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What it`s all about?


R.J.S.

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fun... I decided 2 improve my English by analysing song lyrics :)))

 

But what is this????? Seems like I`ve made bad choise for my first song analysis attempt :))) What it`s about?

 

 

All aboard... stitching time

Get yours... got mine

In a minute... ill be there

Sit tight... get square

You can do it at the hippodrome

slide back... trombone

Anybody got a TV at home

Thats right... unknown.

 

(Red Hot Chili Peppers Lyrics)

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A lot of lyricists look for words that rhyme without caring whether they actually mean anything. I don't know who started it, but the obvious example is John Lennon, with "I am the Walrus" (which actually does have passages of meaning among the gobbledygook), but look at early Jon Anderson lyrics with Yes, or some David Bowie lyrics. I just read (maybe on this forum) that he even used a computer program to spit out random lines for him. So long as it rhymed and sounded cool, he was happy.

 

So if you find stuff like what you have up there, it's not necessarily meaningful. That isn't to say you can't find a meaning in it; language is very flexible and even if one wasn't intentionally put into it, you can often retrofit meaning.

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A lot of lyricists look for words that rhyme without caring whether they actually mean anything.


So if you find stuff like what you have up there, it's not necessarily meaningful. That isn't to say you can't find a meaning in it; language is very flexible and even if one wasn't intentionally put into it, you can often retrofit meaning.

 

not that it really matters, but that happens with novelists as well. They like, write a story with a morel and readers read into it and find a different morel, that was not intentionally written by the author.

 

I think it's called "shoot the author" or something. well something to do with killing authors. :p

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There's a whole industry within literary criticism to do with interpreting what the "author's intention" was, and whether there is any such beast, and whether it matters even if there is.

 

I'll tell you a story about this issue that will illustrate how, even though an author doesn't believe he meant a certain interpretation that can be taken from his writing, he probably really meant it anyway.

 

Robert Frost wrote a poem about riding a horse, watching some woods fill up with snow. People very quickly took the imagery and the last line "and miles to go before I sleep, and miles to go before I sleep" and declared that the poem had something to do with death, and perhaps the urge to self extinction. Frost denied this vehemently.

 

I've since lost the link, but I read the work of a local literary prof who had turned up a poem from the 19th century, written by a New Englander, and anthologized in student texts current when Frost was in school, that echoed much of Frost's later poem (or more correctly, his poem was an echo of that earlier poem).

 

The earlier poem had been long forgotten, but not to Frost, at least in his subconscious. That poem had been *overtly* about death. There was no question. So in that light, even against Frost's later denials, his poem should probably rightly be seen as having something to do with death also, because it's creative source did. This would explain why all the images lined up correctly to make the case, even though Frost didn't realize he was writing it that way.

 

Sometimes we write something and there is a definite sense that the writing is going somewhere all on its own -- it happens to me all the time. I think that "guiding force" is often likely to be the echo of something we've read before, lodged in our subconscious.

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I'd just like to point out that Robert Frost is the best poet of all time. And that poem would be titled "Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening" if I'm not mistaken :D

 

Yah I'm in the know.

 

Anyways, lyrics are very genre specific. Obviously what you write about is very very important. Death Metal with pop lyrics would be just awkward, and you can't write about gangstas in the hood shootin other gangstas in a disco tune. This leads to an interesting concept: should music complement lyrics or lyrics complement music? I have no clue, but each artist I assume has their own opinion on that matter.

 

Anyways, my point is make sure your lyrics fit with the genre. And if your lyrics don't make a whole lot of sense, or any sense at all, make sure you at least have a general mood you're going for that goes with your music.

 

That stuff goes for lyrics in any language I would think.

 

Likewise, when you look at a song's lyrics, consider the genre. For the song you have, which I consider Alternative, I would just assume that your songwriter(s) were high and wrote down some words that sounded cool. Not to say the Chili's can't write meaningful lyrics, but their music is only occasionally lyrically centered, so I'd assume that those lyrics are there because of rhythm and such, not so much to convey any meaning. IMO.

