Top 10 Songs with the Best Lyrics

Songs with the most beautiful, politically meaningful, or funny lyrics ever.
The Top Ten
1 Man in the Mirror - Michael Jackson

I love this song. It taught me how all over the world, people are starving and dying, and how much of an unfair world we live in. Michael Jackson wanted to make a difference in our world, and he wrote a beautiful song to tell you. He is telling you that making a difference, little by little, will always make you feel good. It doesn't matter if it's something as small as giving someone less fortunate money, or as big as giving a charity a large amount of money. Michael Jackson was a great man. He wanted to make a difference, and he did. Thank you, MJ.

For me, it reiterates the fact that no matter what, any change in things - whether day-to-day or over lifetimes - for the person, society, generation, or world, starts with a person starting to work on his or her nature. That is the only thing we have control of. It's the epitome of attempting self-awareness. It shows how Mike was human but always trying to find a way to understand and better not only his place in the world but also to spread the knowledge of something so valuable.

2 Imagine - John Lennon

Few songs capture as powerful a vision for the world as Imagine by John Lennon. If the song didn't resonate with so many people, it wouldn't be on this list. And it's still just as powerful today as it was when it was written. Few songs truly deserve the title of being the world's greatest song, but John Lennon wrote this song for the world. And for that, he deserves it.

Probably the best song written in the '70s, Imagine has made a massive impact on all of us. This song has improved our imagination and quality of thinking. It has shown us how the world should and should not be. It would be even better if it were created together with McCartney.

"Imagine" is not just a song with powerful lyrics. It is a philosophy for life and a strong political statement at the same time. It's a radical message for harmonious globalization and is very relevant to the world today. By far, this song is number one for me.

3 Stairway to Heaven - Led Zeppelin

Zeppelin belongs at the top. No contest. Stairway, Kashmir, etc. Each of their songs actually has deep, thoughtful meanings that a majority of today's music lacks. It's pure poetry that remains as meaningful today as it has in the past.

"Stairway to Heaven" has very specific lyrics. Unlike a large number of songs, it's not about this universe. It depicts heaven perfectly and is full of useful advice. It really makes me wonder!

For me, the song is a masterclass in its entirety. A song for the ages. It features the most brilliant piece of guitar playing along with some of the best lyrics ever. As my capacity for understanding English improves, the song keeps getting better.

4 One - Metallica

This song is about the horrors of war and is against a controlling government that doesn't have to suffer the consequences of war, unlike the people. There's also a movie to go along with it that came out in the early '70s, Johnny Got His Gun.

Not only are the lyrics good, but the tune of this song is great too! I liked the part when the guitar joins in with the beat of the drums. It's very good.

I got nervous while this list was loading, because some of these lists are absolute bull. I would have been pissed if this wasn't on here!

5 Bohemian Rhapsody - Queen

"Bohemian Rhapsody" is an example of songwriting at its finest. Personally, I think the song is about war. "I'm just a poor boy, I need no sympathy because I'm easy come, easy go." This is about how the government so freely uses people's lives. "So you think you can love me and leave me to die?" Perhaps this is about having friendships on the battlefield and then being abandoned, or about the government not really caring if you live or die. "Spare him his life from this monstrosity" refers to war. Also, maybe he told his mother about killing a man because he wanted comfort. Why would you do that if you killed someone illegally? I guess you might tell your mother in that situation, but it seems more likely. So yeah, I have a whole bunch of other reasons, but I don't want to take up too much space.

This song actually tells a story (so I've heard).

The protagonist (whom we shall name Fred) is in love with a girl, but her heart is stolen by a crime lord. Enraged, Fred kills the crime lord. He's had his revenge, but now the entire mob is after him, so he must flee the country. He says goodbye to his mother (one of the most moving goodbyes in history) and sets off in hopes of escaping the mob's wrath. Unfortunately, in vain: the mob catches up with him at last. He pleads for mercy ("Mama mia! Mama mia! Mama mia, let me go!") but is, of course, cruelly refused ("Bismillah, no! We will not let you go").

So there he is, trapped in a corner. Fred faces death at the hands of the mob. His mouth opens one more time. Does he make a final complaint? An excuse? No! He stands up tall, pulls out his gun, and says, "So you think you can stone me and spit in my eye!?" Bang! Bang! Bang! "So you think you can love me and leave me to die!?" Bang! Bang! Bang!

When the smoke clears, Fred is the only one left standing.

Knowing he has killed so many people, Fred is aware that the law will be after him quickly. So, kissing his mother one more time, he leaves her with these words: "Nothing really matters to me."

