I find good lyrics as important as anything when it comes to music. I’m a drummer so it goes without saying i’m going to enjoy tasty grooves. But i also love harmony and melody, and lyrics that have some substance. I feel that is one thing lacking with a lot of music today. While there is good stuff, a lot of it can be quite sterile and the lyrics are generally very disposable. Lacking in real emotion. It’s impossible to quantify emotion in music and when someone is faking it or not. But you know when you hear it!
I like to think my taste in music, like movies is fairly eclectic. Sometimes I feel like a serious movie, sometimes something silly/fun like an 80’s slasher and sometimes something a little art house.
It all about how the words hook up with the melody and groove of the song. If it moves you in some way it’s a special thing.
‘Love My Way’ – The Psychedelic Furs
‘..There’s an army on the dance floor
It’s a fashion with a gun, my love
In a room without a door
A kiss is not enough..’
I’ve always found these lyrics really stunning. And I never knew why. I still don’t really. I would rewind the track over and over just to hear that vocal entry. I would do the same with ‘I ran So Far Away’ by A Flock Of Seagulls. They both scream 80’s-ness, which instantly appeals. Maybe it’s the dead pan ‘New Wave’ vocal delivery? Finally after a little bit of research I gathered he was referring to people confused over their sexuality, or something of the like. Maybe I picked up subconsciously on a rebellious vibe? Freedom? Be who you want to be? Not sure on this one.
‘..It’s gonna take a lot to drag me away from you
There’s nothing that a hundred men or more could ever do
I bless the rains down in Africa..’
I don’t really know what a bunch of white session musicians are doing singing about Africa. And I don’t care because the chorus is so uplifting I feel like doing an 80’s training montage whenever I hear it.
‘Sailing’ – Christopher Cross
I find this song to be achingly beautiful. It shouldn’t get me like that though. I’m not a sailor by any stretch (insert Village People jokes here). But the lyrics combined with the music creates such a vivid imagery in my mind it’s impossible to deny. Something is connecting every time i hear it. I can actually see the sun glistening off tranquil waters, lapping up against a gently rocking boat when I hear this song. As far as I know there are no hidden meanings here. It’s actually about someone who has a deep love of sailing.
‘Limo Wreck’ (from the Soundgarden album ‘Superunkown’)
‘And the wreck of you
Is the death of you all
And the wreck of you
Is the break
And the fall
I’m the wreck of you
I’m the death of you all
I’m the wreck of you
I’m the break and the fall…
To me his lyrics always felt dark and depressing. Talking in very descriptive metaphors about isolation, drug use, hopelessness and existentialism. Or so I thought. He seems to say his lyrics have no meaning, and he just tries to make them fit as best he can with the music. Maybe he’s been humble? Maybe they are too personal? Either way he’s a talented wordsmith.
And here’s one from left field..
‘..I hear you singin’ in the wire
I can hear you through the whine
And the Wichita lineman is still on the line..’
I find this a hauntingly beautiful love song. Maybe unrequited love? I’m not convinced it’s a love letter to a wife at home while the lineman is working. It has a sadness to it. I picture someone working on the lines, listening in on lovers speaking in a private call. The music is as close to perfection as it gets in capturing the melancholic tone of the vocals.
Please share with me lyrics that somehow got under your skin. Maybe they remind you of a love lost, moved you, made you laugh, made you cry or just make you jump out of your seat to sing along.