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A song is a relatively short musical composition. Colloquially, song is often used to refer any music composition, even those without vocals.
- It is best of all trades, to make songs, and the second best to sing them.
- Hilaire Belloc, "On Song", On Everything (1909)
- [M]aybe you will learn this when I'm gone: My song will carry on.
- The best days of the church have always been its singing days.
- Theodore L. Cuyler, reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 554
- And heaven had wanted one immortal song.
- John Dryden, Absalom and Achitophel (1681), Part I, line 197
- Sing a song of sixpence.
- My songs has been my messages that I tried to scatter across the back sides and along the steps of the fire escapes and on the window sills and through the dark halls.
- I hate a song that makes you think that you are not any good. I hate a song that makes you think that you are just born to lose. Bound to lose. No good to nobody. No good for nothing. Because you are too old or too young or too fat or too slim too ugly or too this or too that. Songs that run you down or poke fun at you on account of your bad luck or hard traveling. … I am out to fight those songs to my very last breath of air and my last drop of blood.
I am out to sing songs that will prove to you that this is your world and that if it has hit you pretty hard and knocked you for a dozen loops, no matter what color, what size you are, how you are built, I am out to sing the songs that make you take pride in yourself and in your work.
And the songs that I sing are made up for the most part by all sorts of folks just about like you. I could hire out to the other side, the big money side, and get several dollars every week just to quit singing my own kind of songs and to sing the kind that knock you down still farther and the ones that poke fun at you even more and the ones that make you think you've not any sense at all. But I decided a long time ago that I'd starve to death before I'd sing any such songs as that. The radio waves and your movies and your jukeboxes and your songbooks are already loaded down and running over with such no good songs as that anyhow.
- Woody Guthrie, quoted in Prophet Singer: The Voice And Vision of Woody Guthrie (2007) by Mark Allan Jackson. There are a few slight variants of this statement, which seems to have originated in a performance monologue.
- Song opens a window to the secret places of the soul.
- I deeply felt that song should make
One universal link,
Uniting, for each other’s sake,
All those who feel and think.
- Letitia Elizabeth Landon Fisher's Drawing Room Scrap Book, 1835 (1834), 'Introduction'
- Written after her visit to Paris
- Listen to that song, and learn it!
Half my kingdom would I give,
As I live,
If by such songs you would earn it!
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Tales of a Wayside Inn (1863-1874), Part I. The Musician's Tale. The Saga of King Olaf, Part V.
- Now, good Cesario, but that piece of song,
That old and antique song we heard last night;
Methought it did relieve my passion much,
More than light airs and recollected terms
Of these most brisk and giddy-paced times:
Come, but one verse.
- So tell me, am I wrong for trying to communicate through a song?
- Tupac Shakur, "Run Tha Streetz" (1996), All Eyez On Me
- Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thought.
- Percy Bysshe Shelley, "To a Skylark" (1820).
Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations
- Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 732-33.
- Tout finit par des chansons.
- Everything ends with songs.
- Pierre de Beaumarchais, Mariage de Figaro, End.
- I cannot sing the old songs
Though well I know the tune,
Familiar as a cradle-song
With sleep-compelling croon;
Yet though I'm filled with music,
As choirs of summer birds,
"I cannot sing the old songs"—
I do not know the words.
- Robert J. Burdette, Songs Without Words.
- All this for a song.
- Burleigh, to Queen Elizabeth (when ordered to give £100 to Spenser).
- I can not sing the old songs now!
It is not that I deem them low,
'Tis that I can't remember how
- Charles Stuart Calverley, Changed.
- Unlike my subject now * * * shall be my song,
It shall be witty and it sha'n't be long!
- Philip Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield, Preface to Letters, Volume I.
- A song of hate is a song of Hell;
Some there be who sing it well.
Let them sing it loud and long,
We lift our hearts in a loftier song:
We lift our hearts to Heaven above,
Singing the glory of her we love,
- Helen Gray Cone, Chant of Love for England.
- Verse sweetens toil, however rude the sound;
She feels no biting pang the while she sings,
Nor as she turns the giddy wheel around,
Revolves the sad vicissitudes of things.
