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How Important are lyrics to you in Prog music

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Printed Date: December 19 2014 at 02:18
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Topic: How Important are lyrics to you in Prog music
Posted By: SteveG
Subject: How Important are lyrics to you in Prog music
Date Posted: July 23 2014 at 09:10





Song lyrics tell the story, or at  least try to. How important are lyrics to you in prog music and more importantly, how do you feel about the lyrical abilites of your favorite still active prog artists such as Steven Wilson, Dream Theater, Marillion, Panic Room, Gazpacho, Opeth, Tool, Yes and all?









Replies:
Posted By: Mind_Drive
Date Posted: July 23 2014 at 09:45
for me lyrics are the least important thing in any music - therefore i can´t stand singer-songwriter only focussing on "cool lyrics" with their music being uber boring

i never pay attention to lyrics so i don´t understand them although i think my understanding from hearing english spoken words is not too bad.. i just somehow blank out the meaning of the words.

some lyrics of course reach me but most of the time im disappointed because the words just dont do justice to the music
it feels like comparing an ocean with its endlessly floating unique waves to a little ship thats.. just a ship.. trying to give meaning to the ocean. through this lousy analogy you maybe can tell, that words just dont do it for me LOL

i am glad that i dont pay attention to most english lyrics because they often tend to disenchant the songs for me..
the voice of the singers is a very nice instrument playing in very different styles and adding nice atmospheres

but i guess im in a minority with this approach


-------------
If god is a DJ,
Life is the Dancefloor,
Love is the Rhythm
and you are the MUSIC!


Posted By: Xonty
Date Posted: July 23 2014 at 10:02
On the whole, lyrics are more difficult than music. There's only 12 notes but over a million words, and finding the right combination and something that's very emotional or intriguing is much harder IMO. Therefore, I can appreciate them more (being a wannabe progressive songwriter myself) which means I like them just as much, if not more than the music in some cases. I never really understood Marillion on the first few listens, and found them dull because the lyrics are very intricate on something like "Script For A Jester's Tear", and much less accessible than other acts. Over time though, I got more into it as I interpreted the lyrics and got to know them. Steven Wilson has some pretty great lyrical moments, but not a fan on the whole. Tool, Opeth, and other heavier bands don't really do much for me either, but Dream Theater's "Scenes From A Memory" is brilliantly narrated. Obviously those lyrics are essential to telling the concept and are just as important as the music


Posted By: MothTwiceborn
Date Posted: July 23 2014 at 10:29
As a lyricist, if I've learned one thing, it's that people don't listen to the bleedin' words :-)


Posted By: Nogbad_The_Bad
Date Posted: July 23 2014 at 12:48
Zero importance, I tend to listen to instrumental & lyrics in languages I don't understand. Of the many bands I like with English lyrics the lyrics are the most important thing in very very few, if any.

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Ian

Anyone who thinks Kansas is Prog get out of the room - Adolf Hitler



Posted By: zravkapt
Date Posted: July 23 2014 at 12:53
Originally posted by Mind_Drive Mind_Drive wrote:

for me lyrics are the least important thing in any music 

This. To me vocals are just another imstrument; how the words are sung are more important to me than what is being said.


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"We don't know a millionth of one percent about anything" - Thomas Edison


Posted By: SteveG
Date Posted: July 23 2014 at 13:29
From my point of view, lyrics have to at least set the tone for some kind of narrative, theme or feeling for the music. Recently I've been listening to extreme prog metalers Cynic's album Kindly Bent To Free US. Singer/guitarist Paul Masvidal's lyrics reflect his eastern spiritual beliefs such as the defeating of one's own ego in order to obtain spiritual enlightenment. However, Masvidal, I believe, wrote lyrics to this effect in a menacing sounding song from the album titled Holy Fallout, which to me sounds like a tech metal 'Armageddon'. I'm not interested in the real meaning behind the lyrics as they work well with the menacing music and his serious delivery. So sometimes it's not what you say in music that counts but how you say it.


Posted By: addictedtoprog
Date Posted: July 23 2014 at 13:35
To me lyrics are quite important...but then sometimes (all of extreme metal except Opeth)i just don't feel any need to pay attention to the lyrics..
John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Steven Wilson, Fish, Michael Stipe, Mikael Akerfeldt, Daniel Gildenlöw, Thom Yorke etc are some of my favourite lyricists..


Posted By: Toaster Mantis
Date Posted: July 23 2014 at 13:47
Depends on the artist in question and their signature style. With some groups like Hawkwind and Jethro Tull, the lyrics are a main part of a unified aesthetic concept behind their music along with the visual aesthetics. In the case of people like Zappa and Beefheart, the entire music seems to take place entirely inside the songwriter's own mental universe and the idiosyncratic if often goofy lyrics are part of that.

Then there's other groups where the lyrics work more as "scene-setting" than anything else, where I don't pay that much attention because more of the themes are being communicated through the instrumental parts. Much of Yes' output falls into this category I'll say, and to some extent King Crimson too.


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"I will pause to consider this eternity from which the subsequent ones derive." - Jorge Luis Borges


Posted By: The Doctor
Date Posted: July 23 2014 at 13:47
Lyrics are very important to me, at least those albums/artists who have lyrics and the lyrics are in a language I can understand (love instrumental music, Zeuhl and RPI, so in those cases, if there are vocals I just listen to them as if they were another instrument).

Otherwise, I think good lyrics can greatly enhance good music and bad lyrics can certainly distract from and diminish the effects of good music. Some of my favorite prog lyricists are Peter Hammill, Neil Peart, Roger Waters and Fish. Of the newer lyricists, I liked Neal Morse before he went all "Jesus Loves You", Roine Stolt has some good stuff, Phideaux is one of my favorites and I find Andy Tillison's lyrics to be quite good, mostly.

As for Yes, some of the lyrics are quite good, but some of the lyrics, even though the words are in English they fall in the category of lyrics in a language I don't understand, and so I consider those vocals to be another instrument (I think often this was Jon's intent - "A seasoned witch could call you from the depths of your disgrace and rearrange your liver..." and so forth). I should mention too that I like h's lyrics for Marillion as they are quite good, but not quite as poetic as his predecessor's.

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I can understand your anger at me, but what did the horse I rode in on ever do to you?


Posted By: SteveG
Date Posted: July 23 2014 at 13:56
^'before he went all Jesus loves you'   Your posts are always insightful with a kick, Doc!


Posted By: addictedtoprog
Date Posted: July 23 2014 at 14:01
Originally posted by The Doctor The Doctor wrote:

Lyrics are very important to me, at least those albums/artists who have lyrics and the lyrics are in a language I can understand (love instrumental music, Zeuhl and RPI, so in those cases, if there are vocals I just listen to them as if they were another instrument).

Otherwise, I think good lyrics can greatly enhance good music and bad lyrics can certainly distract from and diminish the effects of good music. Some of my favorite prog lyricists are Peter Hammill, Neil Peart, Roger Waters and Fish. Of the newer lyricists, I liked Neal Morse before he went all "Jesus Loves You", Roine Stolt has some good stuff, Phideaux is one of my favorites and I find Andy Tillison's lyrics to be quite good, mostly.

As for Yes, some of the lyrics are quite good, but some of the lyrics, even though the words are in English they fall in the category of lyrics in a language I don't understand, and so I consider those vocals to be another instrument (I think often this was Jon's intent - "A seasoned witch could call you from the depths of your disgrace and rearrange your liver..." and so forth). I should mention too that I like h's lyrics for Marillion as they are quite good, but not quite as poetic as his predecessor's.

Doc you Rock


Posted By: Toaster Mantis
Date Posted: July 23 2014 at 14:03
I gotta admit that with Yes the lyrics are something to get used to. At first they read like the aftermath of an explosion in a New Age bookstore, and it might be a reason I don't listen to them that often.


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"I will pause to consider this eternity from which the subsequent ones derive." - Jorge Luis Borges


Posted By: SteveG
Date Posted: July 23 2014 at 14:05
Originally posted by Toaster Mantis Toaster Mantis wrote:

I gotta admit that with Yes the lyrics are something to get used to. At first they read like the aftermath of an explosion in a New Age bookstore, and it might be a reason I don't listen to them that often.
I don't listen to Yes lyrics. Period. Just vocals as an instrument. (I'm silly like that )


Posted By: Kirillov
Date Posted: July 23 2014 at 14:16
Low priority for me. I enjoy listening to PFM in Italian but can't understand a word. The words sound nice though.


Posted By: Dean
Date Posted: July 23 2014 at 14:33
They're just a vehicle for a lovely voice

You could say it depends upon the artist, 
But then again it probably doesn't,
While we heap praise on those vocalist,
Trying to decide who is the smartest
Of those who can turn a pen 
To a half decent lyric and then,
Here is the twist,
We'd probably like them just as much,
If they sang alternate pages 
Of Stockholm phone book 
Backwards... 
....in Swahili...
....or double-D-Dutch. 
[did he just sing double de-clutch?]

Never mind the content, feel the delivery,
(Oooo-whu-oooo, ooo-whe-ooo),
Never mind I'm content to feel your misery,
(Oooo-whu-oooo, ooo-whe-ooo oh),
As you try to decipher this lyrical wizardry,
So how long is a piece of string?
Stringy-stringy-str - ing ing ing,
(Oooo-whu-oooo, ooo-whe-ooo),
Stringy-stringy-str - ing string.

While most Prog lyrics aren't quite as bad
As we kid ourselves they are,
When we listen to them while driving a car, 
They're not exactly art liter-at-char, 
[But then what Rock, Pop or Folk lyrics ever are?]
They're just a sound to carry a tune,
To give the voice something to sing or croon,
As the singer dances around the room,
Are they supposed to mean that much?
Having a well written lyric is merely 
The icing upon the cake...

