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Old 01-02-2021, 09:32 PM
nightchef nightchef is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Boston
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Great thread. As a songwriter who’s also delved somewhat into poetry (I did a master’s in medieval/Renaissance lit), I feel strongly that they are related but distinct arts. Song lyrics that work as poetry in isolation from the music are the exception. In a great song, the lyrics are inseparable from the music, and the impact of the work is not the sum but the product of the two. I’m thinking of songs like Robbie Robertson’s “It Makes No Difference,” Ray Davies’ “Waterloo Sunset”, Smokey Robinson’s “My Girl”, Brian Wilson’s “God Only Knows”, Joni Mitchell’s “River”.

Songwriters like these do not get more credit than they deserve — they are makers of some of the greatest art of their time. And they are (IMHO) more truly the inheritors of figures like Shakespeare and Mozart—popular artists who wrote for the enjoyment of ordinary people as well as aristocrats and scholars—than their contemporaries plying their trade in the worlds of academic music and poetry.
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