Addicted to novelty since 2001

What Lyrics Would You Tattoo on Your Arm?

I’ve watched a couple episodes of Lost, an ABC show about plane crash victims surviving on a deserted tropical island with some weird secrets. I was going to describe it as original, but then I remembered that show with Ginger and the Professor. Regardless, it’s not utterly crap, the setting is lovely, and the cast is fetching.

In the last episode I watched, I noticed that Dominic Monaghan (formerly Merry in the Lord of the Rings movies) had some words tattooed on his upper arm. They read “living is easy, with eyes closed”. That, of course, is a lyric from the Beatles’ Strawberry Fields Forever. In a world of celtic and Asian characters tattooed on backs everywhere, I thought that was pretty cool. It got me thinking what lyrics I’d get put on my arm:

  • “A man in a crisis falls back on what he knows best. A murderer to murderer, a thief to theft.” By the Cowboy Junkies, and a bit long, really.
  • “Memories are just dead men making trouble.” The Junkies, quoting a poet (EM Forster, maybe?). Sounds tough, but not quite me.
  • “I started out on burgundy, but soon the harder stuff.” From Bob Dylan. Too bad I don’t drink.
  • “We sit here stranded, though we’re all doing our best to deny it.” Again Dylan, again too long.
  • “I’m the first mammal to make plans.” Pearl Jam. It’s got a certain pithiness.
  • “Just take what you need and leave the rest.” From The Band. A nice sentiment, but a bit obvious.
  • “Shakespeare, you’re a drunken savage.” I like the absurdity of it, and the fact that it’s by the nation’s favourite rock band, the Hip. That’s the closest I’ve gotten to something I might, in some parallel universe, tattoo on my arm.

What song lyric would you tattoo on your arm?

789 Responses to “What Lyrics Would You Tattoo on Your Arm?”

  1. Chris

    I would like to get the following lyric on my lower arm, in a sanskrit style english writing:

    “Open your eyes and look within, are you happy with the life you’re living”

  2. Sandy Claws

    Although I’m not sure if I’ll get it, a song quote that’s really stuck with me is

    “The only way to get away from loneliness is to love it”

    It’s from “Monophobia” by Moi dix Mois

  3. Yuan C

    I’m definitely getting
    “revelations run amok”
    it’s a chili peppers lyric :}

  4. Molly

    “Life is around you and in you.”

    from The Flesh Failures in the musical Hair

  5. Burner

    “love the life you live
    live the life you love” bob marley

    “I will never forget! I will never regret! I will live my life!!” -30secs2mars

    Cause all of the stars,
    Have faded away
    Just try not to worry,
    You’ll see them someday.
    Oasis – stop crying your heart out

    all amazing!

  6. Gabe

    “You cannot kill what you did not create.” – Slipknot

  7. Anon...

    “When everything’s meant to be broken I just want you to know who I am”

  8. Spashby

    I would love at least 2 of these.

    “People in this world we have no place to go” Temptation by New ORder.

    “Straight to Hell” Straight to Hell by the Clash.

    “Dragged down by the stone” Dogs by Pink Floyd

    “I dreamed I died” I dreamed I died by Devildriver.

  9. Branndi

    “A Tragedy I Fear” OneRepublic.
    I’m actually thinking of getting it put on the inside of my right foot.

    and I’ve wanted to put “imagine” either on my wrist or my back on my bra line.

  10. Tina

    “Pass me a bottle, Mr Jones”

    Mr Jones – Counting Crows.

    Just not sure where to get it?

  11. Dan

    The past is only the future with the lights on

  12. Coriander

    I always liked “Oh no; it is an ever fixed mark”.
    Both cause it’s a brilliant line, and for the double meaning.

    But the first one I’ll probably get is “Something Wonderful Right Away”. It seems like a good thing to remind oneself of on a daily basis.

    I’m twenty.

  13. JadeNash

    personally, Id like to have
    “the idea of perfection is just fundementally cruel”
    or “All these ideas of forever are just fundamentally wrong” from I know you by bright eyes
    Or “If heaven is as heaven does then this is hell for sure” by laura marling

  14. Jack

    “Im starting with the man in the mirror” By Michael jackson, Ts’all about change, the priority is yourself. such inspirational lyrics.

