truth in music

a quick one. a small thought or two. though i’m also mentally composing a longer post on the state of the band and such (good things).

i’ve been thinking about music as a vehicle for truths we can’t tell.

anyone who knows me can tell you that, in general, i will say what i think. i’ll try to be tactful and polite. but i am blunt and can be honest to a fault. if you have food in your teeth, i’m going to tell you. i won’t accost you on the street, but if you’re my friend, i’ll let you know that the trousers you’re wearing aren’t doing you any favours. if i am attracted to you or have feelings for you, i’m going to tell you. probably. i don’t hide my opinions or tastes in order to ease social situations or make it easier to be my friend. i won’t be pushy or mean, but i like what i like and believe what i believe.

that said…

every now and again, i run across situations where i can’t speak the things i see as truth. i can’t point out a problem, because it would only lead to more problems and drama instead of resolutions. i don’t confess a feeling because, sometimes, i think it would do more harm than good. i pass through some sort of intense unpleasant emotion and i hesitate to reach out to my friends (sometimes even to my very best friend) because it’s just so heavy and i am just waiting for it to pass. and sometimes i don’t think people would believe me, so i can’t see wasting my breath and dealing with the frustration of being doubted over things good or ill. it’s very, very rare. and i hate it when it happens. but sometimes even i just don’t say things.

and that’s when i feel amazing gratitude that i write. i pour things into songs. i cram the hurt and the sorrow, or the love and the hope, into lyrics. i have even written a straight up love song. (i swear, i tried to put something negative into it, because i couldn’t believe what i was doing. but it felt wrong. so, yeah, love song. and i rather like it a lot, thanks.) it doesn’t solve anything, really. the people hurting me are still hurting me. the moods still hit me. reality is still likely unbelievable. the love doesn’t go away or magically get requited. but i have told my truth.

and if there’s anything i believe in, it’s truth. and that the truth will out. and that truth ought to be known, not hidden.

someday, the hurts will pass away. they always do. and hopefully the compassion and love will stay (and maybe even be returned). and then i’ll still have lyrics, and maybe that’s the most good these truths can do me sometimes…

stay true, lovelies.
it’s not worth it to put more lies, deceit, and their ilk into the world.

ps because i like posts with pictures, here i am on halloween. maybe you can’t see it, but i’m a moonage daydream if you’re old school or a scifi lullaby if you’re middle school. or just another spacegirl if you’re too new school to care about what came before. (i’ll try to sort out more on-topic pictures from now on….)

2 Responses to truth in music

  1. Just to let you know, lyrics don’t mean anntyihg to a musician. So by asking somone to write the guitar to lyrics, you are pretty much asking them to write the entire song for you. Lyrics don’t indicate rhythm, the key, or anntyihg actually related to musical notation. So without offering a melody, you won’t get much help. Sorry, but it’s the truth.

    • I’m afraid I’ve got to entirely disagree with you. The truth you declare might be the truth of your experiences (perhaps as a guitarist yourself?), but it doesn’t fit the truth of my experiences, so is subjective truth at best. 😉

      Words do contain rhythm. Especially when one is writing lyrics with metre and rhyme, with the intent of turning those words into song. 🙂
      They also have a mood, and sometimes the rhythm of words and the mood of them can inspire (and has inspired) musicians I know to write music that fits.
      And I know that my lyrics, all on their own, have motivated people to want to work with me. So, whilst they might not tell them everything they’d want to build an instrumental part (much less to build every instrument’s part), lyrics can, indeed, mean something to a musician.
      Obviously, if I know the rhythm or part of a melody (or all of it) for the vocals, I’ll share with my co-creators. Fortunately, there’s usually so much guitar around that I can match up one of my many existing lyrics (or write new ones) with the guitar if we ever find ourselves short on parts for new songs. And I always write my own vocals, plus either am part of developing other bits or they’re written by the musicians themselves. Never once has a guitarist with whom I’ve made music written the entire song (as you say is necessarily the case when the first seed is lyrics). The closest that a song has come to that was a friend who specifically asked me to send him lyrics, then he wrote all sorts of instrumental pieces around it, sent that to me to record vocals (with me creating my own vocal melody), and then he tweaked the result and polished it up into a great song. And, as you see, that started with lyrics and no musical input from me. 🙂

      (Looking at my post, I’m not sure where you got the idea that all I give are words and that I then expect miracles…perhaps your comment is spam or trolling? I guess only time will tell. But I thought I’d reply, just in case you were trying to have a reasonable interaction 😉 However, to play it safe and because they weren’t pointing anywhere I recognised, I did delete the two links you’d included. My safety software seemed to think they pointed somewhere suspect.)