My Top 5 Lines From A Song

“If a picture paints a thousand words, then why can’t I paint you?” — Bread

“I want to live where soul meets body, and let the sun wrap its arms around me, and bathe my skin in water cool and cleansing, and feel, feel what its like to be new.” — Death Cab for Cutie

“So grab that last bottle full of gasoline, gasoline, gasoline, grab that last bottle full of gasoline, light a toast to yesterday, and don’t tell me there is no mystery, mystery, mystery, and don’t tell me there is no mystery, it overflows my cup.” — Bruce Cockburn

“Could’ve swept in like a tidal wave, or an ocean to ravish our hearts, you could have come through like a roaring flood, to wipe away the things we’ve scarred, but you came like a winter snow, quiet and soft and slow, falling from the sky in the night to the earth below.” — Audrey Assad

“All this pain, I wonder if I’ll ever find my way, I wonder if my life could really change at all, all this earth, could all that is lost ever be found, could a garden come up from this ground at all, you make beautiful things, you make beautiful things out of the dust, you make beautiful things, you make beautiful things out of us.” — Gungor

“Cast me gently, into morning, for the night has been unkind.” — Sarah McLachlan

Question: What is your favorite song lyric?

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102 Responses to “My Top 5 Lines From A Song”

  1. “The first thing you hear after somethings gone wrong is the sound of your life moving on”
    – Lucas Reynolds

  2. I want to write like that. Like all of that.

  3. It’s funny how a city can put on a different face, when it holds the one you care for it becomes a different place–Harry Chapin

  4. “I don’t have time to maintain these regrets, when I think about, the way that He loves us.” David Crowder Band – How He Loves

    • @Nicole, Yes, I also love the three lines preceding your line from that song… “If grace is an ocean we’re all sinking, So heaven meets earth like a sloppy wet kiss, And my heart burns violently inside of my chest.”

      Thanks, Nicole!

    • @Nicole, Since there’s been additional conversation about this song, I feel compelled to ensure credit is given where credit is due. While the DCB is great, this song is written and originally recorded by John Mark McMillan, an incredible artist and lyricist and one of my hands-down favorites. The song actually emerges from a very dark place for him – painful but beautiful. Here’s the story – and if you don’t have his album The Medicine, I can’t recommend it highly enough. (No, I don’t work for him in any way, shape or form – ha!)

      *dang. i posted this below by accident. sorry.

  5. Off the top of my head:

    “I once was lost, but now am found, was blind, but now I see.” ~ John Newton

    “There is hope for me yet because God won’t forget all the plans He’s made for me, I have to wait and see; He’s not finished with me yet…” ~ Brandon Heath

    “I got you, Babe” ~ Sonny and Cher

    Another fun post. Thanks, Randy!

  6. “Even if I made my bed in hell, still there you would find me.” – Rich Mullins writes in the song “Nothing is Beyond You”.

    “In my hour of darkness, she is standing right in front of me, speaking words of wisdom…let it be”

  7. “If grace is an ocean, we’re all sinking.” – John Mark McMillan

    “I want to run
    I want to hide
    I want to tear down the walls
    That hold me inside
    I want to reach out
    And touch the flame
    Where the streets have no name” – U2

    “Tired of lying in the sunshine staying home to watch the rain.
    You are young and life is long and there is time to kill today.
    And then one day you find ten years have got behind you.
    No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun. ” – Pink Floyd

    And my favorite quirky lyric:

    “I saw a werewolf drinking a piña colada at Trader Vic’s, his hair was perfect!” – Warren Zevon

  8. “Did they get you to trade your heros for ghosts
    hot ashes for trees
    hot air for a cool breeze
    cold comfort for change
    did you exchange a walk on part in a war for a lead roll in a cage?” – Pink Floyd, wish you were here

    “Let me feel you, carry you higher.
    Watch your words spread hope like fire.
    Secret crowds rise up and gather.
    Hear your voices sing back louder.” Angels and Airwaves, secret crowds

    “Hey brother Christian with you high and mighty errand
    your actions speak so loud I can’t hear a word you’re saying” – Bad Religion, i want to conquer the world

  9. Curtis Fletcher May 26, 2011 at 08:16

    If I should call you up, invest a dime – The Turtles

    If you choose not to decide you still have made a choice – Rush

    Pump your fist and stamp your footsie, if you can’t dance just wiggle your tootsie – Coldcut

