As discussed, for this week's blog you will select your own song (of literary merit) and post an explication (2 - 3 paragraphs) focusing on one or two literary elements.  Remember, your explication should have a clear thesis and employ literary analysis terminology. 

Please post a link to the lyrics and/or a recording of your song to facilitate commentary.

Posts and comments are due by 11:59 pm on Monday, February 21, 2012.
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  • Ambre Ellison

    For my explication, I chose the song without you by Chris Brown. In this song Chris brown has dedicated a melody love song to the girl of his choice. In this song Chris explains that he could live without things like money and fame (to which he has a lot of), to acquire her love again. The speaker is of course Chris Brown and he hopes that the listener is his love. When Chris says “I’m used to life with you, tell me what I need to do”, this indicates that he has had a deep relationship with this person in order for him to be hurting so badly. There is immediate repetition of the question: If you had a choice what would you choose? What he means by this is, if you had a choice would you live without the material things that keep you going for someone you love? Chris also adds elements like sunny and heaven to symbolize a good life that he could live. In adding these elements he not only talks about a good life, but he also says that even if he had these things in his life he would not be satisfied because he would be without his lady. Also in the song he says that he needs the ability to blink and have arms just like he needs her. The ability to blink is related to his sight and arms would relate to him able to touch something. So he wants to be able to see her and touch her to be satisfied also. So his nature ability to function properly is affected by her presence in his life. This lady has obviously changed his life forever. This lady has changed his life so much that he says “Turn the whole world against me, as long as you don’t leave”. He would do anything for her, but maybe for her that just is not enough. Some type of conflict must have occurred to make his lady leave him, but the song leaves this a mystery.

    2/17/2012 3:37:23 PM
  • Ambre Ellison

    This is a link to the song. I hope everyone that listens to this song without you by Chris Brown enjoys it.


    2/17/2012 3:39:07 PM
  • Markiano Owens

    The name of this song is my hands written and sung by Leona Lewis.
    In this song many literary elements appear, one is antithesis and the other is meaning which is woven in the lyrics of the song, and what it was used for. The antithesis or irony of the song is clearly noticed by her wanting to hold another’s hand, who is a potential lover she wants to stay with him and no one else, but when this person has departed and someone similar almost same comes to replace him, she refuses. Yet she wants to be with someone like her original potential lover. “They only agree to hold your hands” is emphasized by having the instrumental play with a small chorus to bring this line out to show that she is bias against anyone else who is not this “your” person, because she never reveals the person’s name, however she draws the listener in by her loneliness and wanting for this person. “They don’t want to understand” lets the listener know that she refuses to accept new people into her hands, which can be associated with her heart as well.
    “They just shake and try to break whatever piece I may find” includes imagery because; these pieces can be visualized and heard outside of the song itself. This lyric is playing on the human senses to comprehend these pieces, which are a part of her hands falling apart from attempting to hold another character that is inside of the song. The characters accept Lewis are outside of the song, but are all passive listeners because they hear her words but never respond.
    If you’d like to listen to the song click on the link below and enjoy the song. If you get a different meaning than I did; I would not mine some constructive criticism.


    2/19/2012 11:49:59 PM
  • Anthony Sterling

    The song that I chose to explicating, is The Good Son Part 1 by J Cole. J Cole speaks on the issues that generally African Americans coommunities face everyday struggles to succeed. The title contributes to the understanding of the listeners is to show what the song is about, which is about a good young man who is getting good grades in school and wants to get his mother out of struggling living conditions. J Cole is outside of the poem and tells the story of the young black male walking home. As the young man walks down the street he sees drug dealers and a girl that his friend was sexually active with. J Cole introduce these characters because in most communities as you walk down the street you may come across drug dealers and familiar people. The son is going home and is going to his house to show his mother that he has straight A's on his report card, however he don't make it home because he get shot as a drive by is happening and a stray bullet hit him and caused him to die. J Cole creates a narrative and uses kinesthetic imagery and visual images as the young man walks down the street. The true meaning of the song is to show how any young person in a black community face many struggles, even just walking home.

    J Cole The Good Son Link

    2/20/2012 12:07:01 PM
  • Collecha Newby

    In Civil Wars "I've Got This Friend" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HORhWtXuOT4) is perfect example of irony and characters work together to create a masterpiece. The title of this poem contributes to the point of view from which the poem is written as a conversation between two mutual friends who are reflecting on friends of their’s who share a similarity about love. In the start of the song the male introduces his male friend who is a very kind gentleman of few words but really loves and unfortunately has not met "the right one". Next the woman introduces and her female friends who much like the other friend and points out that they would make a perfect couple. This is irony because these two are genuinely looking love and are really nice people they never meet but those who abuse love or simply does not know what it really is allow love to pass them every day. The manner in which the characters are introduced is as friends and they are described based on their observations and what they think of the two friends. The irony, sequence and characterization of the characters set the tone of sympathy upon the two friends described in the poem.

