Lyrics, Lyrics, Lyrics

Starry Night by Van Gogh

It is said that the language of music is universal, accessible and understood by all; a language that conveys emotions and moods that creates a bond between people and unites them — “Freude, schöner Götterfunken” (Joy, beautiful spark of the gods), across nations and borders.

That’s all well and good. There is some truth in that, but such sweet praise for the music leads me to contemplation.

Because yes, even the sea is something to which everyone can relate. Its appearance and surging presence can evoke the same atmosphere, impression or mood in almost anyone. So the language of the sea is also universal.

And yet there is more to the sea than meets the eye. What reveals itself to the human eye is only the surface. Everyone can perceive whether the sea is calm or has been stirred up by a storm. If I dip my big toe into the wet, I know I could sail a boat on its surface. And there is hardly a more atmospheric and thought-provoking vision than rain or snow falling on the sea.

But what about its depth?

Light is only able to penetrate the depths of the ocean to a limited extent, and that determines what life can exist there. Strange plants and animals roam the depths. Their appearance and what they can tell me about life in (not on) the sea — life in the deep — enrich my worldview, my thinking.

And so it is with the works that are submitted to Fresh On The Net. Each piece a world of its own, composed with love, care and passion. Each a river, a lake, an ocean over which the well-disposed and observant listener drifts with the wind, and may be rocked by the swell. And just as with a guitar, where the texture of the wood, its grain, its age and years of play determine its sound and convey character, warmth and coldness, so the vocals work in concert, conveying the mood and telling us about the surface of the lake, and whether the water is warm and the waves calm.

The sound of a voice alone does not do justice to the voice as an instrument. Sha-la-la-la and other ad libs may express a mood, but do not tell much, let alone show the depth; they do not allow even the smallest fish to play in the pool of the listener’s imagination.

And this is where the lyrics come in. Words and how they are arranged make up the fish and allow the listener to fathom the depth of a piece. Some pieces are so flat that only flounders can live in them. Happy flounders maybe, angry flounders and sad ones, too. In a piece that has depth and invites the senses to get to the bottom of things, to follow the message of the song into the depths of the soul, there are other kinds of fish, and not just flounders.

So if you want to tell me about your music and how it distinguishes itself from other musicians in a deeper sense, let your listener see the fish and present the lyrics of your songs. Or just happy flounders, maybe “… just happy little accidents” (Bob Ross). They should also have a good time in this shark business. And sometimes that’s what gives it that extra something.

Below are some convincing examples from my time on Fresh On The Net.

First of all a brilliant instrumental piece, which in fact only needs the two words of the title to follow the sound of the piece into the depths of the sea:

Dorsal Fin by Eyes Like The Sky

Then a piece in which the text, like fish in an aquarium, is more a kind of mantra that fits the lively sound:

I’ll Keep Driving by Lou’s Sweet Harmony

Then two pieces in which for me there is a perfect balance, with a match of orchestration and message that makes listening and reading a feast for the senses:

Jessica by Me For Queen tells a thought-provoking story and captivates the reading listener until the end. It has the timeless class of Vincent (Starry, Starry Night) by Don McLean.

Oil and Water by Lorne

Then a piece in which the drama of the orchestration and the words are in balance, yet the story told, the fish of the sea, stands out in the foreground:

The Man On The Bridge by Blue-John vs. Quidgybopper

And finally, a piece in which the music underlying the narrated text and its drama clings to the words (as if the formative goddess created the sea, because she wanted to see her whales swimming in it):

Alone On The Moon by Jenni Noyes

ARTWORK: The Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh

Ludwig Janssen

Baue Brücken an Flüssen mit nur einem Ufer. Begegnung über dem Wort, realizing Wittgenstein: wOrte, Klangwelten, grenZerfahrenheit, vom Flug der Schwurbeltaube.


  1. Interesting article. Thanks Ludwig.

  2. Thank you for that. Strangely, when I read it, I had finished a passage in a play, which includes the following:

    “A stark beginning and a compulsion to capture something of the truth. We never do, of course. Not for long. We fathom murk, pursuing a ghost as immutable as the sea. It’s why we persevere with making sense of the maelstrom. It’s how we endure. It’s who we are.”


  3. Such dense, impressive and inspiring words! Thank you! I spent the day I read them with improving my vocabulary a bit and set a poem to music.

    Thanks again to Steve to whom English is a Stradivari who helped with the translation.

    I’m so sorry that the term “das Körnchen Salz in der Suppe” is not known in English as it is from an ancient sea (rock salt) what we add to make a dish (the fish?) more tasty or from sun dried seawater.

  4. Derv

    Simply beautiful Ludwig. Wonderful use of imagery. X

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