Mark Hansen Music - LDS Rock Music - Free Downloads

Mark Hansen Music - LDS Rock Music - Free Downloads
Get the new CD, "The Third Time" HERE

WARNING: Listening to this music doesn't require parental approval. It's a bit of clean rebellion. It keeps your outlook up and your hope alive. It's got strong drums and screaming guitars. It pumps you up and drives your life. It's a hunger for exploration. It chooses the right and returns with honor. It's music you don't have to confess to your bishop.

It's not your parents' "Saturday’s Warrior".

It's "A Joyful Noise"

Friday, March 31, 2017

National Poetry Month

A lot of people in the songwriting community, that I know, seem to think that songwriting is NOT poetry, and poetry is NOT songwriting.

I disagree.

And, based on the reasons they’ve told me, I think that they’re reached that conclusion based on a misunderstanding of both things. I’m told that modern poetry doesn’t translate well into pop songs. Songwriting requires certain forms and certain structures, whereas modern free verse poetry has cast off the limitations of rhyme, meter, and form. They cite that the teenager that says “Oh, I write poetry!” can’t make those poems into pop songs without doing significant work on either the poem or the song.

The poets also point out that there is too much repetition in song, with repetitive hooks and choruses. They also point out that poems are made of the words themselves, whereas a song is intended to be sung, married to the music. If you were to remove the music from most pop tunes, the remaining words would be a pretty bad poem.

I agree.

With all of that.

However, I believe that both of these groups are talking about apples and oranges, and I prefer a good fruit salad.

I think that song lyrics are poems that adhere to certain rules. This is the same as sonnets, or haiku, or much of traditional western poetry. In a sonnet, you have to have so many lines, of a certain meter, with a certain rhyme scheme. In haiku, you have to have three lines, with very strict syllable counts, and a purpose for each line. In a song, you have a definite structure of verses, choruses, and bridges. There generally has to be a rhyme scheme that matches from verse to verse.

In both poetry and songwriting you deal with issues of quality as well. There are good songs and bad songs, as well as good poems and bad ones. The best songs have vivid imagery, and emotional connection, just like the best poems do. There are many song lyrics that don’t rise up to the level of good poem, but that doesn’t mean they are not poems, just that they are bad ones. Conversely, there are many poems that should not be set as pop tunes.

However, they could be set in other styles. There’s the “art song”, once made popular by Schubert and other romantic composers, now expanded with more modern sensibilities, where non-strophic poetry or even prose can be set to music.

It is true that song lyrics are meant to be sung, whereas a pure poem is just the words. But then, there are many art forms that combine and draw from other art forms. What would a dance be without music or a drumbeat? Or a movie without music? Can you imagine a movie or a play without a story or the words of dialog? Arts combine often, to the enhancement of all.

So, while this month is National Poetry Month, I’ll be posting up some of my current and past song lyrics in celebration of poetry!


Come back often to hear about new songs and shows. Mark also has other sites and blogs, including his Dutch Oven blog: Mark's Black Pot and his LDS pop culture blog: MoBoy blog.

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