30 October, 2009

A Musical Array of Words

Photo compliments : imageshack.us

I was doing some reading, wondering what aspect of Literature I was going to write about next when I saw this question - " Are lyrics considered to be Literature?" Many people may ask this question simply because lyrics are most times sung and not read. But how different are the words of a song from a written story or poem or even drama? I personally think that they are not very different at all. In fact, the difference lies in the method of delivery.

The words of a written piece of work are a lot of the times more appreciated when read than when sung. This is especially so with the more contemporary, "up beat" songs about which many people will admit that it is the beat of the song that caught their attention and not the words. Even with the less "up beat" music such as soul, r&b etc, people are "taken away" by the background music without paying any attention to the words. Nonetheless the words of the songs are being sung and a story is being told.

The question still remains. Are lyrics a form of Literature? I think they are. Do you? ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


  1. First of all, I want to thank you for joining my blog. As to the question of whether lyrics could be considered literature or poetry, that would depend mainly on the content of the lyrics, in my opinion. The contention that I operate under is that substance determines genre more than any other factor. I don't consider my unrhymed, unmetered poetry inferior to my sonnetts or my prose inferior, they are different modes of expression that lead to different freedoms. Meter and rhyme will often lead to stunted expression but when it all comes together it can be transcendant. As to a song I would consider poetry, "Night Swimming" by REM is a great example of a unmetered, unrhymed song that succeeds on the power of the images contained. I know its hard to find time to write but I hope you stick with it. Thanks again.

  2. I do agree that the content of the lyrics does determine whether it is Literature or even more so, a poem. But there is no denying that many songs do tell a story, contain literary devices etc.

  3. By the way, thanks for the follow.
    It is a lot of work actually doing this blog, but The art of Literature has captivated me and I do find joy in the midst of it all. I will definitely be continuing