The icing on the ca-a-e-a-e-a-e-ake ka-ka
Cakey-cakey-ca-key ca-a-ake.
(Oooo-whu-oooo, ooo-whe-ooo),
And if it deems to make 
Some form of sense, 
If that doesn't seem dense,
Then that's the cherry on top of the cake
With maybe some sprinkles of course 
And a drizzle of chocolate sauce.
If you're that way inclined.
'cos
That's icing on the ca-a-ake ka-ka-ka
Cakey-cakey-ca-key ca-a-ake.
(Oooo-whu-oooo, ooo-whe-ooo),


But I cannot imagine 
That many of us here,
Would rush out an buy 
A book of poetry and verse 
Written by any Prog lyricist 
For better or worst,
Even if we may be tempted 
By their autobiography,
Or book on ancient mythology, 
Or maybe even a novel or two
If they had written one
Hang on that can't be right...
...A novel or two if they'd written a few
Staying up all night, 
Analysing the words for sense within it,
Are they supposed to mean anything under the moon?
Looking for meaning where none had been writ,
We paid the piper but he called the tune
And it all sounds like a big heap of ...

Icing on the ca-a-e-a-e-a-e-ake ka-ka
Cakey-cakey-ca-key ca-a-ake.
(Oooo-whu-oooo, ooo-whe-ooo),
Prog lyrics aren't quite as bad
As we kid ourselves they a-a-a-are 
(Oooo-whu-oooo, ooo-whe-ooo),

So maybe it's all made up 
As we sing along,
With no planning or forethought
Contained in this song
A stream of non-sense-ness,
Improvising lyrics with no idea where they'll run trying to fit words to the solo bass drum and the bass player who's too stoned just to strum for being drowned out by the over-loud keyboardist who is the sound mixer's chum while the vocalist forgets to breath in the right place I confess, 
This has all turned into a bit of a mess
So while I try to work
Out where this went all wrong...
... I think it's time for a middle-eight or maybe six 
so I can take a breather and try to redress 
the phrasing of this song
there's a garble of words I need to fix
Oh bugger I've lost the rhythm.

While most Prog lyrics aren't quite as bad
As we kid ourselves they are,
(Oooo-whu-oooo, ooo-whe-ooo),
Some are really bad
But only if we can hear them above the din,
Of the guitarist with his mesa boogie plugged in,
Then that's bonus we can all revel in,
Guessing words only to relieve the tension,
Passing winds that wind far away into the *mumbles*
As we pan from left to right, we mishear the tonal mess refrain.

...or was that just a passing train,
Or a cat that's left out in the rain,
Oh go on let it in...
I suppose we really can't complain
At least it's not a condescending lyric by Sting

Stingy-stingy-st - ing ing ing,
(Oooo-whu-oooo, ooo-whe-ooo),
Stingy-stingy-st - ing Sting.





(with apologies to Paul Draper and Jon Anderson, but not Sting)


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If you cannot be wise, pretend to be someone who is wise and then just behave like they would - Neil Gaiman


Posted By: SteveG
Date Posted: July 23 2014 at 14:42
^Sheeessh, Dean. Mansun wasn't prog!


Posted By: CosmicVibration
Date Posted: July 23 2014 at 14:56
Originally posted by SteveG SteveG wrote:

Originally posted by Toaster Mantis Toaster Mantis wrote:

I gotta admit that with Yes the lyrics are something to get used to. At first they read like the aftermath of an explosion in a New Age bookstore, and it might be a reason I don't listen to them that often.
I don't listen to Yes lyrics. Period. Just vocals as an instrument. (I'm silly like that )


 

I do the same thing with Magma…  with good reason.

I fully enjoy Yes lyrics, they definitely resonate with me.  I just wonder how much of writings that I think I understand is the actual idea portrayed.  After many listen’s I still get a sense of wonderment.

There’s just so many times you can muse over fairy tale lyrics.  Aka Genesis…




Posted By: rushfan4
Date Posted: July 23 2014 at 15:10
Good lyrics make an album/song better.  Bad lyrics make an album/song worse. 

When listening casually, which sadly seems most of the time, than it is more the sonic of the vocals than anything else when it comes to the listening experience.  When listening intently, the lyrics mean more to me, and if they are good it enhances the listening experience and if they are bad they can kill the listening experience.  On the rare occasion that I review an album, I will generally sit down with the lyric book open and give the album an intense listen while reading along.  I do find there to be many nonsense lyrics out there, and they do have a negative effect on me, but if the lyrics are really good and have a good meaning than they can definitely upgrade an album's rating for me.

I'm not really a big fan of Peter Sinfield's lyrics with King Crimson, as I find them to be mostly nonsense; which may be one reason I don't hold them in as high of esteem as many of my PA prog colleagues.  Frank Zappa's lyrics are mostly a turn-off for me, which makes it hard for me to listen to him.  And Genesis' lyrics are distinctly British, and therefore make no sense to me.  And I am sorry, but a concept album that includes severed penises and whatnot, really loses something for me. 


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Posted By: SteveG
Date Posted: July 23 2014 at 15:13
^And who said prog lyrics are silly?


Posted By: 33rpm
Date Posted: July 23 2014 at 15:20
For me the lyrics are not so important. I can't tell you how many songs I can sing along with and still not know what it is about. I always thought that was strange, but following the posts I see that it is not all that strange at all. Good to know. I can now stop my therapy!

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Vinyl just sounds better!!



Posted By: SteveG
Date Posted: July 23 2014 at 15:35
Originally posted by 33rpm 33rpm wrote:

For me the lyrics are not so important. I can't tell you how many songs I can sing along with and still not know what it is about. I always thought that was strange, but following the posts I see that it is not all that strange at all. Good to know. I can now stop my therapy!



Posted By: Gerinski
Date Posted: July 23 2014 at 15:38
They are by far the least important, the proof is that I like many Neal Morse's albums LOL

Having said that, a nice lyrical content surely gives extra points. It can be the whole lyrical story but sometimes just a short sentence can be nice and give you a smile or a deeper thought. One that just came to my mind from recent albums is from Moon Safari's Diamonds (Himlabacken album): "Tell me what more is a diamond son, than a stone in the blind man's hand".
I think too I probably have some diamonds in me but both myself and all the other people are apparently totally blind LOL



Posted By: SteveG
Date Posted: July 23 2014 at 15:43
^Word.


Posted By: dr wu23
Date Posted: July 23 2014 at 15:54
Doc's post on page one is right on the money .
For me lyrics are important.....but I won't ignore an album of good music if the lyrics are weak, but well written words definitely enhance my love for a particular band or album.


-------------
Et In Arcadia Ego


Posted By: Dayvenkirq
Date Posted: July 23 2014 at 15:54
Originally posted by SteveG SteveG wrote:

Song lyrics tell the story, or at least try to. How important are lyrics to you in prog music and more importantly, how do you feel about the lyrical abilities of your favorite still active prog artists such as Steven Wilson, Dream Theater, Marillion, Panic Room, Gazpacho, Opeth, Tool, Yes and all?
Not that important to me, really. If the music in a song isn't that interesting, then I probably won't care about the words either. If the music is interesting, then I might consider reading the lyrics on the Internet. The only way to get me interested in what you have to say is if I watch a documentary on the album where the background behind the work is revealed, and that background story is interesting and the lyrics are strong and convincing. I don't really feel like lowering my standards, especially since I'm a songwriter too. I want to learn something from you as a writer.

-------------
"People tell you life is short. ... No, it's not. Life is long. Especially if you make the wrong decisions." - Chris Rock


Posted By: SteveG
Date Posted: July 23 2014 at 15:58
Originally posted by Dayvenkirq Dayvenkirq wrote:



Originally posted by SteveG SteveG wrote:






Song lyrics tell the story, or at least try to. How important are lyrics to you in prog music and more importantly, how do you feel about the lyrical abilities of your favorite still active prog artists such as Steven Wilson, Dream Theater, Marillion, Panic Room, Gazpacho, Opeth, Tool, Yes and all?






Not that important to me, really. If the music in a song isn't that interesting, then I probably won't care about the words either. If the music is interesting, then I might consider reading the lyrics on the Internet. The only way to get me interested in what you have to say is if I watch a documentary on the album where the background behind the work is revealed, and that background story is interesting and the lyrics are strong and convincing. I don't really feel like lowering my standards, especially since I'm a songwriter too. I want to learn something from you as a writer.
Strange, I know many songwriters and they seem over scrutinize other peoples lyrics at times. Why so blasé?


Posted By: uvtraveler
Date Posted: July 23 2014 at 16:01
Originally posted by Toaster Mantis Toaster Mantis wrote:

Depends on the artist in question and their signature style. With some groups like Hawkwind and Jethro Tull, the lyrics are a main part of a unified aesthetic concept behind their music along with the visual aesthetics. In the case of people like Zappa and Beefheart, the entire music seems to take place entirely inside the songwriter's own mental universe and the idiosyncratic if often goofy lyrics are part of that.

Then there's other groups where the lyrics work more as "scene-setting" than anything else, where I don't pay that much attention because more of the themes are being communicated through the instrumental parts. Much of Yes' output falls into this category I'll say, and to some extent King Crimson too.


I agree with Toaster Mantis....To add on, I prefer to have lyrics that are well conceived,  but I don't expect them for a lot of artists.


Posted By: bloodnarfer
Date Posted: July 23 2014 at 16:09
Unless the lyrics are overtly cheesy/cliche and distract from the experience I don't really care.  Like Dayvenkirq said, if I really enjoy a song or an album I will look up the lyrics.  I guess they can ruin the song at worst and be a nice bonus at best.  They aren't that important to me.

