How important are lyrics to you?

Discussion in 'Music' started by sward2, May 18, 2013.

  1. sward2

    sward2 New Member

    For me, lyrics can be the turning point of whether I like a song or not. If the song sounds good instrumentally, but has bad lyrical quality, it ruins the whole experience. I listen to a lot of purely instrumental music (post-rock, electronic, etc.) and then lyrics don't matter, but with indie and rap the words of a song are very important. What about you?
    Merreep, mzjay2u, enell and 9 others like this.
  2. SirArgy

    SirArgy New Member

    For me, lyrics make me decide whether I consider the song a joke or not.

    I will admit that songs with bad lyrics that sound good are entertaining, and I will enjoy listening to them, but I'll never put too much confidence in calling them good songs. I'll call them catchy songs (mostly pop).

    Songs that are my absolute favorites are the ones that have both good lyrics and good instrumental tracks.
  3. candyfluff

    candyfluff New Member

    Lyrics can be super important to me, as they can make or break a song. I am not going to enjoy a song nearly as much if it has empty lyrics rather than creative or evocative ones. In a battle between Fergie's My Humps and Bob Dylan's All Along the Watchtower, Bob Dylan would win every time.
    What I find especially entertaining is misheard lyrics. Countless times I have looked up a song I have had stuck in my head only to learn my lyrics were better than the ones actually writen by the artist. Does this happen to others?
  4. SirArgy

    SirArgy New Member

    Misheard lyrics? For sure haha.

    I listen to a lot of J-Pop (Japanese Pop), and for Japanese artists, it's become fashionable and trendy to include lyrics in English. However, there is a term coined for this when the pronunciation is... less than good. It has been called "Engrish."

    My favorite example to show people is a song called "Lollipop" by Koda Kumi.
    It can be found here:

    If you get to the chorus (starts at about 1:10 in the video), you'll know what I mean. I included what she actually says below this, so look at the link first before you look below for an interesting surprise (lol). The song the complete opposite message of what the Engrish sounds like.

    I dodged your bullet, bullet. Baby boy we're gonna pull it. [Japanese] window shop, [Japanese] lick my lollipop.
    Queen BAB likes this.
  5. killerpapercut

    killerpapercut New Member

    In my opinion, lyrics convey the artistic feeling of the songwriter and the artist. Sometimes, to me, when I first listen, their meaning is diluted, but after a few listens to the song, the meaning is so very delicately conveyed, and usually (not always though) compliments the melody and music perfectly. Creative and evocative lyrics provoke a strong sense of feeling within the listener.

    Lyrics can be very poetic in the sense that they read like one if someone was to read the lyrics only. Lyrics can often convey an underlying theme and tone, that add a sense of depth to the music.

    I have to say though, sometimes I (ashamedly) listen to music with bad lyrics and enjoy it, but it does a lack a deeper meaning.
  6. glasspiano1

    glasspiano1 New Member

    I find the lyrics to the music I listen to be important. Usually I end up tuning out words that have a negative message. Music with a good message tends to stay in my player much longer.
    Queen BAB likes this.
  7. nicmitchell

    nicmitchell New Member

    I think it depends on what kind of mood I'm in or what I'm looking to get out of a song, but lyrics don't matter so much to me overall. It's how the song all comes together that is important. What good is a song with a great meaning, but sounds like crap? And I'm not always going to stop and listen to every line of a song every time. I'm really not going to care about the underlying meaning of a song when I'm out at the club dancing with my friends. That being said, there are definitely tons of lyrics I do love, but I wouldn't care to listen to those songs if I didn't like how they sound.
    greenrose6 likes this.
  8. James909

    James909 New Member

    I like a song based on the overall package however the lyrics determine how much I like it. For example I may like a song after hearing it on the radio, then after listening to it a few time I will hear the lyrics and determine how much I like it.

  9. Danielle Maruzzi

    Danielle Maruzzi New Member

    Music can move you in several different ways. I listen to a lot of music that is strictly instrumental and it is still filled with emotion. However, if there ARE lyrics to a song, it definitely has a huge effect on my opinion. Like most people, I want to listen to lyrics that I can relate to rather than a song that has no meaning to me.
    Queen BAB likes this.
  10. xxwolfswinterxx

    xxwolfswinterxx New Member

    Well usually, I love instrumentals and Metal. I like lyrics with extra brutality and meaning. Songs that are about money, girls and sex don't cater to me at all. I'd rather listen to an instrumental track any day or something discussing Metaphysical Science (bands like Born of Osiris, The Contortionist.)
  11. Amay Singh Grace

