Do Lyrics Matter?

That’s what I have been asking myself since I started writing this blog. Does anyone care about lyrics? Well, obviously I do. For me, they make all the difference.

Of course, the first thing that strikes when listening to a song is the melody, the tune, the instruments, the rhythm. The singer’s voice might also catch your attention. You either like all these in a song or you don’t. There is such thing as “love at first sight” – or better: “at first hearing”, don’t you think so?

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If you just want to dance the night away, you won’t pay much attention to the text. There might be a chorus that is easy to understand and remember so that everyone can sing along – that certainly adds to the fun. Looking at the songs I have dealt with in this blog, “In my head” by Jason Derulo and “Bad Romance” by Lady GaGa as well as  30 Seconds To Mars’ “Closer To The Edge” and “We Are  The People” by Empire Of The Sun would possibly belong to this category. I guess not many people, especially in non-English-speaking countries, do understand the lyrics at all. Still, these songs are highly popular, for example in Germany.

Other songs which might be considered as ballads, with a slower rhythm, a calm melody, attach much more importance  to the lyrics. They have a message they want to get across – like John Lennon’s “Imagine”, Midnight Oil’s “Beds Are Burning”. Others tell little stories: “Ironic” by Alanis Morissette, Eminem’s “Stan” or Jay Brannan’s “Housewife”.

There are songs that can be seen as poems set to music–like Hey Rosetta’S “Red Song”, they are not really easy to understand and leave a lot to the interpreter’s imagination.

Of course, if you are in love, you’ll like to listen to love songs, if you have been disappointed, “Grenade” might be the song for you. So sometimes it’s all about the lyrics, isn’t it?

To my surprise I have found rather poetic verses in very popular charts-songs, like “Closer To The Edge”  and “We Are The People”. Maybe they are not meant to “mean” anything and just sound poetic, but then again: you could say the same thing about some modern poems which are sometimes really hard to “understand”.

And even songs such as “Bad Romance or “In My Head” deliver a message, take up a certain attitude, morale, idea. This is what I try to discover and analyze in my blog. As long as a song has lyrics, it conveys an idea, and be it only unconsciously. We should be aware of that.

That’s why lyrics DO matter, in my opinion.

I’d love to hear your opinion – please feel free to comment and discuss.

Do you listen to the lyrics of a song? Do you care? Do you try to understand them?

Let me know about your favourite song – I might have a closer look at it in this blog some day!

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6 thoughts on “Do Lyrics Matter?

  1. ABSOLUTELY! The voice is a beautiful and emotive instrument whether or not you understand the words, but at their best lyrics are a form of poetry or art in their own right. I admit that I used to obsess over the lyrics to my favourite songs far more when I was younger, to the point of being appalled if someone said they liked a song but didn’t know the words (I was a bit of a brat). But lyrics will always mean a lot to me.

    • Thank you very much for your comment – you are the first to comment on this blog at all :)! I like the idea of lyrics as a form of poetry. A really good song has it all: a beautiful melody AND a meaningful text. But I guess we as “text-obsessed” people will always be a minority… 😉

  2. Good Post…In answer to your post: For me lyrics are very important. Maybe it is because I am at heart first a poet and second a writer so words – how they are said, why they are said are essential…Love a good melody but I am always drawn to the lyrics.

  3. Uta, thank you for the visit to my blog.

    Great post you have here. I agree. Lyrics are important to me. In my younger years, there was nothing like a great hurtin’ song and a bottle(s) of beer. Now, I enjoy uplifting lyrics that soothe and inspire.

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