...Iím just a lazy fuck.
sometimes, the explanation is just this simple.
other times, however, i think it depends on things like who is the artist and who are you (at the time of listening). when i was young, rock stars were like rock stars. to quote local dj legend/mayor of sunset, rodney b., back then, rock stars were "god heads." so, of course, lyrics were holy text to be consumed. i used to have notebooks filled with lyrics. why? back then it was, why not? plus, my list of important things was so much shorter, and i had so much more time.
who is the artist still influences whether or not i care about the lyrics. because, as someone pointed out, sometimes it really is poetry and i'd be a fool to be a lazy fuck. the shins? now that's a different story. i think they're totally overrated. but they have a few songs that sound really nice. twice, (because i like to give even rock stars a second chance) i made the mistake of looking up the lyrics: "new slang" and "phantom limb." now i can't listen to either songs without thinking, what gob shit. so, is it ok not to know all the lyrics? sometimes, that's the only saving grace.
finally, there's always the poetry that comes from misinterpretation. we've all had those. some of us have even written poems inspired by them. if you really want to discuss guilt, how about that question: would that be considered plagiarism?