Thematic Schematic

Have you ever noticed that some musical artists have themes?

I don’t mean have the same three chords they use in every song. I mean lyrical themes.

I noticed this first with Jewel. She seemed to have a weird obsession with her hands.

Evidence, the first: “I hid my soiled hands behind my back.” – Foolish Games

Evidence, the second: “He’s got big hands, but the mind of a little boy.”  – Adrian

Evidence, the third: “Get over here and warm my hands up, boy. It’s you they love to hold.” – Morning Song

Kind of odd, but interesting. Hands are obviously very symbolic to her, and she couldn’t help but use it over and over again.  It got to the point where she was tired of making them second string and wrote a whole damn song called Hands.

I noticed it again, more recently, with April Smith and the Great Picture Show. She’s not exactly super well known yet – though I think Colors started playing on some radio stations – but you should totally check out her album, Songs of a Sinking Ship.

Which is where our theme begins. She happens to have a huge focus on ships – especially the sinking variety.

Evidence, the first: The very name of her album.

Evidence, the second: “Like a lighthouse guides a shipwrecked sailor safely from the sea, I’ll wear your colors ’til you come back home to me.” – Colors

Evidence, the third: “A face that could launch a thousand ships.” – Drop Dead Gorgeous

However, I think the award for Most Obvious and Prevalent Theme Throughout One Artist’s Songs has to go to Miss Taylor Swift.

Girlfriend sings about rain in about 95% of her songs.

Evidence, the first: “Just know I’m right here hoping you’ll come in with the rain.” – Come in With The Rain

Evidence, the second:  “There’s something ’bout the way the street looks when it’s just rained.” – Fearless

Evidence, the third: “Wait there in the pouring rain, come back for more.” – Other Side Of the Door

Evidence, the fourth: “I do recall, now, the smell of the rain – fresh on the pavement, I ran off the plane.” – Last Kiss

Evidence, the fifth: “But I miss screaming and fighting and kissing in the rain.” –  The Way I Loved You

Not to mention, she tends to reference parts of her other songs in her songs.

Evidence, the only (because I think you get the point and trust me by now): “I used to think one day, we’d tell the story of us and how the sparks flew instantly.” – The Story Of Us

I have this theory that if you made a web of all of Taylor Swift’s songs, you would end up with one big circle.

Let it be known that I’m not frowning upon any of this by any means. In fact, it’s kind of cool that they each have shtick that’s not quite as obvious as, say, “all of Ke$ha‘s songs have something to do with glitter, drugs and booze“.

All of these artists have chosen [whether purposefully or subconsciously] themes that are extremely versatile and pretty meaningful.

And maybe people don’t generally even notice these things. I know some people who don’t even pay attention to the words of songs – they solely choose the songs they like based on the music.   I’m not like that. I need to have both.  I need to like what you’re saying, as well as how you’re saying it. Sometimes, if your words confuse me, it can still be intriguing to me (*cough* Regina Spektor *cough*) if you make it sound lovely or fun enough.  But, if you’re not saying anything at all, you might lose me.

‘Cause I’m listening.

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~ by Valerie Anne on 07/27/2011.

2 Responses to “Thematic Schematic”

  1. you like regina spektor????? no one ever listens to regina spektor and i have loved her for four years. the regina spektor pandora station is my favorite.

    the regina spektor pandora station is why i wanted my iphone so bad — to ba able to listen to it in my car haha

    • haha yeah my friend did a dance to “Samson” once in college and I got hooked. I also have a Regina Spektor playlist on Pandora! “On the Radio” and “Eet” are two of my favorites.

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