Lyrics. Necessary?

Before this goes any further, let me point out that we’ve had five power cuts in the last hour, so this may end up being very short. I’m hitting the ‘save draft’ button every minute or so. Ok, make that SIX power cuts.

The post was going to be about song lyrics. Whether we even need them. Have a listen to the song below, which has no discernable lyrics at all. Coming from the position of a native-English speaker, I still have a sense that to release that track as it is, would be somehow failing in some mental contract between ourselves and the people who hear it. Yet I shouldn’t feel that way really. Non-English speakers have been buying and enjoying songs for years, with no concept of the lyrical content. As I write this, Mil i Maria are touring Germany singing in English, Portuguese and Spanish. It often seems like the expectation of lyrics we can understand is a purely Anglophile thing. That said, Kula Shaker once had a UK number one with a song recorded in Hindi. For years I listened to the Cocteau Twins without having any ideas that the weird syllables I was listening to were actually English. Rammstein have been a mainstay of metal-heads for decades and Diamanda Galas, Sigur Ros and Jonsi have been shifting units in the UK too.

Have a listen to this BlancoMusic track and see what you think, a lot of people are sure that they can hear lines and verses, only to be surprised afterwards when they are told that in fact, it’s all just made-up sounds.


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