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Meghan Mathis
Meghan Mathis

Literary Elements in Songs - Identification and Reflection

Songs I love that use literary elements and my thoughts on what those literary elements add to the songs.

Katy Perry - Hot N Cold (Official)

Katy Perry - Hot N Cold (Official)

Literary Element: Similes
Lyrics: "You change your mind
Like a girl changes clothes"
Reflection: Perry is comparing the boy in the song to another thing we know is fickle and likely to change their mind, a girl changing clothes. This puts the image in our heads of a girl tearing through her closet, trying on outfit after outfil and throwing them all off in disgust. It makes us understand just how quick to change his mind the boy really is.

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Counting Crows - Big Yellow Taxi ft. Vanessa Carlton

Counting Crows - Big Yellow Taxi ft. Vanessa Carlton

Literary Element: Alliteration
Lyrics: "They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."
Reflection: By repeating the p-sound over and over, the lyric is more easily remembered and sounds good to our ears. Additionally, there is an interesting image comparison from paradise and a parking lot.

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Christina Perri - A Thousand Years [Official Music Video]

Christina Perri - A Thousand Years [Official Music Video]

Literary Element: Hyperbole
Lyrics: "I have died every day, waiting for you
Darling, don't be afraid, I have loved you for a thousand years
I'll love you for a thousand more"
Reflection: Christina Perri is trying to tell the person she is singing about that she loves him, but she says it in a way that couldn't possibly be true. You can't die every day waiting for someone. You can't love someone for a thousand years - you won't live that long. You can't love them for a thousand more. By singing these lyrics, Perri is making an extreme exaggeration to prove just how much she loves the person.

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Incubus - Wish You Were Here

Incubus - Wish You Were Here

Literary Element: Imagery
Lyrics:
"I dig my toes into the sand
The Ocean looks like a thousand diamonds
Strewn across a blue blanket
I lean against the wind
Pretend that I am weightless
And in this moment I am happy"
Reflection:
The lyrics do a great job of clearly describing what a beautiful day at the beach looks like. The singer sings about digging his toes into the sand (touch) and the ocean looking like diamonds on a blue blanket (sight). By creating an image in our minds of a beautiful day that anyone would enjoy we really understand how much he misses the person he is singing about when he says that even though its so beautiful, he has to pretend that he is happy.

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Taylor Swift - Bad Blood ft. Kendrick Lamar

Taylor Swift - Bad Blood ft. Kendrick Lamar

Literary Element: Alliteration
Lyrics: "Baby, now we've got bad blood."
Reflection: The “b” sound in “baby,” “bad,” and “blood,” add to the quality of the song. The “b” sound is nowhere near as flowery as her other lyrics, and one can really hear the pain and anger she feels.

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