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Is it Kind? Is it Necessary?

Rabbit Room favorite Melanie Penn wrote these kind, necessary words on her blog recently and let us re-post them here. Melanie’s album Wake Up Love (produced by Ben Shive) is available in the store, and we’re certain you’ll love it. –The Proprietor


I’ve been thinking about words. I’ve heard that the two questions below are good ones to ask before saying anything. In life-in-general, I agree. If I were to ask these two questions before speaking I’d probably spare myself a lot of conflict and a lot of gossipy nothingness that I tend to regret.

But what about as an artist? What about the artist’s life-in-general? Some would argue that art isn’t necessary (they’re wrong) and some would argue that art can be unkind (it can be). A dear friend recently stumbled upon something written about him on the internet. It was hurtful and scathing and a little bit true. It was a result of a l

ot of mistakes. It was a laundry list of complaints written in the name of “art.”

Talking with him about it made me wonder about songs and the lyrics to songs. What makes a lyric art? And what makes a lyric little more than a venting of personal frustrations and feelings? I can’t help but think that every word–no matter the setting–should be justified and weighed to see if it will do damage. I can’t help but think that artists have a unique call to be careful with words. Is each one necessary? Is each one kind?


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