- Richard Gifford, Contemplation. Samuel Johnson altered the second line to: "All at her work the village maiden sings"; and in the third line substituted "while for "as".
- He play'd an ancient ditty long since mute,
In Provence call'd, "La belle dame sans merci."
- John Keats, The Eve of St. Agnes, Stanza 33. "La Belle Dame, sans Merci" is a poem by Alain Chartier. Attributed to Jean Marot by M. Paulin—Manuscript Français, VII. 252. In Harleian Manuscript, 373, a translation is attributed to Sir Richard Ros.
- We are tenting tonight on the old camp ground,
Give us a song to cheer.
- Walter Kittridge, Tenting on the Old Camp Ground.
- The song on its mighty pinions
Took every living soul, and lifted it gently to heaven.
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Children of the Lord's Supper, line 44.
- Such songs have power to quiet
The restless pulse of care,
And come like the benediction
That follows after prayer.
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, The Day is Done, Stanza 9.
- And grant that when I face the grisly Thing,
My song may trumpet down the gray Perhaps
Let me be as a tune-swept fiddlestring
That feels the Master Melody—and snaps.
- John G. Neihardt, Let me live out my Years.
- She makes her hand hard with labour, and her heart soft with pity: and when winter evenings fall early (sitting at her merry wheel), she sings a defiance to the giddy wheel of fortune … and fears no manner of ill because she means none.
- Thomas Overbury, A Fair and Happy Milkmaid.
- I think, whatever mortals crave,
With impotent endeavor,
A wreath—a rank—a throne—a grave—
The world goes round forever;
I think that life is not too long,
And therefore I determine,
That many people read a song,
Who will not read a sermon.
- W. M. Praed, Chant of the Brazen Head.
- Odds life! must one swear to the truth of a song?
- Matthew Prior, A Better Answer.
- Etiam singulorum fatigatio quamlibet se rudi modulatione solatur.
- Men, even when alone, lighten their labors by song, however rude it may be.
- Quintilian, De Institutione Oratoria, I. 81.
- Builders, raise the ceiling high,
Raise the dome into the sky,
Hear the wedding song!
For the happy groom is near,
Tall as Mars, and statelier,
Hear the wedding song!
- Sappho, Fragments. J. S. Easby Smith's translation.
- Song forbids victorious deeds to die.
- Friedrich Schiller, The Artists.
- The lively Shadow-World of Song.
- Friedrich Schiller, The Artists.
- Songs consecrate to truth and liberty.
- Percy Bysshe Shelley, To Wordsworth, line 12.
- Knitting and withal singing, and it seemed that her voice comforted her hands to work.
- Sir Philip Sidney, Arcadia, Book I.
- Because the gift of Song was chiefly lent,
To give consoling music for the joys
We lack, and not for those which we possess.
- Bayard Taylor, The Poet's Journal, Third Evening.
- They sang of love and not of fame;
Forgot was Britain's glory;
Each heart recalled a different name,
But all sang "Annie Laurie."
- Bayard Taylor, A Song of the Camp.
- Short swallow-flights of song, that dip
Their wings in tears, and skim away.
- Cantilenam eandem canis.
- You sing the same old song.
- Terence, Phormio, III. 2. 10.
- Cicala to cicala is dear, and ant to ant, and hawks to hawks, but to me the muse and song.
- Theocritus, Idyl, IX. Translation by Andrew Lang, Stanza 2.
- Grasshopper to grasshopper, ant to ant is dear,
Hawks love hawks, but I the muse and song.
- Theocritus, Idyl, IX. Translation by Maurice Thompson.
- Swift, swift, and bring with you
Song's Indian summer!
- Francis Thompson, A Carrier Song, Stanza 2.
- Soft words, with nothing in them, make a song.
- Edmund Waller, To Mr. Creech, line 10.
- A careless song, with a little nonsense in it now and then, does not mis-become a monarch.
- Horace Walpole, letter to Sir Horace Mann. (1770).
- Bring the good old bugle, boys! we'll sing another song—
Sing it with a spirit that will start the world along—
Sing it as we used to sing it, fifty thousand strong,
While we were marching through Georgia.
- Henry Clay Work, Marching Through Georgia.