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Saturday, September 30, 2017

The Lyrics

How do you listen to a song? Do you ever realize that there are actually many ways a person can enjoy a song? For a start, perhaps only when the music is catchy enough to attract our attention that we'll start listening to it. In the event that it's our favorite band, we may want to put on an earphone and listen to only the specific part of the music, for example, there are times when I actually pay attention to only George's guitar or Ringo's drums. Another way, and this is how my wife normally does it, is to play repeatedly the song with good music and vocals (she's into All I Ask of You from Phantom lately).

Remember those days when you flipped open and album and read the lyrics? 

As for me, I often dig further into the lyrics. I love the well-written lyrics, probably because I'm a writer myself. If you never noticed this before, do take note that some songs do have lyrics that are brilliant and relevant to our lives. The one below, written by John, is a good example:

Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans.
~Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy) - John Lennon~ 

I don't know if you can sense it, but I always find the verse above fascinating. It is unusual and smart, like a casual remark that gently nudges us. After years of listening to many songs, I've gathered so much inspiration out of this hobby. You'll be surprised by how much you can learn. Things like the following one are solid gold:

There can be miracles, when you believe.
Though hope is frail, it's hard to kill.
~When You Believe - Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey~

I like how it speaks volumes about faith without preaching. So simple and yet so elegant. Same goes for this one. If you look beyond the fact that it was featured in Tarzan and sung by a female ape to her human son, it was very much about humanity:

Why can't they understand the way we feel?
They just don't trust what they can't explain.
I know we're different but deep inside us,
We're not that different at all.
~You'll Be in My Heart - Phil Collins~

Talk about humanity, you hear people making noises all the time. Dissatisfaction is rampant, but by the end of the day, that's all there is to it: noises. If only you listen to what Michael sang a long time ago that if you want to make a change, you'll have to start with the man in the mirror and ask him to change his ways:

If you wanna make the world a better place,
Take a look at yourself and make that change.
~Man in the Mirror - Michael Jackson~

The thing with songs is, it could have been something that you've heard many times before, but because the message is conveyed by the right voice with the right amount of sincerity and vulnerability, you believe it! The lyrics give us some perspective and the singers enable us to see it that way. Let's look at the particular lines from Ringo's song:

Maybe I haven't always been there just for you. 
Maybe I try but then I got my own life, too.
~Weight of the World - Ringo Starr~

Sometimes there are things in life that you think you shouldn't be doing. But through the songs like the one above, you are enlightened that certain things are not selfish acts at all. I mean, if someone who knows what he's doing sang it, just like Ringo here, I would stop and ponder to see if that actually made sense or not. And the lines above not only make sense, but are also beautifully written and realistic. Trust me on that, because if we are to quote John's, his lines are definitely more straight to the point:

After all is said and done,
You can't go pleasin' everyone, 
So screw it...
~I'm Stepping Out - John Lennon~

So what I have told you so far is just a glimpse of the lyrics that we can certainly relate with. If I really have to go in-depth, I will end up writing a book about it (in fact, I did at least two books with such topics when I was so much younger than today). For this occasion, I'd just like to give you an idea of how such hobby can benefit you if you listen carefully. Now, allow me to sign off with another favorite of mine, one that is based on love and bursting with optimism. I hope you like it, too. Here we go!

There's nothing you can do that can't be done
Nothing you can sing that can't be sung 
Nothing you can say but you can learn how to play the game 
It's easy 
All you need is love...
~All You Need is Love - The Beatles~

PS: Remember, it's easy! All you need is love!


Tentang Lirik Lagu

Bagaimana biasanya anda mendengarkan lagu? Apakah pernah anda sadari bahwa ada banyak cara untuk menikmati lagu? Seringkali semua berawal dari musik yang menarik perhatian kita untuk mulai mendengarkannya. Kalau kita sedang mendengar lagu dari grup favorit kita, lebih enjoy rasanya kalau kita menggunakan earphone. Kalau saya melakukan ini dan mendengarkan lagu the Beatles, terkadang saya hanya fokus pada bagian tertentu, misalnya gitar yang dimainkan George atau drums-nya Ringo. Alternatif lainnya, ada yang suka memutar lagu yang sama berulang kali, misalnya istri saya ketika dia terpesona dengan lagu All I Ask of You dari Phantom belakangan ini. Dia suka musik, suara dan teknik menyanyi yang bagus.

