Saturday, November 15, 2008

More musical grocery store revelations

While pushing my cart through Sunflower Market this afternoon, a familiar song made its way through the intercom. The singer, female, had a polished coffeehouse style:
Every time I look in the mirror
All these lines on my face getting clearer
The past is gone
I knew right away that this was a cover of a song I'd heard many times before, but it took a few more lines before I identified it as "Dream On," originally by Aerosmith.

Funny thing was, the lyrics seemed so much more profound in this dialed-down, folksy version. I found myself nodding along with those first lines, thinking, yes, "All these lines on my face getting clearer" is a poetic way of describing the observation of one's own aging. I'd never really noticed any of the words in Aerosmith's version, aside from the refrain.

Why? Part of it was just that the chick singer enunciated the lyrics much more clearly than Steven Tyler did. Another part of it was pure classical conditioning: if it's slow and folksy, the words will be thoughtful and meaningful; if it's hard-driving, kick-ass rock 'n' roll, the lyrics probably don't matter that much.

It's all in the presentation.

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