Sunday, August 16, 2009

Music AND Lyrics?

Recently in a conversation with a friend, I made a reference to a lyric that had just been sung, and she looked surprised, and couldn't figure out what I was talking about. Through discussing it, I realized that somehow, she just doesn't notice lyrics unless they're highly repetitive. To be sure, this is not hard to do with some musical genres, (i.e. rap) and it certainly makes listening to songs with good beats and lyrics that you're morally opposed to easier. But knowing what exactly you're singing (or listening to) contributes so much to the music! Not to say you should only listen to songs you know the lyrics to; how else would you learn new songs? But I think we need to pay attention to what we're listening to.
Imagine talking with someone who wouldn't give you a relevant reply; did nothing except smile and nod unless you tediously repeated whatever you were saying...some might call that a one-sided conversation. I suppose that's what bothers me so much about people who listen to music without listening to it. Music just seems like something that needs to be appreciated and valued for both for its sound and its meaning.

1 comment:

Michael N. said...

The topic of lyrics is one I'm deeply opinionated about. In my opinion, you've hit the nail on the head when you say music needs to be appreciated for its meaning as well as its sound.

I'll often pull up an online lyric sheet of a song I enjoy as I listen to it, just to make sure I don't miss anything. You'll also find that I know most, if not all of the audibly understandable lyrics of the songs I listen to regularly.

This isn't to take away from the value of skillful arrangement and production. But the epitome of music, to me, is when a group of people sings a song together off by heart. Like once at a campfire at summer camp, we just broke out into "The Heart Of Worship" and everyone knew all the words, and it was incredible.