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 How much do lyrics mean to you? 
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Super Trooper
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Post How much do lyrics mean to you?
When you listen to more extreme sounds in the music; how much do the lyrics actually mean to you? Do you take the time to take the lyrics sheet out/ or go to a website to look them up if you are interested in the band?

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Tue Feb 28, 2012 11:32 pm
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Post Re: How much do lyrics mean to you?
Depends really. I tend to do more so with folk music, and softer more acoustic stuff and some other stuff like The Lost Children of Babylon where there interesting stuff being said, but within the context of metal, not really. I guess more often than not (especially with harsh vocals) I see them as an additional instrument, adding a different rhythm and texture to the music. And even with clean vocals I pick up the odd bit's and bobs, but often they're just like collections of words rather than something I follow. I think as well, there's a fair chunk of my music library in languages I don't understand, so in that respect they really are just a collection of sounds. I often wonder given the effort some bands put into I should perhaps at least read a few more lyric sheets out of politeness.

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Tue Feb 28, 2012 11:44 pm
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Climate Control
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Post Re: How much do lyrics mean to you?
Nothing whatsoever. I rarely pay any attention to them, I treat the vocals as another instrument. Obviously, occasionally something will get through, as evidenced by my continuing efforts to drive the neighbourhood insane while singing in the shower, but I'm generally not bothered.

Edited for spelling, which I only noticed when Dee Dee quoted it.

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Last edited by Solaris on Wed Feb 29, 2012 1:42 am, edited 1 time in total.



Wed Feb 29, 2012 12:50 am
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Post Re: How much do lyrics mean to you?
Well put.

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Wed Feb 29, 2012 12:52 am
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Post Re: How much do lyrics mean to you?
Same as Sol. Unless the lyrics are ridiculous (and I don't mean power metal ridiculous) I couldn't give a shit.

Most songs are meaningless, really. Even if they really mean something to some people.


Wed Feb 29, 2012 12:53 am
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Post Re: How much do lyrics mean to you?
With a new album I usually look at the inlay and cover when I put it on first, so I will have a gander at the lyrics then. With older stuff its easier to figure out what they are singing anyway. I might occasionally look up lyrics for something more extreme if I can't figure them out.

But certain lyrics I always love to read. Barney and Napalm for instance.

Ultimately, its the music itself that's most important to me, lyrics at their best, for me anyway, are a reflection of whats happening musically, but its nice to see them done well, even if its more traditional rock lyrics. Nobody is going to give Bon Scott a prize for poetry, but he had a good turn of phrase and sense of humour which worked well with his vocals and music. I like fantasy based lyrics if done well too, if they work with the music and artwork then it adds to the appeal. If you can say something meaningful or insightful, something that deals with real world issues, then that's great too. One thing I always loved about Sabbath was the fact that lyrically there weren't any boundaries other than their own imagination, Geezer wrote about lots of different stuff.


Wed Feb 29, 2012 1:05 am
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Darth Fucking Vader
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Post Re: How much do lyrics mean to you?
Solaris wrote:
Nothing whatsoever. I rarely pay any attention to them, I treat the vocals as another instrument. Obviously, occasionally something will get through, as eveidenced by my continuing efforts to drive the neighbourhood insane while singing in the shower, but I'm generally not bothered.


This is more or less the case in Metal for me, partially because the lyrics are often inaudible or indecipherable and partially because you often wish they were.

Outside of Metal I pay more attention to lyrics, they are still very much secondary to the music but there are small number of lyricists I love.


Wed Feb 29, 2012 1:41 am
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Post Re: How much do lyrics mean to you?
Lyrics are mostly shit unless its folk songs.

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Wed Feb 29, 2012 2:07 am
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Post Re: How much do lyrics mean to you?
Yeah, it's different within the context of metal, but songs, even songs with "meaningless" lyrics can possess a poetic beauty which can be as important to me as the music. Depends, not easy to generalise.
If a song's lyrics offend me I won't listen to it, I'm thinking of homophobic reggae lyrics in particular.


Wed Feb 29, 2012 10:08 am
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Post Re: How much do lyrics mean to you?
When I was younger I cared.

Nowadays I share Sol's viewpoint.

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Wed Feb 29, 2012 10:39 am
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Post Re: How much do lyrics mean to you?
It's always nice to have well thought out lyrics but ultimately, for me, in music it is how the lyrics are delivered, not what they are saying, that is the main focus.

Shit lyrics and good delivery are always going to be better than good lyrics and shit delivery.


Wed Feb 29, 2012 11:26 am
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Post Re: How much do lyrics mean to you?
I'm always interested in reading any lyrics, but I'd much rather listen to a good song with rubbish lyrics than a rubbish song with great lyrics.
Bands like Woods of Ypres and Funeral (the Norwegian doom band) can make me cringe sometimes with their godawful lyrics, but I still enjoy the music.


Wed Feb 29, 2012 11:56 am
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Post Re: How much do lyrics mean to you?
JCC wrote:
it depends on the band,

This ultimately. But they're fundamental of course.


Wed Feb 29, 2012 12:50 pm
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Post Re: How much do lyrics mean to you?
I barely remember the names of the songs these days... well actually, if we are talking about Bad Religion or the Dwarves then I do remember the words but not with most metal bands no.

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Wed Feb 29, 2012 12:52 pm
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Post Re: How much do lyrics mean to you?
I learned lyrics religiously back when I was a kid. I used to be able to recite every single track from (among many others) the first five Brucie Maiden albums, Hell Awaits, Reign in Blood, History of a Time to Come, Appetite for Destruction, Master of Puppets, Among the Living, High Voltage, and Highway to Hell word for word.
In the nineties, the only bands I used to read the lyrics to specifically were Skyclad, Slayer, and White Zombie.

Nowadays it's really only Slayer and Rammstein (and those primarily for translation purposes) that still get me looking at lyrics. Anthrax had me looking at their most recent one, and I'll scan over others, but most of the time I'll pick up what I want to as I listen.

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Wed Feb 29, 2012 1:52 pm
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Post Re: How much do lyrics mean to you?
Years ago i had to know what songs had to say, nowadays music is to throwaway to have the same impact.

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Wed Feb 29, 2012 2:25 pm
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Darth Fucking Vader
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Post Re: How much do lyrics mean to you?
Did you have access to specialist medical dictionaries?


Wed Feb 29, 2012 3:49 pm
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Post Re: How much do lyrics mean to you?
Dealer In Facts wrote:
Like Spiny, metal lyrics educated me further as a youngster. I knew every lyric to every Carcass song! If there was a word I didn't know the meaning of, I'd look it up!

Ask me a question about Alexander the Great, Egyptian mythology, or Frank Herbert's Dune. :lol:

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Wed Feb 29, 2012 4:46 pm
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Post Re: How much do lyrics mean to you?
What is Osiris the God of?

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Wed Feb 29, 2012 4:53 pm
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Post Re: How much do lyrics mean to you?
Mali wrote:
What is Osiris the God of?

The dead.
The afterlife too, I think.

(More thanks to Karl Sanders than Brucie on that one though)

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Wed Feb 29, 2012 5:07 pm
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