Saturday, September 27, 2008

Love Songs

I guess I am too much of a romantic to think that all love songs are simply bullshit. Like I said in class, so many love songs are full of so many over exaggerations that we all know are not really true. But some of them, as Bob Dylan's songs, I thought, proved to us, are filled with truth. Metaphorical, symbolic, truth, but truth nonetheless. His songs were not filled with silly, over-the-moon in love, professing all the grand deeds you will do for your significant other bull. I thought Bob Dylan's songs, however, had a sincerity that I think many love songs do have.
Many of these songs that lack the worst of this love BS are usually accompanied with, as Bob Dylan's are, a certain amount of the misery that goes along with the joy of being in love. This kind of complexity of pain makes the whole being in love thing more realistic and thus much more believable. And, I think, a whole lot more boring. "I'd climb the highest mountain for you" is a lot more interesting than "I'd hang out with you"; but neither are as interesting as a love song by Muse that includes the line "You will suck the life out of me". Not only is this more true to life, but it also holds an intensity that songs full of only pure joy usually lack. Muse tends to hit listeners over the head with the intensity of their songs, but I liked how Bob Dylan did not do this. His poetic lyrics and simple, roughsound conveyed all the intensity in a simple manner that made his feelings more realistic than ever. It's like real life: most people don't even know what kind of intense emotions may been simmering underneath the surface, but they are there, nonetheless. In the same way, the emotions of Bob Dylan's songs, simmer underneath the surface of his much less than grand music.
I have to admit, usually like grander, more intense music. I like music that makes me feel something--that is usually how I determine whether or not I like a song. I like music that brings out in me some emotion that I have myself but wasn't currently using. This class has dared me to try to like music that does not do this. John Cage hated this idea, thinking that such music forced emotions on you. I do not think this is quite true, nothing can force us, make us feel anything that we do not. Some things can simply help us draw out certain emotins, based on which experiences of our own they help us relate to. But, I think there is also something to be said for music that is not so... what Cage would probably call emotionally pushy. These songs, I think, take more time to get into, but sometimes they end up meaning more to us than songs which we understand and relate to isntantly.

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