Oasis weren’t really about their lyrics. They were the Britpop-era brawn to Blur’s brains, reeling off simple, catchy rhymes designed for drunken sing-alongs while Damon Albarn’s band pondered the foibles of the modern world. But all that’s not to say Noel Gallagher isn’t one of Britain’s most recognisable lyricists. Celebrating the guitarist’s 50th birthday, here’s 10 of his memorable lines.
“I sold my soul for the second time/’cos the man, he don't pay me/ I begged my landlord for some more time/ He said "Son, the bills waiting." (Oasis, ‘The Importance Of Being Idle’)
At a time of rising unemployment in recession-gripped Britain, this 2005 single captured the lure of opting out of the rat race.
“It's funny how your dreams change as you're growing old/You don't wanna be no spaceman you just want gold/All the dream stealers are lying in wait/ But if you wanna be a spaceman it's still not too late.” (Oasis, ‘D'Yer Wanna Be A Spaceman’) Plain and simple wisdom from The Chief: don’t give up your dreams for money.
“Gonna start a revolution from my bed/ ‘cos you said the brains I had went to my head.” (Oasis, ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’) One of his best-loved lyrics for good reason, this line is right out of the John Lennon book of evocative, witty, nonsensical rhymes.
"One day at a time, I'm hiding from the razor blade/That's hanging in the kitchen/The kids are tired, they drunk up all their lemonade." (High Flying Birds, ‘Dream On’) A glimpse at the sinister side at domestic life from Gallagher.
“I can feel the warning signs running around my mind/ And when I leave this island I'll book myself into a soul asylum.” (Oasis, ‘Half The World Away’) A clever portrait of a man whose spirituality is worn down by the frantic grind of modern city life.
”The answer's in the looking glass/There's four and twenty million doors/
On life's endless corridor.” (Oasis, ‘the Masterplan’) An anthem about taking life and its infinite possibilities into your own hands, one of Oasis’ favourite themes.
“If I had a gun, I'd shoot a hole into the sun/And love would burn this city down for you.” (High Flying Birds, ‘If I Had A Gun…’) A rare glimpse of Noel the romantic, declaring his affection for a “god”-like woman in violent melodrama.
“I'm out of my mind but pour me another/I'm going to take that tiger outside for a ride.” High Flying Birds, ‘AKA… What A Life!’ The former Oasis man on a colourful mid-life trip.
“Stop the clocks and turn the world around, let your love lay me down/And when the night is over there’ll be no sound.” (High Flying Birds, ‘Stop The Clocks’) A tender look at how love can make you feel like time’s stood still, to the point where you question “if I’m already dead.”
“I ain't good-lookin but I'm someone's child.” (Oasis, ‘D’ya Know What I Mean?’)
Right you are Noel. Right you are.