I was listening to Pandora the other day (which I love, by the way) and realized that many of the folk songs of the 60s are more like poetry than not. Anyway, I decided to feature some of my favorite "wow, this is poetry" music for a while, but I can't promise it will end up being a regular feature.
For example, if you didn't know any better, you could read the words to Simon and Garfunkel's music and think it was Beat poetry. Often, the rhythm isn't standardized and there is no rhyme scheme to speak of, which is in almost direct contrast to many of the songs that are hits today. (Taylor Swift, anyone?)
To try to make my point, check out the lyrics of "Blah Blah Blah" by KeSha (whose album Animal hit Billboard's number one spot in January):
Coming out your mouth with your blah, blah, blahZip your lips like a padlock and meet me at the backWith the jack and the jukebox
I don't really care where you live atJust turn around, boy, let me hit thatDon't be a little bitch with your chit chatJust show me where your dick's at
Music starts, listen hot stuffI'm in love with this songSo just hush, baby, shut upHeard enough
Stop, talk, talk, talking that blah, blah, blahThink you'll be getting this nah, nah, nahNot in the back of my car, ah, ahIf you keep talking that blah, blah, blah, blah, blah
Now check out the lyrics to "America," by Simon and Garfunkel. (Incidentally, I love the words even more than I like to listen to the song, which is why it is one of the 200 songs in my guitar play book.)
"Let us be lovers. We'll marry our fortunes together."I've got some real estate here in my bag."So we bought a pack of cigarettes and Mrs. Wagner piesAnd we walked off to look for America
"Kathy," I said as we boarded a Greyhound in Pittsburgh"Michigan seems like a dream to me now."It took me four days to hitchhike from SaginawI've gone to look for America
Laughing on the busPlaying games with the facesShe said the man in the gabardine suit was a spy.I said, "Be careful his bowtie is really a camera"
"Toss me a cigarette, I think there's one in my raincoat.""We smoked the last one an hour ago."So I looked at the scenery, she read her magazineAnd the moon rose over an open field
"Kathy, I'm lost," I said, though I knew she was sleeping"I'm empty and aching and I don't know why."Counting the cars on the New Jersey TurnpikeThey've all gone to look for America.
I rest my case. (By the way, it might not be fair to compare Simon and Garfunkel, of "Sound of Silence" and "Mrs. Robinson" fame with a girl who performed "Tik Tok," but I really do want my point to be absolutely obvious, here. Music can be meaningful, but it too often isn't.)