Afternoon Chat: Favorite Song Lyrics?

By Kate Riley July 23, 2019

I hate feeling limited to blog topics about just design or travel or home improvement and I want to connect more with you. I’m so grateful to everyone who stops by to read my adventures but I feel like there is more to talk about than just home decor or DIY projects. I link to a lot of poignant articles in my Weekend Reading roundup which has prompted my desire to enlarge the scope of content.

For a long time I’ve wanted to try something new, basically a “coffee talk” column where I put out a topic and share some thoughts and then we chat about random things that affect our lives or choices we’ve made or the things that inspire us. So here goes, a new series of posts I’ve dubbed “Afternoon Chat” where I pose a question and from the comments read and respond to what you all have to share from your personal experiences.

I thought I’d start with something light like song lyrics, seemed pretty safe. (But I plan on taking on deeper topics soon.) I invite you to participate and lean in so that we can go deeper on topics outside the niche of home decor and DIY.

I’m a music lover and like everyone I’ve developed my own eclectic tastes when it comes to what kind of music I listen to. My choices are always prompted by my mood. When I’m working I’ll listen to classic jazz, but I have playlists for just about every activity: working out, cleaning, entertaining, road trips, etc.

Someone asked me the other day, “What’s your favorite song lyric?” and I just loved being asked that question. Mine’s easy, it stems back to a feeling I had when my family was young, when my kids were little, the lyrics captured what I was feeling perfectly at the time. My favorite lyrics are from the song “Across the Universe” by The Beatles: “Limitless undying love which shines around me like a million suns…”  Beautiful words from a beautiful song.

I have a running list of more songs with favorite lyrics, but that was my first answer to my friend’s question. What about you? What song lyrics are your most favorite? If you have more than one, that’s okay!


P.S. Random fact: NASA beamed the song into space, just in case the aliens are listening. ;)



  1. Your weekend reading is my favorite. I read everything. I love that you are doing this. While I love music and have it on at all times, I have nothing to say here. Maybe because I am in my mid 40’s and just now accepting my own music taste? Not matter what, please continue with this!

    • This is harder than I thought it would be…there are many songs with beautiful lyrics that touch me. One that comes to mind first is “Ordinary Miracle” by Sarah McLachlan:

      “It’s not that unusual
      When everything is beautiful
      It’s just another ordinary miracle today
      The sky knows when it’s time to snow
      Don’t need to teach a seed to grow
      It’s just another ordinary miracle today
      Life is like a gift they say
      Wrapped up for you every day
      Open up and find a way
      To give some of your own love”

      Another I Love is “Annie’s Song” by John Denver:

      “You fill up my senses
      Like a night in a forest
      Like the mountains in springtime
      Like a walk in the rain
      Like a storm in the desert
      Like a sleepy blue ocean
      You fill up my senses
      Come fill me again
      Come let me love you
      Let me give my life to you
      Let me drown in your laughter
      Let me die in your arms
      Let me lay down beside you
      Let me always be with you
      Come let me love you
      Come love me again”

      • Hi cousin!!! I totally agree with you about the John Denver song, that really captures real and true love.
        I haven’t heard that SM song in a long time, but I remember how beautiful it is. Adding it back on my playlist!!

    • Will do thanks Kristi! And if you hear a good song with great lyrics, come on back to share it!!

  2. Love this idea! One of mine is: So often times it happens that we live our lives in chains
    And we never even know we have the key

    Already Gone-Eagles

    • Oh wow Patti, YES I love that by the Eagles.
      I also love the last verse of “Take it Easy” when GF sings “looking for a lover who won’t blow my cover, she’s so hard to find!”

  3. This is fun! And I can’t explain the draw of this long, but I love these lines so much. You can FEEL the loss in her words and we probably all have a break up story that we can connect to this song.
    “…you call me up again just to break me like a promise
    So casually cruel in the name of being honest
    I’m a crumpled up piece of paper lying here…”
    ~Taylor Swift, All Too Well

    • Damn, so good right? A lot of people don’t realize how many good lyrics that girl writes!

      • Just love this thread! One of my all time favorites is from John Denver
        “And the wind will whisper your name to me
        Little birds will sing along in time
        Leaves will bow down when you walk by
        And morning bells chime”

  4. I have a lot of favourite songs – but when I read your question, the song that immediately came to mind, was a memory from 2003.

    I was packing up my apartment, to move from California back to my mom’s house in Canada. I had moved to California for work 3 years earlier, and the tech economy had tanked about 3 months after I arrived. My company had been financially struggling, and I hadn’t been getting regular paycheques for nearly a year.

