on life, music etc beyond mainstream

2015 20 Jun

Twenty Six Fifteen

von: Uwe Meilchen Filed under: Blog | TB | 1 Comment

Poems vs. song lyrics?
Ian wrote today about his interest in art. Let me add that I agree and apart from the odd exhibition in some museums I never quite came to understand art. Modern art that is, like Damien Hirst for example is usually above me.

I can also admit that apart from the odd poem I had to learn and analize (= write about!) in school I never had an interest in poems … but just now, having turned fifty some month ago (ha!) I must admit that now I find an almost serene comfort in poems by Hilde Domin, Nelly Sachs and so on. – Having read books about Hilde Domin and Nelly Sachs and the life they lead it’s quite interesting to see how they developed a way to overcome their personal fate (Hilde Domin had to flee from Germany during the second world war) and express the unsayable.

Having said this, instead of having an interest in poems I always had an interest in song lyrics, which since my youth on seemed sometimes to reflect certain thoughts I had and couldn’t quite articulate in my own words. I vividly remember hearing Leonard Cohen singing „The Night Comes On“ for the first time (and recently on his new live album which was released some weeks ago made me think about it again) and I perfectly understood how it was for the person he sung about, the mother lying in her grave „under the marble and the snow“ and her advice for him to just go on (in life, that is I guess), „my shawl wrapped around you / my hands on your head when you go“. My personal life was in disarray at the time and I remember now that I suddenly understood that song lyrics (or, speaking in general terms music) can comfort me much more than any spoken words of condolence.

Some years ago many artists decided to collect their song lyrics in books. Perhaps it would be too easy (and sarcastic) to just suggest that they want to cash in on the money of their die-hard fans who want to collect everything from their favourite artists even though they already own all the lyrics in the booklet of the CD or the dustjacket in which the vinyl is safely stored. Paul McCartney, Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohens have already offered their lyrics to buy in book form.

I cannot count the times Bob Dylan was nominated for the Nobel Prize in literature …, so there must be a point in reading and enjoying song lyrics as I do.

This entry was posted on Samstag, 20. Juni 2015 and is filed under "Blog". You can follow any responses to this entry with RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

1 Comment

  1. Ian M:

    I wonder if Damien Hirst has ever written any songs? The Spot Paintings retrospective (1986-2011) at the Gagosian gallery in King’s Cross early 2012 was amazing!

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