Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Poetry In Music

I have odd and fairly wide-ranging musical tastes, although my favorites seem to be limited to musicians I discovered during high school and college. There's not a lot of "classic" stuff I'm familiar with, nor is there much 21st century music that appeals to me. That being said, there aren't many genres of music that I don't enjoy in some way. What I'm really drawn to, though, are poetic lyrics. I'm not talking about just rhyme here; it's more the poetic language that I really enjoy.

R.E.M. has been a favorite of mine for quite some time. "E-Bow The Letter," which I hadn't heard in awhile, came to my attention thanks to my iPod yesterday. Michael Stipe's seemingly stream-of-consciousness lyrics, woven with obscure and unfamiliar references, fascinate me. It reminds me of a prose poem, in a way. I have a thing for prose poems and for poems that are just out of the reach of me understanding their meaning. The rambling lyrics make almost no sense to me, and that's part of what I like about it the most. Oh, and the music is pretty awesome, too.

I give you "E-Bow The Letter:"

Pure poetry, I tell you. Also feel free to read the lyrics, if you'd like.

And I can't leave without just one more. If a song leaves you scrambling for the dictionary to look up "bergamot," and "vetiver,"  it must be a work of poetic genius. I hope you find time to check it out.

What other poetic songwriters am I missing? I'm happy to take suggestions. My iPod needs new tunes.

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