How listening to the lyrics of a song can help you hear your muse
You can find a lot in a lyric. Songwriters tend to pour their heart and soul into their songs, sometimes their deepest fears or saddest sorrows being the seed for a truly great song. By listening to these lyrics and probing their deeper meanings, you can end up staring into the singer’s soul and finding your muse among their carefully chosen words.
“The sun’s not yellow, its chicken” - Tombstone Blues: Bob Dylan
I do not know what it is about this lyric, but I love it. I will sometimes find myself blurting it out, with a Dylan like whine just because I feel like it. I love the word play as well as the statement it makes about human nature and our seeming need to pick a fight with everything, even a giant ball of gas 93 million miles away. At least that is what I get out of this memorable lyric.
I guess it is almost unfair to start this article with a Bob Dylan lyric, but there it is. While it is most certainly a lyric that you can use and be inspired by and it is most definitely found in a song that still this makes its way on the classic rock station, it also happens to be a song written by Bob Dylan. I mean, Bob Dylan, come on, too obvious right? Everyone knows that Dylan is just as much a great poet as he is a great musician and using his lyrics as an example of creative inspiration is like telling a health class that vegetables are good for them.
So how about a lyric from someone a bit more mainstream:
“We’re a song that’s outta tune, full of beautiful mistakes”- Beautiful: sung by Christina Aguilera (lyrics by Linda Perry)
Here is another lyric that speaks to me. It makes me think of people and our perceived imperfections. Like a live performance, where mistakes in pitch and tone are going to be made, our lives do not have the benefit of a mixing room to make them perfect, but, just like that live performance; these things that we cannot edit out are what make our live so special. It is what makes us beautiful.
Wow, not bad for a Christina Aguilera song huh?
I remember one of my English Professors telling me that the poetry of today is found in modern music and she was not merely talking about poet singers like Bob Dylan, but rather all of music, from classic rock to hip hop and even pop. That would mean that by paying attention to words of any song, even the poppy sounding ones, you might find yourself staring into the singer or songwriters soul and coming out with a deeper understanding in what they are trying to tell the world through song.
Next time you are looking for your muse, you just might find it in the words that are playing out over your radio, iPod, computer, or record player. Songwriters have a tendency to pour their heart and soul into their lyrics, turning their heartache, sorrow, joy, and insights into a wonderful song that can, in turn, give you inspiration and ideas for your own creative ideas.