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Best opening line to a song

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My favorite opening line is

The Mississippi delta was shining like a national guitar,

I'd like to hear other Muses thoughts on this please

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"I see - a bad moon risin'..." is the first one that comes to mind, followed closely by "Generals gathered in their masses..." :)

Unless we're allowed to use our own songs for this example, of course. B)

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"I see - a bad moon risin'..." is the first one that comes to mind, followed closely by "Generals gathered in their masses..." :)/>

Unless we're allowed to use our own songs for this example, of course. B)/>

Yes a great one, bad moon rising

Use whatever you like

It's good to hear everything and anything in music

All the best

Mike

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My favorite opening line is

The Mississippi delta was shining like a national guitar,

I'd like to hear other Muses thoughts on this please

What song/band is this from?

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My favorite opening line is

The Mississippi delta was shining like a national guitar,

I'd like to hear other Muses thoughts on this please

What song/band is this from?

Paul Simon - Graceland

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I think we need to name the song and singer or group

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"I bought a toothbrush, some toothpaste"

Don't know if it's a great opening line, but I think it's quite original, and leads in to a great song by Squeeze -

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Oh, my. So many.

She was just seventeen, you know what I mean ... The Beatles

Jesus died for somebody's sins, but not mine ... Van Morrison (with Them and then covered by Patti Smith)

I saw a werewolf with a Chinese menu in his hand ... Warren Zevon - Werewolves Of London

Just cos I ain’t never ‘ad, no, nothing worth having never ever, never

Ever

you ain’t got no call not to think I wouldn’t fall into thinking that I ain’t too

Clever

.... Ian Dury (Clever Trevor)

Southern trees bear a strange fruit,

Blood on the leaves and blood at the root ... Abel Meeropol

Hello, darkness, my old friend ... Paul Simon

I could go on ...

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Do you curse where you come from?

Do you swear in the night?

Would it matter much to you

if I treat you right?

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Do you curse where you come from?

Do you swear in the night?

Would it matter much to you

if I treat you right?

From...? Song, and band or artist would be nice. :)

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Do you curse where you come from?

Do you swear in the night?

Would it matter much to you

if I treat you right?

From...? Song, and band or artist would be nice. :)/>

Nick Drake: "Hazey Jane 1"

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Begin the day with a friendly voice

A companion unobtrusive

Plays that song that's so elusive

And the magic music makes your morning mood

Rush - Spirit of Radio

I was born in a crossfire driving Rain

Stones - Jumping Jack Flash

I was alone, I took a ride

I didn't know what I would find there

Another road where maybe I could see another kind of mind there

Beatles - Got to get you into my life

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"I feel good!"

- James Brown, I Feel Good

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"Your mail's not safe in this town" - Mailbox Arson, Alexisonfire

"In Hell we will all burn brightly

Bank dollars could turn our lead to gold" - Zero Orchestra, Matthew Good

"Pretty lady on my mind got me gone again" - On My Mind, Kalai

All my life I've been searching for something

Something never comes never leads to nothing

Nothing satisfies but I'm getting close

Closer to the prize at the end of the rope - All My Life, Foo Fighters

Airstreams tethered together like silver sleeping oxen

All the best locations are located on the margins

Suited for telescoping the interstellar scene

It's a mean killer in the daylight, but that's life for you and me - 50,000 Unstoppable Watts, Clutch

also containing, hands down, my favorite chorus lyrics of all time, consisting of simply...

Anthrax, ham radio, and liquor.

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"Looking through some photographs I found inside a drawer

I was taken by a photograph of you" - Jackson Browne, Fountain of Sorrow

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My favorite opening line is

The Mississippi delta was shining like a national guitar,

I'd like to hear other Muses thoughts on this please

What song/band is this from?