    It finally came to a point where my housemate had moved out, my lease was up and it just didn’t make sense to sign another year lease. I had given notice at work, was trying to sell my car, and packing up my life.

    I felt like a giant failure and was just really upset and not sure what was next.

    And a random song came on the radio – I had never heard it before, didn’t know the band, but it was bouncy and upbeat, and the chorus was EXACTLY what I needed to hear at that moment

    The chorus went:

    Everything’s gonna be alright
    Everything’s gonna be Alright
    Everything’s gonna be alright
    As long as you believe in something
    As long as you believe that
    Something really good is gonna happen to you
    It’ll probably come when you least expect it
    (so unexpected)
    Something really good is surely coming your way
    It’ll probably come when You least expect it
    Yeah so unexpected

    Unexpected – by Sprung Monkey

    I don’t know any other songs by this band, and honestly, after that week, I never heard that song again on the radio – but it was there when I needed it :D

    • Okay chills. Wow. That was the universe/God sending you the message you needed right at that moment.
      LOVE that story, thank you for sharing!

  5. great topic !
    Love is the answer – Todd Rundgren

    Light of the world, shine on me
    Love is the answer
    Shine on us all, set us free
    Love is the answer

    • Kim, it’s so true, LOVE is ALWAYS the answer to just about everything.
      How amazing that we humans have the opportunity to FEEL it in all its forms.

  6. Tears and fears and feeling proud
    To say “I Love You” right out loud
    Dreams and schemes and circus crowds
    I’ve looked at life that way

    My favourite Joni Mitchell… and a favourite of many if you consider all the times it’s been covered, I think.

    This is a fun topic, Kate!

    • Yes agreed, it’s one of those really well written songs, no wonder so many artists cover it.

  7. Like you, I have a playlist for every possible situation. My kids grew up listening to all types of music and now have a great appreciation for the “classics”. After watching the movie “Springsteen and Me”, I asked them to name their generation’s Springsteen. “We don’t have a Springsteen or Beatles; no one whose music is changing the world.” It made me sad since I know the feeling of connecting with an artist that speaks to you. Now I’m compelled to introduce my grandkids to the “old stuff”. Anyway, favorite lyrics…
    Someday girl
    I don’t know when
    We’re gonna get to that place
    Where we really want to go
    And we’ll walk in the sun
    – Springsteen, Born To Run

    • Awesome! Love Springsteen!
      Who IS the the Springsteen of this generation? It’s hard to point to one artist in particular right, they all seem to show up in the limelight then fade from view.

      • “Let it be”. And afer watching Paul McCartney tell about it’s origins on Carpool Karaoke I loved it even more.

        A few excerpts (not in order) from LeeAnn Womak’s song ‘I Hope You Dance’:
        I hope you never loose your sense of wonder.
        I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance
        Never settle for the path of least resistance
        Don’t let some hell bent heart leave you bitter. Living might mean taking chances but they’re worth taking.
        I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean
        And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance. I hope you dance.

  8. After snorkeling in the Caribbean became my favorite hobby, this lyric from Tales of Brave Ulysses by Cream got stuck in my mind (in a good way!). “Tiny purple fishes run laughing through your fingers and you want to take them with you to the hard land of the winter”

    • Oh wow, never heard that before, so AMAZING that feeling captured in those words.

  9. From the Wichita Lineman: And I need you more than want you,
    And I want you for all time

    Love this song.

  10. This came to mind first. I love it for it’s pure ridiculousness! From “Don’t Worry Baby” by The Beach Boys.
    “She makes me come alive and makes me wanna drive.”

  11. Your song by Elton Jonh
    I hope you don’t mind
    I hope you don’t mind that I put down in words
    How wonderful life is while you’re in the world

    • I LOVE that song Gabi, have you ever heard the version sung by Ewan MaGreggor in Moulin Rouge?
      He sings it a little different than Elton, it’s so sweet and the way he does makes it feel truthful, I love that version so much.

  12. by Bryan Ferry and sung as karaoke in Lost in Translation:
    More than this, there is nothing
    More than this, tell me one thing
    More than this, there is nothing

    Sometimes,when I feel happy about some little everyday joy, those lyrics pop into my head and I remind myself, this is life. Right now. This is it. Appreciate it. It makes me feel satisfied and content.

