I am forever fascinated by how people use the most basic parts of grammar to create something unique and pleasing to the eye. Whether it's a poem that touches a particular emotion or a story that transports you back to a time and place where adventure was the king and the mundane not allowed, or even something like a blog post that gives you that Ah-Ha! moment, they all leave the reader in a state of being that they forever long to stay in.
But what about those individuals that can take the most basic parts of grammar and add a little something called "the music scale" to the equation? Should we also consider them writers as well? Or just because they dabble mostly with whole/half/quarter/eighth/sixteenth notes, we consider them musicians first and writers never?
Ever since I got hooked into writing, or at the very least started to serious up about it some two years ago, I've looked at what I listen to for music in a completely different light. While I'll still listen to a particular song/c.d./album based on my personal criteria (good to excellent vocals and certain kinds of instrumental work), I've now added dissecting lyrics to the mix.
What I mean by "dissecting lyrics" is that instead of closely listening to them based on trying to figure out what the hell they're saying, I now try to see what kind of story (or stories) they're trying to tell.
If this sounds a little confusing, then perhaps these few examples may help clear things up.
1} California Blue/She's A Mystery To Me/The Comedians by Roy Orbison. This particular grouping can be found on his fantastic comeback c.d "Mystery Girl" (1989). What resonated with me with this particular trio of songs was that they were in essence one long story arc about love: as in love wanted, love found and love lost. "California Blue" told the story of a man who was out on the road, missing his true love and trying to get back home to her. "She's A Mystery To Me" continues the story, where we see the man has gotten home to his true love and has once again taken secure hold of his lifeline. "The Comedians" finishes the story of the man, who has taken his true love to the carnival and winds up being cruelly dumped by his true love for another.
2} Falling In And Out Of Love/Amie by Pure Prairie League. This has always been a pet peeve of mine with commercial radio, because they often play the second song without playing the first. Anyways, this coupling of songs comes from what I consider to be one of their finest albums called "Bustin' Out" (1972). "Falling In And Out Of Love" tells perhaps the story of the trials and tribulations of a long term relationship. "Amie" tells the story of taking another's love for granted and finding out the hard way of what the price can be for doing that.
3}Crashing Down/Long Way Around by Eagle-Eye Cherry. This one I'm not quite sure of as to what the stories might be of these songs. I originally found "Living In The Present Future" (2000) in the discount rack at FYE and since it was only a few dollars, I took a chance on it, and it does not disappoint. I thought I might have figured out what they were about, but in the end, they're two very fine songs, of which the second features vocals by his half-sister Nenah Cherry.
4}American Standard by Seven Mary Three. In my opinion, this entire c.d. tells one very dark depressing story from beginning to end. I've written about this particular c.d. here, but the first two tracks still stick out in my memory some fifteen years later as the creepiest songs I've ever listened to. "Cumbersome" works on a theme of the apocalypse (in my opinion) which was a continuation of a similiar depressing theme of the song "The Water's Edge".
So how 'bout you? Do you still listen to music in much the same way, or since you began writing and/or blogging, has the way you listen to music radically changed like mine?