Paul Simon

Graceland

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You abandoned me, love don't live here anymore

By Rose Royce

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'I had a job, I had a girl' - Downbound Train, Bruce Springsteen

'We were born before the wind, also younger than the sun' - Into the Mystic, Van Morrison

'London Calling, to the faraway towns' - The Clash

'I pulled into Nazareth, I was feeling about half past dead' - The Band

On the other end of the spectrum I think the worst opening line is by Des'ree

'I'm afraid of the dark, 'specially when I'm in a park'

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'I had a job, I had a girl' - Downbound Train, Bruce Springsteen

'We were born before the wind, also younger than the sun' - Into the Mystic, Van Morrison

'London Calling, to the faraway towns' - The Clash

'I pulled into Nazareth, I was feeling about half past dead' - The Band

On the other end of the spectrum I think the worst opening line is by Des'ree

'I'm afraid of the dark, 'specially when I'm in a park'

Great but which opening line is your favorite

All the best

Mike

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Moody Blues - Higher and Higher

Blasting, billowing, bursting forth

With the power of ten billion butterfly sneezes

Man with his flaming pyre

Has conquered the wayward breezes

~Bob

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She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah!

Neal

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She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah!

Neal

Not the most profound opening lines, however a great song and (she loves you) was rated as the perfect pop song!

all the best

Mike

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Oh, my. So many.

She was just seventeen, you know what I mean ... The Beatles

Jesus died for somebody's sins, but not mine ... Van Morrison (with Them and then covered by Patti Smith)

I saw a werewolf with a Chinese menu in his hand ... Warren Zevon - Werewolves Of London

Just cos I ain’t never ‘ad, no, nothing worth having never ever, never

Ever

you ain’t got no call not to think I wouldn’t fall into thinking that I ain’t too

Clever

.... Ian Dury (Clever Trevor)

Southern trees bear a strange fruit,

Blood on the leaves and blood at the root ... Abel Meeropol

Hello, darkness, my old friend ... Paul Simon

I could go on ...

I wonder which of these is your favourite, I would pick Paul Simon

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"I feel good!"

- James Brown, I Feel Good

I like it, Short but very sweet

All the best

Mike

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Not the most profound opening lines, however a great song and (she loves you) was rated as the perfect pop song!

Well, I don't know if it's a perfect song. According to Beatles legend, Lennon and McCartney composed this as teenagers at Paul's house. They asked Paul's dad what he thought of it and he hated the "American" Yeah! Yeah! Yeah's! He said, can't you just say, yes, yes, yes.

Anyway, a great opening line doesn't have to be profound, it just has to set the stage for what is to follow. One of my favorite Steven King stories begins with the line, "This is what happened."

Another great opening line: My daddy said, son, you're going to drive me to drinkin' if you don't stop drivin' that hot rod Lincoln.

Neal

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As many as there are grains of salt in the oceans, these, however, are on the tip of my tongue:

“I am he, as you are he, as you are me, and we are all together”...Beatles, "I Am The Walrus"

“The first time ever I saw your face”....Roberta Flack, "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face”

“Isn’t it rich, aren’t we a pair...me, here at last on the ground, you in mid-air”...Judy Collins, "Send in the Clowns"

“You say you want a revolution”........Beatles, "Revolution"

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'I had a job, I had a girl' - Downbound Train, Bruce Springsteen

'We were born before the wind, also younger than the sun' - Into the Mystic, Van Morrison

'London Calling, to the faraway towns' - The Clash

'I pulled into Nazareth, I was feeling about half past dead' - The Band

On the other end of the spectrum I think the worst opening line is by Des'ree

'I'm afraid of the dark, 'specially when I'm in a park'

Great but which opening line is your favorite

All the best

Mike

well at the moment it is the Springsteen one. 'I had a job, I had a girl, I'd something going mister in this world.' It sort of sets a story up for me and gets me interested, no faffing around. Very simple like a million other songs but it works for me:)

Dave

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This one is a pretty cool opening line. "Please don't Judas me."

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I am the god of hell fire, and I bring you … fire!

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Between "marks" and "marzipan" in the dictionary

There is "Mary"

Between the deep blue sea, and the devil,

That was me

"Mary" by Billy Bragg - one of my favorite lyrics, but I love how it kicks off.

