Monday, April 9, 2012

The Poetry of Song: Reflections of Popular Culture in Music



"As the music is, so are the people of the country."

        Turkish Proverb


Type your response to the following prompt as a Word document and be sure to proofread and edit before you paste and post. Check either Billboard or Rolling Stone for the current list of America's top 50 songs. Choose at least 3 songs; avoid any songs you are very familiar with. Listen/study the lyrics to the selected songs.

Consider the subject matter, content and point of view of today's top songs and identify lines which contain poetic merit. What do these songs, as a whole, say about our modern American culture? In particular, what do these songs say about your generation as the greatest consumers of music media? How are gender roles represented in popular music? How is success measured?

21 comments:

jessdowdy said...

Call Me Maybe? – Carly Rae Jepsin
As a whole this song says that American culture today is much different than it used to be. The song “Call Me Maybe” displays an example of the way people have changed throughout time because they do not take things as slow as they used too. Today, most things such as relationships are rushed into too fast rather than taking your time. Carly says “Hey, I just met you and this is crazy but here’s my number, so call me maybe?” showing that she did not plan on taking her time with the boy she had just met. Our generation is becoming more fast which is shown throughout the song by the use of lyrics such as “I took no time with the fall”. The way other people perceive the songs is not always a good one and can give the singer a bad reputation because of their lyrics. The line “You took your time with the call I took no time with the fall” is an example of point of view because it is the way Carly is seeing the things that are going on. Gender roles are represented badly in music today because it usually shows the men being represented more powerful than women and giving women a bad reputation.

Somebody That I Used to Know-
Modern day culture today is less strict than it used to be. The way people act now a day is much different than they used to and most relationships do not have the same meaning that they did years ago. Our generation today advertises people as if they do not have much of a meaning to others. “Now you’re just somebody that I used to know” is the point of view of the singer meaning that you can go from being so close to complete strangers which is not something that used to happen. As the greatest consumers of music media, our generation does not put many good messages through music causing our lifestyles to drastically change. Gender roles throughout our music vary because certain songs have a different point of view than others. In this song the point of view is that of a males talking about a female that he “used to know”. He makes females sound bad throughout this song because he says things such as “You didn’t have to stoop so low” and “you didn’t have to cut me off” making it sound like it was completely the woman’s fault.


Stronger – Kelly Clarkson
Our culture today has severely changed from what it used to be. Many of today’s songs do not give a good message to the listeners but there are still a few that do such as the song “Stronger” by Kelly Clarkson. This song plays a role in gender because it is being positive towards women and saying that we are stronger and do not need anyone to live a happy life. Point of view is used when Kelly says “Doesn’t mean I’m lonely when I’m alone” and “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” because it uses two different points to contrast the song with reality.

As a whole of all three songs these modern days songs say that our culture is not always positive and our music does not give out a good message most of the songs. We enjoy music that has a point of view that we can relate to regardless of the negativity or hidden meanings behind the song. Gender plays a role in this because males and females often have different tastes for certain tones and beats of the songs. These songs also say that our generation experiences many things at a younger age than how it was in past generations.

Anonymous said...

Emily B.
“It Will Rain” by Bruno Mars is about the speaker asking someone who he is close to never leave him. It is written in the first person point of view so we can assume that the singer is the speaker in the song. “Just like the clouds/ my eyes will do the same” is an example of a simile. The song “Good Girl” by Carrie Underwood is also written in the first person point of view but it is directed towards another person. Throughout the song the speaker is highlighting all things that a girl wants to happen but she warns her to be careful because the boy she is with is not the person she thought he was. Similes are used throughout the song; “his lips are dripping honey/ but he’ll sting you like a bee.” Symbolism is also prominent throughout the song such as when the speaker mentions that the girl has a “heart of gold.” “A Thousand Years” by Christina Perri is about someone professing their love to another and telling them not to worry because everything will be alright. This song too is written in the first person point of view and it can be assumed that the singer is the speaker. “I have died everyday” and “I have loved you/ for a thousand years” are both two examples of symbolic hyperboles present throughout the song.
All of these songs contain the speaker asking or talking to another person, and many of them are about love in some aspect. All three of these songs are very mellow in tune and in pace attributing them with a melancholy tone, however the lyrics suggest otherwise. These songs divulge one major aspect of American culture in particular, the idea of love and true love. These songs are all almost fantasy like in that each of the speakers directly acknowledges or understands the idea of having one true love in this life. Although it may or may not be true, the idea of this one true love gives something for Americans to dream of, and hope for. Whether it is true or just a silly fantasy our generation seems to really buy into these songs and enjoy listening to them. I think, at the age we are now, the idea of finding that one person is appealing to us. The music industry knows and understands that relationships and “love” are a big aspect of our everyday lives so by writing songs that we can relate to they are able to sell songs we will buy.
All three of the songs, and many others, are written in the first person point of view. Assuming that the singer is the speaker, and not taking on the persona of another, many of the songs are very gender oriented. Female singers, more often than not, are represented as females in their songs and the same can be said for males. There is hardly ever any switching of the genders where the female takes on the role of a male singer and vice versa. I think by doing so the songs, in a sense, become very gender specific. A girl will tend to listen to songs by female artists and a boy by male artists because they are more relatable in context and dialogue. Gender plays a major role in the contextual essence of the song, but success is measured in a completely different way. Success is based on how often the radio plays it and how music industries rate the song. The ratings of the song and the popularity on the radio are in direct correlation with one another. Popularity is also based on media, who is seen in the magazines, who is on television, who is in the movies, who recently toured on concert. Success is measured on charts, through the radio, and through media.

