Lyric Essays (Examples)

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Charles Ives' Music

Words: 1179 Length: 4 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 92387636

Charles Ivey Song Lyrics

"Charlie Rutlage" by Charles Ives (1920), from Cowboy Songs and Other Ballads

The song "Charlie Rutlage" by composer Charles Ives was released in 1920 as part of Ives' collection Cowboy Songs and Other Ballads, and the work is distinctive of his signature style. The lyrics are mournful and melancholy, as Ives eulogizes "another good cowpuncher (who) has gone to meet his fate," telling the story of Charlie Rutlage, a hand on the XIT ranch who was killed after his horse fell and crushed him underneath. Ives sings the opening lines of the song with a celebratory bravado, lauding Rutlage by saying "Twill be hard to find another that's as liked as well as he" to suggest that the fallen cowboy was beloved by his friends and family. In my estimation, this passage is used by Ives to form an emotional connection between his listener and the titular character, because in telling a tragic story of death at a young age, it is important to form a foundation of empathy between the audience and the doomed protagonist. I also believe that Ives intends for the individual man Charlie Rutlage to serve as a symbol for the cowboy…… [Read More]

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Woody Guthrie the Most Compelling

Words: 990 Length: 3 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 3287588

The narrator is identifying both himself and the audience as people who would be better served by a world that disregards the notion of trespassing, and thus the ownership of land. The folk tradition allows Guthrie to insert this political identification and implicit critique smoothly, without breaking the rhetorical flow of the song.

Guthrie's critique only become more pointed, as the narrator describes seeing "his people" "by the relief office […] / as they stood hungry," which makes him ask "is this land made for you and me?" Guthrie contrasts the idealized world of the first few verses with the bleak reality of hunger and poverty in America after the Great Depression, and he uses the image of hungry people to vividly demonstrate the fact that American capitalism is not a system made for the majority of people living within it. Instead, it is based on a system of exploitation that necessarily creates a lower class of citizen, and Guthrie contrasts this harsh system with the promise supposedly offered by the best notions of America.

Guthrie's critique was particularly relevant in 1940, as the country had not yet recovered from the Great Depression even as it was inching towards World…… [Read More]

Works Cited

Blake, Matthew. "Woody Guthrie." Journalism History 35.4 (2010): 184-93.

Guthrie, Woody. writ. "This Land is Your Land." 1940.

Kaufman, Will. "Prophet Singer: The Voice and Vision of Woody Guthrie."

Modernism/Modernity 16.2 (2009): 455-457.
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Comparing Two Songs With Similar Meanings

Words: 580 Length: 2 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 3427852

Song lyrics reflect the culture and social norms of their time period. Examining song lyrics from two different time periods can therefore reveal the ways these two generations differed in terms of messages about core subjects. Love is a universal theme in all song, making it an especially good subject for analysis. Songs about love will differ according to the definition of love, how love is expressed or shared between two people, and also gender roles in relationships. In 1975, one of the biggest-selling songs was by a band called Captain and Tennille. The song is called, "Love will Keep us Together." In 2010, there was a song called "Boyfriend" by Best Coast. Both of these songs are overtly about love. Although "Boyfriend" is about unrequited love, and "Love will Keep us Together" is about relationships, these two songs have similar lyrics about the meaning of love and about gender roles in relationships.

The 1975 Captain and Tennille song, "Love will Keep Us Together" is a song told from the perspective of two people already in a relationship. It is about how to keep the relationship together over the course of time. The lyrics are about the difficulty of making…… [Read More]

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Music on Teens Actions in the Past

Words: 2022 Length: 5 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 58030228

Music on Teens Actions

In the past 40 years all kinds of music has turned out to be more and more overt predominantly towards the negative side like sex, drugs, aggression and violence. Lately two of the genres which have caught great attention is hard rock music and rap music. In most of the cases, the lyrics of the music are made in such a way that they induce negativity in the developing minds of the teenagers. This negativity is reflected in their actions in the form of drug abuse, aggression, violence, sex and rebellious actions towards parents, family, family and society in general. This kind of negative music is a major concern these days because it poses mental and physical threat to the teens of today. Some of the other alarming effects of such music are pregnancy, STDs, accidents, killing and this has resulted to be the normal lifestyle for most of the teens today. This paper discusses the different types of music and the effects each one has on the actions and behavior of teens.


In the past, there had been doubts about music related to teens. A lot of philosophers believed that music is very dangerous…… [Read More]

Works Cited

Burns, Kate. The American Teenager: Examining Pop Culture. Annotated Edition. Publisher Greenhaven Press, 2003. ISBN 0737714670, 9780737714678, pg 150-189.

Connell, J., and C. Gibson. Sound tracks: Popular music, identity and place. London: Routledge. Pg 145-147. 2003.

Hawkins, S. Settling the pop score: Pop texts & identity politics. Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing. Pg 121. 2002.

Martino, S.C., Collins, R.L., Elliott, M.N., Strachman, A., Kanouse, D.E., & Berry, S.H. Exposure to degrading vs. non-degrading music lyrics and sexual behavior among youth. Pediatrics, 2006, 118, 430 -- 444.
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Drugs Explored in Music

Words: 1892 Length: 5 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 29720651

social problem of using and selling drugs is portrayed in music. I'm interested in studying this because music has at once been accused of glorifying drug culture and also as being one of the few means of allowing users to vent on the realities of drug culture. Clearly, the relationship between drugs and music is a complex one. This paper will seek to shed light on the motivations for artists to incorporate drug culture in their songs and what they presumably gain from it, and what society presumably gains from it as well.

The first song that this paper will examine when it comes to the treatment of drugs as subject matter for songs is in the work of 2 Pac in his famous song, "Changes." This song is so remarkable in that it addresses a tremendous amount of social injustice in that is still alive and well in the world today. The treatment of drugs is often intertwined with the issue of racism and the fact that African-Americans in the world today are put at a severe disadvantage socioeconomically. Consider the first line that 2 Pac uses in reference to drugs: "Give the crack to the kids who the…… [Read More]

references. Music Ther Perspectives, 69-76.

