Top 10 Best Lyricists of All Time

The Top Ten
1 Bob Dylan Bob Dylan is an American singer-songwriter, author, and artist who has been an influential figure in popular music and culture for more than five decades.

Well I am Shocked, Stunned and Flabbergasted! Well you know Usually I'd not be ANGRY if My First Choice is not On Top! But it's Bob ' Dylan! He is On TOP! He is Number one! Anyone whose Heard it's Alright Ma, Desolation Row, It's All over Now Baby Blue, Visions of Johanna, Blowin' in the Wind, Like a Rolling Stone, Positively 4th Street, Idiot Wind! Well There is no Way this man is not on Top! And until he is I shall boycott the musicians above him, Lucky for me there are only two! And well I don't listen to Tupac... EVER! And I'll just only listen to George Harrison's Beatles songs and give up John's solo career!

Dylan's lyrics are on a entirely different level than any other artist. His songs paint vivid scenes with developed characters and unparalleled variety in vocabulary. He has hundreds of lyrical masterpieces. There is absolutely no contest here, rappers can only dream of being able to rhyme as well as Dylan.

Excerpt from the overlooked gem, Ballad of Frankie Lee and Judas Priest:

"Eternity? " said Frankie Lee
With a voice as cold as ice
"That's right," said Judas Priest, "Eternity
Though you might call it 'Paradise'"
"I don't call it anything"
Said Frankie Lee with a smile
"All right," said Judas Priest
"I'll see you after a while"

Hen take me disappearin' through the smoke rings of my mind
Down the foggy ruins of time, far past the frozen leaves
The haunted, frightened trees, out to the windy beach
Far from the twisted reach of crazy sorrow
Yes, to dance beneath the diamond sky with one hand waving free
Silhouetted by the sea, circled by the circus sands
With all memory and fate driven deep beneath the waves
Let me forget about today until tomorrow.

Bob Dylan is in a class of his own, but if he has to be ranked among any others, than it'd be Neil Young, PaulSimon, and Bruce Springsteen. Not Elliott Smith and Eminem. Damn. They really know how to cram fanboys/girls into one site. I mean, Elliott Smith? Number two is reserved for a great. Not a good one. People need to understand this. And Eminem is great, but he's way too high up. "Flow" is not what determines highest-ranking greatness.

2 John Lennon John Winston Ono Lennon, MBE was an English singer and songwriter who rose to worldwide fame as a co-founder of the Beatles, the most commercially successful band in the history of popular music. He was assassinated by Mark David Chapman on December 8, 1980 at age 40.

Lennon had more in his locker than anyone else. Dylan was predictable, put random words together. Lennon was much more diverse. Once you start to write a song, poetry disappears, it becomes a song. Lennon had a much more range of writing, the others wrote usually wrote in one style. The Irony to all this was Lennon new he was superior to anyone else. His intellect was so far ahead, no one can match him in this department. His vision, leadership, creative ability was to advance and mostly misunderstood.

John was a writer/poet in his own right for two major reasons. The first being that his wordplay was fabulous in a line that could be traced back to Edward Lear and Lewis Carroll (see I Am The Walrus or Being For The Benefit Of Mr Kite). But most important, John translated intricate feelings and emotions into words that we all could relate to. Lyrics such as Imagine, Isolation, Don't Let Me Down are the poetic soundtrack to our lives, to our dreams and to everyone's aspirations.

For those who may not know, Lennon and McCartney were the writers of The Beatles. These men are definitely amazing lyricist. Their amazing song Yesterday, is considered one of today's saddest songs of all time. I want that song played at my funeral. John Lennon also wrote songs independently. One of John's most popular songs was Imagine. That song is one of the most lyrical songs ever.

John Lennon and Paul McCartney both were the dynamic duo of The Beatles, John and Paul had great talent and creativity. The lyrics written by the Beetles are somewhat simple but at the same time so full of meaning as mentioned. People can relate to those lyrics very deeply, and nothing makes a musician like John Lennon happier than when that happens. It's amazing the things music can do

3 Roger Waters George Roger Waters is an English singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and composer. He is mostly known for being the secondary lead vocalist and bassist of Pink Floyd.

"Long you live and high you fly, and smiles you'll give and tears you'll cry. All you touch and all you see, is all your life will ever be."

"Strangers passing in the street, by chance two separate glances meet, and I am you and what I see is me". 'enough said.

