Graham Nash first entered American pop music fans' awareness as a member of the British Invasion group The Hollies in 1964.
The band's earliest songs were either covers of tunes by American artists or written by the hit-making British songwriter Graham Gouldman. Not long after the group's first successes, members of the band began to write material for their own releases which also resulted in hit singles and album tracks.Just before Nash left the band to form the trio Crosby, Stills and Nash with David Crosby, and Stephen Stills, his songwriting had evolved in a direction that was less pure pop. With CSN and CSN&Y (with Neil Young) and also as a solo recording artist, Graham Nash wrote and recorded numerous memorable songs that were iconic reflections of their times. Here are five examples of the best known and best loved Graham Nash lyrics.
Toward the end of Nash's time with The Hollies his songwriting began to reflect the mid-to-late '60s trend of pop songs getting more adventuress lyrically. Bob Dylan and The Beatles lead the way for bands to expand the scope of their songs' subject matter and the way it was expressed. This Hollies tune written by Nash is a great example of that new approach. The song's narrator describes an individual with horrible luck and a constant black cloud over his head.
"He's not the man to hold your trust, everything he touches turns to dust in his hand. Nothing he can do is right. He'd even like to sleep at night, but he can't." "He's King Midas with a curse. He's King Midas in reverse."
This is a song about lost love and getting past a hurtful romantic breakup. It is from Nash's first release as a solo artist 1971's Songs For Beginners. The words and the melody are in perfect sync and work well to convey a mood of melancholy with a touch of hope for the future. This track was recently used in the Showtime TV series: "Escape at Dannemora" as an ironic song placement.
"When your love has moved away you must face yourself and say 'I remember better days.' Don't you cry 'cause she is gone. She is only moving on.. Chasing mirrors through a haze."
3. "Our House"
This was a single release from the supergroup Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young in 1970. The song is about an idyllic afternoon in the life of Nash and his then girlfriend singer/songwriter Joni Mitchell. Nash wrote the song on Mitchell's piano in the house they shared in Laurel Canyon. It is a very simple and literal description of an enjoyable and satisfying domestic interlude. Listeners responded very positively to the heartfelt vibe of the song.
"I'll light the fire. You place the flowers in the vase that we bought today." " Such a cozy room, the windows are illuminated by the evening sunshine through them, fiery gems for you, only for you. Our house is a very, very, very fine house with two cats in the yard. Life used to be so hard, now everything is easy 'cause of you."
This track was the first single from the Crosby and Nash duo's debut album in 1972. It was inspired by an incident that happened once when Nash was entering the US. Nash had already established his tendency toward anti-authority political activism, and this tune's lyrics are an example of that to a degree, but more personal. The song also has a strong compelling melody that underscores the lyrics.
"Let me in, immigration man. Can I cross the line and pray I can stay another day?" "There he was with his immigration face. Giving me a paper chase ,but the sun was coming. All at once he looked into my space and stamped a number over my face and it sent me running." "Won't you let me in, immigration man? I won't toe your line today. I can't see it anyway." "So go where you will, as long as you think you can. You'd better watch out, watch out for the man anywhere you're going."
From the Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young album Déjà Vu, this song is a sincere bit of wisdom that seeks to bridge the generation gap as well as offing advice for young parents. It is a country flavored tune that features pedal steel guitar prominently as well as the band's legendary harmonic vocal mix.
"You, who are on the road must have a code that you can live by. And so become yourself, because the past is just a good bye. Teach your children well, their father's hell did slowly go by, And feed them on your dreams, the one they picked, the one you'll know by. Don't you ever ask them why, if they told you, you would cry, So just look at them and sigh and know they love you."