  15. Sophie

    I want a lyric tattooed to the outside edge of my right foot…
    I’ve been thinking of getting either
    “I’ll be strong, I’ll be wrong, but life goes on…”
    or “Life is a maze, and love is a riddle…”
    what do you think?
    or any other ideas on a lyric/quote about life/love? Thanks :)

    Rachel Reply:

    When I was considering getting a tattoo of a Shakespeare quote, I particularly liked this line from my favourite sonnet (116):

    “It is an ever-fixed mark, which looks on tempests and is never shaken”.

    Or just, “It is an ever-fixed mark”.

    The quote is describing love.

    Or, if you’re a Harry Potter fan (which I definitely am):

    “Do not pity the dead. Pity the living, and most of all, those who live without love”.

    Or there are the lyrics:

    “Limitless undying love which shines around me like a million suns” – Beatles

    Or the famous quote: “It is better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all”.

  16. Becky

    I have:

    ‘Don’t Worry, Be Happy’ – Bob Marley

    tattooed on my left wrist with my best friends initials underneath as he sadly past away and it was his favourite song.

    Robin Reply:

    It’s not a Bob Marley song -_-‘
    Bobby McFerrin – Don’t Worry, Be Happy

  17. C'mon Angel

    “please, wear the face.
    The one where you smile
    Because, you lighten up my heart”

    – Adele, First Love

  18. shelby

    “have faith in me”
    – a day to remember.

    i got an owl on my shoulder for my 16th birthday in memory of a friend that died and just as a reminder to stay wise. (that might not make sense, but owls are always portrayed as wise and i want to be wise no matter what situations i’m faced with.)

    and i plan on getting “have faith in me” next on my rib cage i think. i haven’t really decided where yet.

  19. Rachel maria.

    Don’t get something that someone has suggested. Get something that mean’s something to you.
    like, has a close friend or family member ever given you great advice, that you wont forget?
    or has someone who has made an impact on your life got a saying of somesort?
    don’t just get something for the sake of it, ’cause one day you WILL regret it.
    i have anyways hahah.

  20. Jake henry

    “it’s just a kiss away” Gimme’ Shelter – Rolling Stones
    “I wish I was special” Creep – Radiohead

  21. Rachel

    I think if I got a textual tattoo, I’d rather get a literary quote, but if we’re talking song lyrics, “Non, je ne regrette rien” comes to mind strongly, but mainly because it’s stuck in my head.

    Any of the popular Beatles lyrics I would also love, as they are my favourite band. “Love is all you need”, “Living is easy with eyes closed”, “Let it be”, or “You may say I’m a dreamer”.

  22. Fabian

    I have “Abandon what holds us captive to suffering” From Take This Oath by Killswitch Engage on my arm

  23. Katt

    I’m getting Nirvana lyrics on the top right side of my back next month.

    ‘The sun is gone, but I have a light’

  24. Sam

    Are scars remind us that the past is real – papa roach

    mimy Reply:

    it’s – “And our scars remind us that the past is real

  25. Nezzie

    “And I’ll find strength in pain
    And I’ll change my ways”

    Mumford & Sons
    “The Cave” <3

  26. Lauren

    I’m about to get-
    ‘Just don’t call me pessimist, try and read between the lines’ done.

    There is no god.
    Only Tool.

  27. Dave

    “The absence of fear is the renewal of self.
    The absence of doubt breeds desire.
    If there is truth to face, I will design it.
    I will not be denied.”

    -Killswitch Engage, Unbroken

    Also from the same song…

    “Through adversity, there is redemption.”

    I’m contemplating getting the first one on my left ribs

  28. Gina Marie

    Drink life as it comes
    Straight no Chaser
    – Gavin Rossdale

    from “Straight no Chaser” off Bush’s Razorblade Suitcase, 1996

    on a fishhook
    You’re the wave
    _ Gavin Rossdale

    from “Swallowed” off Razorblade Suitcase

  29. Gina Marie

    I would put the word “Imagine” across the top of my foot near the base of my toes. most peeps would know im referrin to the John Lennon song and, ultimately, his message. I think Lea Michelle of Glee has this tattoo.

  30. Mary

    I’m thinking about getting “Don’t think twice” on the inside of one wrist, and “it’s all right” on the other. In white.

  31. Dayne

    “Music washes away from the soul,
    the dust of everyday life.”

  32. Victoria Stigkjær Hansen

    “If your fears keep you away from flying, you’ll never reach your height” Back to the middle – India.Arie

  33. Jessie

    ‘No direction home, like a rolling stone’- Dylan
    ‘Under everything, just another human being’- Pearljam
    ‘You must touch life in order to spring from it’- tender is the night’.

