Categories
Odes

Ode to Songs with Weird or Elevated Diction

As a part of this post I have a challenge:

Without using any references (This is on your honor. Be a decent human being.), see how many songs and either artists or shows you can name from the quotes below. They are in order of when I thought of them :P. Let me know your thoughts over email, facebook, or Instagram.

“I’ll be the first ever Asian astronaut, blasting off, casting off the ties that bind like a smashed guitar. Rode a mastodon out of Jurassic Park chased by a fan in a tyrannosaur mask. Traveled the traffic cop past the spot where the ostrich got all props for the ocelot…”

“I’m a superstar leaping through the sky like a dragon defying the laws of gravity. I’m a racing car passing by like lady Godiva.”

“Mystery the moon: a hole in the sky, a supernatural nightlight, so full but often bright. A pair of eyes a closing one, a chosen child of the holding sun, a marble dog that chases cars unto the farthest reaches of the beach and far beyond into the swimming sea of stars.”

“Why invite their calumny and consternation?”

“From all atop the parapets blow a multitude of coronets, melodies rhapsodical and fair.”

“The Wicked Witch burst from concealment, where she had been lurking surreptitiously.”

“Slowly, gently night unfurls its splendor. Grasp it, sense it tremulous and tender”

“There’s a magic only two can tell. In the dark night, ultraviolet is a wicked spell.”

“You will see that this world is beautiful, excellent, turbulent, succulent, opulent, permanent? No way.”

“…from the corner of your lips is the orbit of your hips, eclipse. You elevate my soul. I’ve got no self-control living like a mole now going down excavation. Higher now, in the sky you make me feel like I could fly.”

“…divinity in motion. As she stalked the room, I could feel the aura of her presence.”

“I linger in the doorway of alarm-clock-screaming monsters calling my name…Don’t say I’m out of touch with this rampant chaos your reality. I know well what lies beyond my sleeping refuge…”

“What a frenzied moment that was. Didn’t they maintain an exhausting pace?”

“A whipped up jitterbuggin’ brown-eyed man, a stray cat frontin’ up an eight-piece band.”

“Have they lost their heads, or are they just blind mice. We’ve heard their stories one too many times. Hypnotized by fireflies that glow in the dark. Midgets that disguise themselves as tiny little dwarfs.”

“She said honey take me dancing, but they ended up sleeping in the doorway of the bodegas and the lights all over Broadway, wearing diamonds on the soles of their shoes.”

“Unobtrusive tones help to notice nothing by the zone of visual relevancy. Frame-lines tell me what to see.”

“Thunder bolt and lightning, very very frightening me. Galileo, Galileo, Galileo Figaro.”

Songs with weird or elevated diction force you to think. The combination of having less context than a book and generally just being strange makes you really think through the lines of a song. There is a huge amount of treasure to be found in the lines and rhymes of songs, and adding a developed vocabulary to this just increases the whole listening experience. You spend a fair amount of time wondering if you just mis-heard the lyrics and are creating a fancy mondegreens. The rest of the time, you either accept that there is some neat poetry to the song or someone is completely off their rocker. The reason I like these kinds of songs particularly is because I get a lot more entertainment from weird lyrics both because I have to try to figure them out and because weird things tend to amuse me anyway. The elevated diction of certain songs gives me the satisfaction of either learning or knowing new words that are not as common as the run of the mill sort. It is learning in action, and it combines with music, both of which I love. It makes me feel smart to recognize the elevated words. You can delve into entire new worlds with these sorts of songs, wondering what exactly it was that inspired them. You can appreciate how words can simply be placed together because of the way they sound, regardless of meaning, or you can come to the realization of how clever the composer really was in putting those words together. This is a kind of novelty that I really appreciate and almost always enjoy.