Building A Mystery

vampire on guitar

music you can sink your teeth into

Why is it that so often you hear beautiful songs in minor keys that have depressing lyrics? I hardly have words enough for a blog for this topic, as it’s such a simple and obvious statement. I could just make a list of songs that speak for themselves. However I want to do it justice because this is a major point to me. I adore dark music, songs in minor keys and dark melodies and sounds. But I try to practice positive thinking every day. So some of the most beautiful songs I have on my ipod, I don’t want to listen to because they repeat phrases over and over that I don’t want to be telling myself (example: Groovelily – “All I Want is What I Do Not Have”).

Very often beautiful or sexy or moving rock songs refer to the negative range of emotions, fear, anger, depression. A lot of them are about heartbreak, or worse, being in a severly codependent relationship or desperately longing to be with someone (Goo Goo Dolls – “Iris”). Some have great poetry in the lyrics or fascinating imagery (Five For Fighting – “White Picket Fence”: the bit about the corpse in the desert with it’s wings cut off and face half-shaved is so surreal I love it), but in the end they’re still unpleasant to dwell on the meaning.

Often when listening to songs I enjoy, I try to re-interpret the lyris in a positve way (I always think of the last line in “Dont Fear the Reaper” as being the girl running away with her vampire lover). Sometimes I sing re-written lyrics to myself (“You can always get what you want”) or I’ll sing just the part that feels positive (“Go west; paradise is there; you’ll have all that you can eat; of milk and honey over there” – “San Andreas Fault” – Natalie Merchant). But sometimes there’s nothing for it, the music just demands too much attention to think up new lyrics (“Deeper Well” – Emmylou Harris; or “Shadowlands” – Ryan Adams).

There are enough upbeat pop songs, both old and new, with sad broken heart lyrics. I think there should be more dark music with lyrics about feeling self-esteem, true love, all the beautiful things in life. There are many out there already (I’ve listed some below if you want to check them out), but the negative songs (both light and dark for that matter) far outweigh the positive. Those of you out there who are songwriters, might I ask you to put some thought into that?

And to complete this post, here’s a playlist of (mostly) positive Darkness for you (feel free to comment with your own suggestions; it’s by no means an exhaustive list):

Butterflyz – Alicia Keys
Ready for Love – Bad Company
Rock Steady – Bad Company
Float – Bush
Sunshine of Your Love – Cream
Strange and Beautiful – Aqualung (this band has several actually)
Supernatural – Divine Right
Never Die – Creed
Inside Us All – Creed
Green River – Creedence Clearwater Revival
Down to the Waterline – Dire Straits
Heavy Metal – Don Felder
One of These Nights – Eagles
Nobody Lives Without Love – Eddi Reader
Rhiannon – Fleetwood Mac
Girl on the Moon – Foreigner
Spiral – Godsmack
Radar Love – Golden Earring
Magic Man – Heart
Straight On  – Heart
Love Alive – Heart
the Warmth – Incubus
Come on Closer – Jem
Woodstock – Joni Mitchell (also covered by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young)
Slow Ride – Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band
Whole Lotta Love – Led Zeppelin
Kashmir – Led Zeppelin
Nutmeg Phantasy – Macy Gray
Angel -Massive Attack
Moondance – Van Morrison
Magic -Mick Smiley
Song Yet to be Sung – Perry Farrell
Treefingers – Radiohead
Blood Sugar Sex Magic- Red Hot Chili Peppers
Love is Strong – Rolling Stone
Love of My Life – Santana and Dave Matthews
You Can Still Be Free – Savage Garden
Exerpt From – Seal
Fly Like An Eagle – Steve Miller Band (also covered by Seal)
Maybe Angels – Sheryl Crow
Make the World Turn Around – Steve Miller Band
Green Eyes -Kate Wolf
Leave It Like It Is – David Wilcox
My Hit and Run – Third Eye Blind (about a motorcycle wreck, but turns out positive in the end)
I Want You – Third Eye Blind
Heaven’s Here on Earth – Tracy Chapman
I’m Ready – Tracy Chapman
Cinnamon Girl – by Neil Young, but Type O Negative has a great cover
Within You Without You – Beatles

I am a writer/illustrator of various types of speculative fiction but mostly modern fantasy. I have loved magic, and the people and creatures who live with it and use it, all my life, and writing and drawing these people in modern environments makes it all the more real to me. I also like to add an element of Darkness and horror, as well as science fiction, for “flavor”. I am fascinated with everything from unicorns and dragons to vampires and demons.

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One comment on “Building A Mystery
  1. Michael Alexander says:

    I agree with you. I also love music in the minor keys, but have had to suffer through depressing lyrics just to hear the music. Songwriters need to fix this… immediately.

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