Words and Music ©1998 Jonathan Turner
All Rights Reserved
Scanning channels on the radio
I hear what's hip and what's new
I don't pay too much attention
They're not expecting me to
You are not meant to listen
You are just meant to hear
Just get into the beat, just keep tapping your feet
Then forget it next year.
Most contemporary music bores me spitless. I confess this openly.
My coworkers have been trying to "update" my musical tastes. They have some sporadic success -- I discovered Jason Mraz and Josh Ritter via the Great Music Swaps we have at work. In return, I've infected them with Phoenyx, Tom Smith and Julia Ecklar. The ones who sound good. That's one of the problems with listening to filk.
Filk? How to define filk? Self-referentially, of course. Filk music is what filkers listen to at filksings. Less circularly defined, it's music coming from the science fiction and fantasy fandoms, and the experiences of those fandoms and the people within those fandoms. Here's a good place to read a more detailed definition.
Can I tell you what filk is? No. I can't define it but I know it when I hear it. A bit like chivalry that way.
The topics range from character analysis of popular television shows to the perils of cat ownership. There are songs about the space shuttle, Star Trek, dragons, role-playing and Tolkien. One of my favorites? Is a first person song of one of Tolkien's elves discovering the space program, travelling to the stars and learning that they are all suns. The chorus is in Tolkien's Elvish. Lyrical, ethereal, passionate.
The words touch me. I hold fast to them.