Music that has deep poetry has always inspired me. I’ve always loved musicians who write songs with poetry like Bob Dylan, Neil Young, and Leonard Cohen. Their music is touching and they inspired me to write my own poetry and music that I share with you in this article. We’ll go over a few songs and their poetry analysis.
When we talk about poetry, how can we start with anyone else but Shakespeare?
I wrote a song in which I took some of Shakespeare’s most recognized lines and incorporated those lines into a new and original song. It’s a unique and sweet romantic song.
The Shakespeare lines in this song are:
“Love is a smoke made with the fume of sighs.”
I was floored when I first came across this line. What a line!
“In your heart of hearts.”
This is from Othello. In the play it’s used in a slightly different context, but it’s such a fantastic image that I used it in my song.
“You have witchcraft on your lips.”
This line is also used out of context in my song. But I could not ignore it. Imagine kissing someone whose kiss feels like sweet witchcraft with them putting a spell on you.
“Good night, good night! parting is such sweet sorrow, That I shall say good night till it be morrow.”
This is of course the famous line by Romeo from the “balcony scene” of Romeo And Juliet. I thought it would be fitting to end the song with a sweet line like this which plays off another original lyrics of mine in the song where I have the contemporary lovers dance on Romeo and Juliet’s balcony. Take a listen to the song and experience the poetry for yourself.
This is just one romantic song I wrote. Here are my other romantic songs with meaningful lyrics.
Translation Of Russian Songs With Poetry
I was born in the Soviet Union and was lucky to experience the poets and songwriters from that culture, whose music and poetry I am delighted to share with English-language audiences by translating the works in Russian.
My favorite Russian singer-songwriter is Bulat Okudzhava. I am working to have many such songs translated. Below is my analysis of one of his poems and songs, and under that is the whole playlist of his music I translated to English that you can listen to on YouTube.
First, here is the Road Song with some lyrical analysis:
Here are the song’s translated lyrics:
On this backroad – endless milestone posts and posts
Heavy on my heart – your words your words your words
And above this road of mine, shine just like your eyes
Am Two cold evening stars looking down at me.
On my road, the snow storm howls and howls.
But I keep thinking on and on and on
Maybe if there was warmth in your embrace
My road might have been easier to bare
Along my road, years turn and turn
I keep traveling and searching on and on
Above my road shine just like your eyes –
Two cold evening stars looking down on me.
The most thought and feeling provoking line of poetry in this song is the line:
“Maybe if the ring of your arms was more secure, the road would have been easier for me.”
This immediately brings up feelings because this song is such a relatable song. Just about anyone has probably felt or experienced something similar to what the protagonist of the song is describing here. The poetry is sensitive and not overdone, but this one idea makes it one of the great songs with metaphors.
Full Bulat Okudzhava playslist:
Here is a page with analysis of all the songs by Bulat Okudzhava that I translated to English. Bulat Okudzhava is a Russian icon. The poetry in his songs is deep, introspective, sometimes, sad, but often optimistic and inspiring.
Open-Ended Sad Love Song With Great Poetry
Another song with great poetry is this sad love song. Here are the song’s lyrics:
Every night she slept dreaming of me
And in my dreams, she was all I could see
We met on the stars (same note) as we closed our eyes
Swirling around each other in midnight skies
We painted sunsets lavender
While sharing dreams in love whispers.
Until sunrise broke the spell – time to part
Waking apart missing half of our hearts
After years I came to her door
To give her the flowers my heart grew for her
But I tripped on my words and couldn’t confess
How for years I dreamed of her caress
She was dying to melt in my arms
But hesitated to reach for my palms
We stood silently and I began to leave
Back to live in the dreams we weave
Dreams kept love alive while decades flew by
I met her later – her eyes still with pain of our last goodbye
We melted into a clutching embrace –
But this vivid dream ended with only silent walls to face.
Here is the full song so you can listen to the melody together with the lyrics:
I really like how the imagery of the two lovers who miss each other came out with them meeting in the stars when they fell asleep. It’s a sweet idea that is developed in the first two verses. After that, the song takes a run to another relatable element of being a human, and that is being your own worst enemy. When these lovers finally meet and see each other, they freeze up and don’t make their love come alive. It’s bittersweet, but sometimes that’s precisely how life is rather than being exactly what you had hoped for.
Powerful Songs About Living Life With Poetry
It seems that I like referencing historical figures in my songs and in this song I invoke ideas from Beethoven’s 5th Symphony with its famous 4-note DA-DA-DA-DA motif which is a metaphor for your life urgently knocking on your door and asking what you are doing with it. It’s truly a song about living life that’s quite existential with the protagonist haunted by the thought of not accomplishing anything in his life and being driven mad by it.
Ultimately, it’s a song about not giving up and moving forward despite not only challenges, but the absurdity and pointlessness of the challenges.
Here is the full song:
Another Meaningful Song With Poetry – This Time About Poets
At first, this seems like a song about loneliness. But shortly after, the song takes a new and inspiring direction by talking about how poets and music can rescue us.
My favorite line in the poetry of this song (and there are many) is:
“Poets fill the skies with magic butterflies” where the magic butterflies are the butterflies we feel when we are inspired and uplifted.