The Poetry of Music Project

Image result for music poetry

This year we are going to be looking at various literary elements in short stories, novels, dramas, and poems. But, 99% of the general population never really spend time reading these forms of literature recreationally. People do however, listen to music.

And everything you learn this year, you will be able to use every time you turn on the radio. So I want to give you the practical experience dissecting song lyrics. Each week I will give you a new song, and ask you to tell identify the theme, similes, metaphors, alliteration, rhymes, rhythm, and symbols that you will see.

Some of the songs will be Christian, but many of them will not. I do promise that the songs will be clean. “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” (Phil. 4:8).

You will also have an opportunity to share a song that speaks to you!

Week 1 Song–

Please copy and paste the lyrics of this song into a Word Document. And underneath the lyrics go ahead and type out your analysis (one solid paragraph).

Use a proper page heading. See below:

Image result for page heading mla

The page heading should be double spaced.

  • The first line is your name.
  • The second line is my name (Mrs. Harrison).
  • The third line is the name of the class (Literary Analysis).
  • The fourth line is the date the assignment is DUE. Day Month Year (It will be: 16 September 2016).

The first four lines should look like the picture above. Then underneath your heading, copy and paste the lyrics below.

Finally, just type a paragraph where you thoughtfully discuss the lyrics. I am going to keep it short and sweet this week, but you can find some metaphors. Please explain what they mean, and then tell me what the theme is–not the subject (refer to your literary terms for this week). What does this song say about life?

Don’t be overwhelmed. This is our first one. You will get the hang of this!!!

Here is your song:

“This Is Your Life,” by Switchfoot

Yesterday is a wrinkle on your forehead
Yesterday is a promise that you’ve broken
Don’t close your eyes, don’t close your eyes,
This is your life

And today is all you’ve got now
And today is all you’ll ever have
Don’t close your eyes.

This is your life, are you who you want to be
This is your life, are you who you want to be
This is your life, is it everything you’ve dreamed
That it would be when the world was younger,
And you had everything to lose?

Yesterday is a kid in the corner
Yesterday is dead and over

Week 2 Song–

This week I want to post a song that will let you get to know me a little bit better. I usually listen to Christian music because it ministers to my soul. I do still occasionally listen to some music that I like (as long as it isn’t sinful). The band called The Smiths and the solo artist from that band, Morrissey, are one of the ones I listen too (and not all the songs). I call Morrissey “my poet;” His words and crooning voice have made my heart burst.

You probably won’t “like” this song, because it not like the stuff you are used to listening to. I am not asking you to “like” it, but to try to appreciate it. I am sharing part of me with you guys 🙂

For this song, I want you to find the very bold simile, in the last stanza, and explain what that means (to you). I also want you to figure out the theme of the song–what is this guy saying about his life? About life in general. And what about the title of the song? What is the symbolic meaning of “Seasick, Yet Still Docked?” Also, how does the music add to the mood of the song?

I L

“Seasisck, Yet Still Docked,” by Morrissey

I am a poor freezingly cold soul
So far from where
I intended to go
Scavenging through life’s very constant lulls
So far from where I’m determined to go

Wish I knew the way to reach the one I love
There is no way
Wish I had the charm to attract the one I love
But you see, I’ve got no charm
Mmm

Tonight I’ve consumed much more than I can hold
Oh, this is very clear to you
And you can tell I have never really loved
You can tell, by the way, I sleep all day

And all of my life no-one gave me anything
No-one has ever given me anything
My love is as sharp as a needle in your eye
You must be such a fool
To pass me by

Reminders: 

Copy and paste these lyrics to a Word Document. Make a proper heading. And then write a paragraph or two addressing all the things I asked you to consider.

Week 3 Song–

(Week of September 26-29)

This song is so familiar that it almost cliche. I honestly chose it because the lyrics are good and they connect to the story we are finishing right now (and I think your parents may flip out if I assigned the Hendrix song that I wanted to assign LOL). What I want you to do is answer this question, “Why does the lyricist use words for a jungle and tiger to describe life on the street?” Please extend his metaphors. Please explain to me lines like “stalk his prey in the night” and what does an “eye of a tiger” symbolize? You might want to look up some facts about their eyesight. Finally, please give three lines form the song that connect to the story we are reading.

“Eye of the Tiger,” by Survivor

Rising up, back on the street
Did my time, took my chances
Went the distance, now I’m back on my feet
Just a man and his will to survive

So many times it happens too fast
You trade your passion for glory
Don’t lose your grip on the dreams of the past
You must fight just to keep them alive

It’s the eye of the tiger
It’s the thrill of the fight
Rising up to the challenge of our rival
And the last known survivor
Stalks his prey in the night
And he’s watching us all with the eye of the tiger

Face to face, out in the heat
Hanging tough, staying hungry
They stack the odds still we take to the street
For the kill with the skill to survive

It’s the eye of the tiger
It’s the thrill of the fight
Rising up to the challenge of our rival
And the last known survivor
Stalks his prey in the night
And he’s watching us all with the eye of the tiger

Rising up, straight to the top
Had the guts, got the glory
Went the distance, now I’m not gonna stop
Just a man and his will to survive

It’s the eye of the tiger
It’s the thrill of the fight
Rising up to the challenge of our rival
And the last known survivor
Stalks his prey in the night
And he’s watching us all with the eye of the tiger

The eye of the tiger
The eye of the tiger
The eye of the tiger
The eye of the tiger

Reminders: 

Copy and paste these lyrics to a Word Document. Make a proper heading. And then write a paragraph or two addressing all the things I asked you to consider.

