I think music should make sense.

The main reason I expect my music to make sense is because it has so many times helped me make sense of my world.

As a result there are times I get really disappointed (or maybe just annoyed) by those songs that don’t *match*.

For example, sometimes I trip over a song where content and emphasis don’t line up, or one that’s come to represent something that is actually not present in the song.

And then there are the poorly-done fantasies of the the music world, where I would have been willing to suspend disbelief for a good “story” (sound) but the internal logic is inconsistent.

Here’s what I mean.

I Will Always Love You is played at weddings, even though it’s about a relationship ending.

If I should stay
I would only be in your way

good-bye, please don’t cry
Cause we both know that I’m not
What you need

I Need a Hero presents as an anthem about a dearth of (or desire for) good men, but if you’re listening to the lyrics  it’s really about the impatience and demands of a woman.

I need a hero
I’m holding out for a hero ’til the end of the night
He’s gotta be strong
And he’s gotta be fast
And he’s gotta be fresh from the fight
I need a hero
I’m holding out for a hero ’til the morning light

A good clue was when I started flipping the lyrics around and realized there was no clean way to put this in a male POV— a song about what a good man is waiting for/wishing to find— without changing the character of the singer (Which I sort of did, and may share later).

Then there’s I Stand by Idina Menzel. An earnest, heartfelt song about, well, high ideals, I guess. I haven’t quite figured it out.

When you ask me, who I am:
What is my vision? And do I have a plan?
Where is my strength? Have I nothing to say?
I hear the words in my head, but I push them away.

I stand for the power to change,
I live for the perfect day.
I love till it hurts like crazy,
I hope for a hero to save me.
I stand for the strange and lonely,
I believe there’s a better place.
I don’t know if the sky is heaven,
But I pray anyway.

This isn’t nearly as iconic as the first two, but I include it because it’s a perfect example of something that affects me emotionally while offending my reason. (I use offense in a very mild way here.)

It is basically the theme song for my main character in the Lindorm Novel, which ties my feeling about the song and the character perhaps too closely together (I couldn’t find Linnea’s motivation for the longest time, either. Sometimes I still wonder).

The “offense” grows from recognizing the sincerity of the piece while feeling that sullied by its emptiness. It’s an anthem of our “believe enough and you can be sure its true” type of faith in the modern world. It is something I want to believe in, and am disappointed not to be able to embrace. It all sounds so good, but there’s no real hope, and anyone looking for clearer answers is told, I don’t know I’m still waiting too!

What songs don’t make sense to you?

This entry was posted in Music.

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