I am decidely a melody person. I can listen to a song for years and never bother to listen to the lyrics or learn what the song's about. To me, the notes tell the story. The song can mean anything I want it to -- happy, sad, angst, anger, aggression, a sense of humor...the notes set the mood for me.
Sometimes I don't even want to know the lyrics because I'm afraid they will have a different meaning. The Crash Test Dummies lyrics are a good example -- the notes and melody have so much depth and passion and a sense of importance...and the lyrics are just kinda silly.
Other times I am pleasantly surprised to finally pay attention to the lyrics and find they fit the melody. It's a bonus if the words describe an experience I can relate to. However, even when song lyrics sound to me like they are about to describe a feeling or a moment I once experienced, there is usually some point at which they detour, in which case I wish I didn't know what they were.
An example of this was a tune I was listening to tonight for the first time -- probably an old song -- by Weezer, called Pink Triangle. The lyrics I was able to make out on my drive home were " thought I had found the one...We were good as married in my mind...But married in my mind's no good." And I thought, YES, that is the perfect way to describe past feelings of unrequited live. And yet I get home and find the song is about the guy falling in love with a girl only to find out she's a lesbian. Still great lyrics, but not what I thought they were gonig to be.
Are you a lyrics person or a melody person?