Updated: Jan 15
"Who cares for the words in songs?"
People say that the days of poetry in music are over. That great lyrics are no more an essential component of great songs. That millennials don't want to engage with deep content when there's much new and more exciting music to listen to! Not in an age of visuals.
But if that were really the case, then real people wouldn't be listening to the things I'm singing of.
I wouldn't have the pleasure of meeting euphoric audiences at my gigs who tell me that my songs and stories are life-changing. I wouldn't have won multiple songwriting and other music awards nationally and abroad, or have reached #2 & #3 position in the World & Euro Indie Radio Charts. I wouldn't have made a list of the 50 most influential people in Bangalore. Young kids wouldn't sing my songs and fans wouldn't christen me the singing sensei.
Now I earned all this and more whilst writing and singing only originals for the last 18 years. So, whether you're a songwriter or a connoisseur of songs, I want you to think about this:
* When words are written to express a human emotion, they have an intrinsic melody about them.
* When further whittled and disciplined to a meter, they frame silences within their rhythms and transform into songs
* When heartfelt words express themselves as effortless melody, songs with real soul are born...
What's your take? Do words touch your soul? What is your experience of lyrics in popular music? Is songwriting dying or is it alive and well?
From Cohen's sublime Hallelujah to love to Dylan's wide-eyed recollection of a Tambourine Man. From John Lennon inviting us to Imagine, to Bob Marley urging us to Get up, Stand up. From Led Zeppelin's colossal meanderings that led to a Stairway to Heaven to Freddie Mercury's existential hara-kiri in Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody,...
Real magic happens when lyrics and music tell a story.
And all of my fav songwriters do exactly that,...Cohen, Queen, Tom Petty, Mark Knopfler, U2, Sting, Adele, Bruce Springsteen, John Mayer, Ed Sheeran & Blake Shelton to name some.
To me, great songs are sonic miracles that become a part of our belief systems. Isn't it true that we are hypnotized by melody, rhythm and words? And if that's the case, what are we popularising?
Yes, the music industry is showbiz, but shouldn't great songwriting, STILL, be The foundation? Is there evidence that we are forever trusting the latest algorithm over our minds and ears? I really would love to hear from you on this subject.
I offer my thoughts to you, as a song.
'Listen Like The Blind'
Available across all streaming platforms. Listen to it here