vote on everything
Music
32.1k voters

These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time

Updated September 20, 2020 282.1k votes 32.1k voters 439.7k views816 items

List RulesVote on whether or not you think the songwriters should be considered the best of all time

If you ask anyone who has ever tried, it's tough to write one song, nevertheless a batch to be considered a songwriter. Add to the mix that the song actually getting recorded and becoming a hit, it's pretty hard to be a great songwriter. Yet that's what make the greatest songwriters different from Average Joe who has tried to pen a song. The best songwriters usually have written multiple hits that not only their most ardent fans know, but also casual listeners.

John Lennon and Paul McCartney are considered two the best songwriters. The Beatles were fueled by this legendary duo's prowess and are debatably the greatest band because these two outstanding songwriters.

Similarly to Lennon and McCartney, Bob Dylan is another songwriter who can be considered one of the greatest of all time. Dylan's songwriting introduced powerful imagery and themes that were deeply layered within the context of his writing. His songwriting influenced an entire generation of bands, songwriters and fans, including another member of this list, Bruce Springsteen.

This is the Ultimate List of the greatest songwriters of all time. Everyone on this list is considered one of the best at his or her craft. Vote for the songwriter who you think is the greatest, which shouldn't be too easy with a list like this one.
Photo:
...more
  • 1
    John Lennon & Paul McCartney is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
    Lennon–McCartney (sometimes McCartney–Lennon) was the songwriting partnership between English... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 2
    Paul Simon is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
    3,531
    2,687

    Paul Simon

    Rock music, Folk music

    NationalityUnited States of America

    Paul Frederic Simon (born October 13, 1941) is an American singer-songwriter and actor.... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

    More Paul Simon 

    The Best Paul Simon Solo Songs of All TimeThe Best Paul Simon Albums of All Time

  • 3
    Bob Dylan is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
    5,056
    4,288

    Bob Dylan

    Blues-rock, Rock music

    NationalityUnited States of America

    Bob Dylan (born May 24, 1941) is an American singer-songwriter, author, poet, and visual... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

    More Bob Dylan 

    The Best Bob Dylan SongsThe Best Bob Dylan Albums of All Time

  • 4
    Mick Jagger/keith Richards is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
    amazon buy button
  • 5
    Paul McCartney is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
    2,506
    2,042

    Paul McCartney

    Pop music, Rock music

    NationalityEngland

    Sir James Paul McCartney (born 18 June 1942) is an English singer, songwriter, musician,... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

    More Paul McCartney 

    The Best Paul McCartney SongsThere Are A Lot Of People Who Still Believe Paul McCartney Died In 1966, And Here's Their "Evidence"

  • 6
    John Lennon is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
    2,788
    2,455

    John Lennon

    Blues-rock, Pop music

    NationalityEngland

    John Winston Ono Lennon (born John Winston Lennon, 9 October 1940 – 8 December 1980) was an... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

    More John Lennon 

    28 Facts You Didn't Know About John Lennon15 Conspiracies About John Lennon's Death That People Truly Believe

  • 7
    Freddie Mercury is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
    1,757
    1,449

    Freddie Mercury

    Rock music, Pop music

    NationalityZanzibar, United Kingdom

    Freddie Mercury (born Farrokh Bulsara; 5 September 1946 – 24 November 1991) was a British... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

    More Freddie Mercury 

    Secrets Behind Freddie Mercury's Wardrobe#16 of 316 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years

  • 8
    Page & Plant is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
    484
    403

    Page & Plant

    Blues-rock, Folk rock
    Jimmy Page and Robert Plant, both formerly of the English hard rock band Led Zeppelin,... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 9
    Simon and Garfunkel is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
    1,655
    862

    Simon and Garfunkel

    Pop music, Worldbeat
    Simon & Garfunkel were an American folk rock duo consisting of singer-songwriter Paul Simon... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

    More Simon and Garfunkel 

    The Best Simon And Garfunkel SongsThe Best Simon And Garfunkel Albums of All Time

  • 10
    Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
    1,620
    1,298

    NationalityHoly Roman Empire

    Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (27 January 1756 – 5 December 1791), baptised as Johannes Chrysostomus... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

    More Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart 

    17 Bizarre, Mind-Blowing Facts and Stories About Mozart#8 of 16 16 Famous Bodies From History Found In Inconspicuous Places

  • 11
    David Gilmour and Roger Waters is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
    amazon buy button
  • 12
    Tom Petty is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
    1,088
    1,017

    Tom Petty

    Blues-rock, Heartland rock

    NationalityUnited States of America

    Thomas Earl Petty (October 20, 1950 – October 2, 2017) was an American singer-songwriter,... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 13
    Rodgers and Hammerstein is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
    Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II were an influential, innovative and successful... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

    More Rodgers and Hammerstein 

    The Best Musicals by Rodgers and Hammerstein#157 of 525 Which Artist Would You Bring Back From The Dead To Write One More Song?

