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Van Morrison

| June 28, 2011 | 2 Comments

“There’s no difference between lyrics and poetry. Words are words. The only difference is the people who are in academic positions and call themselves poets and have an academic stance. They’ve got something to lose if they say it’s all poetry; if there’s not music to it, and you have to wear a certain kind of checkered shirt or something like that. It’s all the same. Lyrics are lyrics, poetry is poetry, lyrics are poetry, and poetry is lyrics. They’re interchangeable to me.”

From Performing Songwriter Issue 116
March/April 2009

Category: In Their Own Words

Comments (2)

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  1. I have to differ with VM on this one.
    Lyrics are one form of poetry – the oldest and most widespread – but the words and the sounds of the words depend on the musical setting for their full power, whether it’s the chanted Torah, the Child Ballad, or the pop song. Take (as the extreme example): “Sha na na na na na na, na na la ti da” – I can’t say it does much for me to see it on the page – or speak it to my partner – but if I sing it to her, then things could get interesting….

    On the other hand, these lines need nothing else:

    Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
    Within his bending sickle’s compass come:
    Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
    But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
    If this be error and upon me proved,
    I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

    But the creator of Astral Weeks already knows this.

  2. Sean says:

    Beautifully stated. I couldn’t agree more.

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