I posted this to my Facebook page on Wednesday:
With 24 hours, I had 50 comments. Going into this, I thought responses would be about 50-50. However, the respondents overwhelmingly chose the music.
OK, I realize it may be kind of a strange question. Music is music, right? So why wouldn’t it be the music that draws in a listener?
But I have a theory. If you’re a word/story person, lyrics draw you in. If you’re a musician/music person, then it’s the music.
I’m a lyrics person. The words draw me in and keep me coming back. This doesn’t mean that I’m not enjoying the music. But for me, the music is always in the background while the words pop strongly to the forefront.
My theory is that if you grew up as a musician or you gravitated to music, you are drawn into a song through the sound.
I grew up with music, but not pop music. It was more church music (Mom was an organist) and symphonic music (I played piano and saxophone for eight years). Instead, I was a television kid. I owned very few cassettes (yes, I grew up in the era of cassettes).
Actually, I was a “story” kid. I immersed myself in books. I read everything and anything during those long, isolated summer days growing up in the country. When my eyes grew tired, I turned on the TV where I immersed myself in more stories: sitcoms, dramas, soap operas.
My husband, on the other hand, was listening to KISS’s Destroyer album when he was six years old. He soon added Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, and Rush to his collection. He took guitar lessons from an early age.
His ear for music amazes me. He can listen to a CD and pick out the guitar part (or parts, in the case of two- or three-guitar bands), the bass line, the drum rhythm. I hear a collection of sound, and the only thing I can identify is the melody line. We are listening to the same thing, but hearing it in very different ways.
My favorite lyricist is Morrissey. Yes, the sound of The Smiths is great, as well as the sound of Morrissey’s current backing band. But to me, the music is a vehicle that delivers the lyrics.
What about you? Does my theory apply to you?