We hear music all the time. On the radio, in stores and restaurants, on our iPod, etc. And while we may hear the music and enjoy the beat, how often do we listen to a song? Many may dismiss Top 40 artists as only creating songs with catchy tunes or good back beats but if you take a closer look at some of the lyrics in these popular songs, you’ll find examples of what I like to call lyrical genius.
What makes a lyrical genius? I define it as a concept or phrase that is commonly known but that isn’t necessarily something the average person would think of putting in a song. Take Ed Sheeran’s song Thinking Out Loud for example. In it is the phrase, “Cause honey, your soul could never grow old, it’s evergreen.” I think this is genius because of the use of the word evergreen. Who would think of using a tree reference? But it’s genius because it’s a common fact that evergreen trees, like pines, don’t lose their leaves in the winter hence the name evergreen. Putting this into the context of his song, he’s saying he knows this girl will always love him and he will always love her because their love is like an evergreen, it will never grow old or fade. Genius right?
Here are a few other examples of lyrical genius that I’ve come across.
“And yeah, I let you use me from the day that we first met but I’m not done yet falling your fool’s gold” — One Direction, Fool’s Gold
“I’m not a paper doll, can’t make what you want” — Bea Miller, Paper Doll
“I wish words were like little toy guns, no sting, no hurt, no one” — Carrie Underwood, Little Toy Guns
“I wear my pain like stilettos, as bad as it may hurt, no you’ll never know” — Kelsea Ballerini, Stilettos
What do you guys think? Do you know of any lyrics that you think are genius?