Top Ten Best Lyricists of All Time–“All that legendary came from that one man’s head”


Tupac looms large among the all-time greats

Top Ten lists are a troublesome phenomenon at best. Usually an exercise in quantifying the unquantifiable and codifying the purely subjective, they are often assembled by hypesters and overly opinionated know-nothings rather than those with sufficient credentials to credibly carry off the task. (This, incidentally, is why this blog will be adding Top Ten lists as a regular feature.)

But once in a while the font of ignorance gushes so plentifully one can’t help to splash around in the intellectual muck a bit.

Such was the case when I stumbled on this post, entitled Top 10 Best Lyricists of All Time

I could nitpick the fact that the title itself is redundant–that either “Top 10” or “10 Best” would have gotten the job done–but I won’t mention that.

Rather let’s begin with the fact that no list of Top 10 (nor indeed Top 10 Best) lyricists of All Time should reach back only to 1962. That’s when the career of Bob Dylan, the earliest entry, began.


Kurt Cobain: a giant among lyricists

People have been making lyrics for quite a long time. The Great American Songbook is something that should be explored in at least some cursory way by those eager to suggest Tupac is among the ten best to ever pen a lyric.

Or perhaps these voters have heard the work of Lorenz Hart, Johnny Mercer and Sammy Cahn and know definitively that Kurt Cobain is superior to them all.

But the following less-than-genius-level quotes would seem to belie that possibility:

Eminem is the best lyricist ever, period. Killing rhymes and the beat is not something that Shakespeare could ever do! Never!

The Irony to all this was Lennon new he was superior to anyone else. His intellect was so far ahead, no one can match him in this department. His vision, leadership, creative ability was to advance and mostly misunderstood.

For those who may not know, Lennon and McCartney were the writers of The Beatles. These men are definitely amazing lyricist. Their amazing song Yesterday, is considered one of today’s saddest songs of all time. I want that song played at my funeral. John Lennon also wrote songs independently. One of John’s most popular songs was Imagine. That song is one of the most lyrical songs ever.

(Roger Waters) should be number one, even no (sic) I’m a Jew how can you not love him.

The best lyricist ever born no one can give meaning to songs the way (Robert Plant) does just by making noises.

Bohemian Rhapsody… So I have to say more. All that legendary came from that one man’s head.

Enough said. Too much, really.

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