 Week 4– (Week of October 3-6)

“You are More” by Tenth Avenue North

There’s a girl in the corner
With tear stains on her eyes
From the places she’s wandered
And the shame she can’t hide

She says, how did I get here?
I’m not who I once was.
And I’m crippled by the fear
That I’ve fallen too far to love

But don’t you know who you are,
What’s been done for you?
Yeah don’t you know who you are?

You are more than the choices that you’ve made,
You are more than the sum of your past mistakes,
You are more than the problems you create,
You’ve been remade.

Well she tries to believe it
That she’s been given new life
But she can’t shake the feeling
That it’s not true tonight

She knows all the answers
And she’s rehearsed all the lines
And so she’ll try to do better
But then she’s too weak to try

But don’t you know who you are?

You are more than the choices that you’ve made,
You are more than the sum of your past mistakes,
You are more than the problems you create,
You’ve been remade.

You are more than the choices that you’ve made,
You are more than the sum of your past mistakes,
You are more than the problems you create,
You’ve been remade.

‘Cause this is not about what you’ve done,
But what’s been done for you.
This is not about where you’ve been,
But where your brokenness brings you to

This is not about what you feel,
But what He felt to forgive you,
And what He felt to make you loved.

You are more than the choices that you’ve made,
You are more than the sum of your past mistakes,
You are more than the problems you create,
You’ve been remade.

You are more than the choices that you’ve made,
You are more than the sum of your past mistakes,
You are more than the problems you create,
You’ve been remade.

You’ve been remade
You’ve been remade.
You’ve been remade.
You’ve been remade.

Week 5 (October 10-13)

Okay, so like I said, some of the songs in this class will be secular, but I promise they will be clean. The reason I am having you look at a song by Tupac (in our little sheltered Christian Homeschool group) is not because I am trying to corrupt you with bad music. This song TOTALLY relates to what we are reading this week in EVERY WAY. It is real. It like the response of the son to the mother. And I want you to compare this song to the story and to the poem we read. I want you to think about how Langston Hughes wrote poems for everyday people, and this song was written to everyday people too. People who lived similar lives, in similar circumstances, and it is a song for sons to say “Thank you, ma’am” — right?

You probably don’t even know who Tupac is? He died a long time ago, but do not listen to his other songs ….  They are not appropriate for our little sheltered Christian homeschool group. 🙂 ❤

“Dear Mama,” by Tupac Shakur

[Verse 1 – 2pac]
You are appreciated
When I was young, me and my mama had beef
17 years old, kicked out on the streets
Though back at the time I never thought I’d see her face
Ain’t a woman alive that could take my mama’s place
Suspended from school
And scared to go home, I was a fool
With the big boys breaking all the rules
I shed tears with my baby sister, over the years
We was poorer than the other little kids
And even though we had different daddies, the same drama
When things went wrong we’d blame Mama
I reminisce on the stress I caused, it was h*ll
Huggin’ on my mama from a jail cell
And who’d think in elementary, hey
I’d see the penitentiary one day?
And running from the police, that’s right
Mama catch me, put a whoopin’ to my backside
And even as a crack fiend, Mama
You always was a black queen, Mama
I finally understand
For a woman it ain’t easy trying to raise a man
You always was committed
A poor single mother on welfare, tell me how you did it
There’s no way I can pay you back, but the plan
Is to show you that I understand; you are appreciated

[Hook – Reggie Green & “Sweet Franklin” + 2Pac]
Lady, don’t you know we love ya? (Dear Mama)
Sweet lady, place no one above ya (You are appreciated)
Sweet lady, don’t you know we love ya?
[Verse 2 – 2pac]
Now, ain’t nobody tell us it was fair
No love from my daddy, ‘cause the coward wasn’t there
He passed away and I didn’t cry, ‘cause my anger
Wouldn’t let me feel for a stranger
They say I’m wrong and I’m heartless, but all along
I was looking for a father he was gone
I hung around with the thugs
And even though they sold drugs
They showed a young brother love
I moved out and started really hangin’
I needed money of my own, so I started slangin’
I ain’t guilty, ‘cause even though I sell rocks
It feels good putting money in your mailbox
I love paying rent when the rent is due
I hope you got the diamond necklace that I sent to you
‘Cause when I was low you was there for me
And never left me alone, because you cared for me
And I could see you coming home after work late
You’re in the kitchen, trying to fix us a hot plate
You just working with the scraps you was given
And Mama made miracles every Thanksgivin’
But now the road got rough, you’re alone
You’re trying to raise two bad kids on your own
And there’s no way I can pay you back, but my plan
Is to show you that I understand; you are appreciated

[Hook – Reggie Green & “Sweet Franklin” + 2Pac]
Lady, don’t you know we love ya? (Dear Mama)
Sweet lady, place no one above ya (You are appreciated)
Sweet lady, don’t you know we love ya?

[Verse 3 – 2pac]
Pour out some {soda 😉 } and I reminisce
‘Cause through the drama I can always depend on my mama
And when it seems that I’m hopeless
You say the words that can get me back in focus
When I was sick as a little kid
To keep me happy, there’s no limit to the things you did
And all my childhood memories
Are full of all the sweet things you did for me
And even though I act crazy
I gotta thank the Lord that you made me
There are no words that can express how I feel
You never kept a secret, always stayed real
And I appreciate how you raised me
And all the extra love that you gave me
I wish I could take the pain away
If you can make it through the night, there’s a brighter day
Everything will be alright if you hold on
It’s a struggle every day, gotta roll on
And there’s no way I can pay you back, but my plan
Is to show you that I understand; you are appreciated

[Hook – Reggie Green & Sweet Franklin + 2Pac]
Lady, don’t you know we love ya? (Dear Mama)
Sweet lady, place no one above ya (You are appreciated)
Sweet lady, don’t you know we love ya? (Dear Mama)
Sweet lady
Lady (Dear Mama)
Lady
Lady

Week 6 Song (October 17-21)

Dustin was probably your age when this song came out. He saw this band in concert a few times. He still listens to them. I however was Miley’s age and I thought Robert Smith was weird. It wasn’t until later that I began to appreciate The Cure. I don’t listen to them too often, but when I hear one of their songs I totally sing into an invisible microphone.

