Music is Everyone’s Possession

Who said that? John Lennon, no wonder. „Its only the publishers who think it belongs to them.“
You know why? Well, you’re probably thinking about the artist’s right to make money from his work and so on. I can understand that viewpoint. But what you have to realize is this: I can take a song in my head, and play it for myself. Again and again. So who does it belong to then? Am I supposed to pay a percentage each time I listen to it in my head? Who is monitoring that? And when I make variations on it? When I improvise, based on the original, who does that belong to?
Lennon
The same thing applies to any book I’ve read. When I think of passages from a book I’ve read, do I have to pay the author something for those thoughts? There are people who can repeat a book they have read page for page. When they repeat that, do they owe money to the author? When I write, I often paraphrase things I’ve read, or use the ideas presented there and go off on my own little tangent. Is that plagiarism?
I am sure you would agree it is not. The question is, where is the border? The second question is, who should decide where that border lies? I’ll say this much: I do not believe a lawyer, or a committee of lawyers, can decide the question.
Music can be so beautiful, it straightens your lopsided head right on out. It hits you between the eyes and pierces your brain like a white hot knife. It sends you floating on high, transported from this world. and then it hits you low down, below the belt. Man, it hurts, makes you cry out like you’ve been stuck with a knife, like a stuck pig… and you have been. Music twists on knobs you never knew you had. Music can turn you inside out. I wonder, can you write like that? No. No author ever wrote something that can twist me like that.
Listening to Tea with Cinnamon from Katzenjammer. This song reminds me of two women at once, and that kills me. Depends on the mood though. Sometimes I hear it and just think: yeah, yeah, skip it.
Music kills me anyway. There are songs I can hardly hear without crying. Not while they remind me of anything, necessarily, but because the music speaks with me. It is so beautiful, so poignant, that the tears just plain squirt. It isn’t sadness, but rather an overwhelming sense of deep feeling that forces me to cry. The tears may be of joy, or fear, of love lost… or found.
Once, many years ago, I was in the cathedral in Cologne, seeing the bloody sights. As chance would have it, there was an amateur choir of five men there, who happened to be visiting, and spontaneously, right next to me, they sang a chant they obviously knew well. Some kind of gregorian shit, y’know. I tell you, it was one of the most beautiful things I have ever heard. It reverberated in those (holy) chambers in such a way that I burst instantly in to tears. I was in bliss, not because of God, God forbid, but because of the simple beauty of it. The beauty of their combined voices, those combined tones, in that incredible chamber.
The Germans say: he lives near water. Someone who cries easily „lives near water“. Well, I live near water, in certain situations, fucking badly damaged romantic that I am. Crash and burn, baby, crash and burn, says the little cynical bastard in me. It’s when you burn that you start to feel, and when you feel you realize you are alive, and that life is worth living. Life always begins in the ashes of death. So get up, and listen to some music. Listen to the tears. Listen to the water flow.
All those feelings… who do they belong to? Whose song is it, when you listen to it? Who wrote that song? Do you think those fellows in the cathedral knew what they did to me? Do you think they cared about making me pay for my experience? That is what John Lennon was talking about. He wanted to change the world, and that was all he cared about. He knew that every single person would make their own song out of what he created.
Listening to Come Together as rendered by the Butthole Surfers. But it doesn’t matter what I am listening to, really. The point is that I am listening.

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