Sunday November 29, 2020

The poetry of song lyrics: Sing the words we do not need to speak

Retired TCD English professor Gerald Dawe analyses Van Morrison’s poetic approach to songwriting, and reflects on how other greats have created an aural history of our time

10th December, 2017
5

Literature and the writing of lyrics go back a long, long way indeed. It’s impossible to detach poetry from the music of song and the written or unwritten scores of some kind of musical instrument – a lyre, a flute, a concertina, a harmonica – and a form of human need or activity – a sea shanty, a lullaby, a work song – and from prayer to rap, love song to recitation. The rhythm of...

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