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Song Analysis “Speak Now” Taylor Swift

I am not the kind of girl
Who should be rudely barging in on a white veil occasion
But you are not the kind of boy
Who should be marrying the wrong girl

I sneak in and see your friends
And her snotty little family all dressed in pastel
And she is yelling at a bridesmaid
Somewhere back inside a room
Wearing a gown shaped like a pastry

This is surely not what you thought it would be
I lose myself in a daydream
Where I stand and say

Don’t say yes, run away now
I’ll meet you when you’re out of the church at the back door
Don’t wait, or say a single vow
You need to hear me out
And they said speak now

Fond gestures are exchanged
And the organ starts to play
A song that sounds like a death march
And I am hiding in the curtains
It seems I was uninvited by your lovely bride to be

She floats down the aisle like a pageant queen
But I know you wish it was me,
You wish it was me
Don’t you?

Don’t say yes, run away now
I’ll meet you when you’re out of the church at the back door
Don’t wait, or say a single vow
You need to hear me out
And they said speak now

Don’t say yes, run away now
I’ll meet you when you’re out of the church at the back door
Don’t wait, or say a single vow
Your time is running out
And they said speak now

I hear the preacher say speak now or forever hold your peace
There’s the silence, there’s my last chance
I stand up with shaky hands, all eyes on me
Horrified looks from everyone in the room
But I’m only looking at you

I’m not the kind of girl
Who should be rudely barging in on a white veil occasion
But you are not the kind of boy
Who should be marrying the wrong girl

So don’t say yes, run away now
I’ll meet you when you’re out of the church at the back door
Don’t wait, or say a single vow
You need to hear me out
And they said speak now

And you’ll say let’s run away now
I’ll meet you when I’m out of my tux at the ck door
Baby, I didn’t say my vows
So glad you were around
When they said speak now

[We’ve seen versions of this scene in umpteen movies – a young attractive couple is about to get married. The minister asks if there is anyone who objects to the wedding, he or she should “speak now or forever hold their peace.” Usually, the woman is about to marry the wrong guy and Mr. Right races to the chapel to stop her. Here Taylor Swift has reversed the roles – it’s the guy who is about to make a big mistake and she’s in civvies trying to stop him.

I love the phrase “white-veil occasion.” If you look carefully, you’ll see that the word “wedding” never appears in the song. But it doesn’t need to be. The WASP wedding ceremony is so ingrained in us that we can recognize it from just a few elements that are mentioned here. These elements include the white veil, the gown, the church, the minister, the organ, and the bridesmaid. Also the title “speak now” comes from the aforementioned line in the wedding service.

It’s funny to me that the speaker says that the groom-to-be is “not the kind of boy/ Who should be marrying the wrong girl.” As opposed to the kind of guy who SHOULD marry the wrong girl? Maybe she’s thinking of illegal immigrants who marry people they don’t love just to stay in the country. Or a guy who has a sham marriage to advance his career ala “Ned and Stacey.”

Swift shows off her sense of humor in these lyrics. In several ways, she mocks the intended bride. She says she wears a gown shaped like a pastry. She walks down the aisle like a pageant queen, with pride and pomp, not like a bashful, humble girl. She mocks the ceremony saying the music sounds like a death march. She even mocks herself, painting herself as a wallflower, hiding in the curtains.

Strategically, Swift paints the intended bride as a dragon lady. She’s arrogant, spoiled, and rude. I say this is strategic because she needs to vividly demonstrate that this is the wrong woman. Otherwise, she’s a horrible person for trying to bust the wedding.

Swift does an admirable job of weaving an intricate scene. The minister recites those famous words. Silence follows. Her hands tremble as she rises to speak. Friends and family of the bride and groom stare daggers at her. She keeps her focus like a laser sight on her beloved.

They run off together and he’s eternally grateful to her for preventing him from making a huge mistake. They live happily ever after.]

Read more: http://artists.letssingit.com/taylor-swift-lyrics-speak-now-sxvxnl8#ixzz1a06bnv7M
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Song Analysis “Black” Pearl Jam

Sheets of empty canvas, untouched sheets of clay
Were laid spread out before me as her body once did
All five horizons revolved around her soul
As the earth to the sun
Now the air I tasted and breathed has taken a turn
Ooh, and all I taught her was everything
Ooh, I know she gave me all that she wore
And now my bitter hands chafe beneath the clouds
Of what was everything?
Oh, the pictures have all been washed in black, tattooed everything…

I take a walk outside
I’m surrounded by some kids at play
I can feel their laughter, so why do I sear
Oh, and twisted thoughts that spin round my head
I’m spinning, oh, I’m spinning
How quick the sun can, drop away
And now my bitter hands cradle broken glass
Of what was everything
All the pictures have all been washed in black, tattooed everything…
All the love gone bad turned my world to black
Tattooed all I see, all that I am, all I’ll ever be…yeah…
I know someday you’ll have a beautiful life, I know you’ll be a star
In somebody else’s sky, but why
Why, why can’t it be, why can’t it be mine?

