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?



  1. I love music! I always enjoyed "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" lyrics because skies are blue. If today has me down, then tomorrow, I think will be better because of this song. =D

    Come by to read…
    L is for the way you LOOK at me

    ~Cathy Kennedy, Children's Author
    The Tale of Ole Green Eyes

  2. Newbie to Alphabe! Great post. I am more into music than words, New Age is my favorite.

    Remembering elementary school now, and all of the times back when, when life was simple.

  3. Anything from James Taylor does it for me.


  4. There are so many lovely lyrics in my head. The ones that do it for me? Paul Simon - Something So Right. Because I've always felt it describes me: And I've got a wall around me/That you can't even see/It took a little time/To get next to me.

  5. Great reminder of how powerful music and song is.

  6. I hadn't heard of Alphabe before, that sounds like fun!

    I'm going to be singing "I Will Survive" all day now, I love those lyrics.

    I love Bruce Springsteen's lyrics, and am also a huge fan of James Taylor. "Fire and Rain" is a favorite.

  7. When my two oldest children were young, and we were running erands in the car, occasionally they would start fighting in the back seat. Then I would start singing some song that usually related to their current situation. One day, the oldest told me, "Mom, you have a song for everything!!

  8. I am amazed at how music speaks to people! My daughter has been musical since before she was born. She used to kick in time to the music of "Life is a Highway" before she was born. It really was crazy because it was only when that song was playing. She just turned three and her musical tastes have broadened. I love listening to her sing! Thanks for sharing!

  9. Hi Cathy, that's a beautiful song especially sung by Eva Cassidy.

    Hi Sue, I don't know anything by James Taylor (feeling very ignorant, sorry.)

    Hi Miriam, that's so moving, the bit about the wall. Thanks for sharing that.

    Hi Jewelee, very powerful!

    Hi Julie, me too. I've been singing it in my head all evening! Sorry about that.

    Hi Judie, I hope you told them that that's because there IS a song for everything.

    Hi Tanya, that's an amazing story about your baby. It proves that they can hear before they're born. Fascinating.

  10. That is so true - that lyrics make a greater impact on the memory than poems. The only music I listen to now are nursery rhymes. I can sing the Barney theme song pretty well...and also The Little Einsteins....I SO need to get back to mainstream music!!

  11. Addicted to all music...choosing favorites would just be too difficult...

  12. yes, I remember lyrics but rarely poetry or any books I've read. though at the moment, I'm listening to music as I browse blogs so there really isn't any particular song in my head at the moment. though whenever anyone mentions John Lennon's Imagine, I always knew the words, at least enough to say them.

  13. Hello Ros, I would fill you Blog and more if I was to mention all the songs I love, I love music. My Ipod is filled with everything, from rock to opera, country & Western to Blues. I love sad songs. "Hello Darkness my old friend" Simon & Garfunkel. I love Lulu's "Shout" But I must stop here, because I am already getting carried away...and has Freddi Mercury sang, " I'm going slightly mad.....I'm knitting with only one needle...!" Big Hugs for a fabby Blog xx

  14. Harry Chapin's Cat's in the Cradle has always hit a chord with me. I know so many who followed that path.

  15. Most anything by the Beatles works for me, something for every mood or moment. And Dylan, of course. I'm also very fond of songs from the Big Band Era and particularly the songs of Cole Porter.

    Night and day you are the one
    Only you beneath the moon and under the sun...

  16. I love song lyrics and yes, I've pointed wildly into some unseen place at Gloria Gaynor's I will Survive.

    At the moment, when I'm in the car, more often than not, I'm turning off the radio and putting on a cd so I can listen to the lyrics, because at this point in time, I am trying to do a redraft and it helps my mind work.

    Funny how that happens isn't it.

  17. I love music and play several instruments. Lyrics are very inspirational for writing!

  18. I definitely use lyrics to inspire me, and I have whole lists of songs that put me in the mood for my different books!

  19. Hi mom2kiddos, I think it's time you filled your ipod with some 'you' music! ;-)

    Hi I Wonder Wye, agreed. I've though of lots of songs I could have included since posting this up!

    Hi Lissa, I'm listening to music as I type this too ;-)

    Hi Pauline, Freddie Mercury! Yay! Uh, uh, uh, another one bites the dust, yeah...

    Hi GiglesandGuns, just googled and listened to it. Lovely. Thanks for the prompt.

    Hi Bish, Cole Porter was amazing.
    ...Whether near to me, or far
    Its no matter darling where you are
    I think of you... Day and night, night and day,

    Hi Rebecca, Glad I'm not the only one who's done that Gloria Gaynor thing! ;-)

    Hi Alex, music is very special, isn't it.

  20. what musical take, love lyrics too,
    bless you.

  21. Hi Ros .. I'd love to be able to remember poems and songs .. snippets come to mind - but match them up appropriately doesn't usually work .. however the brain works for other things ..

    Gosh I hope those kids remember your lessons they sound great ..

    Let our imagination roam ... there are some amazing 'rock songs' out there .. and heal the world would definitely be one .. as would Dylan's 'the times they are a-changing' ...

    I might have got that one! Cheers for now .. wonderful post - thanks .. Hilary

  22. Music speaks to my soul like poetry cannot.

    I used to write a lot of music...both for my guitar and piano, now I find fiction has a stronger pull for me.

    My husband always laughs because almost any song that comes on the radio I know the words...but I, too, can't remember poetry (unless I put it to music in my head which is how I memorized things in school).

    I won't even start on my favorite lyrics...I don't think there would be enough room in this comment to even dent the surface of that particular iceberg!

    Thanks for a neat link!

    I really enjoyed this.