Good question, I don’t think there is a single answer to be formulated.
There has been a hit by Freddy Aquillar, called Anak.That was a Malay song. All I know is that Anak is the Malaysian word for child. And yet it was a huge tearjerker, similar to the song “La Mama”.
Literal text is not so important.Frank buoys was not as good to understand, articulating was not always relevant to him, Blof applies a generous poetic freedom. And funnily enough, once I know the text of a song from the head, the song is a lot less interesting for me.
Ok, how about the music?
Well, even just what you think of it.Personally I find Animals from Pink Floyd the best LP ever, but Eden from TalkTalk, or Killpop from Slipknot I find of wondrous beauty. TalkTalk and Slipknot are both in the periphery of mainstream music, and still at opposite ends of the spectrum. I find the blood beautiful. But to the music? Eh. No.
In My experience it is ‘ the whole package ‘.The artistry, composition, performance and feeling that is conveyed.
And the last part of the set of factors, that’s your self.Your preferences are different from anyone else. There is therefore no right or wrong answer to this question.
It is very difficult to find an answer.But I think both.
You can watch music in two ways (actually more, but for this there are two ways important).When you are in a cheerful mood, you put on the music and listen to the music, and do not think about what is actually being said. But if you are in a somewhat lesser mood it is the other way around.
So what is the most important, the music or the text?That is just what you are in the mood.
That is personal for many people.To me clear the music. I give to the text and bother me to light caramelelles verses, but my requirements are much higher for music.
I am therefore not a fan of Dylan or Cohen or Nick Cave or Bruce Springsteen who have all made world songs anyway.Just give me Marillion, Steven Wilson, Pink Floyd (all three not shy of long instrumental songs or Sobos), Depeche Mode, Tori Amos (I often hardly understand anything of her lyrics).
But if someone is listening to the texts before, that is an argument for me to find songs well.
The music of course.Mediocre texts can still be saved by beautiful melodies. I can even enjoy beautiful music in a language that I can’t understand. (As for example “Pagbalik” of the Filipino band Fuseboxx.)
However, excellent texts cannot save bad music.(For example, Pink Floyd’s “The Final Cut”, which is a worthless album.)
What a question…
The music of course.
Or the text.
Or best both.
But that was already said.