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Lyrics... Illustrated!

By Sam Taylor

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Does music make you see things in your brain? Do you create your own imagery based on the lyrics? Well I do, it’s part of the experience. Sometimes the lyrics can be stupid like Frank Zappa and sometimes they can be really obvious like IDK, Oasis.

Either way, my brain tries to make unofficial music videos in my head. I know nothing about cognitive science but that makes sense to me. So I gave myself a mission is to pick three songs at random on my iTunes (hopefully we’ll get something good and not embarrassing like Korn) and do an illustration of the funniest/stupidest/best bits for you, the Noisey reader: 

Belle and Sebastian: “Judy and the Dream of Horses" 
First up is the final track on Belle and Seb’s 1996 album If You’re Feeling Sinister. I was pretty happy when this came up on shuffle as I’m really into the way Stuart Murdoch writes songs. It’s not my favorite B&S song but hey, you can’t win ‘em all.

Obviously, there’s loads of mentions of horses and dreams but as you probably all know; nobody can draw horses without them looking like really big dogs and drawing dreams isn’t really my thing, as I don’t use watercolour. “Falling asleep with ants in your pants” almost took the prize here, but for this I’m gonna go with the parrot on your shoulder at 2.58.

King Tuff: “So Desperate”

Most of the words in this song are pretty simple. There are a lot of repeated lines, whooping and American-badass stuff. There are drugs references as well, which is pretty cool. But I think it’s more about the way he sings it and the instruments than the lyrical content... sorry King Tuff fans.

So, even though it's relatively simple, you still have images in your head, don’t you? Yeah, you do. So I’m going to go with the idea that King Tuff’s head is a balloon that’s been filled with helium, as he keeps going on about gas, over and over again.

 

 

Randy Newman: “Political Science”
When I was a kid watching Toy Story I liked to imagine that it was a bear singing all the songs. I love Randy Newman because of this picture that I built up in my own tiny kid-brain. Then I grew up and decided to listen to a bunch of his other songs that aren’t from Toy Story and I became a proper fan. Have you heard "Rednecks"? He drops the ‘N-bomb’ all over the place, like, legitimately, ballsy stuff from a white guy with a furry animal’s timbre.

"Political Science" is another great song, it’s even better if you imagine (like I do) that a grizzly bear riding a little bicycle is singing it to you. The lyrics move along really quickly as he sings about destroying the world and turning Australia into an all American amusement park. There’s loads of stuff for me to draw here; Koalas, surfing bros, destroyed cities... but I always imagine a little bear in a tiny plane dropping an atomic bomb on Paris?

Till next time.

Follow Sam on Twitter @SPTSAM

www.samtaylorillustrator.com

 

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