Recently on NME.com, we asked you which lyricists best capture the majesty of nature in songs. Here’s 30 of your picks, starting with this doozy courtesy of British Sea Power, picked by Ben Lowery: “you’re fractured and cold but your heart is unbroken, my favourite foremost coastal Antarctic shelf.” Ben explains: “I love the whole song. Who else could write a song about a costal Antarctic shelf?”
Theodore Touchais went for the line “nature is a whore” in Nirvana’s ‘In Bloom’. Eat that, mother earth.
“Nature is a language, can’t you read?” from The Smiths’ ‘Ask’ was Alex Metcalfe’s pick. Nice choice, Alex.
Lukas Mayo went for Elbow’s ‘The Birds’. The line “the birds, though I wore your glacial patience / to a smudge of bitter dust” gets to him every time.
@CornishOlivia plumped for “I’m lost in a forest all alone, the girl was never there” from the Cure’s ‘A Forest’.
‘Annies Song’ by John Denver, with lines like “you fill up my senses like a night in a forest, like the mountains in springtime like a walk in the rain” do it for NME reader @lesleyharris45l.
@liveatbrixton says Lou Reed’s ‘Last Great American Whale’ is “unbeatable”. “Americans don’t care too much for beauty, they’ll shit in a river, dump battery acid in a stream, they’ll watch dead rats wash up on the beach, and complain if they can’t swim”. Deep.
Dominic Jenkins opts for Radiohead’s ‘The Reckoner’ – specifically the line: “because we separate like ripples on a blank shore in rainbows.”
Oasis superfan @somemightsay316 loves the lyric “someday you will find me, caught beneath a landslide, in a champagne supernova in the sky.” Can’t say fairer than that.
@Fleety3000 likes the line “lucky that my breasts are small and humble, so you don’t confuse them with mountains” from Shakira’s pop hit ‘Whenever, Wherever’. Each to their own, I guess.
“From the dew-soaked hedge creeps a crawly caterpillar, When the dawn begins to crack It’s all part of my autumn almanac” sang the Kinks on the ‘Village Green Preservation Society’, and that’s what gets @benjodonovan’s vote.
Paul Moore suggests ‘almost any Nick Drake song’. “But while the earth sinks to its grave, you sail to the sky, on the crest of a wave” from ‘The Cellos Song’ does it for us.
“‘Fuckin’ in the Bushes’ by Oasis!” suggested Alexander Damm via Twitter. Witty.
@Jmarshall81DFC goes for Pink Floyd’s “and deep beneath the rolling waves in labyrinths of coral caves” from ‘Echoes’.
@Bozappa says Radiohead anthem ‘Fake Plastic Trees’ deserves a shout for lines like “Her green plastic watering can, for her fake Chinese rubber plant/In the fake plastic earth”. Not quite natural beauty, but we like it.
@EllisBallard went for “The Marlingator”, or Laura Marling as she’s known to you and me. “Winter was on us, at the end of my nose, but I never love England more than when covered in snow” gets their vote.
@sausagerainbow picked Kate Bush’s ‘Running Up That Hill’ for its line “running up that road, running up that hill, running up that building.”
@CrypticCut suggests ‘Fog on the Tyne’ by Lindisfarne. None other than Paul Gascoigne would later cover the song. If anyone can work out what he’s singing in the verse please get in touch.
@Tin_Hotha likes the lyric “lost hearts and words / That are spoken to the wind / Which blows before the rain” from Duran Duran’s ‘Before the Rain’. The track was co-produced by Mark Ronson and appeared on their 13th studio album ‘All You Need Is Now’.
@PLonghurst93 gives the Red Hot Chili Peppers a shout out for their line “music the great communicator, use two sticks to make it in the nature!” from their 2002 single ‘Can’t Stop’.
Funny guy @MusicFromDrive cites “every Cypress Hill song” for their love of a certain natural herb. They could have gone a step further though and cited ‘Tequila Sunrise’, ‘Let It Rain’ or even ‘Valley of Chrome’ as specific examples.
@michellearomero goes for ‘Bling (Confession of a King)’ by the Killers which features the line “Run for the hills, before the burn.”
@KeatsianOrphan approves of the Waterboys quoting Yeats in their song ‘Love and Death’: “Far off in drowsy valleys, where the meadow saffrons blow.”
@andrewf_bell claims ‘Albatross’ by Fleetwood Mac has a naturey feel that “transcends lyrics.”
“The moon is not only beautiful / It is so far away / The moon is not only ice cold / It is here to stay” from Cat Power’s ‘The Moon’ is @jmorningcoffee’s choice.
@euphoria309 ’s favourite comes from Syd Barrett’s ‘Terrapin’. Featuring the lyric “floating, bumping, noses dodge a tooth / The fins a luminous / Fangs all ’round the clown / is dark below.” Classic Syd.
@sparklesgreen says that “if it’s songs about nature, surely it has to be ‘Natures Law’ by Embrace? #goosebumps”
@ThomasGraves5 reckons the ‘Stairway to Heaven’ line “if there’s a bustle in your hedgerow, don’t be alarmed now, it’s just a spring clean for the May Queen” can’t be beat.
@tobyhuelin says “the mississippi delta was shining like a national guitar” in Paul Simon’s ‘Graceland’ is “a great choice! So subtle and inviting.”
Finally, @heatherlyoung3 goes for this mesmerizing opening line from Joni Mitchell’s ‘Sisotowbell Lane’: “Noah is fixing the pump in the rain / He brings us no shame / We always knew that he always knew / Up over the hill.”