I haven’t read Keenan’s post yet, but I did read Troy’s followup, so I may as well confess: I don’t care about lyrics.

Troy writes:

The music is what ultimately spoke to me most. It always has been. I write the music first and the words that go over them are an afterthought.

I write music. I never care about the lyrics I write (and more often don’t bother writing them). When I listen to music, I have no idea what a song is about, and I don’t care. It doesn’t enter my mind, even if I can sing along to every word. For me, vocal performances are about creating sounds like any other instrument. The words don’t matter, except in cases where the sounds are impacted by the words. For example, a particular turn of phrase, emphasis, or pacing might catch my ear. But it’s my ears not my brain or heart that is captive– I’m noticing how the word choice leads to a percussive alliteration that leads to the inflection in the singing that makes the sounds I like.

I’ve discussed this with friends, not surprisingly, in reference to Taylor Swift, who Troy also brought up. I cannot relate to the adoration about storytelling and lyrics. So I’ve never been into Taylor Swift. I’ve never come across a Taylor Swift fan who doesn’t love lyrics and care about the poetry. I don’t even care about poetry.

This isn’t some badge of pride or honor. It’s an observation. There are seemingly two audiences for music: those for whom lyrics are a critical part of the experience and those who seem to not experience lyrics at all.

I’ve always been the latter.