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Old 12-20-2020, 12:37 PM
Mycroft Mycroft is offline
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To a degree you are comparing apples and oranges. Songs are generally short by nature, due in part to the attention span of the listener. Neither Shakespeare nor Yeats had that limitation: their works could be as long as they needed to be to say what was needed.

There is some skill to being able to convey your point in a short space. Dorothy Parker could say some awesome things in two sentences. Savvy Haiku?

Songwriters are also more limited by being restricted by the form of the song structure itself. I was listening to a dissection by Polyphonic on YT yesterday of the Blue Oyster Cult's "Don't Fear the Reaper," which has a couple lines that go something like "More than 40,000 coming every day, 40,000 men and women coming every day" implying that 40,000 people die every day, when it fact, even in 1976, it was far greater. But the songwriter, Buck Dharma, has said in an interview, that it was the number that he used because it had the right number of syllables to fit the scansion of the song.

Leonard Cohen was a poet before he was a songwriter. Many works of prose are no longer than many a song is. Consider Yeats "The Stolen Child," performed as a song by The Waterboys (with the blessing of the Yeats estate) It has 4 unique verses, each followed by a repeated chorus (for lack of a better word. I am sure it is called something else in poetry-speak)

There are many song lyrics that have the power to move the listener. Will they still do so over time? Ask this question in a hundred years.

Just my two Rupiah.

Last edited by Mycroft; 12-20-2020 at 12:43 PM.
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