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My most recent single release - "My True North" - is now available on Bandcamp. Open my profile and click on "audio clip".

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Learning From A Lyric

"We learned more from a three minute record than we ever learned from school" :  Bruce Springsteen - "No Surrender" (1984) 

Just for a moment, put aside Springsteen's obvious hyperbole. Which lyric has hit you hard enough that you can make a similar, if less grandiose claim, i.e. you learned something from it? Regular readers already know I'm going to go first but I will be seriously bummed if no one chimes in here. Really.

"To love another person is to see the face of God": Claude Michel-Schonberg, Herbert Kretzmer, Alain Boublil & Jean-Marc Natel - final reprise of "On My Own" from "Les Miserables" (1987)

What I learned from that lyric is a way to see God everyday. These words have shaped me, a person who has loved deeply and struggled with matters of faith. I don't have to hear it sung; just thinking about it fills me up and reinforces the lesson. Corny? Perhaps, but true nonetheless. Your turn, please.


  1. Why don't we do it in the road.

  2. OK, I've spent enough time mulling this one. I'm never going to feel I've given sufficient thought to it...there are way too many choices. But focusing on your point of having "learned something from it", I've settled on two (actually four, but there are two each from two songs):

    "There are people in your life who've come and gone
    They let you down you know they hurt your pride
    You better put it all behind you; 'cause life goes on
    You keep carryin' that anger; it'll eat you up inside."
    (rather self-explanatory)


    "What are these voices outside love's open door
    Make us throw off our contentment
    And beg for something more?"
    (This one helps me to remember how to live simply and content knowing that I have all that I need in the midst of a culture that screams I should always want more...I really don't think of it in terms of relationship as it was intended.)

    Both of those lines are from Don Henley (please don't hold it against me!), 'Forgiveness'

    "But take your time, think a lot,
    Why, think of everything you've got.
    For you will still be here tomorrow, but your dreams may not."


    "All the times that I cried, keeping all the things I knew inside,
    It's hard, but it's harder to ignore it."

    These lines from Yusuf (Cat) Stevens' 'Father and Son', help me to understand the internal balance and tension that I experience in various situations between wanting to act quickly and therefore impulsively vs. waiting patiently for the timing to be right. I tend toward action when I know that in order for my actions to be most effective, I might need to slow down and look at everything in context.

    This was great fun! I was going to go into Broadway scores, but thought that would be even harder to narrow down. Might be a fun thing to do on one of your rotations: lyrics that make you feel ___________ or lyrics from certain genre... just a thought.

    Thank you! d. (I will be interested to see if I can let this go now...I have my doubts)

    1. d; There's no way I would hold a Don Henley lyric against anyone; he's one of my favorite contemporary composers. And, no lie, I've always felt "Heart Of The Matter" is one of his finest lyrics - lots to learn - both from the lines that move you as well as the rest of the song - a great choice! In addition, "Father and Son" moves me to this day "From the moment I could talk, I was ordered to listen..."; that song was a centerpiece of my solo act in the late 70's - an inspired choice for this post.