Caros audiophiles, when I listen to songs, at least in the pop/rock idiom, I have always gravitated towards the melody of a song before paying attention to the words. It is the music which carries the words. That is not to say that the words do not matter to me. I love, for example, Cole Porter's clever wit, and Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan whose poetic or political lyrics are their raison d'etre. Their words carry the tune. For some listeners, I know, the words mean everything and the music is secondary.
But often the words to me are secondary. The music grabs me and travels straight to the heart. Feelings are instinctive. Words require a bit more cerebral evaluation. I suppose that the best songs are a perfect marriage between the melody and the words.
Then I started to think of some songs which, as most people would confess and even the songwriters have admitted, contain incomprehensible lyrics. And yet these are much loved classics. Why is this so? Perhaps precisely because the words are so quirky, ambiguous, and feed our curiosity and imagination.
I'm thinking of David Bowie's Life On Mars, and Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody, and Led Zeppelin's Stairway To Heaven.
Here in London it feels like Siberia at the moment. My skin must be "a whiter shade of pale". I need a song that warms my bones. It comes from the long ago hot summer of 1967. Thanks to Procol Harum.
Just don't ask me what the song means!