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Civil War ~ Guns 'N' Roses

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Soph Todd

on 23 June 2014

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Transcript of Civil War ~ Guns 'N' Roses

Figurative Language
- "My hands are tied, the millions shift from side to side"

- "You're power hungry, sellin soldiers in a human grocery store, aint that fresh?"

- "It feeds the rich while it buries the poor"
The themes explored in this song are:
- War
- Equality
- Human rights
- Governmental control
Alliteration and Assonance
Verse 1: "Which is the Way he Wants it, Well, he gets it".

Verse 3: "blAck armbAnd when they shot the mAn"
Historical context
The song was written in 1992 by Axl Rose, Slash and Duff McKagan. This was a year after the Cold War officially ended, and although there was no definitive fighting during this time it was a major factor in what made GnR write this classic composition.
Subject Matter
The song Civil War by rock band Guns 'N' Roses, discusses the devastation of war, both on a civil and international level.
Civil War ~ Guns 'N' Roses
Guns 'N' Roses members Axl Rose, Slash and Duff McKagan wrote this song as a comment on war. Rose, Slash and McKagan are suggesting that all war is civil, whether it is on a national or international scale.They are saying that everyone is from this world and therefore war and killing is as pointless as fighting against your neighbors and friends for the good of the country.
Cool Hand Luke
"What we've got here is, failure to communicate. Some men, we just can't reach. So, you get what we had here last week, which is the way he wants it, well, he gets it. An' I don't like it any more than you men."
When Johnny comes Marching Home
After the quote from "Cool Hand Luke", Axl Rose whistles the tune "When Johnny comes Marching Home". He whistles it in a minor key and slower than the original. This gives the impression of sadness and distress.
Music Video
SWAT Codes
S: N/A, video clip is super literal.

W: N/A

A: "Black armband" - Martin Luther King Jr. "Shot Kennedy" - Kennedy shooting. "I went numb when I learned to see" - Twin towers. "So I never fell for Vietnam" - Vietnam

T: Mostly mid range shots due to the fact taht it is actual footage and therefore people weren't getting too close.
Performance Response
I was fortunate enough to see Guns 'N' Roses perform this song live and therefore my response to this song is somewhat different compared with someone who hasn't seen it live. When Rose sings the song it is clear that he is very passionate about this issue and that makes the listener feel very passionately about this issue
Video clip understanding
The video clip is a direct view on what has occurred. It makes you understand the issues that are being presented in the song
Full transcript