    Hear me now oh though bleak and unbearable world, thou art based and debauched as can be. And a knight with his banners all bravely unfurled now hurls down his gauntlet to thee – Man of La Mancha

    Then sings my soul my savior God to thee, how great thou art, how great thou art

  10. “I love you in a place where there’s no space or time
    I love you for in my life you are a friend of mine
    And when my life is over
    Remember when we were together
    We were alone and I was singing this song for you”
    (Donny Hathaway)

    Landslide by Fleetwood Mac (the whole thing is amazing)

    “There’s a bridge to cross the great divide
    There’s a cross to bridge the great divide”
    (Point Of Grace)

  11. I don’t have time to maintain these regrets when I think about the way He loves us…

    John Mark Mcmillan

  12. This one keeps going in my head, by Jesus Culture.
    “On and one and on and on it goes It overwhelms and satisfies my soul
    And I never ever have to be afraid…
    One thing remains”

    Never have to be afraid…..thank you, Lord!

  13. Here’s a few more:

    Maybe redemption has stories to tell
    Maybe forgiveness is right where you fell
    Where can you run to escape from yourself?
    Where you gonna go?
    Where you gonna go?
    Salvation is here

    I dare you to move
    I dare you to move
    I dare you to lift yourself, to lift yourself up off the floor
    I dare you to move
    I dare you to move
    Like today never happened

    Isaac Watts:
    Were the whole realm of nature mine,
    That were a present far too small;
    Love so amazing, so divine,
    Demands my soul, my life, my all.

    Graham Kendrick
    Hands that flung stars into space, to cruel nails surrendered

    I won’t be the inconsequential
    I won’t be the wasted potential

  14. “And up on the hillside its quiet
    Where the shepherd is tending his sheep
    And over the mountains and the valleys
    The countryside is so green
    Standing on the highest hill with a sense of wonder
    You can see everything is made in God
    Head back down the roadside and give thanks for it all.”
    – Van Morrison “When Will I Ever Learn to Live in God?”

    “They laid a highway a few years back
    Next town over by the railroad track
    Some nights, I’m glad it passed us by
    Some nights, I sit and watch my hometown die.”
    – Tift Merritt “Laid a Highway”

    We could fill the comments section with Rich Mullins’ lyrics, but my all time favorite has to be “Peace” specifically the juxtaposition between the verses:

    verse 1:
    “Though we’re strangers, still I love you
    I love you more than your mask
    And you know you have to trust this to be true
    And I know that’s much to ask.

    verse 2:
    “Though I love you, still we’re strangers
    Prisoners in these lonely hearts
    And though our blindness separates us
    Still His light shines in the dark.”

  15. “You are pulled from the wreckage of your silent reverie”

    “Angel” by Sarah McLachlan

  16. It’s a hand that rocks the cradle,
    It’s a motion that swings the sky.

    -Out of the Cradle by RUSH

  17. “Long Lost Brother” by over the rhine (my favorite band EVER)

    So tell me your troubles
    Let your pain rain down
    I know my job I’ve been around
    I invest in the mess
    I’m a low cost dumping ground

    Trouble is I’m so exhausted
    The plot, you see, I think I’ve lost it
    I need the grace to find what can’t be found

  18. Among so many others…

    “I wish I had a river I could skate away on.” – River, by Joni Mitchell.

    “There is a design, an alignment, a cry for my heart to see the beauty of love as it was made to be.” – “sigh no more,” by Mumford and Sons

    “I’m up in the woods; I’m down on my mind. I’m building a still to slow down the time.” Up In The Woods, by Bon Iver.

    • @Audrey, Oh! i love those, Audrey! Especially “There is a design, an alignment, a cry for my heart to see the beauty of love as it was made to be.” and “I’m up in the woods; I’m down on my mind. I’m building a still to slow down the time.”

      Thanks for your lyric “Winter Snow” in the post. It has been alignment for my heart to see the beauty of love!

