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Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Most Perfect Song Ever - A definition attempt

... it's not a chart, no winner here, BUT sure a topic worth some words...
Merriam-Webster's says:

Middle English, from Old English sang; akin to Old English singan to sing
before 12th century

1: the act or art of singing2: poetical composition3 a: a short musical composition of words and music b: a collection of such compositions4: a distinctive or characteristic sound or series of sounds (as of a bird, insect, or whale)5 a: a melody for a lyric poem or ballad b: a poem easily set to music6 a: a habitual or characteristic manner b: a violent, abusive, or noisy reaction 7: a small amount
— song·like Listen to the pronunciation of songlike \-ˌlīk\ adjective

... what I like best is "A poem easily set to music" - i.e. IMO, the most perfect should be a self-standing, despite a 2/3 minutes lenght, music & words blend, where music AND words are mutually and easily, naturally supporting each other, yet, in the best samplers, music AND words still own a their own dignity when separated... an haunting melody, balanced, not flashy, poetic and a text, often a poem, when blended together give a "song"... the Most perfect Song Ever isn't one... they're several, like several are poets and musical geniuses, BUT when you listen to such a gem, you know you'd better do surrending to the sweet, mellow strenght of art at its highest peak... you know you can only get shivers, goosebumps, tears, BUT the song penetrates you in every cells.
... it's like Creation be condensed in few, long instants, where time collapses... a minute is an year, three minutes are a life, a life is a second... one of the great, little misteries of Creations.

I wrote it's not a matter of lists, chart, winners or losers, but to be better understood, I feel must quote some titles...

"Dedicated to you, but you weren't listening" from "Soft Machine Vol. 2", on side two of this great, underrated disc from 1969, suddenly the hippy, pataphisical;-) atmosphere of side one changes and for slightly more than a couple minutes, the miracle happens... an acoustic 12 strings guitar plucked by Hugh Hopper, an harpsichord played by Michael Ratledge and... Robert Wyatt's angel-like voice... the song has a tension, it's exotic, yet folkish, and stop the clock for eons, like few others...

Quoting this (quite unknown song) only because this morning walking and peeing my dog, I began whistling it and as often happens, I remained puzzled and zonked in remembering the beauty, the simple perfection of this tune, also whistled in an Easter Day, FORTY years after it was recorded...

... but, lucky us, there are more and more... just stay tuned.

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