So, your assignment–What do you think this song  is about?  What does the spiderman symbolize? It isn’t talking about the superhero. What metaphors and similes are in the song? Describe the imagery. Talk to me about the diction  (word choice)–are there any phrases that stick out to you as strange or creepy or pretty? What do you think about the mood of the music?

Hint–Robert Smith has said different things about what this song means, but he usually says it has to do with scary stories and nightmares he had as a kid. Some people think it has to do with drug addiction or depression. What other possible meanings could there be?

“Lullaby,” by The Cure

On candy stripe legs the Spiderman comes
Softly through the shadow of the evening sun
Stealing past the windows of the blissfully dead
Looking for the victim shivering in bed
Searching out fear in the gathering gloom and
Suddenly
A movement in the corner of the room
And there is nothing I can do
When I realize with fright
That the Spiderman is having me for dinner tonight

Quietly he laughs and shaking his head
Creeps closer now
Closer to the foot of the bed
And softer than shadow and quicker than flies
His arms are all around me and his tongue in my eyes
Be still be calm be quiet now my precious boy
Don’t struggle like that or I will only love you more
For it’s much too late to get away or turn on the light
The Spiderman is having you for dinner tonight

And I feel like I’m being eaten
By a thousand million shivering furry holes
And I know that in the morning I will wake up
In the shivering cold

And the Spiderman is always hungry

Videos– The original video is kinda creepy so if you have parents that don’t let you watch creepy stuff, or if you get scared of things (even bad 80’s special effects)–DON’T WATCH THE FIRST VIDEO!!! Watch the second video with just the lyrics.

But as you watch it, listen to the orchestra in the background. How does the beauty of the music contrast with the horror of the song?

If you had me last year, do you remember The Erlkonig? About the Elf King that came to steal the child? This reminds me of that song.

Anyways, next week, we will analyze some worship music!!! Wooo HOOO!!!!

Week 7 (October 24-27)

This song is by one of my favorite Christian bands, The Afters. Their song “Light Up the Sky” has super special significance to me, maybe some day I will tell you the story.

But this week, I want you to analyze their new song, “Battles.” There are lots of metaphors and similes in this song, please pick out both. And then tell me the difference–what makes one line a metaphor and another line a simile???? You may need to look up the definition of those terms again.

And then go further and tell me what the theme of this song is and why it matters. Connect it to your life personally, and give me an example of how it applies to your life today. I want you to take more time on this song, because it is true and important. Also, I may give you extra credit if you can find a Bible verse that supports the theme. 🙂 Love ya.

“Battles,” by The Afters

This current is trying to wreck me
Like castles of sand
My fear, like an enemy army
Is marching again
But I’m making a stand

You surround me on every side
Your love is my armor, I fear no evil
Darkness runs from Your light
So I won’t be afraid

You’re going before me and oceans are parting
You’re fighting my battles
When my feet are failing and my heart is shaking
You’re fighting my battles
Fighting my battles

Time after time, You’re my refuge
You heal every scar
You’re guarding my heart
Your promise, the hope that I cling to
My rescue, my friend
You come rushing in

In my weakness, You are strong
Every trouble You have overcome
You have overcome

Week 8 (October 31- November 3)

This week I want you to analyze an old worship song that you have heard a thousand times. But this time I want you to look at it as an extended metaphor. What is an extended metaphor, you ask?

The term extended metaphor refers to a comparison between two unlike things that continues throughout a series of sentences in a paragraph or lines in a poem. It is often comprised of more than one sentence and sometimes consists of a full paragraph.

In this case the extended metaphor is comparing an deep endless ocean to our level of faith, I want you to explore the meaning in the various comparisons in the song. Go deep, (I love puns). 🙂

Please explain the meaning of key lines like “where feet may fail” and “trust without borders”– I also would LOVE for you to find me the passage in Scripture, that the song alludes to when it says, “Keep my eyes above the waves.”

“Oceans,” by Hillsong United

You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand

And I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You’ve never failed and You won’t start now

So I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior

I will call upon Your Name
Keep my eyes above the waves
My soul will rest in Your embrace
I am Yours and You are mine

I picked the video from the show at the Forum, in LA, this last May. I was there, and if you look closely you may see my fuzzy little head 🙂 I was in front of where this guy was. I was also with my friend Mollie who had been battling Leukemia all year. This night was an answer for prayer for us, to go and worship together (her alive). It was right around the time we were finding out she was no longer in remission.

Week 9 (November 7-11)

I am moving Divina’s song to next week, only because we are studying Literary Theory and Criticism this week, and I want to use this song to bring it to life. What I want you to do in the meantime is to figure out what this song is talking about. What do you see? What do you think it means? Are there symbols? Metaphors? etc. Try to crack it.

“Dirty Paws”

Jumping up and down the floor,
My head is an animal.
And once there was an animal,
It had a son that mowed the lawn.
The son was an OK guy,
They had a pet dragonfly.
The dragonfly it ran away,
But it came back with a story to say.Her dirty paws and furry coat,
She ran down the forest slopes.
The forest of talking trees,
They used to sing about the birds and the bees.
The bees had declared a war,
The sky wasn’t big enough for them all.
The birds, they got help from below,
From dirty paws and the creatures of snow.So for a while things were cold,
They were scared down in their holes.
The forest that once was green
Was colored black by those killing machines.
But she and her furry friends
Took down the queen bee and her men.
And that’s how the story goes,
The story of the beast with those four dirty paws.

