Discussion: Lyrics and Music

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Think about the way music interacts with poetry. How does it change the way we react to poetry? Why is music so popular, but poetry (that is not a song lyric) is less popular? 


We will continue to discuss poetry, but we are also tiptoeing up to drama, which will be our next unit.

  • “You’re So Vain” by Carly Simon

I chose this YouTube video because the lyrics are included. I think it is an incredibly catchy song.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b6UAYGxiRwU (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

  • “Dead Cats on the Line” by Tampa Red

I learned of this expression last year on Facebook. My friend’s mom announced, “I have no dead cats on the line.” I Googled and found this classic.

http://lyrics.wikia.com/wiki/Tampa_Red:Dead_Cats_On_The_Line (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

“Dead Cats on the Line” Audio (YouTube)

When people bemoan the “loose” lyrics of today’s songs, it’s good to remember that people have been singing about infidelity for years.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQ_w-jNj6pQ (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

  • “Formation” by Beyonce You’ve seen the still photo, now watch the video.

[Warning: There are a few curse words in here, but you survived Philip Larkin, so I think you will live.]

http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/watch-beyonces-surprise-new-video-formation-20160206 (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

  • “Tangled Up in Blue” by Bob Dylan

http://bobdylan.com/songs/tangled-blue/ (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

I will upload a video in a separate link.

Audio (YouTube) of “Tangled Up in Blue”

Classic song. Dylan changes his lyrics all the time in performance. I hope this version SOMEWHAT matches the lyrics.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8x-0aECsy98 (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

  • “Baltimore” by Prince

Alas, Prince was alive when I first assigned this song. You can Google for lyrics, but this video includes them, too.

Prince – Baltimore (feat. Eryn Allen Kane) (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.Prince - Baltimore (feat. Eryn Allen Kane)

  • “I’m Too Sexy” by Right Said Fred

Full confession. When I heard this song on the radio in the last millennium, I HATED it. Then I saw the video, and I LOVED it. Think about how the lyrics would look on the page. How would that experience different from seeing this video?

Right Said Fred – I’m Too Sexy (Original Mix – 2006 Version) (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.Right Said Fred - I'm Too Sexy (Original Mix - 2006 Version)

  • Awesome opening to the musical Hamilton. So good it made my Baby Boomer dad like hip hop.

http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat/2016/02/15/watch_the_cast_of_hamilton_perform_the_musical_s_electrifying_opening_number.html (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

  • American History Told in Rap

HAMILTON “Cabinet Battle #1” Genius Lyrics

http://genius.com/7856434 (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

American History Told in Rap Again (Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, and George Washington)

HAMILTON “Cabinet Battle #2” Lit Genius

http://genius.com/Lin-manuel-miranda-cabinet-battl…

Thomas Jefferson comes back from France and gets caught up on the new nation of United States. (Snappy number.)

HAMILTON “What’d I Miss” Lit Genius

http://genius.com/Lin-manuel-miranda-whatd-i-miss-lyrics (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

YOU TUBE: What’d I Miss (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.What'd I Miss

  • [Trigger Warning] “Til It Happens to You” VIDEO by Lady Gaga (Optional)

Lyrics only. These words are more open to interpretation than the video.

https://genius.com/Lady-gaga-til-it-happens-to-you-lyrics (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

[TW: While the lyrics are open-ended, the video is about college rape. No nudity, but it is clear people are being hurt. You have no obligation to watch the video or read the article. However, the intentions here are to be sensitive and empowering.]

“Til It Happens To You” by Lady Gaga (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2015/09/lady-gaga-til-it-happens-to-you/406066/ (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

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Response to 2 people: ( about 10 sentence, about how you think)

The first person:

Society and generations have changed, I’m sure before radio/ music was popular people not only read but, wrote more poetry. Since times have changed and music has become more popular there is some music that just hits close to home, regardless of the genre there is a message that we can relate to. Music like reading can make you feel certain emotions, for example “Til It Happens To You” by Lady Gaga the lyrics have an impact, hearing the emotion behind the lyrics make the listener feel what the artist was feeling, not that poetry won’t make you feel that way, it’s different and probably a preference as well. Another example is ” Right Said Fred – I’m too Sexy” If you wake up feeling good and you listen to this song it will keep your confidence level high and your day that much better, it’s a personal hype song. Again reading things can give you the boost and confidence that you need, but with a song you can get up and dance and just shake your tail feather and sometimes that’s just all it takes to let out whatever it was that didn’t feel right or felt too right in the first place.

The second person:

Music is often based on poetry, just as poetry can be based on music. The interactions are based on rhythm, everything has rhythm. Both in poetry and music there is an expression, in poetry you want the reader to know how you feel, or what you think. You want to convey what you are feeling in poetry and it’s the same thing with music. Poetry and music are both pieces of writing that come from being original and there is a lot of creativity behind when twisting an ordinary idea. The beat behind music and it’s visual videos is a reason why music has become more popular than poetry. In society today people don’t have time to read but instead just listen to music and understand the meaning behind it that way. For example the song “Til It Happens To You” by Lady Gaga the lyrics has a strong emotional meaning behind it which makes the listener understand and feel what is happening. With poetry we can find it challenging to understand when it’s up to us to read but with music since there is already a tone and rhythm behind the artist voice, we pay more attention to what they are meaning.

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