A moo point, basically …

Arbit/ Random

Posts Tagged ‘lyrics

The anatomy of a song

with 6 comments

a.k.a. A confession about how I typically listen to music

The song below (Otherside, Red Hot Chili Peppers) is an excellent song. I must have listened to it quite a few times, quite often in a loop.

It might come as a bit of a shock then (well, at least a mild surprise) that I don’t really know the lyrics to the song. Sure, I know the ‘how long how loooong will I fly …’ or ‘… take it on the other side’ portions. But that’s more or less the extent of my lyrical eloquence. Besides, to be honest, I’m quite sure the song will be about one/more/all of the following –

Angst/ drugs/ Rock-n-Roll/ Chillin’ (or killin’) like a villain/ More dope/ Suicide/ Broken hearts/ Kinky stuff. Pretty much like most RHCP songs, I guess. So, drawing wisdom from the song where it says somewhere in the middle – ‘… Once you know you can never go back …’ – I’ll take my chances and stick with ignorance.

I will, however, claim to be quite well placed to identify pretty much every note, every drum change, every cymbal beat and probably every instrument used in the song. Try waking me up and going ‘aaaaaaaa … aaaaaaa … aaaaaa’ like the guys in the background do towards the end, and I’ll recognize the song. Unless I’m really pissed or if you’re an exceptionally bad singer – then, all bets are off.

The way the bass guitar is used to not just give the song some volume (of the mass x density or the nice-bouncy-hair type) but also to give it direction by making its presence felt without grabbing too much attention. I invariably like songs which do  justice to the bass guitar, in fact. Case and point – With or without You, U2.

Then there’s the way each stanza builds up to a crescendo, with more instruments and then the harmony/chorus all combining quite nicely. The way the opening notes keep persisting through the whole song. That’s what I end up humming every time – the opening notes (twang, twang twing twing …) or the wailing mentioned previously in the context of a challenge. This does end up irritating people in my vicinity (when I do the humming bit), but whatcha’ gonna do ’bout it? Every time the song ends, I resolve to pay attention to the lyrics the next time.

And it’s not just this song – every rock song that I like is a song whose lyrics I probably never know- I end up humming/ murmuring something which is at most phonetically similar to the actual lyrics (or at least in meter). Contrast this with Hindi film songs or any ‘Pop’ song, and I usually get the lyrics the first time. Unless it’s a Himes songs, ’cause then I don’t need to listen to the song at all – a glance at the song title gives away half the lyrics right away.

Is it because my grasp of the English language is poor? Maybe. Consistent poor performance in CAT Verbal Ability tests do point in that direction.

Is it because my grasp of the English rock language is poor? Quite likely.

Is it because Hindi film songs have less intricate music and/or better lyrics vis-a-vis English rock? Highly unlikely. At the risk of offending purists, though, I will say that the two are fairly on par.

Is it really that important? Moooo

Written by sujaybedekar

March 30, 2010 at 3:47 am

If only I was Nine

with 2 comments

Some folks write poems on their blogs, which is all quite nice I agree

Some manage to make them rhyme, which is better to a certain degree

Some even convey a message, which gives them a different pedigree.

But some simply copy-paste other lyrics, which is just plain wrong. Tree. (the rhyme ended on the previous line, hence the full stop there)

It doesn’t matter how relevant the poem might seem – if you have had a few drinks inside of you, be it FLoyd/ U2/ Nirvana/ Denver/ Pearl Jam – they all will make like ‘Whoa! Total Sense!’. Or a poem like Square root of Three (lyrics here) from the movie Harold & Kumar Get Arrested and Smoke Dope – that is funny (in a too-geeky-way-to-admit) no matter what the situation.

On a different note, here’s a poem (Kipling’s, they tell me) I read at the Wimbledon Tennis Museum in London which just got stuck somewhere –

IF you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
‘ Or walk with Kings – nor lose the common touch,
if neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man, my son!

Now, although the correlation between Tennis and this poem is kind of stretching things a bit, I totally think this poem is like awesome. It’s kind of like ‘Fix You’ by Coldplay but even better lyrics. And it rhymes too.

I could swear I had a point to this post though.

Written by sujaybedekar

October 18, 2008 at 3:39 am