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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 7:19 am 
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Listening to music on the way in and heard one of my favorite Wilco songs. Then it dawned on me that this may be my favorite opening line to any song.

So list any you can think of here along with the artist and title. I'd love to make it a playlist at some point.


My first:

"Dreamed about killing you again last night and it felt alright to me" - Wilco - Via Chicago

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 7:42 am 
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I got a bunch of them.

Tom Waits Christmas Card from a Hooker in Minneapolis

"Hey Charlie I'm pregnant and living on 9th Street
Right above a dirty bookstore off Euclid Avenue"

Todd Snider Age Like Wine
"Old Timer, Old Timer, Too Late to Die Young Now"

I'll think more on this topic, as I'm sure I'm missing some good ones.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 7:47 am 
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Young Fresh Fellows - When the Girls Get Here

"When the girls get here, we'll talk about integrated circuits and things, to show them how cool we are."

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 7:59 am 
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Two from my friend Steve Mardon

I'll Take a Tuesday
"Most of my friends are dead or in prison"

Coffee And Beer
"I start my day with coffee, and I end it with a beer."

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 8:07 am 
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I'm skirting the premise of this thread, but screw the rules. The Eve Of The War - opening track from Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War Of The Worlds. Richard Burton's voice with a hint of 70s reverb. Absolute perfection. It's not what he reads (which is a paraphrased version of the opening paragraph of the H.G Wells' novel), but how he reads it.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 9:42 am 
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Chris Knight = Rebel

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 11:12 am 
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Hey, a couple of years ago, one of my students said I was street. So...I've got that going for me.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 1:04 pm 
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Speaking of delivery, one of my favorites of all time is:

"BASS! How low can you go?" - Public Enemy - Bring Tha Noize

Chuck D's delivery is epic.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 1:07 pm 
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You may be street, but I'm going for 1965 Venice Beach rooftop...

The Doors - Moonlight Drive
"Let's swim to the moon, Let's climb through the tide
Penetrate the evenin' that the City sleeps to hide"

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 1:10 pm 
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And one that mixes lyrics with a great delivery...

Depeche Mode - Personal Jesus
"Reach out and touch faith"

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In the future it will become even easier for old negatives to become lost and be "replaced" by new altered negatives. This would be a great loss to our society. Our cultural history must not be allowed to be rewritten. - George Lucas 1988


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 1:24 pm 
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Warren Zevon has a lot, but I like this one...

"Well, he went down to dinner in his Sunday best
Excitable boy, they all said
And he rubbed the pot roast all over his chest
Excitable boy, they all said"

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In the future it will become even easier for old negatives to become lost and be "replaced" by new altered negatives. This would be a great loss to our society. Our cultural history must not be allowed to be rewritten. - George Lucas 1988


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 2:24 pm 
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My favorite Zevon lyric sentence isn't a first line, however. It's this one from Carmelita.

"Well I'm sitting here, playing solitaire, with my pearl handled deck."

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 2:37 pm 
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I'll bet Loudon Wainwright has some great ones.

Drinking Song
"Drunk men stagger, drunk men fall, drunk men swear and that's not all, quite often they will urinate outdoors."

Unhappy Anniversary
"Unhappy anniversary, it's one year since we split."

Westchester County

"I was born here in Westchester county, I was taught at a country day school, we were richer than most, I don't mean to boast, but I swam in the country club pool."

And of course
"Crossing the highway late one night, he didn't look left, and he didn't look right, he didn't see the station wagon car, the skunk got squashed, and there you are."

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 2:43 pm 
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Mekons

Rock and Roll
"Destroy your safe and happy lives, before it is too late, the battle we fought was long and hard, just not to be consumed by rock and roll."

Club Mekon
"When I was just seventeen, sex no longer held a mystery, I saw it as a commodity, to be bought and sold, like rock and roll."

Brutal (I had to include the second line)
"Here comes McDrug, here comes McDrug, the English love for China tea, brought deficit to the economy, what we could we sell back? Send in the army to deal some smack."

Fletcher Christian

"Sometimes I feel like Fletcher Christian, staring out across the sea, torn apart by duty's shackles, the twisted tongues of loyalty."

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 3:27 pm 
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"Jane says."


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 4:13 pm 
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The Old 97’s have a ton of great first lines also. Rhett Miller paints some great pictures in his lyrics. Some personal favorites:

Doreen – “When I first met Doreen she was barely seventeen / she was drinking whiskey sours in the bar”

Victoria – “This is the story of Victoria Lee / She started off on Percodan and ended up with me”

Won’t Be Home – “You’re a bottle cap away from pushing me too far”

The Other Shoe – “One old brown shoe falls in slow motion / and the bedsprings hover right above your head”

And the ultimate country song first line:

W-I-F-E - “I’ve got my wife, the other women and the whiskey killing me”

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 4:30 pm 
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Another personal favorite band – Drive-By Truckers. Here are the first lines from at least one song from all but two albums. I skipped Go-Go Boots and Pizza Deliverance because there weren't any really good first lines from those albums despite having strong songs.