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http://www.last.fm/user/ramza1316" rel="nofollow - http://www.last.fm/user/ramza1316


Posted By: Dayvenkirq
Date Posted: July 23 2014 at 17:47
Originally posted by SteveG SteveG wrote:

Originally posted by Dayvenkirq Dayvenkirq wrote:

Originally posted by SteveG SteveG wrote:

Song lyrics tell the story, or at least try to. How important are lyrics to you in prog music and more importantly, how do you feel about the lyrical abilities of your favorite still active prog artists such as Steven Wilson, Dream Theater, Marillion, Panic Room, Gazpacho, Opeth, Tool, Yes and all?
Not that important to me, really. If the music in a song isn't that interesting, then I probably won't care about the words either. If the music is interesting, then I might consider reading the lyrics on the Internet. The only way to get me interested in what you have to say is if I watch a documentary on the album where the background behind the work is revealed, and that background story is interesting and the lyrics are strong and convincing. I don't really feel like lowering my standards, especially since I'm a songwriter too. I want to learn something from you as a writer.
Strange, I know many songwriters and they seem over-scrutinize other peoples lyrics at times. Why so blasé?
1. I don't know what excessive scrutiny is and what it has to do with the topic.

2. a) "Why so blasé?" A lot of the lyrical work I heard in music is either preachy, smug, overly cryptic, or abstract (written about nothing in particular). The abstract element I hear frequently in prog. Some people write how they feel about things no one can fix. It is my belief that we have a shortage of good lyricists.

2. b) On other occasions some people write about things that just don't resonate with me. For example, "Get 'Em Out By Friday". I don't know jack about real estate. It's a boring subject, and I just don't care for Peter's scenario founded on it. The subject matter needs someone to breath life into it.


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"People tell you life is short. ... No, it's not. Life is long. Especially if you make the wrong decisions." - Chris Rock


Posted By: Dayvenkirq
Date Posted: July 23 2014 at 17:53
Originally posted by bloodnarfer bloodnarfer wrote:

Unless If the lyrics are overtly cheesy/cliche and distract from the experience I don't really care.
I believe that's what you meant. Wink

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"People tell you life is short. ... No, it's not. Life is long. Especially if you make the wrong decisions." - Chris Rock


Posted By: The Doctor
Date Posted: July 23 2014 at 18:12
Originally posted by Dayvenkirq Dayvenkirq wrote:

Originally posted by bloodnarfer bloodnarfer wrote:

Unless If the lyrics are overtly cheesy/cliche and distract from the experience I don't really care.
I believe that's what you meant. Wink


Unless (and I mean unless, not if) he meant the exact opposite of what he wrote, I do believe "unless" is the correct word there.   You don't teach English by chance, do you?  Tongue


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I can understand your anger at me, but what did the horse I rode in on ever do to you?


Posted By: SteveG
Date Posted: July 23 2014 at 18:23
Originally posted by Dayvenkirq Dayvenkirq wrote:

Originally posted by SteveG SteveG wrote:

Originally posted by Dayvenkirq Dayvenkirq wrote:

Originally posted by SteveG SteveG wrote:

Song lyrics tell the story, or at least try to. How important are lyrics to you in prog music and more importantly, how do you feel about the lyrical abilities of your favorite still active prog artists such as Steven Wilson, Dream Theater, Marillion, Panic Room, Gazpacho, Opeth, Tool, Yes and all?
Not that important to me, really. If the music in a song isn't that interesting, then I probably won't care about the words either. If the music is interesting, then I might consider reading the lyrics on the Internet. The only way to get me interested in what you have to say is if I watch a documentary on the album where the background behind the work is revealed, and that background story is interesting and the lyrics are strong and convincing. I don't really feel like lowering my standards, especially since I'm a songwriter too. I want to learn something from you as a writer.
Strange, I know many songwriters and they seem over-scrutinize other peoples lyrics at times. Why so blasé?
1. I don't know what excessive scrutiny is and what it has to do with the topic.

2. a) "Why so blasé?" A lot of the lyrical work I heard in music is either preachy, smug, overly cryptic, or abstract (written about nothing in particular). The abstract element I hear frequently in prog. Some people write how they feel about things no one can fix. It is my belief that we have a shortage of good lyricists.

2. b) On other occasions some people write about things that just don't resonate with me. For example, "Get 'Em Out By Friday". I don't know jack about real estate. It's a boring subject, and I just don't care for Peter's scenario founded on it. The subject matter needs someone to breath life into it.
D, did anyone tell you that the best songwriters use the least words?


Posted By: Dayvenkirq
Date Posted: July 23 2014 at 18:25
^ Got anything to back up that theory? Just because someone said it, that doesn't mean it's true.

Originally posted by The Doctor The Doctor wrote:

Originally posted by Dayvenkirq Dayvenkirq wrote:

Originally posted by bloodnarfer bloodnarfer wrote:

Unless If the lyrics are overtly cheesy/cliche and distract from the experience I don't really care.
I believe that's what you meant. Wink
Unless (and I mean unless, not if) he meant the exact opposite of what he wrote, I do believe "unless" is the correct word there.   You don't teach English by chance, do you?  Tongue
I don't believe cheesy/cliche is bloodnarfer's preference (but if it is, then ... WTF?!). But if you meant that as a joke, then I'm sorry I blew it for ya.

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"People tell you life is short. ... No, it's not. Life is long. Especially if you make the wrong decisions." - Chris Rock


Posted By: The Doctor
Date Posted: July 23 2014 at 18:40
Caring can be a negative as well as a positive.  "If the lyrics are cheesy/cliche then it makes the experience bad.  But if the lyrics are not cheesy/cliche then I don't care."  The appropriate word there is "unless" in the sentence bloodnarfer wrote.  Wink

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I can understand your anger at me, but what did the horse I rode in on ever do to you?


Posted By: Dayvenkirq
Date Posted: July 23 2014 at 18:45
^ That's the first time I hear of such use of the word "unless". I always thought of it as a conjunction that separates the preferable from not preferable.

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"People tell you life is short. ... No, it's not. Life is long. Especially if you make the wrong decisions." - Chris Rock


Posted By: The Doctor
Date Posted: July 23 2014 at 18:52
unless = except in the circumstances that.  Or an easier way to think of unless is as "if....not".  If the lyrics are good, I like the song.  If the lyrics are bad I do not like the song.  That can be shortened to one sentence: "Unless the lyrics are bad, I like the song."

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I can understand your anger at me, but what did the horse I rode in on ever do to you?


Posted By: SteveG
Date Posted: July 23 2014 at 18:57
Let me throw this out before I  pack it in. What makes a GOOD lyricist?


Posted By: Dean
Date Posted: July 23 2014 at 19:20
Originally posted by The Doctor The Doctor wrote:

unless = except in the circumstances that.  Or an easier way to think of unless is as "if....not".  If the lyrics are good, I like the song.  If the lyrics are bad I do not like the song.  That can be shortened to one sentence: "Unless the lyrics are bad, I like the song."
Unless I'm mistaken Chester is absolutely correct.


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If you cannot be wise, pretend to be someone who is wise and then just behave like they would - Neil Gaiman


Posted By: Dayvenkirq
Date Posted: July 23 2014 at 19:44
Originally posted by The Doctor The Doctor wrote:

unless = except in the circumstances that.  Or an easier way to think of unless is as "if....not".  If the lyrics are good, I like the song.  If the lyrics are bad I do not like the song.  That can be shortened to one sentence: "Unless the lyrics are bad, I like the song."
Yeah, ... so when he says ...
Originally posted by bloodnarfer bloodnarfer wrote:

Unless the lyrics are overtly cheesy/cliche and distract from the experience I don't really care.
... that's another way of saying "I don't really care for the song except in the circumstances when the lyrics are cheesy/cliche and distract from the experience", which still sounds unusual to me.

.
.
.

Originally posted by SteveG SteveG wrote:

Let me throw this out before I pack it in. What makes a GOOD lyricist?
Isn't your ability to think critically enough? You want a whole science on your hands. You can make a list of do's and don'ts and give advice, but in the end it still might come off sketchy. The basic idea here is this: follow your instincts but see to it that the listener doesn't get you wrong on anything. I don't believe that your style has to be totally built around what you want people to hear. You are not the only judge. I once auditioned for a metal band (what a stupid f$%king idea), and their wordsmith wanted to write a song about a rock-n'-roll prison. And, oh yeah, he listens to Avenged Sevenfold.

How do you help a person raise his standards, make him agree with you ? ... Go figure.


-------------
"People tell you life is short. ... No, it's not. Life is long. Especially if you make the wrong decisions." - Chris Rock


Posted By: rogerthat
Date Posted: July 23 2014 at 20:06
As Doc said, caring can have a negative connotation.  bloodnarfer meant he wouldn't care, as in he would be indifferent UNLESS the lyrics were overly cheesy and DISTRACTED from the overall experience.  In fact, had he said, "IF the lyrics distracted from the overall experience, I don't care", it wouldn't make sense.


Posted By: Dayvenkirq
Date Posted: July 23 2014 at 20:13
^ Odd ... but I'll keep that in mind.

@ SteveG: I see this thread, http://www.progarchives.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=99028&PID=5020696" rel="nofollow - the "Singers: ..." thread , and http://www.progarchives.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=94956&KW=assoc&PN=13" rel="nofollow - the "Songwriters" thread on this forum to be connected. I'd recommend you to go to the third one (the last three pages) if you want answers.


-------------
"People tell you life is short. ... No, it's not. Life is long. Especially if you make the wrong decisions." - Chris Rock


Posted By: Dean
Date Posted: July 23 2014 at 20:18
Originally posted by Dayvenkirq Dayvenkirq wrote:

Originally posted by The Doctor The Doctor wrote:

unless = except in the circumstances that.  Or an easier way to think of unless is as "if....not".  If the lyrics are good, I like the song.  If the lyrics are bad I do not like the song.  That can be shortened to one sentence: "Unless the lyrics are bad, I like the song."
Yeah, ... so when he says ...
Originally posted by bloodnarfer bloodnarfer wrote:

Unless the lyrics are overtly cheesy/cliche and distract from the experience I don't really care.
... that's another way of saying "I don't really care for the song except in the circumstances when the lyrics are cheesy/cliche and distract from the experience", which still sounds unusual to me.
Unusual and still wrong. Or it stills sounds unusual because it is still wrong. You have not correctly paraphrased Ryan or Chester, so again you have inverted the original meaning.