  19. Sunny days
    Where have you gone?
    I get the strangest feeling you belong
    Why does it always rain on me?
    Is it because I lied when I was seventeen?
    Why does it always rain on me?
    Even when the sun is shining
    I can’t avoid the lightning

    Oh, where did the blue skies go?
    And why is it raining so?
    It’s so cold
    I can’t sleep tonight
    Everybody’s saying everything’s all right
    Still I can’t close my eyes
    I’m seeing a tunnel at the end of the lights
    – TRAVIS “The Man Who…”

  20. More recently, I love “Our shame was deeper than the sea, your grace is deeper still” by Matt Redman “You Alone Can Rescue”

  21. The one that sticks out to me lately has been from Awake My Soul by Mumford and Sons…

    In these bodies we will live, in these bodies we will die
    Where you invest your love, you invest your life

    And one of my favorite lyrics from one of my favorite songs has always been DC*B’s O Praise Him..

    How infinite and sweet
    This love so rescuing

    And my quirky…find it hilarious lyric is from Cee Lo’s Forget You..

    I guess he’s an Xbox and I’m more Atari

    Sorry could not help but share my quirky side. ;)

    Great post Randy…enjoying all the comments too!

  22. 3 By U2:

    “Grace makes beauty out of ugly things.”

    “I’m not broke but you can see the cracks.”

    “Every beauty needs to go out with an idiot.”

  23. Don’t know if it is my “favorite” lyric (that seems to change constantly) but one that continues to resonate is a lyric written by Steven Fromholz. The song is “Texas Trilogy: Train Ride.” I heard the song on Lyle Lovett’s “Step Inside this House” disc. The song is an attempt to describe the magic of train travel through the eyes of a little boy. Anyway, the lyric is:

    “And the people by the windows playing cards and reading papers. Looked as far away to us as next summer’s school vacation.”

    Great topic, Randy. Thanks so much.

  24. I was just think about the haunting beauty (at least to me) of these lyrics as I was on my walk this morning:

    He had a home, the love of a girl,
    but men get lost sometimes as years unfurl.
    One day he crossed some line
    and he was too much in this world.
    But I guess it doesn’t matter any more.
    “New York Minute” by the Eagles

    The autumn leaves have got you thinkin’
    about the first timed that you loved.
    You didn’t love the boy too much.
    No, no, you jest loved the boy to well, well, well, well.
    So you live from day to day
    and you dream about tomorrow
    and the hours go by like minutes
    and the shadows come to stay
    so you, you take little somethin’
    to make them go away.
    And I could have done so many things, baby,
    if i could only stop my mind from
    wonderin’ what I left behind
    and from worryin’ ’bout this wasted time.

    The love has come and gone
    and the years keep rushing on.
    I remember what you told me
    before you went out on your own:
    Sometimes to keep it together
    you’ve got to leave it alone.
    So you can get on with your search, baby,
    and I can get on with mine
    and maybe some day we will find
    that it wasn’t really wasted time.
    “Wasted Time” by the Eagles

  25. The Type B Anthem

    I’ve got no deeds to do,
    No promises to keep.
    I’m dappled and drowsy and ready to sleep.
    Let the morning time drop all its petals on me.
    Life, I love you,
    All is groovy. ~ Paul Simon

  26. The chief demands you kiss his ring
    All awhile he is no king
    Shot for shot, you throw another one
    the final days of the summer’s sun
    …have just begun.
    You told me you would look inside
    You’re too afraid of what you’ll find
    Truth is true no matter where you hide
    you better learn it quick or get left behind.

    I’m in love with the King’s daughter
    She’s in love with a diamond ring
    She’ll sell her heart for anything.

    -Margolnick “The Roost”
    This guy is AWESOME Randy,
    you can find him here:

  27. “When you’re weary
    Feeling small
    When tears are in your eyes
    I will dry them all

    When you’re down and out
    When you’re on the street
    When evening falls so hard
    I will comfort you

    I’ll take your part
    When darkness comes
    And pain is all around
    Like a bridge over troubled water
    I will lay me down
    Like a bridge over troubled water
    I will lay me down

    Like a bridge over troubled water
    I will ease your mind.”

    One of the BEST songs describing Jesus and his love, secular or not.