The Living Bubba – “I wake up tired and I wake up pissed / wonder how I ended up like this / I wonder why things happen like they do”

Let There Be Rock – “Dropped acid, Blue Oyster Cult concert, fourteen years old / And I thought them lasers were a spider chasing me”

Heathens – “Something about the wrinkle in your forehead tells me there’s a fit about to get thrown”

Goddamn Lonely Love – “I got green and I got blues and every day there’s a little less difference between the two”

Wednesday – “There was something in the envelope she passed him that weighed more to him than paper and some ink”

Checkout Time in Vegas – “A bloody nose, empty pockets, a rented car with a trunk full of guns / They say the sun don't rise in Las Vegas but I swear I saw it once”

Used to Be a Cop – “Used to be a cop but I got to be too jumpy / I used to like to party till I coughed up half a lung”

Pauline Hawkins – “Don’t call me your baby I won’t answer / Love is like cancer and I am immune”

What it Means – “He was running down the street when they shot him in this tracks / About the only thing agreed upon is he ain’t coming back”

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 5:16 pm 
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duplicate post

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 7:41 pm 
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caryc wrote:
Old 97's Victoria – “This is the story of Victoria Lee / She started off on Percodan and ended up with me”


This is a great one! The next line's killer too "She lived in Berkeley till the earthquake shook her loose, she lives in Texas now where nothing ever moves."

Jim Carroll Band
It's Too Late
"It's too late, to fall in love with Sharon Tate, and it's too soon, to ask me for the words I want carved on my tomb."

Catholic Boy
"I was born in a pool, they made my mother stand
And I spat on that surgeon and his trembling hand
When I felt the light I was worse than bored
I stole the doctor's scalpel and I slit the cord"

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 8:16 pm 
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Yes to all of the Old 97's songs.

I've always liked songs that begin with a conjunction. It seems like it gives an impression of infinity, that you're coming in during the middle of something that extends off forever in either direction.

So:
"Mrs. Robinson" by Simon and Garfunkel: "And here's to you, Mrs. Robinson..."
"Once in a Lifetime" by The Talking Heads: "And you may find yourself..."
"And She Was" by The Talking Heads: "And she was lying in the grass..."
"What Is & What Should Never Be" by Led Zeppelin: "And if I say to you, tomorrow..."
"My Way" by Frank Sinatra: "And now, the end is here..."


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 8:31 pm 
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Okkervil River - John Allyn Smith Sails

By the second verse, dear friends
My head will burst, my life will end
So I'd like to start this one off by saying "Live and love"


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2017 5:48 am 
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PINK FLOYD

One of these days, I'm going to cut you into little pieces

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2017 6:03 am 
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Gil Scott Heron - The Revolution Will Not Be Televised

"You will not be able to stay home, brother
You will not be able to plug in, turn on and drop out
You will not be able to lose yourself on skag and skip
Skip out for beer during commercials
Because the revolution will not be televised"

B movie

"Well the first thing I wanna say is mandate my ass."

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2017 6:12 am 
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Buddy Blue - Pretend It's OK

"I got a lumpy something, growing on my dumpling, but I don't like surprises, and so what I surmise is I'll pretend it's OK."

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2017 8:18 am 
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Mojo Nixon

Debbie Gibson is Pregnant

"Debbie Gibson is pregnant with my two headed love child, it's a Bigfoot baby, all covered in fur now."

Tie My Pecker To My Leg
"Me and your mama and some other whore, riding down the river on a shit house door, gonna tie my pecker to my leg, to my leg, gonna tie my pecker to my leg."

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2017 12:37 pm 
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Kimfair wrote:
Mojo Nixon

Debbie Gibson is Pregnant

"Debbie Gibson is pregnant with my two headed love child, it's a Bigfoot baby, all covered in fur now."

Tie My Pecker To My Leg
"Me and your mama and some other whore, riding down the river on a shit house door, gonna tie my pecker to my leg, to my leg, gonna tie my pecker to my leg."


Mojo is awesome. I heard him interviewed on a couple of podcasts years ago and he was a hell of a great listen. Super funny and just as wound up in real life as his persona on record.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2017 4:08 pm 
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Location: Portland, Oregooooooooo

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PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2017 8:23 am 
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Stew - The Naked Dutch Painter

"The naked Dutch Painter in the kitchen does not want to fuck you."

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 12, 2017 7:18 am 
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Game Theory - Spot The Setup

"I used to go out with supermodels, but it didn't make my life OK."

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 13, 2017 10:57 am 
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These are all very nice choices, but I'm kind of appalled that no one mentioned the One True Answer, since it really IS the best first line from a song ever:

"Don't call it a comeback."

I win the thread.

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