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Thread: The Meaning of Music

  1. #1

    Default The Meaning of Music

    So i just wanted to start a thread here for all who want to post the similar things. I saw a similar thread called "What music means to us" but this one is going to be a bit different.

    Here you list (one of) Your favorite song(s) But! You also write why you like it, what drives you to love this song? Is it the catchy beat? The Lyrics? The range of the singer (If any) or all of the above!

    So i have 3 songs that i want to post in this thread but i won't usurp all the posts and post a lot, so i will try an balance it somewhat. But the song i am going to pick for this is "Depression of a Young Literati" by Hatsune Miku

    The song is all in Japanese but i still love the lyrics of it which i will post within spoiler alerts for those who want to read it without watching the Lyric video above.

    The lyrics in the video and the lyrics i posted are not exactly the same because some japanese have multiple meanings, depending on how you write them and even then they can have multiple meanings depending on the context. so basically it is a about a girl taking the train, most likely not knowing where she is going because she says in the song "I need to do it soon... To go far away" she also talks about leaving everything behind, her school, her friends and her part time job.

    The voice in the songs is...Special. Filled with sadness, but still trying to fight it in her own way. That is one of the great things i like about it while the music tries to be somewhat upbeat her voice remains the same.

    She also talks about how she is waiting for someone to call her name, for someone to notice her within "the crowd of unfeeling people" but when she figures out that likely nobody will be there for her while she goes away a wave of sadness comes over her.

    The final thing is she mentions who the title is refering to. The depressed young Literati. A novelist, her favorite. While everybody laughed at him for being so depressed and gloomy, she knows what he was feeling right before he took his own life.

    I like to listen to this song whenever i feel bad, it has helped me through bad times before and i hope it will continue to do so and maybe it will be a song you like!

  2. #2


    So nice to see so much activity on this thread. So i guess i will go again.

    I am a sucker for songs with strong lyrics, and there is no stronger lyrics to me than Voltaire's Crusade.

    The lyrics are again in the video and in spoiler alerts

    This song is... Well about the Crusades. The song follows a man who fights in the Crusades, he tells he is fighting "The scurge of Christendom" which he describes as "The beasts of Dragon's Gate". Now here is where it gets interesting, he says that his sword is Blessed, and then he says "By God, let them come", there he is saying that he looks at himself as a holy warrior, a warrior of faith. He walks into it's den and stabs it in the heart, but when it falls down dead he see's it's offspring clinging to him and realized that it was only protecting it's children.

    This song could be about fighting dragons, i mean, dragons were often said to be the devil, Lucifer was often depicted as a dragon or a serpent. But that would really not make sense because when in the crusade did they ever fight dragons?

    Vikings. Heathens. The Dragon Warriors. That would make much more sense. Vikings were of another faith, and were talked about as the Dragon Warriors. He was fighting vikings.

    Also note that he says his son goes to war, but not as a holy warrior. he says Brazen instead of Blessed, he says "Dad, let them come" instead of "God let them come". Also he is fighting muslims, people of another faith that only are fighting in this war to protect their youth, but he son has to fight and does so shamelessely, instead of thinking he is the rightous one.

  3. #3


    Interesting lyrics... and quite a nice song! Hope you don't mind me chucking in my own thoughts about it... :-)

    I think the "dragon" is used as a symbol of "the great unknown"; a mythical beast representing your fears. The dragon only exists in your mind as a label for that which you stand against -- whether that's Moslems, Vikings, Heathens, whatever. And, rather than being an account of an actual Crusade, it could refer to a metaphorical crusade (with a lower-case "c") -- any kind of moral campaign.

    The sword is "brazen", rather than "blessed", to indicate that the war is unjust. It is the might of the sword that allows it's bearer to disregard religious and personal morality and, essentially, become the "dragon" that he is fighting against.

    And I think the reference to his literal "father", rather than God, is because of the way that religion works. Again, God is an "anti-dragon"; the thing that represents what you stand for. But faith and duty come from what you have been taught to believe. It is his father that has instructed him to be religious. By going to war, the man isn't doing it for truly religious reasons; he's doing it because he wants his dad to be proud of him. It doesn't matter whether he slays a dragon or an innocent person... He believes his cause is just.

    At the first inkling that he might be corrupt (when he realised the dragon was only trying to protect itself), he tries to convince himself that his victims "eyes are red as flame". His belief that he is fighting evil is so strong that, even when presented with the evidence, his faith (or his craving for his father's approval) only leads him to further demonise (dragonise?) the people he attacks.

    His father's warning to "know your enemy" is somewhat ironic. He keeps chanting the mantras that demonise his enemy, instead of truly getting to know them. Perhaps his father sees his son as he truly is -- an evil warmonger. His father says "know your enemy as I know my son"... Is he saying that he knows his son in the same way his son sees the enemy? Does his father see "eyes as red as flame" in his son?

