Personality Cafe banner

How much attention do you pay to lyrics?

  • SP - I pay close attention to the lyrics

    Votes: 11 4.6%
  • SP - I pay little attention to the lyrics

    Votes: 9 3.8%
  • SJ - I pay close attention to the lyrics

    Votes: 7 2.9%
  • SJ - I pay little attention to the lyrics

    Votes: 4 1.7%
  • NT - I pay close attention to the lyrics

    Votes: 59 24.8%
  • NT - I pay little attention to the lyrics

    Votes: 36 15.1%
  • NF - I pay close attention to the lyrics

    Votes: 85 35.7%
  • NF - I pay little attention to the lyrics

    Votes: 27 11.3%

  • Total voters
    238
1 - 20 of 86 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
743 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I pay very little attention myself. I don't care very much about the lyrical content (as long as it's not ridiculously bad), and often don't make even a subconscious effort to understand what's being sung. In fact I sort of prefer listening to music with unintelligible vocals, or in a different language or whatever, because the vocals just become that much more intertwined with the other instruments to create a whole image.

While I may find some lyrics interesting in retrospect, they generally have no influence whatsoever on what music I listen to. I listen to music for the music. That said, it seems like I'm in the minority. Most people I talk to put great importance on lyrical content. I never really got that; why not just read poetry if that's the sort of thing you're into? But to each their own.

I've been wondering if this relates to type or certain processes, hence this poll.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
16 Posts
Music has meaning, imo. Both the lyrics and the instruments. It is full of feelings and thoughts. I pay very close attention because if I didn't, I'd feel like a fucking idiot because I wasn't trying to feel, ya know?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
743 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Music has meaning, imo. Both the lyrics and the instruments. It is full of feelings and thoughts. I pay very close attention because if I didn't, I'd feel like a fucking idiot because I wasn't trying to feel, ya know?
Obviously they both have meaning. But what I'm saying is that I generally don't care about the meaning of the lyrics. I don't listen to music for that purpose. I listen to music because the the sound itself evokes emotions and feelings, and the vocals are just another means to that end.

I also listen to a lot of instrumental music because I don't find vocals are always necessary to enjoy music. Sometimes they even ruin it, regardless of the lyrical content.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
418 Posts
I pay attention to the lyrics like the first few times I listen to the song, out of curiosity and kind of instinct. Songs with meaningful lyrics and/or lyrics I can relate to, I usually fall in love with immediately. But otherwise I don't really care what they're saying unless they're constantly cursing and talking about sex or something. Most of my music is foreign and instrumental. If it sounds good it sounds good; if it has good lyrics, awesome it's even better. Though I do like songs that have lyrics (even if it's only a line or two) that can really strike me, stir up some emotion.

...I'm not sure if I should vote as "Pay close attention" or "Pay little attention" :p
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,783 Posts
I pay pretty close attention to lyrics, but I also pay pretty close attention to instrumentation. This may come from being an avid writer, but also a musician. :)

There are songs that I adore simply because the instrumentation is just so beautiful and really hits my soul. There are other songs that I adore because the lyrics are just so beautiful and really hit my soul. Occasionally I find songs that I adore for both reasons, and those are the songs I listen to over and over and over and over.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
169 Posts
I am completely in agreement with SuburbanLurker.

I love words - a LOT - and maybe that's why they distract me from the music. My music player is loaded with nothing but foreign language songs. It's absolutely one of my chief joys, because for something like 25 years I had pretty much given up regular enjoyment of any music; even songs I liked would quickly wear out their welcome in my ears and become simply annoying. No idea why it's like that for me; when I was a teen music was thrilling and I had been missing out on that. So I don't care what the reason is, I'm just happy now I can enjoy music again.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
14,865 Posts
I hang onto every word, typically.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
743 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
I think it can already be established that type has nothing to do with it. I guess I'm just weird like that.

Paheli said:
I love words - a LOT - and maybe that's why they distract me from the music.
I think that's exactly it. If I were to pay attention to lyric meaning I'd never be able to enjoy the actual music, with all the de-coding and interpreting I'd be constantly engaged in, given that most of the music I listen to contains abstract lyrics. I think my brain has been trained to not try to understand lyrics.