    I think I could only ever get led zep though. There’s nothing else like them. Going to california maybe? my favourite song. ‘standing on a hill in the mountain of dreams, telling myself its not as hard as it seems.’

  34. Кейси Феликс

    Like roses we blossom and die.
    Like roses, we fall apart

    From the bring me the horizon song. It was based on a true story.
    Sergei’s suicide note. He was a russian poet and wrote it in his own blood before he hung himself.

    I like the metaphor.

    “Comme les roses nous fleurir et mourir.
    Comme les roses, nous se désagréger”

  35. Cobi

    Currently I have no clue of where or which lyrics I’d choose, but it’s likely to be one of the following, which I’ve been considering for a number of years –

    ‘The more you live, the less you will die.’
    – Carbon Leaf, Comfort.

    ‘You were meant for amazing things.’
    – Sleeping At Last, Umbrellas.

    ‘We are made of love,
    And all the beauty stemming from it.
    We are made of love,
    And every fracture caused by the lack of it.’
    – Sleeping At Last, Needle & Thread.

  36. kaitlyn Snyder

    killswitch engage:

    abandon what holds us captive to suffering.

  37. Corrine

    I’m going to be getting my first tattoo pretty soon here and what I want to get are a part of the lyrics to Beautiful by Eminem. I want this because not only do I really love Eminem and the things he writes but I love the song and like if you’ve ever listened to that song it really is a great song and I think it’s really meaningful. I’m not exactly sure what part of the song I want yet, but I’m thinking I’ll most likely go with the part that goes
    “But don’t let ’em say you ain’t beautiful
    They can all get fucked. Just stay true to you
    Don’t let ’em say you ain’t beautiful
    They can all get fucked. Just stay true to you”

    I dont know what you think of it, but it means a lot to me, cuz it would always just remind me to be who I am an know that no matter what anyone says I am beautiful, everyone is. so yeah, that’s way I want as a tattoo! xD…I also know that the lyrics I have picked out are quite Lon which is why I’m not sure if I want to get them yet, but I’m thinkin that if I do, because it has the same 2 lines repeated, I’m thinking that I’d just get the it written once rather than twice like it is in the song. ^.^

  38. Emily

    i have
    “its calm under the waves, in the blue
    of my oblivion” -sullen girl by Fiona Apple


    “sunshine girl is sleeping” dagger by slowdive

  39. gemma

    These wounds won’t seem to heal
    This pain is just too real
    There’s just too much that time cannot erase


    but who can decide what they dream?
    and dream i do…

    both by evanescence. both mean a great deal to me. need to decide which one to get and where…

  40. Hangel

    If I had you life would be a party it’d be ecstacy

    mel Reply:

    lol im thinking of ‘its me im a freak, but thanks for loving me, ’cause you’re doing it perfectly

  41. Gen fewtrell

    “Immerse your soul in love” – Street Spirit, Radiohead, I intend to get this as my first tattoo, on my back directly between my shoulder wings (just the bit in ” “)

    A few more ideas…

    “There are no miracles and this is no miraculous life” – God & Satan – Biffy Clyro
    “I only make sense to myself” – Home – Gym Class Heroes
    “Heaven is here, where it needs to be” – Better Than Heaven – Bloc Party
    “For always and ever is always for you” – A Night Like This – The Cure

    Just a few ideas.

  42. Angie

    “The past is only the future with the lights on” Baby Come On- Plus 44
    “Dance and laugh and forget about such thing as time” Come Back Down -Ivory
    “Love is the Movement”- Switchfoot. TWLOHA style (:

  43. Dangerose

    “wild horses couldn’t drag me away” Rolling Stones

  44. Chris

    “Keep your friends close, your enemies won’t matter in the end”
    -Hope Of The States

  45. Tee-Jay

    I like “Even if you cannot hear my voice, I’ll be right beside you dear” Its a line from Snow Patrol Run, its a beautiful song and I’m fiercely loyal so it portrays that I will always be there.

    Also “I could have missed the pain, but I’d have had to miss the dance” Garth Brooks- the Dance.

  46. CrystalCatastrophe

    “You were born an original, don’t die a copy.”
    John Mason
    I think this quote should be meaningful to everyone. It is impossible to not conform to something because non conformity is conforming to non conforming. But we are all still individuals and there are those who value being different, being themselves. I’m only 17, but I know I’m me, and no one else.

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