Woodman, English 310, CSUB
Rosa MendozaThe theme of the song "Pray", by Justin Bieber, is helping others overcome their bad experiences. The symbol I selected from the song is sunshine, which relates to the symbol of the sun. "The sun, like the heavens, is naturally associated with warmth, light, goodness, healing, and everlasting life; while its opposite, the stygian depths of the Underworld, with cold, darkness, evil, sickness, and death" (Stevens, 1998, p. 136). The sun in this song signifies the hope to solve the issue of the world. As Justin Bieber sings, "But I know there's sunshine behind that rain" (Bieber, 2010). He's letting us know that we should not lose hope in a cruel world.
Rogelio AlvaradoThe theme of the song “Neighborhood Music” by Lil Rob is conveying the lifestyle in a neighborhood in which a person struggles, but music opens up new opportunities in life. One symbol in this song is journey, where having to go through life from failing to succeeding thanks to personal music talent and determination. According to Stevens, “The journey is the great allegory of life, leaving the familiar past behind and progressing into the unknown future” (p. 155). The neighborhood in this song implies the daily lifestyle where adversities exist. Lil Rob’s lyrics state, “If I could press rewind and turn back time, I wouldn’t change a thing ‘cause this is me, the way we live homie that’s what I bring” (Lil Rob, 2004). These lyrics describe the life of Lil Rob whereby, it leads him to become one of the best Chicano rappers ever.
The two archetypes chosen from the song “Voice Within” by Christina Aguilera are fall and fly. The verse at the beginning states, “Young girl don’t cry I’ll be right here when your world starts to fall, ohh” which conveys the hardship and loneliness a young girl goes through growing up. In the same way it was found in the book by Stevens (1998), that fall, or falling, “represents loss of social, spiritual, or moral status” (p. 418). Another verse from the song states, “Your tears will dry You’ll soon be free to fly, ohh” meaning that a girl will be able to overcome her struggles and be free to have a better life. According to Stevens (1998), “[f]lying is a momentary and intoxicating awareness of what it is to be in the transcendent state, to be absolutely and uncompromisingly free and beyond all restriction” (p.419). Overall, this song conveys how it is possible for a girl to find the strength within herself to be free and overcome the struggles of life. - Zully
Sandra GarciaThe theme of the song “If I Can Dream,” by Elvis Presley, is about dreaming of a place that is better than where we live. A place that is almost perfect where everyone gets along and there is no fighting over small issues. In the song, Presley sings “if I can dream of a warmer sun where hope keeps shining on everyone...” The symbol I chose to analyze is the sun. In Ariadne’s Clue, by Anthony Stevens, he says “the sun is associated with warmth, light, goodness, healing, and everlasting life” (1998). In the song, the sun represents the goodness and hope that he wishes will come down on everyone to help make this a better place.
Chika NwanonenyiThe heart is like glass (it is very fragile); once it is broken it is hard to put the pieces back together again. A broken heart is one condition that a doctor cannot even cure. No matter what gender or race, everyone has had a withered heart during their life. This adverse effect of love is transcended through Lauryn Hill’s song, “I Used to Love Him.” Hill’s song utilizes this universal archetype to describe the problems and obstacles that people endure as a result of love. The artist illustrates love as having different levels of dimension. In the beginning of the song, Hill describes love as being dynamic: “He was the ocean and I was the sand” (Hill, 1998). This shows that the woman’s partner was “the source of [her] life” (Stevens, 1998, p. 113). They were so tightly bound that one could not exist without the other. Even though the couple’s relationship had some years, they still represented the embodiment of syzygy.
Francisco HernandezThe song “You Never let go” by Matt Redman conveys the theme that God holds us in every moment of our lives. This song has the word “walk”, which can be linked to the archetype journey because a journey involves walking. According to Stevens, “The journey is the great allegory of life, having the familiar past behind and progressing into the unknown future.” (p. 155): this life is our journey and God holds us throughout this journey, in which we walk. For example, Redman illustrates life as walking “through valley of the shadow of death,” which represents problems, obstacles, troubles, and all that keeps us away from enjoying this journey. As a result, our journeys are decorated with struggles, but in the end those struggles do no matter because God’s “perfect love” will “Never let [us] go.”