I mean, I can't sit around all day trying to figure out what the hell things like this mean:

fold the river by the lips as a cruel and smothered wind fits the gash with ornaments dawn is nodding off again raised the braille to read it clear gathered by the cholera rinse the burns in cauldrons help the palm we see a lens my hands secrete a monument my hands secrete a monument
I'd never get to enjoying the music. How do you people do it?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
112 Posts
I dont pay attention to the lyrics at all... I pay much more attention to the instruments... i enjoy orchestrations and choruses because of that. I like the feeling that the melody of the song gives me.. it makes me space-out, it reflects my mood and brings back memories... and if i listen to music with lyrics.. the lyrics are always in foreign languages mainly because i like the feeling of listening to something with a hidden meaning (Ex: the song is in latin, i end up researching what the lyrics mean) and if i dont understand the lyrics (aka theyre not in english or spanish) i let the voices mix with the sound of the many instruments that are playing and the result is me feeling the melody itself, i rarely pay attention to the lyrics.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
743 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Serene, I relate 100% to what you wrote.

Another reason I enjoy foreign or incoherent lyrics is that I can create my own meaning. I can freely associate the music to whatever I want - my own feelings, emotions, experiences etc. and just sort of get lost in it (and before anyone says it, NT's have emotions too! Music is my main emotional outlet). I think that's actually the intent with some of the more abstract lyricists.

I guess I kind of prefer not knowing what the artist's vision is, lest I spoil my own ideal vision (and this does happen on occasion - I'll love a song, then find out it's about something I can't relate to or disagree with, which sort of ruins the whole thing).

Alright, I'm getting redundant. I'm going to invade my own thread, let's share some foreign-language music.

 

·
MOTM June 2011
Joined
·
6,992 Posts
I'm more of a nonverbal person anyway, so I guess it makes sense that I'm less interested in the words. Sometimes I enjoy listening for the meaning, but then again, I'm a "show me don't tell me" kind of person.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,480 Posts
I tend to pay more attention to the lyrics,although the music plays a big part too.If the tune is catchy and stirs me then I like it.I like everything from classical to jazz,but heavy metal and rap isn't my style.When the lyrics have meaning and relate to aspects of my life that is when I pay attention to them the most.Sad songs and those about relationships and life in general are those that most appeal to me.That is why country music is my favourite style,it talks about love,loss and everyday things.Some song lyrics just move me to tears whenever I hear them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,039 Posts
I pay more attention to the nonverbal sounds in the music. I don't enjoy lyrics because a lot of them try to constrain what the song could make you think about or feel. Without any lyrics or singing, the music is so much more open to be felt and interpreted however by the listener.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
198 Posts
INTP - I play close attention to the lyrics, assuming that the song has interpretable vocals to begin with.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
112 Posts
Serene, I relate 100% to what you wrote.

Another reason I enjoy foreign or incoherent lyrics is that I can create my own meaning. I can freely associate the music to whatever I want - my own feelings, emotions, experiences etc. and just sort of get lost in it (and before anyone says it, NT's have emotions too! Music is my main emotional outlet). I think that's actually the intent with some of the more abstract lyricists.

I guess I kind of prefer not knowing what the artist's vision is, lest I spoil my own ideal vision (and this does happen on occasion - I'll love a song, then find out it's about something I can't relate to or disagree with, which sort of ruins the whole thing).

Alright, I'm getting redundant. I'm going to invade my own thread, let's share some foreign-language music.

I agree... and about the INTP emotional side... my little brother's an INTP and he's pretty emotional.

That song... sounds like spanish and i cant understand most of it... and i am a native spanish speaker *facepalm* well wasnt really paying attention about what the singer was saying anyways :p.. very relaxing song indeed

I should share a foreign language song too


well english's a foreign language to me... but this one of few the non-orchestral songs i like... and


in this song the chorus isnt actually saying anything :p.. but its pretty good to listen to
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,607 Posts
I guess average attention. If I can't understand what someone singing is saying I don't feel that bothered to look it up. I also view vocals as another instrument. I listen to a lot of music that has no vocals, and music that isn't true to what most music is (ambient).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,477 Posts
I've always felt as if I live for the stimuli that bring me closer to a reminiscent sensation, so I use anything within an object or concept, lyrics in this case, to get the most sensation out of it. It is worth it if I'm successful. If I don't get what I desire, the object-concept becomes immaterial to me. If I ever purposely pay no attention to lyrics, I'm just not listening to the song (waste of time). I have to dissect music for its value in order to know if I care.

As for songs with unintelligible lyrics, like that of shoegazing rock, I take in what I can. The sound, the tone of voice, texture, nature.. If I can visualize something good, then it's a keeper in spite of being abstruse. I usually read translations of jpop/jrock songs, too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,917 Posts
There are songs that I adore simply because the instrumentation is just so beautiful and really hits my soul. There are other songs that I adore because the lyrics are just so beautiful and really hit my soul. Occasionally I find songs that I adore for both reasons, and those are the songs I listen to over and over and over and over.
This sums it up for me.
 
1 - 20 of 86 Posts
Top