Thursday 7 July 2011

I Love Lyrics

This blog has been inspired by Jenny Matlock's blog and this week's Alphabe-Thursday which is the letter L for Lovely Lyrics and I do so love lyrics... 

I believe that lyrics are even more powerful than poetry. I know three, maybe four poems by heart, but I know the words to hundreds and hundreds of songs and can produce them at a moment’s notice from that mysterious place that is the bottom drawer of my brain.

There are some moving and thought-provoking lyrics out there including Bob Dylan's 'The times they are a-changing' and John Lennon's 'Imagine'. There are also plenty of dramatic ones, like Gloria Gaynor’s ‘I will survive’ (by Freddie Perren and Dino Fekaris) for those moments when a relationship has hurt you so much that you’re not quite sure if you actually will survive. 

Hands up all those of you who have pointed aggressively towards the door as you’ve sung the lines:
“Go on now, GO!
Walk out the door.
Just turn around now.
Cause you’re not welcome anymore.”  
Me too!   *Hand waving in air and bottom half off chair.*

In my last life, when I was a primary school teacher, I often used songs as an introduction to a new topic. I’m talking about the days when teachers were not throttled by the constraints of the National Curriculum, when, if a child brought in a birds nest that was no longer being used to rear baby birds, we would abandon all our plans for the day and use it as a teaching aid... yes, with no prepared curriculum aims and objectives except to avoid catching bird fleas and lice.

I have precious memories of a term in the early 1990s spent with my Year 3 and 4 class (ages 7 to 9). We used the words of Michael Jackson's ‘Heal the World’ as an introduction to our term’s topic. The work covered English, the environment, politics, geography, history, music, drama and personal development. We had a great time and I’d like to think that my class can remember it as clearly as I can. I wonder if today’s Year 3 and 4 classes will remember their National Curriculum constrained lessons in 20 years time.

Michael Jackson’s words have since been marred by the revelations about his alleged relations with the children who surrounded him. There is also a sadness that his plea to make the world a better place 'for you, and for me, and the entire human race’ has not been realised. Naive of me I know but I really thought our generation might be able to make a difference. There’s still time, but while I’m waiting at least I can sing about it...
‘There are people dying.
If you care enough for the living
Make a better place for you and for me.’
 Which song lyrics do it for you?