What you said about Paradise / Glory / Imagine
Both songs are about perfect worlds / heavens or utopias.
The musical crescendo in Coldplay’s song invites you to fly away from all your troubles and makes you dream of a wonderland. The words of Imagine refer to a land without borders or racism which is a peaceful and hopeful vision / illusion?
The music in Glory mimics the different stages of a Voyage and Return story, first the slow routine of the ordinary life then the beginning of the adventure with an accelerated pace / tempo then a climax and finally the slowing down back to normal. It has something epic and heroic about it.
Born to Be Wild by Steppenwolf, 1968.
– Rock ‘n Roll song with electric guitars, bass, drums and vocals.’wild’ > echoes the film / book ‘into the wild’. Contrary to the book, here the word refers to a state of mind not to an actual place.
– ‘heavy metal thunder’ was the first occurrence of the term ‘heavy metal’ that now refers to a very loud music genre.
– Part of the soundtrack of the Road Movie Easy Rider > ‘epitome’ of the biker’s song
travel by bike across America
– no destination but looking for adventure.
– Adventure is associated with fire, lightning and explosion. It’s a thrilling / exciting experience related to danger.
The Passenger by Iggy Pop, 1977.
- Rock n’ Roll song, vocals, tambourine, drums and electric guitar.
- The character in this song is travelling in a car but he’s not driving it.
- Driving around the city
- he asks rhetorical questions “What does he see?”
- this song about vision and urban landscapes.
- It’s set at night
- the ocean is ‘winding’ and the city is ‘ripped’ > the character’s vision is blurred or distorted.
- This song was written and sang by Iggy who is famous for his drug abuse in the 1970s.
- His journey is a mental journey more than a journey to a precise destination.
- It echoes the 19th century tradition of ‘internal landscapes’ > paysages intérieurs . The poet’s state of mind is mirrored in the landscape he sees so the landscape becomes a metaphor for his feelings (ex. Baudelaire, Quand le ciel bas et lourd pèse comme un couvercle, Spleen de Paris)
- the English word ‘Spleen’ is always opposed to “idéal” > just like the island can be both heaven and hell, the narrator’s destination can be seen as a dream or as a nightmare. > Ambivalent visions.
Open Book by Gnarls Barkley, 2008.
- this song relies on a metaphor
- the narrator is identified with an open book
- the hero of Voyage and Return stories can be seen as the book itself, his personal story written under his skin (life-changing experiences, hardships and troubles) just like the story is ‘tatooed’ onto the pages on his travel diaries.
- Without the hero’s testimony, the book doesn’t exist.
- It’s set in the jungle, we can hear birds, deep breathing and tribal beats.
- The beat / pace is distorted just like the vision in The Passenger.
- The character has trouble going forward, walking in the jungle.
- ‘When I sing a song of peace, It soothes the savage beast’
- the solution to be at peace with himself is to sing.
- This song is about the power of writing and reading.
- Lyricism : the mythical story of Orpheus and Eurydice > journey in hell to rescue is lover, poetry as a powerful weapon against evil, origin of ‘internal landscapes’ > Orpheus had the power to make trees and rocks cry thanks to his lyre. Today string instruments are associated with feelings (violins in Coldplay).
- Utopia vs Dystopia / Spleen et Idéal / Baudelaire
- Internal landscapes / The “I” and the Eye.