ENG 107 SONG ANALYSIS EXTRA CREDIT (15 POINTS POSSIBLE)
DUE WEDNESDAY, JUNE 15, 2016
CHOOSE 1 SONG ~ SONG Analysis-analyze the lyrics. Read between the lines and explain the meaning and message(s) behind the words. (4 pages [or more]) TYPED, Double Spaced, 12 font size, 1 inch margins, stapled – Print on one side of the page. ATTACH (staple) A COPY OF THE SONG LYRICS TO YOUR TYPED ANALYSIS
TITLE: Give your song analysis a unique Title that in some way reflects the message of the song.
- Give your analysis a title. THE TITLE OF YOUR ANALYSIS SHOULD NOT BE THE TITLE OF THE SONG. THE TITLE YOU CREATE SHOULD REFLECT THE THEME(S)/MESSAGE IF THE SONG IN SOME WAY
- Begin with an attention-grabbing opening.
- Give background information about the artist/band, song, stating the song title, artist/group history, previous recordings, interesting facts, awards, etc.
- How does the title relate to the song? Explain.
- How might the artist’s life have contributed to the lyrics and song title choices?
- CENTRAL IDEA: State the theme(s) and message(s) of the song, which will be the Central Idea. (i.e. Is the theme(s) senseless violence, poverty, regret, effects of war, identity/self-esteem, the power of words/unity, etc. ~ Message(s): What viewpoint about life does the artist want listeners to take away from the song?)
[PARTIAL EXAMPLE] In order to give a taste of what Dave Mathews presents to the world through his song lyrics and to give the full spectrum of his talents I will analyze his song “Pig” from the album titled “Before these Crowded Streets”. [CENTRAL IDEA/THESIS STATEMENT] The themes of this song are misplaced values, waste, and appreciation. The message of this song tells listeners that we are wasting time amassing things when we live in a world that is full of amazing people and beautiful sights. We should appreciate it and as the famous saying goes, we should stop and smell the roses.
- Analyze the song. Explain what specific lyrics mean? How do the lyrics support the theme(s)/message(s) of the song?
- This is an analysis, not a summary. The goal is to analyze (explain) the significance of the lyrics. Read between the lines.
- Include an analysis of several verses (lyrics) and the chorus.
- Include explanations of the songs message(s).
- NOTE: USE ITALICS AND QUOTATION MARKS FOR SONG LYRICS
The song title “Pig” is attention grabbing. The question raised seems to be, what comes to mind when one thinks of a pig? I think of an animal that wallows in the mud. A comparison can be made to people who waste time or people who consume things like a hoarder, who amass so much that he or she cannot function in their own home. What is taking up space in our lives? What are we “Greedy little pigs” for? In addition, the title of the album “Before these Crowded Streets” created the image of people walking and not paying attention to their surroundings.
We should not “burn the day away” as the song states. This idea is expressed when Mathews says, “How we move our lives for another day?” The question mark implies that he is asking in fact “how have I spent the day?” Being caught up in routine can make us numb to what is going on around us and we can become unaware of new things and changes. He is calling on us to raise or conscious level and remain present in our lives and not check out, by checkout I am referring to not engaging/communicating with others and not being an active participant in life, due to pressures and hardships.
- Restate your Central Idea. The Central Idea is the theme(s) of the song and the song’s message(s).
- Why did you choose this song? What makes this song standout?
- Can you relate to the song’s message? Explain the song’s affect/effect on you.
HOW TO INCLUDE LYRICS IN THE ANLAYSIS
1) If you quote one line of the song in your text enclose the line with quotation marks and use italics.
The song “Pig” by Dave Mathews’ band raises many thought provoking questions. What happens if our “now” changes is an important question Mathews’ raises in the line “What if a great wave should wash us all away?” If a sudden catastrophe happens, what would we remember in our last moments?
2) If you quote two lines of the song in your text, separate the lines with a slash mark (/)
and enclose them with quotation marks.
“Facing all kinda time/But smile like I’m fine,” T.I. delivers on “No Matter What” These lyrics possibly reveal insight into his life when one considers the Atlanta rapper recorded his sixth album while under house arrest.
3) When referring to lines from the song, if you quote three or more lines of the song, begin the quoted material after a colon and write the words to the song in poetry (stanza) form.
EXAMPLE: Mathews uses the power of words to send a message to the masses. In today’s world of money and power people tend to lose sight of the things that are important. People forget that there are more important things in life than a big bank account and a new car. He begins with expressing the importance of today, “now”, meaning this current moment. What happens if our “now” changes is an important question he raises in the line “What if a great wave should wash us all away?” If a sudden catastrophe happens, what would we remember in our last moments? He states:
Oh, isn’t it strange
How we move our lives for another day?
Like skipping a beat
What if a great wave should wash us all away?
Just thinking out loud
Don’t mean to dwell on this dying thing
But look at my blood