    Amay Singh Grace New Member

    I consider songs' lyrics to be very important. Lyrics give meanings to songs and draw listeners in to the songs. Singers and songwriters may want to convey messages through their songs, and through the lyrics musicians' messages can be heard by wide audiences of listeners.
  12. hlw_rocer

    hlw_rocer New Member

    I don't find them to be very important. As long as I'm not listening to a jumbled mess of random words, I'm usually fine with it. I feel like whenever I listen to music, I pay little to no attention to the lyrics, but more to the instruments and the tune.
  13. deusmeister

    deusmeister New Member

    No, they're not very important, but they can add to the atmosphere of the music. A lot of the bands I listen to sing in foreign languages and it doesn't ruin the enjoyment of the music at all for me.
  14. oriebir

    oriebir New Member

    They're important but not determinant. Let me explain myself: I could love even MORE a song depending on it's lyrics but I don't use to dislike a music if it has poor lyrics.
    Sure it's a bummer when the lyrics sucks but the melody can compensate.
    For instance, Wax Fang's "The Majestic": like many others, I was introduced to this song this month by one episode of American Dad. This music has a great melody and the lyrics just make you like the song even more.
  15. Beatrice Field

    Beatrice Field New Member

    I think it depends on what the message is. If it's a topic that is controversial or deep than yeah, the lyrics should reflect that. but if it is just a catchy song to dance to then it could have three words for all i care! lol
    Queen BAB likes this.
  16. CNS917

    CNS917 New Member

    Lyrics are incredibly important to my liking of a song. However, what I might like or dislike about particular lyrics can change from song to song, genre to genre.

    For instance, I greatly enjoy listening to the jam band, Phish. And often, their lyrics can be somewhat nonsensical. "Gotta Jaboo" being a prime example. This song could be in contrast to current pop songs such as "Tonight, Tonight" by Hot Chelle Rae. The lyrics in "Tonight, Tonight" are also nonsensical, however they are a turn off to that song whereas similar characteristics in the Phish song are enjoyable and appreciated.

    This shows to me that though I assign importance to a song's lyrics, there is no concrete and objective criteria that could be used to determine their likability. It is completely subjective, and even contradictory when comparing one song and its lyrics to another.
    Dionne likes this.
  17. LemonTea

    LemonTea New Member

    Good lyrics aren't essential, because I can listen to songs and not pay attention to the lyrics. But I can't listen to songs that have an awful (sexist, racist, homophobic) message. I also don't like listening to repetitive songs like "I Gotta Feeling" by Black Eyed Peas, it just gets old fairly quickly.
    rybitts likes this.
  18. Akosluk

    Akosluk New Member

    For me lyrics are as much a part to enjoying a music as the music itself.
    It is important to me, since I enjoy the human vocal in a music probably the most, so having poor lyrics could kill the enjoyment.
  19. Saiah

    Saiah New Member

    In my opinion, lyrics are somehow the "backbone" of a song. Beautiful and meaningful lyrics create a song with stronger "backbone." These kind of songs last longer.

    From time to time, I listen to K-Pop music because it sounds really good but most of the time, I have no idea what the lyrics mean. Sometimes, though, I look for the meaning of the song out of curiosity. This makes a sad K-Pop song more solemn, or a happy K-Pop song more joyous and fun. Lyrics allows you to connect with the song. When you're sad and you listen to a sad song with lyrics you can relate to, it makes you feel like you're not alone. So lyrics are very important for me but it, alone, is not the basis of a good song.
  20. hearstothedeaf

    hearstothedeaf New Member

    Lyrics are indefinitely the backbone of a song, this is why there is absolutely no appeal in the new craze that is house music. As a self proclaimed writer/poet I think the words carry the song, not to slight the instrumentals but it's subjective dependent on the person.
    Laurelbell85 and Prim like this.
  21. lajust1ce

    lajust1ce New Member

    Lyrics can make or break a song. Sometimes the lyrics can be an amazing depth into someone's life and the things they have gone through. The lyrics allow fans to be able to relate to the music artist. The lyrics also set the mood for the entire song because the song can be happy, sad, fast, slow, etc etc. Lyrics are very important to me because I like being able to listen to the many different ways of expressing my moods. All lyrics are different and all of our perceptions to the lyrics are different, this is why there are different types of music, such as hip-hop, country, rock, pop, and many others.
  22. Kitamjh

    Kitamjh New Member

    For me lyrics can be a hit or miss for me. In most cases I'm usually drawn to music because of the beat. Depending on how much I like the beat will determine if I actually listen to the lyrics. I know that's such a bad thing to say but that's usually my process. Once I know that I like the beat I start paying more attention to the lyrics, and sometimes it's the lyrics that really speak to me and touch on a situation I may be going through. So in some cases I would say that the lyrics are important. Other times you will only find me listening to the beat so it all depends.
  23. Mizzy