    2/20/2012 9:22:50 PM
  • Houston Brewer

    In the song "song cry" by Jay-Z, a literary element that was throughout this song was personification. Personification is giving a inhuman like object, human characteristics. The title of of the song itself is personification. A song can not actually cry.

    The Hip-Hop artist Jay-Z claims to never let a female get close to him and let himself get emotional about one girl. But he fell in live with one but let her go. So since he does not want to cry, he wants the song to show his emotion. Hence, "I can't see em coming down my eyes, so I gotta make this song cry."

    In this song, the artist

    2/20/2012 10:40:32 PM
  • Houston Brewer

    Song Cry- Jay-z link

    2/20/2012 10:41:36 PM
  • Shamir Fauntleroy

    DMX's Ruff Ryders Anthem (Clean Version) tells the story of how the speaker resorts to violence in response to his environment pushing him to his limits. DMX's simple method of rhyming; with a repetition of quatrains throughout the song, sets up a complex series of scenarios that perpetuates the message of the song. DMX is successful in creating these scenarios through using exceptional imagery and through displaying a negative tone to exhibit his frustration. DMX (the speaker) also displays an extended metaphor to being a dog that enhances the meaning of the song.

    By saying, "All I know is pain (what)
    , All I feel is rain (what), I cannot maintain (what), With madness on my brain (what)"
    DMX introduces his frustration which is immediately followed by "I resort to violence (what)" establishing his purpose for the scenarios he introduces later in the song. Also when looking at prosody, the speaker establishes cacophony through rhyming the words pain, rain, maintain, and brain. The cacophonies of words like these are what also add to the speaker’s negative tone.

    The most concrete scenario in which DMX depicts his frustration says, "What was that look for (what)/When I walked in the door (what/Oh you thought you was raw (what)/BOOOM! /not any more (what)/'cause now you on the floor (what) Wishin' you never saw (what)/Me walk through that door (what)/With that 4 4 (what)". Through describing the inactive listener in this situation as directing an evil look toward DMX, the author establishes visual imagery. Furthermore, the onomatopoeia of "BOOM!" creates auditory imagery as well as it tells us that the speaker just used a gun to shoot the inactive listener.

    Lastly, DMX uses an extended metaphor to being a dog in his lines, “Give a dog a bone (what) GGGGGRRRRRR! /Leave a dog alone (what) GGGGGRRRRRR! /Let a dog roam (what)/and he'll find his way home (what) GGGGGRRRRRR!” He previously establishes the metaphor in the title of the lyric. The word "Ruff" alludes to the bark of a dog as well as making a comparison to the word rough.

    2/21/2012 1:20:25 AM
  • Collecha Newby

    @Shamir I would argue that the rhyming in this song actually takes the piece to another level and creates a level of cohesiveness that allows the author to easily follow his thoughts. I would also like to commend you on your well written and explained explication I would like to know how you think this song compares to other songs se looked at as a class.

    2/21/2012 8:23:29 PM
  • Courtney Jones

    In this song is called Let Me fall by Alexz Johnson who had sung this song while in a t.v show that she was a star in that was called Instant Star as Jude.The speaker in this song was Jude and the listener is a minor character that is in the show. The song was written more as a conversation between her and her boyfriend because in the show she was percieved as young and gullible.

    The song shows metaphors and allusions to help convey her message.

    In this song it was use as a metaphor and allusion to represent how she feel about her life and to her problems that was happening in her life as a rockstar. She compared herself to being a prisoner who have no escape.

    In this song there was also repitition of her saying "Let Me Fall" in the song and as the title to dwell on tediously and to point out an issue that was reoccurring in all of her relationships because everyone was trying to protect her from "something" as if she was a little girl. In addition to her repitition "Let me run, Let me Fall, Let Me Breathe..." you can allude to a bird which symbolizes freedon and is what the speaker repeats and alludes to an issue to her life issues with an answer she really wants which is being independent.


    2/21/2012 8:36:39 PM
  • Taylor Middleton

    The song "It Will Rain," by Bruno Mars is describing how his life will be if the love of his life decides to leave him. Bruno Mars makes himself more realiable to the listener by actually being the speaker and using a sonnet format to explain his situation. The fact that he uses himself shows that he too grows through sturggle just as the person listening to the song. Another element he uses is vivid visual imagery. The whole song explains a clear picture of what would happen if she would ever leave him.
    Having Bruno Mars be the speaker and the main character shows that he put himself in the situation. He explans the situation at the beginning and grows through a developing stage of how he would be she were to leave him. He constantly repeats that "If she walked away everyday it will rain," to connect to the audience that he knows how it feels to be heart broken and that he too needs time to overcome a situation even though he is famous.
    The next element that Mars uses successfully is visual imagery. Bruno Mars explains how he would feel if she left him by using various images one being "they'll be no sunlight if I lose you baby." One can picture there being no sun and it just being a cloudy gloomy day and feeling the same way. The main image that sticks out is "just like the clouds my eyes will do the same, if you walked away everyday it will rain." The repetition as well as the image the phrase sends sticks with the listener throughout the whole song. This helps the listener understand the emotions of the speaker and how deeply hurt he will be if his ever lost the love of his life.