[This song is about an artist losing his beloved, his muse. The five horizons may refer to the five human senses. He falls into a deep depression. Black here symbolizes hopelessness and misery. Note that this symbolism of black is not universal as black can also symbolize honor, beauty, even rain. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black

Did you notice the repetition of the word sun? He refers to the way his life centers around her as being like the earth revolves around the sun where he is the earth and she is the sun. Later he sadly remarks that he sees “How quick the sun can drop away.”

In a similar vein, he ends the song lamenting that he knows she’ll be a star, but in somebody else’s sky. Many of us have had a special person in our lives that we let go only to see him or her becomes another man’s wife or another woman’s husband. It truly is one of the most heart-wrenching experiences of life. Still, it is better that the one we love should be happy with someone than to be miserable and alone.]

 

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Song Analysis “Good Life” OneRepublic

A description of the music of this song from wikipedia:

“The song has a repeated driving beat on the drums with the strumming of an acoustic guitar and a high-sung chorus. Ryan Tedder was quoted as saying about the song, “The real hook is the post hook — it’s what comes after it. We have this REALLY super simple whistle. I hadn’t heard a whistle in a song in forever and that’s all I kept hearing on the song so I just whistled this melody into the mic and it really is the hook — it’s the catchiest part of the song.””

Woke up in London yesterday
Found myself in the city near Piccadilly
Don’t really know how I got here
I got some pictures on my phone

New names and numbers that I don’t know
Address to places like Abbey Road
Day turns to night, night turns to whatever we want
We’re young enough to say

[Chorus]

Oh this has gotta be the good life
This has gotta be the good life
This could really be a good life, good life

Say oh, got this feeling that you can’t fight
Like this city is on fire tonight
This could really be a good life
A good, good life

[Verse 2]

To my friends in New York, I say hello
My friends in L.A. they don’t know
Where I’ve been for the past few years or so
Paris to China to Col-or-ado

Sometimes there’s airplanes I can’ t jump out
Sometimes there’s bull$#!^ that don’t work now
We’ve got our stories but please tell me-e-e-e
What there is to complain about

[Bridge 1]

When you’re happy like a fool
Let it take you over
When everything is out
You gotta take it in

[Bridge 2]

Hopelessly
I feel like there might be something that I’ll miss
Hopelessly
I feel like the window closes oh so quick
Hopelessly
I’m taking a mental picture of you now
‘Cuz hopelessly
The hope is we have so much to feel good about

What is the good life? Is it sitting on a beach drinking a fruity beverage? Or is heaven just doing a job that you love with the people you love?
It’s sort of a cliche for musicians to name cities in a song. When you do a world tour and your singing a line that says, “New York, L.A., London, Paris” the crowd goes nuts when you’re actually playing those cities.
He seems to connect a little more with some places that others. He has a fascination with London. He mentions Piccadilly, a central meeting place in London. Wiki says, ” It has been said that a person who stays long enough at Piccadilly Circus will eventually bump into everyone they know.” He also mentions Abbey Road, a place where The Beatles recorded music including the eponymous album.
He mentions Colorado, which doesn’t seem to fit the rhythm or context of the song until you realize that the band is from Colorado.
He asks rhetorically, “Tell me what there is to complain about.” I wonder what he’s doing here. Surely he must know that there are many serious things that are challenges for people. Your list of complaints is as good as mine.
The coda mentions acting hopelessly but leaves the audience with words of hope. It seems his attitude is that there’s no point in complaining, life is too short to complain, enjoy what you have whether it’s big or small.

