Music Blogs

5 Modern Song Lyrics We Can Be Proud Of

  • By AndyVale
  • 23 October 2012

Hey guys, you know that there was some good music a few decades ago and now there's a load of rubbish music? Well, it's true. In case you didn't know it, there have been a bunch of pictures that someone made to show it.

Look at that, the chorus of a modern pop song has more simple lyrics than the intro of a retro rock opera! HA! But there's more:


I could continue but I think you've got the point of them. Compare simple lyrics of popular songs with deeper lyrics of older tunes, then feel smug.

Not going to lie, I chuckled when I first saw them. Maybe even clicked 'like'.

But the sad message cutting through the core is that older music is intrinsically better than anything from the last ten years. In some cases that's definitely true, but I think they forget naff lyrics of massive retro tracks such as "she loves you yeah, yeah, yeah!" while also belittling/ignoring intelligent, articulate artists that are around today.

Instead of picking through history trying to find examples of poor lyrics by musical legends (there are plenty to choose from), I thought it would be more helpful to look forward and find some good stuff that the current era has to offer. Supajam is of course all about finding new music, and it is a personal belief of mine that if we spent as much time finding stuff we liked rather than making tired Bieber jokes, we'd all be a lot happier.

So I've had a rummage around to look for some standout lyrics from modern artists that we'd be proud to quote to our bored kids in 30 years time.

To squash any quarrels about what counts as "the current era", I'm going to say that last ten years exactly. So if it was released before 14:03 GMT on the 23rd October 2002 then it's too old.

Away we go:

5. Ed Sheeran - The A-Team

"Light's gone, days end, struggling to pay rent.
Long nights, strange men.

I know it's not cool to like little Ted Sheeran anymore, he's got famous and stuff. You've probably heard this song loads and possibly even baulked slightly when you first saw it listed here.

But step back a second, imagine you saw a guy step up and do something like this at an Open Mic night, silencing the room with it (something Ed did many times before getting his break.) You'd be banging on about how this was real music and how it's such a shame that someone with his talent wasn't getting recognised. Now he is recognised, now teenage girls like him and now it isn't cool to like him anymore. Whatever, his songwriting is brilliant and would not look out of place in any era.

4. Two Gallants - Nothing To You

"Well my kind's been around forever, 
yet I claim to be one of the few.
And the last cause of words walks away with my nerves
'cause I'm gay as a choirboy for you.

A few months ago I wrote a piece about the best Two Gallants songs, so it's little surprise that I've popped them in again. Not going to lie, I really like them. 

Its opening couplet always stands out for me. Those first two lines claiming to be a rare outcast, while actually being quite common, remind me of some obese neckbeard that feels misunderstood because they like obscure comics when in actual fact they're just anti-social and lazy. Then it's followed by the savagely accurate display of their impotent courtship desires.

3. Two Fingers Of Firewater - Loud/Quiet

"I missed you last night.
Clock-tocks & raindrops for company.
I'm not trying to say that I'm wrong or you're right
I just missed you last night.

Slam of the door,
not quite the same as it used to be.
All of your echoes have sunk through the floor
and now I can't hear them at all

Two Fingers were a cracking Americana/Alt-Country band that had been causing a ruckus around the South-East for the last 6 years and unfortunately packed it in sometime in early 2012. It's our loss, they wrote some truly magnificent songs. This one in particular captures everything you need to know about the long-term regrets of a break-up with a mixture of simplicity and pinpoint observations.

It's not on YouTube, but I've found an acoustic version from a radio session. The original is available in the usual places, it's worth a lot more than the 79p you'll pay for it.

2. Wretch 32 - Traktor

"My lifestyle's terribly wild, but you'll never catch me on the Jeremy Kyle Show."

Lyrics aren't necessarily about unearthing the deepest, cavernous secrets of the human condition or exposing the purest nuggets of truth from the far corners of the omniverse.

Sometime's it's just about pricking up your ears and getting your attention. That's the only line I remember off the top of my head from this song, but it's more than we remember about most  tracks we hear 30 seconds after they've finished.

It's a basic mission statement, immediately connects with the target audience, and my word it's smooth. Job done.


1. Dan le Sac vs Scroobius Pip - Angles

Adele - Someone Like You

The Vaccines - Post Break-Up Sex

Tool - Right In Two

Doesn't matter. Art is art, let it mean the world to you. Love what you love and share it with everyone else without feeling the need to drop bum logs on what they like. I've left this slot open because I want you to fill it with your favourite lyrics from the last 10 years.

Comment with your favourite modern(ish) lyrics, tell us why you like them and leave a link. 

It can be any genre, any size act. I'll feature some of my favourite submissions in another blog soon, I look forward to hearing what you've got for me :-)


Andy is a Supajam writer who has been a small-fry at numerous Commerical, BBC and Student radio stations over the last 6 years. He is also a music promoter in the South-East of the UK. He has a website where he interviews musicians with only one question, and he is currently typing in third-person. You can tweet abuse at him if you fancy letting off some steam.