Emily Anderson said...

Emily Anderson
The song “Drive By” by Train is a story about a man who really misses his ex girlfriend. The song is told from the sad ex boyfriend’s point of view. He is talking to his ex about missing her and wanting to get back together with her. Throughout the song, there is a lot of rhyming and there are a lot of deeper meanings hidden in the lyrics. The words chosen help to convey the love that the speaker has for a loved one. Even of this is true, there is not a whole lot of poetic merit in the song. What this song says about our modern culture is that people are infatuated with people’s love lives. Many songwriters write songs about love and heartbreak and people love those songs. This song in particular is about what happens after a breakup. A lot of people can relate to these topics and that is what makes them popular. In popular music, gender does not really matter. In “Drive By,” the focus is on the man but the reason for the whole story is the woman. Love is a very popular genre for music in this generation.
The song “Fly over States” by Jason Aldean is about being at home and loving where you came from. The point of view is of a person who wishes that more people could understand the states that they know well. They say that people would never want to live there until they actual do and experience it themselves. Other than the informative tone in the song and the couple of similes, there is not too much poetic merit to be given to the song. What the song says about modern culture is that people usually do not like the country and the barren states in the country. People are too focused on cities in places like New York and California to see the real beauty of some other states. People would rather hear about things that happen in Hollywood than they would in plains and farms. The song says that this generation does not care enough about farming and the country. More people like the city more than the plains and valleys. In this song they talk more about men than women. They mention cowboys and men who work on farms and in fields. The song criticizes the success that people get from being in a city and likes the credit that hardworking farmers get for doing their jobs. The point of “Fly Over States” is to inform people on the beauty and the importance of the lesser-known stats.
The song “Glad You Came” by The Wanted shows the love that someone has for someone else. It is presented form the point of view of someone who wants to show a person how much they want to be with them. There are many metaphors throughout the song as well as examples of hyperbole and lines that mean something other than what is just seen on the surface. What this song says about this generation as the greatest consumers of music media is that people care a lot about love and partying. The song mentions when “the sun goes down” and “the stars come out,” referencing that it is nighttime, when people like to party. They also talk about dinking which goes hand in hand with partying. In the song, the man starts to have a much better time when the woman comes and he says, “My universe will never be the same.” The success is measured in the song by how much fun one is having. The characters are happy and are having fun together. “Glad You Came” shows the way that this generation is happy if they are at a party with a loved one.

Meghan B said...

Meghan Burgess

The song “Good Girl,” by Carrie Underwood, is about trying to get out of a bad relationship when one has the chance. This song contains many metaphors, like when she is telling her that his is no good so she should “lock up all [her] love and/ go and throw away the key.” When she says this, she when is saying that he is not worth all the trouble, so she should not let him have her love. The song “Somebody That I Used to Know,” by Gotye, is about a harsh breakup, and how the person felt when they left. Simile is used throughout the song, like when they are talking about how “[they] treat [them] like a stranger.” In this, they mean that the person who broke up with them is treating them like they are just passing by on the street, rather than being in love. The song “Over You,” by Miranda Lambert, is about trying to get over a hard breakup. In this song, there are many hyperboles, like when she is thinking about their relationship and decides that she’s “not going to ever get over [him].” Although she says that she will never get over him, she only means that she will be sad for some more time, but she will eventually be getting over him since she can’t stay depressed forever.
In the music that everyone listens to, America can be defined just by the content. These three songs are all about bad relationships. It seems as though people like songs the most when they are about heartbreak and sadness, which seems immoral, since the songwriters may have written these songs in order to express their feelings when they are upset. The music that is appreciated most heavily in this generation is about that sadness and misfortunes of others in life. This shows that the people of this generation are mostly affected by the unhappiness in life, and the feelings that singers and songwriters generate towards these feelings of depression. In the majority of these songs, it is the man who has wronged the woman. They are portrayed as lying, selfish people who don’t care about the feelings of others as long as they are happy. Contradicting that, women are portrayed as innocent people who can be hurt easily by the ignorant men. Success is measured on many different ways in this culture. It’s all based upon who is in the media, who is on the radio, and who is top on the charts.

inken o said...

1.
The statement "As the music is, so are the people of the country." Just says that the music shows the world who we truly are. Oftentimes that’s why counties are judged wrong. If Justin Bieber embodies the entire nation of America, that might be exciting for a bunch of 13-year old girls, but most of the world’s population will think that America became hopeless. Back in the days of “good music”, that was different. There, it was America, the place where talented musicians are born. All this singing about freedom, so everyone thinks America is the place where you can live the freedom you ever dreamed of, and where everything is possible. At the moment the music’s nivau seemed to sink. Music can rise a countries reputation or let it fall.

2.

fun-we are young
The story of the song is told by a guy and it starts at a club whith his love sitting at the bar, when he sings “My seats been taken by some sunglasseses“. Probably the couple goes trough a rough time at that point. He describes how he hurts and what he feels. I believe that she is hurting as well, but already got taken care of by a stranger “asking ‘bout a scar”, that might be the scar on her heart, left by the guy.
As almost every single song you hear on the radio, this is about love. It shows that the current music generation relates to emotions very much and kind of tells the world a lot about how it looks inside them.

