What Lyrics Mean

Something strange happens when you look up the lyrics to a song you think you know, only to realize that you don’t. I’ve been searching for the words to songs on an album I’ve recently acquired and can’t believe how many words my brain “filled in”. Misunderstood words lead to misunderstood meanings, and the next thing you know you’re “blinded by the light, cut loose like a deuce, another runner in the night” instead of the common corollary, which can’t be mentioned on this blog and never shall be.

The first 20 years of my musical awareness was comprised mostly of chord progressions, cool beats and tight harmonies. If the song was about, say, trout fishing, I didn’t care — we’re still using it at the wedding. Now that I’m trying to write songs, I’m finding a new appreciation for lyrical content that, I will admit here and now, I haven’t cared about as much as I should.

Now that I’m becoming a lyric finder, I’m also finding cool sites that help unlock why the artist said what they did. Another revelation — even when we know the words, its easy to miss the meaning of the song. “Oh, ‘Brick’ is about the pain of a certain event! I thought it was about building materials. Hmmph.”

I’m using SongMeanings.net. Here’s everyone in the world’s view of Viva LaVida. There’s this one, too.

—- FOR DISCUSSION —-
1. The author quotes the lyrics from “Blinded by the Light” by Bruce Springsteen. Is Bruce a good choice for a baby born in the 21st century? Discuss.

2. If there were a song about trout fishing, would people play it at their weddings or save that kind of thing for their 1st anniversary?

3. Break into groups of 2-3 people. Go to your local mall and join someone on a refreshing calorie-burning lap. Be sure to ask about grandchildren. Often.

About radamdavidson

I'm a husband, dad, and pastor living in Portage, Michigan. I suppose I'm a euphoric melancholy generalist with average skills, experiences, and passions across several intertwined disciplines and hobbies including music, speaking, writing, leadership, ministry, and collecting cultural artifacts from the 1980's -- mostly vintage boomboxes. You can read my blog at www.radamdavidson.com, subscribe to my podcast (RadCast) or friend me on facebook.com/radamdavidson. about.me/radamdavidson
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