I listened to a brand-new music compilation yesterday. I have many of this particular series in my LP collection from years back (yes, I’m that old) and some on CD. This time I actually recognised a lot of the songs streaming from my phone, thanks to the radio station that is playing continuously at work. Some of the songs I really like, but it would be very dishonest of me not to admit that I feel the generation gap when listening to compilations these days.
This is not in any shape or form, a criticism. In a way I would be horrified if chart-music hadn’t evolved since the eighties when I was very much “in the know” in the current chart music. The music styles and genres I am most comfortable with and know most about is music between the 50s and up to the early 90s. At that point I started to move within the world of country music, so that decade was when I broke up my long relationship with the pop charts. I also love rock, power ballads and heavy rock. Real metal is a bit too much for me. Musicals, easy listening such as Sinatra and other big band acts figures on my play lists and collections as well.
Anyway, it is not the music that make me feel so “out of it”, even if I have to admit that some of it isn’t for me. What worries me is the song lyrics, because so many of them make me feel like I am listening to a totally different language. The expressions are so different to anything I would write, and in some cases I really don’t know what they are all about. Again, this is not a criticism, but it is a worry for me, because there is no way I can bridge the generation gap and write in the fashion so many of the song lyrics in the charts, are crafted.
After having listened to a few songs where the lyrics went straight over my head I finally found a song where the lyrics sounded like something I actually could emulate, and I totally got the story. I had to laugh out loud when I realised that the singer was Kylie Minogue with a new song called “Dancing”. No wonder I “got it”. We come from exactly the same generation. Obviously, there is still a market for lyrics fitting my generation too, so I may still be in with a chance. What I do find interesting is how much the language and expressions have changed in song lyrics. It makes me wonder if it has got anything to do with the SMS language and how this abbreviated way of talking is creeping in to our various languages and changing not only the words, but also the tempo.
I am a great fan of anything and everything written by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus. A few years back Benny released a new CD and one of the songs there was called “Story of a Heart”. He came over to England to promote it and I happened to hear one of the interviews with him. Before they played the song, he said; “This is the closest I can get to popular music today”.
It may not have topped the charts, but I absolutely loved the song. Still do. It also has a lyric line in it that I so wish I would have come up with. Bjorn’s lyrics goes like this;
“Story of a heart, I laid myself open wide.
Let you read the pages where the ink hasn’t dried.”
That is clever writing in my book.
Here is the song if you want to listen.
I wrote a new song lyric yesterday where I talk about not fitting in with my style anymore and I will leave you with that one today. It is called “No chance”. I used some influences from what I had been listening to, mixing up my tempos a bit more and in a different way than I normally do. To use Benny’s expression. “The best that I could do”. I’m sure I will fine tune it a bit before I declare it done.
Take care until next time and happy writing.
The way the world is going,
where do I fit in?
No chance, no chance,
Just throw me in the bin.
The language used around me,
makes mine out of place.
No chance, no chance.
I use a different pace.
The beat on the street.
I don’t feel it, it’s not mine.
Used to feel at home,
feel the rhythm in my spine.
Not now, not now,
I hear a different drum.
No chance, no chance.
So different where I’m from.
Drowning in the messages.
Nothing’s clear to me.
No chance, you see,
My song’s a different key.
©Åsa Sandberg 2018