And remember:
All that you touch
All that you see
All that you taste
All you feel.
All that you love
All that you hate
All you distrust
All you save.
All that you give
All that you deal
All that you buy,
Beg, borrow or steal.
All you create
All you destroy
All that you do
All that you say.
All that you eat
And everyone you meet
All that you slight
And everyone you fight.
All that is now
All that is gone
All that's to come
And everything under the sun is in tune
But the sun is eclipsed by the moon.

Every song written by Roger Waters has deep lyrics. There is a story behind all his songs. In terms of lyrics he's sometimes underrated. Come on, people, he wrote Dark Side Of The Moon. What more could you want? He writes about life, insanity, politics, alienation, society, death, time, treason. I'm glad he's in the top ten. He wasn't afraid to write about anything. He also wrote about the war and how it affected him. He's a genius. He also wrote The Wall, Animals, and Wish You Were Here after the true masterpiece, The Dark Side Of The Moon.

Nobody can write like Roger Waters. He words hold such raw power that most of it is unfathomable to plebs that prefer lesser artists. His songs can make me cry, laugh, scream, and can send shivers down my spine. His is the type of music that you have to listen to alone in a dark room without any external disturbances, because it is just that pure and powerful. He has made some of the most powerful works of art in the history of humankind and deserves to be called the best.

Only person I can accept being raked better than Roger Waters is possibly Bob Dylan just because he was a pioneer. But to me Waters will always be the best. Floyd all the way. Lennon OK I can still assume people are easily deceived and fooled. But Eminem, no way. I do listen to Eminem and like his rhymes but nowhere near Waters as a poet or a lyricist or a musician.

4 Eminem Eminem, born Marshall Bruce Mathers III, is an American rapper, actor and music producer born on October 17, 1972 in St. Joseph, Missouri. Eminem has sold over 300 million records making him the bestselling hip-hop artist of all time. In addition to his solo career, he is a member of D12 and (with Royce ...read more.

Unlike many in the music business, we have Eminem that speaks the grittiness of life and not just the hope of a bright future but the harsh truth in the normal actual world we live in. As each day passes, the world is revealed to be more of what Eminem raps than the hopeful world that is falsely promised. Do I advocate against a future that's better? No, but he speaks what is real and now and not like those who say one thing and live another. Because of this insight, this actually makes his music ahead of the curve and sets it apart from the rest of his field.

Eminem is an amazing artist. His lyrics may contain profanity, opinions, and often even a diss to an other artist as well. Eminem definitely made a scene in the rap game worldwide. He's written songs about his life, his wife and most often, his daughter Haley. He's written songs that actually make you feel good about like, for example Stronger Than I Was. He also writes songs that make you want to punch a brick wall, for example Till I Collapse. Eminem is definitely amazing, and he will always be.

It's all about storytelling mixing poetry with one's life and no one in my personal opinion can do it better than Marshall Matthers the Slim Shady...Eminem with his raging ability to rhyme and the versatile complexity of his stories not just serious notes but em's also one murderous clown who makes people laugh and murders them at the same time. I believe in fact I know it there's no one better and more deserving to be at number 1 other than EMINEM. P.s he don't need no top ranking to prove that!

Eminem is the best lyricist ever, period. Killing rhymes and the beat is not something that Shakespeare could ever do! Never! He is a beast, not only in rapping, but also is rhyming... Let's not forget the flow. He does more than one thing at a time. This is not what poets do! Poets write poems. That's that! Eminem performs miracles. You may say it's obscene, on the other hand, I'll call it being straightforward and outspoken.

5 Kurt Cobain (Nirvana) Kurt Cobain was born February 20, 1967, in Aberdeen, Washington. In 1987, he started the grunge band Nirvana, which became one of the most successful bands ever. He was a talented yet troubled grunge performer. Kurt Cobain became a rock legend in the 1990s with his band. He committed suicide at his ...read more.

Kurt Cobain deserves to be at least in the top 3. Words just came effortlessly to him. He was at ease with connecting ideas and emotions in a way that is relatable to everyone. He invented a new genre for music. The genre grunge took form from his words. Kurt never wanted fane or money. He stayed in cheap hotels and never flaunted his wealth. He was honest and real and that would translat into his lyrics.

It's hard to find one song by Kurt about anything happy. A harsh up bringing, his bipolar, stomach condition, and of course his vast drug experience messed him up. But from that we got true poetry describing pain and sadness like no one ever had or will again.
Rest in peace Kurt, whether it was suicide or murder, you deserved better.

