Woodman, English 310, CSUB
In the song “Going to California,” Led Zeppelin uses the symbolic word flower as one of their lyrics. According to Anthony Stevens, “the allegorical use of flowers is very extensive-they appear as the attributes of […] feminine virtue, beauty, and purity (p 382). The particular line that applies to this term from Led Zeppelin’s song is: “Someone told me there's a girl out there with love in her eyes and flowers in her hair” (Plant and Page Par. 1). The opening lines of this song tells how time was spent with another woman who was evil. The songwriters, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant, use “flower” to contrast that individual. The previous line suggests that they are now in search of a woman who is young, innocent, and attractive. -Monica Fraga
As light and dark balance each other, sin and grace do as well. Tenth Avenue North depicts the clashing of both light and dark, sin and grace in their line "the light meets the dark", and with this reaction a new level of liberation is achieved. Tenth Avenue North lyrics in "Healing Begins" also depict "walls falling down" and "freedom waiting in the sound", indicating the transcendence of their freedom. Throughout the song the band continues to illustrate the liberation from the clash between the light and the dark. This liberation is the product from the illumination of dark. The dark they describe is all the secrets and sin that humans try to hide, but although humanity acknowledges their sin they never asked forgiveness. The light they describe is the grace or forgiveness that awaits them after "the light meets the dark".
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Have you ever been listening to the radio and wondered “What is this song about? One clue is artists write song’s as an expression of them. Most use lyrics to deliver emotion, but some choose to let the music so the speaking. Often by exploring the song’s title may provide clues to the song’s meaning. For example, “Man in the Mirror” is clear-cut: a person looking at themselves in a mirror. This can be further embarked by examining each archetype. An archetype is an idealized form or model of a person, object, or place, from which derive individual examples and permutations" (Woodman, 2010, slide 4). Thus, man would be an archetypal symbol referring to humanity as a whole. A mirror as Stevens writes, “is a symbol of self-discovery, self-knowledge, contemplation, and reflection, it is one of the Eight Precious Things of Chinese Buddhism” (p. 250). Therefore, from the title alone, we have a sense of mindset the composer is illustrating.Lakela Spencer
Darkness and light are archetypes that frequently used to portray negative and positive things. In the song "Enter Sandman," the stanza "exit light, enter night" are used illustrate the time when daylight ends and night falls, which symbolizes "contracting awareness, spiritual decline, death, and despair" (Stevens 142). This is the beginning of the author's struggles at night when he cannot fall asleep. As the song progresses, it becomes more apparent that he is experiencing anguish: "something's wrong, shut the light, heavy thoughts tonight and they aren't of Snow White." In the still of the night, he is able to think about past behaviors or sins that he has committed, thus preventing him from sleeping; a situation that most people have experienced at least once in their lives.
In the song “The Times They Are A-Changin’”, Bob Dylan conveys the unavoidable changes that occur with the passage of time through his frequent use of the symbol of water, which is a “primary element of nature since it is indispensible to life” (Stevens 129). The song’s lyrics create images of floodwaters that are slowly but surely rising to eventually engulf everything. At the beginning of the first four stanzas, there is a call to different groups of people from the older generation like “Come senators, congressmen” or “Come mothers and fathers”. When Dylan sings “the waters around you have grown and accept that soon you’ll be drenched to the bone”, he is symbolically saying that nothing and no one escapes from the flood waters of time. It is also quite fitting that water is being used as a tool to present a prophetic message because it has been found that “water [has been used] in prophecy (Hydromancy) […] and has been regarded as a source of wisdom” (Stevens 131).
Five for Fighting uses the archetype of oneself in relativity to one's world. The widely used cliche "big fish in a small pond" is similar to the meaning behind the symbolism of size used in the song. In "The Riddle" this is shown in the lyrics "he said, "Dad I'm big, but we're smaller than small/ in the scheme of things, well we're nothing at all..."" describing the challenges one faces when realizing the world is more immense than oneself. This is a common conflict that occurs at all levels in society; from a child moving from preschool to kindergarten to an adult movin from a small town to a big city. This relates to the question of what your place in this world is and whether or not you will make an impact.
