Article image

20 Unforgettable Lyrics From '70s Music

It’s impossible to pin down '70s music as any one particular thing. Across the U.S., folk and protest songs evolved alongside rock, funk, R&B, pop, and soul, while genres such as punk, disco, electronic, and hip-hop arrived on the scene. Clubs and airwaves were flooded with new and exciting sounds, shuffling the top of the music charts on a weekly basis. Hard rock got harder at the same time that jazz got smooth. Horns and strings found their way into emerging dance music, and pop performances grew more elaborate and theatrical with each passing year.

In that eclectic decade, a handful of songs crossed genre boundaries, with lyrics that became embedded in the minds of listeners around the world for decades to come. Even if you were born long after 1979, chances are, the iconic lines of that time are familiar. Here, we’ve collected 20 of the best song lyrics of the '70s, classics that cut to the core of human experience, exploring themes of love, family, and friendship.

Don't it always seem to go / That you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone?
Joni Mitchell, “Big Yellow Taxi,” 1970

Share Quote

If not for you, my sky would fall / Rain would gather, too / Without your love I'd be nowhere at all / I'd be lost, if not for you.
Bob Dylan, “If Not for You,” 1970

Share Quote

We all have pain / We all have sorrow / But if we are wise / We know that there's always tomorrow.
Bill Withers, “Lean on Me,” 1972

Share Quote

It's easy to get buried in the past / When you try to make a good thing last.— Neil Young,
"Ambulance Blues," 1974

Share Quote

I hope you hear inside my voice of sorrow / And that it motivates you to make a better tomorrow.
Stevie Wonder, "Living for the City," 1973

Share Quote

Made up my mind to make a new start / Going to California with an aching in my heart.
Led Zeppelin, "Going to California," 1971

Share Quote

Oh it's such a perfect day / I'm glad I spent it with you.
Lou Reed, "Perfect Day," 1972

Share Quote

Freedom's just another word for nothin' left to lose.
Kris Kristofferson, "Me and Bobby McGee," 1971

Share Quote

Your time has come to shine / All your dreams are on their way.
Simon & Garfunkel, "Bridge Over Troubled Water," 1970

Share Quote

Any way the wind blows doesn't really matter to me.
Queen, "Bohemian Rhapsody," 1975

Share Quote

We're just two lost souls swimming in a fishbowl year after year.
Pink Floyd, "Wish You Were Here," 1975

Share Quote

And now she's in me / Always with me / Tiny dancer in my hand.
Elton John, “Tiny Dancer,” 1971

Share Quote

They say women, they will come and they will go / When the rain washes you clean, you'll know.
Fleetwood Mac, “Dreams,” 1977

Share Quote

Well I wouldn't trade my life for diamonds or jewels / I never was one of them money-hungry fools / I'd rather have my fiddle and my farmin' tools / Thank God I'm a country boy.
John Denver, “Thank God I’m a Country Boy,” 1974

Share Quote

We are family / I got all my sisters with me / We are family / Get up everybody and sing.
Sister Sledge, “We Are Family,” 1979

Share Quote

You've got to know when to hold 'em / Know when to fold 'em / Know when to walk away / And know when to run.
Kenny Rogers, “The Gambler,” 1978

Share Quote

Baby, if I think about you / I think about love / Darlin', if I live without you / I live without love.
Bad Company, “Feel Like Making Love,” 1975

Share Quote

I got chills, they're multiplying / And I'm losing control / 'Cause the power you're supplying / It's electrifying!
John Farrar, “You’re the One That I Want,” 1978

Share Quote

When I find myself in times of trouble, Mother Mary comes to me / Speaking words of wisdom, let it be.
The Beatles, “Let It Be,” 1970

Share Quote

Time may change me / But I can't trace time.
David Bowie, "Changes," 1972

Share Quote

Featured image credit: macroman/ Unsplash

Author image
About the Author
April Dávila
April Dávila is a lover of words. Her debut novel "142 Ostriches" was released in 2020.
Play more header background
Play more icon
Daily Question
Fill in the blank: "Beautify your inner world with love, light, and ___." - Amit Ray

More Inspiration

happiness theme icon

Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together.

separator icon
Vincent van Gogh
motivation theme icon

The smallest deed is better than the grandest intention.

separator icon
Anonymous
hope theme icon

The chief prevention against getting old is to remain astonished.

separator icon
Kevin Kelly
love theme icon

The great thing about getting older is that you don't lose all the other ages you've been.

separator icon
Madeleine L'Engle
wisdom theme icon

A small act is worth a million thoughts.

separator icon
Ai Weiwei
happiness theme icon

A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality.

separator icon
Yoko Ono
motivation theme icon

Maybe who we are isn't so much about what we do, but rather what we're capable of when we least expect it.

separator icon
Jodi Picoult
hope theme icon

Run to the rescue with love and peace will follow.

separator icon
River Phoenix
love theme icon

'Tis never too late to be wise.

separator icon
Daniel Defoe
wisdom theme icon

Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.

separator icon
Seneca
happiness theme icon

The heart is wiser than the intellect.

separator icon
Josiah Gilbert Holland