Duff, C. (2003). Drugs and Youth Cultures: Is Australia Experiencing the 'Normalization' of Adolescent Drug Use? Journal of Youth Studies, 433-447. (n.d.). Corner Bodega. Retrieved from (n.d.). The Way We Get By. Retrieved from (n.d.). Changes 2 pac. Retrieved from
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Tori Amos

Words: 2109 Length: 6 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 35417906

Tori Amos

In music, most artists will face a number of challenges. This is because there are struggles they will endure to become successful. At the same time, they have to be able to remain relevant and adapt with the music. This means creating a unique sound which can combine a number of elements together. In the case of Tori Amos, she was able to create a one of a kind genre that took the traditions of the singer -- songwriter from the 1970s and augmented them with an alternative -- punk sound. This created a new form of women entertainer, who wanted to use this as a way to highlight social messages in their songs. While at the same time, it is giving women a sense of empowerment in the way they carried themselves and performed.

As a result, there will be an examination of the influences of Tori Amos and how she is redefining modern music. This will be accomplished by looking at: her personal / music life, the album The Beekeeper and comparing two songs with each other. These different elements will provide the greatest insights as to how Tori Amos was able to redefine modern music.…… [Read More]


"The Bee Keeper." Tori Amos. Last modified 2011. 

"Parasol Lyrics." Song Meanings. Last modified 2012.
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Formulaic Language the Use of

Words: 1351 Length: 5 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 60284712

Though formulaic language expressions have been in regular use, in popular media forms, for at least the majority of the twentieth century if not indeed for centuries longer, their recognition and study is recent development (Van Lancker-Sidtis & Rallon 2004). Some texts have even been found to be comprised of a quarter or of formulaic expressions, demonstrating at once a reliance on collective cultural interpretations and a marked lack of originality in popular media language use (Van Lancker-Sidtis & Rallon 2004). These phrases make for interpretations that are both more colloquially colored and less symbolically imbued for their necessarily repetitive nature (thus their emergence as formulaic expressions) and their needed consistency in order to remain meaningful (Van Lancker-Sidtis & Rallon 2004).

Music and Language

The relationship between music and language is the subject of a great deal of debate, and ever researchers that support comparisons between the two uniquely human cognitive phenomena discern several different and offer contradictory approaches to such comparisons (Powers 1980). It is possible to see certain elements of linguistic construction in the construction of musical phrases, combinations, and pieces as a whole, and at times it is tempting to attempt pairing the explicit language meant to…… [Read More]


Ballard, M.; Dodson, a. & Bazzini, D. (1999). Genre of music and lyrical content: Expectation effects. Journal of Genetic Psychology 160(4), 476-87.

Jackendoff, R. (2009). Parallels and nonparallels between language and music. Music Perception 26(3), 195-204.

Lancker-Sidtis, D. & Rallon, G. (2004). Tracking the incidence of formulaic expressions in everyday speech: methods for classification and verification. Language and communication 24, 207-40.

Powers, H. (1980). Language models and musical analysis. Ethnomusicology 24(1), 1-60.
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Dierks Bentley's Prodigal Son's Prayer

Words: 1500 Length: 4 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 25022536

The whole concept of Christianity is that all people are sinners, but that God will forgive those sins and those sinners if they only ask for redemption. The lyrics say, "I lost my way but now I'm on my knees / if it's not too late won't you tell me please / You gotta place for me / a little grace for me" (Bentley). That lyric is not about the prodigal son, it is about all who have lost their way, which is every Christian. What this song makes clear is that the idea of redemption as it has been portrayed in Christianity may have its beginnings in the parables told by Jesus, but those parables were broadened by the crucifixion and resurrection, and they changed them in the same way that they changed all of the other traditions of Judaism.

Works… [Read More]

Works Cited

Bentley, Dierks. "Prodigal Son's Prayer." N.p. 2011. Web. 30 Mar. 2011.

Carter, Joe. "Finding God in the Gaps of Country Music." First Things: On the Square. N.p. 9

Feb. 2011. Web. 30 Mar. 2011.

Luke 15. New International Version. N.p. 2011. Web. 30 Mar. 2011.
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Pop Music One Glance at

Words: 1305 Length: 4 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 31717653

Moreover, the rape symbolism becomes pronounced in "How Low." First, Ludacris walks through the mirror into the girls' room. Initially there were only a few females but when he steps inside, somehow there are several more girls in the room. His stepping through the mirror is a gross violation of their privacy and personal space. The act is a symbolic rape as Ludacris enters the room uninvited while the women are scantily clad. Moreover, Ludacris brings with him some male friends who don creepy white masks like that of Jason in Friday the 13th. The video then depicts some of the women running scared down the stairs, as they are being chased by these creeps in the hockey masks. The imagery is frighteningly sexist, as males are shown as preying on helpless females. Later, women are being stripped of their clothing against their will by an unseen force. They have looks of fear and dismay on their faces, which then--appallingly -- turn into looks of pleasure. Thus, the stereotype that women want to be raped is reinforced repeatedly in this video.

Stereotypes related to gender and ethnicity are also explored in pop music videos. For instance, in Ludacris's "How Low,"…… [Read More]

Works Cited

All videos retrieved from MTV Music Videos Web site at
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2pac Keepin' it Real Irony

Words: 1108 Length: 3 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 61485331

Again, he uses dialect that his fans can relate to instead of being concerned about 'proper English'. This is very effective at making the words identifiable to his audience. The more people can relate to what you are saying, the more likely they are to take it to heart and actually do what you are asking them to do: "It's time for us as a people to start makin' some changes." The most ironic thing about this song is the last few lines. I cannot help but wonder if 2 pac was having some kind of premonition when he wrote: "Cause I always got to worry 'bout the pay backs/some punk that I roughed up way back/comin' back after all these years/rat-tat-tat-tat-tat that's the way it is."

That may be the way it is, but to 2 pac, that did not mean things had to stay that way. "Keep Ya Head Up" is a song about staying true to yourself and staying proud no matter what kinds of awful things life throws at you. There is a very inspirational tone about this song, and the artist's choice of words is very encouraging. 2 pac uses a lot of hopeful words…… [Read More]

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Gender and Sex Blurred Lines or Clear

Words: 1832 Length: 5 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 92724551

Gender and Sex: Blurred Lines or Clear Boundaries?

