Tuesday, May 12, 2009

I get it but I can't say it

I was listening to NPR the other day and some musician was being interviewed. He was saying that he wanted people to be moved by his music in ways they could not explain, to feel things but not know quite what they were or why. And I just thought "that's me, dude!" I love music, and I really love song lyrics. I'm one of those people who used to just sit and memorize song lyrics cause they're so damn cool! I've been on runs where we just recited songs to take our mind off the pain. But just cause I love it, and I feel it, and I do feel it, doesn't mean I get it. I am, secretly, one of the worst people in the world at interpreting songs. I'll read reviews of songs that I thought were about cutting the grass and find out it's actually a political commentary on the Republican response to the brush fires of 1983. And they're like some of my favorite songs, that I know by heart, and they're all about something not at all like what I thought they were about. I'm always amazed at how people can just put these meanings together out of the words!

I prefer to think that you can deconstruct the meaning of anything and assemble a myriad of meanings, all without equal "truth value" because truth is socially constructed anyway. I prefer to think that, but I think what's really happening is that I am the Rain Man of song lyrics. I can recite for you the square root of pi, but I can't wash myself, song-lyrically speaking.

But anyway, anonymous musician guy on NPR, I'm your guy. All the way. Me and you buddy. I don't even care if your music sucks. You had me at "could not explain."

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