View Full Version : what is it that makes a song?

05-15-2005, 02:34 AM
is it the music? it can be

the lyrics... it can be

but songs are just poems with music in it...


05-15-2005, 02:47 AM
but songs are just poems with music in it...

Of course, there are songs without poems--instrumentals. The key element of a song is of course, music.

05-15-2005, 02:49 AM
is it though?

bob dylan? woody guthrie? musicians to the core, but visionaries.

05-15-2005, 02:52 AM
The online M-W dictionary defines "song" as this:

1 : the act or art of singing
2 : poetical composition
3 a : a short musical composition of words and music b : a collection of such compositions
4 : a distinctive or characteristic sound or series of sounds (as of a bird or insect)
5 a : a melody for a lyric poem or ballad b : a poem easily set to music
6 a : a habitual or characteristic manner b : a violent, abusive, or noisy reaction <put up quite a song>
7 : a small amount <sold for a song>

So based on #2, as long as it's poetical....

05-15-2005, 07:44 AM
2 : poetical composition

So based on #2, as long as it's poetical....

True--I mean there is "Song of Solomon" in the Old Testament, and didn't Whitman call one of his poems Song something or other? That seems to ring a bell anyway.

Anyway, Dylan and Guthrie--both put their words to music. They were both poets (Dylan for sure, Guthrie, maybe just a lyricist), but both used music as a means to convey their poetry.


05-16-2005, 12:28 AM
You're right about Whitman -
He wrote several "song" poems, most famously "Song of Myself," but also
"Song of the Broad-Axe," "Song of the Banner at Daybreak," "Songs for a Prelude," "Song at Sunset," "Song of Joys," "Song of Exposition," "Song of the Redwood Tree," and "Song of Occupation." I think that's everything, at least according to my Whitman's Complete Poems table of Content.

I would definitely agree with the Dylan analogy. I'm not familiar enough with Guthrie to agree or disagree.


05-19-2005, 05:33 AM
but songs are just poems with music in it...

I'd love to read a book of poems with some Motley Crue in it. LOL

I think it can be any combination of the stuff u mentioned. Yes, sometimes songs are just instrumentals. Sometimes, they are a capella. Pretty much like trying to define art.

06-02-2005, 05:09 AM
I think more than anything is the beet. some songs before I even learn the words I like the beet. than I start liking the song.

06-02-2005, 05:13 AM
I think it's the beet of the song. some songs I don't even know what the song say, but I know the beet. that's what make a song

06-02-2005, 06:19 AM
I can't stand beets...ick.

I think it's just a matter of having a song stick in your head...lyrics, beat, uniqueness, all of it can be a factor.

But then, unfortunately, I can't seem to get any song out of my head that I've heard more than a few times...sigh.