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.]

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Introducing “Flawed Muslim”

Hey all,

I want to invite you to visit my latest blog, “Flawed Muslim.” The premise of this blog is that I’m not a hafiz or an alim, but I am willing to do a good amount of research to answer questions that concern Muslims today. The first issue that I plan to write about is how a Muslim should eat. I want to explore topics like fasting, dieting, meat, alcohol, gelatin, and other topics that you, the readers, suggest connected to eating.

When I feel that I have given eating in Islam a comprehensive treatment, the next issue I want to explore is money. How should we make it, how should we spend it, and how should we save it are all issues into which I want to delve. I invite you to subscribe to the new blog,

If you’re a big fan of Asad123’s Weblog, don’t worry – this blog isn’t going to disappear. In fact, there are some new posts in the hopper, so stay tuned.


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Bill Nye – Cells

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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.

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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A World Without War

“Give me the money that has been spent in war and I will clothe every man, woman, and child in an attire of which kings and queens will be proud. I will build a schoolhouse in every valley over the whole earth. I will crown every hillside with a place of worship consecrated to peace. ” – Charles Sumner, U.S. Senator

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Deserve’s Got Nothing To Do With It

At the end of the film, “Unforgiven” (SPOILER ALERT) William Munny (Clint Eastwood) is about to kill Little
Bill (Gene Hackman) and Little Bill says “I don’t deserve this.”

William Munny says, “Deserve’s got nothing to do with it.”

The idea that people get what they deserve in life is largely a misconception. When I consider my own life, I see things that have been so beneficial to me, things so out of proportion with my own actions, that I cannot say I deserved them. I don’t deserve to be Muslim. I don’t deserve to believe in God. I don’t deserve my kind, generous, loving parents.

And on the flip side, there are things that happened to met that I didn’t really deserve.  I don’t want to go into all the details of plans that didn’t work out and dreams that didn’t come true, but I don’t think I deserved them.

I’m not saying that all is randomness and all is chaos. There is justice in the end, when God looks at all He gave you and all you did, and you end up where you should be. But that’s not in this world.

In this world, William Munny is right – “Deserve’s Got Nothing to Do With It.”

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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


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]

I feel like there might be something that I’ll miss
I feel like the window closes oh so quick
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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