Glad you came-the wanted
'My universe will never be the same/ I'm glad you came,', the song starts out in a soft singsang that almost everyone likes. But it gets boring very soon, when it changes to be the same like every other song. They sing about how happy the guy/girl is to have found his/her partner and how fulfilled they are. The lyrics are beautiful and honest, only the instrumental part of the song is disappointing.
That is what modern music is: all the same. Where are the real voices? Everybody can “sing”, because it doesn’t matter if it sounds like and old truck. Electronic takes care of that, and it’s unfair towards the real talented artists. It is hard to find a really good song on the radio, to fall in love with it. It might be stuck in people’s head for while, but soon it will be forgotten and replaced by another song.

Set fire to the rain- Adele
like every other song, this song is about love. The speaker has a broken heart and finds wonderful words to talk about it. She explains how she broke up and how a new relationship helped her to put everything back together. Throughout the song she describes the second partner and finally leaves him. The very deep metaphor of setting fire to rain, supports the meaning behind the lines, that she does things that seem emotionally impossible. The end says that she still wants the man she just left. The amazing thing: It’s her voice. She sings with a lot of emotion. How great would it be if all modern music was as “honest” as these real voices?

Tyler R said...

We Are Young
FUN, featuring/ Janelle Monae
This is a typical 21st century pop song; it is all about appealing to everyone. Unfortunately, this is done by recycling the same old ideas every single time. In this instance, it is the common concept of taking advantage of your younger years, and to just have fun and live life to the fullest. These lyrics hardly require any deep understanding of some philosophical ideal; it is extremely straightforward lyrically and musically. The average music listener does not want to think very much about the song, they just want to listen to the music (if you can even call it that).

What Makes You Beautiful
One Direction
Yes, unfortunately boy bands are making a comeback, and they have not changed at all since N sync or the Backstreet Boys. It is still nothing more than good looks and songs about love and girls in general. This song is no exception to this; the entire song is about reaching out to a girl who looks down upon herself, and the speaker attempting to get across the fact that she is beautiful. This is a very cliché concept, but the minds of an adolescent teenager are fixated on looks more than talent. So, in general, most everyday music listeners could care less what they sound like, so long as their visually appealing. Besides, who needs to have talent these days when we have studious that can make anyone the next big thing?

Set Fire to the Rain
Adele
Once in a while, there is actually an artist, in the modern day pop world, with actual talent. It is not my style of music, but one cannot deny that she does have talent, especially when compared to other artist on this chart. It seems like your everyday heartbreak song, but it is done using more poetic merit than most songs talking about this use. The title alone has more depth and creativity than most pop artist’s entire albums. An artist like this serves as a glimmer of hope that true talent is not being overlooked.

For the most part, pop songs these days reference all aspects of our culture. Such as, fun, extravagant desires, love, sex etc. Pop songs are meant to appeal to the masses, and as result, most artistic merit is lost in an attempt to do so. We as Americans, at least with music, seem to have a very poor sense of culture, and shrouded opinions of what makes someone talented.

Tyler R said...

We Are Young
FUN, featuring/ Janelle Monae
This is a typical 21st century pop song; it is all about appealing to everyone. Unfortunately, this is done by recycling the same old ideas every single time. In this instance, it is the common concept of taking advantage of your younger years, and to just have fun and live life to the fullest. These lyrics hardly require any deep understanding of some philosophical ideal; it is extremely straightforward lyrically and musically. The average music listener does not want to think very much about the song, they just want to listen to the music (if you can even call it that).

What Makes You Beautiful
One Direction
Yes, unfortunately boy bands are making a comeback, and they have not changed at all since N sync or the Backstreet Boys. It is still nothing more than good looks and songs about love and girls in general. This song is no exception to this; the entire song is about reaching out to a girl who looks down upon herself, and the speaker attempting to get across the fact that she is beautiful. This is a very cliché concept, but the minds of an adolescent teenager are fixated on looks more than talent. So, in general, most everyday music listeners could care less what they sound like, so long as their visually appealing. Besides, who needs to have talent these days when we have studious that can make anyone the next big thing?

Set Fire to the Rain
Adele
Once in a while, there is actually an artist, in the modern day pop world, with actual talent. It is not my style of music, but one cannot deny that she does have talent, especially when compared to other artist on this chart. It seems like your everyday heartbreak song, but it is done using more poetic merit than most songs talking about this use. The title alone has more depth and creativity than most pop artist’s entire albums. An artist like this serves as a glimmer of hope that true talent is not being overlooked.

For the most part, pop songs these days reference all aspects of our culture. Such as, fun, extravagant desires, love, sex etc. Pop songs are meant to appeal to the masses, and as result, most artistic merit is lost in an attempt to do so. We as Americans, at least with music, seem to have a very poor sense of culture, and shrouded opinions of what makes someone talented.

acm2012 said...

Song #1: Karmin- Broken Hearted
This song has spent four weeks on the Billboard charts and is currently number 33. I am not that familiar with this song or artist, but it was a good song to listen to. Lines such as “Five minutes, ten minutes, now it's been an hour,” uses hyperbole because time obviously cannot go by that fast. This song can say many things about American modern culture such as, relationships are formed quickly between people and they usually end up being heartbroken because the relationship or meeting ended so quickly. More specifically about our generation, this song can show how fast people our age meet someone and then immediately begin to like them. Popular music, such as this song, has a woman singer talking about not wanting a guy to leave her broken hearted after one night.

