears, despite numerous listens, and I didn’t see either here yet. Though I could have missed them — what a response! I guess that anyone who comes to a website like this has deep appreciation for good music and great lyrics. Thanks for the opportunity to post!

  183. David Peightal

    “My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
    I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholy lean on Jesus’ name.
    On Christ the solid rock I stand
    All other ground is sinking sand
    All other ground is sinking sand…”

    I dont know who wrote it, but I figure it must have been Sara Groves. The reason I know this is because I cant get through the song without my vision getting blurry and my throat getting froggy.

    Even if Sara did not write it, I want to publicly thank her and others who call on the ancient tradition of great hymns within their writing style. They stand the test of time like no other song form I know of.

  184. Mr. President

    A recent favorite. If you’ve heard it, you won’t forget it.

    In fact, just go somewhere online and find it and listen to it. Now. Seriously.

    “You make the moon a mirrorball
    The streets an empty stage
    The city’s sirens, violins
    Everything has changed”

    – Elbow
    The Seldom Seen Kid

  185. cheryl

    “You say you see no hope, you say you see no reason
    We should dream that the world would ever change
    You’re saying love is foolish to believe
    ‘Cause there’ll always be some crazy with an army or a knife
    To wake you from your day dream, put the fear back in your life…
    Look, if someone wrote a play just to glorify
    What’s stronger than hate, would they not arrange the stage
    To look as if the hero came too late? he’s almost in defeat
    It’s looking like the evil side will win, so on the edge
    Of every seat, from the moment that the whole thing begins
    It is…
    Love who makes the mortar
    And it’s love who stacked these stones
    And it’s love who made the stage here
    though it looks like we’re alone
    In this scene set in shadows
    Like the night is here to stay
    There is evil cast around us
    But it’s love that wrote the play…
    For in this darkness love can show the way.
    So now the stage is set. Feel you own heart beating
    In your chest. This life’s not over yet.
    so we get up on our feet and do our best. We play against the
    Fear. We play against the reasons not to try
    We’re playing for the tears burning in the happy angel’s eyes

  186. Rayne

    I’m coming a little late to this game, but I cannot resist adding my two cents.

    “My ego’s like my stomach,
    it keeps sh#*@ing what I feed it.”
    Cursive, “The Recluse,” The Ugly Organ

    “You’ll learn to like the pain,
    You’ll turn it into something everyone else can love.”
    Rocky Votolato, “Blue and Gray,” Light and Sound EP

    “Mediocrity is the killer”
    Norma Jean, “Memphis Shall Be Laid to Waste,” Bless the Martyr And Kiss the Child

    “Picture now a car ride through the plains,
    Where east meets west and only sky remains”
    Damien Jurado, “Hoquiam,” And Now That I’m In Your Shadow

    “And oh tonight, I will retire,
    to the loving arms of my Savior,
    and we will walk through His gates,
    to the skies of heaven.
    And no more tears will I cry,
    All my sins, are they forgiven?”
    Damien Jurado, “Tonight I Will Retire,” Ghost of David

  187. Amiable Alleycat

    “Old friends, they shine like diamonds
    Old friends, you can always call
    Old friends, Lord you can’t buy them
    You know it’s old friends after all.”

    Guy Clark
    “Old Friends”
    from the album by the same title

    “It don’t pay to think to much
    on things you leave behind.”

    Townes Van Zandt
    “To Live is to Fly”
    High, Low and In Between

  188. fff

    “You’ll learn to like the pain,
    You’ll turn it into something everyone else can love.”
    Rocky Votolato, “Blue and Gray,” Light and Sound EP

    “Mediocrity is the killer”
    Norma Jean, “Memphis Shall Be Laid to Waste,” Bless the Martyr And Kiss the Child

    “Picture now a car ride through the plains,
    Where east meets west and only sky remains”
    Damien Jurado, “Hoquiam,” And Now That I’m In Your Shadow

  189. hjjrtre

    We are battered and torn from the day we are born
    In a world that has blinded and bound us;
    Is it any surprise we don’t open our eyes
    To the truth that’s disguised all around us?
    Like the secrets we keep
    And don’t know we’re keeping
    From before there was time
    Before there were lies
    Can we find You again, this far from the Garden?
    Do we dare even try?
    Do we dare pay attention
    Dare even mention
    The mystery we find ourselves caught in?
    And do we dare to remember
    All that we have forgotten?

    Carolyn Arends
    “Do We Dare”
    Feel Free (1997)

  190. Michael

    I was searching for something else, and I found this thread. I know it’s impossibly old, but I couldn’t resist. I saw this song mentioned on here a few times, but I didn’t see this exact part. Wow, he died too young!

    “From the place where morning gathers
    You can look sometimes forever ’til you see
    What time may never know
    What time may never know
    How the Lord takes by its corners this old world
    And shakes us forward and shakes us free
    To run wild with the hope
    To run wild with the hope
    The hope that this thirst will not last long
    That it will soon drown in the song
    Not sung in vain”

    -Rich Mullins
    “Calling Out Your Name”

    and also….

