Hundreds of years ago you could face serious consequences if you said anything considered heresy. Even though the Bible describes the earth as a sphere, the first scientists to do so were taking a great risk. Then as now artist tended to see the world as it should be and those themes are all over their art. Artists who said things that could get them into trouble learned to be very cryptic.
They also knew their audience. The people who could pay for art through commissions and the regular people they wanted to influence. You don’t have the same gatekeepers today, but you still need to think about the people who like things the way they are and will be against you. It’s not as necessary to hide your intentions, but it does make for more interesting art.
Here’s what I’m advocating; take a cue from the artist of the past and learn to say things in a more subtle or sophisticated way. You already know we have two brains. One is very literal and one is very intuitive. The literal side can take the things you say and reject them out of hand. But when you couch it in allegory or don’t fill in all the blanks it gets past the analytical gatekeeper. The payoff is that your listener can really like a song they would reject if they really knew what you were saying.
Isn’t that great; a racist who likes “brown eyed girl” not realizing that it’s about an interracial relationship. It’s smart on so many levels. You get to write on a wide variety of subjects without alienating anyone. You can be seen as an artist and not pigeon-holed as another finger wager.
That means you sell more CD’s and downloads and get more people to your shows.
Oh, and the people who do get what you’re saying will love you more and feel even more connection.