The themes found in the song, “if I die young”, by The Band Perry are youth and death. In the song, the artist expresses the hurt of loved ones that death causes at a young age, what she wants done with her body at her time of death, and when a young life interrupted, there is so much that hasn’t been done. According to Stevens, “We are probably the only animal with any clear idea of what it is to be alive, and to have systematized our conjectures about what it means to die” (p. 256). The artist in the song expresses her unfinished life as a young woman when she describes a young boy in her life: “There's a boy here in town, says he'll love me forever, Who would have thought forever could be severed by The sharp knife of a short life”. The artist clearly has an idea of being alive and feeling like her life was taken away from her. She explains that there is so much more of life left to live.
Ashley CorveraThe theme in the song, “Nature and the Wreck,” by Mates of State conveys the connection between parents and their child. The tree is used as a symbol of centrality. According to Steven’s, “commonly, one special tree may come to hold central importance in the territory of a group” (p. 379). In the song the group represents the parents and the tree represents the young child. The first verse of the song indicates the importance of the child by stating; “below us, your arms are like the trees” (Mates of State, 2005). At the end of the song this relationship is reversed indicated by the line, “you need me to put you in the trees” (Mates of State, 2005). Since this is written in the parent’s point of view “you” represents the young child. The trees now symbolize the parent’s arms and the fact that the parents are central to the child.
Melissa Sherman “The Promise” by the 1980’s group When in Rome, is a song about love and devotion. When this song is heard by the listener, a strong message is gleaned from the words. "What can I possibly do to prove to you that I love you?", and "I will always be here for you" is the message of this timeless song. The words are quite poignant in that they are touching in their simplicity; “ff you need a friend” and “I’ll always be there” (When in Rome, 1988.) Further in the song, the young “Romeo,” indicates that he would be willing “to walk the world” to convince this other person of his affection, which indicates a journey. According to Stevens, the journey is about leaving behind what is familiar and “progressing into the unknown future” (Stevens, p.155).
The theme in “What Faith Can Do” by Kuttless is the power of faith. Even though we go through life facing problems or confronting obstacles that may seem to consume our life, we must have faith that God will help us get through. An example Kuttless gives is when they state “Don’t you give up now, the sun will soon be shining,” showing that no matter the problem God will give us the strength to continue. The sun according to Stevens is, “ ‘the visible [symbol], in all the world, more worthy to serve as a symbol of God than the sun, which illuminates with visible life’” (135). This infers that, when we are facing a problem, God will illuminate or respond to our needs. ---- Thalia
The theme in the song "Kiss from a Rose," by Seal, is about a woman he loves and he compares her to a rose. The rose is an archetype that conveys beauty and love. According to Stevens (1998), "for the ancients, the rose was a symbol of beauty and desire [...]" (p. 389). The artist demonstrates his love by stating, "you remain, my power, my pleasure, my pain, baby" (Seal,1994). This describes his power to keep pushing forward in the relationship, the pleasure he gets from her and the pain that happens in the best of relationships.
Gonzalo HerediaThe song “My Own Prison” by Creed is about a person being trapped by his/hers own mistakes. In the song, Scott Strapp uses the symbol of a lion to convey this idea. According to Stevens(1998), “the lion is implicated in the symbolism of devouring and the fear of being overwhelmed or possessed by forces beyond one’s control”(p. 348). In the song, the lion is referred as a creature “roaming in the darkness” and only the lion “holds the key”. Therefore, the forces that the lion represents in the song are his past mistakes, and these mistakes are the ones that stop him from trying to change his life.
Hilda NieblasIn the Ariadne’s Clue, Anthony Stevens describes love as the “bonds of attachment and to display loyalty, affection, and altruism toward one another” (p.48). In the song “Jar of hearts” Christina Perri sings the line “You lost the love I loved the most”; here she intends to describe the bond of their love and the extent of this bond. This guy has taken all that love and turned it into nothing. She is going back and forth singing how she feels about the guy who has taken and broken her heart. Christina is attempting to describe the bond and attachment that she once had for this individual, that is now gone. She sings “I learned to live half alive”, indicating that despite the pain she learned to keep strong which helped her move forward allowing her to forget about him. However he tries to come back but she refused to give him what he once possessed, her love. She later goes on to sing “And tearing love apart” (Christina Perri “Jar of hearts”), here she is attempting to tell the audience that he did not stop the heart breaking with her, he goes on to other girls and breaks their hearts as well. This individual takes himself to his own demise by destroying any love anyone could ever feel for him.
