There are two types of people in the world: Those who listen to song lyrics and those who don’t.
OK…everyone listens to song lyrics at some level, but some people REALLY listen to song lyrics. For those people (and I count myself in that camp) the lyrics are so key that they dramatically alter their perception of the song, and often much, much more. A great song lyric can change their mood, alter their opinion, or drive them to action. Lyrics are not something to be treated lightly to a Lyric Listener.
If you want to communicate with a Lyric Listener at a truly personal level, the best way is to use a carefully selected song to deliver your message. The music will penetrate the reptilian part of their brain to the point where they will not only hear the message, but the emotional content that goes along with it. It will, quite simply, reach parts of them that ordinary words never could.
Good lyrics not only turn a bad song into something the Lyric Listener is happy to listen to, but a good song into something they will beat people over the head with until they finally agree to listen to it. This last part can cause problems because if the person they are beating isn’t a Lyric Listener then they will really only be humoring them, and that’s fighting talk.
Some examples would probably help here.
Great Lyrics/Iffy Song:
Almost anything sung by Billy Bragg fits into the category of Great Lyrics / Iffy Song. While I appreciate Billy’s contribution to the music world, I am also grateful that there have been covers of his songs by people who know how to sing.
Songs that Have It All:
Your results may vary, but if the lyrics in these songs don’t touch you, then you have no soul.
Those who know me know that I have pondered how music changes people in ways that they’re not aware of. A great example of this is the theory that the music you listen to actually affects the taste of wine – you can read an interview with Clark Smith about that here.
Personally, I buy into the theory – but the real question is whether it is the music that is changing the taste of the wine, or the change in your emotional state? If it is the latter, then I can see a lively song with sad lyrics getting a different reaction from a lyric listener than from a non-lyric listener. Not sure what I mean ? How about the chorus from I Write Sins Not Tragedies?
As a person who listens to the lyrics, I honestly believe I could help ‘heathens’ connect with their lyric listening partners. In fact, I have an idea for a new service around this.
Imagine this scenario: You are dating a lyric listener and want to send her a special message. No problem! Answer a few simple questions, such as her favorite artists, genres, age and the message you want to send. A playlist, complete with lyrics and with the important items highlighted, will be sent to you.
Once you approve your lyrical love note, delivery to your loved one is via a variety of means (iTunes gift, flowers with a CD, singing telegram – who knows!)
Hmmm…I think that one might even have some legs. What do you think?
- The Power of Lyrics (previous blog entry)
- How MetroLeap Media turned song lyrics into success (techvibes.com)
- Websites to Search for Song Titles by Lyrics (brighthub.com)