Author Topic: Lyrics- Do You Care?  (Read 721 times)

Offline James Edward

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Lyrics- Do You Care?
« on: April 28, 2021, 03:40:26 PM »
I don’t. I am completely driven by the music. With a few exceptions, what I like would appeal to me without lyrics involved at all. My wife says I’m missing 50% of the music. I don’t doubt that, and I can’t even rationalize it (except for the whole classical music thing, and jazz...) If the music in the song doesn’t move me, I just don’t care.

I can’t think of ‘messages’ in songs that I look for; Cat Stevens, Jackson Browne, Bob Dylan, etc., ad nauseum- I know they’re all deep and message laden, but it bounces off my brain. The music is what I hear.

I read books, so I’m not averse to the thoughts of others, and do enjoy the written word.

A post I made to the ‘What Are You Listening To Now’ thread last week, and Nick B’s response that the song I mentioned was a ballad was what prompted this topic. He was right, but again, I liked the music, and paid no heed to the lyrics. Me ballad? No way! But there it is...

Where do you stand on this admittedly unimportant topic?
« Last Edit: April 28, 2021, 03:44:46 PM by James Edward »
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Offline Nick B

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Re: Lyrics- Do You Care?
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2021, 03:46:55 PM »
Actually, its a great topic. I could care less how great the lyrics are, if there isnt at least a decent melody attached, Im not listening. I am 100% melody driven  :thumb:
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Offline S Clark

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Re: Lyrics- Do You Care?
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2021, 05:07:31 PM »
There are songs that the lyrics stay with me, and even some that come to be more important that the melody, but not initially.  If the melody doesn't appeal to me, I don't get far enough with a song to really digest the lyrics.

But the Beatles' "Backbird" is still important 50 years later, and the lyrics are part of why. 
Billy Holiday "Strange Fruit" is lyric driven.
B.W. Stevenson  "5 o'clock in a Texas Morning" has a great final lyric, somewhat separate from the song, driven by the wail of a harmonica and winds sounds. "Outside, The sun is up... And the wind, blows me like a paper cup...Down the Highway."
In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies but the silence of our friends. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Offline James Edward

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Re: Lyrics- Do You Care?
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2021, 04:43:55 AM »
Mr Clark mentions the song Strange Fruit and Im blindsided. The BBC ran an essay a few years ago asking if it was the most shocking song of all time. If not, its right up there.
For me, that song could be the exception that proves the rule. Im sure there are others that fall into that rarefied category, and I certainly dont mean to denigrate them. Of course there are song lyrics that appeal to me, but as a hook, melody reigns.
Thanks.


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Offline dflee

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Re: Lyrics- Do You Care?
« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2021, 06:37:40 AM »
I guess I'm in worse shape than you three.
I'm into melody but with the right instrument.
Example is my wife loves piano pieces and while there are some really great
melody pieces, I'm just not into it. The piano for some reason doesn't appeal to me
as much as other instruments. And if the message is deep but the melody sucks
than I would rather read the lyrics as a poem without instrumentation (or hear
them with a bongo). Could be why I just can't handle Rap (but do enjoy Scat).

Don
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Offline Nick B

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Re: Lyrics- Do You Care?
« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2021, 09:43:57 AM »
I guess I'm in worse shape than you three.
I'm into melody but with the right instrument.
Example is my wife loves piano pieces and while there are some really great
melody pieces, I'm just not into it. The piano for some reason doesn't appeal to me
as much as other instruments. And if the message is deep but the melody sucks
than I would rather read the lyrics as a poem without instrumentation (or hear
them with a bongo). Could be why I just can't handle Rap (but do enjoy Scat).

Don

Don,
Im with you on this as well. I am not a fan of the piano, but am an enthusiast for guitar, zither, saxophone, viola, double bass and a few others, and even the accordion. As to the lyrics, yes, Id enjoy them as a poem. Roon provides the lyrics to many songs and its enjoyable to follow along.
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Offline S Clark

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Re: Lyrics- Do You Care?
« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2021, 01:27:44 PM »
Looks like we all agree that lyrics are second.  A melody is the hook in 99% of the cases....or as the Duke put it it don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing.
In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies but the silence of our friends. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Offline S Clark

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Re: Lyrics- Do You Care?
« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2021, 04:50:26 PM »
What about this one?  A young girl wistfully wishes she could be somewhere else..."Somewhere, over the rainbow, way up high..."
Yeah it's a great melody, but without a girlish Judy Garland looking up so sadly and pleading to be able to fly away to find her home, the impact would have been minimal- just another song.  For most of us old guys, this is burned into our memory.  For the youngsters,
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PSZxmZmBfnU
In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies but the silence of our friends. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Offline S Clark

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Re: Lyrics- Do You Care?
« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2021, 04:58:27 PM »
Imagine there's no heaven.  It's easy if you try.  No hell below us, above us only sky...
In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies but the silence of our friends. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Offline S Clark

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Re: Lyrics- Do You Care?
« Reply #9 on: April 30, 2021, 05:01:36 PM »
A long, long time ago
I can still remember how that music used to make me smile...
In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies but the silence of our friends. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Offline S Clark

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Re: Lyrics- Do You Care?
« Reply #10 on: April 30, 2021, 05:08:23 PM »
And sometimes, a lyric is just so off the wall that it grabs your attention-
"I saw a werewolf with a Chinese menu in his hand
Walking through the streets of SoHo in the rain"
In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies but the silence of our friends. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Offline S Clark

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Re: Lyrics- Do You Care?
« Reply #11 on: April 30, 2021, 05:12:48 PM »
Please allow me to introduce myself, I'm a man of wealth and taste.

Melody is king, but sometimes a lyric grabs you and just makes you listen. 
In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies but the silence of our friends. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Offline Nick B

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Re: Lyrics- Do You Care?
« Reply #12 on: April 30, 2021, 07:29:43 PM »
Please allow me to introduce myself, I'm a man of wealth and taste.

Melody is king, but sometimes a lyric grabs you and just makes you listen.

Oh yeah  :thumb:
https://www.elyrics.net/read/r/rolling-stones-lyrics/sympathy-for-the-devil-lyrics.html
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Offline dflee

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Re: Lyrics- Do You Care?
« Reply #13 on: May 01, 2021, 08:21:43 AM »
"I'm a melancholy man, that's what I am,
All the world surrounds me, and my feet are on the ground.
I'm a very lonely man, doing what I can,
All the world astounds me and I think I understand
That we're going to keep growing, wait and see."
The album and this song in particular have been in my head since 1970.
When lyrics and melody become one.

Don
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Offline rollo

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Re: Lyrics- Do You Care?
« Reply #14 on: May 01, 2021, 12:07:24 PM »
  Lyrics matter. It is the skill of combing the sound to the phrasing of the lyrics. Dianna Krall an excellent example. Some Genre like Folk and Blues are all about the lyrics then that Gui-tar or ? expands on. Just listen to instrumentals then.


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