One of the hottest songs of summer 2013 was a song by Robin Thicke called "Blurred Lines." The song gained popularity because of its catchy tune, and many people who found themselves dancing along to the song found themselves surprised by the lyrics when they actually listened to the song. In fact, the lyrics to the song were sufficiently suggestive that discussions about whether they were a symbol of rape culture became almost as popular as the song itself. The lyrics were not helped by the video for the song, which featured Thicke, two guest artists, and three scantily clad models in situations that could only be described as bizarre, leading to allegations that the video marginalized its female performers. Adding fuel to this fire was a performance by Thicke featuring Miley Cyrus, in which they seemingly referenced the video and Miley engaged in a hyper-sexual manner that seemed to make much of America uncomfortable. Interestingly enough, while the media and the public seemed to lambast Cyrus for her performance, there was little public condemnation of Thicke, who also participated in the performance, and is a married man, approaching middle age. Instead,…… [Read More]

Works Cited

Butler, Judith. Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity. New York:

Routledge, 1999.

Lynskey, Dorian. "Blurred Lines: The most controversial song of the decade." The Guardian.

The Guardian, 13 Nov. 2013. Web. 17 Nov. 2013.
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Impact of Music During Various Decades

Words: 1345 Length: 3 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 77306260

Media Has Shaped the Ages through Music:

Music is a medium that has shaped the ages in relation to its significant role in social movements. Actually, music has acted as one of the various methods and vehicles through which social movements have existed and developed. The role and significance of music in shaping the ages is primarily attributed to the fact that it represents more than entertainment as it has spoken for generations and exemplified belief systems. Generally, music has had a tremendous relationship to and impact on social movements in every decade from the 1960s through 2000-2010. Music has been used as a means of exemplifying the mood of the decade in terms of high profile events or movements that took place in the respective decade.

Music through the Decades:

As previously mentioned, music has played a significant role through the ages by shaping social movements and exemplifying the mood of the decade. During the 1960s, there were winds of change that blew a considerable varying collection of musicians. These winds of change came after the post-War expansion, the assassination of an idealistic president, and America's involvement in the Vietnam conflict. Bob Dylan's seminal, "The Times They Are a-Changing"…… [Read More]


Hector, H. (2013, June 14). Understanding the History of Slavery through Bob Marley's 'Redemption Song.' Retrieved August 2, 2014, from 

Holz, A.R. (2010, October 18). Musical Decades: The Revolutionary 1960s. Retrieved August 2,

2014, from

Suddath, C. (2011, October 21). ALL-TIME 100 Songs. Time Magazine. Retrieved August 2,
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Coleridge's Kubla Khan and The

Words: 743 Length: 2 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 74441622

However the speaker in "The Pains of Sleep" seems to have a much firmer grip on reality in his waking hours, whereas that of "Kubla Khan" persists in deluding himself even when not strictly in the vision, with his imaginings of the dome in the air.

Clare's "A Vision," "I Am," and "An Invite to Eternity"

1) How is "A Vision" similar to "Kubla Kahn" in mood and tone? What specific word choices lead to this similarity? Words like "glow," "flame," "faded," and "eternal ray" all contribute to the same sort of ethereal tone as "Kubla Khan." He supernatural quality is signified in both poems by a sense of auras; of things emanating their presence beyond their physical boundaries. These words are some of the specific indicators of that phenomenon in this poem.

2) How do you interpret the last stanza of "A Vision"? How does it relate to the prior stanza? In context with the preceding stanza, where the speaker "loved but woman fell away," the last stanza's "immortal birth" and the spirit kept free may refer to chastity and virginity. This also fits with the "spurned lust of earth" the speaker mentions in the first stanza, tying the…… [Read More]

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Memoriam Tennyson in Memoriam by

Words: 1710 Length: 5 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 30821200

Indeed, this is also clear in his occupation with both scientific, philosophical, and literary things. Being human in a well-rounded and complete way, despite the conflict he experiences regarding this, is the poet's triumph.

The conflict indicated in the poem is one that Lord Tennyson has experienced throughout his life, according to authors such as Andrew Lang. Indeed, as a boy he was continually investigating even early theories of evolution, long before it became socially fashionable to consider such issues. The poem is therefore the culmination of long years, not only of writing the poem itself, but also of deeply philosophical thought about scientific and biological issues.

Viewed in connection with the rest of the poem, Lyric CXX can then be seen as representing Tennyson's philosophical thought about death as representing hope within despair, loss, and sorrow. The loss of faith does not necessarily need to mean loss as a whole. Instead, it changes and reforms the individual concerned into a better and more complete being.… [Read More]


Tennyson, Lord Alfred. "In Memoriam" Lyric CXX.

Secondary Texts:

Jacobs, Joseph. Tennyson and "in Memoriam": An Appreciation and a Study. BiblioBazaar, LLC, 2009.

Lang, Andrew. Alfred Tennyson. William Blackwood & Sons, 1901. Republished online by David Price.
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Guns N Roses Guns N'

Words: 1835 Length: 6 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 60969585

As a whole, the piece is far more rhythmic and structured than many earlier Guns N' Roses song, and its has definitely lost some of the rawness that made the band so popular in the first place. It has been replaced with contemplation that still raises a challenge to listeners and critics, however, as well as to former band mates. Slash's lack of presence on the guitar is evident, but what is played provides a support for Axl's voice in a way that Slash's playing never really did, if it was even attempted. It is true that the collaborative spirit of the group has diminished, and this is definitely evident in the isolation and emphasis of Rose and his singing -- and lyrics, incidentally -- but the music still goes on. Ax Rose continues to listen and to incorporate changes in the rock scene as well as the growing use of international sounds, continuing his maturation and evolution as a musician and, more importantly, as a rock artist.


