Melody? What Melody? or, Yes, But Can You Hum It?

Dusty Woods with acoustic guitar.It’s funny what simple, accidental things can trigger a thought (or a blog post).  I was sitting in the living room and heard a song being played on my wife’s computer in the next room.  The song was “How Great Thou Art” by Alan Jackson and I couldn’t make out the words but recognized the melody instantly.

This triggered the thought, “What ever happened to melodies?”  Back a few years, country songs, rock  songs, easy listening… (I guess you get the drift) all had melodies you could hum.  You’d hear a few notes or even a distinctive introduction and know instantly the song and the artist – like this Hank Williams song (Your Cheatin’ Heart)

Try that with any of the songs on CMT these days.  Even if you can identify a line or 2, they seem to have forgotten how to write a concise, distinctive melody.  Most of what I hear these days are rambling stream-of-semi-consciousness with no “hooks” (remember hooks?  Check out my previous blog).  Most of the artists, male or female, sound basically the same.

To sum up, I think of a line from a character in a book (Rude Behavior by Dan Jenkins – check it out)… “If it doesn’t have a melody, why is it a song?”

Think about it.

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