I’d have to say that both the sounds AND the lyrics of songs teach me things. Sometimes each by themselves but usually through the brilliant combination of the two. Certian phrases mean more because an inspired composer put the music they did to that phrase. This is easiest for me to recognise when scripture is put to music but occurs in all genres.]]>
As I look through my music thinking of what I have learned or what could be learned from it, I can’t think of a lot of specific things. In a general sense, I think a lot of the value of music and literature and other arts comes from experiencing life through the eyes of someone else. Honest, thoughtful expression of ideas and feelings usually has some value, regardless of the specifics.
I did come up with a few specific examples:
Handel’s Messiah taught me in a powerful way to appreciate the Savior.
I learned from Elliott Smith’s music why some people take drugs (and his demise re-emphasized to me why self-medication is not a good idea and why people need love).
From TV On the Radio I was reminded of the personal cost of conflict: “I was a lover before this war.”
I haven’t learned anything from Radiohead, but they make great noise.]]>
I don’t actually listen to doom very often, though. I prefer to experience it live.]]>
Bruce Springsteen, in his 2005 VH1 Storytellers appearance, lightheartedly made the assertion that the sole reason that Manfred Mann’s version of the song went to number one is that the altered lyric is actually “revved up like a douche”. Bruce said, “The original lyric is ‘cut loose like a deuce’ referring to a two seat hot-rod, a little deuce coupe. Manfred Mann changed the lyric to ‘revved up like a douche.’ which is a feminine hygienic procedure.” It should be noted, however, that Manfred Mann’s website lists the lyric as “deuce” rather than “douche”. It was once rumored that Chris Thompson’s New Zealand accent may be responsible for swapping deuce for douche.]]>