When I was teenager, I spent a lot of time sitting on my bedroom floor in front of my K-mart stereo with a notebook in my lap. There I would compulsively play 30 seconds of a song, pause the tape, frantically scribble down the lyrics to the song, and then rewind the tape to make sure I had gotten it right.
For some reason having the lyrics written down in my notebook was very important. It seemed as though if I had the lyrics down in paper, something I could touch and see, I could decipher the messages behind the music. I could discover what they really ‘meant.’
Of course my method of lyric-retriveal was not fail-safe. Mostly, because I was quite imaginative and things that made perfect sense to me — made sense to nobody else and I soon discovered that many of the lyrics I thought I had so diligently transcribed were really figments of my own imagination.
My friend Jodi Hanson still likes to torture me about some of my bungled Poison and KISS lyric. I still argue with her that it makes absolute perfect sense for Bret Michels to be worried about forgetting he needs nothing but a good time. She insists he’s asking ‘how could i resist?’
Now that I’m thinking back to that time in my teenagehood, I’m remembering what a time-consuming habit music was, and I’m not talking about concert-going. You know, back in my day we had to actually got to a store to buy records (which was uphill both ways). For suburban kids like me, we had to actually find someone to take us to that store (which was usually located in a mall). If we got a tape without the lyrics, we had to sit and transcribe them. I remember being absolutely giddy if a tape included lyrics. It was a little like getting the awesome tattoo in the box of Cracker Jacks. When I was younger listening to and enjoying music was an actual activity.
Now, I buy music in my pajamas from the confines of my comfy green chair. I have a handy-dandy widget on Jed that will see what I’m playing in iTunes and then go search the internet for the lyrics. If my widget can’t find them, the lyrics are generally only a Google search away.
Except for today.
I’ve been listening to the new ‘mats track “Message to the Boys” on repeat, pretty much nonstop since last night. There is no lyrics sheet, there’s no googling for the actual words. And, it’s taking everything I have not to whip out my pencil and start scribbling the lyrics or at least what I think the lyrics are in the closest notebook. Though my ass has totally figured out what the message is in this song (something akin to you’ve got to shake that thing), my brain and my pathetic fangirl heart can’t seem to figure out the rest of it, and probably won’t until I can see and touch the damn lyrics.