Monday, November 24, 2008

"The Day the Music Died"

In effort to escape the grim news of our times, last night I sat back for 3 hours and watched the American Music Awards.

Hm, what can one say about this?

OK, the light shows and theatrics were fantastic, as well as the dancers, hairstyles, outfits and singers.

But, something was missing.........

What was it?

Well, it wasn't talent as no one can dispute the great skills and voices of performers like Alicia Keys, Pink, Annie Lenox, or groups like Coldplay or The Jonus Brothers, who in many ways, seem like the new Beatles.

But, what about the actual songs -- and lyrics?

Who the hell is writing songs and lyrics these days?

They are so forgettable (when actually understood) and excpet for Coldplay who seemed to sing about a night on the town, only revolve around two subjects:

Love found or love lost.

For a gal who grew up in the 60's with great song and lyric writers like Bob Dylan, Simon and Garfunkle, the Beach Boys, Beatles, Doors, Animals, Stones, Al Stewart, John Denver and an infinate number of others, I find the actual songs and lyrics these days to be tragically lacking.

If I hear Mariah Carey sing one more time about "being so in love" I will put my head through a plate glass window.

Or Pink or Kanye West whine about bad loves and bad drugs.

As a kid, I grew up literally next to the radio. Peter Tripps' "top 40" and Murray the K's, "Swingin' Soiree" were my very best friends and were closer to me than the bible.

There was Elvis and Buddy Holly in the 50's, the songs of Motown in the early 60's and then all the revolutionary and folk rock stuff that came a little later.

During the 70's and 80's, we had Disco and the great voice of Donna Summer.

The 80's brought us MTV and the visuals of fantastic and usually very clever, creative or funny videos.

These days, MTV and VH1 are mostly dull "reality show" reruns.


OK, one could say I am an "old fogie" who still carries with her, a Walkman and homemade rock tapes spanning all the decades -- except the last one.

I listen to Don McClean singing:

"Bye, bye, Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levy,
but, the levy was dry.....
Them good ol boys, drinking whiskey and rye
Singing, this will be the day when I die
This will be the day that I die."

But, for those who say I am too old to appreciate the touching and profound lyrics of a really deep or tragic love song, well, that simply ain't true:

"I told the witch doctor I was in love with you!
I told the witch doctor you didn't treat me true
And then, my friend the witch doctor,
he told me what to do
He said that,
Ooo, eee, ooo aahh ahh,
ting, tang walla walla bing bang
Ooo eee ooo aahh ahh,
ting, tang walla walla bang bang"

What I missed last night were the stirring tunes and powerful emotions associated with great songs and memorable lyrics. -- PCA

1 comment:

amby111 said...

"But, something was missing........."

Patty, you've quoted Peggy Lee's wonderful song, "Is That All There Is?" (pretty much the way I feel about life in general)
I agree with you about today's song lyrics, at least in the case of mainstream music. There aren't many Peggy Lees around anymore.