Dance can be related to many different of activities. There are dances for children, club dancing, slow dancing, line dancing, and the first dance at a wedding just to name a few. A common theme with dancing is that it usually takes place with other people. In the song “The Dance,” dancing is a symbol of a relationship between a man and a woman. According to Anthony Stevens, “Synchronized body movements in a group - dancing or marching or performing a ritual – have a powerful social bonding effect (416). Dancing symbolizes the movement or the journey the couple have taken. In the last line of the song “ I could have missed the pain but I'd of had to miss the dance” (18) Brooks brings up the pain and heartache that comes with relationships. The couple in the song did not end up together, however, that did not change the mans feeling of going through it all over again. He does not have regrets only the memories of the dance, meaning the time they had together as a couple. Ashley Coyle
When the word fire is used within the context of a relationship the passionate feelings normally exhibited come with intensity. In the song "Ring of Fire" Johnny Cash uses the symbols and archetypes of fire to illustrate his passionate feelings towards a relationship the he has fallen into. According to Anthony Stevens, "Fire is dangerous, however, because it can get out of control and consume all that lies in its path..." which is also primary them in Cash's song (Stevens, 126). Cash is telling a story about a romance that has taken over his life like a wild fire that is running rampant through a forest. The lyrics "I went down down down, and the flames went higher" is how Cash is demonstrating his loss of control as the passion of his romance intensifies.
“21 Guns,” is a song with different archetypes and symbols. The song describes a nation that wants peace. It is also a very important salute to fallen soldiers. Besides that, it can also be interpreted to a personal level-- for example, giving up on a fight that is not worth fighting for, it can be letting the hate aside and walking away, “Lay down your arms, give up the fight” (10). Sometimes we don’t like to live life as it should be and we want to find a problem where there is no problem because the problem is within our heart in our own life, “When it's time to live and let die- And you can't get another try- Something inside this heart has died- You're in ruins” (21-24). We can only search within ourselves and try to throw away what’s bad and stop the fight that is not worth fighting. --Heriberto Osorio
Nick Drake's childhood represented happier times in his life. He writes, "And I was green, greener than a hill. Where flowers grew and the sun shone still" (5-6). Green represents "new life, abundance, and naivety" (Stevens 149). Nick Drake seems to long for the moments of growing up and not yet knowing what adult life was all about. He enjoyed being naive and the slow process of growing up in a happy environment filled with light and warmth. Life as a child was shrouded in mystery and filled with curiosity. He says as a child, "I never saw the truth hanging from the door" (2). In other words, now he knows the truth of what it means about being an adult and is finding the truth hard to cope with. There is a feeling in the song that if given the opportunity, Nick Drake would have chosen to be a child again.
Symbols and archetypes are used in music, movies, media, etc. "I am the Highway"(title-6,14,22,) is the title and part of the lyrics through out Audioslave's song. In the second line of their song they start off by singing,"Long and weary my road has been"(2), Audioslave is describing his past as being tough and ubstabled. In this line Audioslave uses the word "road", to us a road is small and up tight. Therefore, Audioslave then uses the symbol of the highway and compares it to the road (past) to portray ones own path of choices. The person being portrayed in the song is letting his ex know that he will not get judged and stepped on by her. That is why Audioslave uses the highway to symbolize a path to individualism, the process of becoming independent. A known fact is that when comparing a Highway to a road the highway is bigger in size and length (he is not small he is bigger than what she thinks of him.). For this reason Audioslave sings "I am not...." (5,7,13,15,17,19,21,2325,27), "I am the Highway" (6,14,22). The highway can also symbolize a journey to a future destination, that is why Stevens describes the journey as, "The journey is the great allegory of life, leaving the familiar past behind and progressing into the unknown future." (Stevens, p. 155). The male in this story within the song is now independent from his ex, after their relationship and implies that a future life with out her is waiting for him.
