Song lyrics on Music in Notes are used for educational purposes only and are the property of the songwriter(s) attributed. All analyses, essays, poetry, and reviews are the original work of and property of Mary Chang and cannot be used whole or in part without permission.
The first time I visited England was May 2006. The trip was timed purposely and specifically to catch Morrissey play a trio of gigs in his hometown of Manchester. So the first show I ever saw in Britain was his at the legendary Apollo in Ardwick Green, Saturday the 6th of May 2006. That night he sang a cover of Magazine‘s ‘A Song Under the Floorboards’. But he made one change to the lyrics. Omitting Howard Devoto’s line “I know beauty and I know a good thing when I see it,” Stephen Patrick Morrissey instead sang, “I know beauty and I know a good song when I sing it.”
This wasn’t a case of a simple cut and paste; it changed the meaning and feeling of the first verse of the song entirely. Does a singer know a good song when he or she sings it? Does it matter if he or she wrote the words, or if someone else did? I think the answer to both questions is a resounding YES.
While many of my friends in this music business only concentrate on whether a tune “sounds good” or not and ignore the words being sung entirely, I hope to open your eyes to the wonderful world of song lyrics to show you – and all the other naysayers – what a rich art we have at our fingertips…er, ears…to not just enjoy. But to learn from. To share our emotions. To make ourselves better people. If only more people were tuned into and tapped into this amazing resource based on, in most cases, real life, I’m convinced the world would be a better place.
This blog is sure to use up the very precious and very little remaining free time in my life when I’m not running There Goes the Fear UK/US/IE music Web site, where I am editor and owner, or attending live gigs either in the Washington, DC area or abroad. I am currently in the midst of writing two books, mostly in my head: my memoirs, and a retrospective on Keane, the latter of which seems more likely to be finished first following a particularly successful interview with Tom Chaplin last year.
This blog is dedicated to everyone out there who makes the world that much brighter and richer with their words through song. Thanks goes out to guitarist and lyricist Daniel Hopewell of Sheffield band the Crookes for being the first person who was keen on and believed in this new project.
I hope you enjoy what I write and it will all encourage you to look deeper into your favourite songs, because you just might be surprised what you might find. In yourself.
last updated 7 March 2017