Now this is one of the only things that make sense on this list, kurts a genius. no one ever wrote like him. he could just put lyrics, that to most people just seemed
like nonsense together, and then make genius lyrics, R.I.P after john lennon, he's the second person that makes you think how wonderful the world would be if he didn't die

Agreed, John Lennon was a huge inspiration, and a brilliant lyricist. But Kurt Cobain was just defining genius. A much better lyricist than Sir Lennon.

6 Freddie Mercury (Queen) Freddie Mercury (born Farrokh Bulsara, 5th September 1946 - 24th November 1991) was a Zanzibari-born British singer of Indian descent, songwriter and record producer, known as the lead vocalist and songwriter of the British rock band Queen. He also became known for his flamboyant stage persona and four-octave ...read more.

Bicycle race is a good song! The song features surprisingly complex instrumentation, and the Jazz album as a whole perhaps represents the apex of Queen's experimentation. It features an imaginative solo played exclusively on bicycle bells, unusual chord progressions, shifts in time signature (from 4/4 to 6/8) and a whole host of pop culture references in the lyrics, including mentions of religion, the Watergate scandal, drugs, Jaws, Star Wars and Frankenstein.

Mama, woo... I don't want to die
I sometimes wish I'd never been born at all
-Bohemian Rhapsody-

Even the valley's below
Where the rays of the sun
Were so warm and tender
Now haven't anything to grow
Can't you see?

-Nevermore-

Freddie was a real legend. There would be no musician like him that would be as good as him. His lyrics are much better than those who are in the upper list. He should have been in top 3.

Okay, what the hell, Bohemian Rhapsody is not lyrically interesting at all. Putting words together that sound poetic but have no meaning is not as hard as it seems.

7 Tupac Tupac Amaru Shakur, also known as 2Pac, was an American rapper and actor born on June 16, 1971 in East Harlem, New York. Tupac sold over 75 million records worldwide and has been referred to in multiple major publications such as Rolling Stone as one of the greatest music artists of all time. 2Pac was ...read more.

Tupac is a poet and a very good one also. Tupac saved my life. I was going through a rough moment, being constantly bullied at school, being yelled by my parents, and basically, for being something I knew I wasn't. Tupac opened up my eyes and made me take a glance at the real world. The first Tupac song I've ever heard was Thungz Mansion, and it spoke to me. I later on purchased his Better Dayz album on iTunes. Rest in peace Tupac, you're truly the best to ever do it.

John Lennon was great and Bob Dylan were great when it came to poetry and songwriting. Tupac was still the greatest though. He described real life and experiences, raw and unadulterated. I feel it must be either a lot of white people voting (no offense if you are white) or people who haven't heard much Hip-Hop music. Many of the people on this list are good, don't get me wrong; yet Tupac is God of Lyricism. RIP Makaveli

Tupac touched souls with his lyrics, he was not just a rhymer, he had a main theme for every one of his songs.

"Only God can judge me"

He pointed out flaws in society and politics at the time, the negative side of gang violence, racism, discrimination against women, and emphasized the need for change.

Tupac changed the world, surprised that he's tiger than Eminem when em has kinda lost it in the 2010' and has sold about 100 million records in like 20 years when Tupac sold 75-100 million records in just 5 years. pacs lyrics has changed many peoples thinking about the world and other people. he touched us and its sad how rap has changed under the 2000' its just mumble rap now and none lyrical when back in the days people listen to rap to get the lyrical content if he and biggie never died, I think that the world had looked a lot different.
R.I.P

8 Paul Simon Paul Frederic Simon is an American musician, singer-songwriter and actor. Simon's fame, influence, and commercial success began as part of the duo Simon & Garfunkel, formed in 1964 with musical partner Art Garfunkel.

I would vote Bob Dylan, but I see the legend that is Paul Simon is in 11th! Madness. As a student of English Literature I would have to say the lyrics of "I am a rock", "America" and pretty much all the songs on the album Graceland are nothing other than poetry is its purest and most beautiful form. The idea that those above are in the faintest way superior makes me laugh. Paul's lyrics (and music, which is equally untouchable) transcends all those listed above (many of whom have written brilliant lyrics but not lyrics that can evoke the same raw power as those of Paul). Only Bob Dylan can rival this man's brilliance and no other by a country mile. As far as his place at the top of the pile is concerned: "he is a rock. He is an island".