Song #2: Drunk on You-Luke Bryan
This song has spent 5 weeks on the chart and is currently number 39. I am somewhat familiar with this artist, but not so much this song. Imagery is present in most lines, such as “The cotton wood fallin’ like snow in July” and has hints of summertime in it. This song says that people enjoy summer the most and that there is so much going on during the seasons. Our generation gets more out of summertime because of our age and we have a lot more to explore. The gender role in this song is a guy talking about being in love with a girl and the success is measured by how many people listen to the song.

Song #3 What Makes You Beautiful -One Direction
This song has spent 11 weeks on the chart and is currently number 9. I have heard of this artist and song, but I have only listened to it a couple of times. Repetition occurs a lot in this song such as “You don’t know you’re beautiful!” This song can say that there is still some chivalry out there in songs by men, and not just harsh lyrics. Our generation is more pulled to this song because it helps express some feelings. Men are more responsible in this song because they are the ones talking about the woman. The success is measured by how many people are drawn to it and who listens to it as well.

Anna S said...

The number 2 song on Billboard Top 100 music list is “Boyfriend” by Justin Bieber. In this song, he sings a lot about how he could treat a girl very well if he was her boyfriend. Justin says “If I was your boyfriend, I’d never let you go,” instead of just singing about drugs or alcohol, which is the center of most popular songs these days. Pop singers usually have done very well and he is young and is doing very well. The melody of the song is also very different to other songs he has done, so people are more attracted to it. Justin is very successful in his career, and his new song has reached out to more than just his usual fans. The song has gotten a lot more people to like him, because of how different it is. I think the fact that Justin’s song is number 2 shows that our generation likes pop music that is different.

The number 4 and 9 songs on Billboard Top 100 music lists are both done by boy bands from the UK. Number 4 is “Glad You Came” by The Wanted and number 9 is “What Makes You Beautiful” by One Direction. Both songs are mainly about being around other people and having a good time. Both bands sing about girls, but the songs are liked by many people. One Direction says “Baby you light up my world like nobody else” showing that the girl that they met or that they know changes their lives. Similarly, The Wanted’s song says “My universe will never be the same I'm glad you came” letting the listener know that who they are talking to has made a big difference in their lives. One Direction and The Wanted are also both made up of 5 boys, and they are pop boy bands. In this generation, there aren’t many boy bands. People are glad to see boy bands like NSYNC and The Backstreet Boys coming back. “Glad You Came” is one of The Wanted’s only popular songs, but a lot of people like it. One Direction, on the other hand, has had three singles out in the US and they are very popular here. Also, both bands’ songs are quite repetitive, so people can learn the lyrics, which makes them like the song better. Both songs’ melodies are upbeat and danceable. That seems like the kind of music most people in this generation are attracted to.

The number 3 song on the Billboard Top 100 is “Somebody That I Used To Know” by Gate featuring Kimbra. The song is about someone going through a breakup and becoming enemies. The lyrics “Make out like it never happened and that we were nothing” shows how people can act like they never knew each other after a relationship. Gotye also says “But you treat me like a stranger and I feel so rough” which helps portray that sometimes breakups are only one way. One person could be fine and the other could be completely heartbroken. This song is very eccentric and soulful in the melody, so a lot of people like it. This is pretty much the only song that is popular by Gotye at the time, and he is very successful because of it.

Bri Hayes said...

1. Wild Ones by Flo Rida (feat. Sia)
This song is simply talking about the joy of partying and having fun and being known as the “life of the party”. The song itself, along with its popularity, shows what the majority of listeners are interested in, which seems to be shallow, fun-filled lyrics and a beat that anyone can nod their head to. I really hope that this song doesn’t dictate what the perspective of my generation is, because this song means nothing, no matter how entertaining people might think it is. Gender roles within music are brought out through this in a few different ways. For one, Sia, who is a female vocalist, provides the “hook” in the song, which is often done by a female in songs of this genre. Also, women tend to be sought after as sex object in songs, and this song is no exception. Phrases like “I’m on the prowl” and “If I took you now/It’d be a home run” are perfect examples of it.
2. Safe and Sound by Taylor Swift (feat. The Civil Wars)
“Safe and Sound” is an example of the human need for company, and the instinctual fear of being alone. It talks of the struggles that people go through, and how they are afraid of the outcome following whatever struggle. Phrases like “all those shadows almost killed your light” and “no one can hurt you know” express to the person of interest that the speaker cares about them, and that said fear of being alone is ultimately foolish. This song can show that this generation strives to acquire some sort of companionship, just like any other generation, only theirs is continuously being expressed through pop songs. This song in particular doesn’t reference any gender roles, for it is consistently nonspecific in that context.
3. Somebody That I Used to Know by Gotye (feat. Kimbra)
A catchy, yet modest beat paired with a creative video makes “Somebody That I Used to Know” a superior example of the classic break-up song. Many people who are my age and older could relate to Gotye’s words, because 99% (exaggeration) of the aforementioned population has experienced a relationship and its end. People go through a break-up of either a serious relationship or the forever famous three-month high school fling and they cannot help but think about how they “felt lonely in your company” or became “addicted to a certain kind of sadness” due to the termination of the relationship. With my generation specifically, this song shows that many relationships that people experience are pointless in the end, no matter how important the people involved may think differently. Gender roles are expressed through Kimbra and Wouter De Backer having a sort of confrontation within the song. She sings a verse that provides a counter argument to his complaints, and expresses the classic relationship dynamic.