Alicia Keys’ song “Prelude to a Kiss” demonstrates one’s struggle to be a better person, but not knowing how to improve oneself, or if an individual is even prepared for what lies in the future. This uncertainty can make people give up before facing the problem. Just as the artist attempts to dig inside, there is hesitation in her voice, which blocks her from moving forward. An important line from the song that demonstrates doubt is “…And a heavy load to bare,” which contains a significant word: load. Load refers to pain or guilt, which can build up and become a battle for individuals to overcome. One’s pain or guilt can cause feelings of being trapped and unable to escape. A person can feel weak when confronting an internal issue. The artist use “heavy” to describe the “load.” Literally, this line suggests that one is not physically strong to carry a load: however, the line actually refers to one’s emotional strength to deal with(carry) an internal (load of)pain. Francisca Torivio
The time is a very classic archetype that is used since the Greeks. Kronos is the god of time for Greeks and today is used like archetypes. According with Stevens’ time represents: “hopeful image, bringing with it the promise of new life”. (Stevens, 283).This archetype is use to representing the past happy time. Swift gives this period like anticipation to a dark time of pain and loneliness. The archetype is present in the last part when she wants an opportunity of come back with the love of their life. In most of the song she uses this symbol to represent that want to come back and has a new life with the love of her life.--Mayra Sosa
Matthew West uses the archetype of “my own little world” to portray himself as a selfish person who cannot see beyond themself. Normally this phrase would be used to depict one’s own world disregarding everything else that exists in it. As the song proceeds, it is mentioned that in this world only one person exists, which is themself. In this first stanza, it is apparent that the author or person this song is portraying is an egocentric one as he or she fails to regard the ongoing issues outside his/her world when they say, “I’ve never gone hungry, always felt safe”. However, as this person is reflecting on themselves, they realize that they’ve been in the wrong and realize they can serve a better purpose, perhaps providing for others in need. -Erica Hernandez
Touch is one of human's five essential senses; it is through touch that we experience textures, sensations and the warmth of another human being. In "Iris", The Goo Goo Dolls utilize the symbol of hand to demonstrate how a man deeply desires to feel the warmth of his lover, "And I'd give up forever to touch you" (1). According to Anthony Stevens, "It is through the hand, therefore that the brain manifests its intentions" (pg 407). The Goo Goo Dolls use the symbol of hand to illustrate how a man unconsciously wants to feel his lover's body. -Ofelia Gomez
The song by Mariah Carey, “Hero” uses the symbolic word hero to illustrate self-confidence and faith that one may have. Anthony Stevens writes in Ariadne’s Clue the myth of a hero. “In accounts gathered from all over the world, the hero is singled out from the beginning by having one divine and one human parent.”(Stevens p. 209) The myth of a hero is characterized as one and not the other. Many, often characterize hero as a “universal appearance” (Stevens p. 212). An example of a hero is often referred to in folk tales, legends, and religions. We have portrayed a hero to be something humans cannot be. In the song, hero is used to classify “that a hero lies in you.” This signifies that many of us might feel discouraged of an event that occurs, but we are our own hero. ~Michelle Regalado~
Everyone lives for something. “Some people live for the fortune, some people live just for the fame, some people live for the power, yeah some people live just to play the game”. What do you live for? In the song “If I Aint Got You” Alicia Keys uses the symbols and archetypes of fame, fortune, diamond rings, and dozen roses to illustrate how many want and need material things in life but none of it is relevant to us without our significant other in our life’s.
Everyone lives for something. “Some people live for thefortune, some people live just for the fame, some people live for the power,yeah some people live just to play the game” (Alicia Keys). Keys sing the songwith strong emotion from a woman’s perspective yearning for a man’sfulfillment. Alicia Keys illustrates howeverything else in life does not matter in life if you don’t have the one youlove. What do you live for? In the song “If I Aint Got You” Alicia Keys usesthe symbols and archetypes of money, power, diamond rings, and dozen roses toillustrate how many want and need material things in life but none of it isrelevant to us without our significant other in our life’s. --Leslie Davis
Have you ever started something? Yetyou were almost done or thought you had him or her, although had no choice butto start back at the first step. In fact,we all must start somewhere or someplace to get where we ought to be. In thesong “Back at One” Brian McKnight uses symbols and archetypes of steps, belief,work, and repetiveness. McKnight song “back at one” is poured from his heartwith humbleness, passion, and desire. In 1999, McKnight released “back at one”,the most successful album at date. Being at one or placed at one issignificant, but what does “one” stand for? The archetype “fall” is repeated in the song; Anthony Stevens enables usa guide to the symbols of humankind. Brian McKnight’s word choice in this songabout falling for a girl reaches a change to his mind singing “farewell to thedark of night, I see the coming of the sun”. Impressively he is attached with acceptable emotionsof falling in love, showing commitment plus faith to start from one again. --Robert Hayes
“I Believe I Can Fly” was one of the leading theme songs for the movie Space Jam, a silly kids movie featuring the Looney Tunes and Michael Jordan. The song, however, has remained as iconic as when it first hit the sound waves. The reason being is the message that R Kelly tries to convey through the song. R Kelly doesn’t actually think he can fly, but uses flight as a symbol. More specifically, he uses the symbol of wings. He says, “I believe I can fly/ I believe I can touch the sky/ I think about it every night and day/ Spread my wings and fly away” (7,8,9,10). On page 126 of Ariadne’s Clue: A Guide to the Symbols of Humankind by Anthony Stevens, it states, “the Wings necessary to fly in the air symbolize spirituality, imagination, thought, fantasy, and enlightenment. Both Love and Victory are winged figures…” (Stevens 126). Using what Stevens has said and the lyrics provided by Kelly, it is possible to figure out the message Kelly is trying to convey. His “wings” represent what he wants to achieve. By spreading his wings, he opens his thought and enlightenment all the more further. Stevens also mentions “victory”. Kelly clearly strives to succeed. He wants to go beyond what he is already capable of, and wants to achieve greatness in everything about himself. It seems he wants to be the best person he can be.