6 Like a Rolling Stone - Bob Dylan

How the heck is this not in the top 10? This song blows "Breaking the Habit," "Lose Yourself," and "Stairway to Heaven" out of the water! An explanation is actually required for why this song should be first: No one mixes poetic lyrics and storytelling like Dylan does! On one hand, we learn about a girl's past life in the upper class ("Once upon a time, you dressed so fine..."). On the other hand, we learn about her present-day life ("Now you don't talk so loud, now you don't seem so proud, about having to be scrounging for your next meal"). Of course, there are elements of surrealism, from the curiosity of "the mystery train" to "Napoleon in rags." It's the ultimate story of how even the richest of the rich can descend into poverty. Vote it into first!

There are thousands of songs with amazing one-liners and hundreds of songs that are lyrical masterpieces. However, there are only a handful of songwriters that consistently produce perfect poetry set to music (Dylan, Simon, Browne, et al). Bob Dylan stands in a category all his own.

7 Lose Yourself - Eminem

Every word fits and flows into the next. And even with such great flow, there's good meaning behind it: to never give up and always keep trying. Whenever I listen to this, I find myself rapping along and getting pumped up!

This song is just as worthy as MJ's songs. Well, not only this but also all of Eminem's other songs. The lyrics of this song will make you love it. I'm a fan of Shady. You will love the song. It proves that Eminem is a lyrical genius!

I don't even listen to Eminem that often. I know about three of his songs. But the lyrics of Lose Yourself are really something special. Give it a try. Break your stereotypes.

8 Time - Pink Floyd

The song perfectly criticizes the spirit of modern society. We spend our whole lives "ticking away the moments that make up a dull day" in search of the prize of happiness that we have been told about since we were children. After years of dedication to this search, "one day you find, the years have gone behind you." Have you gotten any closer to happiness? No. Have you really gained anything from your quest? Absolutely not! In fact, you've lost the time of your youth that you could have spent truly experiencing life. "No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun" because achieving success was supposed to be the race. Due to society's indoctrination, nobody was there to set you on the proper path, the path that leads to happiness by way of appreciating what you have, not what you could have had.

So where does that leave you? Well, "you run and you run to catch up with the sun but it's sinking." In your middle-aged years, you desperately hope to catch up and realize the life that you now know should have been the one you led this whole time (AKA a mid-life crisis). But you can't. You're too far gone. While you're in the chase, you become "shorter of breath and one day closer to death." The dream you're chasing, the sun, always stays the same, always as bright, but you continue to age. Those who have broken ties with society or still have the potential to do so are "racing around to come up behind you again." You are becoming obsolete, and the same dream you chased for so long will be your ultimate end as you slowly start to lose the looks, brains, and ambition of your youth.

In the end, all your plans to reclaim your youth amount to "plans that either come to naught, or half a page of scribbled lines." However, the dream keeps you alive, and the fading memories of what little amount of true life you lived in your youth keep you going as you hang "on in quiet desperation." And when you die, after 40 years of trying to reach happiness through... more

9 There's Never a Forever Thing - a-ha

Simply wonderful and touching. The voice serves as the wings for the words. Unfortunately, most people don't really listen to what they hear in a foreign language.

It's just an amazing song, with an amazing band and an amazing singer.

That was so good.

10 Somewhere Only We Know - Keane

I like this song. If you listen to the story, it comes full circle and he ends where he starts. I believe the song can be interpreted as relating to nature and how it's been destroyed - buildings built, streets laid down, water polluted. But there's still that one spot, and as long as it's there, nature can return. A bit poetic, I know.

This song reminds me that we live for God, and if we die, we will have the next life in heaven. We only live on Earth for a few years, but in heaven, we live forever. "This can be the end of everything, so why don't we go to Somewhere Only We Know?" Always trust God!

Although this song can be interpreted in a million and one ways, the lyrics are absolutely amazing. They can represent so many different times during a life, allowing basically everyone to relate to it.

The Contenders
11 Breaking the Habit - Linkin Park

This is a song through which Linkin Park teaches us that it isn't hard to let go of your bad habits and move on. This song is so close to my heart.

I love this song. I am a huge Linkin Park fan, and in my opinion, this song has the best lyrics, along with Leave Out All the Rest.

Linkin Park is surely one of the best lyric writers. Almost all of their songs from Meteora and Minutes to Midnight will make you cry.

12 American Pie - Don McLean

Not even a debate. Some songs have certain verses with brilliant lyrics, but this entire song - which, by the way, is over eight minutes long - is a masterpiece from start to finish. Every single line is a reference to something, usually music-related, if you dig deep enough. And it only gets better as it goes on. The last verse might just be the best lyrics in music history. I get chills every time I listen to it, and I'm not even a religious person. This song isn't just a tribute to Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and the Big Bopper. It's an entire story that covers all kinds of different musicians through the most perfectly placed references in the lyrics.