Though Guns N' Roses may have seen better days, Chinese Democracy is still a strong album in its own right, and a promise of things to come. Axl Rose has steered…… [Read More]


Luukkonen, J. (2008). "The History of GN'R: The Shocking Truth." Accessed 23 September 2009. 

Rose, a. (2008). "Open Letter from Axl." Accessed 23 September 2009.
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Religion -- Concepts of Death

Words: 1471 Length: 4 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 8665709

The work of Chidester explores different types of death, and symbolizes three patterns describing the transcendence of death: ancestral, experiential, and cultural (12). Types of death, and the way death is imagined, can help human beings die in a meaningful way, give life ultimate meaning, and significance (Chidester: 12). The ancestral transcendence represents a type of biological death, meaning this form of transcendence provides a way for the individual to connect with a continuous biological chain of parents and offspring (Chidester: 12). This is significant as the family line is not broken by death; death provides an ongoing continuity of family. The psychological type of death is considered experiential transcendence, and represents "profound and often intense psychological experiences that embrace death in acceptance or ecstasy" (Chidester: 14). Accepting and embracing death signifies death as a psychologically peaceful experience. A third type of death is social, referred to as cultural transcendence, and is considered a form of collective memory that keeps an individual alive as a social person (Chidester: 16). Cultural transcendence is significant as it allows for the commemoration of individuals by keeping their memory in the hearts and minds of the living.

The concept of death, its meaning, and…… [Read More]

Works Cited

Chidester, D. Patterns of Transcendence: Religion, Death, and Dying. 2nd ed. Belmont, CA:

Wadsworth Publishing, 2001. 1-36. Print.

(Chidester: XX)

The song "Eleanor Rigby" by The Beatles is a song about loneliness, wanting, and hopelessness. The song begins with the lyric, "Ah, look at all the lonely people." The line is repeated twice and gives an obvious nod to the song's theme of loneliness. The song details Eleanor Rigby's life to embellish her loneliness and her longing for a better life. The first line about Eleanor is, "Eleanor Rigby picks up the rice in the church where a wedding has been/Lives in a dream." This lyric explains Eleanor throwing rice after a wedding ceremony, and dreams of having her own wedding and belonging. She is alone, and wishes for something more from her life. Eleanor Rigby lives her life in isolation, and this is signified by the lyric, "Waits at the window, wearing the face that she keeps in a jar by the door/Who is it for?" Eleanor puts on a mask, "wearing a face," so that no one will be able to tell how lonely and empty she feels. The line, "Who is it for?" suggests, "What's the point? Why bother?" There is a sense of hopelessness. The song departs from The Beatles "pop-rock" sound, and has no drums, guitar, or piano accompaniment. The song only uses string instruments, adding to feeling of loneliness. The absence of other instruments allows for the desperation of the strings to be heard, and the isolation of the strings mimics Eleanor Rigby's isolation. A wish that people might have when they die, as suggested by the song, is to not die alone. The lyric, "All the lonely people/Where do they all belong?" suggests, "Where do the lonely people go?" And if no one is witness to their life, how does one know where the lonely people go? According to the song, Eleanor Rigby did not get this common wish. The lyrics states, "Eleanor Rigby died in the church and was buried along with her name/Nobody came." Eleanor Rigby died alone, and no one attended her funeral. The phrase, "was buried along with her name" refers to her being buried with her memory. She was alone in the world, and there is no one left behind to remember her; there is no memory by which she can continue to live.
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Free How the Criminal Justice System Is

Words: 2325 Length: 7 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 79452872


How the Criminal Justice System is Dysfunctional according to Paul Butler's Let's Get Free

The American criminal justice system has had a long history of prejudice. From the Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) decision that institutionalized the false concept of "separate but equal" to the Jim Crow laws that followed to the methods of "control" enacted by police in urban communities, criminal justice in the U.S. has seen lots of crime but little justice. Part of the reason for the inherent dysfunction in the way minorities have always been treated in America is that the country was founded on prejudiced WASP (White Anglo-Saxon Protestant) principles: the principle of "manifest destiny" was based on the supposedly "divine right" that WASPs had to "control" the New World and eradicate the "lesser" races (such as the Native Americans and the African-Americans). These prejudiced principles were absorbed into the criminal justice system through lawmakers (as seen in the Plessy v. Ferguson decision) and courts, as Paul Butler shows.

The dysfunctional justice system and the problem of mass incarceration in the U.S. are touched upon by Paul Butler in his book Let's Get Free: A Hip-Hop Theory of Justice. Butler begins with the perspective of…… [Read More]

Reference List

Butler, P. (2010). Let's Get Free: A Hip-Hop Theory of Justice. UK:

ReadHowYouWant Publishers.
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Music Timbaland's Song The Way

Words: 1005 Length: 3 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 90866567

I have had friends who turned on me because they wanted to hang out with people they thought were cooler, more popular, or who had better toys. Those friendships rarely lasted, though. In high school, the kids who had cars were more able to get friends, but those friends were only hanging out because of the car and not because they actually liked each other. I managed to remain friends with some people who I still consider close even though we go to different schools. The superficial aspects of our lives are meaningless and transitory. Money, looks, and other superficial traits fade, and what really counts is our character. I have seen people in my family bicker over money and other materialistic things that do not matter, when I really wish they would just love each other for who they are. This is why I find Timbaland's song to be so inspiring. For once, a hip-hop artist is genuinely "keeping it real."

Finally, I appreciate "The Way I Are" because of what it can do for self-esteem. Many young people who listen to hip-hop and other forms of music might buy into the materialism that is embedded in the lyrics.…… [Read More]

Work Cited

Timbaland. "The Way I Are." Song.
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Musical Analysis of Someone to Watch Over Me by Gershwin

Words: 1144 Length: 3 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 35887006

Gershwin/Someone to Watch

"Someone to Watch over Me" ("STWOM") was featured in a long-running musical called Oh Kay!, written by George and IRA Gershwin, that made its world debut on Broadway's Imperial Theater. The date was November 8, 1926. The musical enjoyed great success, even including a Broadway revival in 1990. STWOM, the best-known song from the musical, was a hit three times the following year, starting with Oh Kay's star Gertrude Lawrence's recording, which was on the charts for eleven weeks. Gershwin himself released a version. George Olsen and His Orchestra had a hit with an uptempo version; interestingly, the Gershwin brothers originally intended the song to be an upbeat rhythm piece. George experimented with tempo one day and the brothers quickly realized it had more potential as a wistful, slower piece (McElrath.). Of course they were right. The purpose of this paper is to examine the score's refrain in detail, reflecting on its form, melody, harmony, rhythm and texture, and how these musical elements work with the song's lyrics.

