Monday, June 18, 2012

98.6 %...

...of popular song lyrics make no sense. Did early Bob Dylan begin this plague of ambiguity-unto-nonsense? Not sure.

It's almost all a bunch of stream-of-babble passing itself off as cool saying. Being embedded in melodies, harmonies, and animal-pleasing rhythms helps to disguise all the stanzas of non sequitur.

Yes, I understand the value of subtlety, and a certain degree of elliptical utterance is okay (see Schubert and Mahler). But only to a certain artistic degree. Maybe a phrase or two of that kind of stuff sprinkled across a song. But if you look at a page of these lyrics standing alone, especially stuff from the seventies onward, it's remarkable in its allergy to language as a vehicle for sense-saying. Those lyrics standing alone are worse than bad poetry.

Rant over.


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