Bagi saya sendiri, saya sering memperhatikan bukan saja musiknya, tetapi juga liriknya, mungkin karena saya sendiri suka menulis. Jika hal ini tidak pernah anda perhatikan sebelumnya, menarik untuk diketahui bahwa ada banyak lagu yang mempunyai lirik yang bagus dan relevan bagi hidup kita. Sebagai contoh, yang satu ini, misalnya:


Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans. 
~Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy) - John Lennon~ 

Saya tidak tahu apakah anda bisa merasakannya, tapi saya selalu berpikir bahwa ini adalah sepenggal lirik yang mengagumkan. Ini adalah sebuah tulisan yang cerdas dan tidak biasa, layaknya seperti komentar yang santai namun membuat kita berpikir. Setelah bertahun-tahun mendengarkan banyak lagu, saya mendapatkan banyak inspirasi dari hobi ini, misalnya lirik berikut ini: 

There can be miracles, when you believe.
Though hope is frail, it's hard to kill.
~When You Believe - Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey~

Dengan hanya dua baris, lirik ini sudah berbicara lebih banyak dari khotbah yang panjang. Begitu sederhana, tetapi sangat elegan. Sama halnya dengan yang di bawah ini. Jika anda bisa mengabaikan fakta bahwa lagu ini ditampilkan di kartun Tarzan dan dinyanyikan oleh gorila betina kepada putranya yang merupakan anak manusia, makna lagu ini sebenarnya sangat manusiawi:

Why can't they understand the way we feel?
They just don't trust what they can't explain.
I know we're different but deep inside us,
We're not that different at all.
~You'll Be in My Heart - Phil Collins~

Bicara tentang manusiawi, kita mendengarkan banyak orang mengeluh setiap saat. Ketidakpuasan ada di mana-mana, namun pada akhirnya, yang tersisa hanyalah keluhan semata. Hasilnya akan berbeda kalau saja kita mendengarkan tentang apa yang pernah dilantunkan Michael dulu, bahwa jika anda ingin membuat perubahan, anda harus mulai dari dari diri anda sendiri: 

If you wanna make the world a better place,
Take a look at yourself and make that change.
~Man in the Mirror - Michael Jackson~

Yang unik dari lirik lagu adalah, walaupun topik yang sama mungkin sudah pernah anda dengar berulang kali, tapi karena kali ini disampaikan oleh suara yang tepat, anda jadi bisa mempercayainya. Lirik lagu memberikan kita sebuah perspektif dan penyanyinya membuat kita bisa melihat sudut pandang tersebut. Lirik dari Ringo di bawah ini, misalnya: 

Maybe I haven't always been there just for you. 
Maybe I try but then I got my own life, too.
~Weight of the World - Ringo Starr~

Kadang ada beberapa hal dalam hidup yang kita rasa tidak boleh dilakukan. Akan tetapi, lewat lagu seperti yang di atas, kita jadi diingatkan bahwa kita tidaklah egois jika kita sudah mencoba tapi tidak selalu bisa menolong orang lain. Maksud saya, jika musisi sekaliber Ringo yang menyanyikannya, saya akan berhenti sejenak untuk memikirkannya. Lirik di atas bukan saja masuk akal, tetapi juga ditulis dalam bahasa yang indah. Kalau kita lihat topik yang sama dari sudut pandang John, hasilnya akan lebih sederhana dan apa adanya: 

After all is said and done,
You can't go pleasin' everyone, 
So screw it...
~I'm Stepping Out - John Lennon~

Jadi kira-kira seperti gambaran tentang apa yang bisa kita pelajari dari lirik lagu yang relevan. Jika saya harus membahas lebih dalam, mungkin saya harus menulis satu buku tentang ini (dan saya sudah pernah melakukannya sekitar lima belas tahun yang lalu). Untuk kesempatan ini, saya hanya ingin memberikan gagasan kepada anda tentang topik ini, jadi coba dengarkan lagi dengan baik lagu favorit anda. Nah, untuk menutup artikel ini, mari kita simak lirik favorit saya di bawah ini, lirik yang penuh dengan cinta dan rasa optimis. Saya harap anda menyukainya juga: 

There's nothing you can do that can't be done
Nothing you can sing that can't be sung 
Nothing you can say but you can learn how to play the game 
It's easy 
All you need is love...
~All You Need is Love - The Beatles~

PS: Ingat, pada dasarnya semua itu mudah! Yang anda butuhkan adalah cinta!


Penggalan lirik lagu yang ditulis bersama Ardian.




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