By: Megan Standley
Songs have been with us as long as poetry and prose but should the lyrics of songs be considered poetry? There are many different genres within the category of songs – my personal favorite genre is classical – each with a unique style.
Rap is a good example of poetry. It’s basically a poem with music played in the background. There are plenty of people who are great at rapping. Anyone who writes poetry has their own way of reading it out loud; there are readers who will go with the beat, some who will go fast, and some who will go slowly. The difference is that rappers mainly talk with the music playing in the background but will sing when they reach the chorus. To many it is considered poetry, myself included.
Why is any other genre that does contain lyrics not considered poetry? If you take the music out and read the lyrics it matches the requirements for poetry, even if the artist is singing. It’s still the same lyrics! The artist is just singing, and rappers sometimes go from talking to singing depending on the mood of the rap.
Personally, I think lyrics should be considered poetry. The lyrics are written in a specific way like a poem is, and it shouldn’t matter whether it is sung or rapped.
Whether you think lyrics should be considered poetry or not, you do have to admire the thought and work that went into each word. The songs mean so much to each artist and to the audience. Poems can be personal and emotional and so can lyrics.
Take Lady Gaga’s Joanne, which was a song featured on her latest album with the same name. It can make anyone emotional, especially anyone who has experienced losing someone close. Gaga wrote the song for her aunt Joanne who inspired her to make music. Her aunt died before she could meet her, but she heard stories about Joanne. Gaga wrote the lyrics in honor of her aunt, which makes it personal and emotional just like a poem.
So, whenever you start to question whether lyrics should be considered poetry or not, listen to your favorite song and pay attention to the lyrics. You never know where poetry can be hidden in plain sight.