Songs Draw Strength, Courage, and Wisdom from Poems

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There are many times when song lyrics draw inspiration from poems. In many situations song writers get ideas for music through poems seeing as most are written on life experiences or events. It is evident that the poem, “The Ballad of Birmingham” written by Dudley Randall and the song “Strength, Courage, and Wisdom” written by India Arie have numerous similarities. These two works are about people who exemplify strength, courage, and wisdom. Even though both of these works were created in different time periods, they still convey the same meaning. The characteristic of strength is found during the course of these two works of poetry. In stanza one of “The Ballad of Birmingham”,” Mother dear, may I go downtown Instead of out to play, And march the streets of Birmingham In a Freedom March today ( 1-4 Randall)?” An African American child is pleading to her mother to allow her to march for the rights of all African American citizens. This statement alone, coming from a young child, is a powerful statement of inner strength. We also see the similar statement within the first stanza of a song by India Aria which states, “It’s time to step out on faith, I’ve gotta show my face It’s been elusive for so long, but freedom is mine today ("A-Z Lyrics").” Even without entirely saying it, the lyrics of the song and the words of the poem both refer to having enough strength to stand up for their freedom. In the overview of each poem they also point out the characteristic of courage.

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