The problem you are experiencing is due to Ryan's comment being incomplete and you are presuming the missing ending incorrectly. 

"Unless the lyrics are overtly cheesy/cliche and distract from the experience I don't really care."

He is not saying he "doesn't care for the song", he is saying he "doesn't care what the lyrics are"


/edit: The lyrics are the subject of the sentence you can show that by rearranging Ryan's sentence:

"I don't really care what the lyrics are unless they are overtly cheesy/cliché[d] and distract from the experience" 

Another way of looking at it is to substitute "care" for the synonym "mind" 

"Unless the lyrics are overtly cheesy/cliché[d] and distract from the experience I don't really mind."

or 

"I don't really mind the lyrics unless they are unless they are overtly cheesy/cliché[d] and distract from the experience"


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If you cannot be wise, pretend to be someone who is wise and then just behave like they would - Neil Gaiman


Posted By: The Doctor
Date Posted: July 23 2014 at 21:10
I think you explained it better than I did, Dean.  Thanks.  And uh, Steve, sorry for hijacking the thread man, it was not my intent.  But, for 30 large, I will return the thread to you safe and sound.  Wink

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I can understand your anger at me, but what did the horse I rode in on ever do to you?


Posted By: Dayvenkirq
Date Posted: July 23 2014 at 21:16
^ Yep, Dean actually laid it down very well.

Like I was saying, ...
Originally posted by Dayvenkirq Dayvenkirq wrote:

@ SteveG: I see this thread, http://www.progarchives.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=99028&PID=5020696" rel="nofollow - the "Singers: ..." thread , and http://www.progarchives.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=94956&KW=assoc&PN=13" rel="nofollow - the "Songwriters" thread on this forum to be connected. I'd recommend you to go to the third one (the last three pages) if you want answers.


-------------
"People tell you life is short. ... No, it's not. Life is long. Especially if you make the wrong decisions." - Chris Rock


Posted By: Finnforest
Date Posted: July 23 2014 at 21:21
I don't care much about the lyrics of the artists I listen to, and even less about their political views/worldview.  As Darrell said the voice is another instrument in the band which is why foreign language lyrics are every bit as enjoyable to me as English ones. 

If pushed I suppose the lyrics I enjoy most would be whimsical ones, Barrett like stuff.  Or poetic, romantic stuff like early Kate or Heart, the more flowery Genesis/Yes stuff, or Robert Hunter.  But it doesn't matter much.  If the song rocks and I like the music, the lyrics just aren't important to me. 


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Merry Christmas!





Posted By: Man With Hat
Date Posted: July 23 2014 at 23:10
Not at all.

The only time lyrics are an issue are when they are the focus/the music is secondary. And in that case, I generally don't like it.

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Dig me...But don't...Bury me
I'm running still, I shall until, one day, I hope that I'll arrive
Warning: Listening to jazz excessively can cause a laxative effect.


Posted By: MothTwiceborn
Date Posted: July 24 2014 at 03:14

Originally posted by SteveG SteveG wrote:

Let me throw this out before I  pack it in. What makes a GOOD lyricist?

1) Don't hit your audience over the head with your subject matter. We ALL know that war is bad.

2) If you do want to say "War is bad" (for example) then tell a story against that background instead. Pull Out The Pin by Kate Bush springs to mind.

3) Try to make every word count.

4) The emotional tone of the lyrics should match and enhance the emotional tone of the music. Unless you're doing exactly the opposite on purpose :-) (Oasis by Amanda Palmer is a classic example. A bouncy pop song about rape, drunkeness, abortion etc. etc.)

There's probably many more but that's what I'm thinking of at the moment.



Posted By: Toaster Mantis
Date Posted: July 24 2014 at 03:21
I'm kind of surprised by how many people who don't really care about the content of lyrics unless they're exceptionally bad or good, aren't the lyrics' content usually the main cues to the thematic meaning of the music? Along with song titles, cover art etc.

If the music is either instrumental, or in a language I don't understand, then the latter aspects become even more important.


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"I will pause to consider this eternity from which the subsequent ones derive." - Jorge Luis Borges


Posted By: Nogbad_The_Bad
Date Posted: July 24 2014 at 05:39
Originally posted by Toaster Mantis Toaster Mantis wrote:

I'm kind of surprised by how many people who don't really care about the content of lyrics unless they're exceptionally bad or good, aren't the lyrics' content usually the main cues to the thematic meaning of the music? Along with song titles, cover art etc.

If the music is either instrumental, or in a language I don't understand, then the latter aspects become even more important.

I don't care about song titles (particularly on instrumentals & foreign languages), I don't care about album art in the context of the music, I just like them as pieces of art or design. I really don't care about the thematic meaning of the music. 

What I care about is does the music move me, connect with me, make me happy, bring me joy, in its own right. I don't need meaningful lyrics, good art or cleaver titles for any of those things,


-------------
Ian

Anyone who thinks Kansas is Prog get out of the room - Adolf Hitler



Posted By: Manuel
Date Posted: July 24 2014 at 06:54
Good Lyrics for good music, to make a perfect balance.


Posted By: Dayvenkirq
Date Posted: July 24 2014 at 07:09
Originally posted by Nogbad_The_Bad Nogbad_The_Bad wrote:

Originally posted by Toaster Mantis Toaster Mantis wrote:

I'm kind of surprised by how many people who don't really care about the content of lyrics unless they're exceptionally bad or good, aren't the lyrics' content usually the main cues to the thematic meaning of the music? Along with song titles, cover art etc.

If the music is either instrumental, or in a language I don't understand, then the latter aspects become even more important.

I don't care about song titles (particularly on instrumentals & foreign languages), I don't care about album art in the context of the music, I just like them as pieces of art or design. I really don't care about the thematic meaning of the music. 

What I care about is does the music move me, connect with me, make me happy, bring me joy, in its own right. I don't need meaningful lyrics, good art or cleaver titles for any of those things,
+1.

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"People tell you life is short. ... No, it's not. Life is long. Especially if you make the wrong decisions." - Chris Rock


Posted By: dr wu23
Date Posted: July 24 2014 at 08:49
Originally posted by Toaster Mantis Toaster Mantis wrote:

I'm kind of surprised by how many people who don't really care about the content of lyrics unless they're exceptionally bad or good, aren't the lyrics' content usually the main cues to the thematic meaning of the music? Along with song titles, cover art etc.

If the music is either instrumental, or in a language I don't understand, then the latter aspects become even more important.
 
I agree.....and it surprises me that so many have said lyrics aren't important when so many members here pride themselves in their clever remarks and intellectualization when answering posts and making comments on many subjects here. That's all about words and language.
Shocked


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Et In Arcadia Ego


Posted By: The Doctor
Date Posted: July 24 2014 at 09:03
Originally posted by Man With Hat Man With Hat wrote:

Not at all.

The only time lyrics are an issue are when they are the focus/the music is secondary. And in that case, I generally don't like it.


I would say that in cases where the lyrics are front and center and the music is secondary, the lyrics and the vocalist both have to be pretty exceptional to pull it off. If either of those elements are less than exceptional, then yeah, I would agree, I generally don't like it.

Recently I got Big Big Train's English Boy Wonders and that was 80 minutes of lyrics basically with the rest of the band backing up the singer. Unfortunately, the lyrics were not very exceptional (a story about boy meets girl, boy loses girl-whoopee!) and the singer at the time, while having a pleasant enough voice didn't have the chops to pull off an 80-minute lyrically centered album. I like all their other albums, but have to say that one was kind of a disappointment.

On the other hand, people like Peter Hammill, Fish, Waters all have the lyrical and vocal skills to pull off lyric-centered songs/albums and make them sound damn good.

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I can understand your anger at me, but what did the horse I rode in on ever do to you?


Posted By: rogerthat
Date Posted: July 24 2014 at 09:12
Originally posted by Toaster Mantis Toaster Mantis wrote:

I'm kind of surprised by how many people who don't really care about the content of lyrics unless they're exceptionally bad or good, aren't the lyrics' content usually the main cues to the thematic meaning of the music? Along with song titles, cover art etc.

If the music is either instrumental, or in a language I don't understand, then the latter aspects become even more important.

In my case, it is simply that I don't want to find a reason to dislike the music that doesn't have anything directly to do with the music.  If they make poor album covers, it's fine.  If they write mediocre lyrics, it's fine.  As long as they make good music.  If the cover art or lyrics are also good, that's a bonus.  So...if those snatches of the lyrics that I can make out casually sound interesting enough to me, I will pay more attention to it to see what they are trying to say.  If it isn't, I simply don't pay attention.  


Posted By: rogerthat
Date Posted: July 24 2014 at 09:14
Originally posted by dr wu23 dr wu23 wrote:

 
I agree.....and it surprises me that so many have said lyrics aren't important when so many members here pride themselves in their clever remarks and intellectualization when answering posts and making comments on many subjects here. That's all about words and language.
Shocked

If I want something clever, I can read it in a book.  I LISTEN to music and the first thing or rather things I hear are the tones, the notes and their organisation.  It takes a little extra effort for me to push that to the background and focus only on the lyrics.  Especially when the lyrics are not simple, direct and poignant with something worthwhile to say...and in my experience, that is rarely the case in prog.


Posted By: Dayvenkirq
Date Posted: July 24 2014 at 09:18
^ That ... and http://www.progarchives.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=98754&PID=5021130#5021130" rel="nofollow - this . Riding a high tide on two threads at the same time, Dr.