    2/21/2012 8:50:07 PM
  • Collecha Newby

    @Houston I just have a simple question about your opinion since I am very familiar with the song you explicated. How do you think Jay-Z's tone in the song relates to the title of the song?

    2/21/2012 9:25:42 PM
  • Shayla S.

    The song Family Portrait by Pink is about the speaker growing up in a broken home and pleading to have the family turn back into the solid family they once were. The speaker uses auditory imagery and visual when saying “momma please stop crying.” “I hear glasses breaking as I sit in my bed” the use of imagery emphasizes the pain the speaker is enduring and helps the audience to get a feel for what the speaker is feeling. The use of auditory imagery enable the audience to get a sense of what type of environment the speaker is in, obviously a chaotic one if there is crying and breaking glass. Based on the speakers tone you feel a sense of helplessness, because the speaker is begging for her parents to stay together and tries to do everything she can to keep them together, which just isn’t enough. The song’s title Family Portrait symbolizes an ideal family, which is something that the speaker doesn’t have but wishes to have.


    2/21/2012 9:56:08 PM
  • April Graham

    Lauryn Hill's song, Lost Ones, has a play on meaning. The title not only speaks on how some people are caught up in society but also how it has caused them to lose a friend, being Lauryn Hill. Lauryn speaks about the corrupt minds and how they will not make it very far until they choose to do better by themselves and others.
    Making references to God and Shatan, which is simply another word for the devil, Lauryn compares the actions of the listener to the Devil. Hill offers incentives for the listener to do better and tries to persuade the listener to repent and do better by telling him/her the consequences of not changing.
    Hill does not leave and unanswered questions in her piece. She leaves no room for questions such as "What did she mean by this?" Hill points out what it is that the listener does and gives the reader the gist of the actions.
    "Gained the whole world for the price of your soul
    Tryin' to grab hold of what you can't control
    Now you're all floss, what a sight to behold
    Wisdom is better than silver and gold,"
    is an example of how Lauryn explains her language used. She is saying how the listener gave up their life for the "better" things, which in reality are not the best things in life.
    The tone of Lauryn’s song is assertive because she “know[s] all the tricks from Bricks to Kingston.” Lauryn has already lived the life or seen the life lived that the listener is now living. Lauryn does not question the listener, except when she rhetorically asks “how your whole style bent?” The question is used to try to spark thoughts in the listeners head about their lifestyle.
    Lauryn Hill uses rhyme scheme. Although there is no patter, every two lines rhyme with one another. There are rhymes that take place through four to ten lines but the counts are not consecutive.


    2/21/2012 10:01:00 PM
  • April Graham


    Luther Vandross's song, A House Is Not A Home, uses house and home as symbolic figures. He uses house, a place where people live, as a place where he and his love one lives but is hoping to turn it into a home, a place filled with love.
    At the beginning Luther Vandross is simply explaining his main point, which is that you cannot call the place where he and the passive listener live a home under those sad and unloving conditions. Asking the same question repeatedly and not waiting for a response, Vandross displays a plea. The entire song focuses on how the speaker wants to rekindle the flame between him and his lover by bringing warmth and love in the house.
    Vandross paints an image in the reader’s head when he “climbs the stairs and turn the key” and his anticipation while he is opening the door. He also uses imagery when describing the room that is not a house, which is not a home, and filled with gloom. The reader can imagine a dark and lonely room that is cold because it is not filled with love and warmth like a home. As a whole, the song displays a desire for love and affection in a house filled with things that do not compare to love and that does not make the house feel like a home.

    2/21/2012 10:11:12 PM
  • April Graham

    Comment on Collecha's song choice: After reading the lyrics to the song as well as listening to it, I have come to two conclusions.
    1. There is a dialogue between the speakers/listeners and they are describing themselves to one another. They are trying to throw hints that they want one another by speaking of a "friend that they know."

    2. Neither of the speakers are listeners and are speaking to additional people about the friend that they know. The listeners, at the end, are speaking at the same time and overlapping one another which gives the idea that they are not speaking to one another.

    2/21/2012 10:23:13 PM
  • April Graham

    In addition to Houston's observation on Song Cry,Jay-z uses references that may only be familiar to people of his time such as "we was on the block together since free lunch." The reader can predict that free lunch is referring to back in the day but only someone familiar with that can truly understand Jay-z's point.
    Jay-z points out the cause of the down fall, which was also the cause of the cheating, money. The money caused the women to want him and he easily fell for it. He states how he arrived in his nice ride and the girls forgot how they used to dis him, which made him forget that he loved the listener.

    2/21/2012 10:43:38 PM

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