Saturday, February 28, 2009

what's happened to songs?

i've been alive long enough to notice that songs are different than they used to be.
the tunes are different. the words are different. they feel different, not good different. I'm not stuck in a golden time warp where everything must be tra la la in the grassy, sunlit meadow. Life has shades, some are dark. Songs are great expressions. But something is going wrong. . has gone wrong. I had a mind to compare the flowery lyrics and treacley tunes of eras past -- and they were beautiful, romantic, idyllic -- then try to contrast these with the unvarnished, jaded even violent lyrics and aggressive melodies that have emerged. But i wondered where to start. A few decades ago? a century? further? I couldn't do it. I thought a sliver of a sample would be too little to back up my assertion and anything larger would be too tedious; like trying to capture a picture of something gargantuan with a cellphone camera.

I'm not sure its possible to separate song and music from the experience of human existence, language, being. No, I don't think it is.
Music and us, we're inseparable. Words and people, impossible to part them.
We evolve, songs do. We transcend, they climb with us. We degenerate, they deteriorate. I've noticed we're not transcending. I'm not even sure its possible for modern humans to do so any more. We think we know too much. We are advancing in enormous leaps and simultaneously falling backwards with shocking speed. Nothing seems to phase us. How difficult is it for us to be quiet long enough to breathe and think of more than playing, using and acquiring?
Can we appreciate, feel grateful?
Do we know how to own our smallness in the great vastness we have yet to acknowledge?We are too big for our britches.

and because of all this, I think music has been suffering along with us.
I do think so.
We have lost something(s).
lost.. .
going. .

music as barometer, mood ring, mirror. .
i think so, yes.
everything we experience, comes out in the songs. .

modern/postmodern tug of war
generational struggling
fears for the future
concerns for the present
spectres of the past
echoes of romance
love, all bruised and roughed up


Gina: said...

You are truly the most brilliant poet of our time...

Very thought provoking.

Electroluminescence. said...

you speak the truth, friend.
yes indeedy appleseedy.

I can see everything you are talking about... just by listening to some "old" tunes and comparing it to the music of today...
even though i've only been around for a little over two decades...

i love the you think about things that not many people EVER think about...

Bradley B. Shea said...

You know, you're right.. thanks for sharing..