The 10 Best Lyrics of 2012?

As the year draws to a close, our thoughts turn to the greatest wordsmiths of the music world. We asked you to name your favourite lyrics of 2012 and the results are below. The lyrics I fall for depend on delivery and musical context. So “this culture’s a disease” in Liars’ ‘No 1. Against The Rush’ might sound banal, but the way Angus Andrews sings it is just chilling, and accelerates the tension unexpectedly over half way through the song.


Similarily, I love “We made a right, then made a left, then made a right/Then made a left, we was just circling life from Kendrick Lamar’s ‘The Art Of Peer Pressure’ because it so simply mimics in text the act it described. And the ending to Atoms For Peace’s ‘Default’ is a pleasingly weird image:

It’s eating me up (If I could feel all the snakes on my heads)
It’s eating me up (If I could feel all my snails on my heads)
It’s eating me up (If I could feel all my snares on my head)


In the office, we’ve got Jenny Stevens repping Sharon Van Etten’s “You enjoy sucking on dreams, so I will fall asleep with someone other than you” from ‘Serpents’. “It’s a real middle-finger salute to a dysfunctional relationship,” she explains. Eve Barlow’s mad for Frank Ocean’s “Too many joy rides in daddy’s jaguar” from ‘Super Rich Kids’.


Kevin EG Perry chooses “the most gorgeous lyrics ever written about smoking Canada’s cheapest, nastiest cigarette first thing after waking up”. Yes, it’s Mac DeMarco’s ‘Ode To Viceroy’: “Viceroy, early in the morning / Just try to let the sun in / and open up my eyes”. Tom Howard goes for Lamar’s “But shit I’m with the homies“.

Here are your choices. Let me know what you’d pick in the comment box below.

10 Mystery Jets, ‘Greatest Hits’

But when you sober up it’s always, “Why the fuck are you still listening to Mark E Smith?”

9 Everything Everything, ‘Cough Cough’

And that eureka moment hits you like a cop car/And you wake up just head and shoulders in a glass jar

8Lana Del Rey, ‘National Anthem’

Money is the anthem of success/so before we go out, what’s your address?


7Frank Ocean, ‘Pyramids’

Then your lipstick, Cleopatra/Then your six-inch heels catch her

6Plan B, ‘Ill Manors’

There’s no such thing as broken Britain/We’re just bloody broke in Britain

5Spector, ‘Twenty Nothing’

Heard he was your rock/Does that make me your hard place?

4Blur, ‘Under The Westway’

An automated song and the whole world gone/Fallen under the spell of the distance between us when we communicate


3Jake Bugg, ‘Two Fingers’

I drink to remember, I smoke to forget/Some things to be proud of, some stuff to regret

2The xx, ‘Angels’

If someone believed me/They would be as in love with you as I am

1Alt-J, ‘Tessellate’

Triangles are my favourite shape/Three points where two lines meet