January 15, 2009

Booking Through Thursday: Play that Funky Music

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Booking Through Thursday:

But, enough about books … Other things have words, too, right? Like … songs!

If you’re anything like me, there are songs that you love because of their lyrics; writers you admire because their songs have depth, meaning, or just a sheer playfulness that has nothing to do with the tunes.

So, today’s question?

  • What songs … either specific songs, or songs in general by a specific group or writer … have words that you love?
  • Why?
  • And … do the tunes that go with the fantastic lyrics live up to them?

You don’t have to restrict yourself to modern songsters, either … anyone who wants to pick Gilbert & Sullivan, for example, is just fine with me. Lerner & Loewe? Steven Sondheim? Barenaked Ladies? Fountains of Wayne? The Beatles? Anyone at all…

First, a rant (oh joy, you say), this has been bothering me for some time. There is an ad on the radio for a local station that bugs me. Essentially, it says if you like Air Supply (or some other Easy Listening band), "go read a book" but if you like Led Zeppelin and riding your Harley then listen to them. It's a Class Rock station. It annoys me! It's offensive. Like you can't possibly read and listen to rock. You are stupid if you listen to rock. Way to connect with your audience. Not to mention the guys in Led Zeppelin were big readers and had references to books in their songs. My husband has had to patiently listen to me rant on every time the ad comes on, so now, lucky you, you get to read all about it.

That really has nothing to do with this week's BTT but I needed to get it off my chest. I have pretty eclectic taste and will listen to just about anything (except country and rap). Lyrics are a part of why I like a song (Though there's nothing wrong with, "We've got the beat. We've got the beat, we've got the beat. Yeah! We've got the beat.") There's some great writing in the songs of Heart, U2, Cheryl Crow, K-OS, Sarah McLauchlin and the already mentioned Led Zeppelin.

I like songs that tell a story like The Boxer by Simon and Garfunkel:

When I left my home and my family, I was no more than a boy
In the company of strangers
In the quiet of the railway station, runnin scared
Laying low, seeking out the poorer quarters, where the ragged people go
Looking for the places only they would know

Or tell a story and make me laugh like The Mermaid by Great Big Sea:

But then one day, she swam away
So I sang to the clams and the whales
"Oh, how I miss her seaweed hair
And the silver shine of her scales
But then her sister, she swam by
And set my heart awhirl
Cause her upper part was an ugly fish
But her bottom part was a girl

Of course, then there are songs that are completely nonsensical. Manfred Mann's Blinded by the Light was on the radio the other day and I said to my husband, "It's just a bunch of nonsense words, isn't it?" "Yep." But it sure is catchy:

Madman drummers bummers,
Indians in the summer with a teenage diplomat
In the dumps with the mumps as the adolescent pumps his way into his hat
With a boulder on my shoulder, feelin' kinda older,
I tripped the merry-go-round
With this very unpleasin', sneezin' and wheezin,
the calliope crashed to the ground

I hate Stickwitu by the Pussycat Dolls though because Stickwitu is not a word!!!

Anyway I'll leave you with some lyrics from Born to Run by K-OS, just cause I like it:

We fell from sky and universe
When we fell in love with the sound
Of the birds and all the ocean likes
And the gravity pulling us down

15 comments :

  1. I absolutely agree w/ you about stickwitu. So so dumb.

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  2. Oh, The Boxer. Great one. I love that song.

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  3. LOL! I don't think anyone likes PCD for the lyrics.

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  4. I love all of Simon & Garfunkel's songs.

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  5. Hi, thanks for dropping by. Besides U2 (as you've seen), I also like Sheryl Crow and K-Os and Sarah McLachlan.. thanks for sharing! :)

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  6. I love lyrics that tell a story, too. I don't know if anyone writes quite like Simon and Garfunkel any more, but I wish they did.

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  7. I love James Morrison's "Once When I Was Little" with I was the one who would always jump in first/I didn't think twice to look behind/Got such a good feeling just from playing in the dirt/Once when I was little./We could build a rocket/fly to the moon,/leave Tuesday morning, be back by noon/and there was nothing, nothing that we couldn't do/Oh, once when I was little, once when I was little.

    There's more (the entire lyric is wonderful), but that's my favorite part. It's my favorite song of his (I love them all--he's my favorite artist and I'm beside myself that I've got tickets to his concert the end of the month). The world is a wonderful place when lyrics and tune combine.

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  8. Oddly, the first song that came to my mind was Sheryl Crows rap, "The Na-Na Song".

    And while I will sit in my car and listen (sing) to "Mrs. Robinson" all the way through, even if it just started and I'm running late, last night, all I could think of were FUN songs!

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  9. Isn't stickwitu a phrase? lol.

    I like almost any music where I can discern the lyrics and they're not saying anything too awful. Not that I'm a huge music fan.

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  10. First - the guys that create ads for classic rock stations are morons.

    Back to music we love...ah, yes, Sarah McLachlan. Her song "In the Arms of an Angel" is incredible.

    ~ nite swimming ~

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  11. Oowatanite isn't a word either.

    I have pretty ecclectic tastes, too, but mine does include Country and Rap.

    Not PCDs though. Good call.

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  12. Mrs B- It's like nails on a chalkboard.

    Suey- It's so sad but beautiful.

    Bluestocking- Not the guys anyway.

    Onion- They sure could write.

    Claire- Thanks for visiting!

    Barbara- No one comes to mind.

    Gay- Sounds good!

    NoS- I love fun songs too.

    Carrie- lol! Whatever it is, it's annoying.

    Sherry- I've loved her songs forever.

    John- lol! It took me a second to figure out what Oowatanite was.

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  13. I love the music on one of our local stations...but the DJs are all a bunch of misogynistic jerks. I hate that they think all their listeners are 25 year old men. So :p to the radio stations!

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  14. I think Shel Silverstein wrote Mermaid. I love Bobby Bare's version.

    One of my coworkers likes to teach The Boxer when he does "study popsong" with the students.

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  15. I've always wondered what the lyrics really were to "Blinded by the Light." Someday I'll have to actually look them up.

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