Epistolary Songs

From This Might Be A Wiki

An epistolary song is one where the lyrics are the words to a letter or written communique. The form dictates that it be told as a first-person narrative. The impact of an epistolary song is that it can place the listener into the role of voyeur. This is particularly true in cases where the "letter" is one written from one character to another, rather than to an unfocused "to whom it may concern" group.

Epistolary songs also tend to give the immediate sense that the singer is playing a character, rather than representing themselves. First-person TMBG songs tend towards leaving this distinction unclear, though Flans has said that he tends to write songs that are not autobiographical even though the lyrics say "I".

Most first-person songs are not epistolary. As examples, Lie Still, Little Bottle gives the impression of someone relating a conversation rather than reading someone's words; Four of Two is a straight-ahead first person narrative; I'm All You Can Think About explicitly conveys being spoken instead of written ("I pronounce these words...").

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Honorable mention[edit | edit source]