Music of the 20th century was characterized by "entirely new approaches to the organization of pitch and rhythm and a vast expansion in the vocabulary of sounds" (Kamien 1998,…… [Read More]


Dvarionaite, A. (2007). Frederic Chopin -- Prelude in E-Minor (op. 28 no. 4). YouTube.

Kamien, R. (1998). Music: An Appreciation. New York: McGraw-Hill.

McElrath, K.J. (n.d.). "Someone to Watch over Me"
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Avril Lavigne Complicated Is a Song by

Words: 704 Length: 2 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 53854034

Avril Lavigne


"Complicated" is a song by Avril Lavigne from her 2002 debut album, Let Go. In interviews, Lavigne alleges that the lyrics refer to the duality of people that she has witnessed, including her ex-boyfriends and female friends. By taking a closer look into the lyrics, there are several themes that emerge. Among the themes that can be found in the lyrics of the song "Complicated" are duplicity and conformity, or a lack thereof. The themes of duplicity and conformity/non-conformity help to highlight the concepts of identity, self-presentation, and face.

In the song "Complicated," Lavigne is complacent with who she is and what she does. However, it soon becomes relevant that she finds herself at odds with a presumed significant other who has changed from the person that she knew, and possibly fell in love with, into a different person with different ideals. It is in the second stanza that the audience is first introduced to Lavigne's complacency with who she is and what she is capable of. By telling her significant other, the unnamed subject of the song, to "chill out, what you yelling for?/Lay back, it's all been done before" not only does she reveal that…… [Read More]

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John Lennon Imagine by John Lennon Uses

Words: 940 Length: 2 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 23156776

John Lennon

"Imagine" by John Lennon uses poetic devices to create an ideal of world peace. The song deals positively with the problem of people fighting each other by removing some reasons for fighting. He understands that this might seem unrealistic but still asks us to join him and others so everyone in the world can be united in peace. I believe Lennon's ideas would reduce violence but not eliminate it.

"Imagine" is one track on the "Imagine" album released by John Lennon in 1971 (EMI Group Limited, 2013). The song uses the poetic devices of rhyme, repetition and rhythm to dream up an ideal of world peace. Rhyme is used in lines such as: "It's easy if you try" and "Above us only sky"; "It isn't hard to do" and "And no religion too"; "I wonder if you can" and "A brotherhood of man" (, 2014). Repetition is used for the lines "You may say I'm a dreamer, But I'm not the only one. I hope someday you'll join us" (, 2014), which are used together in 2 places and are followed by a line that is only slightly changed from "be as one" to "live as one" (,…… [Read More]

Works Cited (2014). John Lennon Lyrics - Imagine. Retrieved February 9, 2014 from Web site: 

EMI Group Limited. (2013). Biography | John Lennon. Retrieved February 9, 2014 from Web site:

University of Ottawa. (n.d.). Connotations and denotations. Retrieved February 9, 2014 from Web site:
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Salsa Music the Late 1950's

Words: 1066 Length: 3 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 57798961

This apparent simplicity does not do justice to the complexity of emotion and mood capture and expressed by the music. The tempo of the music is usually between 180 to 210 beats per minute. This is a fast pace and alludes to the spicy excitement inherent in the music and corresponding dance. The lyrics of salsa music cover a wide range of themes from simple sentimental music to political and sexual themes. Salsa music also incorporates machoistic bravado into the lyrics as a way to express the virility and potency of the Latin male (Leymarie 268).

The comparison of salsa music and American popular music will consider two areas the lyrical content and the tempo of the various types of music. The focus will be on rhythm and blues (R & B) music. While R&B began around the same time as salsa, the music was primarily directed toward urban African-Americans. It has a strong linkage to black gospel music and to funk and blues. It was essentially music made by African-Americans for African-Americans.

Lyrical content of the various genre of music also varies particularly in the most recent incarnations of the music. The lyrics of r&b music are inundated with…… [Read More]

Works Cited

Hernandez, Deborah Pacini. "Dancing with the Enemy: Cuban Popular Music, Race,

Authenticity, and the World-Music Landscape." Latin American Perspectives 25.3

(1998): 110-125.

History of Salsa. Salsa, 2010. Web. 21 Oct 2010.
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Attraction and Love

Words: 861 Length: 2 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 38794515

Attraction & Love

The song that is one of my favorite love songs is "Unchained Melody"; Alex North wrote the music and Hy Zaret wrote the lyrics in 1955. Several artists recorded the song (including Al Hibbler, who had a #3 top 40 hit; Ricky Nelson, Roy Orbison, the Supremes, and many more). In 1965 the Righteous Brothers had a huge hit with that song, and it became even more famous when it was used in the 1990 film "Ghost."

The kind of love that is exhibited in this song that is closest to Robert Sternberg's eight types of love is "Romantic Love" because the song is all about how much the singer loves the person (in this case a woman), is crazily wildly passionately in love with her, is terribly lonely because he doesn't have her in his life -- and yet he does not have a commitment from her. And as much as he wants to be close to her he can't because she is not available to him.

"I've hungered, hungered for your touch, a Long, lonely time," he says, so the listener knows this is a man pining, hoping, urging action on her part, but clearly…… [Read More]

Works Cited

North, Alex, and Zaret, Hy. (1955). "Unchained Melody" Righteous Brothers.
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Robert Hayden's Poem Those Winter

Words: 1348 Length: 4 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 25891435

The "blueblack cold" of a winter morning suggests the touch of cold and the sight of blue frost in the darkness. The "cracked hands" of the father who labors for his living appeals to a sense of cold, harsh touch. The son can "hear the cold splintering" and feel the "banked fires blaze," a contrast of the cold sound of ice and the warm crackling fire, and the contrasting sensations of cold and warmth.