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"People tell you life is short. ... No, it's not. Life is long. Especially if you make the wrong decisions." - Chris Rock


Posted By: silverpot
Date Posted: July 24 2014 at 09:51
Originally posted by rogerthat rogerthat wrote:

Originally posted by Toaster Mantis Toaster Mantis wrote:

I'm kind of surprised by how many people who don't really care about the content of lyrics unless they're exceptionally bad or good, aren't the lyrics' content usually the main cues to the thematic meaning of the music? Along with song titles, cover art etc.

If the music is either instrumental, or in a language I don't understand, then the latter aspects become even more important.

In my case, it is simply that I don't want to find a reason to dislike the music that doesn't have anything directly to do with the music.  If they make poor album covers, it's fine.  If they write mediocre lyrics, it's fine.  As long as they make good music.  If the cover art or lyrics are also good, that's a bonus.  So...if those snatches of the lyrics that I can make out casually sound interesting enough to me, I will pay more attention to it to see what they are trying to say.  If it isn't, I simply don't pay attention.  


Exactly my take on this as well.
Probably because I don't really understand English (the discussion above was too subtle for me LOL ) it just happens to be the "Lingua Franca" of the music I listen to. I'm not sure I'm able to make out what is cheesy or not, so I live in ignorant bliss and just enjoy the music.


Posted By: bloodnarfer
Date Posted: July 24 2014 at 10:26
LOL
Unless I'm mistaken, this is the only forum on the internet where I can find 10 new comments arguing about my diction.

Today I learned I should probably stay out of topics about lyrics, I have a clumsy way with words Wink


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http://www.last.fm/user/ramza1316" rel="nofollow - http://www.last.fm/user/ramza1316


Posted By: genbanks
Date Posted: July 24 2014 at 11:20
For me an instrumental piece could be as great as a song or a piece with some lyrics. But, ok, in the case of a musical piece that has lyrics, the lyrics are very important for me. Of course I prefer a great musical piece with mediocre lyrics than a mediocre song with great lyrics. I tink that lyrics are an integral part of the progressive rock. The lyrics on prog rock are far over the lyrics on pop, rock  or even jazz. Lyrics on prog rock are deeper, more intellectual sometimes, and not only love lyrics or about broken relations. Not always the lyrics tell a story, but musical pieces centered on a story line developed with the lyrics is another trademark of prog rock. With the time and maybe in relation with my bigger domain of english language, I was give more and more importance to lyrics. This allows me to enjoy and interpret much more every musical piece, find meanings and value the quality of the composition and the level of the songwriter.


Posted By: Dean
Date Posted: July 24 2014 at 11:46
Originally posted by bloodnarfer bloodnarfer wrote:

LOL
Unless I'm mistaken, this is the only forum on the internet where I can find 10 new comments arguing about my diction.
I know that lyric - "Friction" by Tom Verlaine Approve


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If you cannot be wise, pretend to be someone who is wise and then just behave like they would - Neil Gaiman


Posted By: Barbu
Date Posted: July 24 2014 at 11:53
Another vote for Welcome to the Machine.

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Excuse-moi d'casser ton fun mais j'me cherche une rime pour automne


Posted By: silverpot
Date Posted: July 24 2014 at 13:03
Originally posted by bloodnarfer bloodnarfer wrote:

LOL

I have a clumsy way with words Wink


Like most lyricists out there then. LOL


Posted By: dr wu23
Date Posted: July 24 2014 at 13:28
Originally posted by Dayvenkirq Dayvenkirq wrote:

^ That ... and http://www.progarchives.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=98754&PID=5021130#5021130" rel="nofollow - this . Riding a high tide on two threads at the same time, Dr.
 
It simply amazes me how people who claim to be educated can ignore the lyrics but yet still like to read  'novels' etc.
 
Wink


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Et In Arcadia Ego


Posted By: Dean
Date Posted: July 24 2014 at 13:35
I read books but never read the verse in a greetings card. I still like to receive them though.

-------------


If you cannot be wise, pretend to be someone who is wise and then just behave like they would - Neil Gaiman


Posted By: Dayvenkirq
Date Posted: July 24 2014 at 13:59
Originally posted by dr wu23 dr wu23 wrote:

Originally posted by Dayvenkirq Dayvenkirq wrote:

Originally posted by dr wu23 dr wu23 wrote:

Originally posted by Dayvenkirq Dayvenkirq wrote:

^ Well, that kind of pride doesn't make for a good presence in lyrics, so, ... there.
 
Really....?
 
Confused

... and  http://www.progarchives.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=99047&PID=5021118#5021118" rel="nofollow - http://www.progarchives.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=99047&PID=5021118#5021118  ...

"That's all about words and language", witty remarks, "clever remarks and intellectualization" ... all vague notions. How do you incorporate any of it in a song, do you know? Here, on this forum, people more or less improvise with speech (err ... writing). But songwriting is truly something special and needs a lot of attention. There are high standards and rules of thumb. Our everyday speech/writing has a different set of those. And songwriting is clearly not just about words and language. The author of the song has to breath life into the words and sweeten the whole thing with ... music!

Have you noted the style in which Iain writes his posts here? Sounds like he prepares himself for a Peter Hammill's "The Sleepwalkers" -style poetry slam. Tongue Go ahead and try to put anything Iain says in a song.

Don't just put two vague notions like "wit" and "song" together and think that it's going to turn out alright. It's easy to say something brainy; it's much harder to write a valuable song. I see that a lot of us have high standards when listening to/reading someone's words.
 
I get what you are saying but that wasn't really my point.
I just think it's odd that those who like reading, books, current events, etc, which are probably most of the people on PA , seem to care less about song lyrics.
Maybe it's just me.....Confused
Then maybe I'm not reading your posts right. What connection are you implying between "those who are intelligent" and "paying attention to lyrics"?

-------------
"People tell you life is short. ... No, it's not. Life is long. Especially if you make the wrong decisions." - Chris Rock


Posted By: Toaster Mantis
Date Posted: July 24 2014 at 14:00
Originally posted by rogerthat rogerthat wrote:

In my case, it is simply that I don't want to find a reason to dislike the music that doesn't have anything directly to do with the music.  If they make poor album covers, it's fine.  If they write mediocre lyrics, it's fine.


And the lyrics don't have anything directly to do with the music, as in they're part of the songwriting and composition?

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"I will pause to consider this eternity from which the subsequent ones derive." - Jorge Luis Borges


Posted By: SteveG
Date Posted: July 24 2014 at 14:44
^^Time for the guy that belittles prog lyrics to actually defend them for what they once were. At one time prog lyrics were very much a part of the listening experience if even on a near subliminal level. The obvious great lyricist was Roger Waters with his over the top theatrics (it would be nearly impossible to not understand his points) but he truly came into his own on Wish You Were Here. WYWH is an album about absence and even Waters stripped down use of lyrics to add to the feeling of absence and abandonment did little to detract from their meaning contrasted with over long verbiage from albums like The Wall. Alas, Waters is mute. KC's In The Wake Of Poseidon lamented the destruction of the earth from pollution 45 years before global warming become a common phrase in pop culture. And then there's Neil Peart who summary tale of teenage isolation in the song Subdivisions related to more isolated high school kids than any song that I know of and actually turned them on to Rush, more than any other song that I know of. Than we come to "all is bliss' ramblings' of Yes whose dippy verse from Roundabout perfectly fit around Squire's circular and returning bass riff so that even if the meaning of the lyrics were lost on people, they were a memorable fit. And what other song has two ands in both its title and it's lyrics such as Yes' And You And I. Even if the lyrics were not up to snuff they were at least extremely unique and memorable. These are only a few of the types of lyrics that are sorely lacking in modern prog music, I could go but the exercise would be redundant. I doubt that you will find any information in regard to this in PAs thread on songwriting or people would be smart enough to write lyrics like the ones mentioned. (And you can't put common sense down on paper sometimes)


Posted By: silverpot
Date Posted: July 24 2014 at 14:52
Originally posted by dr wu23 dr wu23 wrote:

Originally posted by Dayvenkirq Dayvenkirq wrote:

^ That ... and http://www.progarchives.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=98754&PID=5021130#5021130" rel="nofollow - this . Riding a high tide on two threads at the same time, Dr.
 
It simply amazes me how people who claim to be educated can ignore the lyrics but yet still like to read  'novels' etc.
 
Wink


It's two different art forms, litterature and music. It's very rare for them to blend into a whole and it cerainly doesn't do so in prog, most of the time. Some singer/songwriters do get it right though, like Joni Mitchell, Paul Simon, Nick Drake and probably Leonard Cohen, although I've never understood what he's on about. LOL


Posted By: refugee
Date Posted: July 24 2014 at 16:13
It depends. When I hear Jon singing

Suns | High | Streams | Through
Awaken gentle mass touch


I don’t have a clue about what it means. Or rather, I understand that it’s some kind of spiritual enlightenment, and luckily the music says the same in a far more intelligible way. And Anderson’s gibberish is pleasant to my ears.

But when I hear Hammill, starting with only his voice and Jackson’s flute, singing

Existence is a stage on which we pass,
a sleepwalk trick for mind and heart


I instantly prick up my ears, and the lyrics are much more important to me.

Some songs with great lyrics are unlistenable to me, partly because I’ve heard them too many times, and partly because the music bores me. Dylan and Cohen spring to mind. And the opposite: Ballad of Big may have nice music, but the lyrics are so stupid that they make me cringe.


-------------
He say nothing is quite what it seems;
I say nothing is nothing
(Peter Hammill)


Posted By: dr wu23
Date Posted: July 24 2014 at 17:44
Originally posted by Dayvenkirq Dayvenkirq wrote:

Originally posted by dr wu23 dr wu23 wrote:

Originally posted by Dayvenkirq Dayvenkirq wrote:

Originally posted by dr wu23 dr wu23 wrote:

Originally posted by Dayvenkirq Dayvenkirq wrote:

^ Well, that kind of pride doesn't make for a good presence in lyrics, so, ... there.
 
Really....?
 
Confused

... and  http://www.progarchives.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=99047&PID=5021118#5021118" rel="nofollow - http://www.progarchives.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=99047&PID=5021118#5021118  ...

