Wearing Your Heart on Your CD

Cheryl Wheeler is coming to town next week and I’m really looking forward to the concert. She is a great song crafter and mixes her sets so that both personal and funny songs are represented. Her latest CD, Defying Gravity, is one of my favorites, but it does include a lot of break-up songs. The last time I saw her, she was singing more “happy in the relationship” songs, so I think something may have taken a turn for the worse. Since so many songwriters use personal situations for the basis of their music, does it ruin the enjoyment of listening to the happy albums when you know the sad songs are to come? Not that I require all songwriters to be happy all of the time, but it’s a bummer. Like when Sylvia and Ian Tyson and Richard and Linda Thompson broke-up. Marriage over, no new music.

So, is knowing a lot of personal information about a singer from their songs a good thing or a bad thing? Is it really anybody’s business if the lyrics are about true events or just fiction? Does it make it harder or easier for an audience to relate to music if they think the singer wrote it from life?

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