Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Songs are about music

Lyrics, smyrics.  I grew up listening to rock, classical, opera, and Armenian music, and the only one I understood was opera, as long as it was in Italian or French. I guess that's the main reason my focus is on the music. When people ask me how I can stand to listen to Slayer sing about dismemberment or crooked crosses, my honest reply is that I usually have no clue what the song is about. Every once in a while, though, a particular piece of music is so expressive, I wish I knew its lyrics. I recently asked a Russian friend to translate the lyrics to "The Cliff" -- an ominous, brooding contemplation on the persistence of the Russian spirit. I'm going to have to dig a little harder for the translation to this incredibly sad piece, which happens to be my all-time favorite Armenian song. One can only hope it's not some innocuous nursery rhyme.

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