Posted by: Mish | January 15, 2009

Music That Moves

I’ve long since gotten tired of hearing what has basically become the same music. Aside from a few artists in particular I was never really into mainstream music and through the years I have drifted even further away. The last “popular” album I purchased was Nightwish’s Dark Passion Play in 2007. Otherwise, I’d rather listen to and support music from those who haven’t sold out and say what they want and how they want. Many of them also tend to be independent musicians. When companies wouldn’t take her or her music seriously, Loreena McKennitt began Quinlan Road so she could put out the material that she wanted, without the due dates. I like McKennitt and other musicians for their artistic integrity.

Aside from the sound of music itself, I love songs for their lyrics, those that can stand alone as a poem. One of my favorite songs is Jim Steinman’s “Bad For Good”, particularly this stanza:

The icy cold will cut us like a knife in the dark
And we may lose everything in the wind
But the Northern Lights are burning
And they’re giving off sparks
I want to wrap myself around you like a winter skin

I also love lyrics for their statement and the emotions that they call up or are the artist’s. Before the election, SJ Tucker shared a video of her performing “Mandolin Holy Man”, which I also shared on my political art post. I know a few heart-wrenching songs that were written during someone’s darkest times, as well as many more from happier times. Since I first heard and saw it years ago, Tracy Chapman’s “Telling Stories” and its music videos (seen here) has stayed with me:

There is fiction in the space between
The lines on your page of memories
Write it down but it doesn’t mean
You’re not just telling stories
There is fiction in the space between
You and me

This post, which had been already been simmering, stems from Willpen’s posts on “Ownership” and meaningful songs. Coincidentally, this week’s question from Booking Through Thursday was about music:

btt2What songs, either specific songs or songs in general by a specific group or writer have words that you love? Why? And do the tunes that go with the fantastic lyrics live up to them?

Aside from songs and artists already mentioned, I love the music of: Alexander James Adams, Glengarry Bhoys, Kíla, Dar Williams, Heather Alexander, Tom Smith, Anthony Stewart Head, Black 47, etc… The lyrics are all wonderful in one way or another, as are the tunes that accompany them. Their music makes me think, feel, dance, relax, and just moves me.

And as Ronan from Kíla says in the video below, tóg é go bog é…take it easy.

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