There’s a thread going on in Amazon’s discussion area which seeks to identify the “most compelling line in a song,” though as a practical matter, it usually takes two lines, maybe more, to complete the thought.
I briefly entertained the idea of contributing “Kickin’ in the front seat, sittin’ in the back seat / Gotta make my mind up, which seat can I take?” Pithy as it is, though, it’s not all that compelling, and after thinking about it for a few minutes — and spinning a few tunes to gauge emotional response — I decided on this old favorite, first quoted here back in ’03, which still packs a wallop:
I close my eyes for a second and pretend it’s me you want
Meanwhile I try to act so nonchalant
I see a summer night with a magic moon
Every time that you walk in the room
Jackie DeShannon came up with this in late 1963, and it’s been regularly expropriated ever since: the Searchers got a British Invasion hit, and Bruce Springsteen often plays it live. Still, this is a song that practically demands a female vocal — guys seldom admit to this level of yearning — so I’ll direct you to the 1994 Pam Tillis version, which is a country song mostly because the marketing people said it was.
(Discovered at Pop Culture Junk Mail.)