The poetry in music

June 19, 2010 § Leave a comment

Music is such a huge and ever-present part of my life. I love it and cherish it deeply, but I’ve realized that this omniscience causes me to overlook some of the most beautiful parts of music, and ultimately under appreciate it as an art form.

One of the most important parts of a song to me, is the lyrics, but sometimes it’s hard to identify all the layers of meaning in the words with all the distractions. Since I don’t buy records I don’t have lyrics readily available. So last night I started transcribing a few songs to see how I would interpret the lyrics if I read them as a poem. And it turned out to be pretty sweet.

I arranged the chunks based on how the words are broken up by the instrumentals in the song, so it may not be the original way the artist intended it to be read, but it keeps the lyrics in the context of the song while adding the opportunity to appreciate the lyrics on their own as well.

I started with Au Revoir Simone’s Shadows:

You tell me
That it’s getting better
But every time that we say goodnight
Goodnight
Goodnight
I’m haunted by your eyes
And how long they’ve been crying

Don’t tell me
About a bad reaction
Don’t tell me that you mean to hide
To hide
To hide

Beside me every day

I’m moving on
I hope you’re coming with me
I hope you’re coming with me

Anyone can answer their own questions
All you have to do is look inside
Inside
Inside

You know it is right
You know it will be all right
All right
All right

You know it’s alright

I’m moving on
I hope you’re coming with me
Cuz I’m not strong
Without you

Don’t blame it on
Your shadows
Cuz I know all
About you

And then moved on to Phantogram’s Mouthful of Diamonds (though I’m less sure of the accuracy of this one than Au Revoir Simone’s):

Wake up
You’re getting high on your own supply

Oh baby
You’re still alive when you could have died
Ooooh

The world is not around because of you
You know I’m not around because of you

You’ve got a mouthful of diamonds
And a pocket full of secrets
I know you’re never telling anyone
Because the patterns they control your mind
Those patterns take away my time
Hello goodbye

Wasted
You tell the truth when you could have lied

And troubles
Are on the rise cuz you’re in disguise
Whooo

And if it isn’t me
Then pack your bags and leave
I wish I could believe that the devils
Won’t take you back unto the salty sea

You’ve got a mouthful of diamonds
And a pocket full of secrets
I know you’re never telling anyone
Because the patterns they control your mind
Those patterns take away my time
Hello goodbye

I wish I could believe
I wish I could believe
I wish I could believe
I wish I could believe
I wish I could believe
I wish I could believe
I wish I could believe
I wish I could believe
I wish I could believe
I wish I could believe

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