Hey, fellow music fanatics and friends! Thank you for your continued support. This blog is getting popular, and I owe it all to my readers!
This next song is an old favorite of mine, but I would first like to write a brief disclaimer: I am not taking any particular stance or political position with this song choice. I just love the music, the artist, and the poetic quality this piece possesses. I am in no way trying to push any agenda or viewpoint, I am simply here to analyze a piece of art.
That being said, I will introduce our next song: “Buzzcut Season” by Lorde, from her album, Pure Heroine. It might just be the fact that I too have unruly, dark brown, curly hair, but I have always had a soft spot for Lorde, and this song is definitely one of her best. Her willowy voice has the power to plunge listeners into a deep, dreamy state. And I would know. I once listened to this song on repeat for a full 15 hours while reading Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead.
You can look online at hundreds of interpretations of this song. Some say it is about society’s corrupt influences on teens, some claim it is a summer ballad, and others just think it is a mystical song and don’t really care about the meaning.
I, for this blog, will be analyzing the song within the context of war, as this is the way I have always listened to it.
While I was choosing another song for this playlist, I turned to Shakespeare — people just love referencing his works for some reason. I recalled a time in high school when my AP Literature teacher, who was obsessed with this “man” (whether he actually existed or not is an entirely separate debate), forced us to buy a $30 hardcover bible of his complete works. My teacher showed us the Shakespeare references that modern alternative band, Mumford and Sons, makes throughout their songs.
While I found this interesting, I also found myself remembering a time when, in the same class, I made my own literary connection to another modern artist, Florence + The Machine.
Artist Florence Welch often weaves literary references into her songs, and one of my favorites is in her eerie piece, “What the Water Gave Me,” from her album The Ceremonials. After doing a little bit of digging, I found that the title is named after a famous painting by Frida Kahlo, Lo que el agua me dio, which literally translates to, “What the Water Gave Me” (it’s also sometimes referred to as What I Saw in the Water). In this painting, there are a pair of toes peeping out from the edges of the water in a bathtub, while visions of sex, violence, and various creatures play out atop the bath water, implying that the water gave the artist some sort of foreshadowing of what was to come.
Hey, people who read this! Hope you liked the first two songs, because this next one is something. I honestly forgot all about this oldie until I put my songs on shuffle and it came on. I do not listen to much rap, but this is more alternative than anything and I think that it’s one for the books.
I think I relate to this song because it seriously is poetry put to music. The song is about appreciating one another even after we have all been used and mistreated — hence the rather blunt title, “Sloppy Seconds” — and it’s by Watsky. The charm of this song is that once you look past the title, it is a daring and unapologetic masterpiece—and that is rather symbolic of the overall message.
For the second song on this Poetic Playlist, I will focus a little bit more on the artist herself to gain a better understanding of the true meaning behind the lyrics.
Halsey (aka Ashley Nicolette Frangipane — she simply rearranged the letters in “Ashley” to create her stage name, “Halsey”) wrote and performs the song I’m looking at today, “Gasoline.” This song appeared on her recent album, Badlands, in which she thematically weaves allusions to her bipolar disorder. This particular song focuses on the issues of conforming to society and the difficult situations that up-and-coming artists are exposed to in the music industry.
“Are you insane like me? Been in pain like me? Bought a hundred dollar bottle of champagne like me? Just to pour that motherfucker down the drain like me? Would you use your water bill to dry the stain like me?”
So, as I mentioned earlier, Halsey has bipolar disorder, and this song really sheds light on her personal struggle with the condition. The opening line establishes her perspective on her mental state. She details a specific manic episode during which she bought a bottle of $100 wine because she had no control over her emotions or actions (unrestrained spending is a common symptom of bipolar disorder). She literally filled a bathtub in a hotel with the expensive alcohol, which she mentions in the third line.
Well, hello! My name is Haley and I’m trying my hand at this blogging thing. I do not read as much as I should these days, but I do listen to a decent amount of music.
As a long distance runner, I often find myself bored and lonely while pounding out the miles, and music has always kept me company. I used to only be able to listen to fast-paced motivational music, but now I’ll listen to almost anything. I often use my runs to discover new music, as it is a distraction from the torture I endure during said runs. So, I am combining my passion for music and love of poetry in the hopes of exposing readers to some lovely musical poetry.
This first song I am looking at is one of my all-time favorite songs. There is such a mix of emotions attached to this particular piece and so many memories that surface when I hear the first note. I first learned of the band Airborne Toxic Event while on a long bus ride home from a cross country meet through a teammate’s ear bud, and I couldn’t get enough. I decided to break up the song and analyze it a few “stanzas” at a time. The song is called “Sometime Around Midnight.”
“Sometime Around Midnight”
“And it starts Sometime around midnight Or at least that’s when you lose yourself For a minute or two”