A Self-Reflective Song: “Your Song” by Elton John and Bernie Taupin

Songwriters love to write songs about songs, meditating on the meaning and power of music. You can listen to my playlist Metamusic: Songs about Songs on RDIO as you read about “Your Song,” lyrics by Bernie Taupin and music by Elton John, the first of a series of posts on metamusic.

The song begins “It’s a little bit funny this feeling inside.” The feeling, of course, is love. “I don’t have much money,” John sings, “but boy if I did / I’d buy a big house where we both could live.” The songwriters, longtime collaborators, may not have had much money when they wrote the song, but it became their first pop hit and is now worth a fortune, enough to buy two or three houses.

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Metamusic and Metasongs: Music about Music, Songs about Songs

Metamusic is music about music: songs that reference themselves, the singer, other songs, other singers, musical instruments, the process of writing or recording a song, the music industry, or anything else that is related to music.

You’d think that the world would have had enough of silly meta-songs. I look around me and see it isn’t so. Singers love to sing about singing!

In the first half of this post, we’ll look closely at some passages from metasongs, examining what makes them meta. In the second half, I present a longer list of metamusic for you to explore. Whenever possible, I have linked to the song on YouTube, preferably a music video. Most songs are available on Spotify and Pandora.

Bad Music by Blectum from Blechdom

The singer of this soulful meta-song, Kevin Blechdom, slips in and out of tune, as she sings about bad music. (Click on the link and listen to it as you read). 

“There’s bad music everywhere. There’s bad music everywhere. There’s bad music in the air.”

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The Lack of Blank Spaces: Cage’s 4’33” and Rauschenberg’s “White Paintings”

Well, that didn’t work. I intended to leave this post blank — thirty empty lines followed by the “more” function (“Read the rest of the entry”), then two hundred and sixty three blank lines, another “more,” and one hundred sixty lines, each line representing a second of silence in John Cage’s famous song  “4’33,” three movements of no music totaling four minutes and thirty three seconds, composed for any instrument or combination of instruments. However, WordPress will not allow any blank lines. Although cyberspace is relatively cheap and there is an apparently limitless supply of it, the program edits out the empty spaces. On WordPress, I can write anything I want, except nothing. So, I will have to break the silence Cage created.

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