"That's all about words and language", witty remarks, "clever remarks and intellectualization" ... all vague notions. How do you incorporate any of it in a song, do you know? Here, on this forum, people more or less improvise with speech (err ... writing). But songwriting is truly something special and needs a lot of attention. There are high standards and rules of thumb. Our everyday speech/writing has a different set of those. And songwriting is clearly not just about words and language. The author of the song has to breath life into the words and sweeten the whole thing with ... music!

Have you noted the style in which Iain writes his posts here? Sounds like he prepares himself for a Peter Hammill's "The Sleepwalkers" -style poetry slam. Tongue Go ahead and try to put anything Iain says in a song.

Don't just put two vague notions like "wit" and "song" together and think that it's going to turn out alright. It's easy to say something brainy; it's much harder to write a valuable song. I see that a lot of us have high standards when listening to/reading someone's words.
 
I get what you are saying but that wasn't really my point.
I just think it's odd that those who like reading, books, current events, etc, which are probably most of the people on PA , seem to care less about song lyrics.
Maybe it's just me.....Confused
Then maybe I'm not reading your posts right. What connection are you implying between "those who are intelligent" and "paying attention to lyrics"?
 
 
I can't make it any clearer than what I 've already said several times. This ain't rocket science. From above:
" it's odd that those who like reading, books, current events, etc, which are probably most of the people on PA , seem to care less about song lyrics."
 
 
This is getting way over analyzed which seems to happen frequently on PA....LOL
 


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Et In Arcadia Ego


Posted By: dr wu23
Date Posted: July 24 2014 at 17:53
Originally posted by silverpot silverpot wrote:

Originally posted by dr wu23 dr wu23 wrote:

Originally posted by Dayvenkirq Dayvenkirq wrote:

^ That ... and http://www.progarchives.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=98754&PID=5021130#5021130" rel="nofollow - this . Riding a high tide on two threads at the same time, Dr.
 
It simply amazes me how people who claim to be educated can ignore the lyrics but yet still like to read  'novels' etc.
 
Wink


It's two different art forms, litterature and music. It's very rare for them to blend into a whole and it cerainly doesn't do so in prog, most of the time. Some singer/songwriters do get it right though, like Joni Mitchell, Paul Simon, Nick Drake and probably Leonard Cohen, although I've never understood what he's on about. LOL
The music itself is a different 'art form' but the lyrics are words after all and fall under poetry, prose,   etc which of course is what literature is....words that tell a story or have a point.
As an example Sinfield's lyrics had definite meaning and purpose with Crimson and his website will go into all of that of you care to read it...or just read his lyrics yourself.
 
Again I find the lyrics in many cases to be very interesting depending on who's writing them. I certainly agree that many are just there to provide a listening experience with the music but I'm willing to be that many lyricists in prog bands are not just making sh*te up but have a reason why they are saying what they are in a certain song.
Ergo I would like to know what that is. Perhaps those that don't care about lyrics in general  might be better served with instrumental prog.
 


-------------
Et In Arcadia Ego


Posted By: HackettFan
Date Posted: July 24 2014 at 17:57
Most of the time lyrics are not important to me, but on some occasions they are. BTW, we had a similar thread, didn't we? I don't like lyrics in which vocalists forget that their vocal apparatus is supposed to be an instrument and that they are supposed to be creating notes that fit the piece like everyone else in the band. I really like The Battle of Epping Forest for the lyrics, but I have to be in the right mood. I am always intently listening to the lyrics on the Lamb. A really good lyricist is Glyn Havard from Jade Warrior.


Posted By: SteveG
Date Posted: July 24 2014 at 18:00
Originally posted by dr wu23 dr wu23 wrote:

Originally posted by Dayvenkirq Dayvenkirq wrote:

Originally posted by dr wu23 dr wu23 wrote:

Originally posted by Dayvenkirq Dayvenkirq wrote:

Originally posted by dr wu23 dr wu23 wrote:

Originally posted by Dayvenkirq Dayvenkirq wrote:

^ Well, that kind of pride doesn't make for a good presence in lyrics, so, ... there.
 
Really....?
 
Confused

... and  http://www.progarchives.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=99047&PID=5021118#5021118" rel="nofollow - http://www.progarchives.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=99047&PID=5021118#5021118  ...

"That's all about words and language", witty remarks, "clever remarks and intellectualization" ... all vague notions. How do you incorporate any of it in a song, do you know? Here, on this forum, people more or less improvise with speech (err ... writing). But songwriting is truly something special and needs a lot of attention. There are high standards and rules of thumb. Our everyday speech/writing has a different set of those. And songwriting is clearly not just about words and language. The author of the song has to breath life into the words and sweeten the whole thing with ... music!

Have you noted the style in which Iain writes his posts here? Sounds like he prepares himself for a Peter Hammill's "The Sleepwalkers" -style poetry slam. Tongue Go ahead and try to put anything Iain says in a song.

Don't just put two vague notions like "wit" and "song" together and think that it's going to turn out alright. It's easy to say something brainy; it's much harder to write a valuable song. I see that a lot of us have high standards when listening to/reading someone's words.
 
I get what you are saying but that wasn't really my point.
I just think it's odd that those who like reading, books, current events, etc, which are probably most of the people on PA , seem to care less about song lyrics.
Maybe it's just me.....Confused
Then maybe I'm not reading your posts right. What connection are you implying between "those who are intelligent" and "paying attention to lyrics"?
 
 
I can't make it any clearer than what I 've already said several times. This ain't rocket science. From above:
" it's odd that those who like reading, books, current events, etc, which are probably most of the people on PA , seem to care less about song lyrics."
 
 
This is getting way over analyzed which seems to happen frequently on PA....LOL
 
I agree with you Doc. I've always felt that prog was for the more literary, at least when I was younger. Not in form or tone but in subject. The two are related in only that way. It doesn't take a rocket  scientist, as you said, to know that the lyrics do not have be literary in form or tone, but just complex enough to tell the story.


Posted By: SteveG
Date Posted: July 24 2014 at 18:06
Originally posted by HackettFan HackettFan wrote:

Most of the time lyrics are not important to me, but on some occasions they are. BTW, we had a similar thread, didn't we? I don't like lyrics in which vocalists forget that their vocal apparatus is supposed to be an instrument and that they are supposed to be creating notes that fit the piece like everyone else in the band. I really like The Battle of Epping Forest for the lyrics, but I have to be in the right mood. I am always intently listening to the lyrics on the Lamb. A really good lyricist is Glyn Havard from Jade Warrior.
You see HF, this is the type of thing that I'm on about. We don't care about lyrics that much (me included) but could we image the lamb written by Jon Anderson?


Posted By: HackettFan
Date Posted: July 24 2014 at 18:08
Originally posted by dr wu23 dr wu23 wrote:

Originally posted by Dayvenkirq Dayvenkirq wrote:

^ That ... and http://www.progarchives.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=98754&PID=5021130#5021130" rel="nofollow - this . Riding a high tide on two threads at the same time, Dr.

 

It simply amazes me how people who claim to be educated can ignore the lyrics but yet still like to read  'novels' etc.

 

Wink
I agree with Tony Banks' and Mike Rutherford's criticism of their own lyric in Watcher of the Skies. It looks great reading it on paper, but kind of awkward in the actual song.


Posted By: dr wu23
Date Posted: July 24 2014 at 18:17
Originally posted by HackettFan HackettFan wrote:

Originally posted by dr wu23 dr wu23 wrote:

Originally posted by Dayvenkirq Dayvenkirq wrote:

^ That ... and http://www.progarchives.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=98754&PID=5021130#5021130" rel="nofollow - this . Riding a high tide on two threads at the same time, Dr.

 

It simply amazes me how people who claim to be educated can ignore the lyrics but yet still like to read  'novels' etc.

 

Wink
I agree with Tony Banks' and Mike Rutherford's criticism of their own lyric in Watcher of the Skies. It looks great reading it on paper, but kind of awkward in the actual song.
 
I  think  they are fine...I love sci-fi, myth,  etc , and they work for me.  I can't imagine not hearing that song now with other lyrics or with none.


-------------
Et In Arcadia Ego


Posted By: The Doctor
Date Posted: July 24 2014 at 18:19
I agree other Doc....I think Tony and Mike's lyrics to Watcher were great and Peter does a great job singing them, because that couldn't have been an easy set to sing.  

-------------
I can understand your anger at me, but what did the horse I rode in on ever do to you?


Posted By: SteveG
Date Posted: July 24 2014 at 18:26
Originally posted by The Doctor The Doctor wrote:

I agree other Doc....I think Tony and Mike's lyrics to Watcher were great and Peter does a great job singing them, because that couldn't have been an easy set to sing.  
I'll third that. Great lyrics and great delivery from Gabriel. What could have Banks and Rutherford been talking about? Perhaps from an inferior vocalist it would not have worked.


Posted By: Dayvenkirq
Date Posted: July 24 2014 at 18:35
Originally posted by dr wu23 dr wu23 wrote:

Originally posted by Dayvenkirq Dayvenkirq wrote:

...
I can't make it any clearer than what I've already said several times. This ain't rocket science. From above:
"it's odd that those who like reading, books, current events, etc, which are probably most of the people on PA, seem to care less about song lyrics."
 
This is getting way over analyzed which seems to happen frequently on PA....LOL
I agree, it's not rocket science, but you have to recognize the fact that I interpreted your statement the way it seemed transparent to me. It means that the connection you see between "the intellectual presence here on PA forum" and "lyric-writing mastery" isn't that transparent to me. I'd like to see it; maybe then I can see certain things in a new light.