Week 10 (November 14-18)

This week we are going to play a song that was requested by Divina. I thought it would be perfect timing to put it after “Oceans” because it is another extended metaphor. The idea of your head being a mansion with all these different rooms. It is pretty heavy. I want you to summarize the song. What rooms are there, and what is inside, and what is the theme? Can you relate? Do you feel like you have rooms in your mind? Are some places uncomfortable? Are some places off limits to others? Explain.

“Mansion,” by NF

[Chorus – Fleurie:]
Insidious is blind inception
What’s reality with all these questions?
Feels like I missed my alarm and slept in (slept in)
Broken legs but I chase perfection
These walls are my blank expression
My mind is a home I’m trapped in
And it’s lonely inside this mansion

[Verse 1 – NF:]
Yo my mind is a house with walls covered in lyrics
They’re all over the place, there’s songs in the mirrors
Written all over the floors, all over the chairs
And you get the uncut version of life when I go downstairs
That’s where I write when I’m in a bad place and need to release
And let out the version of NF you don’t want to see
I put holes in the walls with both of my fists ’til they bleed
You might get a glimpse of how I cope with all this anger in me
Physically abused, now that’s the room that I don’t want to be in
That picture ain’t blurry at all, I just don’t want to see it
And these walls ain’t blank, I just think I don’t want to see ’em
But why not? I’m in here, so I might as well read ’em
I gotta thank you for this anger that I carry around
Wish I could take a match and burn this whole room to the ground
Matter of fact I think I’m a burn this room right now
So now this memory for some reason just won’t come down
You used to put me in the corner, so you could see the fear in my eyes
Then took me downstairs and beat me ’til I screamed and I cried
Congratulations, you’ll always have a room in my mind
But I’m a keep the door shut and lock the lyrics inside

[Chorus – Fleurie:]
Insidious is blind inception
What’s reality with all these questions?
Feels like I missed my alarm and slept in (slept in)
Broken legs but I chase perfection
These walls are my blank expression
My mind is a home I’m trapped in
And it’s lonely inside this mansion (inside this mansion)

[Verse 2 – NF:]
Yo my mind is a house with walls covered in pain
See my problem is I don’t fix things
I just try to repaint, cover em up, like it never happen
Say I wish I could change. Are you confused?
Come upstairs and I’ll show you what I mean
This room’s full of regrets, just keeps getting fuller it seems
The moment I walk in to it is the same moment that I wanna leave
I get sick to my stomach every time I look at these things
But it’s hard to look past when this is the room where I sleep
I look around. One of the worst things I wrote on these walls
Was the moment I realized that I was losing my mom
And one of the first things I wrote was “I wish I would’ve called”
But I should just stop now, we ain’t got enough room in this song
And I regret the fact that I struggled trying to find who I am
And I lie to myself and say I do the best that I can
Shrug it off like it ain’t nothing like it’s out of my hands
Then get ticked off whenever I see it affecting my plans
And I regret watching these trust issues eat me alive
And at the rate I’m going they’ll probably still be there when I die
Congratulations, you’ll always have a room in my mind
The question is: Will I ever clean the walls off in time?

[Chorus – Fleurie:]
Insidious is blind inception
What’s reality with all these questions?
Feels like I missed my alarm and slept in (slept in)
Broken legs but I chase perfection
These walls are my blank expression
My mind is a home I’m trapped in
And it’s lonely inside this mansion (inside this mansion)

[Verse 3 – NF:]
So this part of my house, no one’s been in it for years
I built the safe room and I don’t let no one in there
Cause if I do, there’s a chance
That they might disappear and not come back
And I admit I am emotionally scared to let anyone inside
So I just leave my doors locked
You might get other doors to open up but this doors not
Cause I don’t want you to have the opportunity to hurt me
And I’ll be the only person that I can blame when you desert me
I’m barricaded inside
So stop watching
I’m not coming to the door
So stop knocking, stop knocking
I’m trapped here
God keep saying I’m not locked in
I chose this
I am lost in my own conscience
I know that shutting the world out ain’t solving the problem
But I didn’t build this house because I thought it would solve ’em
I built it because I thought that it would be safer in there
But it’s not, I’m not the only thing that’s living in here
Fear came to my house years ago I let ’em in
Maybe that’s the problem
Cause I’ve been dealing with this ever since
I thought that he would leave, but it’s obvious he never did
He must have picked the room and got comfortable and settled in
Now I’m in the position it’s either sit here and let him win
Or put him back outside where he came from, but I never can
Cause in order to do that I’d have to open the doors
Is that me or the fear talking?
I don’t know anymore

Week 14-16-Morrissey UnitImage result for oscar wilde morrissey

Because we have been doing a unit on Oscar Wilde, I want to spend a few weeks on (IMO) the best song writer and poetic soul alive today–Morrissey. Morrissey is a HUGE Oscar Wilde fan, as you can tell by the picture above. He has a picture of Oscar Wilde on his shirt. In fact, I read that The Importance of Being Earnest is so important to him that he listens to the audio version almost every day.

Morrissey is a voracious reader. If I started reading right now, and I never stopped until I died in old age, I still couldn’t read as many classic books as he has read. His mom was a librarian. This is why he is so profound. Not only has he read many wonderful works of literature, he understands and evaluates them brilliantly. In fact, if I have a book I like, I can go to a certain website and read what he thinks of it! I love that!!! For example, he says that Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre can make him cry.

There are entire massive websites devoted to Morrissey’s quotes about famous poems and novels. In fact, he often alludes to famous lines in his songs.”Learn to love me, assemble the ways…” from his song, “Shoplifters of the World”  is an allusion to Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s famous Sonnet 43, where she says, “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.”

