Posted: April 18th, 2021

Protest Poetry

Protest songs make serious comment on the issues of their time. Discuss with detailed reference to the issues and techniques in two songs studied in class and one of your own choosing. Protest songs are the product of their times. Composers utilise the medium to make meaningful comment on the issues of their era in an attempt to influence viewpoints and bring back change. ‘Dear Mr President’ by Pink criticises the presidency of George w bush and the issues he raised with his decisions. These issues were homosexual rights/ marriage, homelessness, poverty, war/ us. oles, women’s rights and the justice system. “Sunday bloody Sunday’ by U2 criticizes the unnecessary bloodshed that occurred as a result of the violence connected with the Irish troubles on Jan 30, 1972. ‘skyscraper’ by Demi Lovado criticizes the issues of bullying, body image, and self mutilation in today’s society. These songs all express opinions about issues of relevance to their societies for the future. These songs all express opinions about relevance to their societies, ultimately in an attempt to enforce a positive change to the world. In 2007 Pink released the song Dear Mr.
President. The song is a direct criticism of President George W. Bush and the policies of his administration. Pink addresses the major concerns of most Americans. The most evident of these concerns are homosexual rights/ marriage, homelessness, women’s rights, war/US roles, poverty and the justice system. The song begins with “Come take a walk with me. Let’s pretend we’re just two people and you’re not better than me. ” By stating this as an invitation Pink is directly asking the President to listen to her opinions utilising imperative verbs and a gentle tone.
Pink is stating that she will be truthful and not sugar coat her opinions. She will tell him the truth about what everyone is thinking but no one is willing to tell him directly. metaphor is utilised to portray the ideas Pink has. The complete second and third stanzas are rhetorical questions addressing the issues the President has caused. The rhetorical questions are using emotive language to appeal to the listeners’ heart. The rhetorical questions are also using direct address to the President to show perspective of the issues and showing them so they relate to him.

At the end of the third stanza when Pink asks “How do you walk with your head held high? Can you even look me in the eye and tell me why? ” she uses negative connotations to show the pride or lack of pride he holds. The complete fifth stanza is using personal address by using examples of his own family and putting them in the places of the people affected by his choices, and rhetorical questions. “What kind of father would take his own daughter’s rights away? And what kind of father might hate is own daughter if she were gay? The rhetorical questions are addressing Bush’s personal life and relationship with his daughter by putting a negative aspect onto it by saying he would hate her if she were gay. The effect of this is to show how unfair the President is being to people and how he should change his ways. This song makes serious comment on the issues of the President’s actions and decisions. Sunday bloody Sunday focuses on the ongoing issues of conflict between protestants and the Catholics in northern island, which culminated in the loss of lives on a day known as bloody Sunday.
The composer highlights the futility of the ongoing troubles and makes a call for change. A metaphor is utilised in the rhetorical question’ how ling must we sing this song? ’ to draw attention to the long period of time these troubles have been occurring. Direct address is employed in ‘we can be as one tonight’ in order to persuade people to put an end to the violence. Alliteration paired with evocative imagery reinforces the emotive impact of the message. ‘broken bottles under children’s feet/ bodies strewn across the dead end street. This is further demonstrated through a metaphor “the trench is dug within our hearts”, conveying the impact this is having on people’s emotions. The word choice ‘trench’ links the audience’s minds to war. The composer sends a powerful message by using a biblical allusion “the real battle has just begun/ to claim the victory Jesus won. ” Calling on Christians to unite with a common purpose rather than engage in fighting. The issue of religious conflict is clearly an important one that holds relevance for contemporary society. In 2011 Demi Lovado released the song Skyscraper.
Skyscraper focuses on the ongoing issue of bullying, self hate, and body image. The composer highlights the futility of the ongoing troubles and makes a call for change. The song begins with “Skies are crying, I am watching… catching teardrops in my hands. Only silence has its ending like we never had a chance. Do you have to make me feel like there’s nothing left of me? ” The tone of this is a soft, sad/ lonely whisper to show how vulnerable the composer is feeling, but slowly leads up to a louder stronger tone. Personification is employed which gives the effect of showing how she eels by using a large mass of to show the emotion the composer is feeling. A rhetorical question is used to show how she is feeling as though everything has been taken from her, making her feel worthless. In the chorus the metaphor “You can take everything I have, you can break everything I am” is used to show that things are changing for her but she is getting better and stronger to not care as much about the issues. “Like I’m made of glass, like I’m made of paper” uses repetition to portray the effect of feeling weak but knowing you’re much stronger.
This is shown because the substances referred to are paper and glass which are very weak and easy to break. In the third stanza emotive language is used. “Would it make you feel better to watch me while I bleed? ” This is relating to her issues of self harm and how it would make people feel to watch her do it. The emotive language reference is said in an angry tone with high volume. This is to show how fed up of feeling bad about herself she is. This song suggests that bullying and self image issues are clearly an important one that holds relevance for contemporary society.

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