-------------
"People tell you life is short. ... No, it's not. Life is long. Especially if you make the wrong decisions." - Chris Rock


Posted By: SteveG
Date Posted: July 24 2014 at 18:42
Originally posted by Dayvenkirq Dayvenkirq wrote:

Originally posted by dr wu23 dr wu23 wrote:

Originally posted by Dayvenkirq Dayvenkirq wrote:

...
I can't make it any clearer than what I've already said several times. This ain't rocket science. From above:
"it's odd that those who like reading, books, current events, etc, which are probably most of the people on PA, seem to care less about song lyrics."
 
This is getting way over analyzed which seems to happen frequently on PA....LOL
I agree, it's not rocket science, but you have to recognize the fact that I interpreted your statement the way it seemed transparent to me. It means that the connection you see between "the intellectual presence here on PA forum" and "lyric-writing mastery" isn't that transparent to me. I'd like to see it; maybe then I can see certain things in a new light.


Perhaps we are all confusing being literary with being intellectual?


Posted By: rogerthat
Date Posted: July 24 2014 at 19:22
Originally posted by Toaster Mantis Toaster Mantis wrote:

Originally posted by rogerthat rogerthat wrote:

In my case, it is simply that I don't want to find a reason to dislike the music that doesn't have anything directly to do with the music.  If they make poor album covers, it's fine.  If they write mediocre lyrics, it's fine.


And the lyrics don't have anything directly to do with the music, as in they're part of the songwriting and composition?

No, in the sense that if it was an instrumental composition or vocal but just with vocalese instead of words, it would still be eminently listenable.  I don't like the idea of first enjoying the musical aspect of it and then on further examination of the lyrics, saying "nah, that's too crappy" and avoiding the composition thereafter.  And there is the possibility of that happening if one pays too much attention to lyrics.  I have seen people dismiss a song only because there were one or two lines of verse they didn't like.  Somehow that just comes across as close minded or emphasising lyrics too much to me.  


Posted By: rogerthat
Date Posted: July 24 2014 at 19:36
Originally posted by SteveG SteveG wrote:

^^Time for the guy that belittles prog lyrics to actually defend them for what they once were. At one time prog lyrics were very much a part of the listening experience if even on a near subliminal level. The obvious great lyricist was Roger Waters with his over the top theatrics (it would be nearly impossible to not understand his points) but he truly came into his own on Wish You Were Here. WYWH is an album about absence and even Waters stripped down use of lyrics to add to the feeling of absence and abandonment did little to detract from their meaning contrasted with over long verbiage from albums like The Wall. Alas, Waters is mute. KC's In The Wake Of Poseidon lamented the destruction of the earth from pollution 45 years before global warming become a common phrase in pop culture. And then there's Neil Peart who summary tale of teenage isolation in the song Subdivisions related to more isolated high school kids than any song that I know of and actually turned them on to Rush, more than any other song that I know of. Than we come to "all is bliss' ramblings' of Yes whose dippy verse from Roundabout perfectly fit around Squire's circular and returning bass riff so that even if the meaning of the lyrics were lost on people, they were a memorable fit. And what other song has two ands in both its title and it's lyrics such as Yes' And You And I. Even if the lyrics were not up to snuff they were at least extremely unique and memorable. These are only a few of the types of lyrics that are sorely lacking in modern prog music, I could go but the exercise would be redundant. I doubt that you will find any information in regard to this in PAs thread on songwriting or people would be smart enough to write lyrics like the ones mentioned. (And you can't put common sense down on paper sometimes)
I love Dark Side of the Moon and love the lyrics of the album, almost every word of it.  But there is also no other prog album or rock album for that matter written that directly and plainly.  Now add to that complex and epic music, then it gets too much to pay attention to.  It is only in a case like Marillion where most of the proceedings happen by way of vocal verse that I listen to the words.  I don't really feel the need AT ALL in the case of Yes and only intermittently when it comes to Genesis.  They all wrote magical interludes that to my mind communicated far more beautifully than any words can muster.



Posted By: rogerthat
Date Posted: July 24 2014 at 19:42
Originally posted by dr wu23 dr wu23 wrote:

Perhaps those that don't care about lyrics in general  might be better served with instrumental prog.
 

On the other hand, I am immensely interested in vocals, every aspect of it from tone, technique to phrasing and emoting.  But I also don't exactly worship at the altar of say a Gabriel or Jon Anderson.  I don't think they are really that awesome as singers.  They are alright but need the prop of great music.  In short, most of the time, it is the instrumental aspect of prog that is the most alluring.  Prog tracks are also often arranged in such a way that the singer only interjects with a couple of lines of narrative or such with 10 of 15 minutes taken up by instrumental sections.


Posted By: Dayvenkirq
Date Posted: July 24 2014 at 19:47
^ "I am immensely interested in vocals, every aspect of it from tone, technique to phrasing and emoting." I'm with you there. Besides, someone has already mentioned (on this thread, I think) that there are non-Anglophonic prog albums that we enjoy listening to without ever having to understand the language, be it Italian, Kobaïan, etc. That's why I love Francesco Di Giacomo (RIP).

-------------
"People tell you life is short. ... No, it's not. Life is long. Especially if you make the wrong decisions." - Chris Rock


Posted By: rogerthat
Date Posted: July 24 2014 at 19:52
Kobaian especially.  How does one get to enjoy Magma if one is supposed to first learn an imaginary language to appreciate it?  Just seems like too much work.


Posted By: Dayvenkirq
Date Posted: July 24 2014 at 19:59
^ Besides, the language was constructed with words that have syllables that sound to Vander's liking (at least that's how I understood it). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Koba%C3%AFan" rel="nofollow - Here's a Wiki page that gives a bit more insight on how the language works.

-------------
"People tell you life is short. ... No, it's not. Life is long. Especially if you make the wrong decisions." - Chris Rock


Posted By: HackettFan
Date Posted: July 24 2014 at 21:45
Originally posted by SteveG SteveG wrote:


Originally posted by dr wu23 dr wu23 wrote:

I think they are fine...I love sci-fi, myth, etc , and they work for me. I can't imagine not hearing that song now with other lyrics or with none.

Originally posted by The Doctor The Doctor wrote:

I agree other Doc....I think Tony and Mike's lyrics to Watcher were great and Peter does a great job singing them, because that couldn't have been an easy set to sing.  

I'll third that. Great lyrics and great delivery from Gabriel. What could have Banks and Rutherford been talking about? Perhaps from an inferior vocalist it would not have worked.
I don't rate a lot in Foxtrot as high as many others on PA do, but that's not really the point. There's a difference between good poetry as written, and lyrics set artfully to music. They are not simply interchangeable. I might have been advised to choose a different example, but I had Banks and Rutherford to help make my point (or to hide behind).


Posted By: SteveG
Date Posted: July 25 2014 at 08:33
Originally posted by SteveG ^^Time for the guy that belittles prog lyrics to actually defend them for what they once were. At one time prog lyrics were very much a part of the listening experience if even on a near subliminal level. The obvious great lyricist was Roger Waters with his over the top theatrics (it would be nearly impossible to not understand his points) but he truly came into his own on Wish You Were Here. WYWH is an album about absence and even Waters stripped down use of lyrics to add to the feeling of absence and abandonment did little to detract from their meaning contrasted with over long verbiage from albums like The Wall. Alas, Waters is mute. KC's In The Wake Of Poseidon lamented the destruction of the earth from pollution 45 years before global warming become a common phrase in pop culture. And then there's Neil Peart who summary tale of teenage isolation in the song Subdivisions related to more isolated high school kids than any song that I know of and actually turned them on to Rush, more than any other song that I know of. Than we come to "all is bliss' ramblings' of Yes whose dippy verse from Roundabout perfectly fit around Squire's circular and returning bass riff so that even if the meaning of the lyrics were lost on people, they were a memorable fit. And what other song has two ands in both its title and it's lyrics such as Yes' And You And I. Even if the lyrics were not up to snuff they were at least extremely unique and memorable. These are only a few of the types of lyrics that are sorely lacking in modern prog music, I could go but the exercise would be redundant. I doubt that you will find any information in regard to this in PAs thread on songwriting or people would be smart enough to write lyrics like the ones mentioned. (And you can't put common sense down on paper sometimes)[/QUOTE]
Originally posted by rogerthat I love Dark Side of the Moon and love the lyrics of the album, almost every word of it.  But there is also no other prog album or rock album for that matter written that directly and plainly.  Now add to that complex and epic music, then it gets too much to pay attention to.  It is only in a case like Marillion where most of the proceedings happen by way of vocal verse that I listen to the words.  I don't really feel the need AT ALL in the case of Yes and only intermittently when it comes to Genesis.  They all wrote magical interludes that to my mind communicated far more beautifully than any words can muster                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Revised response from SteveG: Perhaps, I'm was not making my point clear as it was a short post due to time contraints as I was trying to respond to a members post who thinks he's smart (and claims to be a songwriter to boot) because he read my posts and sees a relationship that I have between singers and songwriters but lacks the intuition, sans written words, to realize my obvious pet peeve regarding this thread. I  can't help feeling that the lyrics in older prog music is mostly taken for granted as I can't envision recent threads such as The Lamb Vs. The Trick Of the Tail without the lyrics playing such a significant role in both albums enjoyment. The same goes for the mostly instrumental ELP. Hell, even their early FM staple ws the lyric heavy  ironic Lucky Man.Their most popular album was the cheeky lyric heavy Brain Salad Surgery with the manic and enjoyable Karevil 9 being the high light. Furhtermore, Collins re-interpretation of the Carpet Crawlers from Seconds Out and the over the top Suppers Ready from the original album or Seconds Out would lack all gravitas without the stellar lyrics. I can't even imagine a poll pitting Zappa agaist Floyd if the lyrics were not a key component to each artist and what would Thick as a Brick be devoid of Anderson's toungue in cheek Pythonesque lyrics? I feel we take a lot of our classic favorites for granted in regard to quality lyrics but I do tip my hat to Marillion and Hogarth in particular, even if their are starting to get a bit long in the tooth now.