Paul Simon makes the most heart-hitting lyrics I have ever heard.

"These streets, silent as a sleeping army, send their battered dreams to heaven"

"If every human on the planet and all the buildings on it should disappear, would a zebra gracing on the African Savannah care enough to shed a zebra tear? "

"In the clearing stands a boxer And a fighter by his trade
And he carries the reminders
Of every glove that laid him down
And cut him till he cried out
In his anger and his shame
"I am leaving, I am leaving"
But the fighter still remains..."

These are just some excerpts of the beautiful poetry of Paul Simon!

I wish I could vote twice. Bob Dylan might beat Paul Simon, but Paul is incredible as well. Check out The Dangling Conversation or Kathy's Song. Just two examples of how Paul can break down emotion to such a raw form and still sound incredibly poetic. Few have been able to express emotion better than this man.

Paul Simon is one of those "writer's writers"... None of those shallow, cliche "Oooh I love you baby" lyrics that you typically find in rock or in popular music. His writing can be poetry. It can be story-telling. It can be political. It can be emotional. It can even be funny. He's just a versatile, talented writer.

9 Robert Plant (Led Zeppelin) Robert Anthony Plant (born 20 August 1948) is an English musician, singer, and songwriter best known as the lead singer and lyricist of the rock band Led Zeppelin.

Definitely one of the best singers and lyricists ever. He is absolutely amazing!

Listen to Thank You, The Rain Song, Kashmir, All My Love, I'm Gonna Crawl, etc. The list goes on and on. He didn't just write about sex

Are you kidding? I mean sure, led zepplins one of the greatest bands of all time but come on, his lyrics suck

The best lyricist ever born no one can give meaning to songs the way he does just by making noises

10 Elliott Smith

Elliott Smith is a musical genius, his lyrics are heartbreaking, vulnerable and powerful. You can't ignore his amazing talent. Doubtful that anybody will listen to him after seeing this but for anyone that does read this, I think you would appreciate listening to King's Crossing. It's about his life and is absolutely heartbreaking. I'm a big fan of a lot of these lyricsists such as Cobain for his originality and Lennon for just doing what he does best. But in my opinion Elliott should be so much more appreciated for his amazing work.

He still is to this day the most real, passionate, fragile, honest musician out there. I am so thankful I came across his music, his music comforts me and makes me realise there was someone out there who just felt and thought the same about a lot of things in life. And that it is ok to feel like that.. Because simply there sometimes is just no other way. How hard you try.. Or fight against it. Especially when you feel so alone and you feel like no one truely really understands how you feel. I love you Elliott thank you for your beautiful music.

I found Elliott through a Queens of the Stone Age cover of his song Christian Brothers. I thought the lyrics were beautifully potent and thought it'd be in my best interests to listen to him. Best decision I have ever made. His lyrics are are poetic as they are heart-breaking and they are sang with such grace. He is definitely in my top ten lyricists of all time. He rivals Kurt Cobain, Jim Morrisson and Bob Dylan.

A poet and musician. Rare combination these days. His lyrics and melodic voice translate his intensely depressing emotions in an paradoxically uplifting way. When listening to Elliot you are left feeling both happy and sad at the same time, something that only rare and masterful artist is capable of eliciting from his listener.

The Newcomers

? John Denver Henry John Deutschendorf Jr., known professionally as John Denver, was an American singer-songwriter, actor, activist and humanitarian, whose greatest commercial success was as a solo singer, starting in the 1970s.
? Ville Valo Ville Hermanni Valo is a Finnish singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, best known as the lead vocalist and main songwriter of the Finnish gothic rock band HIM.
The Contenders
11 Leonard Cohen Leonard Norman Cohen was a Canadian singer-songwriter, poet and novelist. His work explored religion, politics, isolation, sexuality and personal relationships. Cohen died on November 7, 2016 at the age of 82.

