Thursday, February 16, 2017

Music Is Poetry.

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With the exception of perhaps the National Poet Laureates, poets are not a part of today's culture. Modern writers are novelists and script writers, not poets. In fact, the closest thing to mainstream poetry we have today is songwriting. I cannot and will not defend every song as a work of poetry, because many of them are not. Plenty of songs are written simply to be catchy and get as many $1.99 downloads as possible. However, I will defend "Classics of Love" by Common Rider.

The song's structure is vaguely like that of a script, which both verses starting with "Act One:" and "Act Two:" respectively. Verse one starts with:
I was sitting and thinking of all the
 beautiful things he could have become
 instead of a lyrical oracle and I'm a most appreciative one

 Though it is not yet made clear who he is, we know he is songwriter, a lyrical oracle, who the speaker feels is able to capture his innermost feelings.The speaker continues:
cause I'm in a world of my own when I'm into it 
I don't want anything else and nothing can bother me when I'm inside of it
 cause I'm outside of myself

The allusion to a specific song or work is clear though what specific song is again, not clear yet. But whatever song it is, the speaker feels that when he's alone with the music his outside problems melt away.

On to the chorus, the song continues by referencing several artists, mentioning by name the album Midnight Marauders by A Tribe Called Quest, Desmond Dekker, Ella Fitzgerald, The Kids Are Alright by The Who, and London Calling by The Clash. The lyrics then go:
music sweet music make the truth so clear
 classics of love make a dark day light

 Allowing music to speak to you, allowing it in makes life easier. A singer can speak to you and let you know that everything will be okay or at the very least, they can relate to how hard life can be. The two songs mentioned, The Kids Are Alright and London Calling aren't particularly uplifting songs but the singer ends on a positive note, "the classics of love make a dark day light" leading into the bridge:
Sun shining sun shining sun shining down/ on a cloudy day/ I know this song's gonna last forever" thus comparing a good song to sun on a bleak day, you can only hope it lasts forever.

The second verse, like the first, starts out as introspective and contemplative, reading "I'm running around in my mind and my mind's a/ fucking zoo/ one of the one's under the gun wondering what do I do?" It then continues to ask the listener if they too feel trapped by expectations and if they feel brave trying to be themselves. It then goes back to the importance of music to the speaker before ending with, "the midnight sun is burning bringing peace to my soul." The midnight sun is a light in the darkest part of the night, much like music is a light in the dark parts of the speakers life, bringing peace to his soul.

Music is poetry. I truly don't feel like there's a counter to this point. Again, not all music is poetry, but there are songs that can speak to you and make you feel less alone. These songs can resonate with you to your core and make you feel at ease within the first few chords. This is a position I share with, among others, the members of Common Rider. If I have failed to convince you of the poetic value of music, then maybe The Classics of Love will.

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