I realized something new about myself recently.
"What's that, Mike?"
My brain is completely uninterested in song lyrics. It pays no attention to them and dedicates zero space to storing them. It could not give any less of a crap.
There are many songs that I can sing along to, but if you take away the melody, I'm completely unable to recall the words. It's as though my ears have hidden the lyrics to the song in some place that's unavailable to my brain, like maybe my nuts, and whenever the song plays, my mouth retrieves the lyrics (yes, from my nuts) and sings along. The brain is both surprised and unimpressed.
It's like the words are just another musical instrument with no meaningful value of their own. Consequently, I don't believe I can tell you the meaning of a single song I've ever heard. Ok, maybe "Happy Birthday". I'm pretty sure that I've managed to absorb the wisdom in that ditty. There are probably a handful of others, but they would be the exception by far.
What's "Jailhouse Rock" about? People in jail rocking out?
How about "Stairway to Heaven"? Man, no clue. Something about a stairway though. To heaven, I think.
Admittedly, my analysis of those two songs was aided by astute readings of their titles. Otherwise, I'd be totally lost without actually finding the lyrics and studying them.
The other day I printed out the lyrics to "Ana Ng" by They Might Be Giants for my daughter. I perused them and they were completely unfamiliar to me even though I've heard that song well over a hundred times in the last decade. It was bizarre reading the words, as though I had discovered some secret and surprising aspect to the song that had been hidden all along. It was surprising like finding out that my car can make sculpture, or that a book could dance the lambada (assuming it weren't forbidden). It makes me say, "Really? Damn. That's nifty," and then I move on and that's that. I'll probably forget those lyrics until the next time I hear the song, and my mouth kicks in, with only my ears and nuts to thank.
Is it just me?