As someone who has listened to all of the artists in the current 20 twenty, and would identify as a fan of most, I can say that Leonard Cohen wins this contest by a landslide. Bob Dylan has had his preachy Christian period, John Lennon and Paul McCartney frequently wrote silly nonsensical crap like Yellow Submarine, Come Together or I Am the Walrus. Robert Plant ripped off a good chunk of "his" lyrics from other artists. Neil Young hasn't released a good album in a long time, meanwhile Leonard Cohen is still going strong, releasing Popular Problems only 2 years back to critical acclaim at the age of 82. Roger Waters was in a mainly instrumental band with less lyrics in their entire discography than someone like Leonard Cohen has on a single album, so how he's even considered when people think of the greatest lyricists is beyond me. (Note to Pink Floyd fans, writing great lyrics isn't the same as writing about political themes. Songs like "Another brick in the wall" and "Money" are ...more

I feel like people are voting based on if they're fans of the artist. I mean, I'm a huge fan of Leonard Cohen, but I truly believe I've never known anyone to have as powerful and poetic lyrics as he does.

If you were to take the music away, you would be left with poetry. In fact, Leonard was an aclaimed writer before he was a musician. He didn't write simple lyrics, he wrote masterpieces.

Seriously, listen to "The songs of Leonard Cohen" and "Songs of Love and Hate" and see for yourself. Matched only by Tom Waits and Bob Dylan

12 Neil Young Neil Percival Young is a Canadian singer-songwriter and musician, producer, director and screenwriter.

Dylan is better. Lucinda is better. Springsteen and Elliot Smith are his equals. Everyone else is in the line standing behind Neil.

Lover,
There will be another one
Who'll hover
Over you beneath the sun
Tomorrow
See the things
That never come
Today

When you see me
Fly away without you
Shadow on the things you know
Feathers fall around you
And show you the way to go
It's over, it's over

Beautiful symbolic lyrics, verging on Dylan's calibre. Songs such as Broken Arrow, simultaneously telling the story of a boy conscripted to the Vietnam war and his planned life.
The blunt and to the point songs like Ohio and Needle and the Damage Done.
Songs with an amazing narrative, like Cortez the Killer, Powderfinger, Pohcahontas etc.
He's brilliant!

Daddy's rifle in my hand
Felt reassurin'
He told me,
Red means run, son,
Numbers add up to nothing'
But when the first shot
Hit the docks I saw it comin'
Raised my rifle to my eye
Never stopped to wonder why.
Then I saw black,
And my face splashed in the sky.

The words to 'Thrasher' are pure poetry one single song makes me smile, laugh, cry, think, inspired, even full of 'Wanderlust' and more. Amazing!

13 Paul McCartney Sir James Paul McCartney is an English singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and composer . With John Lennon, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr, he gained worldwide fame with the rock band the Beatles, one of the most popular and influential groups in the history of pop and rock music .

The fact that Eminem is higher than Paul, shows how bad we have fallen! Paul is the 2nd best lyricist of all time! He has written masterpieces such as the long and winding road, yesterday, live and let die, The end, Eleanor rigby, Let it be, hey jude and many other songs. Only Dylan is a better lyricist.

I can understand Lennon or Dylan above Paul and other than no one. Paul is a very underrated songwriter. He didi wrote great songs in Beatles career, Get back, Got. A feeling, let it be and full Abbey road medley (Soke songs by John) he is no less than John and Dylan and absolutely above anyone 10 places ahead him

Why Paul is 15? He need to be at least in top 5. I like Eminem and Kurt, but they are not better than Paul. He is a incredible writer with music career of over 50+ years. Period.

Only Lennon and Dylan could be mentioned with McCartney.

14 Ian Anderson Ian Scott Anderson is a Scottish-born musician, singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist whom is best known for his work as the lead vocalist, flautist, and acoustic guitarist of British rock band Jethro Tull.

Ian is amazing and unbelievably prolific. He can hold our empty Faces up to the Hypocracies of our Society like perhaps only Joni Mitchell or Peter Gabriel have. He can be Lyrically extroverted as in Orion or My God; or bring a feeling of undescribable longing & unspoken sadness as with Nursie or Wondering
Aloud for example. -Brian P.

Man Anderson wipes his ass with them poet-wannabe rappers. Ian Anderson is not only a musical genius, lyric-wise he's also great. I bet all these Tupac fanboys can't even understand Thick as a Brick, Aqualung or a Passion Play. Agree with Dylan being number one though

The music is simultaneously direct; aloof; complex and searingly direct. When lyrics appear...they can be appreciated and delighted-in even WITHOUT musical accompaniment...and merely as poetry. AGELESS: still 'discovering' after 30 years!

Whoa. Never expected him to be that high for an often overlooked singer. But I mean, far from undeserved.

15 Bob Marley Robert Nesta "Bob" Marley was a Jamaican reggae singer, songwriter, musician, and guitarist who achieved international fame and acclaim.

