Analysis/Argumentative Essay of Song 'Bittersweet Symphony'

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‘Bitter Sweet Symphony’, which was written by the English alternative rock band
‘The Verve’, was an iconic song of the late 1990s and carried with it a story many people can relate to. The metaphorical title suggests that life, like a symphony, is comprised of high notes and low notes but is bitter sweet because many people can find themselves stuck in the formal structure of society and, without realizing it, watch as life passes before their eyes. The song, which is in a first person point of view, is sung by the lead singer Richard Ashcroft as he reveals that he would like more meaning in his life, but feels trapped, powerless, and unable to change due to circumstances of his life that are beyond his control. This is
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The stanza finishes ironically by saying, “But I’m a million different people/ from one day to the next/ I can’t change my mould/ no, no…” which states that, although he changes himself to meet everyone else’s expectations, he is unable to change to create meaning for himself. The repetition of these stanzas as the chorus is an indication that the listener is intended to be reminded of the literal meaning, and that this song is about one individual’s perspective on life in particular.

Intended meanings within Ashcroft’s lyrics are not always obvious. In stanza one he explains that he will take us down the only road he has ever known, the one that takes us to the place where all the veins meet. Anatomically, the place where all of the veins meet is the heart which implies that the story he is about to tell is a deep and emotional one. In stanza three he states that he never prays but tonight he is on his knees which shows his desperation about his imperfect life. He continues, “I need to hear some sounds that recognize the pain in me, yeah/ I let the melody shine, let it cleanse my mind, I feel free now/ but the airways are clean and there’s nobody singing to me now”. As he prays sincerely, he believes that any sound of compassion recognizing his pain at all is better than silence and that the melody allows him to feel better. After praying, he hears nothing back, his

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