 

And last and most important thing: everyone has a different interpretation, so just because yours is unique doesn't make it wrong, it just means you're weird :D

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I'd just like to point out that Robert Frost is the best poet of all time. And that poem would be titled "Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening" if I'm not mistaken
:D

 

You are a tiny bit mistaken, it's:

 

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening


Whose woods these are I think I know,

His house is in the village though.

He will not see me stopping here,

To watch his woods fill up with snow.


My little horse must think it queer,

To stop without a farmhouse near,

Between the woods and frozen lake,

The darkest evening of the year.


He gives his harness bells a shake,

To ask if there is some mistake.

The only other sound's the sweep,

Of easy wind and downy flake.


The woods are lovely, dark and deep,

But I have promises to keep,

And miles to go before I sleep,

And miles to go before I sleep.


-- Robert Frost


 

Frost is very good, but I don't think his literary reputation is very high for his time period. It seems, for some reason, the fact that he was popular in his day has worked against him. He falls into the "Modernist" time period, along with folks like Eliot, Pound, Stevens, WC Williams, etc. but he didn't write like them. For my money, the best of them was Wallace Stevens, but that's just my personal opinion.

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Some really wonderful -- I'm not sure I'd say great, necessarily -- songs don't seem to have a darn thing on their minds at all. Sometimes that's the point, of course. Pop music is strewn with nonsense songs. And, of course, nonsense doesn't necessarily mean lack of craft. Look at writers like Lewis Carroll or Edward Lear (who reportedly influenced Lennon -- and plenty of others, particularly at the height of the psychedelic era... for some odd reason. :D )

 

Still, I like songs that sound like they mean something to the person singing them on some level.

 

I like mystery and enigma... but there's got to be some kind of connection. It's kind of the difference between abstract impressionism and spin art.

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Some really wonderful -- I'm not sure I'd say
great
, necessarily -- songs don't seem to have a darn thing on their minds at all. Sometimes that's the point, of course. Pop music is strewn with nonsense songs. And, of course, nonsense doesn't necessarily mean
lack of craft.
Look at writers like Lewis Carroll or Edward Lear (who reportedly influenced Lennon -- and plenty of others, particularly at the height of the psychedelic era... for
some
odd reason.
:D
)


Still, I like songs that sound like they mean something to the person singing them
on some level.


I like mystery and enigma... but there's got to be some kind of connection. It's kind of the difference between abstract impressionism and spin art.

 

:thu:

 

A good number of my favorite songs have nonsense lyrics. As Lennon used to say, it's not Dylan's words but how he sings them that matter. The lyrics to Lennon's Dig A Pony are garbage (even according to the author) but they're sung as if they mean everything to him at that moment.

 

As a listener, the words are the last thing I go for. (The exception is when the words are made very conspicuous - usually by being obnoxious or lame in some way.) Months and years can go by before I bother to find out what the words are. I just consume music as an aural experience not a verbal one. It's probably some kind of left/right brain kind of thing - bad wiring in my genetics. For me, the words are an excuse for someone to make musical noises with their mouth.

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Frost is very good, but I don't think his literary reputation is very high for his time period. It seems, for some reason, the fact that he was popular in his day has worked against him. He falls into the "Modernist" time period, along with folks like Eliot, Pound, Stevens, WC Williams, etc. but he didn't write like them. For my money, the best of them was Wallace Stevens, but that's just my personal opinion.

 

 

Frost's place in the modernist canon (I would add Yeats and Auden to your list, but that is a minor quibble) is an interesting case. Unlike the others he was extremely popular in his own lifetime, can be taught in High School English classes, and has a certain sentimentality and lyricism which appeals to the mass audience. To some, this alone is enough to disqualify him from the ranks of "serious" modernist poets, but although his reputation has waxed and waned over the years, he has never completely fallen off of the radar, and in the last couple of years there have been several well-reviewed scholarly books on his life and work.

 

Personally, as a bookish student at a New England High School, I was very fond of Frost, but as a pretentiously literary college undergraduate I was much more enamored of the more canonical modernists (particularly Pound). However, as a middle-aged wage slave I reread Frost, and I found that he is still quite enjoyable.

 

For an interesting take on Frost, check out the This Old Poem rewrite of "Birches". Generally, TOP slays the sacred cows and literary lions (his takedown of Louise Gluck is hysterical) but the treatment of Frost is rather kind and quite understanding.

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