Song Analysis Example Essay

“Time is gone the song is over”, now what? In life humanity craves more time. Time is the one fixation we cannot get enough of.  Since humanity is required to age, time seems to slip away.  We don’t comprehend how time is synthesized. Society knows it  goes on forever, regardless of what happens in life.  Pink Floyd’s album, Dark Side Of The Moon, had immense success.  It was recorded in the summer of 1972 on Capital records. The song Time was written by Roger Waters and recorded in the progressive era of rock and roll. The song is important because it demonstrates how people don’t realize that time slips away. The song displays this by means of engineering, instruments, lyrics, and arrangement. Therefore, taking us into how this song fits the historical context of the progressive era of rock and roll.

The song Time had aesthetic engineering that sets the mood of time ticking away. The band consisted of David Gilmour, Roger Waters, Rick Wright, and Nick Mason. At first glance Pink Floyd made the decision not to do use quadraphonic mix. Quadraphonic sound consists of four channels, right front, left front, right rear, and left rear. This provides you with the impression of sound coming from a corresponding number of separate sources. Pink Floyd realized that quadraphonic sound was just beginning to develop at that time making them change their minds and incorporate a quad mix. Which was arranged by their engineer Alan Parsons. The song starts with clocks ticking, thunder, and bells that consist of alarm clocks, church bells, and chimes, setting the tone of time diminishing. Each was used simultaneously to have the effect of losing time. According to the website, “The song starts with layers of clock noises that were put together. Each clock was recorded separately at an antiques store, and the band blended them together. Parsons wanted to use the clocks to demonstrate a new quadraphonic sound system, but they ended up using it to open the song”. Subsequently, the clocks, bells, and chimes were faded and then the sound of water dropping in a bucket appears. This sound demonstrates the rhythm of a clock ticking. Accompanied with this sound simultaneously is a single guitar strum. Preceding the instrumental symbolism we incorporate true instruments.

The keyboard illustrates a relaxed tone in the background. After this the song leads into tom- tom drums, keeping up with the pace of the keyboard. Bestowing you with the essences of time running out. According to the website, “At the time of recording only a few tom-tom drums were available for the intro. To get the right mix and sound, the band had to tune each drum after hitting it, record it, and then blend and mix into a finalized percussion track”. Preceding the introduction the drums give one last tom and the lyrics approach. During the lyrics there is a combination of instruments. These include, guitars, drums, and keyboards. The lyrics:

“Tired of lying in the sunshine staying home to watch the rain

You are young and life is long and there is time to kill today

And then one day you find ten years have got behind you

No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun”

The instruments and vocals take a slow relaxed approach during this vocal stanza. Throughout the song when the lyrics move toward a revelation about what is occurring with time the instruments and vocals take the same relaxed approach. Conversely, the lyrics of the song have an extensive effect on how time sneaks away, but we do not realize until it is too late.

The lyrics of the song Time have a major effect on explaining how time creeps away and how we do not realize it.

“Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day

You fitter and waste the hours in an off hand way

Kicking around on a piece of ground in your home town

Waiting for someone or something to show you the way”

The lyrics in the first stanza are conveying that in a dull and boring day we sit around waiting for a sign to show us what to do with our life.

“Tried of lying in the sunshine staying home to watch the rain

You are young and life is long and there is time to kill today

And then one day you find ten years have got behind you

No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun”

The second stanza portrays that when we are young we get tired of lying around and doing nothing. By being young we feel we have all the time in the world.  However, time is passing us by and we do not realize it and we find that ten years have passed.

“And you run and you run to catch up with the sun, but it’s sinking

And racing around to come up behind you again

The sun is the same in the relative way, but you’re older

Shorter of breath and one day closer to death”

In this stanza the lyrics describe that we run to try to make up for lost time, but it is to late. As we get older the sun is the same but we’ve aged, along with death approaching.

“Every year is getting shorter, never seem to find the time

Plans that either come to naught or half page of scribbled lines

Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way

The time is gone the song is over, thought I’d something more to say”

The fourth stanza indicates that as we get older everyday is shorter and we cannot find the time for anything. Furthermore, time has slipped away and we thought we would have more to accomplish.

