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What Makes A Great Song?

Last night at dinner, my wife asked a GREAT question. Before I get to her question, let me give you some background information. My wife listens to music “recreationally”. In other words, if it is on she will listen to it, but she doesn’t need music to be on to complete whatever task she is working on (driving, running, working around the house). I on the other hand need music to be on at all times. Music is like a soundtrack for my life. I can give you specific things I was doing when I hear a song, or tell you what song was on during specific moments in my life (it’s a sickness really). Now her question:

What makes a great song? Is it the lyrics or the beat?

What do you think? I gave her my answer using an analogy. Here’s what I said…

Songs are kind of like dating, the beat catches your eye (ear) the lyrics make you continue to build a relationship with the song (date). I can’t count how many times I have heard a song and then one day really LISTENED to the song. I listen to a song when I put meaning behind the lyrics. I connect with the song and not just the beat or melody. I had a boss that once called music “chewing gum for the ears”. He didn’t listen to music, he heard it.

So how about it…What makes a great song?


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Comments · 2

  • Ernie · February 9, 2011

    Some of my favorite music (Jim Brickman, Yanni, etc) has no lyrics, but yet it still somehow speaks to something inside…whether it be relaxing or motivational…Kind of like the organ at a baseball game…I think the person listening is what makes the song great…there are songs that others hate, that really have a “special” significance for me…so on my way home today I think I’ll first listen to a little James Taylor (Carolina friendly :) ) and then finish it off with…ummm…maybe The Beastie Boys……..

    • aaron · February 9, 2011

      Absolutely. Great point. Especially like the James Taylor to Beastie Boys. Variety is a good thing.

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