While growing up, I knew just about every lyric to every contemporary song on the radio -- and just like in that game show Name that Tune, I'd announce, "I can name that tune in 3 notes!"
Reading, writing and music were my great loves, and I was usually busy with one of those, if not all three at the same time! Locked in my room, my AM-FM radio playing in the background, I'd be reading books, composing poetry or writing letters: all the while song lyrics were being imprinted on my brain.
When Janis Ian came out with "At Seventeen," I thought "That's my song." When Frankie Valli came out with "My Eyes Adored You," I thought "That's my song." The mellower the music, the closer it sat to my heart. After all, I was a poet, and song lyrics are really poems set to music.
When you listen to songs being sung, try to remove the lyrics from the music. Really listen to the words, and they'll tell a story to the audience. Some are catchier than others, some are sadder than others, and some touch you more than others. But they are all SONGS IN THE KEY OF LIFE.