These days, it seems as if half of the world and his housepet is a self-declared “singer-songwriter,” a term which has lost whatever dubious meaning to which it might once have laid claim. Go to any party in Greenwich Village and you can be sure that at least a solid third of those in attendance will identify themselves as singer-songwriters. Of these, no more than 3 percent or so will be the real McCoy. Why, you ask? Well, most will be intermittent guitar players who use the title in hopes of getting laid. A slightly smaller portion will be pretentious or over-earnest musical aspirants with delusions of grandeur so vast that not even a Magellan could hope to circumnavigate or, indeed, circumvent them. The remaining portion will be singer-songwriters who are at least musically competent. This portion has surely swelled within the last few decades as it has become easier and easier to master at least the basics of music theory and instrumental technique through the resources made available by the so-called Information Revolution.
Consequently, it is not the music that concerns me. True, most pop music is generic in form, but it conveys a sense that it is aware of how bland it is, and that at least implies musical competence. What concerns me is the lack of care and attention given to lyrics. Lyrics can be just as finicky as music, and yet there is a distressing lack of sense and good taste among the masses when it comes to setting words to music. Everyone knows what is highbrow and what is lowbrow in music, who the masters were and which musicians were merely mediocre pretenders, but almost no such general knowledge can be found in the arena of lyrics. In a day and age in which Lady Gaga can be deemed a good lyricist, the time has come for a lyrical enlightenment. To that end I humbly submit my own contribution in hopes that the next generation of songwriters might use their rhymes with reason.

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