Meaning in Music

POST is due SUNDAY.  Comments Sunday-Monday as best you can.

Your goal: use song lyrics as a launching pad, as the basis for a riff, on some aspect of ethics, social change, modern life, meaning, practical virtue, and so on.


Joan Baez and Bob Dylan

Please include the lyric AND, if you can, a link to the song.

Feel free to cover any genre, from African drumming to Zydeco.

For example, I could do one on This Land is Your Land.” (By the way, song titles go in  “”).  I would discuss how a radical socialist ethos is embedded in the song.  I would focus on this lyric;

As I was walkin’ – I saw a sign there
And that sign said – no tress passin’
But on the other side …. it didn’t say nothin!
Now that side was made for you and me!

Woody Guthrie, the American troubadour, on a scratchy recording.

Or, the song by King Straggler I heard a few years ago, called “Rebel.”

Opening lyric:

“Yeah, I’m a Rebel/I mean I’m trying to be/I used to be/It’s hard to be a Rebel in a world where everybody is cool/In a world where everybody is on the edge/Where the subcultures have been sucked up/At least the fashions, the look/In a world where long-haired yuppies ride Harleys/Where preppies sport tattos/And even preteen kids from Bellaire have been there and done that.”

Ending lyric:

But I’m a rebel.
I mean I’m trying to be.
Because I believe that the most daring, outlandish, revolutionary thing you can do in 21st century America
Is to treat everybody–
People you know, people you don’t know–with dignity and kindness whenever possible.
Hey, fuck it. It’s something to shoot for.”

And then I would riff on how consumerism sucks up ‘the subcultures” and that simple acts of authenticity become rebellious.


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