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 Say what, now? 
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Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2003 11:49 pm
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Post Say what, now?
Okay, let's have your best argument for this situation being fine as it is:

A punk band writes a song and composes serious lyrics for it, only to deliver those lyrics in a rapid fire blur of furious screaming. The performance is great, the emotion and energy came through, but the lyrics didn't connect with the audience.

Have at it.

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Fri Dec 08, 2006 5:56 pm
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Joined: Mon Oct 28, 2002 7:00 pm
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As a prelude to my answer:
* The number of songs I like <i>because of</i> the lyrics: 0.
* The number of songs I like <i>in spite of</i> the lyrics (or intended message, as it were) is in the double digits.
* There also are many dozens of songs I like that have discernible lyrics, but in a language I don't even speak.

So, IMHO, the scenario you described is perfectly fine as it is. It's really akin to performing a song in a foreign country.


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Fri Dec 08, 2006 6:18 pm
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yeah- musicians are usually a pretty stupid, illiterate lot, so I tend to ignore lyrics (exceptions being dulli, dylan, cohen, and waits...)

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Fri Dec 08, 2006 9:51 pm
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This is a really interesting topic.

I honestly don't think lyrics are as important as the actual delivery of the lyrics. Being able to understand or relate to what someone is saying over a song just isn't as important to me as relating to the way the music itself makes you feel. Take classical music. Do you really think the works of Mozart, Vivaldi and countless others has stood the passage of time because of the words that were sung? It is the way those words sung. Besides, how many know italian, latin, or any other foreign language with any fluency? Knowladge of these is not needed to enjoy the music.

I love death metal, but anyone who tells you they can understand a lot of death metal lyrics without reading the booklet is lying. After I read them, I can understand them, and I learn them. I don't care as much what they are saying, as much as how they say it. Its a vocal style indicative of the genre, which I happen to enjoy. On Nile albums this is contrasted with middle eastern chants and vocal styles. I have no idea what they are saying either, without reading the lyric sheet but who cares? It sounds awesome! That is what is important to me. Ive seen many a local act who were great( Daigoro, Vulnerata, Nailed Shut, the list goes on) despite the nearly indecipherable lyrical content.


Even outside the musical realm, the way you say things determines how they are perceived. With the right delivery, you can get people to get behind just about anything.


If you write a piece of music that is really hokey but compose some really good, meaningfull, serious lyrics, your words could be taken as presumptuous, trite, and pretentious.
There have been more then a few times when I have thought a song had some good lyrics, but taken out of context...not so good. Some songs, the lyrics are iffy, or don't even make any sense but they compliment the song.
Its all about fluidity.

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Mon Dec 11, 2006 1:36 pm
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yeah, i personally spend a lot of time on my lyrics, choosing specific diction and all that, and then i can't sing for shit so you can't understand me anyways.

and then i'm continually surprised by how little even my own band members pay attention to what i write.

i pay attention to lyrics, but, clearly, not many people do.

incidentally, its really hard to write a song about fucking and not come off like a total ass.

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Mon Dec 11, 2006 2:04 pm
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I really enjoy lyrics that can be heard, and that are so well written that they either...

a) don't intrude
b) make me think
c) make me applaud

I think I'd prefer songs in a foreign tongue, over songs sung in English with equal mystery. I like to think a lyricist has respect for his/her own work, and I don't see it in cases where the message doesn't transfer.

Doesn't mean the performance doesn't kick ass, though. I have no respect for many bands I like to hear.

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Mon Dec 11, 2006 2:26 pm
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