Like I told you earlier this year, this man is “my poet.” Pray for him– you can pray for his recurrent bouts of throat cancer, and to draw close to Jesus. ❤

Here he is holding a copy of The Picture of Dorian Gray.

Related image

Since we are studying Oscar Wilde this month I was planning on studying the poetic music of Oscar Wilde’s biggest fan. So I wanted to give you a whole unit on one artist. I am going to give you a selection of 6 songs, and I want you to pick 3 songs to analyze. This will take us to the end of the semester. Your first song analysis is due this Friday.

If you need extra credit before the end of the semester, do 4 songs instead of three.

Next month will be totally Christian–I want to highlight the songs from Jon Foreman of Switchfoot and do the same thing, give them several songs to pick from for analysis.

Remember: I am giving you six songs, but you only need to do three. One is due THIS Friday. This unit will finish out our semester. If you want extra credit to bump up your grade do four. 😀
Image result for oscar wilde morrissey

Option 1–Speedway

Here are the lyrics for Speedway (they totally relate to the themes of The Picture of Dorian Gray) I want you to focus on the metaphors “slam down the hammer” and “standing on my fingers,” as well as the whole silenced by the hearse metaphor. And consider the themes too– reputation, honesty, and loyalty.

“Speedway”
And when you slam
down the hammer
can you see it in your heart?
All of the rumours
keeping me grounded
I never said that they were
completely unfounded
when you slam
down the hammer
can you see it in your heart?
can you delve so low?
and when you’re standing
on my fingers
can you see it in your heart?
and when you try
to break my spirit
it won’t work
because there’s nothing left to break
anymore
All of the rumours
keeping me grounded
I never said that they were
completely unfounded
You won’t sleep
until the earth that wants me
finally has me
oh you’ve done it now
You won’t rest
until the hearse that becomes me
finally takes me
oh you’ve done it now
You won’t smile
until my loving mouth
is shut good and proper
FOREVER
All of the rumours
keeping me grounded
I never said that they were
completely unfounded
and all those lies
written lies, twisted lies
well, they weren’t lies
they weren’t lies
they weren’t lies
I never said
I could have mentioned your name
I could have dragged you in
guilt by implication
by association
I’ve always been true to you
in my own strange way
I’ve always been true to you
in my own sick way
I’ll always stay true to you
And below is half of the song from the same exact concert Dustin and I went to in November. This person is standing right next to us. I may have talked to them before the show???

Option 2–“Shoplifters of the World Unite”

Here are the lyrics for “Shoplifters of the World Unite”–focus on literary allusion (Browning sonnet 43), irony, and stream of consciousness random images:

Learn to love me
Assemble the ways
Now, today, tomorrow and always
My only weakness is a list of crime
My only weakness is… well, never mind, never mind
Oh, shoplifters of the world
Unite and take over
Shoplifters of the world
Hand it over
Hand it over
Hand it over
Learn to love me
And assemble the ways
Now, today, tomorrow, and always
My only weakness is a listed crime
But last night the plans of a future war
Was all I saw on Channel Four
Shoplifters of the world
Unite and take over
Shoplifters of the world
Hand it over
Hand it over
Hand it over
A heartless hand on my shoulder
A push – and it’s over
Alabaster crashes down
(Six months is a long time)
Tried living in the real world
Instead of a shell
But before I began…
I was bored before I even began
Shoplifters of the world
Unite and take over
Shoplifters of the world
Unite and take over
Shoplifters of the world
Unite and take over
Shoplifters of the world
Take over

*In the video you will see people trying to get on stage. “Back in the day” people used to crowd the stage to give him a hug. He is probably the most hugged musician in the world. LOL. They usually don’t make it on stage anymore, but at the end of his shows people start climbing the wall and reaching for his hand. He loves it. He hates it when the security is rough with the fans. His fans also bring him flowers. He is so loved. Oh, and he throws his shirt at the end of the video. I have a friend who has one of his shirts. I smelled it and rubbed it on my face 😀 LOLOL (I was 20 so forgive me). He still throws his shirt; he did it a month ago!

Option 3–“Bigmouth Strikes Again”

Here are the lyrics for “Bigmouth Strikes Again” it is about putting your foot in your mouth– and the concepts I want you to focus on are– hyperbole and exaggeration, dry humor–the need to watch how we joke around, and symbolism (Joan of ark) It also has amazing assonance and rhyme.
“Bigmouth Strikes Again”
Sweetness, sweetness I was only joking
When I said I’d like to
Smash every tooth in your head
Sweetness, sweetness I was only joking
When I said by rights you should be
Bludgeoned in your bed
And now I know how Joan of Arc felt
Now I know how Joan of Arc felt
As the flames rose to her Roman nose
And her Walkman started to melt
Bigmouth, bigmouth
Bigmouth strikes again
And I’ve got no right to take my place
With the human race
And now I know how Joan of Arc felt
Now I know of Joan of Arc felt
As the flames rose to her Roman nose
And her hearing aid started to melt
Bigmouth, bigmouth
Bigmouth strikes again
And I’ve got no right to take my place
With the human race

***I love this song. This video is from when he was with The Smiths. I love how he dances. I love the lyrics. I sing this song with all my heart. I was nine when this concert was performed.

