How do you find symbolism in songs?

I have an English project where I have to find literary devices in song lyrics. I finished all the other ones but I'm stuck on symbolism. I just need to know how to find symbolism in songs. Thanks

5 Answers

  • Kev
    Lv 4
    8 months ago
    Favourite answer

    To find a symbolic message behind the song, you need to collect all the points from the lyrics. We can take example from John Lennon's "Imagine". If we combine "Imagine there's no heaven", "imagine all the people sharing all the world" and "Imagine there's no possessions", we start to wonder what his actual message is. Are they related to one another ?  This song is anti religious, anti materialism, and and encourage people to wonder the joy of sharing. This song was also made in the 70s. If you have adequate knowledge about politics and the situation in the 70s, then you might had actually guessed communism. Yes, this song is about communism. In a communist country, all properties and businesses are owned by the government (Imagine there's no possessions), religions are banned/restricted (imagine there's no heaven), and the essence of communism is sharing (Imagine all the people sharing all the world). So from here we can learn that to find a symbolic meaning of a song, we must combine the relation between sentences of the lyrics and must have adequate knowledge of politics and history.

    Another example is Master of Puppets by Metallica. It says "Obey your master !", "Taste me you will see", "More is all you need". If we combine all of these it translates into addiction. "Obey your master" means people are slaves to addiction. "More is all you need" means they want more. "Taste me you will see" is like a temptation for people to try it. So this song is about drug addiction.

    Lv 4
    8 months ago

    Another one bites the ya and will get ya

  • KatieC
    Lv 5
    8 months ago

    Blackbird by the Beatles: the blackbird is a symbol of oppressed black people...for some reason, that’s the only one I can think of off the top of my head.

  • Emdog
    Lv 6
    8 months ago

    You might try Elton John's Candle in the Wind

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  • 8 months ago

    Here’s an example:

    This is a sample of song lyrics: “There’s a red wine stain, it’s blood on the carpet of my mind from my shame.” This is symbolic of the artists alcohol addiction that he speaks about throughout the song. The “blood” is wine and the stain is his guilt that he can’t wash away. Hope this helps!!

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