This Is A Post About Descriptiveness In Music And Stuff

I have a terrible memory. I’m not talking slightly terrible or mildly terrible or any other intensity of terribleness. It’s to the point where I can never remember which of my comforters (I use two in winter) are supposed to be on top, even in spite of the fact that they’re completely different colors and I look at them every single day. I have a lot more examples of my terrible memory that are much better than that, but my memory is just so darn terrible that I can’t even remember those examples. When I consider this and my innate laziness, I really have no idea how I got through public education.

That memory is just one way in which my general inattentiveness manifests itself. Here’s another. When I listen to any music for the first time, I often just pass over the lyrics. The instrumentation and the overall feel are what comes first to me, and make me decide if I like it. The previous sentence is my official excuse for the fact that I usually don’t pay enough attention to really hear the lyrics. There a only few cases where I’ll actually go back and look up lyrics that I couldn’t decipher the first time:

1. I come to like the song and listen to it more.
2. I’m listening to something for review.
3. There’s some part of the song that just bothers me if I can’t figure it out. (Yes, this happens.)

Otherwise, the title of the song and maybe the chorus is all I get out of a song text-wise. This is the reason why I sometimes get completely wrong ideas about a song’s message: I thought Beyonce’s “Ave Maria” was religious until I looked it up, and “Death of Auto-Tune” seriously about auto-tune until I listened to the album again. More recently, it happened with this song:

“We Own the Sky”? Doesn’t that sound like an inspirational title. I was listening to this a couple weeks ago, which happened to be the peak of the graduation season. Naturally, I congratulated my ability to somehow find a song that fit perfectly with what was happening in my life. It didn’t only happen in movies!

Until I looked at the lyrics.

Each shade of blue
Is kept in our eyes
Keep blowing and lighting
Because we own the sky

Secrets from the winds
Burnt stars crying

Soft soft or cruel
Can’t we change our minds?
We kill what we build
Because we own the sky

Secrets from the winds
Burnt stars crying

So many moons here
Lost wings floating

It’s coming, it’s coming now!
It’s coming, it’s coming now!
What’s coming? What’s coming now?
What’s coming? What’s coming now?

It’s coming from the sky
It’s coming from the wind

So… yeah. Abstraction is fine with me (and I guess you can make a case for those lyrics actually somehow tying into graduation), but if I knew those were the lyrics beforehand I probably wouldn’t have been as proud of myself. I blame the misleading title and atmosphere. Clearly this song would have been better titled something like “The Thing That Is Coming From the Sky and the Wind But No One Knows What It Is”. Sure, it totally loses all sense of poetic meaning, is much more of a mouthful, and still only describes the last couple stanzas of the song, but is that more important than the fact that it wouldn’t have cost me my smug satisfaction? (The answer is no.)

Which is why, from now on, I’m going to start coming up with more descriptive titles for songs that don’t have suitably descriptive titles already and refer to them as that. So don’t be surprised when you hear how I’ve been listening to “Neighbors Know My Name… Because You Scream It So F**ing Loud While We Make Love” or “I Could Really, Really, REALLY Use a Wish Right Now” lately.

And don’t be surprised when you see how I’ve completely forgotten that I’ve decided to do this.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.