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Song Analysis “If I Die Young” – The Band Perry

If I die young, bury me in satin
Lay me down on a, bed of roses
Sink me in the river, at dawn
Send me away with the words of a love song

Uh oh, uh oh

Lord make me a rainbow, I’ll shine down on my mother
She’ll know I’m safe with you when she stands under my colors, oh and
Life ain’t always what you think it ought to be, no
Ain’t even gray, but she buries her baby

The sharp knife of a short life, well
I’ve had, just enough time

If I die young, bury me in satin
Lay me down on a, bed of roses
Sink me in the river, at dawn
Send me away with the words of a love song

The sharp knife of a short life, well
I’ve had, just enough time

And I’ll be wearing white, when I come into your kingdom
I’m as green as the ring on my little, cold finger, I’ve
Never known the lovin’ of a man
But it sure felt nice when he was holding my hand, there’s a
Boy here in town says he’ll, love my forever
Who would have thought forever could be severed by
The sharp knife of a short life, well
I’ve had, just enough time

So put on your best boys and I’ll wear my pearls
What I never did is done

A penny for my thoughts, oh no, I’ll sell them for a dollar
They’re worth so much more after I’m a goner
And maybe then you’ll hear the words I been singin’
Funny when your dead how people start listenin’

If I die young, bury me in satin
Lay me down on a, bed of roses
Sink me in the river, at dawn
Send me away with the words of a love song

Uh oh (uh, oh)
The ballad of a dove (uh, oh)
Go with peace and love
Gather up your tears, keep ’em in your pocket
Save them for a time when you’re really gonna need them, oh

The sharp knife of a short life, well
I’ve had, just enough time

So put on your best boys and I’ll wear my pearls

[“If I Die Young” is a mid-tempo tune accompanied by acoustic guitar, banjo, accordion, mandolin, and fiddle.

One can view this song as a contemporary re-telling of the story of “The Lady of Shalott,” an Arthurian legend most famously captured in a Tennyson poem.  The legend is about a young maiden, trapped by a magic spell in a high tower. She sees the knight Sir Lancelot passing by and she tries to take a boat to Camelot. She drowns on the way and dies. Interestingly, in the music video, the lead singer holds a book of poems that says “Tennyson” on the cover.

I love the verse, “The sharp knife/ Of a short life.” This captures two striking aspects of death at a young age. One is the pain the friends and the family feel. But look again at the phrase, “a sharp knife.” It is a tool. In this case, it is a tool for understanding the fragility of life. Far too many people act as if they are somehow guaranteed 70 years on this planet.

This reminds me of a verse from the Quran, “They say, ‘The Fire (of punishment) will not touch us save for a certain number of days. Say: Have ye received a covenant from Allah – truly Allah will not break his covenant or tell ye concerning Allah which ye know not? “(2:80). This verse is talking about people who believed they had a deal with God that they would be safe from Hell, that even if they ended up in Hell, they would only be there for a short time. They say this as if Hell isn’t so bad if you are only there for a short while. But the bigger mistake is assigning to God something that He never said.

One part of this song that some people might not understand is, “I’m as green as the ring on my little, cold finger.” Saying you’re green can have many different meanings, depending on the context. It can mean you feel sick, you’re environmentally conscious, or, as in this case, it can mean you’re immature. If you think of plants, immature plants are often bright green, while older plants are yellow or brown. But why is her ring green? For this you need to know a little bit about jewelry. Young girls often wear fake gold because real gold is too expensive. Fake gold is made with a mix of a little gold and a lot of copper. Copper turns green when it corrodes.

Finally, one quite moving part of this song is this declaration, “Gather up your tears, keep ’em in your pocket/ Save them for a time when you’re really gonna need them, oh.” This makes more sense in the video where, at the end (SPOILER ALERT), she survives. Clearly, there’s no reason to cry if she’s safe and sound. But I think the line works even if she does die. It is awful to lose a loved one at a young age, but there are much worse tragedies that can affect a person. A slow, painful disease that causes a great deal of suffering for a long time tends to be hard to make peace with than a quick, painless death.

I suppose I would be remiss if I failed to address the spectre of suicide that is lurking in this song. I don’t think the speaker is necessarily suicidal. I think the song works just as well for a young girl who dies of a disease or in an accident. However, if you take the line, “Funny when you’re dead how people start listenin’ ” I have to admit, that sounds an awful lot like suicidal teen crying out for help. There is a notion in that statement that one can express an idea powerfully by the act of dying. But it is tempered by other lines in the song such as “Life ain’t always what you thought it would be” and “I’ve had just enough time.” The overall impression I get is that this young woman is satisfied with the brief spark of life she had. She doesn’t emote the depression or the bitterness I would normally associate with suicide.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/If_I_Die_Young

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Song Analysis “Save Me” Remy Zero

I feel my wings have broken in your hands
I feel the words unspoken inside and they pull you under
And I would give you anything you want but know you were all I wanted
And all my dreams are falling down
Crawling around and around

[For ten seasons, this song was the theme for the show “Smallville,” a primetime drama imagining Clark Kent as a teenager in the first decade of the new millennium and the choices he makes on the road to becoming Superman. I mention this fact because it’s essential to a proper understanding of the song. “Save Me” is about a hero feeling vulnerable because of his beloved.

