When I was young, I listened to rock n roll and never questioned the lyrics. I just grooved on the sound of it. I sang along with the rocking songs and thought the lyrics were so cool because it was rock and it was cool! THESE WERE MY GODS! Never question the gods. Never question the meaning of the words they scream and shout.
Eventually I did.
I still listen to rock songs.
I still groove on it but,
Because long ago I questioned and LISTENED TO WHAT THE HELL THEY WERE SAYING and read the lyrics …
I realized so much of what the rock gods sang and yelled was just total shit. It was even embarrassing to think I was going around singing along or just singing the rock songs because I thought there was something great to it all. My adolescent young man religion.
I thought the rockers were so WISE. They were talking to the youthful condition! They knew all about love and relationships and life!
Kids just older kids than I.
Sometimes a real songsmith would come along. Craft something that was a good story. Not just a cavalry charge through a pub. Good lyrics that were like reciting a great story.
Which is how so many songs WERE in the past.
Take for example what I am listening to now: AN OPERA. A movie sung and played on instruments. Long ago they did not have cameras and such to show a story. Instead, someone would sit for sometimes YEARS to write lyrics to a story and either they or someone else would add music to it. Just like how many songs are made now. But opera… damn OPERA! Not just one song but song after song and bits of music that were like mini symphonies.
No guitar or drum solos.
People with finely trained voices that could read and sing the musical notes they read on a page of music. Not just making shit up or playing and singing by ear something they heard and then playing it over.
I have no idea WHAT that woman is singing about in my headphones as I listen to an opera now. I DO KNOW that it is part of a story carefully composed. The story may be corny bullshit but it is a real story. Carefully crafted with music added to it. Now I hear a harp … ahhhh… then an orchestra and soon a singer will go solo…. Ahhhh there it is! A rich baritone accompanied by a cello and harp.
A woman sings and then a man joins in. They sing back and forth – a conversation in soaring beautiful voices. I have no idea what they are singing but I know it is part of some story. Often romantic. A movie for the EARS SOUL AND HEART. Sound that does not make you want go beat someone but sound to make you want to find a cure for cancer with it’s beauty.
So many of the songs and artists of my youth were repetitive and copied each other. Whatever it takes to get a good selling hit. Same now with the rap artists. I find it difficult to write or refer to them as “artists”. That seems to be a current view of them. I find it all repetitive and non musical. No MUSIC to it. Yelling chanting talking with constantly recycled lyrics changed a little to not be cause for a law suit. RHYME used to jumble the words together but not tell any good story. So many not questioning it because….
And you don’t question the words and lyrics of your gods.
My new gods are old and dead but alive still in the brilliant music they crafted often 200 years ago. The stories are retreads through the years. They are real STORIES. Dialog sung back and forth and often in chorus.
Plays with music.
I have to laugh at myself now.
I once listened to rock music and loved it with trite often nonsensical lyrics that I rarely understood but held so high because my gods sang them.
NOW I listen to opera and classical I have a deep love for with probably corny trite lyrics I do not know because I only know English and so many operas are in German, French or Italian. The LANGUAGES the operas are sung in have a beauty to them. Even though I do not know what the lyrics mean, I trust they are good. I can look for the libretto (text of an opera) and I will some day. But for now, I trust it to be brilliant. I trust it and imagine so and so pouring their LIVES into writing the words and music to it. Yes they did it for money but it sometimes took YEARS to make a finished sellable performable product. It is amazing to me now. It’s not like some someone sketching a few words and lyrics that often rhyme any meaning out but making a cool sounding song that some person may walk down the street sounding stupid by singing along with it.
Yeah, like I used-to…
And sometimes still do
Then find ecstasy in something that often took massive effort and brilliance to create long long ago.