For you to enjoy a song, how important is it to know the lyrics?

I've heard people say before "I don't really like the lyrics (or may not even agree with them), but the beat is really good/catchy so I like the song."

However, I've also heard people say they really enjoy the lyrics and criticize music with "poorly written" lyrics.

With songs like One Week,


Or on the other end of the spectrum, "extreme" screaming,



they can be often hard to understand, yet people still like them. Likewise, people like songs in different languages as well. How important are lyrics to you to enjoy a song?


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Most Helpful Girl

  • I am probably the worst person ever at singing wrong lyrics so I suppose that means I'm more of a beat and instrumental appreciator.. but then when it's late and I have random playlists playing at bedtime I really tend to pay closer attention to the lyrics and it's the combination that makes a song one of my favorites.

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Most Helpful Guy

  • I'm an Elton John fan,
    Does that answer your question?

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    • I mean, I'd say Elton John has both catchy tunes and decent lyrics, so it is tough to say haha

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What Girls Said 11

  • think it's a bit of both (the lyrics are more important if I had to choose). I'm mostly into folk, viking and melodic metal (it's nothing like the song linked here) Sabaton, Ensiferum and Tyr for example. The tune is incredibly catchy at the same time the words are just beautiful.

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    • Ahh I never got into viking metal, but I do like melodic metal! I tend to go more into the progressive, metalcore, melodic death, and semi-djent side of things though. Although I linked a Cannibal Corpse song, I really don't like their material lol

      (I like stuff kind of like ERRA, Periphery, Animals As Leaders, like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yw3K9J4Ccgo )

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    • Do you ever listen to Amon Amarth? (That's like the only band I think I really know that can be called viking metal lol)
      http://youtu.be/h6-krHfdmGg

    • I love them!
      Bathory is pretty good too (It's one of these songs that you never get enough of - at least for me)
      https://youtu.be/hDpc-831GPs

  • I find once i understand the lyrics completely my interest in the song decreases.

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  • Depend on the song. Some songs are great because of the lyrics, some because of the beat and some because of both.

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  • Depends on the area and vibe. Like do I want to sing and get pump or find new awesome songs?
    Haha

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  • Sometimes I love songs for lyrics, sometimes I love songs for the music. Words mean a ton to me but so does a good beat to dance to.

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    • I like music in diff languages and they sound just as nice to me, I can always look up their lyrics.

  • I never really hear the lyrics anyway so I guess the music itself is more important for me

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  • It's very important to me

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  • it adds a new dimension to the song

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  • on a scale of 1 to 10? 1 being not at all and 10 being extremely. Depends on the lyrics

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  • i like the melody - even i don't know the lyrics i can enjoy it

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  • Lyrics are a secondary thing to me. Music is what really matters and makes me feel things. Good lyrics are a plus to make a good-sounding song even better.

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What Guys Said 18

  • This guy... what's up, young gun, it's been a minute👊😎

    It varies. I mean if a song sounds great AND has really good lyrics, that's obviously optimal. But I listen to such a variety of music now, I used to be way more about rap and R&B only, and that stuff is usually hit or miss on lyrics, especially in terms of R&B. There's really only like 4 or 5 basic conceptual directions you can go with R&B: you love someone, want them, miss them, hate them, etc, so I just feel like there's less innovation in that genre in general, plus it's so reliant on being an actually talented singer. Rap is as hit or miss, I usually find it either completely brainless, or some of the most impressive lyricism and wordplay and metaphors I've ever heard in any style of music. When I was around your age i was very selective and only listened to more clever and/or conscious underground rappers, and shunned anything mainstream. I was into a lot of Mos Def and Talib Kweli and Common, etc (who all eventually became kinda mainstream). Eminem, while I don't always love his songs, is undeniably the most skilled lyricist I've ever heard. I was in on him early, pre-mainstream explosion, but then after 2002 or so he started going away from the style I liked, but I'd still tell you he's the best to ever do it.

