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What Happened To Good Old Lyrics?
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What Happened To Good Old Lyrics?

Now I don’t want to be a whiner, but does it ever seem like the popular musicians of today just don’t really ha...

What Happened To Good Old Lyrics?

Now I don’t want to be a whiner, but does it ever seem like the popular musicians of today just don’t really have the same poetic pizazz as the singer songwriters of yesteryear?

 

Granted there are exceptions: Magnificent lyricists like Tom Waits are putting out poignant pieces filled with character and soul. Unfortunately, he also sounds like he gargles sulfuric acid every morning, but I suppose beggars can’t be choosers.

 

 

Seriously though, let’s take a look at one of my favourite side-by-side comparisons

 

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Now it’s not really fair to compare anyone to a glam rock god like Freddy Mercury, but this does illustrate a major difference in the culture of the 70s and today. We had deep, poetic, and powerful lyrics, telling an amazingly operatic tale of intrigue, murder, and familial love…versus one half of an R&B power couple that apparently distributes power equally among all the girls of the world.

 

It’s a bit of a drastic change.

 

Let’s take a look at one of my favourite lyricists of old, Gordon Lightfoot. Hot damn, I love good folk music.

 

 

Storytelling set to song is a lost art. Need proof? Ladies and gentlemen, a collection of gems from everyone’s favourite rapper, Lil Wayne:

  • Lyric: “Don’t f*** with Wayne, cuz when it Wayne’s it pours”

My Response: ...Is this real life?    

 

 

  • Lyric: “When you're great, it's not murder, it's assassinate. So assassinate me, b****.     Cuz I'm doing the same s*** Martin Luther King did.”        

My Response: You, Sir, are not in even remotely the same line of work as MLK.     

 

 

  • Lyric: "My girl is prego [pregnant] but I don't want it, so I'll cut it out like Joey Gladstone."    

My Response: a) Gross. b) I would never have thought it possible to take classic 90s television star, Dave Coulier, and equate him with an abortion. I’m equal parts horrified and impressed.     

    

I’m sorry, I just can’t continue.

 

 

The unfortunate reality is that bad lyrics are nothing new. There have always been uncreative and irritating artists thrust undeservingly into the limelight. We just don’t remember the bad ones. The enduring classics are what get handed down to later generations.

So take comfort in the fact that, while many of today’s lyrics cannot quite measure up to the hits of the past, every generation has its unheralded hits and overwhelming misses.

 

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