Sunday, March 11, 2012

Songs Are More Than Poems With Melodies

As you may have noticed, I'm a big fan of lyrics.  I have always loved the way words work together. They way the sound, the way they feel, the way they taste.  This started as a love of poetry when I was a kid.  When I was in 7th grade we had to memorize one of three Robert Frost poems.  They were "Fire and Ice", "The Road Not Taken" and "Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening". Each was worth a different amount of points which, looking back, doesn't make sense because the last two are the same length.  Anyway, we had some ridiculous amount of time to memorize one of them and recite it to the class.  I came back on Monday and with all three of them memorized, which kind of irritated my teacher, as I recall, but it gave me a crap ton of bonus points.  I have known many, many people in all my years in school that hated poetry, but I just don't get that.  Where else do words dance and play and get along as well as in poems?

Well in songs, of course!  Obviously songwriters are poets, that goes without saying.  But I think they're so much more than that.  They are able to elevate a mere poem to the level of a song.  They infuse it with magic and marry it to a melody and make it infinitely better.  I can write a poem, I have in fact written several, but I've never written a song. I wouldn't know where to begin to make sense of the process.  A poem can be anything, it doesn't have to conform to any rule (unless of course it's haiku or a sonnet or whatever), but what I'm saying is that it stands alone.  It can look and sound however the author wants it to.  But with a song, the words either have to fit existing music or music has to be written to fit existing words - are both ever written at once?  Either way, the two things have to get together and work together to become better.   Simply put, a song is greater than the sum of it's parts.

No comments:

Post a Comment