You may or may not be a Tragically Hip fan. No matter. Let’s set that aside. In fact, let’s set their music aside completely – along with the shattering fact that Gord Downie has terminal brain cancer. Instead, let’s take a look at the structure of their song lyrics.
Downie’s words exemplify a reality about writing: for a piece to startle and stick, it needs to combine vivid and captivating concrete images with swirling and electrifying abstractions. Hit the listener/reader with too much material detail and you bore them. Drown them in abstract language not anchored in reality and the meaning disappears.
Either way, the writing won’t be memorable.Read More