Recognize and love many of the lyrics posted here!

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We skipped the light Fandango

Turned cartwheels 'cross the floor

I was feeling kind of seasick

But the crowd called out for more

A Whiter Shade of Pale - Procol Harum

Best opening line is very conditional to what I'm listening to day to day. This came on and struck me...

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We skipped the light Fandango

Turned cartwheels 'cross the floor

I was feeling kind of seasick

But the crowd called out for more

But what does it mean???

FYI, my father-in-law was a Cellist with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra when Procol Harum recorded their album, Live with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra. He's one of the guys playing those 1/8 notes while the horns do the Spanish sounding thing on Conquistador.

Neal

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We skipped the light Fandango

Turned cartwheels 'cross the floor

I was feeling kind of seasick

But the crowd called out for more

But what does it mean???

FYI, my father-in-law was a Cellist with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra when Procol Harum recorded their album, Live with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra. He's one of the guys playing those 1/8 notes while the horns do the Spanish sounding thing on Conquistador.

Neal

That's pretty cool! As a live playing musician it speaks to me from that perspective. It's something that means different things to different people I suspect.

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"I bought a toothbrush, some toothpaste"

Don't know if it's a great opening line, but I think it's quite original, and leads in to a great song by Squeeze -

Hi Bruce

This is one of my wife's favourite songs

All the best

Mike

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On a hot summers night, would you offer your throat to the wolf with the red roses.

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FYI, my father-in-law was a Cellist with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra when Procol Harum recorded their album, Live with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra. He's one of the guys playing those 1/8 notes while the horns do the Spanish sounding thing on Conquistador.

and what a brilliant version it is, truly nailed!

A Whiter Shade of Pale - Procol Harum

Certainly one of the best and most identifiable musical intros. Just a note on this, I was lucky enough to see Procol Harum at the Cropredy Festival 2003. The weather was fantastic (hottest day recorded in UK) they played White Shade Of Pale just as the sun was just going down. Hearing those opening bars was one of those magical festival moments.

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A terrific collection so far! Here are a couple more:

Livin' on the road my friend, is gonna keep you free and clean

Now you wear your skin like iron

Your breath as hard as kerosene

Townes Van Zandt, Pancho and Lefty

Hear that lonesome whippoorwill

He sounds too blue to fly

The midnight train is whining low

I'm so lonesome I could cry

Hank Williams, I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry

We skipped the light Fandango

Turned cartwheels 'cross the floor

I was feeling kind of seasick

But the crowd called out for more

But what does it mean???

The song was released in 1967. No further explanation needed. :lol:;) (I always assumed it was about a chemically-induced journey.)

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"tear the roof off, we gonna' tear the roof off the mutha' sucka', tear the roof off the sucka'-

Give Up The Funk (Tear The Roof Off The Sucker)

Parliament - written by George Clinton, Bootsy Collins and Jerome Bailey

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On a morning from a Bogart movie

In a country where they turn back time

You go strolling through the crowd like Peter Lorre

Contemplating a crime

"

" - Al Stewart (writers: Al Stewart / Peter Wood)

---*---*---

Now every cheap hood strikes a bargain with the world,

Ends up making payments on a sofa or a girl.

Love 'n hate tattooed across the knuckles of his hands,

Hands that slap his kids around, 'cause they don't understand how,

"

" - The Clash (writers: Joe Strummer / Mick Jones)

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On a morning from a Bogart movie

In a country where they turn back time

You go strolling through the crowd like Peter Lorre

Contemplating a crime

"

" - Al Stewart (writers: Al Stewart / Peter Wood)

Nice one! smile.gif

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On a morning from a Bogart movie

In a country where they turn back time

You go strolling through the crowd like Peter Lorre

Contemplating a crime

"

" - Al Stewart (writers: Al Stewart / Peter Wood)

Nice one! smile.gif

Very good! From songfacts.com:

