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.

When the beatnik einstein runover-moses whistles at your heart
You better stop and listen
When he feeds the air with a buzz so clear it resonates with your soul
That's when you're listening
If you fall and you're nowhere at all but you need some company
You can call him
Hell warp to ya with his eyes knowing that he knew ya from before
And you know him
From his demonic glasses, his black crown of thorns and the dust in his words to the wrongdoings that still shine through the fabric of his skin.
Its all there
Every verse, road, lesson, secret, face, word, song, sound, bell, joint, regret and triumph is somewhere in there
Do you hear it?

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!

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.

Greatest lyricist, songwriter, singer and performer of all-time. He has been doing it for over 50 years. Not many can hold a candle to that kind of stamina in the music business. There are artists that wrote great stuff but they either burned out or faded away. The test of time is the greatest test of all.

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.

While I would say Paul was the best singer, composer and melody writer in the beatles while George was the best guitarist John was the best at lyrics. some of the greatest lyrics ever can be found on his songs on rubber soul, help and the magical mystery tour album and the way he delivered them just gave it that extra edge that made those songs classics

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.

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.

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.

Roger Waters is an international treasure whose lyrics resonate from generation to generation. He will be rightfully remembered long after most popular musicians and writers have faded into oblivion.

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.

"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.

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 more.

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!

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.

No way... Eminem is a dumb rapper! He doesn't stand a chance to anyone else on this list, How is he over Nikki Sixx, Axl Rose, Or Izzy Stradlin? I just named 3 lyricists WAY better than this clown. Ever listen to "November Rain" By Gn'R? Or "You're all I Need" By Motley Crue? Or what about Any song by Ozzy osbourne, Led Zeppelin, The Who, Black Sabbath, Or Styx, Or any other Rock'N'Roll/hair metal/metal band EVER! (Keep in mind I have listened to a few Eminem songs before, I'm judging on what I think, not from the reputation of rappers. )

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 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 more.

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?


Bicycle, bicycle, bicycle,
I want to ride my bicycle, bicycle, bicycle,
I want to ride my bicycle, I want to ride my bike.
I want to ride my bicycle, I want to ride it where I like.
(All this is meant in good humor. I love Freddy Mercury as much as the next guy, but I wouldn't call him the greatest lyricist of all time.)

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 more.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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

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

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.

Elliott didn't just make great lyrics. He orchistrated every aspect of his music. 50 percent of what he did was lyrics. The beauty in him mediphors and the ammount of music he pumped out in a matter of a decade between solo work, in his band Heatmiser or collaborating with other artist. His music is timeless in a way that I can listen to it and still find myself mesmerized by it. It's a picture into a beautiful mind.

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.

The Newcomers

? Jeff Tweedy

Unbelievable that he wasn't on the list before I added him. "I'd be lying if I said it wasn't easy"

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

Come together is not nonsensical, it's beautiful description of The Beatles reworked from a campaign song, which makes for two possible readings. It's a nice description of the fab four overall.

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.

"Some women wait for Jesus
And some women wait for Cain
So I hang upon my altar
And I hoist my axe again
And I take the one who finds me
Back to where it all began
When Jesus was the honermoon
And Cain was just a man".

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.

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.

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

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!

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

Definitely should be higher, seriously why is Kirk Cobain ranked higher.

13 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

Ian Anderson is a genius but you're clearly shoving your ignorance of other genres in our face. Too bad for you.

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.

14 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.

Plant Lennon, and Dylan are the only people who compare with Paul in lyrics

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 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. more.

Stone love - she kneels before the grave
A brave son - who gave his life
To save the slogans
That hovers between the headstone and her eyes
For they penetrate her grieving

New love - a boy and girl are talking
New words - that only they can share in
New words - a love so strong it tears their hearts

To sleep - through the fleeting hours of morning

Just a small part of Bowie's Soul Love.
Always inspired and always setting the scene of his highly original songs.

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.

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 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!

How springsteen isn't in the top 5 of this list so far is sickening. The man is a poet and ranks right alongside, lennon and dylan in lyric writing ability. Obviously the idiots who voted have never heard Born to run, Nebraska or The River... Pity them

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

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.

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.

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. 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."

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.

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)

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


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.

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...

I'd take George over John and Paul ANY day.

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.

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.

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.

Manages to find poetical beauty and interest in everyday kitchen-sink dramas, as well as having explored deeper metaphorical meanings. He has changed with each album and is without a doubt the most talented songwriter of his generation. Key songs: Riot Van, The Only Ones Who Know, Conerstone and Arabella

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 Nick Cave Nicholas Edward Cave (born 22 September 1957) is an Australian musician, singer-songwriter, author, screenwriter, composer and occasional film actor, best known as the frontman of the rock band Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. Cave's music is generally characterized by emotional intensity, a wide variety more.

Absolute genius! Lyrics flow in a incredibly unique way, songs like 'Brother, my cup is empty', 'Red right hand', and 'Straight to you' show is prowess as a poet, not just as a musician. His lyrics are honest and personal, but also non-repetative so it feels like he is telling you a story each time you here him. Massively underrated in my opinion. Should be in the top 10 easily.

Just listen to the whole 'Murder Ballads'-Album - stories almost equal to E.A. poe. And some of his ballads like 'Straight to you' or 'Into my arms' contain words of incredible beauty. "And I don't believe in the existence of angels, but looking at you I wonder if that's true. But if I did I would summon them together and ask them to watch over you...".

Craasszzzy! This man's in the top 10 to 20 easy. Novelist, poet, songwriter, and screen writer. He's so beyond most of these people I'm ashamed to even have to put this down. Wow I'm living in bizzaro world.

Oh I also forgot to mention that his latest album Skeleton Tree is one of the most if not the most critically acclaimed albums of this year.

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