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Option 4: Lifeguard Sleeping, Girl Drowning

Here are the lyrics for “Lifeguard Sleeping, Girl Drowning”– the concepts I want you to focus on are imagery, irony, characterization, and understatement (it is really a sad song)

 “Lifeguard Sleeping, Girl Drowning”
Always looking for attention
always needs to be mentioned
who does she
think she should be?
the shrill cry through darkening air
doesn’t she know he’s already
had such a busy day?
SOMEBODY TELL HER…SHHH
It was only a test
but she swam too far
against the tide
she deserves all she gets
the sky became mad with stars
as an out-stretched arm slowly
disappears
OH HURRAY
Please don’t worry
there’ll be no fuss
she was…NOBODY’S NOTHING
When he awoke
the sea was calm
and another day passes like a dream

***The music is so interesting, and how he whispers as he sings. Super cool. I listened to this song on a cassette tape in my first car when I was sixteen 😀

Option 5: There is a Light That Never Goes Out

Here are the lyrics for “There is a Light That Never Goes Out” –the focus of this song will be the obvious symbolism, and imagery, and also diction (word choice). How his word choice makes the threat of tragedy feel like a permanent connection in a very casual and interesting way. 
Take me out tonight
Where there’s music and there’s people
And they’re young and alive
Driving in your car
I never never want to go home
Because I haven’t got one
Anymore
Take me out tonight
Because I want to see people and I
Want to see life
Driving in your car
Oh, please don’t drop me home
Because it’s not my home, it’s their
Home, and I’m welcome no more
And if a double-decker bus
Crashes into us
To die by your side
Is such a heavenly way to die
And if a ten-ton truck
Kills the both of us
To die by your side
Well, the pleasure – the privilege is mine
Take me out tonight
Take me anywhere, I don’t care
I don’t care, I don’t care
And in the darkened underpass
I thought: Oh God, my chance has come at last
(But then a strange fear gripped me and I
Just couldn’t ask)
Take me out tonight
Oh, take me anywhere, I don’t care
I don’t care, I don’t care
Driving in your car
I never never want to go home
Because I haven’t got one, da …
Oh, I haven’t got one
And if a double-decker bus
Crashes into us
To die by your side
Is such a heavenly way to die
And if a ten-ton truck
Kills the both of us
To die by your side
Well, the pleasure – the privilege is mine
Oh, There is a light and it never goes out
There is a light and it never goes out
There is a light and it never goes out
There is a light and it never goes out
There is a light and it never goes out
There is a light and it never goes out
There is a light and it never goes out
There is a light and it never goes out
There is a light and it never goes out
***This is one of his best loved songs. I saw him perform it live in Pomona when the girls were little.

Option 6: Cemetery Gates

Here are the lyrics for “Cemetery Gates” and this song is wonderful!!! It pays tribute to 3 wonderful literary giants–Keats, Yeats, and Wilde. It also pokes fun at plagiarism and pseudo intellectualism. It also has lovely alliteration. 

A dreaded sunny day
So I meet you at the cemetery gates
Keats and Yeats are on your side
A dreaded sunny day
So I meet you at the cemetery gates
Keats and Yeats are on your side
While Wilde is on mine
So we go inside and we gravely read the stones
All those people all those lives
Where are they now?
With the loves and hates
And passions just like mine
They were born
And then they lived and then they died
Seems so unfair
And I want to cry
You say ere thrice the sun done salutation to the dawn
And you claim these words as your own
But I’ve read well, and I’ve heard them said
A hundred times, maybe less, maybe more
If you must write prose and poems
The words you use should be your own
Don’t plagiarize or take on loans
There’s always someone, somewhere
With a big nose, who knows
And who trips you up and laughs
When you fall
Who’ll trip you up and laughImage result for morrissey oscar wilde
When you fall
You say ere long done do does did
Words which could only be your own
And then you then produce the text
From whence was ripped some dizzy hole
Eighteen hundred and four
A dreaded sunny day
So let’s go where we’re happy
And I meet you at the cemetery gates
Oh Keats and Yeats are on your side
A dreaded sunny day
So let’s go where we’re wanted
And I meet you at the cemetery gates
Keats and Yeats are on your side
But you lose because Wilde is on mine.
***I love this one. This is another song from when he was still with The Smiths.
Image result for morrissey with cat
His cat ❤

Week 18-20–Jon Foreman Unit (January 23-February 10)

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The next three weeks we will do a unit on the music of Jon Foreman. He is a strong Christian. The lead singer of the band Switchfoot. His lyrics are challenging.

Image result for jon foreman

I want you to pick 3 songs (out of these six) and turn in a new song each week for the next three weeks. Just like we did with Morrissey.

Please read this recent article he wrote for the Huffington Post:

Oh American church — I am you. The son of a pastor: born on the west coast, raised on the east. I wrestle with the faith of my fathers — MLK, Bonhoeffer, Kierkegaard, St. Paul, Abraham. We are born from a history of glory and shame. From the cross to the inquisition, from slavery to civil rights. Yes, this church of triumph and failure is my family: awkward, beautiful, and fatally flawed. I have no stones to throw — after all, I’m only human, and I get it wrong more than most.

So let me start with a confession: I have sinned and fallen short. I confess I am prone to failure. My heart is inherently pulled by the base desires of pride, lust, violence, and greed. I confess that the gospel I’ve inherited does not belong to me or to America. But rather we — we the people, we human souls — we belong to this gospel of peace.

I confess that we have grown cold. That we have lost sight of our True Love. And together we have forgotten the cross: the self-sacrificial love of the One who calls us to go and do likewise. Oh, American Church! I am you and you are me. And together we have grown judgmental, folding our hands and closing our doors. Have we forgotten that we were once the ones on the outside looking in? Have we forgotten that our salvation is a gift given to us, that we are but jolly beggars at the door of the Gift-Giver himself?

Oh church, where is our love? Christ chose to die for the marginalized and the poor — the sick, the needy and the broken. Are they not waiting for us here in America today? Waiting for the hands and feet of Christ to meet them where they are? And who are the hands and feet of Christ if not you and I, the church? We who have been given such grace, where is our mercy?

