A Discourse on Modern Music

A fool with any sort of taste will say,
"Be gone with half the music of today!"
A stream of corporate blandishments on life,
Or rabble cries to raise our fists to strife.

It is a time of noble art denied,
And mediocre talent deified.
On 45's another hit will play
To vanish to obscurity next day.

To hell with all creative inspiration!
It's cash that guides our art in our fair nation.
Yea, give the Philistine his bump and grind
And revel in the vacancy of mind.

Sex balladeers, your swill shall be the first,
To taste the wrath from this acidic burst.
Let vitriol rain down upon you all
Who fill my ears with cheap and shabby gall.

You gutter bards with scant and sordid wit,
Glorify the mind that's steeped in shit.
You celebrate the base and vulgar soul,
Which chases out its crass and bawdy goal.

True affection show you lacking of.
You croon of sex and dare to call it "love"
As if to hide the seedy sentiments
Of your ignoble lyrics' decadence.

What happened to the noble days estranged
When 'twixt true lovers vows were once exchanged?
Have we fallen so to wanton lust,
Or is't the dissolution of our trust?

You scoff at sentimental thoughts sublime,
Exulting in the ruin of our time.
How can you justify the seeds we've sown,
While so many of us walk alone?

Next, from you, you hate-mongers of rap,
I wrench the blade of judgment from your lap.
With blind and bitter hatred bared and raw,
You speak of armed rebellion 'gainst the law.

You trod the seeds of discord deeper still,
With every cop you bid your brethren kill,
Into the soil of prejudice and fears
Which justifies the treatment of your peers.

Two evils clash but never make a right.
You'll never win good-will with guns and might.
And so I bid your futile ravings cease
So that between all races may be peace.

Defilers of Stravinsky's legacy,
Who've crossed the bounds of sonic lunacy.
I beg you, grant your audience reprieve.
For yours, the death of tonal bliss, we grieve.

Atonalists, do heed my heart-felt plea.
Your dissonance confounds all melody.
You speak a language none may ascertain
Save musical elitists on the wane.

Yea, spare your harsh, discordant harmony,
Which thunders in its shrill cacophony
For moments of dramatic Armageddon
Where tumult reigns in glorious abandon.

Save for gentler scenes melodious airs,
To shrieve my soul of life's dread trials and cares.
For Wagner, Grieg, and Debussy I long
To break the sterile spell of life with song.

It isn't rock 'n roll which I detest.
For with great talent are some few possessed
Who strut upon the stage with Stratocaster
Revealing themselves of their genre master.

A meaning and a message do I seek
Contained within the lyrics which bespeak
The spirit of dramatic style and sense,
A sign of intellectual intents.

Alas, today, our art is sorely tainted
By vapid cultural figures which are painted
Upon the empty billboards of our nation,
No greater idols to assume their station.

Our music, like our role models, is plastic,
A symptom of society elastic.
And sad to tell, art's beauty, grace, and passion
Is prostituted by commercial fashion.

For the shallow, ill-bred modern heart,
Mephitic scorn I heap upon your art.
Passion raise again to lofty height!
Bold Romantics of the world unite!

George Chadderdon © 1992