    • Yes! Everything is NOW, it is the present, so live it, enjoy it, that’s true awareness. :)

  13. I have all kinds of music that I listen to as you do. I love to dance so anything with a good beat fits for me in about any situation. Dancing just lifts my spirits like crazy. It’s a family joke (I have three boys) when the song “Poison” by Bell Biv Devoe comes on and he says “you never trust a big butt and a smile” that I say to my boys what good advice that is. Totally joking, but that was truly my first thought when I read your post about lyrics. On a serious note though, one of my favorite lyrics is by Building 429:

    All I know is I’m not home yet
    This is not where I belong
    Take this world and give me Jesus
    This is not where I belong

    It was a popular song during a big life struggle and it gave me so much hope for a future without suffering. Looking forward to this series.

    • Beautiful song Sharon. :)
      You made me laugh because the song “Baby Got Back” is a big family joke with all my cousins, we would play it at each other’s weddings and go CRAZY on the dance floor.

  14. I know someday you’ll have a beautiful life
    I know you’ll be a star in somebody else’s sky, but why
    Why, why can’t it be, oh can’t it be mine?
    ~Pearl Jam

    • Oh Glabe, there’s a lot of sadness and longing there.
      Hope you’re okay. :)

  15. I guess I’m a geriatric goth: Head like a Hole by Nine Inch Nails.

    Head like a hole.
    Black as your soul.
    I’d rather die than give you control.
    Bow down before the one you serve.
    You’re going to get what you deserve.

      • Ha! I love that lyric too when in the right mood. Turn it up when cleaning the house alone. ;)

  16. I second the commenter that said anything by the Beatles! But the song that’s hit me more in recent years is “I’ll Stand By You”.
    When you’re standing at the crossroads
    And don’t know which path to choose
    Let me come along
    ‘Cause even if you’re wrong

    I’ll stand by you, I’ll stand by you
    Won’t let nobody hurt you
    I’ll stand by you

    This song hit me hard when my dad passed away and I think of it often with my kids

    • Wow, yes, amazing lyrics Emily. And a HUGE truth, what life is all about is surrounding yourself with people who DO stand by you. :)

  17. I like all kinds of music, but my favorite song is “I Can Only Imagine” by MercyMe.
    Surrounded by You glory
    What will my heart feel
    Will I dance for you Jesus
    Or in awe of You be still
    Will I stand in your presence
    Or to my knees will I fall
    Will I sing hallelujah
    Will I be able to speak at all
    I can only imagine
    When those words go through my head I am reminded that anything I am going through is only a small thing in comparison to an eternity with my Father.
    Runner up songs have to be the ones I remember singing in the car with my children.

    I’m excited about your new chat posts, and am another person that reads the weekend links faithfully.

    • Beautiful Kim! thank you for sharing!
      And thanks for the support on the “Chat” series, I’ll keep the posts coming!

  18. This is so fun, Kate! I don’t have an all-time favorite, but when I was in college with a ton of roommates, I would always sing to myself two lines from New Order’s Regret:
    I would like a place I could call my own
    Have a conversation on the telephone
    (This was before ubiquitous cell phones.)

    • Ha, that’s great, funny how certain songs or albums remind you of a specific time in your life right?
      Whenever I hear Dulcinea by Toad the Wet Sprocket or Sting’s Ten Summoner’s Tales it sends me right back to my college years.

  19. These lyrics resonate with me every time I hear this song.

    “ It’s not always rainbows and butterflies, it’s compromise that moves us along”.
    “She Will Be Loved” by Maroon 5

    • Wow forgot about those… yes, and a life truth for a healthy long term relationship.

  20. Grateful Dead:
    The wheel is turning and you can’t slow down
    You can’t let go and you can’t hold on
    You can’t go back and you can’t stand still
    And if the thunder don’t get you then the lightnin’ will

    • Yeeees a Dead song! Love it!
      What do you think of John Mayer playing for Dead & Company?
      He’s also a BIG favorite of mine, his songs are so good.

      • I think he’s a good addition to the remaining Dead group, and I like his solo stuff- interesting that it has ( to my ear) not much crossover sound. In fact, I was surprised when I learned he was going on tour with D&Co.!

        • I read somewhere that it was his idea to get the Dead together again. He was such a fan so he volunteered to step forward and play with them, but he keeps to the background and just rocks out on the guitar. I love his solo stuff so much, I’ll be seeing him perform in Sept. :)

  21. I have two musician sons, one is a rocker and the other is a jazz man. At 65 they have exposed me to a wide range of music but the song that always speaks to me is The Luckiest by Ben Folds. I met my husband when I was 16 and we have been together since then, first as friends and for the last 47 years as husband and wife. This song lets me know how lucky I am to have him in my life.

