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When Music and Lyrics Are an Ode


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There are many unlikely places from where songwriters get the inspiration for their music and lyrics. Usually, unless the artist talks about it, listeners don't get to know about the inspiration for the lyrics and music that they make, but there are times when the sources of inspiration of the music and lyrics can be easily deciphered just by looking at the words and the story line of the lyrics of the song. Beyond the lyrics, there are certain times when the songs inspiration is probably proclaimed for the whole world to see. This usually happens when the artists title their songs after names.

There are countless examples of songs titled after names. Usually, the names aren't actual names of people, but they usually reflect how the music and lyrics of the same came about. Michael Jackson's insanely famous Billie Jean, for example, talks about an experience of Michael, about a woman claiming that her child was Jackson's and the lyrics make an obvious reference to a number of real life occurrences. Hence, even though Billie Jean isn't named after a real person, the lyrics reflect what the source of inspiration to write the song was. Of course, the composition and the relation of the title and the lyrics in this type of songs do not always work the same way.

There are a number of songs, for example, where the title of the song is also the persona the singer is referencing to. A good instance of this is Adrienne by The Calling. The speaker (or the singer) is clearly speaking directly to the titular female Adrienne in the lyrics of this song. As a matter of fact, the name Adrienne came up in the lyrics on more than a few occasions (the chorus of the lyrics: Adrienne I thought I knew you / Once again you used me used me / Adrienne I should have left you / Long before you used me used me up).

There also exist the complete opposite kind of songs, where the titular person in the song has very little to do with the lyrics and the song itself. Mika's song Grace Kelly is an example. Some of the lyrics of the song go something like this: I try to be like Grace Kelley / But all her looks were too sad. Now obviously, the titular Grace Kelly is an actual person who was an American actress who married the prince of Monaco, Rainier III, and became the Princess Grace of Monaco. There are a number of songs that were also titled after names of actual people, such as Kurt Cobain by Proof and Seymour Stein by Belle and Sebastian.

Giving a song a label after an individual's name is considered to be a technique in writing lyrics. More often than not, the name in the title doesn't really have to do with an actual individual; and so the name usually can't be found in the lyrics itself. The name, rather than regarding a particular person, actually refers to the meaning of the lyrics of the song and might be for anybody who could relate to it. Adrienne in the lyrics and title of The Calling could be anyone, for instance.

ZLyrics is a comprehensive online lyrics resource featuring over 700,000 lyrics from over 30,000 artists. It gives you text lyrics of the songs from all your favorite artists.


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