If you’re anything like me, there are songs that you love because of their lyrics; writers you admire because their songs have depth, meaning, or just a sheer playfulness that has nothing to do with the tunes.
So, today’s question?
- What songs … either specific songs, or songs in general by a specific group or writer … have words that you love?
- And … do the tunes that go with the fantastic lyrics live up to them?
You don’t have to restrict yourself to modern songsters, either … anyone who wants to pick Gilbert & Sullivan, for example, is just fine with me. Lerner & Loewe? Steven Sondheim? Barenaked Ladies? Fountains of Wayne? The Beatles? Anyone at all…
This is a great questions, I’m looking forward to reading what other have to say on the subject and hopefully be introduced to new songs and singers. There are a lot of fantastic songs out there it can be difficult to narrow down which song or songs to talk about but here’s a go at things.
When I first read the question the first name that sprung to my mind was Leonard Cohen. I really enjoy his music, and even enjoy it when he sings what he writes himself. Two works of his in particular have significant meaning because of both the lyrics and tune. The first was introduced to me in grade 9 English by my then teacher Mrs. Robinson (could you think of a better name for an English teacher?). She was a huge fan of Cohen and spread that excitement to several students in class. The tune she introduced us to was Democracy and I think one of the reasons I really love this song is because of fascination with politics and the song was performed by Cohen at Clinton’s inauguration. It’s a fantastic tune.
The other is of course Hallelujah. I find it difficult to pin point why I love this song, I think it has to do with the combination of tune and lyric. The combination make this a very powerful song. There are many different people that have recorded this song but I think it’s the Canadians that have done the best at it. Cohen’s of course is the ultimate recording, the simplicity is great and k.d. Lang also did a fantastic job of recording this song (but then all of Hymns of the 49th Parallel are superb).
I think I’ll leave my answer at that right now. I look forward to hear what you had to say. Until next time happy reading.