It is a rare and supreme lyric that can double-up as a poem. Lyrics tend to rely on words of just one or two syllables. Generally, that way words fit a melody, or a melody fits the words. Also, songs rely a lot on repetition which sometimes makes reading the lyric without the music sometimes boring.
However, watching TV the other night I discovered by accident an immense lyric from a time and place I’d never considered or studied before. The TV narrator was analysing the sections of the lyric to Old Man River, a song about racism, slavery and despair and written in the first person. A song comparing the struggles of a conscious mind to the ease with which the natural world just flows along.
The song was from a 1920’s musical called Showboat. I hate musicals with a vengeance normally. They are not my genre. But this…
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