Novice Journal

A little this – a little that!

What’s in a Lyric?

on November 23, 2011

The older I get, the more I pay attention to words in songs. And over time, I have found Creed, Daughtry, and Five for Fighting can throw down some pretty deep lyrics. But, music isn’t always just the words, the background music composition can be just as important. It can make the lyrics come to life, or it can serve as a distraction. Shinedown’s “Crow & the Butterfly” lyrics are a perfect example of lyric and music syncopation.

Every time I find a new song I like, it’s a habit of mine to look up the lyrics. I want to know what they’re talking about! Toby Mac is a genius in colloquial lyric writing, and the music fits his style and voice. “New World” by Yael Naim is another great example. The background music feels a bit quirky, light, and has an easy tune. That’s perfect for what she’s talking about -being new, and learning about life through trial and error.

Some of the best songs are ones that aren’t blunt with their information. They force you to really listen to the words in order to fully understand. Daughtry’s “No Surprise” is a good example. Not once is “we’re no longer dating” mentioned. Instead, he uses a few phrases to parallel his point, and sprinkles in several hints. This song could be talking about virtually anything if you don’t listen closely, and analyze the lyrics.

Music lyrics are expanded poetry. Poetry is the flying bird, music is the wind aiding it to soar. Food for thought!

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4 responses to “What’s in a Lyric?

  1. niasunset says:

    Music is great…. and also in my life too… But music comes ahead always in my humble world. Of course I do appreciate the lyrics too… But first of all music! Poetry is already a kind of music through the words… The sound of the words create its own song too… But when we think of them both, I mean music and lyrics, it becomes much more special…. The song with a lyrics takes you within its world… But without lyrics you are alone with the song…. and in your imagination this could be a voyage for your mind… I usually write my poems with this kind of songs… I find a place in my heart or mind where the music meets with my words…

    Thank you dear Ray, soon I will read your poems too. With my love, nia

  2. wordcoaster says:

    I love poetry in its own right, but if put to the right melody it transforms a dagger to a saber. I guess one example for me of this would be The Swell Season’s “Two Tongues”. Thank you so much for subscribing to my blog! 🙂

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