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Do Songs Have Meaning Anymore?

Miss the good old day when music had meaning? Ellen Lennox tells us that meaningless lyrics may not necessarily be a bad thing.

I often find myself defending Miley Cyrus. Her songs may not be deep, and granted her presentation does not exactly reek of class, but the girl knows what she is doing. We are living in the age of generic pop; wave goodbye to Jazz and Rock and Roll because catchy sells, and frankly, if we are willing to buy it then someone’s going to provide it. Sure, I would rather listen to Tracy Chapman than One Direction; but I can’t claim that I have never had Wrecking Ball stuck in my head. There is a reason why these songs sell, and who can blame ‘sell outs’ for wanting to be successful.

Of course I could argue that all art is expression. Admittedly ‘artists’ may not be writing ‘their’ songs anymore and most of the top 40 is popular merely for its funky beat. However, this does not leave chart songs devoid of any meaning. Blurred Lines may be offensive trash, but it reflects a predominant attitude, and if nothing else it draws attention to the single mindedness of popular culture. Art (pop music included) mirrors society, and honestly, I think chart music does a pretty good job of that. After all, we are a party generation.

This does not mean that we are not doomed to listen to meaningless pop. Hendrix was the contemporary of The Beach Boys, and John Lennon of Abba. Likewise, along with the Justin Bieber’s and the Kanye West’s we get the likes of Eminem and Biffy Clyro. To produce something artistic and original, there must be a mediocrity to oppose. So it is okay that the charts popularize manufactured music because there will always be meaningful musicians strumming along in the background, ready to stick it to the man.

So I confess, popular music is often vapid, but I cannot claim to dislike it. Sometimes life is too short to turn down an opportunity to dance. However, this is not the end of great music. As long as there is meaning, there will be people to sing about it. They just might be a little harder to find, for now.


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1 Comment

  1. “Blurred lines may be offensive trash”-sister,I second that.


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