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16 Lyrics to Live By From Grammy-Winning Songs

Every year, the Recording Academy brings together the best of mainstream music with the Grammy Awards, honoring artists and writers across all genres, from country and rap to classical scores and pop. The highly coveted title of Song of the Year is perhaps so esteemed because it crosses genre lines: past winning artists have included Bruce Springsteen, Lorde, Childish Gambino, and Tina Turner.

From U2’s “Beautiful Day” to Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies,” the Song of the Year hits that magic combination of accessible lyrics and well-crafted music, offering us the double-whammy of relatability and a good hook. In these 16 lyrics from winning songs over the last 50 years, we find timeless encouragement to choose new experiences, take a chance on love, and remember that we aren’t alone.

Two drifters, off to see the world / There's such a lot of world to see
— “Moon River” by Henry Mancini and Johnny Mercer (performed by Audrey Hepburn), 1962

The shadow of your smile / When you are gone / Will color all my dreams / And light the dawn
— “The Shadow of Your Smile” by Paul Francis Webster and John Mandel (performed by Tony Bennett), 1966

I'm sailing right behind / Like a bridge over troubled water / I will ease your mind
— “Bridge Over Troubled Water” by Paul Simon (performed by Simon & Garfunkel), 1971

You just call out my name / And you know, wherever I am / I'll come running / To see you again
— “You’ve Got a Friend” by Carole King (performed by Carole King and James Taylor), 1972

You and I will make each night a first / Every day a beginning
— “Evergreen” by Paul Williams and Barbra Streisand (performed by Barbra Streisand), 1978

I took the good times, I'll take the bad times / I'll take you just the way you are
— “Just The Way You Are,” written and performed by Billy Joel, 1979

Let us realize / That a change can only come / When we stand together as one
— “We Are The World” by Lionel Richie and Michael Jackson (performed by USA for Africa), 1986

Keep smiling and keep shining / Knowing you can always count on me
— “That’s What Friends Are For” by Burt Bacharach and Carole Bayer Sager (performed by Dionne Warwick), 1987

No one to tell us no / Or where to go / Or say we're only dreaming
— “A Whole New World” by Alan Menken and Tim Rice (performed by Peabo Bryson & Regina Belle), 1994

Love can touch us one time / And last for a lifetime
— “My Heart Will Go On” by Will Jennings and James Horner (performed by Céline Dion), 1999

It's a beautiful day / Don't let it get away
— “Beautiful Day” by Adam Clayton, David Evans, Laurence Mullen, and Paul David Hewson (performed by U2), 2001

You don't have to put up a fight / You don't have to always be right / Let me take some of the punches / For you tonight
— “Sometimes You Can’t Make It On Your Own” by Adam Clayton, David Evans, Laurence Mullen, and Paul David Hewson (performed by U2), 2006

I made my bed, and I sleep like a baby / With no regrets and I don’t mind sayin’
— “Not Ready to Make Nice” by Martha Maguire, Natalie Maines, Emily Robison, and Dan Wilson (performed by The Chicks), 2007

I could care less what you think / I need no permission
— “Single Ladies” by Beyoncé, Terius Nash, Thaddis Harrell, and Christopher Stewart (performed by Beyoncé), 2010

Throw your soul through every open door / Count your blessings to find what you look for
— “Rolling in the Deep” by Adele Laurie Blue Adkins and Paul Richard Epworth (performed by Adele), 2012

Tonight / We are young / So let's set the world on fire / We can burn brighter than the sun
— “We Are Young” by Jack Antonoff, Jeff Bhasker Andrew Dost, and Nathaniel Ruess (performed by Fun. and Janelle Monáe), 2013

Photo credit: axmen/ Unsplash

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About the Author
Paola Bennet
Paola Bennet is a writer based in Brooklyn, NY. She writes a fortnightly newsletter that treasures the mundane, called Small Histories. Find her on Instagram @paolafbennet.
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