Music and Lyrics

A couple of years ago, I was with several friends when they broke into an argument about Katy Perry’s “Firework”, namely, the opening line. One of them said that quite frankly no, she had never felt like a plastic bag, while the other pointed out the metaphor of the discarded plastic bag, as well as the uniqueness of the image. I don’t know if I agreed with her immediately or the idea grew on me, but I sit on the side that states it’s a good metaphor, and the song has grown on me because of that line alone. The moral of the story? Song lyrics are poems. When my language arts teacher did her poetry unit in seventh grade, she taught us as such, and I’ve stood by it since.

Songs are filled with clever lines. When I first heard Reliant K’s “Must Have Done Something Right,” I was impressed that they rhymed with “cliche.” I was likewise instantly impressed by the line, “my friends are in the bathroom getting higher than the empire state,” from “We are Young” by Fun. Clear imagery, unique, and fits the overall tone. Or what about the idea that “Cassie pulled the trigger” in Flyleaf’s “Cassie”? Most people I know get confused by that line, but it was one of the reasons I first fell in love with the song. Of course, the other reason I fell in love with the song was the sound of it, like the whisper of the final line. In fact, I’ve often said that the neither the music nor lyrics of “Cassie” alone impressed me, and it was the combination of the two that made the song amazing. And I couldn’t care about three-quarters of “We are Young.” Only the intro really interests me, and not so much because of that line, but because of the meldoy, the rhythm, and the instrumentation. That’s the problem with featuring a song for poetry month. Most songs I love not because of their poetry, but their sound.

I first fell in love with Devotchka when I heard the songs they did for one of my favorite films, Little Miss Sunshine. As usual, I fell in love with the sound, but I’ve also spent many an hour pouring over the lyrics, and the more I listened, the more I enjoyed the words. I am particularly fond of “How it Ends” for several reasons. First, I have spent more time studying the lyrics of this song than most others. Second, I am particularly interested in literature associated with death. Sperficially, because it’s also a favorite of my friend, Simon, and it’s got a great video: How it Ends

In line with musical lyrics, my poem is a Muñ hymn. Muñ states that God has two faces. One represents the female, the light, warmth, new life, emotional logic, and forgiveness. The other represents the male, the darkness, coldness, old age, head logic, and judgment. Together, they protect the balance of the world. This is in translation from the original Mermish:

Slowly, silently, now the moon
takes his place on the sky’s throne.
The stars look in wonder at his call
Maimrute’s candles light the nightwalkers’ path.

Maimrute is the male face of God.
“Nightwalker,” despite its ominous sound, does not bare negative connotation in the Mermish. Depending on the context, it can refer to either a member of the Muñ religion as a whole or a dedicate to Maimrute in particular.


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