    And in the last verse, the father says, "know your enemy as I would have them know my son". Is the father saying that he would (if he could) have the "enemy" know his son is the real red-eyed enemy, and that he wishes to warn the "enemy" to be on guard? Or is he saying that he wishes his son and enemies could get to know each other, instead of fighting in ignorance, with both sides believing they are justly slaughtering dragons...?

    TL;DR: I think the story is a warning as to how religious belief can blind people to "evil" and cause them to commit acts that they otherwise would not be able to justify.

    The tale reminds me of couple of famous quotations:

    Quote Originally Posted by Nietzsche
    He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you.

    Quote Originally Posted by Anne Lamott
    You can safely assume you've created God in your image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.
    Last edited by tiny; 14-Feb-2015 at 15:18.

  4. #4


    Okay -- here's one of my favourite music videos: "Otherside" by Red Hot Chili Peppers.

    The lyrics and video work brilliantly together. It's the story of someone trying to overcome heroin addiction, and trying to make it back to the "otherside" (of being clean).

    The video starts with the man appearing as an unconscious "fallen angel", who is rushed to hospital after an overdose... The nurses surrounding him spin into a kaleidoscopic tunnel of repeated images, representing the "pit" that he's fallen into (and how distant from reality he is). If the people are nurses, maybe it shows how many times he's been in the same situation. Or maybe they are his friends/family in the kaleidoscopic gallery, distantly looking down on him. It seems he was "triggered" my looking at a photograph that reminded him of using drugs.

    During the video, the man fights various beasts (representing his "inner demons") -- including a dragon and his own shadow, but each time he runs away from his problems.

    The bassist of the band is shown up a mock electricity pylon, strumming the notes on power cables -- as if to show what a dangerous game he is playing.

    There are lots of oblique references to addiction and recovery too. "I pour my life into a paper cup, the ashtray's full and I'm spilling my guts", suggest the man is being prescribed methadone (a heroin substitute used to wean addicts off the drug), and is anxiously chain-smoking and being physically sick at the withdrawal.

    "She wants to know, am I still a slut?" -- here the heroin addiction is speaking to him and asking if he's going to be a "slut" and use again. Later the "scarlet starlet" is in his bed... Presumably the "bed" is his arm and the "scarlet starlet" is a syringe, the contents scarlet as he hits a vein. Then he "push[es] the trigger" (plunger) and "pulls the thread" (tourniquet).

    The almost hopelessly addictive power of heroin, and the endless cycle of relapse and rehabilitation that addicts go through is referenced when he says, "I yell and tell it that it's not my friend. I tear it down, I tear it down and then it's born again".

    Despite his endless torment, he somewhat surprisingly says, "I don't believe it's bad". Which, in a way makes sense. People take heroin to feel good, to banish the "bad" demons in their minds or whatever.

    Poetically, the song ends with the man in exactly the same position... as if the song (like the addiction) could play on a loop, endlessly repeating... "How long will I slide?" -- when will it ever end?

    It's both beautiful and terribly sad. It sends shivers up my spine when I watch the video.

    Lyrics here:

  5. #5


    This is soo sooo sooo soo hard. I have so many songs that I love and that I find hugely meaningful to me. I love lyrics but I also have songs that instrumentally feel empowered or sad. But I love great lyrics so that's what I'll talk about.

    During thinking about this I went through a number of bands and artists. Everlast - Letters Home from the Garden of Stone which was the song I listened to while my brother was in Afghan. (Weirdly, it turned out to be the soundtrack for his deployment) and Children by The Mavericks which was my soundtrack for my first school I taught at due to the amount of abuse. Imagine Dragon - Demons is up there for both the lyrics and the amazing video clip. The idea that everyone has demons they are struggling with. But I knew it always had to come back to Machine Head.

    Machine Head have such amazing lyrics. The problem was figuring out which song really gets me. For this, I find it impossible. Instead I'll link one song but tell a story with the lyrics of a few.

    So, this is another band that I got into while teaching. It's also a band that gives me hope for the kids I worked with. The lead singer was born into a family of heroin addicts and sexually abused, taken away from his parents and ended up with a loving family. He tried to kill himself at 17 but failed and went on to make friends with people in his band and become one of the bigger metal bands in the 2000s. This whole story is told through the songs he wrote. Not all their songs are about this. Some are anti-war, such as A Farewell to Arms. Other's are anti-church. (Not religion.. they just don't like the church)

    I start with Days Turn Blue to Grey. It's about the ups and downs of living with drug addict parents. Everything is nice, then everything suddenly goes bad. Near the end it is particularly powerful when the kids are talking to their parents and are confused at the anger. "Please. Won't you love me? Please help me see. What did I do? Did I hurt you?"

    Next comes Five. This is the song about his abuse. This inspires deep deep anger in me and I don't listen to it much because I don't want to feel that angry without somewhere constructive to direct my anger. It is easily their most powerful song. It tells it from his point of view and how is destroyed him. "I remember words that never left me. From a stroke of 'til the here's what you do for me. If you tell, I'll kill you. Rip the tongue out from you. Wish that i could stop you. Please god make this go away." That's some of the less confrontational lyrics in the song. But the song as a whole makes me want to protect kids. But the rest of his songs gives me hope that the kids that get taken away from abusive homes can grow up to be happy and good people.

