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Category Archives: poetry

Lie to me


The hypnotic beat compels me to move my body… I’m listening to the music on the commuter train through my iPhone headset so I’m not free to dance right now.  But I feel my body relax and a smile spreads across my face. These lyrics from my youth remind me of the explorations of romance which were often filled with missteps and yes, perhaps even lies… Depeche Mode’s lyrics resonated with the uncertainties fueled by the restlessness of our youth… their beat encouraged us to enjoy our youthful vibrancy…

Come on and lay with me
Come on and lie to me
Tell me you love me
Say I’m the only one…

 
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Posted by on February 18, 2011 in 80s Alternative, dance, lyrics, poetry, song

 

Why can’t I be you…


“Why can’t I be you…” moans a familiar voice through the speakers… I recognize the lyrics, the notes, the tones… It’s from an album I bought in the late 80’s or maybe the early 90s.

“Is it The Cure” I ask the store clerk, a 20-something who responds with a big grin “Yes, I love them!!”

The song reminds me of my own youth. I lived in a house with three roommates, and all of us had met because of music. We had bonded on the basis of knowing the lyrics of songs like “Lips like Sugar” (Echo and the Bunnymen), “Your own personal Jesus” (Depeche Mode), “I Know It’s over” (The Smiths), and “Boys don’t Cry” (The Cure). One of our roommates, Bill, was a singer/songwriter in a band. When he told us the title of his new song “Diet Christ”, he didn’t need to explain to any of us what it was about.

I recall my rebellion against the cliched emotions of pop songs and my attraction to the poetry in the lyrics of alternative bands. I think of my friends who shared the existential angst that penetrated our souls and the upbeat irony in the music that moved our bodies.

Today, in a store on Valencia Street in San Francisco, music connects me to my youth in Boston…


 
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Posted by on January 30, 2011 in lyrics, poetry, sound

 

Good Radiation


Surprised at the sound coming from the radio, I do a double take. Yes, my radio is tuned to 88.5, to KQED, which is the NPR station in San Francisco. I hear the name Terry Gross and know for sure that I am at the right station.

I smile and listen to the song and am very pleased by what I hear.

 
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Posted by on January 28, 2011 in lyrics, poetry, rap, song

 

Poetry, Story, & Music


As a teenager, I was drawn to the Talking Heads and The Cold (a local punk rock band in New Orleans).

I enjoyed the poetic vibrancy of Talking Heads lyrics:

They pick the sound and let it drop
Nobody know what they’re talking about…

Their unpredictable and unique beats elicited unique movements of the body. I felt free and happy letting my body interpret the music without any feedback from my mind…

The Cold told stories with their songs:

So now you’re starring in a show
You’re up there on the stage
I’m down here in the crowd.
You make your entrance and the dialogue begins
But all I hear are your words…

And the fast pace of the music was a perfect match for the teenager energy that my friends and I brought to the small nightclubs where the band played. We’d sing the songs along with the band and dance and jump and shake our heads vigorously as our hair cascaded back and forth and side to side.

Ahhh… to feel music, to feel it in our bones… it was the best therapy for our raging hormones…

 
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Posted by on January 2, 2011 in dance, poetry

 

If music be…


If music be the food of love, play on;
Give me excess of it, that, surfeiting,
The appetite may sicken, and so die.

—from “The Twelfth Night” by William Shakespeare

When I first came across these words, reading Shakespeare was required torture as part of my High School English class. But these words stuck and I memorized them. Later on, these lines often resonated with my feelings about music and love. They brought Shakespeare back into my life but with a open interest.

Today, as I think about my new year’s resolution to explore my relationship with music, I’m reminded again of the emotions in Shakespeare’s poetry.

 
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Posted by on January 1, 2011 in poetry

 

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