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Author Topic: people listening to music they don't understand  (Read 912 times)

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Mairi

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people listening to music they don't understand
« on: March 15, 2005, 04:30:11 AM »

Once, I spent like half an hour explaining to this stupid girl that the Bob Dylan song "Maggie's Farm" is not about an actual farm. And today I was trying to explain to someone about the metaphor used in the Avril Lavigne song "Nobody's Home."
I know all songs are open to interpretation, etc, etc, but I also think people shouldn't listen to something, especially strong political songs such as Maggie's Farm, unless they know what it's all about  Anyone else agree?
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Ivo

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Re: people listening to music they don't understand
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2005, 05:54:22 AM »

Yes and no.  Yes, it galls me that people listen to songs and don't get or even attempt to get its real meaning, yet, at its core music is meant to be many things to many listeners.

Some people are just very passive music listeners and don't care to know everything about the song.  They may listen to Maggie's Farm and simply like the way it sounds.  However, that having been said, if they are running around acting like a critic and telling everyone what they think the song means without truly knowing for sure then they deserve to be schooled harshly.  Otherwise, if they make no attempt to sound like a wisen-heimer and simply admit to ignorance then I can let it slide.

I guess I'm on the fence with this one, it really depends on the person in question and how they are representing themselves with regards to any song in question.
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TurnMeOnDeadman

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Re: people listening to music they don't understand
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2005, 03:24:16 PM »

well, thousands of people of heard that song without knowing the meaning...especially when it came out in the 60s
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Kevin

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Re: people listening to music they don't understand
« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2005, 03:29:11 PM »

I don't think many people out there bother that much with lyrics. I think its generally the melody that catches peoples attention (hence The Old Grey Whistle Test). I loved "Smells Like Teen Spirit" for ages with no idea what he was on about. And Dylan still totally baffles me.
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In Blue Hawaii

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Re: people listening to music they don't understand
« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2005, 04:18:21 PM »

Quote from: Mairi
today I was trying to explain to someone about the metaphor used in the Avril Lavigne song "Nobody's Home."

avril lavigne? is she a protest singer/songwriter?

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Mairi

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Re: people listening to music they don't understand
« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2005, 06:45:16 PM »

No. It's just a song... although she is anti-war... but the songs she's written about that haven't been released, unfortunately.
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lennonlemon

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Re: people listening to music they don't understand
« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2005, 09:54:56 PM »

i guess i could consider myself a passive listnener. i never really choose to listen to the lyrics (which is why i seldom guess correctly for "song game") and just like how it sounds. occasionally, i bother to get into the lyrics and their meaning, but i don't preach thinking i know what the hell certain songs mean.
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strawb3rryfi3ldsfor3ver

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Re: people listening to music they don't understand
« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2005, 04:38:19 PM »

I sit on the fence on this. Hm. I like understanding the 'real' meaning of a song -- there's this one song out of the nineties, no idea who does it...I don't really care for it, but for the longest time I thought it said "blow bubbles" [like, being happy] but it was really something incredibly depressing when I actually found out what it said later -- but I dunno.

I have a friend who tried to explain "Bicycle" by Queen to us, once. -__-;;  I never found out what it's really //supposed// to mean (like she explained it, anyhow. I know it's about riding a bike, makes me think about wanting to be free, but I don't think that's what she said. NO IDEA. XD;). I turned up the Beatles CD I was listening to and let her explain to someone else. >_>

I like knowing... but I don't? I feel so inconclusive now. ._.
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An Apple Beatle

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Re: people listening to music they don't understand
« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2005, 04:46:40 PM »

I think we all listen to music we don't understand to some degree.
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strawb3rryfi3ldsfor3ver

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Re: people listening to music they don't understand
« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2005, 05:00:28 PM »

No one understands "I Am the Walrus" -- not even John Lennon. Good point. =D
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tkitna

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Re: people listening to music they don't understand
« Reply #10 on: March 22, 2005, 12:59:46 AM »

I play drums so I

lennonlemon

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Re: people listening to music they don't understand
« Reply #11 on: March 22, 2005, 01:49:53 AM »

Quote from: tkitna
I play drums so I have a bad habit of always listening to the drum tracks first along with the bassline. Lyrics comes into play after a 5th or 6th listen. The music means more to me than the lyrics. Meaningful lyrics are just a plus for me. If its that important for the words to mean something, i'll grab a book. A song is music,,,,thats what I listen to.

same here, tk
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Re: people listening to music they don't understand
« Reply #12 on: March 22, 2005, 02:01:49 AM »

To me the lyrics come first, there are so many songs that are cathartic whether they're angry, sad, whatever, even gibberish like 'Walrus' has a beauty to it. My favorite misinterpretation of a lyric, and there's books on this, is from "Lucy"--'the girl with kaleidescope eyes', someone had it that he says 'the girl with colitis goes by'.
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