The contrast between the physical, particularly the tactile sense of warm and cold, intensifies the sense of thwarted love the father feels for the boy, but cannot really show, except in rising early to make a fire and polish the boy's good shoes.

Figures of speech

Synecdoche: (a single thing that stands for larger meaning) Lighting a fire becomes a synecdoche or stand-in for the man's entire relationship with his son.

Hyperbole: The suggestion "No one ever thanked him" causes the reader to wonder -- Never? Not even the boy's mother? The narrator probably means he cannot ever remember regularly thanking his father, and thus feels guilty. The "cracked hands that ached from labor in the weekday weather," is also hyperbolic as the man's hands are…… [Read More]

Works Cited

Austere." Definition from Dictionary. com. [19 May 2006.]

Hayden, Robert. "Those Winter Days." Backpack Literature, An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, and Drama. Edited by X.J. Kennedy and Dana Gioia.

Splintering." Definition from [19 May 2006.]
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Metallica Blackened at First Glance a Heavy

Words: 1664 Length: 5 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 65581034

Metallica "Blackened"

At first glance, a heavy metal band like Metallica may not be an obvious candidate to be promoting good-for-you, good-for-the-earth causes like reducing pollution and saving the Earth from destruction at the hands of lazy humans. And yet, hidden deep within the rock guitar and tough-guy exterior of the band lies a group of artists who are passionate about how humankind treats the Earth. Like many other musicians, the members of Metallica use their art to talk about what they believe in and to try to influence their fans to care about the projects they support. Some artists use their music to talk about politics, family, or moral issues, and some use it to talk about causes they support. The Metallica song Blackened, released in 1988, is one example of music meant to expose the band's thoughts on how humans could be close to destroying the earth, and to give warning about what might happen if humans don't mend their ways.

The song Blackened, which runs 6 minutes, 41 seconds long, was released in 1988 as the fourth song on the "…And Justice of All" album. It was not the first song written and produced by Metallica which…… [Read More]

Work Cited

Herringa, Nick. (December 7, 2007.) "Is Metallica Edging Closer to the PR Revolution?" Retrieved May 9, 2011 from

Hetfield James; Ulrich, Lars; and Newsted, Jason. (September 11, 1988.) "Blackened Lyrics." Retrieved May 9, 2011 from

Live Earth. (June 19, 2007.) "Metallica, Kasabian, Pussycat Dolls and Terra Naomi Join Live Earth London Line-Up." Retrieved May 9, 2011 from

Look to the Stars. (2011.) "Lars Ulrich's Charity Work, Events and Causes." Retrieved May 9, 2011 from
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Queensryche Analysis Operation Mindcrime Queensryche

Words: 1409 Length: 4 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 81296927

In this stanza, mainline and dragon are used as metaphors for his drug of preference, although these drugs can be seen as metaphors for the other addictive substances and behaviors that people can become dependent on regardless of if these substances are legal or illegal. The last two lines of this stanza insinuate that Nikki has come to an impasse and does not know what to next with his life, which is possibly why he turned to drugs. The last two lines state, "No regrets, you've got no goals/Nothing more to learn" (Queensryche). These concluding lines indicate that Nikki is waiting for some sort of direction, regardless of whether it is good or bad, simply to not be a slave to the drug.

The third stanza offers Nikki a solution for his dilemma and proposes that the doctor will give his life purpose, which ironically, is the price Nikki will have to pay in order to get what he wants, heroin. The third stanza states, "Now I know you won't refuse/Because we've got so much to do/and you've got nothing more to lose/So take this number and welcome to//Operation: Mindcrime" (Queensryche). Through this attitude, the doctor insinuates that if an…… [Read More]

Works Cited

Titus, Christa. "Queensryche Ink New Record Deal, Next Album Due June 11." Billboard Biz.

4 March 2013. Web. 18 March 2013.

Queensryche. "Operation: Mindcrime." Operation: Mindcrime. EMI America, 1988.

"Queensryche." Official Band Page. Web. 18 March 2013.
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Summer Solstice New York Compared to Jumper

Words: 1776 Length: 4 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 45211068

Poetry in Third Eye Blind's Jumper and Sharon Olds' Summer Solstice New York

Songs and works of poetry are often the subject of the expression of some of humanities darker emotions. The act of suicide represents a culmination of such negative emotions to a point in which an individual wishes to take their own life. It is often the case that someone is temporarily flooded with such intense negative emotions that they consider suicide in a rash decision. While many of the artistic expressions deal with death, suffering, and suicidal thoughts, fewer seem to concentrate on more of a preventive side of such emotions. Two poems were chosen because each of them takes a relatively unique approach to suicidal people. The first poem was a song, Jumper by Third Eye Blind, is a song that represents a story told from the perspective of someone trying to talk down a suicidal jumper. The next song, Sharon Old's Summer Solstice New York is told from a third person perspective about a group of police officers who successfully convince someone to move away from a ledge. Each of these songs will be critically analyzed individual and then finally compared against each other.

Third…… [Read More]

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Jamaican Music a Cultural Evolution

Words: 4850 Length: 18 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 47790806

Jamaican Music

It is never just about the music.

No matter how great the musician, music is always the expression of an entire culture, of a moment in history, of a particular place in time. The genius of a particular musician, the synergy of a particular group - these are both essential to the success or failure of a particular group. But that success or failure is never intrinsic to a single song, to a single album. Music that succeeds - both in its own time and later - does so because it has the ability to express something important about that moment in time. Reggae has been able to provide just such an expression of the beliefs of a particular people at a moment in history for the last two years - and it has been able to do so because of its ability to change with larger political and cultural changes. This paper examines the ways in which Jamaican music - and especially reggae - has changed since the 1970s to the present using a reader response model to understand the importance of these changes.