In the third verse Lupe uses the words “pigs” and “bacon” to symbolized both law enforcement and the federal government. Within this verse Lupe states, “night turn yourself in to the patty wagon said no bacon wouldn’t take em had the pigs on the pay roll”. According to Stevens “The pig suffers a poor press all over the world as the epitome of selfish lust, uncleanliness, gluttony, and greed” (359). In this verse Lupe Fiasco is comparing cops and the federal government to “pigs,” he is therefore implying that these individuals are corrupt, dirty, and “greedy” individuals whose primary concern are for their own interests. From the fast food stand point; one can conclude that Lupe Fiasco insinuates that fast food industries pay off the federal government, so that they can continue selling their products that kill many Americans. Lupe Fiasco uses the verse simultaneously, to indicate that drug dealers pay off corrupt cops for their freedom, and as a result they are able to continue trafficking their lethal products. Lupe Fiasco uses the term “pig” in his song because he knew he could use the same word interchangeably to convey his thoughts for both industries.Luci Razo
To begin, Tupac utilizes the symbols of hell to transmit the struggles of his single mother. According to Stevens, “Hell is the realm of dead ancestors and unconscious” (Stevens 5). Tupac knew that he put his mother through a lot of difficult situations by his behavior, so he symbolically uses the word hell to represent or invoke meaning to those difficult situations. Tupac writes, “I reminisce on the stress I caused, it was hell”, which provokes the listener to imagine their version of hell, providing a better sense to exactly how bad the situation must had been. Although different listeners might imagine or have different versions of hell, since hell is an archetype, it is according to Woodman, “A symbol that transcends cultural and/or time (Woodman, 2011, slide 4)”. Everywhere in the world, hell is seen as an evil, dark, lonely, place of suffering. Tupac implements the symbols of hell because being an archetype; he can transmit the situation that his mother found herself in to anyone who has a concept of hell, regardless of age, race, ethnicity, or culture.
Consequently, Miguel’s use of the term “friend” is very similar to the symbol “brother” because a good friend may become “brother“ (Jontel stanza 2). The “bonding attachment” Anthony Stevens refers to states that bonding, “forms the crucial group of archetypes which govern the life of human beings… survival of the species” (Stevens 316). The world will do poorly without coexisting social relationships. The symbol “friend” leaves everything out in imagination because everyone can make friends. Friends are confidants and they tend to listen when someone is in conflict. He or she lifts another when in need. Miguel’s relationship with that significant other is as strong as a relationship with a brother and friend. Or so he wants that relationship to last as the brother or friend relationship would. Songwriter Miguel states that the relationship may last as long as a brother’s or friend’s relationship, therefore, motivates the writer in specifying that he loves this woman as a friend and brother (Jontel stanza 1 & 2). By Sandy Torrealba
Getting up in the morning after a late night one can be disoriented and confused and waking up in a random unknown place can only create even more confusion. In the first line of the song the band says “Woke up in London yesterday” referencing this as a far off place and goes on to say that he or she doesn’t know how they got there. Often when traveling and partying it can be quite easy to get lost in an unfamiliar place with people you have never met before. “I got some pictures on my phone / New names and numbers that I don’t know” (3. 4, 5) refers to having lived it up the night before and not recollecting what happened. When a person has too much to drink it is quite easy to forget how the previous night went. In the next verse OneRepublic shows us that whatever comes our way will not always be in our control and not everything works out like we want but to make the best with what we have got. The band uses broad symbols, “Sometimes there’s airplanes I can’t jump out Sometimes there’s bullshit that don’t work now,” (7. 1,2) as examples of taking chances that may not lead us to what outcome we had in mind. The airplane is a sophisticated flying machine and bullshit tends to refer to hardships but both being related could also represent problems that come our way. With both of these versus the band wants to open up our minds to looking on the flip side of things to understand there is always another view point of any situation. Clint Watkins