"The stone that the builder refuse
Will always be the head corner stone. "

"The things people refuse
Are the things they should use. "

- Robert Marley "Corner Stone" (1973)

Perhaps the greatest and most inspiring Lyricist in the past 50 years. Bob Marley... The King of Kings

Bob marley is one of the greatest cultural icon throughout globe. A common man can identify himself in his songs. His lyrics are simple yet have a cutting edge to it. His songs like a medicine for millions out there.

Bob Marley was a brilliant lyricist and possible the best that ever lived. To have ever lived. Music inspired by God and the people.

Life is one big road with lots of signs
So when you riding through the ruts don't you complicate your mind

What more do you want?

16 Neil Peart (Rush) Neil Ellwood Peart, (September 12, 1952 - January 7, 2020) was a Canadian musician and writer best known as the drummer and primary lyricist of the rock band Rush. Peart received numerous awards for his musical performances, including an induction into the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame in 1983, making ...read more.

Peart is one of the most gifted and literate lyricists in popular music. His prose is packed with clever wordplay and references to other great works of literature. Yet they don't come across as too intellectual - anyone can relate to them.

Neils lyrics give something that you rarely ever see anymore. He takes complex ideas and intellectual ideas and puts them into rock. No one can top this guy. It's the thinking mans lyrics.

Powerful and moving. Peart has a passion for Sci-Fi, culture, and personal freedom. I would put him in the top 5, next to Paul Simon and Bob Dylan. He's a born Poet.

If Neil could sing his lyrics as good as he writes them, a black hole would emerge out of the awesomeness.

17 David Bowie David Robert Jones, known professionally as David Bowie (January 8, 1947 - January 10, 2016) was an English singer born in London, the son of a fundraiser and a waitress. He is credited for his experimental and creative musical discography which has won praise and accolades for many critics and fans. ...read more.

David Bowie really was an amazing lyricist. His songs evoke such images and show such thought. The way his lyrics flow are amazing, his innovations were delightful, and his lyrics fit the music so well! Maybe Bob Dylan was better at evoking images and maybe Bob Dylan was more innovative, but it was usually at the almost complete sacrifice of actual music.

Favorite Lyric:
"We had a friend, a talking man / Who spoke of many powers he had / Not of the best of men, but ours / We used him, we let him use his powers / We let him fill our needs / Now we are strong." - David Bowie, from Cygnet Committee

He's been consistently a fantastic lyricist for almost 50 years and desrves to be a lot higher.

His lyrics painted great pictures and told great stories.

18 Bruce Springsteen Bruce Frederick Joseph Springsteen (born September 23, 1949) is an American musician, singer, songwriter, and humanitarian. He is known for his work with the E Street Band. Nicknamed "The Boss", Springsteen is widely known for his brand of poetic lyrics, Americana, working class and sometimes political ...read more.

It's so sickening to see so many artist that shouldn't even be in the top 100 be ahead of bruce. This man is the one of the best if not the best lyricist of all time. He tells a story in each word he sings. He connects with everyone everywhere and knows how to reach personally as if you were actually talking with him. An he is quite witty. But it's not the websites fault, just the brain dead idiots that don't know what music is.

I can honestly say, I truly believe Bruce Springsteen to be a lyricist leagues ahead of both Bob Dylan and John Lennon. The Boss is the only lyricist whose lyrics I can just read as poetry and be totally satisfied.

Honestly don't believe that Lennon or Dylan ever wrote anything of that caliber.

Not only a great lyricist but probably the most perfectly rounded musician ever, great voice, great on guitar and the most amazing stage presence I've ever seen, but to top it all off a great song writer! Jungleland is just the most amazing song potentially of all time!

The boss is a master poet, it's unbelievable the isn't in the top 10 at least. That man brings the poetry to music every time, like in his first two albums, there is proved his ability to write incredible stuff.

19 Jim Morrison James Douglas "Jim" Morrison was an American singer, songwriter, and poet best remembered as the lead singer of the Doors.

Lyrics that stood out from the 'norm' of the day, when everyone was singing about flowers and happy trips, Jim sang about 'the end' and humanities addiction to the fast lane. I wouldn't say he was a great poet, but as far as lyrics, he is in a class of his own.

Riders On The Storm on its own should be enough to make this man number one. The entire LA Woman album essentially works as a suicide note written in poetic form. The greatest poetic lyricist of all time.

