Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Lyrics, Language, La La La La La La

I'm in love with words. I'll admit it. My former boss told me that once, and it was not meant as a compliment. Oh well, you can't please everyone, and business writing is a whole different ballgame than is blogging, or poetry set to music, which describes most songs.

When words and music mix, the result is ecstasy. Just the same, I censor. I don't want to ruin any perception that you're reading unedited material here.  I'm not the New York Times and it's my blog so I give myself free license to refrain when in my best interests to do so.

I try to pick meaningful, uplifting, or at least representative lyrics when I'm covering a group. Lyrics so complement the musical rhythms, instrumentation, and vocalizations. Many lyrics achieve poetic graciousness outright.

But just for the record, you parents and grandparents out there may want to take a gander at the lyrics of the music your fine young people are listening to. Just to bridge that ever-present generation gap, so to speak.  Here is a site you may want to consult:

You can search by group and song. I'm recommending this site as it does not have the annoying pop up blasting in your face to invite you to add the song you're researching as a cell phone ring tone.

Lyrics have come a long way baby since I was a teen.  Like I have mentioned, we had the Carpenters with their array of sappy but squeaky clean phrases.  And so forgive me, but I have to ask ... what is with the use of the “f” bomb in songs or in between songs? Or an array of other expletives for that matter? People are not paying $75 a ticket to hear musicians stand up in front of the crowd and swear ad infinitum. Well, maybe they are, and, if they are, I just don't get it. There are many people who will provide f-bomb references for free. 

When my family moved to West Covina, California, I became a little more worldly-wise. After all, I was in the fourth grade. I shared some new vocabulary I'd learned on the fence near my school one evening when my dad had the boss over for dinner. Ever since then, I have hated the taste of Dove soap.

I'm not a Puritan, but I'll confess, I save such words for very special occasions like when I get pulled over by a police man … it happened very late one night, and no, I wasn't speeding nor did I run a stop sign nor was alcohol involved. I didn't get a ticket. He only wanted to tell me my headlight was out.

English is not the romance language French is, but with 900,000 words, English is overflowing with descriptive, expressive choices, people.  And that doesn't count the newly created words or those you can make up yourself.  Throw in expletives and too much information every so often for emphasis for emphasis, to add some color perhaps, but when these are the only words in your vocab, you aren't as cool as you might hope.

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