“Home, home again I like to be here when I can

When I come home cold and tried

It’s good to warm my bones beside the fire

Far away across the field

The tolling of the iron bell

Calls the faithful to their knees

To hear the softly spoken magic spells”

At the end of the song these words broadcast the meaning that all we want is to be home every chance we get. Home is the place where we can comfortable. The lyrics to this song have significant meaning. The lyrics have the power to compose your thoughts about your own life and you see how time slips away.  According to the website, “This is about how time can slip by, but many people do not realize it until it is too late. Roger Waters got the idea when he realized he was no longer preparing for anything in life, but was right in the middle of it”. The moral of these lyrics is that we have to live each moment to the fullest. On the other hand, the engineering, instruments, and lyrics give the power of the songs arrangement.

The arrangement of the song Time distributes the visual meaning of time. Clocks ticking away at the beginning of the song along with chimes, bells, and alarm clocks tell us to hurry up because our time is diminishing. This gives the audience a visual of a room filled with all kinds of clocks going off at the same time. The dripping of water into a bucket, the guitar strum, and tom tom drums tell the audience that the day has come and makes us ponder what we have done with our time. When the lyrics come into the song it explains what happens with time, leading the audience to reflect their overall life. Conversely, the song Time was written during the progressive era of rock and roll.

The progressive era of rock and roll had an effect on the type of songs that were produced during that era. The progressive era of rock and roll was unique. Most of the music made during that time was songs and sounds that pushed the limitations of straight rock. Progressive rock was unlike other rock periods because of the way the songs were arranged. In this era, bands sometimes used concept albums that had a theme. I thought that Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon was a theme album about life. Progressive rock bands used elements to describe scenes, such as, the clocks, at the beginning of the song Time. The lengths of most progressive rock songs exceeded five minutes and sometimes fill an entire side of an album. The song Time fits into the historical context of that era because of the duration of the song and the elements used to describe the scene at the start of the song.

Time is always present. I realized from the analysis of this song that we should take the time to enjoy life because one day we will turn around and it will be over. The song exhibits this by the engineering symbolism effects, instruments, lyrics, and arrangement. This is how the song fits in the historical context of the progressive era of rock and roll. Now that this paper is over, now what?

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How to write a song analysis essay

A song analysis is an analysis of a song’s lyrics. Just like when you are in an English class and have to analyze a work of poetry, by analyzing song lyrics, you are trying to extract the meaning of the lyrics and demonstrate them for your reader—so they can understand what you are “seeing” in this song, so to speak.

For example, let’s say I want to analyze a famous song by Elton John called Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.

I could the work thematically and address what I think this song is really about overall—in terms of theme.

I would begin analyzing this song in stanzas.

Stanze one:

Here, Elton seems to be speaking to someone who is either flying or perhaps “out of reality,” or “off the ground” in that they need to come down an land on Earth. In fact, the whole song seems to evoke three kinds of feelings—nostalgia for the past, a regret for years wasted on drugs, or a feeling of disenchantment with the rock and roll lifestyle.

Analyzing Overall themes:

Some lyrics in this song seem to evoke a mood of regret. Perhaps his father told him to stay close to home and live a simpler life than the temptations of money, fame, and fortune can provide.

Overall the singer seems to be yearning both for the comforts of childhood, the “yellow brick road” –the famed road from The Wizard of Oz that supposedly leads to Oz, the great wizard, who can fix anything and everything and who, most certainly, does not exist.

Perhaps, what Elton John is really saying then is that he needs a more authentic life—one that lies beyond functionality—beyond myths and hopes for some alternate world that does not exist—and given the plasticity of a life in fame—he seems to want to live on the ground, in reality, as opposed to living in a fake world one the yellow brick road, deluding himself.

Like his song Rocket Man, Elton John seems to be saying something very apprehensive about the world of fame. Fame seems to whisk artists away from their families, the real world, and their true natures in that the obsessions with popularity, money, fame, and fortune seem to realign our chief concerns, the singer says, in a way that is not necessary healthy.


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