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Thursday, June 21, 2012

Lyrics Schmerics

Alright. I have to share a little debate I had at work with a co-worker. If by chance he reads this he will just shake his head, I'm sure, because he knows that I don't let things go easily.

Where I work we all share a radio that goes to the speakers in our offices. This is a bit of give and take since we all have varying tastes and ideas of what is good music. Also, there is a good 15 - 20 year age gap between me and everyone else there. Lucky for them I dig the classics over bubble gum pop. That was not an "old person" dig, but let's face it, I'm the "baby" of the crew. 

This day in particular was not my day to choose the station. It was country day. Yee haw.

I can take a bit of country here and there...but all day listening isn't my cup of tea. Halfway through the day I jokingly commented to my co-worker that I couldn't take any more songs about divorce, alcohol, or checking for ticks in intimate places (gross). Yes, I know I am generalizing a whole genre of music...but for the slice of pie I was forced to indulge in that's what I gathered to be the main topics at hand.

He looked up at me in all seriousness and said, "Well, I guess I never really listen to the lyrics. I just listen to the music."

I stopped, cocked my head, and said "What? You NEVER listen to the lyrics?"

He said, "No. Why? Do you?"

I held myself back from saying, "Duh." and said, "Well, yeah. That's kind of the point of music. There's a story to tell. Whether it is crap or not, it still has a story. How can you NOT?"

I was on pretty high horse now.

He shrugs and says, "It's not a big deal. I don't think most people really listen to the lyrics of songs. I know a couple Kid Rock lyrics, I guess."

I'm shaking my head in disbelief now.

Me, being the stubborn woman I am said, "Well, I have to disagree. I know for a fact that many people listen to the lyrics of songs. That is the entire POINT. Yes, I suppose the music alone can tell a story too but when the artist adds lyrics it isn't just for background noise. You are supposed to listen. How do you know that your not jammin' happily with a smile on your face to a song about rape?"  OK, extreme example...but I go big or go home I guess.

He THEN tells me that I am too "deep of a thinker and over analyze things."

I may have gotten "slightly" defensive after that. A wee bit.

After he again said that he was sure I was in the minority of people that actually listens to the lyrics, I was bound and determined to prove that HE was the whacko not I. Perhaps this was not the best way to prove THAT particular point, but...oh well. That's me. Take it, or leave it. 

Every time someone came in the office they were greeted with, "Quick question. When you listen to music do you actually listen to what the lyrics are saying?"

Guess what co-worker? Everyone said "Yes."

And then they looked at me like I was a psycho, but that is beside the point.

Especially when they answered yes, and I responded with "Boo yah!" and  looked pointedly in my co-worker's direction. I may take things a bit far at times...

Feeling satisfied that I proved my point I went back to my office. This whole conversation got me thinking of all the conversations that were prompted between my parents and I because of music. Good and bad.

Cripes. As a teen, one of my first real adult "sex" conversations with my mom was a result of listening to "Take it on the Run" by Reo Speedwagon in the car. Also, a similar conversation took place following a duet with my mom and I in an awesome car karaoke ballad of Meatloaf's "Paradise by the Dashboard Light." Okay mom...I have no intentions of wearing the scarlett letter anytime soon. Enough. 

My dad turned me on to Pink Floyd at a very early age. Dear Gawd...don't get me started on analyzing those lyrics. That could be a new blog entirely.

Anyway, because I am stubborn, I felt I had to prove my point that the person involved in the debate was missing out on a whole lot of awesome (or not so awesome) by not paying attention to what he was pumping out on the speakers. Granted, there is a lot of crap out there that is just a catchy chorus with some random sexual references...but it is a story nonetheless. Such as liking big butts. And not being able to lie about it.  Or being a California girl wearing daisy dukes. And bikinis on top. And so on. And so on. But there is a lot of mind blowing lyrics out there that are thought provoking and artistic as well.

I even make it a point to discuss lyrics with my children Appropriate lyrics of course. I have no intentions of dissecting "Milkshake" anytime soon. Or ever. But in church...uh yeah, I explain what we are all singing off key about. Or some of my favorite songs I will explain what they are all about. When my mom passed away, you will see in an earlier post, we listened to "Wildflower" quite a bit. While these lyrics were not necessarily about passing on, they are about "being free." I think this song was written following Petty's divorce, but our own interpretations of "being free" felt right to us.  This is music. Conversation. Art. Emotion.

Damn it. Listen to it!

That's. The. Point.

I win. In my head...I win.

Besides. We are talking about the man that stole my lunch once. Yeah. He ate it.

So I win.

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