26 May 2008

Poetry v. Music

I've always said I hate poetry. Aside from Richard Brautigan, but he's in a category of his own as far as I'm concerned. Maybe it was the Spoon River Anthology in high school that bred this scorn in me. But the thing is, lyrics are essentially poetry. And I'm very forgiving of lyrics when good music is there to back it up. There are song writers and poets who would argue that the two are unrelated as far as the creative process goes, but I say, screw them. Poetry is lyrical, and lyrics are poetic. Song lyrics happen to be set to music, but they weave the same types of tales as poems. Tales of love and woe and happiness and life in general; composed with rhyme and without, with metaphor and without, but always with a rhythm and harmony. There are songs that I love that, if read or heard as a poem, I would scoff at. And there are likely poems that I would love if set to a tune I enjoy. To be quite honest, I'm appalled at some of the music I'll listen to in spite of ridiculous lyrics. I suppose I take them as a part of the music; the voice as an instrument whose sounds are random words that don't quite register beyond being a part of the greater harmony of the song. Is that forgivable? Jury's still out.

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