Dan Fillingim said...

Dan Fillingim

The music tells a lot about how people are like now and it also influences them as well in many ways. Music can encourage you to do certain things or try things you have not done before. The way we act is affected by the music we listen to also. For example we may want to act like the composers of the music and do things that they sing about. In the song “Young, Wild and Free” by Wiz Khalifa there are things like that happening throughout the song. This song makes it sound like it is not bad to have a good time and party all night while your young. Wiz always says “So what” to all the things he does like drinking and not sleeping as if it is not a big deal. Him making it look like it is not a big deal is making people think the same way and want to be like that. He also says “That’s how it’s supposed to be” also making it seem like it’s a good Idea to do all of those things. He has a lot of authority when he says this because he is famous too, because if a regular person said this it would not be as effective.

The song “Drive By” by Train shows a lot about our generation and how they can be. It shows people can be unfaithful and just leave the people they love for not a good reason. It also shows how people cannot be trustworthy I a way. The whole song is about how this guy saying he will not leave this girl again because he loves everything about her. He in the beginning left her because he was “overwhelmed and scared as hell” and probably because she was such an attractive woman and he is a “shy guy”. Now she hates him and moved far away because she could not trust him because he was so unfaithful. He is now trying to explain how sorry he is because he could not help what he did, he was just scared. This shows how people can just ditch on someone just because they are simply scared in some way. Then in the end they look bad because they were not trustworthy and failed at being a good person.

The song “Sexy and I Know It” by LMFAO shows how cocky and self centered people can be now. Just the title shows they are cocky because they think they know they are good looking and sort of show off in a way. It says how they show off what they have at the beach by wearing a “Speedo” and everyone goes crazy chasing them when they see them. They also say when they go to the mall there are a lot of people chasing them and trying to get to them and “security can’t fight them off” and once again they are only thinking about themselves because they are famous and being showing off how people love them and chase them around when they are seen anywhere public. They say they still get service with “no shirts, and no shoes” which is another example of them showing off what they have and being self centered.

Cassie H. said...

Katy Perry’s song “Part of Me” establishes a first person point of view by way of incorporating “me” and “I” as the subject. Lines containing poetic merit, such as “you chewed me up and spit me out/like I was poison in your mouth” and “your love was cheap/always tearing at the seams”, are introduced in order to give the song meaning. The analogies also aim to make the emotion easier to understand or relate to by providing a comparison as well as imagery. The song reflects on the American culture’s tendency to belittle emotion. It also seems to shed light on toxic, or even abusive, relationships. The song ultimately displays this generations desire for independence, “that was then and this is now/ now look at me” and respect for strong females, “you’re not gonna break my soul”. In “Part of Me”, women are topically understood to be somewhat weak and submissive, and males the opposite; through song’s progression, however, it is shown that women are powerful in their ability to stand up for themselves and also in moving past bad experiences and becoming better for it.
“It Will Rain” by Bruno Mars is a love song about becoming a better man for fear of losing his love; “I”, “me” and “my” effectively create the first person point of view. Hyperbole in the song—“there’ll be no sunlight/if I lose you, baby/there’ll be no clear skies”—is utilized in order to emphasize the importance of the subject of the song, “you”. Figuratively referring to the failing relationship as “broken pieces”, comparison and imagery are initiated. The song overall, is indicative of modern America’s obsession with love through declaration of love, the potential loss of love, and the sacrifices made for love. Reflecting the generation of youths through subtle stereotypes, “I'll never be your mother's favorite ah/your daddy can't even look me in the eye/…saying there goes my little girl walking with that troublesome guy” creates a point of view which is easily applicable. Though slight, gender roles do play a part in the song; the male is seen as “troublesome” though willing, and the female, though not present, is depicted as stubborn and resistant to changing herself.
Drake’s “Take Care” discusses romance and emotional connection which is denied by the other person. The song is sung in first person point of view, creating a persona for the artist. “My only wish is I die real/cause that truth hurts, and those lies heal” offers slight personification as well as figurative language, which ultimately create atmosphere for the song. Similar to the other two songs, “Take Care” focuses on love and the pain it brings, something America is fascinated with. In the song, the woman is valued highly, even treasured, as the artist will “lie if [he has] to” in order to keep her happy.

LCerullo said...

Bully by Shinedown
The song as a whole speaks of the bullying epidemic in the American education system, where innocent kids are harassed and tortured by other students, all for a quick laugh. Shinedown preys upon the inequality of life: “so break my bones and throw your stones – we all know that life ain’t fair”, but the purpose behind the song is to get across the fact that bullying is preventable, that it’s a subject which if brought to attention could be quelled and extinguished once and for all. “We don’t have to take this, we can end it all” is Shinedown’s message verbatim. With my generation being composed of millions of music listeners, it’s great that Shinedown can communicate their message to those who need to hear it most of all whether it be to the victim or the abuser.