  28. “I guess I’d rather hurt, than feel nothing at all” Need You Now-Lady Antebellum

    “And I need you more than want you, and I want you for all time” Wichita Lineman-Jimmy Webb

    “None too lost to be saved, none too broken or ashamed, all are welcome in this place” Remembrance- Matt Maher/Matt Redman

    “It’s the sound of salvation come, the sound of rescued ones” O Praise Him-David Crowder

    “tall buildings shake
    voices escape singing sad sad songs
    tuned to chords strung down your cheeks
    bitter melodies turning your orbit around

    voices whine
    skyscrapers are scraping together
    your voice is smoking
    last cigarettes are all you can get
    turning your orbit around”
    Jesus Etc.- Wilco

  29. I forgot this one. and it’s one that i hold very dear.

    “They said boy you just follow your heart
    But my heart just led me into my chest
    They said follow your nose
    But the direction changed every time I went and turned my head
    And they said boy you just follow your dreams
    But my dreams were only misty notions
    But the Father of hearts and the Maker of noses
    And the Giver of dreams He’s the one I have chosen
    And I will follow Him”
    Maker of Noses-Rich Mullins

  30. So tonight
    Gotta leave that nine to five upon the shelf
    An’ just enjoy yourself
    Let the madness in the music get to you
    Life ain’t so bad at all
    If you live it off the wall
    Life ain’t so bad at all
    Live your life off the wall

    Michael Jackson – Off the Wall (This is still my fav song)

    Cause I’ll be loving you always

    Until the rainbow burns the stars out in the sky
    Until the ocean covers every mountain high
    Until the dolphin flies and parrots live at sea
    Until we dream of life and life becomes a dream
    Until the day is night and night becomes the day
    Until the trees and seas just up and fly away
    Until the day that 8 times 8 times 8 is 4
    Until the day that is the day that are no more

    Stevie Wonder – As (I love the lyrics of this song)

  31. “If you’re loved by someone, you’re never rejected. Decide what to be and go be it.” – Avett Brothers

  32. Charlie Lowell May 26, 2011 at 12:40

    We’re made out of blood and rust
    looking for someone to trust
    a fight
    I think that you came too soon
    you’re the honey and the moon
    that lights
    up my night

    -Honey And The Moon, Joseph Arthur

  33. “These Bones” by Dashboard Confessional. – “Lay my bones at the feet of the ministry, I need the guilt and the company, I need the chance to be judged, and then long forgotten…. …. another scar for these bones, but I know, they’re only my second home”

    whole song here:

  34. Charlie Lowell May 26, 2011 at 13:00

    Here’s one more! From David Gray (Last Boat to America):

    Sing me the truth sweet bird of youth
    I got some trouble trying to understand
    Beneath the veils of mystery
    Are these the movements of an unseen hand

  35. It seems as if all my bridges have been burned.
    You say that’s exactly how this grace thing works.
    It’s not the long walk home that will change this heart,
    But the welcome I receive at the restart.

    Mumford & Sons – Roll Away Your Stone

  36. I don’t know why but this passage from Rush’s “Marathon” always resonates with me:

    “From first to last, the peak is never passed; something always fires the light that gets in your eyes…one moment’s high and glory rolls on by like a streak of lightning that flashes and fades in the summer sky.”

  37. These are simple but they bring me to repentance every time I sing them:

    heal my heart and make it clean
    open up my eyes to the things unseen
    show me how to love like You have loved me
    break my heart for what breaks Yours
    everything i am for Your kingdom’s cause
    as i walk from earth into eternity

  38. Rev. Macker May 26, 2011 at 17:25

    “I’m prayin’ for the day
    When I will pay the price and make the sacrifice
    To do what’s good and right

    But I’m so selfish and I’m blind
    When all the world needs seeing eyes

    To lead them from the darkness to the light …”

    – 77’s, L’Orbis / Jack Spoiler

    I swear if you ever really held me / They’d have to pry me off with the jaws of life

    – Chagall Guevara, The Rub of Love

    It was a beautiful let down
    When I crashed and burned
    When I found myself alone unknown and hurt
    It was a beautiful let down
    The day I knew
    That all the riches this world had to offer me
    Would never do

    In a world full of bitter pain and bitter doubt
    I was trying so hard to fit in, fit in,
    Until I found out
    I don’t belong here

    – Switchfoot, Beautiful Letdown

  39. Michael Woolley May 26, 2011 at 17:39

    “You dance over me while i am unaware….You sing all around, though i never hear the sound”

    “The secret to life is enjoying the passage of time”

    “Damn this traffic jam, how i hate to be late….”