  • 14
    Brian Wilson is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
    3,826
    3,809

    Brian Wilson

    Pop music, Rock music

    NationalityUnited States of America

    Brian Douglas Wilson (born June 20, 1942) is an American musician, singer, songwriter, and... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

    More Brian Wilson 

    The True Story Behind The Film 'Love And Mercy'The Best Brian Wilson Albums of All Time

  • 15
    Don Henley is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
    382
    350

    Don Henley

    Pop music, Rock music

    NationalityUnited States of America

    Donald Hugh Henley (born July 22, 1947) is an American musician, singer, songwriter, record... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 16
    Dolly Parton is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
    569
    481

    Dolly Parton

    Ballad, Country pop

    NationalityUnited States of America

    Dolly Rebecca Parton (born January 19, 1946) is an American singer, songwriter,... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

    More Dolly Parton 

    25 Weird And Charming Facts About Dolly PartonThe Best Dolly Parton Movies

  • 17
    Barry Gibb is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
    543
    486

    Barry Gibb

    Adult contemporary music, Blue-eyed soul

    NationalityIsle of Man, United States of America

    Sir Barry Alan Crompton Gibb, (born 1 September 1946) is a British-American singer,... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

    More Barry Gibb 

    #38 of 603 The Best Rock Vocalists#45 of 298 The Best Frontmen in Rock

  • 18
    Mark Knopfler is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
    420
    401

    Mark Knopfler

    Celtic rock, Blues-rock

    NationalityUnited Kingdom

    Mark Freuder Knopfler ( NOP-flər; born 12 August 1949) is a British singer-songwriter,... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

    More Mark Knopfler 

    The Best Mark Knopfler Albums of All Time#15 of 639 The Greatest Lead Guitarists Of All Time

  • 19
    Ludwig van Beethoven is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
    1,241
    1,115

    Ludwig van Beethoven

    Opera, Classical music

    NationalityAustrian Empire, Germany

    Ludwig van Beethoven ( (listen); German: [ˈluːtvɪç fan ˈbeːthoːfn̩] (listen); baptised 17... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 20
    Roger Waters is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
    1,194
    1,213

    Roger Waters

    Folk rock, Progressive rock

    NationalityEngland

    George Roger Waters (born 6 September 1943) is an English songwriter, singer, bassist, and... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 21
    Neil Diamond is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
    537
    488

    Neil Diamond

    Pop music, Rock music

    NationalityUnited States of America

    Neil Leslie Diamond (born January 24, 1941) is an American singer-songwriter, musician and... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button
  • 22
    Johann Sebastian Bach is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
    942
    824

    Johann Sebastian Bach

    Classical music

    NationalityHoly Roman Empire

    Johann Sebastian Bach (31 March [O.S. 21 March] 1685 – 28 July 1750) was a German composer and... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

    More Johann Sebastian Bach 

    Crazy Facts About Johann Sebastian Bach#1 of 368 The Best Classical Composers

  • 23
    Marvin Gaye is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
    621
    553

    Marvin Gaye

    Doo-wop, Motown Sound

    NationalityUnited States of America

    Marvin Gaye (born Marvin Pentz Gay Jr.; April 2, 1939 – April 1, 1984) was an American singer,... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

    More Marvin Gaye 

    The Best Marvin Gaye Songs of All TimeThe Best Marvin Gaye Albums of All Time

  • 24
    John Denver is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
    505
    493

    John Denver

    Western music, Pop music

    NationalityUnited States of America

    Henry John Deutschendorf Jr. (December 31, 1943 – October 12, 1997), known professionally as... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

    More John Denver 

    The Best John Denver Albums of All Time#70 of 363 Musicians Who Belong In The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame

  • 25
    Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time
    241
    136

    Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young

    Rock music, Folk rock
    Crosby, Stills & Nash is a folk rock supergroup made up of David Crosby, Stephen Stills and... more on Wikipediaamazon buy button

    More Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young 

    #52 of 1,728 The Best Rock Bands of All Time#25 of 279 The Greatest American Rock Bands

Bands/MusiciansMusicSongspoll