Satellite by Rise Against
This song is not as clear in its message as Bully but it speaks a message as powerful if not more of the over-regulated, constricted, and bounded society we live in. Rise Against is clearly speaking to the young, my generation, who are slowly but surely pushing into adulthood and replacing the generation before us. “We are the orphans of the American dream – So shine your light on me” strikes me as a stirring derogatory statement purely due to their diction, specifically the choice of the word “orphans”. Orphans are parentless, they are but children left alone to fend for themselves. Rise Against could have used “inheritors” to preach American pride, nationalism or support, but instead they chose “orphans” to communicate the idea that the American dream has become a hollow shell of its former self; that it will not be a gift to us, but a burden. The “satellite” serves as both a symbol and as a testament to the extended awareness of society via technology and social networking; the teenagers of our generation can see the world for what it is and “we won’t back down” to change what needs to be.

Emily C said...

Part One: EMily Christy
1. Safe and Sound, Taylor Swift feat. Civil Wars #47 on Billboards
The subject matter of the song is to describe how people don’t want to be alone. That no matter where you are you will be “safe and sound”, even though there is a “war outside our doors keep raging on”, there are wars and it is a frightening experience but you will be “safe and sound”. The content is very detailed in a way of a dreary mood; the music that follows isn’t cheerful but solemn. The point of view is in that of someone, trying to sooth someone that is afraid. The lines I consider poetic merit would be, “When all those shadows almost killed your light”, “Hold on to this lullaby/Even when the music's gone”.
2. Drive By, Train #15 on Billboards
The subject matter is about a “shy guy” who finds a girl that is perfect for him, but then he gets “scared as hell” and leaves her so leaves and he’s trying to find her to be together. The content is one that makes someone ambitious to go get what they want before it’s too late. The point of view is through the singer, or the guy who lost the girl and wants to get her back, “I swear to you I’ll be there for you”. The lines I think contain poetic merit are, “On the upside of a downward spiral”, “There's nothing up my sleeve but love for you/And a little time to get my head together too” and “And I loved you every mile you drove away”.
3. What Doesn’t Kill You (Stronger), Kelly Clarkson #5 on Billboards
The subject matter of the song is to explain to anyone that you don’t need someone in your life constantly and you can move on because “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”. No matter who or what they have done to you, you can still be a happy person who can “stand a little taller” because “Thanks to you I'm finally thinking about me”. The content matter of the song is to be upbeat because after someone has left you or you’ve left them, you don’t want to listen to depressing and sad music, but you want to listen to music that will give you the ability to go back out there and find someone who can be there for you and understand you better then the last person. The point of view is in the singer’s perspective, telling someone to become “stronger” because you can move on and be happy with the choice, and realize you are better off without that person. The lines I consider of poetic merit are, “Doesn't mean I'm lonely when I'm alone”, “You know in the end the day you left was just my beginning” and “You know the bed feels warmer/Sleeping here alone”.

Emily C said...

Part Two: EMily CHristy
4. Good Girl, Carrie Underwood #31 on Billboards
The subject matter of the song is about how a boy is “no good” for the girl, and that they can do so much better without that boy. The content matter is basically shoving boys under the bus, so the girl can “open up her eyes” to see the true boy because hes no good for her anymore. The point of view is in the singer, or a friend for the person dating the boy because they see something that the other person doesn’t “why you gotta be so blind?”. The lines of poetic merit would be, “His lips are dripping honey/But he’ll sting you like a bee” and “So lock up all your love and/Go and throw away the key”.
5. Questions
It shows as a whole about our modern American culture that we listen to music that appearsto us either in movies or has a famous singer such as Taylor Swift, Train or Kelly Clarkson or Carrie Underwood singing it. These songs say that in particular we like music we can relate to and understand on a simple basis. With understanding to their feelings on the song, it’s like a repeat button being able to hear someone sing about heartbreak, there a hundreds of those songs and we are able to pick any of them. The gender roles represented in popular music pertain to how old we are, many teenage girls and young adult girls enjoy Taylor Swift, because of the age and being a girl, we can relate to her, while many teenagers also listen to certain artists/bands who have “cute boys” because it’s all about image and if they are appealing to certain people. Or how they appear in a view of how they act, what they write about etc, gives anyone the age and gender roles. Success is measured by how popular you are and if people listen to your music and if they understand the message to your song, again it’s all about “image”.

Brittany G. said...

Our society has become absorbed in the concept of partnership. The odds of sticking with one person throughout your entire life is slim now. Using barely any rhyme, The Wanted displays how much our culture likes to party and pick up girls, singing to her “Hand you another drink, drink it if you can. Can you spend a little time, time is slipping away, away wit us so stay.” In her song “Call Me Maybe,”Carley Rae Jepsen speaks to a man she has never met. They quickly hit it off and with the use of suggestive verses she says to him “I just met you and this is crazy but here’s my number. So call me, maybe.” This shows how quickly people can fall for one another, and guessing by the popularity of both these songs, it happens a lot. The last song, “Somebody That I Used to Know” by Goty (feat. Kimbra) uses a hurt tone to portray how relationships can end badly. It seems as though that their relationship was empty, “Told myself that you were right for me, but felt so lonely in your company. But that was love and it's an ache I still remember.” This shows how often some people just don’t mix. They think they’re good together, but it just could never work out. Now the girl has cut him out of her life, changing her number. He’s furious, saying that she didn’t have to “make it out like it never happened.” Together, these songs just deal with the common “fling” that anyone in America can experience.

Amanda Paulhus said...