And as a citizen, you have a right to vote. Cast your ballot. Lift your voice. Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s. But your fight is not against skin and bones. No. The people you’re yelling at are hurt, broken, hopeful, people just like yourself. Remember this: the government can serve and protect. But it cannot love. Only we the people can do that. You and I. Protection and service? Yes. But no amount of bureaucracy can love the person next-door.

You and I have a job description that remains unchanged: a love for our maker and a love for our neighbor. Do not be distracted by the yelling and the fear. Listen to the still, small voice. Care for the sick, the elderly, the hopeless, the broken. Love the outcast, the marginalized, the disenchanted. Fight for them. Arm in arm beside them.

Does it surprise you that our world is flawed? Does it surprise you that human power is corrupted by humans? Yes, there are many frustrations within the political realm; and yet, the plank remains in my own eye. The anger, the hatred, the lust, the fear, the greed — this is the darkness that lives within me. This is the trash that I take out. This is my daily work of surrender. And this work of mine has very little to do with who is in power.

Who is my neighbor? The one who needs me. This is true religion: to take care of those who are in need. And yet, we (you and I and the rest of the American church), are not known for our love. No — we are known for our judgmental, close-minded, pretentious fears. This is to our shame! My friends, we cannot continue only loving the ones who look like us, who talk like us, who believe what we believe, and act like we act. We must reach across the aisle with love for the very people we disagree with. Love your enemy and pray for those who persecute you. Let us live a life worthy of the life-giving self-sacrificial love we have been given.

I read the gospel like this: none of us deserve it. None of us have earned the right to call ourselves Christians. No, it is his grace alone. Which means that the murderers on death row are every bit as deserving of God’s love as I am. And maybe you disagree with me? Maybe you think this kind of love goes too far, that Christ didn’t die for everyone equally? You might have valid contradictions to everything I’ve said. You can call me names even. Call me calloused, cold, cynical, and jaded. And on the wrong day, you’re absolutely right! Fortunately for me, I qualify as your neighbor. Your job is to love me. Your job is to give me a drink of water. Give me a place to stay. Give me a warm meal.

Oh church, who has blinded us?! Know this, it’s not your hatred that makes you godlike. It’s not your fear. It’s not your political rhetoric tossed back and forth on social media. No. It’s your love that makes you look like God. Your forgiveness, your open arms. It’s your merciful embrace of the hurting, the broken, and the abused. The kingdom of the heavens is waiting in the wounds around us. In the conversation. In the homeless shelters. In the eyes of someone who disagrees with you.

This is the blood that flows in our veins: the blood of the Maker. Our strength is not in our control or power. Not in our violence or destruction. No, we were made in the image of the maker — and in our endeavors of creativity and love we resemble our Father in heaven. Our job is to love with the self-sacrificial love of Christ himself. We have a debt that remains outstanding: to love our neighbor as ourself.

Image result for jon foreman

Song 1–“Instead of a Show”

This song is NOT saying to not worship or have festivals. It is saying that it is easy to be fake, to pretend like we are Christians and put on a show of our religion, and neglect what true religion is!!! There are some metaphors and figurative language in this song.

“Instead of a Show”

I hate all your show and pretense
The hypocrisy of your praise
The hypocrisy of your festivals
I hate all your show

Away with your noisy worship
Away with your noisy hymns
I stop up my ears when you’re singing them
I hate all your show

Instead let there be a flood of justice
An endless procession of righteous living, living
Instead let there be a flood of justice
Instead of a show

Your eyes are closed when you’re praying
You sing right along with the band
You shine up your shoes for services
But there’s blood on your hands

You’ve turned your back on the homeless
And the ones who don’t fit in your plan
Quit playing religion games
There’s blood on your hands

Let’s argue this out
If your sins are blood red
Let’s argue this out
You’ll be white as the clouds
Let’s argue this out
Quit fooling around

Give love to the ones who can’t love at all
Give hope to the ones who got no hope at all
Stand up for the ones who can’t stand at all
All

I hate all your show

Instead of a show
I hate all your show

Song 2–“Your Love is Strong”

This song is packed with Biblical Allusions. Put scripture references to them. What verses are this song referring to and quoting?

“Your Love Is Strong”

Heavenly Father
You always amaze me
Let Your kingdom come in my world
And in my lifeGive me the food I need to live through today
And forgive me as I forgive the people that wrong meLead me far from temptation
Deliver me from the evil one

I look out the window
The birds are composing
Not a note is out of tune
Or out of place

I walk to the meadow
And stare at the flowers
Better dressed than any girl
On her wedding day

So why should I worry?
Why do I freak out?
God knows what I need!
You know what I need!

Your love is strong

The Kingdom of the Heavens
Is now advancing
Invade my heart
Invade this broken town

The Kingdom of the Heavens
Is buried treasure
Would you sell yourself
To buy the one you’ve found?

Two things You told me
That You are strong
And You love me,
Yes You love me

Your love is strong

Our God in heaven
Hallowed be thy name above all names
Your kingdom come
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven
Give us, today, our daily bread
Forgive us weary sinners
Keep us far from our vices and
Deliver us from these prisons

Song 3–“Learning To Die”

This song has dialogue, characterization, and personification. It also has a very strong theme.What does it say about life?

