wordpress statistics

Top Ten Rock-N-Roll Songwriters

Not much introduction is needed here, except to state clearly that this is a very subjective list. It was very difficult to make, and there is no order of preference either. So please do feel free to post your comments and add more songwriters you feel deserve to be mentioned here.

  1. Bob Dylan


    Bob Dylan
    Lets start with one person who would be on pretty much anyone’s top 10 songwriters list: Bob Dylan. A major figure in music scene for over 50 years, Dylan is by many considered a great poet, whose lyrics incorporate a variety of political, social and philosophical, as well as literary influences.

    I gotta use words when I talk to you
    but if you understand or if you don’t
    that’s nothing to me and nothing to you
    we all gotta do what we gotta do.


    The geometry of innocence flesh on the bone
    Causes Galileo’s math book to get thrown
    At Delilah who sits worthlessly alone
    But the tears on her cheeks are from laughter


    Go to him now, he calls you, you can’t refuse.
    When you ain’t got nothing, you got nothing to lose.
    You’re invisible now. You’ve got no secrets to conceal.

  2. Leonard Cohen

    Canadian singer-songwriter, musician, poet and novelist, Leonard Cohen is famous for his deep voice and the richness of lyrics. Cohen’s work explores religion, isolation, sexuality and interpersonal relationships. He has produced an impressive volume of work of high artistic quality over a five-decade career.

    Like a bird on the wire,
    like a drunk in a midnight choir
    I have tried in my way to be free.


    On that fundamental ground
    Where love’s unwilled, unleashed, unbound
    And half the perfect world is found.


    Everybody knows that you love me baby
    Everybody knows that you really do
    Everybody knows that you’ve been faithful
    Ah give or take a night or two
    Everybody knows you’ve been discreet
    But there were so many people you just had to meet
    without your clothes
    And everybody knows

  3. Waters/Gilmour

    Pink Floyd is known for their progressive and psychedelic rock music. Their work is marked by the use of philosophical lyrics, sonic experimentation, innovative album art, and elaborate live shows. Roger Waters and Dave Gilmour wrote some of the most beautiful, insightful and prophetic words in the albums: The Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here, Animals, and The Wall.

    So, so you think you can tell
    Heaven from Hell,
    Blue skies from pain?
    Can you tell a green field
    From a cold steel rail?
    A smile from a veil?
    Do you think you can tell?


    There is no pain you are receding
    A distant ship, smoke on the horizon.
    You are only coming through in waves.
    Your lips move but I can’t hear what you’re saying.
    When I was a child I had a fever
    My hands felt just like two balloons.
    Now I’ve got that feeling once again
    I can’t explain you would not understand
    This is not how I am.
    I have become comfortably numb.

  4. Jagger/Richards

    Mick Jagger and Keith Richards
    Of course, this list would be incomplete without The Rolling Stones. Having been friends since the early 1950s, when they were classmates at a primary school in Dartford, Kent, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards have come a long way together, leaving behind an impressive legacy of hits.

    I met a gin-soaked, bar-room queen in Memphis
    She tried to take me upstairs for a ride
    She had to heave me right across her shoulder’
    Cause I just can’t seem to drink you off my mind.


    Don’t you know promises were never made to keep?
    Just like the night, dissolve in sleep.
    I’ll be your savior, steadfast and true.
    I’ll come to your emotional rescue.

  5. Tom Waits

    Tom Waits
    With his trademark growl, Tom Waits has built up a distinctive musical persona, with a cult following. Known for incorporating pre-rock music styles such as blues, jazz, and vaudeville, and experimental tendencies verging on industrial music. Lyrically, Waits’ songs frequently present atmospheric portrayals of grotesque, often seedy characters and places – although he has also shown a penchant for more conventional ballads.

    Well I got a bad liver and a broken heart
    yea I drunk me a river since you tore me apart
    and I don’t have a drinking problem
    cept when I can’t get a drink


    Tonight I’ll shave the mountain
    I’ll cut the hearts from pharaohs
    I pull the road off of the rise
    tear the memories from my eyes
    and in the morning I’ll be gone


    As I attempt to consolidate all my missed weekly rendezvous
    Into one low monthly payment, through the nose
    With romantic residuals and legs akimbo
    But the chances are that more than likely
    Standing underneath a moon holding water
    I’ll probably be held over for another
    Smashed weekend
    Thank you


    Boney’s high on china white Shorty found a punk
    don’t you know there ain’t no devil thats just god when he’s drunk
    well this stuff will probably kill you let’s do another line
    what you say you meet me down on Heartattack and Vine

  6. Nick Cave

    Nick Cave
    Australian musician, songwriter, author, screenwriter, and occasional film actor, Nick Cave has proved his multi-dimensional persona time and again.  His distinctive, highly dark, challenging lyrics and violent sound influenced by free jazz, blues, and post-punk were first expressed in the group The Birthday Party in the early 1980s. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds were established in 1984, and are known for its eclectic influences and musical styles.

