Someone has suggested that the great poets of the past are writing song lyrics today. Whether that’s true or not I’ve found great inspiration from lyrics as well as poetry. There’s wisdom, theology and ideas to meditate over in many lyrics. This long post are examples of some that have meaningful ideas to consider.

Past Glories

When we find ourselves living in past accomplishments instead of considering each day a new gift to enjoy and use to grow, you should reflect on this excerpt from Bruce Springsteen’s song Glory Days:

“I had a friend was a big baseball player
Back in high school. He could throw that speedball by you. Make you look like a fool boy.
Saw him the other night at this roadside bar I was walking in, he was walking out
We went back inside sat down had a few drinks, But all he kept talking about was
Glory days well they’ll pass you by Glory days in the wink of a young girl’s eye

Living Life Daily

In a similar way, Garth Brooks song The River has accurate advice about living each new day in our life and not in the past or fearing the future:

“You know a dream is a like a river Ever changing as it flows
And the dreamer’s just a vessel That must  follow where it goes
Trying to learn from what’s behind you And never knowing what’s in store
Makes each day a constant battle Just to stay between the shores… and
I will sail my vessel ’til the river runs dry Like a bird upon the wind These waters are my sky
I’ll never reach my destination If i never try So i will sail my vessel ’til the river runs dry
Too many times we stand aside Let the waters slip away ’til what we put off ’til tomorrow It has now become today
So don’t you sit upon the shoreline And say you’re satisfied. Choose to chance the rapids And dare to dance the tide… yes
There’s bound to be rough waters And i know I’ll take some falls But with the good lord as my captain I can make it through them all…
Yes i will sail my vessel ’til the river runs dry.”

Rascal Flatts in his song My Wish, offers us a map of how to think about our daily life and challenges. Consider these lyrics:

“I hope the days come easy and the moments pass slow
And each road leads you where you want to go
And if you’re faced with a choice, and you have to choose
I hope you choose the one that means the most to you
And if one door opens to another door closed
I hope you keep on walkin’ ’till you find the window
If it’s cold outside, show the world the warmth of your smile
But more than anything, more than anything
My wish, for you, is that this life becomes all that you want it to
Your dreams stay big, your worries stay small
You never need to carry more than you can hold
And while you’re out there getting where you’re getting to
I hope you know somebody loves you, and wants the same things too
Yeah, this, is my wish

Lee Ann Womack sings My Hope for You with lyrics that communicate a goal for a life worth considering. Here are excepts from this inspirational song.

“I hope you never lose your sense of wonder,  You get your fill to eat but always keep that hunger,
May you never take one single breath for granted, God forbid love ever leave you empty handed,
I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean, Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens,
Promise me that you’ll give faith a fighting chance,
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance. I hope you dance… I hope you dance…
I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance, Never settle for the path of least resistance,
Living’ might mean takin’ chances, but they’re worth takin’,
Lovin’ might be a mistake, but it’s worth Makin’, Don’t let some Hell bent heart leave you bitter,
When you come close to sellin’ out reconsider, 
Give the heavens above more than just a passing glance,
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance.
I hope you dance… I hope you dance.

Dealing with Failure

Gary Barr wrote a wonderful song about the challenges of life catching up with us. The lyrics tell a familiar story of failing and dealing with it as shown by these excerpts from A Thousand Wild Horses:

“Just when I thought The demons I fought Were dead and gone
Straight out of the blue Someone like you comes along
I don’t have to turn I already know From the sound There’s a thousand wild horses Thundering behind me Hell bent on running me down
I thought I was fast But the sins of my past they’re faster still 
And I’m wasting my time Trying to leave them behind Cause I never will
One drink to many One kiss to deep And I feel that old shacking the ground That’s a thousand wild horses Thundering behind me Hell bent on running me down
Each one is branded, Each one is mine each one’s a darkness I can’t deny I know they are coming There’s no place to hide I’m goanna get runner down or I’m goanna ride
Right now there just a big cloud of dust But pretty soon I’ll do something stupid Like I tend to do And I let them loose.
So if Your thinking that maybe That your the one could save me Baby this ain’t no merry-go-round. It’s a thousand wild horses Thunderin’ behind me Hellbend on runnin’ me down.”

Rely Upon Intuition

Jimmy Buffett’s song Cowboy in the Jungle has good advice about taking life as it comes and relying upon your own intuition. Consider these lyrics:

“There’s a cowboy in the jungle And he looks so out of place
With his shrimpskin boots and his cheap cheroots And his skin as white as paste
Headin’ south to Paraguay Where the Gauchos sing and shout
Now he’s stuck in Porto Bello Since his money all ran out
So he hangs out with the sailors Night and day, they’re raisin’ hell
And his original destination’s just another Story that he loves to tell
He just had to learn to Roll with the punches Play all of his hunches
Make the best of whatever came his way
Plowin’ straight ahead come what may
Forget that blind ambition  And learn to trust your intuition
Plowin’ straight ahead come what may.”

