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Do lyrics mean anything anymore?

Isabella Paragas, Staff Writer

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[photo by Colourful.Threads via flickr]

It seems like all the popular, over-played songs on the radio are just about having a nice beat instead of having meaningful lyrics.

Some students have to come to the conclusion that meaningful songs have become extinct in today’s songs with artists like Ke$ha, Pitbull, and LMFAO, whose songs are all about drinking, partying, and hooking up.

With songs that say the only way for any young person to fun is to party and “just have a good time” in the words of LMFAO in their song “Party Rock Anthem,” no one can blame them.

These songs do have their place: on the dance floor.

“But what I don’t get is how people can sit around and listen to it and feel good from it,” explained senior Erin O’Loughin.

To use the example of much beloved group LMFAO, and their popular song “Party Rock Anthem”:
“And we gonna make you lose your mind…Everybody just have a good time…One more shot for us, another round…Please fill up my cup, don’t mess around…We just wanna see you shake it now…Now you wanna be, you’re naked now.”

Take away the catchy beat, and what is left is a pointless message that talks about partying, drinking, and stripping, as if it were the best way to spend the weekend.

However, do not despair, music lovers, for there is still hope for the music of today.

“There are so many types of music out these days I know that a lot of people listen to a variety of music that has very meaningful lyrics,” explained sophomore Charlotte Lewis.

With a large range of genres in music, such as rock, metal, techno, R&B, alternative, country and even soul, it’s hard not to find a style that has meaning in their lyrics.

“[T]he music I listen to requires talent, it’s more organic and less electronically produced. Also, there is much more meaning to the songs that I listen to. There’s still poetry in the lyrics, instead of just talking about trying to have sex in a club or something like that,” said O’Loughin.

One example is a song written by Demi Lovato, “Skyscraper,” in her come-back album. It goes like this: “Go on and try to tear me down…I will be rising from the ground…Like a skyscraper!”

Notice the very different themes in Lovato’s song as opposed to LMFAO.

Though Lovato may not be everyone’s favorite artist, her lyrics echo her hope and new-found self confidence after overcoming an eating disorder and other self-destructive habits.

Another example is a song by the six-Grammy-award-winning artist, Adele, in “Someone Like You.” It goes like this: “Never mind, I’ll find someone like you…I wish nothing but the best for you too…Don’t forget me, I begged, I remember you said, Sometimes it lasts in love but sometimes it hurts instead”

Known for her heart-wrenching compositions about bad break-ups, she speaks from the heart and is able to relate to what some girls go through after getting dumped.

Though break-up songs usually sound like the girl wants to seek revenge on the boy who dumped her, Adele takes the high road, and cared about the man enough to leave and “wish for nothing but the best” for him.

Music and its lyrics are a way to creatively describing one’s feelings, and is considered a form of art and poetry, not about superficial things described by many pop artists.

These two artists had a message to share with the world and people want to listen to songs that they can relate to.

Unfortunately, lyrics and their message is not as important to the producers that advertise the artists, whose main goal is to make money.

“The lyrics are irrelevant, it’s about how the producers of the song and how much they want to advertise that specific singer,” explained Lewis.

Though many of the songs of this generation seem hopelessly artificial and shallow, there are still artists out there that write songs that truly mean something, it’s just a matter of finding them.

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About the Writer
Isabella Paragas, Illustrator and Staff Writer

My name is Isabella Paragas and this is my second year working on the school newspaper staff. I work as a Staff Writer and The Highlander's illustrator. 

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The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.
Do lyrics mean anything anymore?