He should be in the top ten. One of the best song-writers to have ever lived. Just look at songs like the Unknown Soldier and the End.

I voted for Jim Morrison because his lyrics are poetic and also because no one put ray davies from The Kinks on this list!

20 Lou Reed Lewis Allan "Lou" Reed (March 2, 1942 – October 27, 2013) was an American musician, singer, and songwriter. He was the guitarist, vocalist, and principal songwriter of the Velvet Underground, and his solo career spanned five decades. ...read more.

Better than Dylan. Period. He stepped out of the boundaries of social norms to give commentary on things most people were to scared or ignorant to talk about. He was able to write some of the most sad and depressing songs ever written; so true to reality that you can't help but feel depressed. His 90's music was more relevant than any of your whiny Grunge bands, and, in the 60's, he was one of the first people to blatantly talk about drugs in their music. He also, along with the Kinks, talked about the transgender community in his music. I may be one of the few people who thinks Lou is better than Dylan, but ya gotta agree he should immediately after. If you disagree, well, besides the fact that you're wrong, you need to listen to his album, "Berlin."

Why is Lou Reed all the way down here. I voted for Dylan but Reed had a way of telling truths through his lyrics, terrifying the listeners, and evoking emotions. He is far better than most of the crap at the top, namely Robert Plant (Led Zeppelin is great but its lyrics are not), Eminem (there is nothing deep to his lyrics. period. ), or Freddy Mercury (he had a few good songs but most of it is just insubstantial pomp)

When I listen to lou reed its like I just melt into the music. the music and lyrics go together perfectly throughout all his songs. Heroin is such a unique and effective song. having said this I did vote for bob Dylan. I think this is why he has 1 % cause most people who appreciate good music and actually listen to the lyrics would appreciate and love both artists but when it comes to voting lyrically speaking bob Dylan would have to be number 1.

How can Lou reed be below Alex turner? Just listen to his lyrics with the velvet underground and transformer. Should be 2 at least. I guess this what happens when you let everyone vote

L

21 Cat Stevens Yusuf Islam, commonly known by his former stage name Cat Stevens, is a British singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, humanitarian, and education philanthropist.

He's written so many good lyrics, but my favourite is 'If you want to sing out, sing out'. Chorus: "You can do what you want, the opportunity's on, and if you can find a new way, you can do it today, you can make it all true and you can make it undo, you see, it's easy, you only need to know...". Very uplifting and inspiring, as is the movie 'Harold & Maude', in which the song is used as soundtrack.

At times Cat Stevens seems like a less pretentious Bob Dylan, carefully weaving words together to get his message across. "I know we've come a long way, we're changing day to day, but tell me, where will the children play? "

22 George Harrison George Harrison (1943 - 2001) was an English guitarist, singer, songwriter, and music and film producer who achieved international fame as the lead guitarist of the Beatles.

Although initially overshadowed by his bandmates, George Harrison was eventually able to showcase his writing talents for which the music world and myself are eternally grateful. Both with and without The Beatles, George proved himself to be just as good as Lennon-McCartney. I can't help but wonder what genius we were deprived of by him not writing on the earlier records.

George Harrison throughout his career is very much under-rated both in terms of his guitar and his lyrics.. He's a brilliant writer.. Drawing inspiration some of the greats in the field like Dylan & Lennon he's lyrics both in the later Beatles (Within You Without You, Something etc) and his solo career are excellent...

23 Alex Turner Alexander David "Alex" Turner is an English musician. He is the lead vocalist, guitarist, and principal songwriter of the English rock band Arctic Monkeys.

Alex turners lyrics are only surpassed by Bruce Springsteen and even then it's close listen " I just wanted to be one of the strokes now look at the mess you made me make, hitch hiking with a monogrammed suitcase miles away from any half useful imaginary highway. I'm a big name in deep space ask you mates but golden boys in bad shape, I found out the hard way that here ain't no place for dolls like you and me everybody is floating on a barge down an endless stream of great T.V., 1984, 2019. Maybe I was a little too wild in the 70's, rocket ship grease down the crack of my knuckles. Karate bandana. Warp speed chic. Hair down to there. Impressive mustache. Love came in a bottle with a twist off cap, let's all have a swig and do a hot lap." Tell me a song with better lyrics I'll wait.