It is difficult for us to remember - because reggae and the influence…… [Read More]

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Mind Baby Contrary to Popular Belief Sex

Words: 1078 Length: 3 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 33939667

Mind, Baby

Contrary to popular belief, sex and sexuality has been present in popular music for at least the past 60 years. Since the age of "oldies" -- which in this discourse is defined as the "doo wop" period of the 1950's and the 1960's and which hearken to tunes such as "Blue Moon" and "Angel Baby" -- the lyrics of songs have included elements of sex. However, in much the same way that other forms of art -- particularly those with a pervasive appeal as disseminated through media such as film and television -- have modified their presentation to go from subtle implications to overt displays of a graphic nature, the tendency to portray sex in popular music has gone from what began as implicit references that required the upper reaches of the imagination to fully understand, to blatant references of a carnal nature that oftentimes are noticeably deficient in etiquette (Klein, 2010). The primary difference in these two forms of presentations of this element of songwriting -- that which involves sex -- is that sexual references were merely the means to a totality of spiritual and other intangible qualities during the 50's and 60's, whereas in contemporary music,…… [Read More]


Pac. (1996). "How Do You Want It." All Eyez On Me. Los Angeles: Death Row.

Klein, M. (2010). "When Music Turned To Sex -- And Changed The World." Psychology Today. Retrieved from

Goffin, G., King, Carol. (1961). "Will You Love Me Tomorrow" [Recorded by The Shirelles]. Backtrackin'. Manhattan: Scepter.
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Florence The Machine -- Kiss With

Words: 668 Length: 2 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 47603487

Florence + the Machine -- "Kiss With a Fist"

Florence + The Machine's "Kiss With a Fist" is a ballad that describes the volatile relationship that the singer had with a former boyfriend. In the song, the singer contends that any sort of emotional response is better than none. Florence sings, "A kick in the teeth is good for some/A kiss with a fist is better than none." In the song, violence is not limited to one party, but rather is reciprocated by both people in the relationship. The song describes all the terrible things that the couple do to each other from hitting, kicking, slapping, and smashing plates over the head. Despite the violent tendencies of both parties, the singer contends that they can force their relationship to work. This idea is expressed through the lyric "break the lock if it don't fit."

The tone of the song's lyrics does not convey regret or fear due to abuse, but rather demonstrates an unwillingness to surrender. Moreover, it appears as though both people enjoy inflicting pain on each other and the only thing that can be done is to "sit back and watch the bed burn" as to imply that…… [Read More]

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Comparing a Poem to a Song

Words: 1480 Length: 3 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 89812670

Gentle into That Good Night and This Is it: A Comparison

Dylan Thomas' poem Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night and the Kenny Loggins, Michael McDonald song This Is It both deal with the mortality of man. Each is a plea to a dying father, Thomas' and Loggins', not to give up the good fight as they neared death. Both works are saying that even at the end of life one should choose to fight against the inevitability of death.

Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night

Thomas' poem is composed of six stanzas of three lines each except the sixth with four. The rhyme scheme is A, B, A with the last line alternating between Rage, rage against the dying of the light, and Do not go gentle into that good night. The last stanza ends with both refrains, thus the extra line and an A, B, A, A pattern. Except for the second line of stanza five each line in the poem has ten syllables. The first syllable in a line is unstressed, the second is stressed, the third is unstressed, and the fourth is stressed, and so on. Thus, the poem is in iambic…… [Read More]

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Pearl Jam's Do the Evolution Is a

Words: 1114 Length: 3 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 89317737

Pearl Jam's "Do the Evolution" is a modern take on the evolution of mankind. Written from a social perspective, the song critiques the conceit that humans are somehow "superior" because they are the most highly evolved, or complex organism on Earth. The complete lyrics for Do the Evolution are listed at the end of this essay.

Pearl Jam's frontman, Eddie Venter, has quickly become the musical voice of Generation X His lyrics are almost always insightful and provocative, and often address important social issues. Do the Evolution is no exception to the rule, as Venter delivers a topical and pointed commentary on current status of what is arguably the most highly evolved animal on the planet: human beings.

From a purely scientific perspective, the process of evolution is simply change over time. Darwin sought to explain the process of evolution by putting forward the theory of evolution by natural selection. Darwin's highly accepted theory is that evolution occurs when a new characteristic of an organism makes the organism more successful in passing on its genes. For example, a male canary with a song that is more attractive to females will have a better chance of breeding with females. As such,…… [Read More]

Works Cited

The Pearl Jam Network. 13 May 2002.

Darwin, Charles On the origin of species by means of natural selection, or, The preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life. London; Toronto: H. Frowde, Oxford University Press, 1907.

Dawkins, Richard. The Blind watchmaker. New York: Norton, 1986.
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Music an American Popular Music

Words: 1302 Length: 4 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 49921818

" Instead of those key lines, a wailing voice suggests that prayers for love remain unfulfilled. The stress is on lines like "without a dream in my heart, without a love of my own," as the wailing replaces the rest of the chorus. Elvis's "Blue Moon" is truly blue: filled with sadness and unfulfilled longing.

To enhance the reinvented theme of "Blue Moon," the instrumentation is stark. Throughout the recording, only a bass and a drum accompany the sultry vocals. The effect is clearly and intentionally that of a cowboy song. The rhythm of both the bass and the drums convey a horse gently trotting, carrying its lone rider through the Wild West. Evoking cowboy movies and mystique is one way the arrangement sends a far different message than the one that Rogers and Hart had intended. In Elvis's version, the male vocalist is totally, utterly alone. He is a lone cowboy, and the instrumentation enhances Elvis's interpretation. The confluence of cowboy music, a lone male vocalist, and the lack of fulfillment in the rearranged lyrics makes Elvis's version of "Blue Moon" like a different song.

When Rod Stewart and Eric Clapton cover "Blue Moon" five decades later, their version…… [Read More]


"Blue Moon: by Richard Rogers and Lorenz Hart" (n.d.). Retrieved online: 

"Blue Moon." Versions performed by the Boswell Sisters, Elvis Presley, and Rod Stewart. Retrieved on YouTube.
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Sex and Music Lady Gaga

Words: 737 Length: 2 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 75061986

The video's director explains that the intention was not to create racy content for its own sake, but rather that "the process was to express Lady Gaga's desire to reveal her heart and bear her soul" (Kreps). The provocative imagery thus serves to challenge the viewer over whether the video expresses bad taste or high art.

