Top 10 Best Lyricists of All Time

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The Contenders: Page 7

121 Steve Harris Steve Harris Stephen Percy "Steve" Harris is an English musician and songwriter, known as the bassist, occasional keyboardist, backing vocalist, primary songwriter and founder of the British heavy metal band Iron Maiden.

From the Iron Maiden song "Dance of Death" that he wrote.

"Let me tell you a story to chill the bones
About a thing that I saw
One night wandering in the Everglades
I'd one drink, but no more

I was rambling, enjoying the bright moonlight
Gazing up at the stars
Not aware of a presence so near to me
Watching my every move

Feeling scared and I fell to my knees
Something rushed me from the trees
Took me to an unholy place
And that is where I fell from grace"

And that's just the beginning. Look up the whole lyrics to read a brilliant story.

Perhaps not known to many, Steve Harris is the founder, bassist and principal songwriter of the British Metal band Iron Maiden.

122 Rakim Rakim
123 Al Stewart

Listen to his historical album Past Present and Future, and you will be impressed. Such knowledge and a way with words.

124 Shane MacGowan

This is meant to be a list of the greatest lyricists. There are many, many song writers who deserve to be way above Shane when it comes to composing songs. But when it comes down to purely writing lyrics there are not many people above him and there never have been. He is easily one of the top ten lyrics writers of all time. For me top 3. I just despair when I see some of the names ahead of him on this list. It seems people are just voting for their favourite artists instead of being objective. MacGowan should be mentioned in the same breath as the best lyric writers and poets of all time. In the popular music world he should be up there with Dylan in terms of lyrics. The only difference being maybe that his output has been undoubtedly tempered by his lifestyle - but he should, and never will be, forgotten. His songs really stopped at his peak and he never really did anything all that bad. Many other lyricists outstayed their welcome and pushed well into the bounds of mediocrity. He ...more

'A pair of brown eyes' is the closest link between a song and a poem I think I have ever heard, just think of the imagery he creates with those words. Any MacGowan-penned song of the first 3 pogues albums has such unique lyrics that no other person could replicate. Yes he's not the best singer and yes he's now a mumbling shadow of his former self, but at the peak of his genius when the words would simply come pouring out of him, I believe he was among the best of his generation.

How can he be not into the Top Ten?

125 Geezer Butler Geezer Butler Terence Michael Joseph "Geezer" Butler is an English musician and songwriter. Butler is best known as the bassist and primary lyricist of heavy metal band Black Sabbath.

One of my favorite Lyricists of Metal. His lyrics were dark and amazing. - Mumbizz01

126 Ian Gilan
127 Tom DeLonge Tom DeLonge Thomas Matthew "Tom" DeLonge, Jr., is an American musician, singer, songwriter, record producer, entrepreneur, and film producer. He was born in Poway, California on December 13, 1975 . When he was in high school at age 15, he got expelled for drinking at a basketball game . He also used to play the ...read more.

Really? Taylor Swift above this legend? I can't even believe they have the same birthday, Tom is so much better than a stupid blonde drama queen that writes about girl and boyfriend drama. Tom isn't a stupid guy that writes about money and clubs and girls twerking and having girls twerk in his music videos like Lil Wayne. He is good at writing joke songs, he makes them clever and funny. And his meaningful songs are masterpieces. He is known to be the best lyricist in Blink-182. He can write all kinds of stuff, he is very good at writing in general, not just songwriting. - AnimeDrawer

He has proven he can have a sense of humour with his early blink stuff. Yet he can have a deep and meaningful side with Angels & Airwaves, and some of his later blink stuff. - Clamey

128 John Mellencamp
129 Ben Folds
130 Childish Gambino (Donald Glover) Childish Gambino (Donald Glover)

Probably one of the best rappers interms of flow and lyrics, comical and metaphorical, he plays on words like a gangster shakespeare.

131 Citizen Cope

However unheard of, one listen to a Citizen Cope record, and you will be hooked. In some songs, this man tells stories not at all relevant to his own life in such detail that you would believe you are living them yourself, and in others, write from the deepest corners of his heart. Top 5 all time.

1 song I ever heard actually, its kind of good actually. "let the drama kid dead"

132 Mikael Akerfeldt Mikael Akerfeldt Lars Mikael Åkerfeldt is a Swedish musician, prominently known as the lead vocalist, guitarist, and primary songwriter of progressive death metal band Opeth, as well as being the former vocalist of death metal supergroup Bloodbath.
133 Adam Gontier Adam Gontier Adam Wade Gontier is a Canadian musician and songwriter. He is the lead singer, rhythm guitarist and main songwriter for Saint Asonia, but is best known as the former lead singer, rhythm guitarist and main songwriter of the Canadian rock band Three Days Grace.
134 Nick Drake Nick Drake Nicholas Rodney "Nick" Drake (19 June 1948 – 25 November 1974) was an English singer-songwriter and musician, known for his acoustic guitar-based songs. A singular talent who passed almost unnoticed during his brief lifetime, his work has posthumously achieved wider notice and recognition.

Nick Drake speaks to the soul. You yearn to find the meaning behind his songs. He died young with so much sadness in his heart but never lost the ability to capture the beauty in the world in his lyrics.

135 Conor Oberst

"We are nowhere and it's now' are probably my favourite lyrics of all songs ever.

V 1 Comment
136 Jared Leto Jared Leto

Jared Leto is the best lyricist right now. -.-

137 Marilyn Manson Marilyn Manson Brian Hugh Warner, better known by his stage name Marilyn Manson, is an American musician, songwriter, actor, painter, multimedia artist, author, and former music journalist. V 1 Comment
138 Colin Meloy

Completely under-appreciated; the Decemberists' songs have some of the greatest lyrics ever written. If you need evidence, listen to "Sleepless" or "On the Bus Mall", some of their best songs lyric-wise. Colin Meloy's lyrics are some of the best, and they deserve more recognition then they get.

139 Phil Ochs

Whether speaking earnestly, ironically, on topical issues or ethereal human truths, Ochs's writing was captivating and masterful. Ochs was nearly Dylan's peer as a songwriter, and he was probably the best political songwriter of all time.

140 Steve Harley Steve Harley V 1 Comment
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