Posted: May 19th, 2015
Choose one song with which to analyze the lyrics. Analyzing song lyrics is often like analyzing a poem, except that you also have the pleasure of integrating your observations of how the musical composition itself contributes to the meaning of the song as well if you wish. I’m interested in hearing your assertion about what the song lyrics offer the reader. Once you look closely at the lyrics, what do the words reveal? What is their meaning? What is their impact?
For this analysis paper, you will be enaging in the long tradition of emotional connection + academic distance. What that means is that you will find your feelings portrayed less in this paper than in previous papers from this class. Your ideas, thoughts, feelings, intentions, etc. will still be in the paper, but this paper isn’t a reflection; it’s an academic analysis. So your choices and depth of analysis reveal your personal connection instead of your stating your personal connection. For instance, in this paper, you won’t be using “I” or “me” or “my experience” very much, if at all. While I will not ban the use of the personal pronoun “I,” I do encourage you to let your writing show how you feel about the lyrics. Showing vs. Telling – you should remember this writing technique! This paper is about academic inquiry. Feel what you do about the song and allow your passion to come through in the form of your detailed analysis!
In addition to the lyrics, this paper will require that you use one of the music articles as a source, using at least two direct quotes/excerpts from one (or both) of the texts as support. I want you to connect the lyrics you choose to one of these articles, connecting the human experience with your song.
This essay should be three to four pages long and include support from the lyrics and articles provided.
Assessment (or what I will be looking for):
• Insightful analysis of the lyrics. I want to feel your understanding AND the song!
• A clear thesis for your paper (what did your investigation of the lyrics reveal about the overall meaning, intention, purpose of the song?)
• Song choice: appropriate and substantial depth/meaning. Must be pre-approved.
• Clearly integrated information from articles provided
• Clear organization and development of ideas.
• Revision work is clear, including proofreading for typos, spelling, sentence clarity, etc.
• All work presented should be your own. If you use anyone else’s words or ideas, you must identify them as such, and you must identify direct quotes from any text.
• Think deeply about how this song factors into your own personal identity or your “roots”
I’ve completed a progress check of this essay where I need to report the ways/key points I’d write in this essay. Here are the questions and my answer, it’s not completely set in stone but please still this use as reference as you move on with this essay.
Q: Please let me know what song choice you are considering for the essay and maybe a sentence or two about why this song/album would be a good choice to analyze and review. As well, please let me know which of the music articles you think could be most helpful as you analyze your song. What excerpts, specifically from the article, might you use?
The song I chose for essay 3—Music Review–is Virtual Insanity by Jamiroquai. The reason why I chose this song is that I really like the meaning of its lyrics. Unlike most other pop songs that have rather meaningless lyrics, this song addresses real world issue of new technology’s impact on people’s everyday lives. For example, our lifestyles have been changed dramatically with the invention/upgrade of smartphones. And from these changes grow a slight fear of other future events because what we used to cherish before might all disappear because of them.
Currently I’m thinking to use these articles as reference: This is Your Brain on Music, How Tech Has Changed Our Lives. One excerpt I found to be especially interesting from the first article is where is says “Brain regions involved in movement, attention, planning, and memory consistently showed activation when participants listened to music.” And although the second one is not a music article, it helps me to see more aspects and concerns of the issue that the lyrics mention.
Links to the articles:
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