There are a lot of songs I like. And, naturally, a load a different bands. It’s the same with everyone, you listen to different stuff depending on lots of factors; what mood you’re in, the weather outside, what mood you want to be in, what you’re doing (exercising, reading, etc). But have you ever wondered why it is that a certain few songs “stick” with you? It may not be a trivial question to you- Duh, idiot, I like the songs that I like because they sound good to me. There’s no need to make this a philosophy lesson. Idiot.
WHO YOU CALIIN IDI- Well, the thing is, many of us like certain songs for certain reasons. Yeah, you may like a track because of the rhythm, you my like another because the lyrics resonate with you, and maybe another because it just reminds you of a certain time in your life. If I were to generalize why I like the songs I do, I would probably tell you that I’m an emotion-listener. I like songs because of the way they make me feel.
But some songs don’t always make you feel. They may be worn out and overplayed and lose their power on your mood. Another reason I like the music I do is because of memories associated with it- “cognitive connections”. Yeah, that isn’t an official scientific term, but it’s a good way to describe what I’m trying to say. I have connections with songs, based on memories with them (where I was in life when I started listening to them), or sometimes based on the level that they connect with me.
I think we can all agree: A song’s beat doesn’t really create and emotional connection with you. It may get you hyped up, the bass line might get you going, but in general, the lyrics are what stick with us.
And that’s why songwriting is what I personally believe is the most important aspect of music. There are a lot of tracks, though, where I’ll admit, the lyrics don’t matter to me. Again, sometimes it’s the beat, sometimes the emotion it gives, etc etc etc.
So anyways, I wanted to share some of my all-time favorite lyrics. Lyrics that, regardless of how much I like the song as a whole, attach themselves to me. Sometimes, a song has meh lyrics altogether, yet there is that one line in the song that just strikes a chord.
“If I could find a way to see this straight, I’d run away, to some fortune that I should have found by now”
- This lyric is arguably one of my favorite lines of any song, ever. It comes from the song that I often refer to as my “favorite song”- Cough Syrup by Young the Giant. It’s hard to say what makes a song your favorite, as each one has it’s own grading scale. But, this song reminds me of tenth grade when I played it all the time,when I was having serious troubles dealing with depression, sadness, etc. We’ve all been through a time like this, and this song reminds me of somewhat overcoming it through music. And this lyric, in particular, encapsulates that feeling. In a deep phrase: I couldn’t see it straight, but it was comforting to know that Sameer couldn’t either.
“I’ll be up, up and away because in the end, they’ll judge me anyway”
- Okay that last explanation was really sad and emotional n’stuff, so this one isn’t gonna be as emotional. This is certainly a happy lyric, and it comes from Kid Cudi in Up, Up, & Away. It isn’t hard to see why I may like this one, I don’t have any emotional or memory type connection with it, I just like the statement. Kid Cudi is saying he’s gonna do what he wants and not care what you think because people will judge you regardless.
“It’s you, I see, but you don’t see me. And it’s you, I hear, so loud and so clear”
- A lyric from Coldplay, in one of their earliest tracks, Shiver. I’ve always tried to pick a favorite Coldplay song, but I just can’t do it, there are too many I enjoy. However, it just might be Shiver, because it’s always been in that “favorite” conversation. This lyric is when the song becomes electrified, with a free electric guitar and Coldplay actually playing true rock. They don’t rock out often, they’re more mellow. This lyric is all-too-relatable to me. Chris is singing about a girl who won’t “pay him any attention”, and he’s pretty reserved about it, until the end of the song, where he just loses it. He yells out his frustration, and for me, I’ve had plenty of friends who don’t give me the effort I give them in return. Everyone has those people, this lyric is for that.
“Oh, all that I know, there’s nothing here to run from. ‘Cause yeah, everybody here’s got somebody to lean on.”
- This will be the last Coldplay lyric I include, because while I could list plenty more, I’d rather not get boring and only cite their lyrics. This is the ending line in Don’t Panic, a song off Coldplay’s debut album, Parachutes. It’s an old song (2000), but it’s still one of their best pieces of work, objectively. I love hearing this lyric, especially to end this peaceful tune, because it just sticks in my head telling me that it’s okay to not be okay. Like, “don’t run, everyone here is going through it” kinda vibe. It’s peaceful and great.
“Oh, don’t you worry, you’ll find yourself. Follow your heart, and nothing else”
- Comes from Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Simple Man. A near 50(?) year old song that is one of my favorites. It’s another universal lyric, yet many people fail to listen to. As a 20 year old, I’m still figuring out all of who I am. I’m not totally uncovered yet, like practically everyone my age, and this line reminds me to not stress the process.
“That’s why I fucked yo bitch, fat mothafucka”
- Tupac wrote this beautiful lyric in Hit ‘Em Up, a song about being yourself and just really allowing your emotions to flow in this wondrous, yet subtle stream of feeling. He’s referring to Biggie, and it really inspires me when I hear this opening line. The inner workings of this song are an enigma of wonderful love and joyous friendship. Anyone who knows anything about rap knows that Tupac didn’t actually mean what he said, rather it was a showing of respect. He’s telling Biggie, “You know what, I’m concerned about your health, man, you have to lose a few pounds to avoid heart disease. And, your bitch, she’s attractive, attractive enough that I fantasize about fucking her. I love you, man.”
Alright that last one was obviously total sarcasm and not really a favorite lyric of mine. With that being said, I’m gonna wrap this post up. Ah, music.
Thanks for reading
Luca DeJesu, 5:59 PM