Thursday, January 15, 2009

Booking It Through Music

A painter paints pictures on canvas. But musicians paint their pictures on silence. ~Leopold Stokowski

But, enough about books … Other things have words, too, right? Like … songs!

If you’re anything like me, there are songs that you love because of their lyrics; writers you admire because their songs have depth, meaning, or just a sheer playfulness that has nothing to do with the tunes.

So, today’s question?

What songs … either specific songs, or songs in general by a specific group or writer … have words that you love?


And … do the tunes that go with the fantastic lyrics live up to them?

You don’t have to restrict yourself to modern songsters, either … anyone who wants to pick Gilbert & Sullivan, for example, is just fine with me. Lerner & Loewe? Steven Sondheim? Barenaked Ladies? Fountains of Wayne? The Beatles? Anyone at all…

Not to steal directly from your question, but I absolutely ADORE Gilbert & Sullivan. My DD has been listening to the soundtrack from "Pirates of Penzance" non-stop of late, and it's on my mind.

I love them because they are just so freaking clever.

In PofP when Frederick finds out he must return to his pirate band because of his birthdate, and that he must stay indentured to them for eighty-eight more years, he goes to Mabel and tells her the sad news... and says:

"In 1940 I of age shall be." (This story takes place in the 1800s)

and she responds:

"It seems so long."

Or when the pirates are sneaking up to the castle to kill the Major General and they sing, at the tops of their lungs, "With Catlike Tread".

Or, when the Pirate King says to Frederic: "Away to the cheating world go you, Where pirates all are well-to-do..."

Or just the comedy factor (Keven Kline was truly a master of it in this movie) -- like when the pirates are trying to marry the daughters of the major general and they get into a grave misunderstanding between the words "often" and "orphan" because of the MG's accent.

Their other works are equally as clever: HMS Pinafore or The Mikado. If you ever have a chance to see them, don't miss it. If you pay attention (and you do have to pay attention, because G&S slip their humor in), you'll laugh until you pee your pants.

I leave you with a little taste:


I did some writing yesterday and wrote about it on JaNoWriMo, where things are very, very quiet. I hope that means everyone is writing like mad!



Kathy said...

I must be the only person on the planet who has never heard a Gilbert and Sullivan song. LOL interesting song. Hope you have a great day.

Dru said...

I love music and sometimes I like the lyrics that I think I hear until I discover that those are not the actual lyrics written.

One of the playful songs that I love is "Sing" by The Carpenters. It is such a feel good song.

Sing, sing a song
Sing out loud
Sing out strong

Sing of good things not bad
Sing of happy not sad

sing, sing a song
sing, sing a song

Make it simple to last
Your whole life long

Dont worry that its not
Good enough for anyone
Else to hear

Just sing, sing a song

La la la la la
La la la la la la...

Sing, sing a song
Let the world sing along
Sing of love there could be
Sing for you and for me

gautami tripathy said...

I had forgotten all about it!

My favourite songs

Brandy said...

I love Gilbert and Sullivan! You've just reminded me that my kids haven't seen that movie. I need to rectify that! *G*