Equally important to lyrics are Gaga's overall image and the discussion she generates over her interests, including avant-garde fashion and gay rights. She is known for being scantily-clad; one magazine called her appearance "bizarre," stating that her style of dress is "archly futuristic…reveals a lot of skin but is never sexy" (Callahan and Stewart). The conflict inherent in her blatant sexuality also arises when one considers the discussion that her gender once generated, as "Is Lady Gaga a man?' 'was's thirdmost-asked question of 2009" (Juzwiak). Ever the provocateur, Lady Gaga addressed the question in her Alejandro video, in which she wears what appears to be a phallus (Alejandro). She toys with her audience: Both giving them what they expect and demanding that they ask themselves why they expect it.

Pop artists cannot be expected to be paragons of good taste and perfectly packaged…… [Read More]

Works Cited

Alejandro. Dir. Steven Klein. Perf. Lady Gaga. YouTube. 08 June 2010. Web. 02 Apr.

2011. .

Callahan, Maureen, and Sara Stewart. "Who's That Lady?" 21 Jan. 2010.

Web. 03 Apr. 2011. .
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Elvis and Black Music the

Words: 4658 Length: 15 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 86227731

Blues music however did not cross racial lines, with the majority of famous blues musicians still residing in New Orleans and various other well-known black music entertainment venues of the South.

Gospel music has been an African-American church tradition with influences from traditional African music and especially prevalent during the slavery era. Later (most likely because of those particular ignominious associations and all they implied, especially in the South) gospel music was strongly discouraged within mainstream society and actively suppressed.

Similarly, blues music represented a blending of black musical traditions with a centuries-long history originating from the earliest days of American slavery. Sammy Davis Jr. And Nat King Cole, were and remain today among the best-known of early black entertainers within the (then) up-and-coming rock 'n roll genre of the 1940's. Each had a heavy influence upon Elvis himself.

Obviously, though, the blending of Southern musical traditions was not started by Elvis himself, or even later kept going by Elvis alone or even rock 'n roll alone. Instead, the American South, most likely because of its distinctly ignoble past slavery practice, has since those same early days been a uniquely varied and eclectic musical region, that is, drawing its inspiration…… [Read More]

Works Cited

African-American Musical Tradition." (June 9, 1998). Retrieved January 9, 2007,


Bane, Michael. White Boy Singin' the Blues: The Black Roots of White Rock.

Harmondsworth, Eng: Penguin, 1982.
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Bruce Cockburn a Musical Performer

Words: 314 Length: 1 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 42739178

Article Analysis

The author presents three specific theories to explain Cockburn's success at being so versatile. First, he suggests that it is a function of the artist's "persona" but even the author acknowledges the hackneyed metaphor. Second, he suggests that Cockburn's lyrics lend themselves better to a dual appreciation. Third, he suggests that Cockburn's choice of contemporary rather than classical (i.e. biblical) themes and imagery are responsible. Those two explanations seem to make more sense than the author's first explanation. Moreover, it is largely the author's subjective opinion about how successfully other performers may have appealed to respective audiences in different genres. Ultimately, the article may do more to confirm that both beauty and artistic appreciation may be equally in the eye of the beholder than it does to establish a fundamental difference between Cockburn and some of his predecessors.


Smucker, T. "You've Never Seen Everything," Commonwealth, Vol.…… [Read More]


Smucker, T. "You've Never Seen Everything," Commonwealth, Vol. 131, No. 4; (2004):
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Young Band Fun Had Recent

Words: 727 Length: 2 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 67625348

The sunglasses attempts to replace not ony the singer's seat at his lover's side, but also his position in his life by asking about the scar. The fact that he is referred to as "some sunglasses" also alludes to the relative insecurity the singer suffers, not only as a result of the perceived coolness of the sunglasses, but also because of his own all too well-known shortcomings. He gave his lover the scar and he is "trying," and by implication not entirely succeeding, to take it back. In the same way she is "trying to forget" the scar. From both sides then, there are attempts to remedy what has gone awry in the relationship. However, starting with these shortcomings is deceptive, as the refrain and the repetition of metaphorical and symbolic meaning indicate the young singer's faith that what is left between them is stronger than sunglasses or scars. The importance of these positive elements is conveyed by means of repetition.

The most important repetition in the song is the lines "carry me home tonight." Indeed, this is the most repeated line in the song and conveys the main message of the song, which is that, despite all that has…… [Read More]

The song "We Are Young" by Fun in conjunction with Janelle Monae uses metaphor, symbolism, and repetition to convey the message that, despite the challenges that threaten them, the singer and his partner remain each other's vitality, support, and home.


Fun (With Janelle Monae). 2012. "We Are Young." Lyrics retrieved from:
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East Coast West Coast Hip

Words: 2482 Length: 8 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 12914276

With the rise in the levels of performance and payment through the music, many rappers decided to make collaborations. These collaborations were intended to create competition so that one musician could manage to overdo the other in the public domain. Nonetheless, the influence of the music on human life was incredible. Many people who engaged in Hip-hop music were reported to have joined one or more gang activities and groups. It is with the establishment of these groups that escalated the desire to have the music be played in varied public places and clubs. Many scenes demonstrating the music was staged in various sections of the American cities.

The rappers went about performing in live concerns in order to have supporters of their music. Initially, the concerns were categorical of playing the music while the audiences licensed to their while doing other activities. Within a short time, the DJs began to involve the rappers in dancing, live singing, and engaging with audiences. This was done in order to have a more touch of the music being taken by the audience. Since the aspect was done amidst many rappers, it was evident that many of them were trying ways of outdoing…… [Read More]

Works cited

Hess, Mickey. Hip Hop in America: A Regional Guide. Santa Barbara, CA: Greenwood

Press, 2010. Internet resource.

Icons of Hip Hop: 2. Westport, CT [u.a.: Greenwood Press, 2007. Print.

Lucas, George. A New Hope: A Novel. New York: Random House, 1986. Print.