The theme of the song “Into the Ocean” by Blue October (2006) is of giving up. The song debates the need to try to swim for survival or end the pain of life. The song uses the symbol of falling in the ocean to describe the characters attitude towards life: according to Stevens (1998) falling symbolizes “loss of social, spiritual, or moral status.”(p. 418). Stevens description is supported when Blue October says “sometimes I feel like I’m just falling in the ocean, let the waves up take me down, let the hurricane set in motion,” we would not expect someone with a good social, moral, or spiritual status to wish the worst for themselves. -Cristina Elizondo
Ariana BransonThe song “Black”, by Pearl Jam, conveys the theme of losing the one you love and having it turn your world upside down. The song uses the archetype earth to represent a sense of permanence and solidity that was taken away. It also uses the archetype of the sun which is the giver of all things: love and justice. The sun also represents the cycle of life and things that are ever changing. In the first verse of the song it says, “All five horizons revolved around her soul as the earth to the sun” (Pearl Jam 1991). This gives the image of the earth revolving around the sun just as her body revolved around her soul. According to Anthony Stevens (1998), the earth is “the basic representation of the way things are” (p.124) and when pairing it with the sun, which is “naturally associated with warmth, light, goodness, healing, and everlasting life,” (p.136) it gives the idea of an everlasting way that life should be. When this changes, as it does in the song, the world becomes black. With the blackness and change the earth becomes unbalanced from the sun and disrupts the stability of life.
baleriaThe themes found in the song, Hey there Delilah”, by the Plain White T’s are distance and love. In the song, the artist expresses the distance love he has for Delilah and how nothing can come across between them. According to Stevens, “Once the other half has been found, it follows that to lose her or him again is a recapitulation of the original anguish of division, and a primordial longing to be reunited is rekindled in our hearts” (49). The artist in the song expresses how distance is nothing compared to anything in the world that there are no challenges to overcome their love: “a thousand miles seem pretty far but they’ve got planes and trains and cars I’d walk to you if I had no other way”. The artist tells Delilah to wait for him, that they may be separated now but in a future they will be together.
kevin the song i am writing about is called on and on by ERICA Badu this songs talks about confusion and mistakes. " i was born under water with three dollars and six dimes yeah you might laugh cause you did not do your math damn yall feel that" the water in this case is talking about life. how trouble comes and how we have to over come it
Joanna MarcialThe theme of the song My Immortal by Evanescence is about the loss of someone close to her. She expresses the melancholy, and pain she feels. The lyrics to the song also suggest how much she cared for the person she lost. Some say it was her sister who passed away, others say it was her husband, and some even say it was not Evanescence who wrote the song. The truth is that this song fits to anyone who has lost a loved one, it doesn’t matter if they are family, friends, or husband. One of the symbolic archetypes I would consider is light. She mentions, “ you used to captivate me by your resonating light […].” According to Stevens “ Stark contrast, as between daylight and darkness, noon and midnight, evoke a more powerful symbolic meanings, and these are discussed in Celestial Bodies.” (p108). He also says it can be a symbolic to a persons age, which in this case makes more sense.(p108)
Amber GilliamThe song "Hotel California" by the Eagles, has a lot of different themes one of which is prison. The person in this song talks about "mirrors on the ceiling,The pink champagne on ice" as if getting ready for a romantic night. To a prisoner all they have are memories since they stay locked up all the time. The mirror, according to Stevens, "have the same capacity as the human psyche to store remembrances of things of the past"(250). So they may use the mirror as a way of remembering themselves from long ago.
