So, Zoe was asking me about music, and during a lull I was able to hear and consider her question, which was to do with whether you should respond more to the lyrics or the music of a song. She felt, I think, that most of the time, at least in the music she liked, lyrics were a distraction, if not an irrelevance, and I have a lot of sympathy with this view. When I listen to a song, very often it tends to be one or the other; the perfect marriage of the two is rare. Dylan said ‘If I can sing it, it’s a song; if I can’t, it’s a poem’, but that’s a bit simplistic. Leonard Cohen wrote an eighty-two verse poem which he distilled down to a song called ‘Hallelujah’, and yet at the moment I’m hearing the tune more than the words.
I was about to counter with ‘Come on over baby, whole lotta shakin’ going on’ as a perfect storm, but then the disco kicked back in and words became irrelevant.