Posted By: thwok
Date Posted: July 25 2014 at 09:03
I guess for me the answer is, it depends!  If we're talking about a good lyricist, I think it contributes greatly to a song.  I'll cite Donald Fagen as someone who can write.  On the other hand, John Anderson's lyrics are usually ridiculous, but Yes was my favorite band for years!  I also love My Dying Bride, but most of Aaron Stainthorpe's lyrics are a jumble of violent gothic images with no continuity.

-------------
I am the funkiest man on the planet!


Posted By: SteveG
Date Posted: July 25 2014 at 09:14






Originally posted by thwok thwok wrote:

I guess for me the answer is, it depends!  If we're talking about a good lyricist, I think it contributes greatly to a song.  I'll cite Donald Fagen as someone who can write.  On the other hand, John Anderson's lyrics are usually ridiculous, but Yes was my favorite band for years!  I also love My Dying Bride, but most of Aaron Stainthorpe's lyrics are a jumble of violent gothic images with no continuity.
Yes, I agreed that Andersons lyrics were lame but at least he was smart enough up to match up the main lyrical motifs with songs that fit the chorus as is the case of the chorus from Roundabout that was matched up to the circular sounding  music. No one understood the lyrics bit there was some sort of obvious fit of lyrics to the song and Andersons vocals were then used as an instrument that carried the song on to an edited down hit in the States.






Posted By: rogerthat
Date Posted: July 25 2014 at 09:49
Originally posted by SteveG SteveG wrote:

[ Perhaps, I'm was not making my point clear as it was a short post due to time contraints as I was trying to respond to a members post who thinks he's smart because he read my posts and sees a relationship that I have between singers and songwriters but lacks the intuition, sans written words, to realize my obvious pet peeve regarding this thread. I  can't help feeling that the lyrics in older prog music is mostly taken for granted as I can't envision recent threads such as The Lamb Vs. The Trick Of the Tail without the lyrics playing such a significant role in both albums enjoyment. The same goes for the mostly instrumental ELP. Hell, even their early FM staple ws the lyric heavy  ironic Lucky Man.Their most popular album was the cheeky lyric heavy Brain Salad Surgery with the manic and enjoyable Karevil 9 being the high light. Furhter more, Collins re-interpretation of the Carpet Crawlers from Seconds Out and the over the top Suppers Ready from the original album or Seconds Out would lack all gravitas without the stellar lyrics. I can't even imagine a poll pitting Zappa agaist Floyd if the lyrics were not a key component to each artist and what would Thick as a Brick be devoid of Anderson's toungue in cheek Pythonesque lyrics? I feel we take a lot of our classic favorites for granted in regard to quality lyrics but I do tip my hat to Marillion and Hogarth in particular, even if their are starting to get long in the tooth now.


It is possible that prog lyrics are somewhat taken for granted.  Wouldn't rule that out and I would say the likely reason for that is again simply the fact that the music is so complex and dense.  When there's so much music to take in, lyrics tend to take a backseat.  Coming back to DSOTM, that's why Floyd kept the music also relatively simple and accessible.  It made it easier for people to identify with their lyrics.  Comparatively fewer people identify with the lyrics of Animals because musically and lyrically it's more convoluted (not to say it's bad, I love it).


Posted By: SteveG
Date Posted: July 25 2014 at 10:01
Originally posted by rogerthat rogerthat wrote:

Originally posted by SteveG SteveG wrote:

[ Perhaps, I'm was not making my point clear as it was a short post due to time contraints as I was trying to respond to a members post who thinks he's smart because he read my posts and sees a relationship that I have between singers and songwriters but lacks the intuition, sans written words, to realize my obvious pet peeve regarding this thread. I  can't help feeling that the lyrics in older prog music is mostly taken for granted as I can't envision recent threads such as The Lamb Vs. The Trick Of the Tail without the lyrics playing such a significant role in both albums enjoyment. The same goes for the mostly instrumental ELP. Hell, even their early FM staple ws the lyric heavy  ironic Lucky Man.Their most popular album was the cheeky lyric heavy Brain Salad Surgery with the manic and enjoyable Karevil 9 being the high light. Furhter more, Collins re-interpretation of the Carpet Crawlers from Seconds Out and the over the top Suppers Ready from the original album or Seconds Out would lack all gravitas without the stellar lyrics. I can't even imagine a poll pitting Zappa agaist Floyd if the lyrics were not a key component to each artist and what would Thick as a Brick be devoid of Anderson's toungue in cheek Pythonesque lyrics? I feel we take a lot of our classic favorites for granted in regard to quality lyrics but I do tip my hat to Marillion and Hogarth in particular, even if their are starting to get long in the tooth now.


It is possible that prog lyrics are somewhat taken for granted.  Wouldn't rule that out and I would say the likely reason for that is again simply the fact that the music is so complex and dense.  When there's so much music to take in, lyrics tend to take a backseat.  Coming back to DSOTM, that's why Floyd kept the music also relatively simple and accessible.  It made it easier for people to identify with their lyrics.  Comparatively fewer people identify with the lyrics of Animals because musically and lyrically it's more convoluted (not to say it's bad, I love it).
I  agree with your take on Dark Side but I think that Animals was a tougher nut to crack as it dealt with class distinctions that I felt were really the providence of our British cousins at the time. I would like to get their take on Animals as it may have been more accessable to them than to us Yanks at the time.


Posted By: Gerinski
Date Posted: July 25 2014 at 10:53
Too much critisizing Prog lyrics around here, hey, at least most Prog bands try to say something, sometimes they nail it and sometimes they may end up dangerously close to plain ridiculous, but at least they try to say something, which is not the case in the vast majority of Rock music. And I find many interesting concepts and ideas in many Prog songs. So some of you think that Dylan, Cohen et al were better lyricists alright, but we can not complain about lyrics in Prog in general, even if from time to time we have to get a ladder for some singer LOL.
When nearly 40 years later we are still discussing about the meaning of The Lamb, c'mon, which other genre has that!


Posted By: rogerthat
Date Posted: July 25 2014 at 11:22
I don't really go along with that.  There are quite a few prominent prog rock bands whose lyrics either don't convey something particularly interesting to me (Yes) or can often be banal (Rush, Dream Theater).  Prog lyrics tend to be more wordy and intelligent-sounding rather than downright cheesy and dumb, that's perhaps the saving grace.  Just as not every rock songwriter can come up with lyrics to match Dylan, not every prog album is Lamb Lies Down on Broadway either.  


Posted By: SteveG
Date Posted: July 25 2014 at 13:38
Originally posted by Gerinski Gerinski wrote:

Too much critisizing Prog lyrics around here, hey, at least most Prog bands try to say something, sometimes they nail it and sometimes they may end up dangerously close to plain ridiculous, but at least they try to say something, which is not the case in the vast majority of Rock music. And I find many interesting concepts and ideas in many Prog songs. So some of you think that Dylan, Cohen et al were better lyricists alright, but we can not complain about lyrics in Prog in general, even if from time to time we have to get a ladder for some singer LOL.
When nearly 40 years later we are still discussing about the meaning of The Lamb, c'mon, which other genre has that!
Again Gerard, the discussion is about Genesis' 40 year old album the Lamb Lies Down On Broadway, not a more recent album like Dead Wing from Porcupine Tree. I realize that members say that they don't care that much about lyrics but I still have a hard time believing it. When we debate albums, they usually have lyrics that are central to their standings as classics.


Posted By: The Doctor
Date Posted: July 25 2014 at 13:48
^It would be impossible to discuss an album that isn't 40 years old 40 years later.   

I hate to use this word, but I think Dylan's lyrics are being overrated here. Don't get me wrong, I love a lot of Dylan's songs and lyrics, but I wouldn't stack him up against the likes of Peart or Hammill. And I have heard discussions on the lyrical content of The Incident by PT, as well as Doomsday Afternoon by Phideaux and I'm sure there are other examples of modern prog lyrics being discussed but obviously not 40 years later because of the issue of linear time and the way that works.   

-------------
I can understand your anger at me, but what did the horse I rode in on ever do to you?


Posted By: SteveG
Date Posted: July 25 2014 at 14:00
Originally posted by The Doctor The Doctor wrote:

^It would be impossible to discuss an album that isn't 40 years old 40 years later.   

I hate to use this word, but I think Dylan's lyrics are being overrated here. Don't get me wrong, I love a lot of Dylan's songs and lyrics, but I wouldn't stack him up against the likes of Peart or Hammill. And I have heard discussions on the lyrical content of The Incident by PT, as well as Doomsday Afternoon by Phideaux and I'm sure there are other examples of modern prog lyrics being discussed but obviously not 40 years later because of the issue of linear time and the way that works.   
I agree that Dylan is overrated Doc, but we use him as a reference. I know of many singer songwriters that are hands and feet above prog lyricists. There are exceptions to every rule but will The Incident ever be held in the same light lyrically as Wish You Were Here or The Wall? In other words, does it have that kind buzz even going for it now? I recall that people were engaged in hour long conversations about the lyrics of The Wall or Wish You Were Here when the albums first came out and it seems like it's never stopped. That was my point.


Posted By: CosmicVibration
Date Posted: July 25 2014 at 15:09
Originally posted by thwok thwok wrote:

I guess for me the answer is, it depends!  If we're talking about a good lyricist, I think it contributes greatly to a song.  I'll cite Donald Fagen as someone who can write.  On the other hand, John Anderson's lyrics are usually ridiculous, but Yes was my favorite band for years!  I also love My Dying Bride, but most of Aaron Stainthorpe's lyrics are a jumble of violent gothic images with no continuity.


Jon Anderson’s lyrics seem ridiculous in similar fashion as writings in esoteric literature such as the Bible seem ridiculous.   It only appears ludicrous because it’s misconstrued. 




Posted By: SteveG
Date Posted: July 25 2014 at 15:12
^I've never read about a Siberian Khatru in the bible. Perhaps I missed that chapter.



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