I'm learning to play the classic Tampa Red tune "It Hurts Me, Too"
... though I'm doing it more in the Elmore James style. My guitar work is very minimalistic, a slow shuffle, lots of emphasis on the slide.
It occurred to me as was practicing it that, on paper, the lyrics are kinda flat and empty.
You said you was hurting, almost lost your mind,And the man you love, he hurts you all the time.
When things go wrong, go wrong with you, it hurts me, too.
I had some fun singing this completely "straight" -- no fake southern accent, absolutely no bends in the notes. Even when you do it sincerely, not intending to mock, it's pretty weird.
So I gots to thinkin'...
It's really fascinating how it really delivers so much more meaning when you add the music, complete with its rising and falling lines, bends into and out of the notes, and associated changes in the pronunciation. Blues lyrics are inherently minimalist -- very un-clever and to-the-point. The music, I think, is needed to give the lyrics an ocean in which to swim.
I'll bet, however, a lot (if not most?) poetry is better NOT set to music.