The first thing I would like to say about this song is that I was pleasantly surprised with how the song sounded. For some reason, I assumed that I would not like it or that it would not meet my taste in music but I was wrong. The song possessed more than a few choruses and refrains which reminded me of other songs that are longer in length. Even though they are drastically different and probably not as thought provoking as this song by the Decembrists, I could not help thinking of Boston’s “Foreplay/Longtime” or Jethro Tull’s “Thick as a Brick.” Both of these songs are similar to the Decembrists’ song not only in length but in a desire to combine more than one sound into one song. While we were listening to this song in class, I could not help but think about this similarity.
What I found to be the most interesting part of this song occurred while I was attempting to scan the lyrics. What should have been a relatively easy task became rather daunting as I was trying to simultaneously listen to the lyrics and stress the proper syllables as well. I found this very difficult to do. More often than not, I found myself working ahead of the singer and trying to stress syllables that he had not yet sung. But when the singer arrived at those lines, he often seemed to be putting stress on the syllables I had marked as unstressed. I don’t really know why this occurred. My best guess is that while I was scanning the lyrics, I was saying them quietly rather than singing them. And unlike a poem where more often than not, no one is reading it aloud, a song needs to be sung to be fully appreciated. I think scanning songs is more difficult than scanning poetry for this simple reason. If the song is not heard aloud, the person scanning the lyrics could potentially scan the lyrics improperly.
What I noticed, specifically during “The Island/Come and See” part was that the lead singer would stress and unstress whole words. The word ‘and’ is almost always an unstressed word but just because a word is unstressed does not mean that the word needs to be said quietly. The lead singer, specifically in the line “Come and see,” would barely utter the word ‘and.’ The words ‘come’ and ‘see’ were vocalized very loudly and a lot of emphasis was put on those words but the word ‘and’ was said in a much softer tone. It is much easier in song form to stress and unstress the right syllables. Take the third line of the song for example. The word ‘bayonet’ is a three syllable word with the accent on the second syllable. It is a relatively easy word to sound out and determine which syllable is stressed. But in song form, the lead singer over exaggerates the stressed syllable, almost to the point where the syllable ‘yon’ almost sounds like it is a separate word.