Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Two kinds of people

So there's two kinds of people - lyric people, and music people. There may be a third kind - that listens to neither lyrics nor music, and doesn't see "listening to music" as a viable stand-alone activity - but for my purposes, I really just don't care what those people think.

Anyway, back to music lovers, and their listening habits. I, for one, am a music person. Maybe it comes from playing music, maybe I spend so much time thinking about words in writing that I tune out words in waves. Either way, there's no denying it: I don't listen to lyrics. It's not that I don't hear vocals, I do. I sing along. I even know some of the words, from hearing them so many times. But, even if I can sing along to the whole damn song, the fact that those words are conveying a meaning just never really registers with me until someone points it out. Don't ask me why, I don't know. The point is, I listen for the sound, not the message.

There are other people who are quite different. They immediately tune into the words, the story, the statement. They tell me how great a song is - because of such and such a line or a certain idea. And that's great - just not for me. It takes so much effort for me to try to think about the words, I can stay busy for weeks just listening to the sounds on a good album, without touching the lyrics. Nevertheless, there are a lot of lyric people out there, you know who you are.

I'm certainly not saying that each group is exclusive. Certainly, the lyric people dig a good groove, and, when I finally notice them, I greatly appreciate a witty wordsmith. After all, wordsmithing, and mainly, the study of wordsmithing, is what I do. What is really great, however, is when a lyric person really loves a song, or a record, or an artist, and a music person happens up on the same conclusion, from a different perspective. That points to a truly solid piece of work.

What's the point of all this? What have we learned about lyric people and music people? I don't know. I've noticed that many of my posts take a somewhat idyllic and sweepingly broad turn at the end, trying to transpose the subject of the blog to another level, finally commenting on society or life. Well, I've decided that's kinda wack, so this time, all you get is that there's two kinds of people - lyric people, and music people.

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