Best Song Opening Lines

Five years ago today I suggested some best song opening lines; several commenters suggested some more. Here’s a selection from that post and comments.

Baby take off your coat, real slow
— Joe Cocker, “You Can Leave Your Hat On”

Some folks are born, made to wave the flag,
Ooh they’re red, white and blue

— Creedence Clearwater Revival, “Fortunate Son”

Life, it’s ever so strange, it’s so full of change
You think that you’ve worked it out then,
Bang, right out of the blue, somethin’ happens to you,
To throw you off course

— Jem, “Just a Ride”

My my, hey hey,
Rock and roll is here to stay

— Neil Young, “My My, Hey Hey”

When this war is over, it will be a better day
— Eric Clapton & J.J. Cale, “When This War is Over”

Busted flat in Baton Rouge, waitin’ for a train
And I’s feelin’ near as faded as my jeans
Bobby thumbed a diesel down just before it rained
It rode us all the way to New Orleans

— Kris Kristofferson, “Me and Bobby McGee”

If you had not have fallen
Then I would not have found you
Angel flying too close to the ground
And I patched up your broken wing
And hung around a while
Tried to keep your spirits up
And your fever down

— Willie Nelson, “Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground”

Aaaaah, haaa
I know a place
Ain’t nobody cryin’
Ain’t nobody worried
Ain’t no smilin’ faces
Mmm-mmm, no, no
Lyin’ to the races
Help me, come on, come on
Somebody, help me, now
(I’ll take you there)

— The Staple Singers, “I’ll Take You There”

The screen door slams
Mary’s dress waves
Like a vision she dances across the porch
As the radio plays

– Bruce Springsteen, “Thunder Road”

I’m a gonna tell you how it’s gonna be
You’re gonna give your love to me

– Buddy Holly, “Not Fade Away”

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

– The Rolling Stones, “Honky Tonk Women”

I hear the train a comin’
It’s rollin’ round the bend
And I ain’t seen the sunshine
Since I don’t know when

– Johnny Cash, “Folsom Prison Blues”

Whenever I see your smiling face
I have to smile myself
Because I love you (yes I do)

– James Taylor, “Your Smiling Face”

Forgive, sounds good
Forget, I’m not sure I could
They say time heals everything
But I’m still waiting

– Dixie Chicks, “Not Ready to Make Nice”

How many roads must a man walk down
Before you call him a man

– Bob Dylan, “Blowin’ in the Wind”

Time keeps on slippin’, slippin’, slippin’
Into the future

– Steve Miller Band, “Fly Like an Eagle”

On a dark desert highway, cool wind in my hair
Warm smell of colitas, rising up through the air.
Up ahead in the distance, I saw a shimmering light
My head grew heavy and my sight grew dim.
I had to stop for the night.

– The Eagles, “Hotel California”

Rollin’ down Imperial Highway
Big, nasty redhead at my side…

– Randy Newman, “I Love L.A.”

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