    Mizzy New Member

    For me, lyrics are the most important factor in a song. The artist can have a nice beat, a solid singing voice or flow, but if the lyrics are not delivering a message and if that artist cannot deliver those lyrics with the emotional intensity needed to make the words sound genuine, then the total song package suffers. To me, the lyrics an artist writes or chooses, shows how much they value their musical gift. Unfortunately, many take their ability for granted and the fact that they are just "doing it for the money" and to blend in with the masses shows.
  24. tigas_7

    tigas_7 New Member

    Well, for me the lyrics are the most important part of the music. A good voice/instrumental can make you listen to a music many times, but lyrics can make you listen to a music for a lifetime and never get tired of it. That's why i like hip hop. Most of the Portuguese Hip Hop musicas have low quality voices/instrumentals, but lyrics are just amazing.
  25. girlinstatic

    girlinstatic New Member

    Lyrics used to be extremely important to me. As many people above expressed, they felt like the main part of a song. One day a few years ago I came across the bands 65daysofstatic, Lights Out Asia and Explosions in The Sky (also many more from the Post-Rock genre) and well... my perception changed completely! There are no lyrics and no singing, but it is truly amazing how emotional, beautiful and interesting a song can be without those things - the slow start and lingering build up to the big crescendo that leaves you in awe. So no, they are not the most important part of a song to me at all now. Some particularly slow instrumentals could indeed benefit from some lyrics, but equally bad lyrics can ruin a perfectly good piece of music. Good music is good music!
  26. liveacolorfullife

    liveacolorfullife New Member

    Yes, bad, nonsensical musical content can ruin a song for me long term. Now, if I'm feeling silly, I don't care about lyrics & if these lyrics happen to be incredibly derogatory towards women chances are I like them even more. This only last for a short period of time as the ear worm usually wears out its welcome past a couple of days.

    I guess this is ironic that I enjoy degrading lyrics at times because I'm a woman but some of us secretly find the way men supposedly think humorous. For me, it is not so much of a secret.

    The only lyrics I truly can't stand are overly simple on top of a simple song. If nothing in the song keeps me at the very least guessing or amused the song is forgettable. I am admittedly demanding of the music I listen to. At most I want to feel as though my mind is being stretched when I listen to music & the best lyrics for me are usually poetic in some way or at least just a fun play upon on words.
    1 person likes this.
  27. mIndex

    mIndex New Member

    It really depends. Lyrics can make a song, ruin a song, or be mostly irrelevant. If the lyrics are excellent and really speak to me, they can greatly improve an otherwise mediocre song. Some songs are strong enough musically that, as long as the lyrics are at least okay, the words don't really matter. However, really awful lyrics, especially if they're sexist, homophobic, or similarly problematic, can ruin an otherwise good song.
  28. Amorphic

    Amorphic New Member

    Totally unimportant. That's why I love instrumental music so much, lyrics just always seem to detract from a song. A song like Around the World by Daft Punk has next to know worthwhile lyrics but it's such an amazing song. This is probably why is dislike pop music and rap so much. The singer is the primary focus and I just can't enjoy it. I would much rather listen to a movie or game soundtrack.
  29. Cloudy

    Cloudy New Member

    It depends on for what reason I'm listening to music. If I'm at a club and just want to dance and have a good time, I'll most likely not give too much attention to lyrics. Most of the songs played in clubs are (bad) remixes with lyrics like "I'll party and drink and get a lot of girls and have a good time" and that's fine with me.
    However, when listening to music by myself, I will listen closely to the lyrics most of the time. They don't necessarily have to be awesome or outstanding, but if the lyrics are telling a story, I'll be more likely to be emotionally moved by the song and therefore like it more.
    Sometimes I even listen to "bad", boring or simple music because it has awesome lyrics. Hank Green's songs for example work because the lyrics are funny or nerdy or both and not because it's amazingly written music. If his lyrics were anything like your typical "club remix song", I wouldn't listen to his songs at all.
  30. Silveach

    Silveach New Member

    The lyrics are as important as the instrumental part of the song, maybe even more so. Music gives you this non-linear feeling. Some songs send shivers down your spine and make your hair stand up. It's like a work of art, and it's hard to explain, at least for me, why it has such a huge impact on your brain. The lyrics are what express the feelings that the artist is trying to convey, but the instrumental part is what helps you understand the lyrics and feel those emotions.

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