Whoever compiled this list doesn't know good music or good lyrics. This song is one of the greatest songs ever written! It tells the history of rock and roll after Buddy Holly's death. Bob Dylan's Subterranean Homesick Blues and Jokerman should at least be somewhere on the list. The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald should also be on here.

13 Heal the World - Michael Jackson

Every single word is so true, and he sang it so beautifully. Even now, after listening to it for so long, this song still touches my heart with its lyrics. Totally unforgettable.

This song should at least be in the top 5. It is so beautiful that it would change the way you think about life!

Heal the World, make it a better place. It's all about humanity, all about love. And when MJ is the singer, it becomes heavenly. Amazing song!

14 Viva la Vida - Coldplay

"Now in the morning, I sleep alone. Sweep the streets I used to own."
This is a fantastic song in general, but that line in particular creates such a powerful image for me.

This song is too deep, both in music and lyrics. It's not just about a king who loses everything. It's about something more than that. It suggests that no matter how high a position we reach, we have to face setbacks. I think it should be number one. It's the most awesome song ever made.

This list is just wrong. Number one should be the entire Pink Floyd discography, followed by this, Cemeteries of London, Amsterdam, and White Shadows (all Coldplay). And then maybe Paranoid Android. Man in the Mirror, Keane?! No. Just no.

15 Bring Me to Life - Evanescence

This song is very theatrical, and I think it's about finding out who you are and becoming yourself.

Amy Lee's songs always have a deeper meaning.

This song has the power to release all the rage that is hidden in your unconscious mind.

16 Dear Agony - Breaking Benjamin

This is truly an amazing song to listen to when you are sad, and all of us feel sad sometimes. Not only are the lyrics incredible, but the music and Ben's voice are too. He emits great emotion when he sings this song, and the lyrics hit your heart before they hit your brain because you don't have to think twice. "Dear Agony" is definitely in my top ten list of the best songs, and Breaking Benjamin is my #1 favorite band of all time.

Breaking Benjamin is literally one of my favorite bands. I'm so happy Ben is back to work with the band. I just hope he gets some good members since he's the only one left!

The ultimate combination of the pain and conflict that everyone must endure at some point in their lives - this is the most honest song I've ever had the privilege of listening to.

17 Won't Get Fooled Again - The Who

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss! Always brings a smile to my face. It's almost as if you can see him shrug his shoulders and play.

The part leading up to the scream always gives me chills. I really love this song!

My favorite song is all about the government.

18 Saturn - Sleeping at Last

This song is one of the few that simply marvel at how crazy it is that we exist. It definitely has some of the best lyrics ever. "I'd give anything to hear you say it one more time, that the universe was made just to be seen by my eyes."

Sleeping at Last has written some really great lyrics - poetic, memorable, and touching. I'm voting for this one as a proxy for either Neptune or Two, which are my particular favorites. However, Saturn was the song that got me started listening.

Honestly, I would say anything by Sleeping at Last is amazing. Their songs are moving, and I'm in love with all of them.

19 Heroin - The Velvet Underground
20 Earth Song - Michael Jackson

One of the greatest songs ever!

21 Creep - Radiohead

A beautiful bit of ambiguity. Anyone, no matter who, where, or why, can listen to this song and find something deeply personal and relatable in it.

I believe this song is amazing and shares great emotion. It's definitely one of my favorites.

The music is awesome, and the lyrics do full justice to it if understood properly.

22 Hurt - Nine Inch Nails

This song is amazing, hands down. Even when another artist like Johnny Cash did it, it's hauntingly good. It's one of my favorites.

It's like speaking about my life. These are some of the best lyrics I've heard. Please listen to the song version used in the "Colombiana" movie.

The Johnny Cash version of this song is awesome!

23 God Only Knows - The Beach Boys

The way that Brian Wilson created the saddest confession of love, bordering on suicidal, in history blows me away!

Best love song ever.

24 The Show Must Go On - Queen

I had a hard time choosing between Imagine and this song, but well, you know what I chose. I don't think a lot of people have good background knowledge of this song, which really gives it its meaning. It gives one a feeling of fearlessness and unshaken determination.

Now, this is the Queen song that should be near the top, not Bohemian Rhapsody. Bohemian Rhapsody is a good song, but it's not as meaningful as this one.

This song perfectly describes how consummate Freddie was as a performer. Even though he was dying of AIDS and could barely speak afterward, he sang this song in one take. In my opinion, this is the best song sung by Freddie, and that's saying a lot.

25 Changes - David Bowie

If this song doesn't speak to you and make you want to break out of every single regulation that society imposes on you, then you're not listening.

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