    “I remember how they scorned the son of Mary
    He was gentle as a lamb, gentle as a lamb
    He was beaten, he was crucified and buried
    And in the night, my hope was gone.
    But the rulers of this earth could not control him
    No they did not take his life he laid it down
    And all the chains of death could never hope to hold him
    So in the night my hope lives on.”

    -Andrew Peterson
    “In The Night”
    Counting Stars

    Awesome thread!

  191. Jess

    Whoa, Michael, thanks for unearthing this one! I definitely agree; it’s an awesome thread. I have a lot, but I’ll just cho0se a few:

    “There’s a star on the far horizon, rising bright in an azure sky”
    -Andrew Peterson (or would I say Mary Chapin Carpenter even though I haven’t heard her version of the song?)
    “Why Walk When You Can Fly”
    Counting Stars

    I get goosebumps at the word “azure” every time.

    “Deep enough to dream in brilliant colors I have never seen,
    Deep enough to join a billion people for a wedding feast,
    Deep enough to reach out and touch the face of the one who made me”
    -Chris Rice
    “Deep Enough to Dream”
    Deep Enough to Dream

    “Like the smile on the Mona Lisa,
    You reveal the Master’s touch
    God made you special and he loves you,
    He loves you very much”
    -Randall Goodgame
    “God Made You Special”
    Slugs & Bugs: Under Where?

    This makes me cry. I cry at a kids song. Actually, for the duration of that whole album I’m rotating between laughing my head off and bawling my eyes out. Well done. 🙂

  192. mattyroh07

    I could quote so many songs here, but this is what first popped into my mind:

    “Still wonderin’ why I’m here.
    Still wrestling with my fear
    But oh… He’s up to something,
    And the farther out I go,
    I’ve seen enough to know
    That I’m not here for nothin’…
    He’s up to somethin’.

    There is hope, for me yet,
    Because God won’t forget,
    All the plans He’s made for me
    I have to wait and see,
    He’s not finished with me yet,
    He’s not finished with me yet.”

    -Brandon Heath, “Wait and See”
    from the album “What If We”

  193. Rob Young

    “Joy and sorrow are this ocean
    And in their every ebb and flow,
    Now the Lord a door has opened
    That all hell could never close.
    Here I’m tested
    And made worthy,
    Tossed about
    But lifted up
    In the reckless, raging fury
    That they call the love of God.”

    Rich Mullins
    “The Love of God”

  194. Collin Cockrell

    “All I really need to know
    Is if You who live in eternity
    Hear the prayers of those of us who live in time.
    We can’t see what’s ahead
    And we cannot get free from what we left behind.
    I’m reeling from these voices that keep screaming in my ear
    All these words of shame and doubt, blame and regret.
    I can’t see how You’re leading me unless You’ve led me here,
    To where I’m lost enough to let myself be led.
    And so You’ve been here all along I guess.
    It’s just Your ways and You are just plain hard to get.”

    Rich Mullins
    “Hard to Get”
    The Jesus Demos

  195. Ralph J

    What a great site, with so many fabulous lyrics. Rich Mullins is already well represented, but let me add another:

    “Everybody, each and all, we’re gonna die eventually
    It’s no more or less our faults than it is our destiny
    So now Lord I come to You asking only for Your grace
    You know what I’ve put myself through, all those empty dreams I chased

    And when my body lies in the ruins of the lies that nearly ruined me
    Will You pick up the pieces that were pure and true
    And breathe Your life into them and set them free?

    And when You start this world over again from scratch
    Will You make me anew out of the stuff that lasts?
    Stuff that’s purer than gold, is and clearer than glass could ever be
    And can I be with You? Can I be with You?

    And when You blast this cosmos to kingdom come
    When those jagged-edged mountains, we love are gone
    When the sky is crossed with the tears of a thousand falling suns
    As they crash into the sea, then can I be with You? Can I be with You”

    “Be With You”
    Rich Mullins
    Pictures In The Sky

    This song was one of the ways that He got me through the experience of losing my Dad — driving to the hospital daily for his last couple of weeks, feeling utterly spent, but reminded that we can, and he will, be with Him.

    One comment on the lyrics (above) of Hard to Get… the song begins with,

    “You who live in heaven hear the prayers of those of us who live on earth…”

    That first line seems to acknowledge that God can HEAR our prayers, but then the song goes on to ask if He GETS IT, really understands what we’re going through. And then by the end of the song, we realize that He does understand what we’re going through, and so all we need to know is that He just can hear us, having come full circle back to where we started.

    That song expresses so honestly how hard it can be, trusting but not understanding the Infinite, whose ways are above our ways as the heavens are above the earth. Hard to get, indeed.

  196. Cornell

    “Ten million snow white wings were folded tenderly
    As the angels watch Jesus died for me
    Silence so deep around the throne
    As God the Father watch His Son
    Hung on that rugged croos alone and all for me…”

    Since 1997 to this date can no one tell me
    who wrote this song.

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