Katy Perry v. Friedrich Ruckert

So I actually really do appreciate Greg Sandow’s point in his post on Cultural Disconnect, and I understand that it’s not as simple as I’m about to make it. I won’t summarize it. You should just read what he has to say. But really? My issue is that I’m probably such an idealistic romantic that I don’t believe there is a distinction between 19th century love and 21st century love. And while it’s great to listen to Katy Perry when I’m driving on the freeway, I think the music like the Dichterliebe, La Boheme and even a handful of Mahler’s symphonic movements (can anyone really listen to the Adagietto from Mahler 5 and not feel like they’re in love?) will always be relevant to me. But maybe that’s what makes me a classical music nerd.

Just for fun I wanted to put these back to back.

Du Bist die Ruh (Schubert/Ruckert)

You are harmony
and rest.
You are yearning
and its cadence.

I dedicate to you,
as to a sacred place,
full of pain and joy,
my eyes and heart.

Turn to me now
and quietly
close the doors
behind you.

Drive other sorrows
far away:
May my heart fill
with delight in you.

This vaulted dome
with your light voice
alone is filled,
Oh let it ring.

(thanks to David Evan Thomas for doing Ruckert some justice)

…and this…

This was never the way I planned
Not my intention
I got so brave, drink in hand
Lost my discretion
It’s not what, I’m used to
Just wanna try you on
I’m curious for you
Caught my attention

I kissed a girl and I liked it
The taste of her cherry chap stick
I kissed a girl just to try it
I hope my boyfriend don’t mind it
It felt so wrong
It felt so right
Don’t mean I’m in love tonight
I kissed a girl and I liked it
I liked it

No, I don’t even know your name
It doesn’t matter
You’re my experimental game
Just human nature
It’s not what, good girls do
Not how they should behave
My head gets so confused
Hard to obey

I kissed a girl and I liked it
The taste of her cherry chap stick
I kissed a girl just to try it
I hope my boyfriend don’t mind it
It felt so wrong
It felt so right
Don’t mean I’m in love tonight
I kissed a girl and I liked it
I liked it

Us girls we are so magical
Soft skin, red lips, so kissable
Hard to resist so touchable
Too good to deny it
Ain’t no big deal, it’s innocent

I kissed a girl and I liked it
The taste of her cherry chap stick
I kissed a girl just to try it
I hope my boyfriend don’t mind it
It felt so wrong
It felt so right
Don’t mean I’m in love tonight
I kissed a girl and I liked it
I liked it

I had to stop myself before engaging in the differences between popular and classical music. Too much for today.

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~ by ohactually on July 30, 2008.

One Response to “Katy Perry v. Friedrich Ruckert”

  1. Yes, I read the article. Interesting stuff. To me, if you’re going to connect to a piece at a musical level, you have to have the potential in you to feel what the composer’s intent was. Whenever you put something out there, some are going to connect – some aren’t. That usually says less about the music and more about the people listening.

    A few thoughts come to mind. First – why is it that I appreciate MOST things I listen to? There is rarely anything I would turn off. I think it’s because of my training. If I don’t connect emotionally, I connect structurally, or visually, or improv in my head and create. But I usually listen with everything I am, and strive to connect. I don’t think that intensity is normal.

    If we’re talking about broadening the market of classical music, we have to wonder what that means. So, second – a real question is – has society changed in its ability to understand love? And what it needs in relationships? Your first lyrics (and the piece) is about steadfastness, about committed love. The second is momentary, thrill-oriented, excited rush of intense emotion. What’s more – the poetry of the first is honestly portraying emotion – the second is centered around an act in a crowd, with drink in hand, wondering about impacting her boyfriend…this strikes me as manipulative and not caring of anyone else in the circumstance except the feeling (which is not love – it’s like, it’s sexual thrill…but it’s not love. To it’s credit, the song never claims that.)

    Does our society want the first? Or the second? Or both? And if so, why? Does it want to escape feelings rather than acknowledge them? (No one said it was fun to ‘eat your carrots’. It’s just known to be ‘good for you’.)

    Frankly, especially at this time in my life with what I’ve experienced, I am probably 85% drawn to the first type of song, and only 15% drawn to the second. I guess I think that there are too many things in life to surround yourself with anything less than something that is going to challenge you in some way to become better and more beautiful. And maybe that makes me a musical snob.

    But is this view common? I would like to say that most people, if allowed to awaken to it, understand that there is an inherent truth to the third movement of most symphonies, especially when compared to their normally bombastic 1st and 4th movements. I am hopeful that our society bounces back from the fast-food mentality of consumption and realizes that one does not find long-lasting happiness by jumping from “fix to fix”.

    Anyway. I’m just glad I live in a society that allows me to choose. For those who can connect only to Jerry Springer – it’s at least a connection. In education, you meet the learner where s/he is and bring them to the next steps — you don’t demand them to be something they’re not. Baby steps…

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