Bob Dylan’s influence on popular songwriting is too enormous to print, so this article will mention just his gift for penning classic closing lines. Among his best is the put down in “Positively Fourth Street when he says, ” I wish that for just one time you could stand inside my shoes, you’d know what a drag it is to see you.”
Another memorable closer comes from “The Bal!ad of Frankie Lee and Judas Priest” when he suggests, “If you see your neighbor carrying something help him with his load, and don’t go mistaking paradise for that home across the road.” On that same John Wesley Harding album comes “Drifter’s Escape,” which concludes with “While everybody knelt down to pray, the drifter did escape.”
While no songwriters have managed to produce the quantity of Dylan, several have come up with great lines to close their songs. These lines are so effective that the chorus is not even repeated afterward, leaving only music to serve as the coda.
Here are the ten best closing lines from songs not written by Bob Dylan.
You can check out any time you like, but you can’t ever leave: the Eagles from Hotel California
The title track from platinum album follows this undesirable realization with a long instrumental highlighted by two electric guitars.
When we’re through with you, we’ll get me one, too: Runt from We Gotta Get You a Woman
Todd Rundgren wrote this with a band called by his nickname, and all through the tune he promises to get his friend Leroy a companion.
Like my lamp I’m not real bright, so I don’t have no more words: John Gorka from Like My Watch
Shoes, coffee cups, and timepieces are items the folk singer compares himself to in this track from his debut album, I Know.
I hope some day you will join us, and the world will live as one: John Lennon from Imagine
Idealism appealed to many fans of Lennon after the demise of The Beatles, so much so that this title track hard become an anthem.
If you want good eggs, you’ve got to feed that hen: Paul McCartney from Deliver Your Children
A country like acoustic guitar accompanies this closing line, thereby reinforcing its rural subject matter.
Traveling twice the speed of sound, it’s easy to get burned: Crosby, Stills, and Nash from Just a Song Before I Go
This statement could be applied to transit, relationships, or even day to day decisions that should be given more consideration.
One finger parallel to the sky: The Shins from Mine’s Not a High Horse
James Mercer is communicating some universal sign language at the end of this track from the Chutes Too Narrow album.
Planet Earth is blue, and there’s nothing I can do: David Bowie from Space Oddity
So admits Major Tom after he loses contact with ground control and is left to spiral out among the planets.
This is your art, this is your Balzac, your Brookside and your Bach:Belle and Sebastian from I Want the World To Stop
Stuart Murdoch manages to include a revered French author and a hugely influential musical composer within this one line.
The mind and the brain aren’t quite the same, bit they both want out of this place: Conor Oberst from Gossamer Thin
This line is pretty much indicative of the excellent writing throughout Salutations, the 2017 solo masterpiece by the former front man of Bright Eyes.