    Then comes Left Unfinished. This is about his childhood and starts with some lullaby instrumental. This one is great because it mentions his adopted family. "You never could love me. I'm glad that you never did. My parents that raised me had plenty of that to give. And for that I'll love them forever with all my heart." I also love his statement about how he'll help others. "I'll give to this world what you couldn't give. Love the unwanted, every child born discarded"

    Next for me comes The Burning Red which is about his attempted suicide. During a concert it's amazing to see the crowd go from moshing to complete silence and calm. This is more about the instrumental than the lyrics. Complete contrast to their normal music.

    Finally I listen to Wipe the Tears. This is the best song for hope I know. I have listened to it all through my depression when I'm really struggling. I love this song for the hope it gives to people who listen to it who are reaching the end of the road.

    But one thing I must make clear
    The struggle of these years
    Has made every scar the stronger
    My lust for life the longer
    I will fight for what I love
    And I will fight for those I care
    I will fight at anytime
    And I will fight anywhere
    With my heart aimed at this world
    Destiny I watch unfurl
    I'll wipe away the tears
    Wipe away the tears

    But for illustrating my point of this band the video clip for Days Turn Blue to Grey is definitely the best.

    I love good lyrics and good music. I have a lot more songs that inspire me at different times.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Thanks for the great songs by the way. I already knew of the chilli peppers ones but the other ones are really good.

    The crusade song reminded me, lyrically, of Hunters and Collectors - Holy Grail. A early 90s crusade song that ended up being our national sport, AFL, theme song. (The holy grail in AFL being the grand final trophy) Play it for any Australian and they'll probably think of the Australian football.
    "Woke up this morning from the strangest dream. I was in the biggest army the world has ever seen."

  6. #6


    Well thanks for the posts and i want to thank you tiny for your contribution to the song, i donðt know if quoting makes an alert, but at least it does on one forum i am on so it is worth the shot. Also if you like the song please check out some of his other songs, he has really dirty and vulgar songs like "The Dirtiest Song That Ain't" and "Cathouse Tragedy". But also thought provoking ones like "Almost Human" and "Dead".

    Quote Originally Posted by tiny
    So there are 2 songs i want to take. And only one of those has lyrics to it. So i start with the first song Odds&Ends.

    So the reason... well reasons really, i like this song is a lot, and it has a special story.

    This was the last song made by a guy called Ryo. He was in a music group called Supercell, he specifically made music and lyrics for Miku. If you have ever heard a Miku song, you have heard one by him, he made some of the most famous songs by her. He made "World is Mine" he made "Gravity" he made "Love is War" he made "kocchi muite baby" he made "Sekiranun Graffiti" He made "Melt". He made all of the most famous songs by Miku, but then retired. The song follows his story, their relationship together as a Creator and a synthisized singer.

    Also the ammount of emotion you can feel through the song is amazing, especially for a synthisized program. To me at least, i feel like her voice has like that extra power, that extra force. Like she knows that this is the last time they will be together, the last time she will sing something by him, and instead of feeling sad, she gives it all she has to one magnificent final song.

    The lyrics go as follows

    Now these lyrics get deeper and deeper as the song goes on. She first begins to sing about how he was the good guy who finished last, but when he found Miku he found that he could use her to accomplish great things, he started to make songs and he was the first one to achieve any real fame and popularity with Vocaloids.

    But then they started with the hate, that he was just using some easy form of music anybody could use, that his fame was not his own, that he was acting big. He started to beleive those and started to distance himself away from her, the one thing that he seemed to be good at. But she still remained there, remained still, only waiting for him. She talks about herself as Odds&ends, just some random thing that you keep around and don't know why, something that isn't really useful.

    He retired making songs for her a few years ago but the legacy of this songs he made still remains, he was a pioneer of his own, he was the first to really get something other than 100 views from these "odds&ends".

    - - - Updated - - -

    So the other song i wanted to mention here ( and i will make this quicker) is "To Zanarkand" by the genius, infact rather more like godlike Composer Nobuo Uematsu, who has mainly made games for Square, The Final Fantasy series. He for examples made Aerith's Theme, and Sephiroth's Theme, He made the Chocobo theme and the opening theme to most games of the Final Fantasy series.

    This particular one, is from Final Fantasy X

    Zanarkand is the birthplace of the main Character Tidus. This is the song that plays in almost every emotional moments, it is the main theme really of Final Fantasy X, it is by far my favorite by Uematsu, fallowed by One Winger Angel. Sephiroth's theme.

    So this is it, feel free to comment what you see in the lyrics if you want, i can't really diagnose them too well but i still love them.

  7. #7

  8. #8


    I think my mood and taste in music are closely related, but I still always like alternative rock the best. I love My Morning Jacket and my favorite song by them is Lowdown. It's soft and melodic yet has a dancy beat to it

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