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lirecordings

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  • Songwriting Collaboration
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    United States of America
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    Male

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  1. Eek. Why play music in front of people if you feel as if it's inadequate?
  2. Good points, John; I hadn't thought of the "topical" part of the scenario. I guess it comes from my own personal perspective, since 99.9% of the songs I write are able to be interpreted in a bunch of different ways, and I don't even know if any of them are right to ME. The meaning I take from my own songs can change day by day. That's why I write them.
  3. Here's the thing; I don't believe in the concept of lyrical meaning being right or wrong. If it means something in particular to the songwriter, than that's great. If the listener takes something entirely different from it, then that's what it it means to them; it's not wrong, it's just a personal interpretation. This is the magic of music and art. I'll add perhaps my favorite quote on the subject from David Lynch on why he doesn't explain his films:
  4. Hi folks, New to the site, and looking forward to digging into discussion. I'd like to pose a question that has been bothering me lately, and it comes down to trying to understand why people feel the need to explain or "set-up" their songs to the audience when performing. Let me present a scenario. Singer-songwriter X begins to randomly strum the opening chords of his/her song, and instead of launching into it, the voice-over begins: "I spent a year in Tulsa, and ohhhhh man was it hot - so hot that one night we opened up all the windows and let the bugs fly right in. This is a song about that." Then come the opening lyrics - "I saw your wings as you flew through the air / I couldn't help but to pause and to stare" (I'm making this up on the fly - get it - here, so...) This kind of thing happens more and more often I feel like - particularly with singer-songwriter/folkies that I see perform lately - and I have to say that I cringe harder and harder each and ever time. The above scenario can turn what might otherwise be a good song into something trite and contrived, IMO. Consider the lyrics in the above example. If the person didn't tell you that it was literally written about bugs flying in through their window, is that something your mind would immediately go to? It could be interpreted to be about a lover, an airplane in the sky...whatever. The point is that the mind naturally moves towards what is familiar and allows us to interpret art in ways that we understand as individuals. With this in mind, that same song could mean something entirely different to one person than it does to another, and when it is explained point-blank, the mystery and personalized experience for the listener is completely lost (unless they can relate to bugs flying in through their window and wanting to write a song about it). I understand the interest a musician might have in connecting with the audience and that this could be a potential vehicle for that, but in my opinion it is an insult to the listener. A song should stand on its own, and to feel the need to explain it is basically perpetuating the mindset that the listener is not intelligent or savvy enough to interpret it themselves. Isn't setting a mood with one's music enough? Ultimately, my question here comes down to this: Why do songwriters feel the need to explain or set-up a song, and what positive benefits actually come from this outside of the thrill of talking about one's self in front of an eager crowd?
  5. Welcome to the forums lirecordings :)

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