Geraldine Finn


What kind of saying is a song?


Singing is the gathering of Saying in song
If we fail to understand the lofty meaning of song as Saying
It becomes the retroactive setting to music of what is spoken and written

What kind of saying is a song?

Whose words are they
To whom do they belong
When I listen
When I sing along

Who is being entreated
To respond
By whom In a song

If one wants to take
The event named ‘song’
Into account

One must write
Demonstrate In another fashion

One must take the risk
Of a formal adventure

Drawing on the work of
And the tradition inspired by
Nietzsche Heidegger Merleau-Ponty Lacan
Irigaray and Derrida. This paper explores the power of popular song
In the spirit of song itself

The trajectory of
My own response-ability
To Joni Mitchell’s rendering of
‘Answer Me’

Music and words

Listening speaking
Thinking singing citing
Reciting writing

Sense silence

Taking the risk of a formal adventure

The paper attempts
To think write
Sing speak


In to through
The space-between

Words One silence
An other


Neither poetry nor philosophy

Neither discourse nor song

But something in between


Geraldine Finn has a B.A. in English and Philosophy from Keele University (England,1969), an M.A. in Philosophy from McMaster University (Canada, 1971), and a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Ottawa (Canada, 1981). She is Professor of Cultural Studies and Philosophy and Chair of the Department of Philosophy at Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada. Her area of expertise is twentieth century Continental Philosophy and its relevance to contemporary interdisciplinary studies in culture and the arts. She has published widely on a variety of issues at the intersection of philosophy, feminism, music(ology) and cultural studies and is currently working on two book-length studies: There is No Ethics in the Language of Genes, and The Truth in Music.