Be a Genuine and Authentic Person

The song made famous by Frank Sinatra, My Way, recounts a satisfied life lived as an individual. It is worth considering as a guide for living the fullest.

“And now, the end is near And so I face the final curtain
My friend, I’ll say it clear  I’ll state my case, of which I’m certain
I’ve lived a life that’s full I’ve traveled each and every highway
But more, much more than this I did it my way
Regrets, I’ve had a few But then again, too few to mention
I did what I had to do And saw it through without exemption
I planned each charted course Each careful step along the byway
And more, much more than this I did it my way
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.”
I’ve loved, I’ve laughed and cried I’ve had my fill my share of losing
And now, as tears subside I find it all so amusing
To think I did all that And may I say – not in a shy way
Oh no, oh no, not me I did it my way
For what is a man, what has he got If not himself, then he has naught
To say the things he truly feels And not the words of one who kneels
The record shows I took the blows And did it my way.”

Dealing With The Regrets of Life

There are poems and song lyrics about regrets over the past. Some tell a story and some are observations and advice. Here’s some examples:

“Four things do not come back: the spoken word, the sped arrow, the past life, and the neglected opportunity.” ― Ted ChiangThe Merchant and the Alchemist’s Gate

The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.” ― Omar Khayyám

Willy Nelson has recorded a song Nothing I Can Do About It Now, that expresses the reality of anguishing over events of the past we now regret. The lyrics include:

“I’ve got a long list of real good reasons For all the things I’ve done
I’ve got a picture in the back of my mind Of what I’ve lost and what I’ve won
I’ve survived every situation Knowing when to freeze and when to run
And regret is just a memory written on my brow And there’s nothing I can do about it now.
And I could cry for the time I’ve wasted  But that’s a waste of time and tears,
And I know just what I’d change If went back in time somehow
But there’s nothing I can do about it now”

Love Between Two People

Garth Brooks has recorded a song If Tomorrow Never Comes that captures the love I feel towards my wife Lita:

“Sometimes late at night I lie awake and watch her sleeping She’s lost in peaceful dreams So I turn out the lights and lay there in the dark And the thought crosses my mind If I never wake up in the morning Would she ever doubt the way I feel About her in my heart If tomorrow never comes Will she know how much I loved her Did I try in every way to show her every day That she’s my only one And if my time on earth were through And she must face the world without me Is the love I gave her in the past Gonna be enough to last If tomorrow never comes ‘Cause I’ve lost loved ones in my life Who never knew how much I loved them Now I live with the regret That my true feelings for them never were revealed So I made a promise to myself To say each day how much she means to me And avoid that circumstance Where there’s no second chance to tell her how I feel If tomorrow never comes Will she know how much I loved her Did I try in every way to show her every day That she’s my only one And if my time on earth were through And she must face the world without me Is the love I gave her in the past Gonna be enough to last If tomorrow never comes So tell that someone that you love Just what you’re thinking of If tomorrow never comes.”

This song, Wind Beneath My Wings, describes the relationship between my wife and myself. She has given up so much of what she could have accomplished professionally in order to support me. It could be me speaking to her about her sacrifices:

It must have been cold there in my shadow To never have sunlight on your face
You were content to let me shine, that’s your way. You always walked a step behind So I was the one with all the glory
While you were the one with all the strength A beautiful face without a name for so long A beautiful smile to hide the pain
Did you ever know that you’re my hero And everything I would like to be?
I can fly higher than an eagle For you are the wind beneath my wings
It might have appeared to go unnoticed But I’ve got it all here in my heart I want you to know I know the truth, of course I know it
I would be nothing without you
Did you ever know that you’re my hero? You’re everything I wish I could be
I could fly higher than an eagle For you are the wind beneath my wings
Did I ever tell you you’re my hero? You’re everything, everything I wish I could be Oh, and I, I could fly higher than an eagle
For you are the wind beneath my wings ‘Cause you are the wind beneath my wings,
Oh, the wind beneath my wings
Thank you, thank you Thank God for you, the wind beneath my wings”

Another song has similar lyrics that express the same kind of gift of a relationship is Because You Loved Me with these words:

“For all those times you stood by me, for all the truth that you made me see.
For all the joy you brought to my life, for all the wrong that you made right.
For every dream you made come true, for all the love I found in you.
I’ll be forever thankful baby.
You’re the one who held me up, never let me fall. You’re the one who saw me through, through it all.
You were my strength when I was weak. You were my voice when I couldn’t speak.
You were my eyes when I couldn’t see. You saw the best there was in me.
Lifted me up when I couldn’t reach. You gave me faith ’cause you believed.
I’m everything I am because you loved me, ooh, baby.
You gave me wings and made me fly.You touched my hand, I
could touch the sky. I lost my faith, you gave it back to me.
You said no star was out of reach.”

I hope you found some of these examples meaningful and even inspiring.

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