The song begins with a line about broken wings. This conveys powerlessness or vulnerability. The series “Smallville” decided to rebuild Superman in a new way. One rule they decided early on was that Clark Kent would not wear a blue suit and a red cape. In essence, the creators of the series “broke Superman’s wings.” At the beginning of the series, Kent did not fly at all. As the series continued, he developed the ability to fly.

The speaker mentions words unspoken but felt. This is similar to the “elephant in the room” phenomenon. Two or more people are thinking about the issue and even though no one mentions it, both can tell from nonverbal cues that the other(s) are thinking about it too.

The speaker has to make a difficult choice – between his dreams and his beloved.]

Somebody save me
Let your warm hands break right through
Somebody save me
I don’t care how you do it
Just stay
Stay
Come on
I’ve been waiting for you

[The image here is of a person trapped under rubble or perhaps ice. The line, “Let you warm hands break right through,” is quite poignant. Has the speaker changed or not? Perhaps this stanza is from the beloved, asking for a savior. But perhaps it is the savior asking the beloved for help. I think one can see it either way.]

I see the world has folded in your heart
I feel the waves crash down inside and they pulled me under
I would give you anything you want but know you were all I wanted
And all my dreams have fallen down
Crawling around and around

[Is this cheesy? Okay, admittedly so. But this isn’t just lovey-dovey tripe, there is some artistic value here. The world folded inside the heart is breathtaking. And going back to Smallville, for Clark, Lana/Lois represents the entire human race. (Clark’s first love is Lana, but later he falls for Lois).  He is often aloof from people, even while saving their lives. Yet Lois reminds him of the innocence and spirit of humanity.

But what about these dreams that are falling down? There is a constant tension in the Superman epic between the ego and the superego. The ego just wants to have an ordinary American life. His dream is the American dream. Yet the superego keeps pushing him to strive to save lives, even as it destroys any kind of normalcy he tries to make for himself.)

Refrain
I’ve made this whole world shine for you
Just stay
Stay
Come on
I’m still waiting for you

Read more: http://artists.letssingit.com/remy-zero-lyrics-save-me-q1b8915#ixzz1QK1ykssG

Hey asad123 fans, I’m trying out a new feature to this blog. I am pasting links to my song analyses where you can hear the song I have just analyzed in its entirety for free.  Since this is something I am trying out, it’s only available for this post and my most popular post, “Song Analysis ‘Shape of My Heart’ Sting.”

Listen to \”Save Me\” Remy Zero

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Song Analysis – “Mr. Brightside” The Killers

[Meaning-making should begin with the title. I believe “Mr. Brightside” is an ironic title. The tone of the title is optimistic while the tone of the song is pessimistic.I will explain later in the post.]

Coming out of my cage

And I’ve been doin’ just fine

Gotta gotta be down

Because I want it all It started out with a kiss

How did it end up like this?

It was only a kiss

It was only a kiss
[Coming out of a cage is an experience with which many of us can identify. Without more context, it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what this cage is. Judging by the rest of the song, I would guess it is an abusive or unhealthy relationship. But jobs, families, even countries, can be cages. The lines “It started out with a kiss/ How did it end up like this?” say so much with so few words. It’s amazing how quickly even the best of relationships can fall apart. The same person who made you feel like you were floating in the clouds suddenly makes you feel like screaming at the top of your lungs.]

Now I’m falling asleep

And she’s calling a cab

While he’s having a smoke

And she’s taking a drag

[A simple gesture – a man offering a woman a smoke – becomes a huge betrayal. Is he overly jealous? Perhaps. There is a strange intimacy about sharing a cigarette. She places her mouth where he has just placed his.]

Now they’re going to bed

And my stomach is sick

And it’s all in my head

But she’s touching his chest now

He takes off her dress now

Let me go

[Some critics have suggested the woman in this song is a prostitute. If she is, the strongest evidence is here. He watches her hop into bed with a man that it appears she has just met. If you want to argue she’s not a prostitute, you might say that these lines describe what the speaker imagines rather than what he actually sees. On the other hand, it’s so vivid (“she’s touching his chest now”) and his reaction so visceral (“my stomach is sick”) that it seems too real to be a dream. Also, you might say that she may just be sleeping with this man because she feels attracted to him – not because he is paying her.]