“Learning How To Die”

I’m gonna miss you,
I’m gonna miss you when you’re gone
She says, “I love you
I’m gonna miss hearing your songs”And I said, “Please
Don’t talk about the end,
Don’t talk about how every living thing
Goes away…”She said, “Friend, all along
Thought I was learning how to take
How to bend not how to break
How to live not how to cry, but really
I’ve been learning how to die
I’ve been learning how to die”Hey everyone
I’ve got nowhere to go
The grave is lazy
He takes our bodies slowly

And I said “Please
Don’t talk about the end,
Don’t talk about how every living thing
Goes away…”

She said, “Friend, all along
Thought I was learning how to take
How to bend not how to break
How to laugh not how to cry, but really
I’ve been learning how to die
I’ve been learning how to die, die
I’ve been learning how to die”

 

Song 4–“Where the Light Shines Through”

This song has a lot of similes and metaphors. Explain what they mean and what the overall theme says about life and pain.
When you’re feeling like an astronaut
Stuck on a planet even time forgot, and
You’re a version of yourself, but you’re not the same
You try to keep the wound camouflaged, and
The stitches heal, but the years are lost, and
Another bottle on the shelf can’t numb the painWhy’re you running from yourself now?
You can’t run awayCause your scars shine like dark stars
Yeah, your wounds are where the light shines through
So let’s go there, to that place where
We sing these broken prayers where the light shines through–
The wound is where the light shines through
Yeah, the wound is where the light shines through

Ain’t we all just Abraham’s son?
Saint and sinner with the song and drum, and
We’re fallen on our knees, we all bleed the same
And the only tattoos I have are scars
I got your name written on my heart
And the story that brought us here ain’t the thing that changed, no

I wanna see that light shining
Brighter than the pain

Cause your scars shine like a dark star
Yeah, your wounds are where the light shines through
So let’s go there, to that place where
We sing these broken prayers where the light shines through
The wound is where the light shines through

Mama, ain’t the blood just proof I’m human?
Mama, ain’t the wound just retribution?
Well Mama, ain’t the scar like a vision of grace?

The wound is where the light shines through
The wound is where the light finds you
The wound is where the light shines through
The wound is where the light finds you
Your scars shine like dark stars
Yeah, the wound is where the light shines through
It’s where the light shines through
Yeah, yeah, it’s where the light shines through
Yeah, the only time to our heart, oh oh
It’s where the light shines through
Where the light shines, where the light shines through
Where the light shines though
It’s where the light shines through

Song 5–“Saltwater Heart”

This song has a lot of assonance and alliteration. Pay attention to the repetition of sounds and rhymes. There is also symbolism too–saltwater. What does saltwater symbolize. what is the theme of the song?

“Saltwater Heart”

Talking with myself in a land-locked parking lot
cough drop dripping from my mouth like a long shot
My writer’s blocking oh oh oh
Sick of all the small talk, dripping non-stop
from the open-mouth graves of the faux hawk cinder block malls
my blood clot pen oh oh ohOh maybe I could break clean
Yea, maybe I could break cleanWe’re on your shore again
I can feel the ocean
I can feel your open arms
That pure emotion
I’m finally free again
By my own explosion
We’re on your shore again
I can feel the oceanSaltwater running through my veins like a blind spot
Like I got caught, saltwater like a teardrop
With a saltwater heart oh oh oh
Now it’s an abstract thought but I’ve been thinking non-stop
’bout the fact that my body’s made most out of raindrops
With a saltwater heart oh oh oh

Oh maybe I could wash clean
Yea maybe I could believe

We’re on your shore again
I can feel the ocean
I can feel your open arms
That pure emotion
I’m finally free again
By my own explosion
We’re on your shore again
I can feel the ocean

Maybe I could wash clean
Yea maybe I could wash clean
all my land-locked dreams
And maybe I could believe

We’re on your shore again
I can feel the ocean
I can feel your open arms
That pure emotion
I’m finally free again
Like my own explosion
We’re on your shore again
I can feel the ocean

I can feel the ocean

 

Song 6–“Faust, Midas, and Myself”

This song relies on literary allusion to Faust–a man who sells his soul to the devil, and Midas–a man who everything he touched would turn to gold. Both men, let their sinful greed and lust lead them to their destruction. The song also has the disturbing repetition of “you have one life” –this could have multiple meanings–what is the final point of this line?

“Faust, Midas, And Myself”

This one’s about a dream
I had last night
How an old man tracked me home
And stepped inside
He put his foot inside the door
And gave a crooked smile
Something in his eyes
Something in his laugh
Something in his voice
That made my skin crawl offHe said, “I’ve seen you here before
I know your name.
You could have your pick
Of pretty things.
You could have it all
Everything at once.
Everything you’ve seen,
Everything you’ll need,
Everything you’ve ever had in fantasies.””You’ve one life,
You’ve one life.
You’ve one life left to lead.”I woke up from my dream
As a golden man
With a girl I’ve never seen
With golden skin
I jumped up to my feet
She asked me what was wrong
I began to scream
I don’t think this is me
Is this just a dream
Or really happening?

What direction?
What direction?
I’m splitting up!
I’m splitting up!
This is my personal disaffection

What direction? What direction?
What direction now?

I looked outside the glass
At golden shores
Golden ships and masts
With golden cords
As my reflection passed
I hated what I saw
My golden eyes were dead
And a thought passed through my head
A heart that is made of gold can’t really beat at all

I wanted to wake up again
Without a touch of gold

What direction?
Death or action!
Life begins at the intersection.

I woke up as before
But the gold was gone
My wife was at the door
With her night robe on
My heart beat once or twice
And life flooded my veins
Everything had changed
My lungs had found their voice
And what was once routine
And what was once routine was now the perfect joy

You’ve one life
You’ve one life
One life left to lead

Image result for jon foreman

Week 21-22– Twenty-One Pilots

 

 

 

 

 

 

Poetry of Music Projects are Cancelled

 

6 thoughts on “The Poetry of Music Project

  1. Brandi you should definitely think about having us do Mansion by NF. He is my modern day poet, although his songs aren’t very poetic-y lol.

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