On 2017’s World Poetry day, it’d be a crime to not mention it, recognise it and celebrate it, if for nothing else but for its close connection and continued use in music. Lyrical arrangement has always had a tight affiliation with music and both music and poetry in its most based form can be as considered as powerful and important as each other. Here, we take a look at those artists that took song writing and lyrical content and came out the other side as bona fide poets.
The ultimate lyric juggler, Dylan has been turning poetry into musical mastery for the past 50+ years. After taking his name from famous poet Dylan Thomas, is it even a surprise. His greatest examples include ‘It’s Alright Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)’, ‘Masters Of War’ and ‘The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll’.
The Smiths frontman has been recognised as a lyrical genius ever since they dominated the 80’s and revolutionised the new wave, indie scene. He continued with his solo work to and has always been admired for his ability to be able to take down to earth, every day, British problems or feelings and articulate them with immeasurable beauty.
Lana Del Rey
On a much more contemporary scale, Lana Del Rey has been championed many times before on mojo20.com and her lyrical mastery is a lot of the reason why. She takes the dirt and the filth of love and loss and turns them into wonderfully woven lyrical works of art. Her delivery has always been anything other than pop music as we know it and it’s a lot more reminiscent of fine poetry, with a hell of a lot of edge.
The Doors are one of the most famous names to come out of the 60’s and when you think of that 60’s psychedelic, free spirited style, you think of the Doors and their lead singer Jim Morrison. Tracks like ‘The End’, ‘Moonlight Drive’ and ‘Riders On The Storm’ are clearly poetry with a rock n roll backing. Morrison’s beginnings are known to be in poetry and soon progressed into one of the greatest bands that ever lived.
The icon and Beatles originator is still known as one of the most important musicians of all time and his solo work went on to become synonymous with peace, understanding and unity. There may be no finer example of poetry and its power than his masterpiece ‘Imagine’. The words alone, without any musical accompaniment are as strong as any other writing and defined his legacy.
Happy World poetry day everybody. I could go on mentioning names like Nick Cave, Joni Mitchell, Nick Drake, Neil Young, Joan Baez and more but instead, let’s all just pop our phones down, forget the memes and Lad Bible articles and take the chance to read something of substance and beauty, if not today, then when?
Words by Stuart Green (@mojo20_music)