Florence and the Machine’s song, “Dog Days are Over” talks about running fast for your mother, father children etc. and right after it says “Leave all your love and your loving behind you, Can’t carry it with you if you want to survive.” The dog is “a symbol of loyal affection and faithfulness […but it is also] associated with death” (pg 357). This links to the song because they want to be loyal to their loved ones but they got to leave if they want to run out death. The song title as well as the chorus ”The dog days are over” signifies how all the hard times and misery in life are over but in order to leave the hard times and make it through life, one must think of themselves and leave their loved ones behind but use the loved ones as their motivation to survive in life and make something of themselves and get that happiness they deeply desire.
Damian Marley’s song “Road to Zion” shows the theme of the journey. This theme of the journey is in all cultures wither it be used in religions or in stories of the hero or heroin. Anthony Steven’s (1998) states that, “[The journey is] linked to the idea of meaning and purpose, the quest, and the goal” (p.155). This striving for meaning and purpose in a journey is the embodiment of this song. Damian Marley uses the biblical symbol of Zion, which was a peaceful and perfect place where god resided, as his goal for the end of this journey that society is on. Damian Marley is singing of this “road to Zion” or this journey to get to a place where things and people are with out terror and “calamity”. He uses symbolism to show that the world is full of disaster and that it is this road or journey that our society needs to travel in order to reach Zion or this place where peace and love are found throughout.
MaricelaThe song “You Belong with Me” by Taylor Swift is about to find the perfect match to make our dreams come true. In the song, Swift sings “Been here all along, so why can’t you see”? She uses love in way by showing that she will wait for her partner for him to realize that she is the perfect match. Stevens describes love as the “Bonds of attachment […] another” (48). His quote matches the song because the couple bonds together at the end.
Ashly AnfieldIn the song called Waging War by CeCe Wians, the theme of the song is about being tired of the Devil and fighting him spiritually. In the song you can tell that she is fed up with the Devil, challenges him, and is determined to win the battle against him with the help of God. In her song, Wians says, “For your glory were taking territory fighting unseen enemies like never before, were Waging War”. Wians also says, “I’m tired of the Devil stealing from me”. According to Anthony Stevens “The Christian separation of the godhead into all-god-all-powerful God and His evil adversary, Satan, made it possible for the faithful to hate the Devil while professing unambivalent love for the Almighty” (Stevens, p.176, 1998).
The theme of the song “Twenty-One” by the Eagles is conveying a twenty-one year old is young and at the beginning of his life as a man, and he has the freedom to choose what direction his life will take. The song also gives the message that whatever path is trudged what lies ahead will be faced with vitality for life, because life will never lose its color. The lyrics say, “Got no cause to be afraid or fear that life will ever fade ’cause as I watch the rising sun I know that we have just begun.” (Eagles 1978) “The sun, like the heavens, is naturally associated with warmth, light, goodness, healing, and everlasting life”, According to Stevens, “ The lyrics also express, at this point in his life, he has the freedom and power to make dreams come true. The song is expressing that at twenty-one this young man is making life happen as opposed to letting life happen. The Eagles lyrics, “I believe in getting what you can and there ain’t no stoppin’ this young man. (Eagles 1978)Lauri Slocumb
Calie The theme of the song "Willie, Waylon, & Me" by David Allen Coe is about how some bands try to achieve greatness, like eagles, while some try to do it by becoming outlaws, they break from conventional forms of music. Stevens states an "eagle is a symbol of ascension and spiritual aspiration" (p.362). This theme can be seen in in the "Willie, Waylon, & Me" song, "And The Eagles flew in from the west coast Like The Byrds they were trying to be free," where some of the bands that are mentioned are trying to ascend to another level with their music (Coe 1981).
Javier CalderonThe song “Stairway to Heaven” describes a journey of spiritual transformation. The stairway symbolizes the process by which one can go from a lower plane, Earth, to a higher spiritual plane, Heaven. It represents the path to spiritual awakening and individuation (Stevens, 1998, p. 248). According to Stevens (1998), the journey “is inextricably linked to the idea of meaning and purpose, the quest, and the goal” (p. 155). In the case of this song, the goal is the “ascent towards the light of Heaven” and the final understanding of the “mystery of life” (Stevens, 1998, p.156). The journey is ultimately a spiritual transformation by which the values of human society can turn away from desires for greed, power, and wealth towards universal love and kindness.