Every generation needs its poets and here's the 23 musical scribes who define 2010.

Meanwhile, you can vote for the best lyricists ever here.

Words: Emily Mackay, Matt Wilkinson, Barry Nicolson, Mark Beaumont, Laura Snapes, Dan Martin, Sam Wolfson, Martin Robinson, Jaimie Hodgson


Mad, bad and good with a penis joke – Future Of The Left’s 30-year old arch linguistic freedom fighter might be the angriest lyricist ever to pick up a pen

The Welshman has served as UK indie’s Agitator-In-Chief in two bands as seminal as they have been undervalued. In screech-punks Mclusky he turned in a fantasy stream-of-consciousness ridden with slasher-movie tropes and weird-ass sexual degradation. In Future Of The Left he’s doing more of the same. His recent band employ the same magic realist shtick as Mclusky, but with an embittered sneer, plus a pre-occupation with Satan, boy-on-boy sex and stuff that makes him really, really angry. DM

Key lyric: “Morgan Freeman would roll in his grave/If he were dead/Which he nearly was if you believe the hysterical gung-ho Technicolor crapfest that is Sky News”
(‘Lapsed Catholics’, from ‘Travels With Myself And Another’, 2009)


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