Music and Lyrics

October 5, 2007 at 1:39 am (music)

I got kind of addicted to a new song today.  Music is one of the most important things in my life, I really don’t know what I did before the iPod was invented.  Oh yea, I had a walkman, then a cd-man (or whatever that’s called) and everything else along the way.  My iPod is important to me on many levels.  It provides the soundtrack for my life by shuffling through all of my favorite songs, its always a happy surprise to hear what song is next.  It also creates a barrier between me and the rest of the world.  Some might say that’s a bad thing, but I can’t say how much I enjoy not having to listen to everyone around me having inane conversation on their cell phones.  It also discourages people from approaching and talking to me.  Man, I am so anti-social, but I’ve come to terms with that.

But back to the music.  The closest thing I get to a “religious” experience is listening to the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto.  It fills me with an indescribable sense of joy and wholeness.  I have tried to have other people listen to it with me to afford them the same experience, and pretty much no one is as affected as I am.  I feel personally hurt if that person has the audacity to do something else or (gasp) fall asleep while listening to this masterpiece.  I just can’t take it so I have stopped trying.  I have realized that not everyone is so affected by music as me.  I guess for me, its the equivalent of people who are overwhelmed by beautiful art.  I can definitely appreciate the skill and talent that goes into art work, but I am almost never emotionally affected by it.  I have actually heard people say the same thing about music, so I guess it is a good analogy.  I wonder if my love of music stems from beginning to study music (violin) at the young age of 4.  I’m sure that has a lot to do with it, but I certainly know a lot of people who have absolutely no musical talent that greatly love music.

The song that I listened to on repeat all day was a song from the new Linkin Park album, “Hands Held High”.  I know, I know, from Tchaikovsky to Linkin Park?  What can I say, I have very eclectic tastes!  I’ll listen to pretty much everything except gospel and jazz (and don’t lampoon me because I don’t like jazz, I’m more of a classical girl).  I had been listening to this CD in my car for a while and had liked this song from the first time I heard it.  It starts with a pipe organ and marching snare, a very unexpected and lovely combination.  Plus I am a real sucker for marching snare.  But today for the first time, I really listened to the lyrics.  To paraphrase a quote from the movie “Music and Lyrics”, the music is what makes you like a song, the lyrics are what make you love it.  “Hands Held High” (and yes, I am forgiving it the obvious religious overtones) is primarily about war, the war we all know is wrong but can’t seem to do much about.  The song is so beautiful and sad to me at the same time.

I decided to put in most of the lyrics here, although of course it loses its feeling if you don’t actually listen to it.  Plus it is rapped, so the syntax doesn’t read very well.  (Sorry I’m not tech-savvy enough to post a song file here).  Its from the album “Minutes to Midnight”.  Lyrics after the jump.

“…cause i’m sick of being treated like i have before like it’s stupid standing for what i’m standing for / like this war’s really just a different brand of war / like it doesn’t cater to rich and abandon poor / like they understand you in the back of the jet / when you can’t put gas in your tank / and these fuckers are laughing their way to the bank / cashing the check asking you to have compassion / have respect for a leader so nervous in an obvious way stuttering and mumbling for nightly news to replay / and the rest of the world watching at the end of the day / in their living room laughing like what did he say?

“in my living room watching / i am not laughing / cause when it gets tense i know what might happen / the world is cold / the bold men make action / have to react or get blown into fractions / ten years old / it’s something to see / another kid my age drug under a jeep / taken and bound / and found later under a tree / i wonder if he had thought the next one could be me…its ironic / times like this you pray / but a bomb blew the mosque up yesterday / there’s bombs on the busses / bikes / roads / inside your market / your shops / your clothes / my dad he’s got a lot of fear i know / but enough pride inside not to let that show / my brother had a book he would hold with pride /a little red cover with a broken spine / on the back / he hand wrote a quote inside: ‘when the rich wage war, its the poor who die’ / and meanwhile /the leader just talks away / stuttering and mumbling for nightly news to replay / the rest of the world watching at the end of the day / both scared and angry like / what did he say?”

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