What would you say is the best song ever written, if you take a good look at the lyrics?
You can mix em´ into themes as well.. Best song for when you're happy, sad, love, about the ocean etc..
I'd have to say that Stardust, by Hoagy Carmichael and Mitchell Parish is the most perfect combination of lyric and music.
Cole Porter's Begin the Beguine is not a bad alternate ... you have to really be in love though to appreciate phrases like "rapture serene" but if you're crazy, stupid in love with an old flame ... it's the best song ever written. IMO
For the modern or "rock & roll" era:
I'm going to go with "Let It Be" by Lennon & McCartney.
Close second ... "Imagine" by Lennon
Guess it's not hard to tell who I think are the best songwriters of the era.
Hard question as the criteria is pretty broad but here's a couple for you to ponder
Scenes From An Italian Restaurant - Billy Joel
Fountain Of Sorrow - Jackson Browne
This Shirt - Mary Chapin Carpenter
and throw in Natural Beauty - Neil Young......just to name a few.
Well, Stardust is terrific, but in that vein I would give my vote to Gershwin's 'Summertime.' The Beatles' 'Eleanor Rigby'ranks as their best song. No one mentioned Dylan so I would toss in his lesser known 'Blind Willie McTell' as a superior act of craft. Billy Joel is very good, but Springsteen's 'Rosalita' is as good. Chris Smither has penned some amazing tunes. His early 'No Love Today' is haunting and beautiful as is his later 'Leave the light on'. And Paul Simon? Surely both 'The Sounds of Silence' & 'Graceland' deserve homage. Keb'Mo, songs are written as well as any, with 'You Can Love Yourself' as particularly clever & 'Just Like You' for shivers up your spine.
I have to also mention Brandi Carlisle' 'Terpentine'& 'Dreams'. And almost anything written by Carrie Newcomer ('Don't Push Send' or 'Betty's Diner'0 or Joan Armatrading (start with 'Love & Affection').
The very top of the list, however, goes to Joni Mitchell & 'Blue'.