Amanda Paulhus
4/10/12
G period POS
Mr.Kefor

The subject matter, content and point of view in today’s top songs differ extremely from those of past artists and generations.
The songs included in the current top 100 employ many aspects of American culture today. The music itself and the genre explain a lot about the people who listen to it in this generation. Today, most of the music on the top 50 or 100 is pop, or rap. Of course not all of the music on the top 100 is pop or rap but a vast majority of it is. Most of the music selection talks about life now and how the speaker either has made theirs better or worse. In many cases there are pieces about how someone or something has greatly affected the speaker’s life. Songs such as “boyfriend” by Justin Bieber and “Rack City” by Tyga are high up on the billboard but contain little to none poetic merit. Some devices are used weakly such as imagery and rhyme scheme in “Swag swag swag, on you \Chillin’ by the fire why we eatin’ fondue \I dunno about me but I know about you\ So say hello to falsetto in three two” and hyperbole or exaggeration used in “ If I was your boyfriend, never let you go “Keep you on my arm girl you’d never be alone\I can be a gentleman, anything you want\If I was your boyfriend, I’d never let you go, never let you go”. Though poetic merit is lacking in most popular songs there are still aspects of it. The lack of merit employs laziness in today’s culture as well as incompetence. This makes the people seem less smart because they aren’t approaching their full potential of merit in song but rather trying to make them catchier.
Gender roles are presented steadily throughout today’s music. Though both men and women artists portray a strong appearance and manner in their work, some show sign of weakness, depending on the artist. Artists like Katy Perry and Christina Perri show weakness in some of their songs like most artists but surprisingly more than others, their melancholy songs are the ones that always seem to be at the top. Gender roles are portrayed in songs like Adele’s “set fire to the rain” and Snoop Dog’s “young wild and free”. In Adele’s “set fire to the rain” she employs gender roles in lines such as “I let it fall, my heart, \And as it fell you rose to claim it” and “It was dark and I was over\Until you kissed my lips and you saved me”. In these lines she is implying that the “you” she is speaking of is a man and that such a man has control over her and her life. In Perri’s song “arms” she refers to the same idea when she sings “ you put your arms around me and I believed that it’s easier for you to let me go” and “ you put your arms around me and I’m home”. The fact that gender roles are somewhat presented in today’s music shows the idea that gender roles take place in our everyday lives, which they don’t as much as what is implied.
Success is measured, in music, by how many people listen to it and whether or not it makes the top 100 or so. If a song never reaches the charts it is viewed as not as popular or successful. Most of the music proffered today lacks meaning unlike much music from an earlier generation. Much of the music today that has meaning doesn’t make the top 100 but is still popular with certain groups of people. People today, mostly, conform to a stereotype and, again mostly, listen to whatever is popular for the time being and follows the crowd when what’s “cool” changes. The music that is most popular in our culture today does not represent all of Americans just the majority. This generation does not compare to past ones, the thought behind its music is lost.

Tyler Derksen said...

Tyler Derksen
4/10/12
G Block
Pop Culture blog assignment

3 Songs: We are young, somebody that I used to know, Glad you came
Today’s generation portrayed by pop artist says that everyone likes to party or be rebellious in some sort of way. Sure our generation may be the one that listens to the most music and most of the top 50 songs either have something to do with partying or relationships issue’s but I feel that is not the correct definition of the whole generation of young adults and or adults, some, but not all.
The number one song talks about being young and wild again. If you look at the literal lyrics it looks like a bunch of drunken arsonist who are on drugs trying to set the world on fire. But the figurative meaning is basically taking just one night and having a wild and crazy time with your friends and the group FUN is basically saying that anyone not just adults are doing this. And by the lyrics “So let’s set the world on fire, we can burn brighter than the sun” is an allegory and basically saying let us show everyone how crazy we really can be.
The 3rd song (I skipped over number 2 for a personal reason), somebody that I used to know, is about relationships and break ups. This man was not madly in love with this women or women in love with a man it could be either or. And they end up breaking up because it just wasn’t working out. This happens a lot in today’s generations not a lot of high school sweet hearts today as there were before. “Well you said that we would still be friends, but I'll admit that I was glad it was over”. A little hurtful characterization on the singers’ behalf that shows that there was no real connection in the relationship and they must have been together for another reason which is another major flaw in today’s society. Maybe they meet up at a party and they thought they could take it somewhere who knows? But the point is the lover is now just someone that the singer does not care or want to care about anymore. Or someone they used to know.
The final song the 4th one is about one girl. Maybe the singer was at some sort of boring typical party that happens basically every weekend somewhere in the USA. Then all of the sudden this amazing women walks and brightens this man’s heart and he starts to say he is glad that she came or showed up cause this party/event was not that amusing to him. “My universe will never be the same, I’m glad you came”. This imagery shows that this women showing up obviously had some sort of emotional effect on the party goer/singer. This shows that usually when an attractive women shows up at a party men will try to make a move on her and woe her to go somewhere else. Which is sadly what our generation is branded with today.

Amanda Paulhus said...