    I don’t get many things right the first time,
    In fact, I am told that a lot
    Now I know all the wrong turns the stumbles,
    And falls brought me here
    And where was I before the day
    That I first saw your lovely face,
    Now I see it every day
    And I know
    That I am, I am, I am, the luckiest
    What if I had been born fifty years before you
    In a house on the street
    Where you lived
    Maybe I’d be outside as you passed on your bike. Would I know?
    And in a wide sea of eyes
    I see one pair that I recognize
    And I know
    That I am, I am, I am, the luckiest
    I love you more then have
    Ever found the way to say
    To you
    Next door there’s an old man who lived to his nineties and one day
    Passed away in his sleep,
    And his wife, she stayed for a couple of days, and passed away
    I’m sorry I know that’s a strange way to tell you that I know we belong,
    That I know
    That I am, I am, I am, the luckiest

    • Wow Carol, that is the most beautiful song! I just listened to it. TEARS!!

  22. Your Song by Elton John always gets me. My favorite verse is:

    “Anyway, the thing is…what I really mean-
    Yours are the sweetest eyes I’ve ever seen”

    It reminds me of my late Mom, because she had the sweetest blue eyes!

    • Oh I know that’s such a great lyric, I love the part just before that goes … “excuse me forgetting, but these things I do, you see I’ve forgotten if they’re green or they’re blue…”
      the song reminds me of someone special too. ;)

  23. Love to read your blog – and yes, please, share your thoughts and ideas!
    Greetings from Europe

  24. So many to choose from but his this is one of my favorites… Carole King/James Taylor

    You just call out my name
    And you know wherever I am
    I’ll come running, to see you again
    Winter, spring, summer or fall
    All you have to do is call
    And I’ll be there
    You’ve got a friend

    • Wow just got chills cause I heard that song today! Followed by Shower the People, sooo good!!

  25. The song ‘Murder in the City’ by the Avett Brothers is full of great lyrics. But my favorite line, so much so that we have it hanging in a frame in our living room, is “Always remember there is nothing worth sharing like the love that let us share our name.”

  26. I love this idea! I am a huge music person, myself, so it is hard to choose, but I love the whole song “I’ll follow you into the dark” by Death Cab for Cutie-esp. the refrain:

    If heaven and hell decide that they both are satisfied
    And illuminate the no’s on their vacancy signs
    If there’s no one beside you when your soul embarks
    Then I’ll follow you into the dark.

    I also love all by Andy Grammer and his new song.
    I will fight
    I will fight for you
    I always do until my heart
    Is black and blue
    And I will stay
    I will stay with you
    We’ll make it to the other side
    Like lovers do
    I’ll reach my hands out in the dark
    And wait for yours to interlock
    I’ll wait for you
    I’ll wait for you

    I also love Jason Mraz, and this is a great line, too

    And may the best of your todays be the worst of your tomorrows
    And may the road less paved be the road that you follow

    There are so many good ones! I love reading all the comments to see what other people like, as well.

    • Amazing Tracey, thank you! I’m a huge Jason Mraz fan too, his music is so deep and upbeat at the same time! He sings to the beat of his heart, that’s for sure, he always puts me in a great mood! Right now I’m loving his latest album, especially “Let’s See What the Night Can Do” —> the perfect romantic song for explorers in love!

  27. Kate – I love this post! And to think I listened to Across the Universe this morning on my way to work…I also enjoyed reading all the comments by your readers. What an awesome way to bring everyone together :)

    Here’s my favorite:

    “Yes, there were times, I’m sure you knew
    When I bit off more than I could chew
    But through it all, when there was doubt
    I ate it up and spit it out
    I faced it all and I stood tall
    And did it my way”

    ~Frank Sinatra

    I also love the lyrics from Don Quixote’s “Impossible Dream”…

    Thanks again for such a thought provoking and engaging post. Can’t wait to see what you come up with next :)

    • Gotta love FRANK! That’s such an amazing song, he definitely lived that philosophy!

  28. When I am gone…by Joey and Rory Feel. I lost my sister this year and this song talks about loss, and how life goes on, even when we don’t know or understand how. The video is amazing

  29. “Now I’m walking again, to the beat of a drum, and I’m counting the steps to the door of your heart. “ Crowded House

    Hard to get better than that… what a great question! Always a great blog!

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