Alex turner has been perfectly discribed as "a master of observation." In a band that some British publications called the most important band of our generation he still seems to be constantly underrated. His lyrical abilities have evolved and changed but still seem to be spot on every single time. He started with describing the lives of underage drinkers going out to pubs on "Whatever People Say I Am..." Changed to a brilliant take of life itself on FWN (2nd album) with song like "this house is a circus" in which he breaks down the psychological conflicts that our generation deals with today and also claims that is a reason for the monkey's popularity. On "Humbug" he throws out his previous lyricisms completely and trades em in for a almost heightened reality drug induced poetic style- (listen to potion approaching- a song about a girl giving him a mixture of drugs that makes him fall for her). He cleans up the words and the edges on Suck it and See for more and yet still different ...more

Severely underrated musician and lyricist in his generation. He is the best rock frontman of the 21st century. Versatile, sleek, observant, and poetic. He finds new ways that aren't cliche to compliment a women as seen in Arabella, Suck It and See, and She's Thunderstorms. Can write humorously such as is One Point Perspective and Four Out Five. Went from describing a messy, confused, and angsty teenage lifestyle in Sheffield to creating a dark, mysterious, smooth, sexy, and composed vibe. He showed his full lyrical abilities in Favourite Worst Nightmare where went from vividly and poetically describing breakups to giving his take on growing up and dealing with his newfound fame and the pressure of valuing artistry over selling out to beat out the competition.

The way he describes and narrates things is pretty uncommon, in a good way. Also, he has the ability to incorporate his great lyrics into catchy songs and I find that quite hard to do: not only is he a poet, he is also a talented musician. His songwriting abilities are insanely impressive.

24 Tim Mcllrath

"Life for you's been less than kind, so take a number, stand in line. We've all been sorry, we've all been hurt but how we survive is what makes us who we are. "

"hiding from the laughter in the closets of our lives, but the door hinges are sqeaking, letting in thin shards of light. And now a hand's extending outward, quiet comfort they invite. Do we dare take what they offer? Do we walk into the light? "

"a hero of war. Is that what they see? Just medals and scars? So damn proud of me? "

"do you still believe in all the things that you stood by before? Are you out there on the front lines or at home keeping score? "

"too much blood has flown from the wrists of the children shamed for those they cose to kiss? Who will rise to stop the blood? "

I could name a million more. This guy is a genius.

25 James Hetfield James Alan Hetfield was born on August 3, 1963. He is an American musician, singer and songwriter known for being the co-founder, lead vocalist, rhythm guitarist and main songwriter for the American heavy metal band Metallica.

I can say I'm disappointed he's so far down on the liste here... He's a magician. Nobody in this world can beat Bob Dylan (you heard me), but Jaymz is an artist in his own right, with topics ranging from politics 'halls of justice painted green, money talking' to the toll of war on veterans 'darkness, imprisoning me, all that I see - absolute horror. I cannot live, I cannot die, tied myself - body my holding cell' to drugs 'pain monopoly, ritual misery, chomp your breakfast on a mirror' to a mothers love 'mama she has taught me well, told me when I was young - son you life's an open book, don't close it when it's done' so in matter of diversity yet still maintaining his otherworldly lyrical ability, he is just the best. And this is beside the point, but come on who hasn't spent hours listening to his riffs and cleans?

I voted James since Dave Mustaine is for some reason not on this list. Hetfield's lyrics are amazing. Just listen to Metal militia, ride the lighting, for whom the bell tolls, fade to black, escape, creeping death, master of puppets, the thing that should not be, welcome home (sanitarium), disposable heroes, leper messiah, blackened, and justice for all, eye of the beholder, one, the frayed ends of sanity, don't tread on me, or pretty much anything else to see what I mean. Despite that, I strongly suggest Megadeth's lyrics too.

Best Lyricist in Metal by far, timeless lyrics and great messages (Albeit a bit morbid at times)...

"Welcome to where time stands still
No one leaves and no one will
Moon is full, never seems to change
Just labeled mentally deranged

Dream the same thing every night
I see our freedom in my sight
No locked doors, no windows barred
No things to make my brain seem scarred

Sleep my friend and you will see
The dream is my reality
They keep me locked up in this cage
Can't they see it's why my brain says rage! "

Enough Said!

Just look at songs like Fade to black, which describes depression perfectly, or One which lyrics are just intense and give you chills every time you hear the song. James is an amazing lyricist. Maybe not the best, but he belongs in the top 15 at least. And sorry for bad English

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