    Getting into rock music more the last 5-10 years, but with stuff I was less open to in high school, when the type of music you listened to dictated your whole persona, haha. But certainly back in old classic rock songs, and in more contemporary rock music, I honestly have never been tremendously impressed with the lyrics of songs in general. I'm sure there are some exceptions if I think about it, but rock music, to my ears, feels more about the song construction, and, aside from a catchy hook, the lyrics are just kinda there. Oftentimes I can't even understand what they're saying (something I hear older guys say about rap😂), and I'm just generally either unimpressed by the depth of the lyrics, or it's entire possible I'm an idiot and I'm totally missing what the artist is trying to say, hahahaha. But I guess with rock, there's so much more going on musically that I might not even get to the lyrical layer, whereas rap is generally done over a consistent and often more understated beat. I think rock lyrics are sometimes more poetic and the real point misses the mark with me, haha. But bands like Rage obviously had something to say, and I like some Smashing Pumpkins lyrics for example👍

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    • Oh, and also, you touched on foreign languages. That hits for me too, as I like reggaeton but don't speak much Spanish, and I like reggae and dancehall, but might not always understand the Jamaican patois. And of course I like stuff devoid of lyrics altogether sometimes too, like jazz, something called Soft-Tempo lounge (so fucking chill on a weekend morning, feels like I'm sunbathing in Rio or the French Riviera in 1967 on my day off from being a British spy😂), and I even get into some dubstep, which is basically the sound of robots fighting😂😂😂

    • Oh yeah, it can be pretty hit or miss with rock lyrics. Some songs get really commercial and focus more on the hook/catchiness rather than the depth.

      Some bands have a good blend though! I don't know if I would call them rock, but I know Artic Monkeys usually have solid lyrics.
      Then some metal bands actually have solid lyrics (although there is a good chance you won't be able to understand what they are saying if they add the grit to the voice haha)

  • Not very important. I generally just let my mind wonder off when listening to music so all that matters to be is what the song makes me feel. So the rhythm matters the most and then the lyrics can add to that during certian parts of the song, but I can't name a single song where I cared enough about the lyrics to even remember half of them.

    I also listen to a fair ammount of instrumentals that I find on youtube. So to me , the sound matters way more than the words.

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  • Meh the voice is just another instrument to me. The content of that instrument doesn't matter so much as the sound of it to me. There are many songs I like that I don't even learn the words to especially those in different languages. I just like how the sound comes together.

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  • Some songs are great because of their lyrics, but on some cases you don't really need them at all.

    I love this song, for example: open.spotify.com/track/3OtYYnDKs5oMzRorc4jnpW

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  • It's not important to me because i have given up on the lyrics a long time ago but i'm still aware of what they saying. If a songs says; i like eating shit and offering a goat to satan while i'm chopping my dick off; i'll turn that song down immediately.

    For rap; Don't try to understand because you can't and if you can you'll end up dissappointed.

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  • Well with newer music, it doesn't really matter.. On older music, I think the lyrics enhance the enjoyment.

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    • Interesting view. 😮 Why is there the difference you think?

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    • Ooh yeah, youtube is awesome. I've also found that the spotify "discover weekly" thing has been nice in finding me bands that are small and would've never found before!

    • Hmm, I'll check that out.. Most of the questions I ask are music related, in fact, I've been advocating for a separate Music topic on here.

  • Dont know but always respect original
    https://youtu.be/g8F70HZiRQU

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  • lyrics are more important than the music itself, if there is a song i love i look at the lyrics while listening to the song, over and over, until i burn it in my memory

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  • I pretend to dont know lyrics.(I can do it because im not native) Some songs shouldn't be known by their lyrics

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  • I pay to attention to the music first. I won't listen to an Opeth or a Metallica album for the lyrics, initially at least... until much later on I read them when a song pull me in, musically, to compliment that feeling.

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  • Yeahas in like the meaning. But if you mean like actually understand what it says, idgaf lol I listen to Suicide Silence, Cannibal Corpse, and other heavy ass bands lol

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  • I only want to know lyrics when singing the song

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  • Well the meaning and emotion of the song means a lot to me. Understanding thrash metal of the big 4 to the romantic likings of Etta James all due to what they represent.
    Corpsegrinder forever!!!

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  • i need to know, i will be looking them up to know the lyrics. i need to know what its about.

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  • Lyrics are important but the sound is also important they go together

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  • 50/50 I guess but a really special song needs good lyrics in my opinion

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    • Ahh so like where a song can only be good but not great if it doesn't have nice lyrics as well?

    • Now that u mention it there are a lot of great classical songs. So forget what I said.. it's not important then

  • I actually prefer Classical though.

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  • I like to sing along, so I care about the lyrics. Of course lyrics mean nothing if the music is crap.

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