Amanda Paulhus
4/10/12
G period POS
Mr.Kefor

The subject matter, content and point of view in today’s top songs differ extremely from those of past artists and generations.
The songs included in the current top 100 employ many aspects of American culture today. The music itself and the genre explain a lot about the people who listen to it in this generation. Today, most of the music on the top 50 or 100 is pop, or rap. Of course not all of the music on the top 100 is pop or rap but a vast majority of it is. Most of the music selection talks about life now and how the speaker either has made theirs better or worse. In many cases there are pieces about how someone or something has greatly affected the speaker’s life. Songs such as “boyfriend” by Justin Bieber and “Rack City” by Tyga are high up on the billboard but contain little to none poetic merit. Some devices are used weakly such as imagery and rhyme scheme in “Swag swag swag, on you \Chillin’ by the fire why we eatin’ fondue \I dunno about me but I know about you\ So say hello to falsetto in three two” and hyperbole or exaggeration used in “ If I was your boyfriend, never let you go “Keep you on my arm girl you’d never be alone\I can be a gentleman, anything you want\If I was your boyfriend, I’d never let you go, never let you go”. Though poetic merit is lacking in most popular songs there are still aspects of it. The lack of merit employs laziness in today’s culture as well as incompetence. This makes the people seem less smart because they aren’t approaching their full potential of merit in song but rather trying to make them catchier.
Gender roles are presented steadily throughout today’s music. Though both men and women artists portray a strong appearance and manner in their work, some show sign of weakness, depending on the artist. Artists like Katy Perry and Christina Perri show weakness in some of their songs like most artists but surprisingly more than others, their melancholy songs are the ones that always seem to be at the top. Gender roles are portrayed in songs like Adele’s “set fire to the rain” and Snoop Dog’s “young wild and free”. In Adele’s “set fire to the rain” she employs gender roles in lines such as “I let it fall, my heart, \And as it fell you rose to claim it” and “It was dark and I was over\Until you kissed my lips and you saved me”. In these lines she is implying that the “you” she is speaking of is a man and that such a man has control over her and her life. In Perri’s song “arms” she refers to the same idea when she sings “ you put your arms around me and I believed that it’s easier for you to let me go” and “ you put your arms around me and I’m home”. The fact that gender roles are somewhat presented in today’s music shows the idea that gender roles take place in our everyday lives, which they don’t as much as what is implied.
Success is measured, in music, by how many people listen to it and whether or not it makes the top 100 or so. If a song never reaches the charts it is viewed as not as popular or successful. Most of the music proffered today lacks meaning unlike much music from an earlier generation. Much of the music today that has meaning doesn’t make the top 100 but is still popular with certain groups of people. People today, mostly, conform to a stereotype and, again mostly, listen to whatever is popular for the time being and follows the crowd when what’s “cool” changes. The music that is most popular in our culture today does not represent all of Americans just the majority. This generation does not compare to past ones, the thought behind its music is lost.

Eric L's Blog said...

Eric Linfield
4/10/12
Class: G
The three songs I chose to listen to and analyze are “We Are Young” by Fun, “Starship” by Niki Minaj, and “Glad You Came” by The Wanted.
In my honest opinion, there are very few real lines of poetry in these three songs. The song that holds no poetic merit whatsoever is “Starship” which is in my opinion a colossal failure of lyrics. The song demonstrates what music has degenerated into for the current generation with lyrics such as “Bad bitches like me, is hard to come by” and “I’ma blow off my money and don’t give two shits.” There is literally no appeal to these lyrics and possibly no thought put into writing them either. The other two songs actually have poetic lines which is a rarity in most of today’s popular music. In the song “We Are Young”, there are lines such as “Tonight we are young, so let’s set the world on fire, we can burn brighter than the sun” and “And if you feel like falling down, I’ll carry you home tonight.” In “Glad You Came”, there are poetic lines such as “My universe will never be the same, I’m glad you came.” I may be acting very critical on songs such as these because songs require poetic elements in lyrics and these songs have little to none.
I find it very hard to enjoy a song that feels like that the artist put little to no effort into writing lyrics or if the lyrics are not poetic at all. I cannot enjoy a song that just says things like, “let’s party all night”, or “let’s get wasted and blow out our money.” Some of the modern songs have poetic lyrics while the rest typically have none. I believe the little effort put into a lot of American songs makes us appear very stupid, idiotic and lazy. These songs make it seem like we are all about partying and getting wasted here in America. Songs such as these are pumped out daily by the industry and they all make the charts while real talent is in the shadows with little success. These mass produced songs are just there to generate money for producers who do not care for music. It seems that music writing has just turn into a business where no thought and real meaning are put into lyrics any longer.
These songs say to the rest of the world that the current generation will buy into any music that music. I believe the songs that are bought by current consumers show that the generation has no real defined taste in music and that they will buy anything as long as it gives a beat they can dance to. The consumers will buy into music that has no poetic merit and very little talent in playing through instruments. It seems the music is mostly played by either a drummer, a soundboard or just a keyboard with prerecorded loops/tracks.
The gender roles in today’s music are pretty bad, even by standards and views of women by those in the 50’s. In the 50’s, women were expected to stay at home, cook, clean, and raise children all day with no hope of a career. In today’s perspective of women in music, they are nothing but the objects of attraction and abuse. Women are slandered in virtually every modern rap and hip-hop song by being called “bitches" among other slurs.
In today’s standards, success can only be measured by money. There are no standards of success that include actual talent and skill. Success is now only measured by the solo factor of amassing money.

22569 said...

Adele's "Set fire to the Rain" compares her firery relationship to shouting tears or the rain. The Metaphor tells a story of a struggle to make a relationship work.

Pink's "Raise Your Glass" title sounds like she's drinking away pain and suffering. But when you listen to the lyrics she's leading a protest and toast at the same time.

Apparently nowadays british females are in.