And I just can’t look

It’s killing me

And taking control

Jealousy

Turning saints into the sea

Swimming through sick lullabies

Choking on your alibis

But it’s just the price I pay

Destiny is calling me

Open up my eager eyes

‘Cause I’m Mr. Brightside

[The speaker feels distraught over what he has just seen. Perhaps he did not know she was a prostitute until this moment. Or maybe he knew, but he was so naive that he thought she would change for him. He compares the sense of betrayal he feels to a swimmer suddenly choking. There is a double meaning to “price I pay.” The price is the fee that she charges for her “services.” But the price is also the emotional toll he endures because he fell in love with her. In his misery, he sarcastically names himself, “Mr. Brightside.” An optimist always looks on the bright side, the hidden good in a seemingly bad situation. Yet the tone of everything he has just said, “jealousy,” “choking on alibis,” and paying a [heavy] price all reflect his true emotional state – depression.]

I never (x4)

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Song Analysis “Grenade” – Bruno Mars

Easy come, easy go, that’s just how you live

Oh take, take, take it all, but you never give

Should’ve known you was trouble from the first kiss

Had your eyes wide open

Why were they open?

[A healthy relationship has a balance of give and take from both partners. But Bruno Mars here describes a girl who keeps taking, but doesn’t give anything in return. Now he sees with hindsight that the relationship was troubled from the beginning. He remembers how when they first kissed, she kept her eyes open. Some people might say he’s making a big deal out of nothing. But if you imagine a passionate kiss, usually both people close their eyes. I sense a trust issue lies at the bottom of this. He thinks she kept her eyes open because she never trusted him.]

Gave you all I had and you tossed it in the trash

You tossed it in the trash, you did

To give me all your love is all I ever asked

cause what you don’t understand

[“Gave you all I had and you tossed it in the trash,” captures a kind of relationship. He feels he has given her all his time, his energy, his love. Not only has she not reciprocated, but she has failed to even appreciate any of it. The message goes out not just to this one girl, but to anyone in such a relationship who is taking advantage of his or her partner. The last line of this stanza is incomplete, but will make sense in the next part.]

Is I’d catch a grenade for ya

Throw my hand on the blade for ya (yeah yeah)

I’d jump in front of a train for ya (yeah yeah)

You know I’d do anything for ya (yeah yeah)

Oh-oh I would go through all this pain

Take a bullet straight through my brain

Yes I would die for ya baby, but you won’t do the same..

[He’s talking about all the ways he would sacrifice himseelf for her. Men still have an innate “fight or flight” instinct. When feeling intense emotion, men get an adrenaline rush that prepares them for tough situations. However, nowadays men rarely have to fight or flee from a predator or threat. What ends up happening is that this instinct adds to stress. But even if he never actually has to catch a grenade for anyone, it is the fact that he is willing to do so that shows he is a man of honor.]

No, no, no, no-oh

Black, black, black and blue beat me till I’m numb

Tell the devil I said hey when you get back to where you’re from

Mad woman, bad woman that’s just what you are, yeah

You smile in my face then rip the brakes out my car

[I love the line about the devil. He’s saying she’s a demon and he wishes she would go back to Hell. She’s so twisted that she can pretend to be pleasant even while she is planning to kill him.]

Gave you all I had and you tossed it in the trash

You tossed it in the trash, yes you did

To give me all your love

Is all I ever asked cause what you don’t understand

Is I’d catch a grenade for ya

Throw my hand on the blade for ya (yeah yeah)

I’d jump in front of a train for ya (yeah yeah)

You know I’d do anything for ya (yeah yeah)

Oh-oh I would go through all this pain

Take a bullet straight through my brain

Yes I would die for ya baby, but you won’t do the same..

If my body was on fire

Ooh you would watch me burn down in flames

You said you loved me you’re a liar

Cause you never ever ever did baby..

[He’s telling her that she doesn’t care about him and she never did. Even if a total stranger was on fire, a decent person would try to help that stranger. He’s saying that she wouldn’t even do that for him, a man who is not just a stranger, but in fact, her boyfriend. He now feels that any words of love she ever expressed to him were nothing but lies.]

But darlin’ I’d still catch a grenade for ya

Throw my hand on the blade for ya

I’d jump in front of a train for ya

You know I’d do anything for ya

Oh-oh I would go through all this pain, yeah

Take a bullet straight through my brain

Yes I would die for ya baby, but you won’t do the same..

No you won’t do the same

you wouldn’t do the same  Ooh

you’d never do the same

Noo no no no-oh.

[This song is about love, anger, dishonesty, and betrayal. Many people can relate to it because relationships are often one-sided, with one person giving and forgiving and another person always taking. ]

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