Lyrical Advice From The 80’s and 90’s

I’m fairly certain that awesome people have imparted mind-blowing words of wisdom to me over the years. The problem is, I no longer recall most of the conversations I’ve had before breakfast today. Which is why I say music has the best advice. They get right to the point and distill life down to its lyrical essence, but they’re also sing-songy and they rhyme, which makes them easy to remember. Here are five lyrical lessons I find as valuable today as I did when I first heard them in my youth.

Beastie Boys- You gotta fight, for your right….to Paaaaarrrtttyyyy!

My theme song. Especially when I just want to sit down and watch some Shameless that is backing up on my DVR.

No Doubt- The Climb

“Pulling myself up by a rope, I better my view. The only thing in sight is what I must do.”

Improbable as it may seem, everybody’s fave ska-pop band imparts valuable counsel to the hyper-ambitious with this lyric, which I interpret as a mini to-do list when I’m feeling angsty about what I must get done: Get some perspective and your best next step will become obvious.

Spice Girls- Wannabe

“If you wanna be my lover, you gotta get with my friends, and you have got to give.”

A basic yet essential reminder that real-life partners fully and willingly integrate their lives into yours.

Madonna- Express Yourself

“You deserve the best in life, so if the time isn’t right then move on.”

Probably one of the hardest lessons in life to learn is that a good chunk of life’s wrong turns and dead ends—petered-out relationships, bad career moves, etc.—don’t happen because other people are evil or because I suck. They just happen because of bad timing.

Chumbawumba- Tubthumping

“I get knocked down, but I get up again. You’re never gonna keep me down.”

I’d be lying if I said that all of life’s most precious pearls of wisdom are really just spoken Chumbawumba lyrics. But this lyric in particular would look right at home on your badass grandma’s needlepoint pillow. A true positive life qoute from a song!


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