Are there any rock lyricists whose lyrics you can read as if they were poetry?

I’d say Peter Hammill is probably the best example of this.
In addition to arguably being rock’s best vocalist, he’s also indefinitely its best lyricist.

At least to me he is. Also, explain your answers, and give a few examples, if you would be so kind.

BQ: Worst rock lyricists?
BQ2: Will you people ever stop using the word ‘pretentious’?
BQ3: I like Fish. He’s a good lyricist, too. I actually met somebody a few months ago that knows who Fish is…she’s 18. Impressive, if I say so myself. Has this ever happened to you (that is, you met somebody that knows an obscure rock musician that you love)?

..aside from the obvious Jim Morrison, Bob Dylan, The Beatles (and even David Bowie, to an extent), I think that Jefferson Airplane and The Kinks and XTC have poetic lyrics.

Jefferson Airplane:
&quot:Gone swirling tears came she went today:
Down Fallen years go by,
No place in learning how to cry: I went astray:
Understanding is a virtue, hard to come by
You can teach me how to love
If you’ll only try: So please!
Don’t give up so soon. &quot:

The Kinks:
&quot:Arm in arm we sang our patriotic songs of love and sentiment.
Tears of joy to hide the sorrow,
New tomorrows till we meet again,
With a new world to build we’ll say auf weidersein.
What did they do for us?
What did it prove to us?
As we stand beside the silent grave
The unknown soldier can’t be saved.&quot:

&quot:I am the audience
There’s no doubt, no consequence
I could make the morning papers
If I use my capers
Let’s be the Audience
I might lose my patience
Polite applause excepted
To the ones selected, as the audience…&quot:

and I’m not doing them for Morrison, Dylan, Beatles, or Bowie, ’cause..well, I’m sure you know some examples of their lyricism..even if some of it is arguably overrated. (*waits to be shot*)

Anyway, I say Jefferson Airplane because while they kind of revolve around love songs, they write them better than lots of others do.

Er, The Kinks because they have such great, sad, somewhat dark lyrics, and on the same hand they manage the brighter more mainstream ones.

XTC because..I think lots of their stuff is genius. And..I’m not sure. They speak to me? I think this is the problem with choosing the best songwriter: you might lean towards people you relate to more than people with great skill. Or I might, anyway.

This is, of course, all my *opinion*, so before anyone kills me..yeah.

BA: To me, Kiss. um, I’m not quite sure who in the band writes their lyrics.

BA2: Regarding music, I don’t..I just don’t see HOW it can be pretentious. I mean, it’s a person’s manifestation of their creativity, right? But..maybe I’m slow. :/.

BA3:Cool. :D.’s this one guy who knows and loves the New York Dolls, but as he’s the one who introduced them to me..I don’t think it counts. That, and they’re not..super duper obscure.
Oh! And my English teacher knows who the Whores of Babylon are. That was cool.

Roger Waters of Pink Floyd- Comfortably Numb, Shine On You Crazy Diamond, Cymbaline Thom Yorke of Radiohead- Just, Exit Music, Bishop’s Robes Syd Barrett of Pink Floyd- Jugband Blues Bob Dylan (durf)- Subterranean Homesick Blues, A Hard Rain’s A Gonna Fall John Lennon- Nobody Told Me Ray Davies of the Kinks- Lola, Destroyer Steven Wilson of Porcupine Tree- Piano Lesson, Lazarus Neil Young- My My Hey hey, Ohio Jim Morrison of the Doors- Break on Through, Peace Frogs Neil Peart of Rush- Freewill, Subdivisions

Eric Bloom and Sandy Pearlman of Blue Oyster Cult. The stuff the write is like balm to my soul. They write my favorite lyrics ever pretty much. Some examples…

When I look inside your head, ride a bolt to the back of your skull, cause I’m the harvester of eyes

It’s the nexus of the crisis and the origin of storms

History shows again and again how nature points out the folly of men

The stairway to heaven was made up in hell

BA: Whoever wrote for Motley Crue, lugh
BA2: Never, no
BA3: Yes it has, rarely

The Doors are a strange bunch, but a great band, with literally poetry as their lyrics. Jim Morrison has to be one of the best lyricists out there.

Definitely Dani Filth from Cradle Of Filth. I’ve read most of his lyrics, and have been a fan for many years. Example would be the song
A Gothic Romance…

BQ: Uh I don’t know about worst.
BQ2: I never use it.
BQ3: Yes I met someone who knew Peter Murphy. I love him.

The Bard….

Though you might hear laughin’, spinnin’, swingin’ madly across the sun,
It’s not aimed at anyone, it’s just escapin’ on the run
And but for the sky there are no fences facin’.
And if you hear vague traces of skippin’ reels of rhyme
To your tambourine in time, it’s just a ragged clown behind,
I wouldn’t pay it any mind, it’s just a shadow you’re
Seein’ that he’s chasing.

Then 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.

BQ: Will.I.Am

BQ2: Aw, Sanctuary Man, don’t get mad. When I said &quot:…effeminate pretentious Euro-Prog fans&quot:… I SWEAR I wasn’t referring to you!

BQ3: Yeah, I met my ex gf at a St. Vincent gig.…

Patty Smith
Bob Dylan

LOL — I swear I was going to say Peter Hammil (hands down), before I read your Details !!

a taste —…

It’s ALL Poetry: and then put to music.

BQ: Red Ryder
BQ2: Never.
BQ3: &quot:Milk-a-what??&quot:

Jim Morrison’s lyrics were very poetic and amazing,The reason I gave a short answer is because I’m on an iPod touch and typing is a ***** on this thing.

BQ:Anything that says Disney on it.
BQ2:I never use that word
BQ3:Yes,Over the internet

Stairway to Heaven reads like poetry:
&quot:And a new day will dawn
For those who stand long
And the forests will echo with laughter.
Oooh…and it makes me wonder.&quot:

So do the lyrics from Dream On and Comfortably Numb.

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