We couldn't be a music site without being just a littttttle bit obsessed with lyrics - which is why The Music team are asking some of our favourite artists about their favourite lyrics in the new series, 'Wax Lyrical'. Ahead of the release of her debut solo album, 'Thornbird', we asked ThornBird, aka Vikki Thorn, about the songs that inspired her, and the lyrics that still stick in her mind.
The first lyrics that you remember being grabbed by
Bob Dylan Shelter From The Storm. "Hunted like a crocodile ravaged in the corn / “Come in” she said / I’ll give you shelter from the storm."
This was on my parent’s vinyl record. The image of a crocodile in a cornfield always struck me as unusual . Do crocodiles get lost in cornfields and starve to death? Do they hunt them there? Are its ribs showing? Is that how you know its ravaged? How do you make that image up? I see a National Geographic photo in my mind and it’s in Florida in the 70’s.
A lyric you wish you’d written
Big Thief Paul. I was your starry-eyed lover and the one that you saw / I was your hurricane rider and the woman you'd call / We were just two moonshiners on the cusp of a breath / And I've been burning for you baby since the minute I left.
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I love everything about this chorus. The imagery is very cool and the cadence of the rhyme - and the deep sense of yearning you're left with. It’s such a good song.
Your favourite lyric from your new release
ThornBird BIG Girl Pants. Pull em on, Zip em up, Fasten tight , Foot Long fly - your big girl pants.
It’s hard not to take yourself seriously when writing a song. I’m not usually so playful but I was cracking myself up while writing this - so that’s why it’s my favourite.
A lyric you think is perfect
Bob Marley Redemption Song. Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery / None but ourselves can free our minds.
The truth speaks volumes and he was a wise man.
A lyric that makes you happy
Nina Simone To Be Free. I wish I could fly like a bird in the sky / How sweet it would be if I found I could fly / I’d soar to the sun and look down at the sea. / Then I’d sing / Because I’d know how it feels to be free.
It’s a song about oppression but the feeling of liberation & hope she's describing is the happy bit.
A lyric that makes you sad
Mia Dyson Any 3 Chords. I only wanna play in the band / I only wanna travel the world / If only i could sing for a crowd / Who loves me better than I can / Any 3 chords will do.
I guess I relate. Song writers can be hard on themselves.
The most “underrated” lyrics
Big Mama Thornton Hound Dog. You aint nothing but a hound dog / Crying all the time / You aint ever caught a rabbit and you aint no friend of mine.
Because is there a better way to call someone out than in a rocking song?
A lyric you think everyone should know
Ben E King Stand By Me. When the night has come / And the land is dark and the moon is the only light you’ll see / No I won’t be afraid / No I won’t shed a tear / Just as long as you stand by me.
In dark times this one stands true.