Deep Words: When song lyrics mean something

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I miss good music. I miss songs with lyrics that mean something. I know I’m not the only one. Grammy award winning Christian rapper Lecrae recently released a song exposing the nature of musical content in the hip-hop community. But it’s not just hip-hop: many of the songs that play nowadays “ain’t talkin’ bout nuthin.’”

For this reason, I was accidentally delighted when I began re-evaluating my music collection for content and stumbled across my old Switchfoot album, Nothing is Sound. It’s 9 years old, and when I first listened to it, I was too emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually immature to appreciate exactly how deep the lyrics to these songs were. My soul, however, seems to have sufficiently expanded over the past 9 years to admit the welcome complexity of the lyrics.

Now that I am starving for substance and seeking high and low for things that mean something real, I see the lyrics of these songs more like I see the poetry I study: full of well thought-out, intentional nuances that come together to create messages about real, important things. The lyrics aren’t just trite statements about life that sound nice to music. The are shrewd observations about reality and perception that probe your soul if you let them.

Because of my quest for meaning in words, I have decided to begin a segment on my blog devoted to close readings of songs I encounter that take a stab at being authentic, and that succeed in piercing the soul with actual rays of truth. I will begin with songs from the Nothing is Sound album. The segment will be called “Music Monday,” and, as the title suggests, every Monday will feature a different song. Feel free to comment below with suggestions if you stumble across any songs you think warrant closer looks.


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