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Literary Devices in Song Lyrics
Transcript of Literary Devices in Song Lyrics
"Boom, boom, boom! Even brighter than the moon, moon, moon."
-Katy Perry, "Firework"
every whisper, every sigh eats away this heart of mine
~Calvin Harris (feat. Florence Welch), "Sweet Nothing"
Calvin Harris & Florence Welch,
Lana Del Rey,
"Young and Beautiful"
"Everything at Once"
Lana Del Rey,
"The Point of Know Return"
"Hot N' Cold"
(I want to be)
As sly as a fox, as strong as an ox,
As fast as a hare, as brave as a bear,
As free as a bird, as neat as a word,
As quiet as a mouse, as big as a house,
-Lenka Kripac, "Everthing At Once"
You're hot and you're cold
, you're yes and you're no, you're in and you're out,
you're up and you're down...
-Katy Perry, "Hot N' Cold"
He's my sun
, he makes me shine like diamonds..."
-Lana Del Rey, "Young and Beautiful
"Call all the ladies out,
They're in their
hundred jewels on throats
hundred jewels between teeth
skin in craters like the moon
Figurative Language Within
her eyes make the stars look like they’re not shining
~"Just The Way You Are", Bruno Mars
is the use of human characteristics to describe animals, things, or ideas.
is the use of words like
, in which the spoken sound resembles the actual sound.
A metaphor is a comparison of one thing to another without using the terms 'like' or 'as'
is a comparison of two things through the use of the words
is the repetition of similar sounds,usually consonants,at the beginning of words.
"I got that
summertime, summertime sadness
"Got my hair
-"Summertime Sadness", Lana Del Rey
By: Sara Scott
is a play on words that uses the similarity in sound between two words with distinctly different meanings.
is langage that brings to mind sensory impressions.
Mrs. Boykin &
is an excessive overstatement or conscious exaggeration of fact.
is a statement that seems contradictory but expresses a deeper truth.
Table of Contents
is a reference within a literary work to a historical, literary, or biblical character, place, or event.
is a sudden, powerful, and often spiritual or life changing realization that a character experiences in an otherwise ordinary moment.
I know nobody to blame,
, I did this to myself...
~Jay-Z & Justin Timberlake, "Holy Grail"
(The lyrics refer to singer Kurt Cobain and a song he wrote.)
Have you ever wondered if songwriters use literary devices to enhance their lyrics? In this presentation I've given examples of each literary device in a song.
is a poetic device characterized by the repetition of consonants more than once in short succession.
is a device that emphasizes the contrast between the way things are expected to be and the way they actually are
is an object, character, figure, place, or color used to represent an abstract idea or concept.
is the association of two terms that seem to contradict each other.
"How long to the
point of know return
~Kansas, "Point of Know Return"
"Once I rose above the noise and confusion..." "Surely heaven waits for you..." "There'll be peace when you are done..."
~Kansas, "Carry On Wayward Son"
is a common expression that has acquired a meaning that differs from a literal meaning.
"Oh, if the
sky comes falling down
for you, there's
nothing in this world I wouldn't do
~"Hey Brother", Avicii
drawing me in and you're kicking me out
My head's underwater, but I'm breathing fine
~"All of Me", John Legend
The sound of silence
~Simon & Garfunkel, "The Sound of Silence"
Jay-Z & Justin Timberlake,
"Just the Way You Are"
Fall Out Boy,
"Thnks fr th Mmrs"
"You May be Right"
"All of Me"
Simon & Garfunkle,
"The Sound of Silence"
"Carry On Wayward Son"
The first idiom appears when Avicii says that the sky may fall down, which is impossible. Also, there are things the singer would or could not do for the person the song is directed to.
Kansas alludes to life after death in Heaven and the rewards for people who arrive there.
I hope these examples helped you understand figurative language. They are used every day and have been useful to artists for years to make their point or to accentuate their music.
The song begins with the singer having bad luck, and an argument with his girlfriend, but as the song continues he starts to agree with his girlfriend and things become right.
Billy Joel, "You May be Right"
"I'm gonna m
~Fall Out Boy, "Thnks fr th Mmrs"