This started off as a completely different song. Al Stewart originally wrote the lyrics after seeing the British comedian Tony Hancock in Bournemouth, England in 1966. Hancock was very depressed, and the show was a disaster, with the comedian going to the front of the stage and addressing the audience directly and pouring out his soul. In Al Stewart: The True Life Adventures of a Folk Rock Troubadour, Stewart is quoted: "He came on stage and he said 'I don't want to be here. I'm just totally pissed off with my life. I'm a complete loser, this is stupid. I don't know why I don't just end it all right here.' And they all laughed, because is was the character he played... this sort of down-and-out character. And I looked at him and I thought, Oh my god, He means it. This is for real." Hancock killed himself in 1968 with a drug overdose. Stewart's song was originally titled "Foot Of The Stage," with the chorus, "Your tears fall down like rain at the foot of the stage.

Many of Stewart's songs have alternate lyrics, and he wasn't happy with the Hancock-inspired words, as he didn't want to take advantage of the man's tragedy and besides, no one in America knew who Hancock was. Al re-wrote the lyrics as "Year Of The Cat," which he delivered to Parsons. (thanks, mike - Edinburgh, United Kingdom)

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Guys guys guys. The discussion ends here. Best opening line (extra marks for spotting the latin joke) and one of the most all-out engaging lyrics ever

You've probably never heard of him, but to me he was one of the songwriting greats

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"I want to kill this man, but he turned around and ran. I'll kill him with Karate that I learned in Japan." - from On My Way by Ben Kweller. Such an engaging first line.

I also love "And another thing, I've been wondering lately" from What's My Scene by the Hoodoo Gurus because you don't often hear a song start with the word "and" - immediately you're right amongst the action.

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Well, this is a lovely topic, but very subjective. There are millions of songs (or at least hundreds of thousands) and only so much thread. How shall we define the "best opening line?"

I think the first rule is that the song has to have been written by Paul Simon.

Or maybe not. That would make it pretty easy. (I do love the "Graceland" opening line).

For me, a great opening line conjures up a tremendous image or emotion in one or at most two sentences (like "The Mississippi Delta is shining like a national guitar"). Many songs begin well, or have a great first verse, but we want a song that does it in a single line. The line should make me want to hear the whole song, intrigue and excite me.

So, I would (for the sake of discussion) exclude songs that jump right to the chorus. We know the chorus is the catchy part. And if you have to quote the entire first verse to get to the good part, it's not as good as a song that really grabs you with less verbiage.

And we might have to exclude musical theatre writing, as it is largely situational, and the specificity of the language and scene often grabs you. I think we're talking about standalone pop (or folk, rock, country) songs. I could easily give you long lists of amazing openings to theatre songs. (And as writers, can we remember that Judy Collins didn't write "Send in the Clowns" -- Mr. Stephen Sondheim did, in the musical A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC).

I love both of the Paul Simon examples above ("Hello, Darkness, my old friend...") -- there's a grace of language there that just sounds better than a regular sentence.

Here are a few of my favorite Susan Werner opening lines:

"Coffee, Ham and Eggs: I can be your diner" (from "I Can't Be New")

"Misery sings at the Hilton" (from "Misery and Happiness")

"It was another birthday party that Tina threw herself" (from "Old Mistake")

"She is waiting in the rain; she is taking a commuter train" (from "Last of the Good Straight Girls")

"Thanks for the concert, it was quite enlightening/

Though Mahler does tend to make me want to do myself in" (from "Midwestern Saturday Night")

Great writer....

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"I don't want to face the Killer instinct

Face it in you or me"

Rush - Lock and Key

I heard this today on the way home and not only does the song take me back, I loved the opening line. Foreshadows the hook later in the song. I paid more attention to it because of this thread.

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“The only two things in life that make it worth livin’ / Is guitars that tune good and firm feelin’ women”

‘Luckenbach, Texas,’ Waylon Jennings

GREAT SONG! ONE OF MY PERSONAL FAVORITES!

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Temptation, what's better.

Slave To The Rhythm, Baton Rouge

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Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day, you fritter and waste the hours in an off-hand way

Pink Floyd - Time

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