My Top Ten Albums

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Last year on Twitter I tweeted my list of the top ten albums I enjoy listening to. It probably won’t come as any surprise that while there are particular types of music I prefer, it is often the lyrics that really hit home for me. So here’s the list replicated (in reverse order, as all good top ten lists are) with samples of the spectacular words that fill the songs.

10. Grace by Jeff Buckley
From “Eternal Life” written by Jeff Buckley:
There’s no time for hatred, only questions
Where is love? Where is happiness?
What is life? Where is peace?
When will I find the strength that bring me release?

9. She Will Have Her Way: The Songs of Neil and Tim Finn by various artists
From “Distant Sun” written by Neil Finn:
And I’m lying on the table
Washed out in the flood
Like a Christian fearing vengeance from above
I don’t pretend to know what you want
But I offer love

8. Trigger by Sandrine
From “Nowhere” written by Sandrine:
Now that you’ve made it
You’ve got places to be
People that you have got to see
Things to be doing
You’ve got clothes you have to wear
You’re on your way
But you’re nowhere

7. White Ladder by David Gray
From “My Oh My” written by Gray and McClune:
What on earth is going on in my heart?
Has it turned as cold as stone?
Seems these days I don’t feel anything
’Less it cuts me right down to the bone

6. Little Voice by Sara Bareilles
From “Fairytale” written by Sara Bareilles:
I don’t care for your fairytale
You’re so worried about the maiden
Though you know she’s only waiting
On the next best thing
Once upon a time in a faraway kingdom
Man made up a story, said that I should believe him
Go and tell your white night that he’s handsome in hindsight
But I don’t want the next best thing
So I sing hold my head down
And I break these walls ’round me
Can’t take no more of your fairytale love

5. Under Rug Swept by Alanis Morissette
From “That Particular Time” written by Alanis Morissette:
At that particular time love encouraged me to leave
At that particular moment I knew staying with you meant deserting me
That particular month was harder than you’d believe
But I still left at that particular time

4. Harmonium by Vanessa Carlton
From “Who’s To Say” written by Vanessa Carlton and Stephan Jenkins:
Mother, don’t tell me friends are the ones that I lose
’Cause they’d bleed before you
Sometimes family are the ones you choose

3. Beneath the Velvet Sun by Shawn Mullins
From “North on 95” written by Shawn Mullins and Bill Bonk:
It’s hard to say where love turns cold
We never thought that we’d grow old
We filled up fast and went down
Slow enough to fake us out and make us fold

2. This Fire by Paula Cole
From “Throwing Stones” written by Paula Cole:
There you go again
You cut me off from talkin’
You bask in the glory
The center of the circle
All our friends think
You are a comedian
So kind and generous
But I am suffering

1. Your Body Above Me by Black Lab
From “Anything” by Paul Durham:
It could have been anyone
Could have been a woman or a man
Must have swept her away
Made her forget who I am
It could have been anyone
Could have slipped me a drug
Must have been a permanent dose
To make me forget who she was
It could have been anything
Could have been the time was spent alone
Maybe too much time together
Maybe too close to the bone
It could have been anything
Any word I might have said
Just a look I might have given
Just the angle of my head

And just because I think Paul Durham is one of the greatest songwriters out there, here’s “Tell Me What To Say” – lyrical perfection:

I take one for the heartache
One for the headache
Two for the constant tears
I take one for the blindness
One for the foolishness
Of trying to keep you here
I would stop waiting, stop crying
Stop reading into why
You stayed away so long
I would stop calling, stop writing
Stop faking, stop denying
You’re as good as gone

But I don’t know
So you just tell me what to say and I will say it to you
I will do it for you
I will burn this house down
Tell me what to say and I will say it to you
I will do what you do
I will burn us to the ground

Even on weekdays
Even on Sundays
Even in the blackest night
Even when you touch me
I know you don’t love me
And I can’t make it right
I would stop waiting, stop walking
Stop trying to start you talking
Say your own goodbyes
I would stop drinking, stop feeling
Break down and stop believing
You might change your mind

But I don’t know
So you just tell me what to say and I will say it to you
I will do it for you
I will burn this house down
Tell me what to say and I will say it to you
I will do what you do
I will burn us to the ground

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