  40. In and around the lake, mountains come out of the sky and they stand there… Yes, Roundabout

    Clothed in rainbows of living color, flashes of lightning, rolls of thunder… Jennie Lee Riddle, Revelation Song

  41. Ooh, I’m a total U2 fan so I love pretty much all U2 songs!

    “Where you live should not decide
    Whether you live or whether you die”

    “Take this city
    A city should be shining on a hill
    Take this city
    If it be your will
    What no man can own, no man can take
    Take this heart
    And make it break”

    “This desperation, dislocation
    Separation, condemnation
    Revelation, in temptation
    Isolation, desolation
    Let it go and so to find away”

    “It’s no secret that a conscience can sometimes be a pest.
    It’s no secret ambition bites the nails of success.
    Every artist is a cannibal, every poet is a thief;
    All kill their inspiration and sing about the grief.”

    oh, I could go on and on forever.

  42. “I spent a week in Toledo one day” – Saturday Night in Toledo – John Denver

  43. There are bunches and bunches of lyrics I love, so trying to pick a favourite is next to impossible. But there are some that just seem to grip me, no matter how many times I hear them.

    “Just when I think I’ve got it, it’s gone.”

    “Mother teach me to love with a paper thin heart”

    “Scratch and scrape for significance, cut and paste, make your monuments. What a waste when it all caves in.”

    “At the end of a long goodbye is an unmarked spot where illusions die. Last rites for this pack of lies I relied on.”

    “Where I cannot lift my eyes, You are there
    Where I cannot find my way, You are there
    Where I cannot hold my tongue, You are there
    Where I have no prayer, You are there”

  44. And I never wanted anything from you
    Except every thing you had
    And what was left after that too. Oh.
    – Florence and The Machine

  45. Which do you dance for
    Which makes you shine
    Which will you choose now
    If you won’t choose mine
    Which will you hope for
    Which can it be
    Which will you take now
    If you won’t take me
    And tell me now
    Which will you love the best
    “Which Will” – Nick Drake

  46. Stephanie Tanner May 26, 2011 at 21:49

    Oh my…where to begin!? Okay, probably not the best EVER, but the best in my Itunes line-up for tonight!

    “He is a real lover, making up the past and feeling up his girl like he’s never felt her figure before.” From “Daydreamer” by Adele

    “Isn’t she lovely
    Isn’t she wonderful
    Isn’t she precious
    Less than one minute old
    I never thought through love we’d be
    Making one as lovely as she
    But isn’t she lovely made from love” From “Isn’t She Lovely” by Stevie Wonder
    (I must have sung this about a thousand times after my daughter was born!)

    “She said,’Tell me are you a Christian, child?’ and I said, ‘Ma’am I am tonight!” from “Walkin’ in Memphis” by Marc Cohn

    “Hey Mr. Curiosity
    Is it true what they’ve been saying about you
    Are you killing me?
    You took care of the cat already” from “Mr. Curiosity” by Jason Mraz

    “I’m going to die if you touch me one more time
    Well I guess that I’m going to die no matter what” from “I’ve got a Match” by They Might Be Giants

  47. Since there’s been additional conversation about this song, I feel compelled to ensure credit is given where credit is due. While the DCB is great, this song is written and originally recorded by John Mark McMillan, an incredible artist and lyricist and one of my hands-down favorites. The song actually emerges from a very dark place for him – painful but beautiful. Here’s the story – and if you don’t have his album The Medicine, I can’t recommend it highly enough. (No, I don’t work for him in any way, shape or form – ha!)

  48. Wish upon a star but
    do you know what stars are?
    Balls of fire, burning up the black space,
    falling from the landscape,
    exploding in the face of God.

    Down by something corporate

  49. Every single line from Sara Bareilles’ “Gravity” and Sting’s “Fields of Gold”.

  50. A little late to this party …

    this comes to mind:
    “what a priceless gift … undeserved life”

    In my own songwriting (which I’ve recently revived!), I’ve tried to intentionally be more poetic. A couple of lyrics that have recently emerged from two different songs I’m crafting that got me excited (due to their not being the same ole’ cliche’s) are:

    “glorious grace of God appeared, salvation’s light through darkness pierced”


    “only one could e’er suffice to pay so great a price … a life for liberty … he ransomed me”.

Created by Randy Elrod

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