    Tallys up his loneliness, notch by notch,
    For the sea offers nuthin’ to hold or touch.


    In the days of madness, my brother, my sister,
    When you’re dragged toward the Hell-mouth,
    You will beg for the end, but there ain’t gonna be one, friend,
    For the grave will spew you out! It will spew you out!


    Along crags and sunless cracks I go,
    Up rib of rock, down spine of stone,
    I dare not slumber where the right winds whistle,
    Lest her creeping-soul clutch this heart of thistle.

  7. Elvis Costello

    Elvis Costello
    Elvis Costello
    arrived to the music scene in the mid-1970s and quickly became associated with the punk/New Wave genre. A true wordsmith and an artist in word play, Costello’s lyrics stand out with rich vocabulary. He has boldly explored and experimented with diverse musical genres; one critic described him as a “pop encyclopedia,” able to “reinvent the past in his own image”.

    Accidents will happen
    We only hit and run
    I don’t want to hear it
    Cause I know what I’ve done

    And it’s the damage that we do
    And never know
    It’s the words that we don’t say
    That scare me so.


    Oh I used to be disgusted
    and now I try to be amused

  8. Jim Morrison

    Jim Morrison
    James Douglas “Jim” Morrison was the lead singer and lyricist of The Doors, and is widely regarded as one of the most iconic frontmen in rock music history. Morrison was drawn to the study of literature, poetry, religion, philosophy and psychology. In his songs he explored mysticism, ancient myth and symbolism and was particularly attracted to the myths and religions of Native American cultures.

    Let’s reinvent the gods, all the myths of the ages
    Celebrate symbols from deep elder forests


    Riders on the storm
    Riders on the storm
    Into this house we’re born
    Into this world we’re thrown
    Like a dog without a bone
    An actor out alone
    Riders on the storm


    Strange days have found us
    And through their strange hours
    We linger alone
    Bodies confused
    Memories misused
    As we run from the day
    To a strange night of stone

    Not to touch the earth
    Not to see the sun
    Nothing left to do, but
    Run, run, run
    Let’s run
    Let’s run

  9. John Lennon


    John Lennon
    The iconic figure of our times, John Lennon revealed a rebellious nature and acerbic wit in his music, his writing, his drawings, on film, and in interviews, and he became controversial through his political and peace activism.

    Living is easy with eyes closed, misunderstanding all you see.
    It’s getting hard to be someone but it all works out.
    It doesn’t matter much to me.

    Let me take you down, ’cause I’m going to Strawberry Fields.
    Nothing is real and nothing to get hung about.
    Strawberry Fields forever.


    Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.


    Imagine there’s no heaven,
    It’s easy if you try,
    No hell below us,
    Above us only sky,
    Imagine all the people
    living for today…

    Imagine there’s no countries,
    It isnt hard to do,
    Nothing to kill or die for,
    No religion too,
    Imagine all the people
    living life in peace…


    There are no problems, only solutions.

  10. Robert Plant/Jimmy Page

    Led Zeppelin, widely considered to be one of the most successful, innovative and influential bands in the history of rock music, left a legacy of some of the finest rock-n-roll poetry.

    Tangerine, Tangerine, Living reflection from a dream;
    I was her love, she was my queen,
    And now a thousand years between.


    And as we wind on down the road
    Our shadows taller than our soul.
    There walks a lady we all know
    Who shines white light and wants to show
    How everything still turns to gold.
    And if you listen very hard
    The tune will come to you at last.
    When all are one and one is all
    To be a rock and not to roll.


    Seems like the wrath of the gods
    got a punch on the nose and has started to flow,
    I think I might be sinking.

    Throw me a line if I reach it in time,
    I’ll meet you up there where the path
    runs straight and high.


About Dubie Bacino

Always on the lookout for new, original and innovative, Dubie loves spotting upcoming trends in cyber culture, discovering useful tools and innovative start-ups and inventions. To the Google+ crowd, she is known as the curator of stunning photography.


  1. Nice! list I’ll add David Bowie and Bob Marley to it!

  2. Let’s not forget Paul Simon! He wrote some of the greatest songs.

  3. If both Cohen and Dylan are here, then there must have been a place for Townes van Zandt, who is – if not right there beside Dylan and Cohen, then at least an octave above them. Though I must say all three do not really fall into “rock and roll”.

    Steve Earle once said: “Townes van Zandt is the best songwriter in the whole world and I’ll stand on Bob Dylan’s coffee table in my cowboy boots and say that.”

  4. e zeno moja,
    Dylan prvi i jedini, a daleko ispod, daleko daleko, svi ovi ostali, pregazeni pjesnici.

  5. why not lennon-mccartney???

  6. adrian bonningtoin says

    I would add The Clash and REM to the list.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This
Website Security Test
%d bloggers like this: