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Old 07-22-2006, 05:28 PM   #1
idlt4
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" Raindrops on roses , whiskers on kittens ,bright copper kettles and warm woollen mittens "....these are NOT a few of my favourite things.

Steve sings instead "Controversial comments ,arguments/division, animated discussion and polarised positions" these ARE MUCH CLOSER to a few of my favourite things...

So if you are a fence sitting Corfidite this thread is not for you.. This is not the time for getting splinters..

To the Point :

I was reading another thread here and it struck me that so many people (clearly the majority ) are touched by Gord's lyrics.

But songs are made up of melody ,tune & ryhthm too.

Unlike a lot of the poet/word lovers among you, (and most "folkies" are firmly in this camp,) I am primarily a melody lover. I couldn't care less if the most poetic and inspirational words were enmeshed in a song. If the tune/rhthm and "feel" of a song didn't grab me first I would have no interest. If that got the tick of approval, I would analyse it more deeply.

So, ( and I know I am in the minority )but here is the thing...
Which camp are you ? If you have to make the distinction would you say
a) It is Gords words that make me a devotee
b) It is Gord's melodies that make me a devotee?


NB No mealy mouthed "but I love the whole of the song".."the song is a whole and can't be divided" posts. Get the splinters out of your bottoms those considering this line.... :D .

Give me some division, some arguments, give me a few of my favourite things..

cheers from chilly Sydney (mid winter)!!
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Old 07-22-2006, 05:28 PM   #2
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" Raindrops on roses , whiskers on kittens ,bright copper kettles and warm woollen mittens "....these are NOT a few of my favourite things.

Steve sings instead "Controversial comments ,arguments/division, animated discussion and polarised positions" these ARE MUCH CLOSER to a few of my favourite things...

So if you are a fence sitting Corfidite this thread is not for you.. This is not the time for getting splinters..

To the Point :

I was reading another thread here and it struck me that so many people (clearly the majority ) are touched by Gord's lyrics.

But songs are made up of melody ,tune & ryhthm too.

Unlike a lot of the poet/word lovers among you, (and most "folkies" are firmly in this camp,) I am primarily a melody lover. I couldn't care less if the most poetic and inspirational words were enmeshed in a song. If the tune/rhthm and "feel" of a song didn't grab me first I would have no interest. If that got the tick of approval, I would analyse it more deeply.

So, ( and I know I am in the minority )but here is the thing...
Which camp are you ? If you have to make the distinction would you say
a) It is Gords words that make me a devotee
b) It is Gord's melodies that make me a devotee?


NB No mealy mouthed "but I love the whole of the song".."the song is a whole and can't be divided" posts. Get the splinters out of your bottoms those considering this line.... :D .

Give me some division, some arguments, give me a few of my favourite things..

cheers from chilly Sydney (mid winter)!!
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Old 07-22-2006, 06:40 PM   #3
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i'm a melody person for sure. the first time i heard sundown, it was a stinking hot night where i couldnt sleep at 4.30 or 5am...
i couldnt hear the lyrics that good, but the melody grabbed. same with if you could read my mind shortly after
(and in the same situation!)
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Old 07-22-2006, 07:26 PM   #4
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Sydney Steve,

Boy, aren't we in a mood.

Trying not to raise your ire, I will support the "mealy mouthed" argument. I will state that the melody is most important upon first hearing a song.
But I find your argument leaves little room for the songs that "grow" on one. What makes me a devotee is the view from atop the fence.

RMD (removing splinters)
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Old 07-22-2006, 08:04 PM   #5
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It depends - how's that for fence-sitting? Some songs I love the melody ("Miguel" comes to mind) and for others I find the words moving/inspiring but not necessarily the tune.

Really, the one or the other question is like "do you prefer to inhale or exhale?" You can do one or the other exclusively for a short time but need both to be what's considered "breathing" (and living).

Someplace or other I read a similar discussion on Cole Porter's words and music, or maybe it was Irving Berlin's. You can read/listen to them separately but they really "sing" (pun intended) together, as they were meant to.

On a related topic, see http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7995265/

Scientists study how music stirs memories:
Quote:

The researchers were surprised to find a difference in how we recall songs with words versus instrumentals.

When the mute button was hit during the word-free theme from "The Pink Panther" (sorry to do that again) people relied on many different parts of the auditory cortex to fill in the blanks. Fewer brain parts were required to continue "hearing" songs with words.

"It makes us think that lyrics might be the focus of the memory," Kraemer said.

[ July 22, 2006, 20:11: Message edited by: Auburn Annie ]
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Old 07-22-2006, 08:04 PM   #6
Auburn Annie
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It depends - how's that for fence-sitting? Some songs I love the melody ("Miguel" comes to mind) and for others I find the words moving/inspiring but not necessarily the tune.

Really, the one or the other question is like "do you prefer to inhale or exhale?" You can do one or the other exclusively for a short time but need both to be what's considered "breathing" (and living).

Someplace or other I read a similar discussion on Cole Porter's words and music, or maybe it was Irving Berlin's. You can read/listen to them separately but they really "sing" (pun intended) together, as they were meant to.

On a related topic, see http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7995265/

Scientists study how music stirs memories:
Quote:

The researchers were surprised to find a difference in how we recall songs with words versus instrumentals.

When the mute button was hit during the word-free theme from "The Pink Panther" (sorry to do that again) people relied on many different parts of the auditory cortex to fill in the blanks. Fewer brain parts were required to continue "hearing" songs with words.

"It makes us think that lyrics might be the focus of the memory," Kraemer said.

[ July 22, 2006, 20:11: Message edited by: Auburn Annie ]
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Old 07-22-2006, 08:25 PM   #7
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lyrics.
but if I like the lyrics and hate the melody? nothing can fix that for me.
but lyrics. splinter free.
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Old 07-22-2006, 08:33 PM   #8
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melody. Because I don't hear very well, I don't know most of the words. So I rely on the music. BUT, afterward I can come to really love a song because of the words that I have read and then can understand.
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Old 07-22-2006, 08:34 PM   #9
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You kind a need both, the melody is very important of course. But what drew me to , Gordon Lightfoot in 1969. Is the magic that he has, to write these beautiful verse, poems, stories.

Everytime I would buy a new Lightfoot Album, I would always, look at the back, and it would constantly say ,"All songs written and composed by: Gordon Lightfoot. I would find that so amazing, still do today...{The Poet Laureat}

So if we have to pick one it would be:

{A} It is Gords
words that make me a devotee...Jesse
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Old 07-22-2006, 08:34 PM   #10
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You kind a need both, the melody is very important of course. But what drew me to , Gordon Lightfoot in 1969. Is the magic that he has, to write these beautiful verse, poems, stories.

Everytime I would buy a new Lightfoot Album, I would always, look at the back, and it would constantly say ,"All songs written and composed by: Gordon Lightfoot. I would find that so amazing, still do today...{The Poet Laureat}

So if we have to pick one it would be:

{A} It is Gords
words that make me a devotee...Jesse
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Old 07-22-2006, 08:38 PM   #11
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because i am so hopelessly untalented in the music field i think i'd listen to words first.
but...

the music/melody has to grab me.

And since I have never heard (intially) a Lightfoot tune that was just music or just lyrics the combination are so intertwined I can't separate them upon first listen...

of course the words stand alone as poetry and the music alone is sublime.
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Old 07-22-2006, 08:38 PM   #12
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because i am so hopelessly untalented in the music field i think i'd listen to words first.
but...

the music/melody has to grab me.

And since I have never heard (intially) a Lightfoot tune that was just music or just lyrics the combination are so intertwined I can't separate them upon first listen...

of course the words stand alone as poetry and the music alone is sublime.
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Old 07-23-2006, 12:12 AM   #13
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I love the melodies but words do it for me. With every new album I loved to get comfortable, put the headphones on and read the lyrics along with the music and try to understand or feel what was going on in GL's world when he wrote each song. Gordon can paint a picture or set a mood better than any song writer alive today (my opinion).
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Old 07-23-2006, 01:43 AM   #14
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Lyrics for this member.

They are "center stage" to the performance. The melody is the curtained backdrop.

I imagine most songwriters, at the outset, feel inspired to write words and then an accompanying melody ... not the other way around.

So it is with my preference.

Michael
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Old 07-23-2006, 02:45 AM   #15
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Mike Dixon,

I find your remarks to be interesting. However, I find that the music evokes the words; sort of a "release valve" if you will.

Trying not to stray too far off topic, I will briefly visit this path : If I listen to a group like TOOL, I find their music to be noise, but the lyrics to be insightful. Without my son's guidance, I would never even venture there. The music would repel me. Now, I return to the magic of Lightfoot:

He has both the music, and the words.

RMD (still on the fence)
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Old 07-23-2006, 06:23 AM   #16
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RMD.

Allow me to elaborate on some isolated opinions thus far expressed on this thread that fall clearly one side of the fence .. and the discretion to draw that very clear distntinction in Steve's original post if I may ....

(sidebar FB !!! I happened to love Julie Andrews !! .. dress to your intended !!)

He made it abundantly clear that this was a "one or the other" debate ...... as is his choice ..... and despite my initial misgivings to divorce one from the other, I've done that (easily) and been (to date) one of few to do so.

I read the "arguments" and they have equal value and I respect (with obvious deference) those opinions. But they have either ignored for the most part, or cast aside the question posed in the thread topic.

Steve deliberately intended a divorce between the words and music. ... and for those that made our "call" ?

Far easier it would be to write music to someone else's feelings than words to someone else's musical notes.

The opening strains of of a song may pull you in (whether they be freely singing to one's soul or evocative and take you to your past) but unless they hold your attention through an incisive line, a well constructed verse, they die, immediate from mind as they do from heart.

By the way ...the name is Mike

[ July 23, 2006, 09:54: Message edited by: Mike Dixon ]
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Old 07-23-2006, 09:13 AM   #17
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It's the music for me. The lyrics seem to come later. Generally, I just 'like' a song until I work up my own rendition on the guitar. Some work out, some don't. For instance, I never really liked Heaven Help The Devil until I was fooling around with the guitar one Sunday morning and worked out my own accompaniment, which, by the way, is completely different than Gord's version.
I remember when I was in my teens, trying to figure out how he played IYCRMM. It took me something like 20 years to figure it out, but now that I have it, it's always one of the first songs I play when I pick up the guitar.
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Old 07-23-2006, 02:27 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mike Dixon:
RMD.


I read the "arguments" and they have equal value and I respect (with obvious deference) those opinions. But they have either ignored for the most part, or cast aside the question posed in the thread topic.

Steve deliberately intended a divorce between the words and music. ... and for those that made our "call" ?

Far easier it would be to write music to someone else's feelings than words to someone else's musical notes.

The opening strains of of a song may pull you in (whether they be freely singing to one's soul or evocative and take you to your past) but unless they hold your attention through an incisive line, a well constructed verse, they die, immediate from mind as they do from heart.

By the way ...the name is Mike
Mike,

Fair enough. I just found the premise to be impossible to relate to, but I admit I'm guilty of disregarding Steve's very clear "line in the sand" boundary. Thus, I will post no more on this topic, stay firmly on the fence, and view those who wish to fall to one side or the other.

Thanks for the thoughts,

RMD
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Old 07-23-2006, 05:03 PM   #19
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Pick it apart? Oooookaaaaaay!

Melody is the first and foremost thing I look for in Gord's or anyone elses songs. (Melody and tune are the same thing by the way).

While I do listen to a garden variety of music,melody is what I like best. If a song doesn't touch me emotionally,it doesn't mean as much.
---------------------------------------------

(A "very" close second)Lyrics:As far as Gord goes,his lyrics are tops,especially regarding a subject like love,lost love,the human conditon and human relations. For my $$ no one does it better.
-----------------------------------------------
Third:Beat or rhythm;Todays music is mostly this and while I can stand a little,overall it doesn't appeal to me.
Now,take a song like "Spin-Spin"...it has a great upbeat happy rhythm.

Then the opposite end of the spectrum "TWOTEF" where the slow drum beat represents the waves hitting the ship. It really helps set the mood in concrete,with the help of the above two ingredients.

In the end,all three make not just a "whole" song but make a whole songwriter's thoughts complete.

Even though I "ranked" them,Steve,the truth is...all three do matter and really cannot be seperated.

Without them,all you have is a hollow or half-baked idea and you end up with songs like,"Baby Don't Forget My Number" by Milli Vanilli! ...or other forms that "music" lovers just can't get with. Nor should we try,because in our hearts,we know what we like.

That is why we say "we like the whole of the song",that is,the whole package...the musical paint brush that Gord uses to be that "Painter Passing Through".

There Steve,good enough arguement?? :D LOL!
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Old 07-23-2006, 07:16 PM   #20
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Steve, I love these topics that pose challenges that cause one to reflect deep and answer the tough questions. Reflection that sometimes makes you realize that things weren't really the way you thought they were at all. I know your challenge was based on Lightfoot music, but I reached even deeper - or maybe not deep enough - and based my response on all music.

I've always thought of myself as a word person. Words either touch me deeply drawing me to the song, or don't mean anything to me making the song not as personal. As a rule, I've never been much for instrumentals or instrumentalists. I find large doses of it very boring and the music loses my attention pretty quickly. However, as with any rule, there are exceptions.

That said, as I searched within for the answer to your challenge, I realized that if the melody doesn't capture my attention, I don't always listen to the words. So, for the purposes of your challenge, I'll have to go with melody. It's the melody I'm humming days later - I'm not reciting the words (unless of course I'm by myself in my car or the shower as those are pretty much the only times I sing)
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Old 07-23-2006, 11:52 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally posted by Janice:
Steve, I love these topics that pose challenges that cause one to reflect deep and answer the tough questions. Reflection that sometimes makes you realize that things weren't really the way you thought they were at all. I know your challenge was based on Lightfoot music, but I reached even deeper - or maybe not deep enough - and based my response on all music.

I've always thought of myself as a word person. Words either touch me deeply drawing me to the song, or don't mean anything to me making the song not as personal. As a rule, I've never been much for instrumentals or instrumentalists. I find large doses of it very boring and the music loses my attention pretty quickly. However, as with any rule, there are exceptions.

That said, as I searched within for the answer to your challenge, I realized that if the melody doesn't capture my attention, I don't always listen to the words. So, for the purposes of your challenge, I'll have to go with melody. It's the melody I'm humming days later - I'm not reciting the words (unless of course I'm by myself in my car or the shower as those are pretty much the only times I sing)
Janice has a point. Maybe I didn't give this enough thought. I am and have always been a word man but the song has to capture my ear first and I love, love, love all of Lightfoot's melodies. I looked back at some of my other fav artists and there is always a smooth, well arranged melody. I don't know..........Great question!
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Old 07-24-2006, 08:41 AM   #22
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While it's true I generally will hum the melody to a song it's mostly because I can't remember many words on my own unless the song is playing too!
lol
To listen to only the melody of a Lightfoot song or hear just the words recited would be unsatisfactory to my senses on all levels...I would appreciate them for what they are but I have to have them together for the full experience.

i have to!
lol
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Old 07-24-2006, 08:41 AM   #23
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While it's true I generally will hum the melody to a song it's mostly because I can't remember many words on my own unless the song is playing too!
lol
To listen to only the melody of a Lightfoot song or hear just the words recited would be unsatisfactory to my senses on all levels...I would appreciate them for what they are but I have to have them together for the full experience.

i have to!
lol
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Old 07-24-2006, 10:54 AM   #24
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* Corfiduciuos say "He who sits on fence of music may hear and see both house of lyrics and house of melody; but he who picks one side only to climb down to loose perspective"

* Firm fence sitter here - It is the inextricably woven blend of lyrics and melody that make Gord's music remarkable to me.

* If you seperate hydrogen and oxygen from water, you can't drink.....

* One question that might be considered: I wonder whether Gord writes lyrics or melody first, or together as he works his magic ? I suspect together.

* If pinned down, I would have to pick melody. This harkens to my three personal rules of why I like a song:
1. Can you humm it ?
2. Can you humm it ?
3. Can you whistle it ? (with a tip-o-the-hat" to John Fowles and the GreyCoats (sp?)

* Consider this: I believe people can enjoy music without lyrics if the melody is good. I do not believe many people can listen to good lyrics with bad melody. I don't believe many can listen to great lyrics with bad music, which, while extreme, does suggest that melody is the cornerstone of good music *to me*.

geo Steve
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Old 07-24-2006, 05:38 PM   #25
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Hi geo Steve,
to give sydney steve his money's worth, I will take the other side of that story. I have heard songs in which I love the tune, but hate the lyrics. ie: many ac/dc songs. I love the guitar, because I'm not too old yet to rock, but I won't listen because I find the lyrics to be offensive.

I also don't think that those of us who complied with the non-fence sitting edict issued by steve are proclaiming that we find the music, or conversely, the lyrics, to be a non-factor...we forced ourselves into a position to comply with the request of the thread.
I love music, even without words, Beethoven, Brahms...but being a poet, when forced to choose what makes me take a song to my heart first? the lyrics win..hands down..I don't think I have lost any perspective in proclaiming my choice. I'm not eschewing the musical notes here

LSH
btw, really interesting post! thanks.

[ July 24, 2006, 17:46: Message edited by: LSH ]
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