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Old 01-09-2021, 10:27 PM
aK_bAsh7 aK_bAsh7 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mc1 View Post
I like songs, and appreciate good lyrics. They can be powerful and meaningful, and the message is certainly enhanced by their musical and repetitive nature.

However, sometimes when people talk about Dylan or Cohen or whomever, I think they give them way too much credit. They aren't really in the same ballpark as Shakespeare or Yeats, but from some of the statements I read, it would appear that some think they are.

Songs are typically pretty short with lots of repeated sections. There just isn't much there, less that many nursery rhymes.

I'll end this post with the lyrics to Blowin' In the Wind.

How many roads must a man walk down
Before you call him a man?
How many seas must a white dove sail
Before she sleeps in the sand?
Yes, 'n' how many times must the cannon balls fly
Before they're forever banned?
The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind
The answer is blowin' in the wind

Yes, 'n' how many years can a mountain exist
Before it is washed to the sea?
Yes, 'n' how many years can some people exist
Before they're allowed to be free?
Yes, 'n' how many times can a man turn his head
And pretend that he just doesn't see?
The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind
The answer is blowin' in the wind

Yes, 'n' how many times must a man look up
Before he can see the sky?
Yes, 'n' how many ears must one man have
Before he can hear people cry?
Yes, 'n' how many deaths will it take 'til he knows
That too many people have died?
The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind
The answer is blowin' in the wind

Well, poetry and song lyrics are distinctly different genres, with partially overlapping but quite differing skill sets.

Seems to me it might make (somewhat) more sense to compare poetry written during the sixties to Dylan's lyrics.

To judge Dylan's lyrics as somehow inferior when simply read off the page compared to a master poet-- whether Yeats or someone active in the sixties-- is to ignore the fundamental and inescapable fact that Dylan's lyrics are meant to be sung-- you can't divorce them from their musical context and experience the full impact. To state the obvious, the songwriting craft is about more than words alone. It's the fusion of text and music that gives it its power. AS others have mentioned, you're comparing apples to oranges.

There are a lot of songs out there, by all kinds of songwriters. Why not simply listen to what you enjoy and allow others to do the same?

Last edited by aK_bAsh7; 01-09-2021 at 10:36 PM.
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