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


We all know the Modfather’s got a way with words. At 51, he’s still shining as bright as ever

There can be little argument that Paul Weller is one of the UK’s finest wordsmiths. But what keeps him at the front of the pack is his unwavering ability to surprise, to shock and to change his worldview to, well, whatever floats his boat at any given time.

Critics deride him for his supposedly archaic tendencies, but he’s always been a forward-thinker. Take the title track from new album ‘Wake Up The Nation’, where he laments technology – not because he’s too old/stupid to understand it, but because he thinks it’s a sign of us forgetting the beauty and importance of basic human interaction. You know what? He might have a point. MW

Key lyric: “Numbed by the effect/Aware of the muse/Too in touch with myself/ I light the fuse”
(‘The Changingman’, from ‘Stanley Road’, 1995)


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