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Neil Briffett 13words
The Poetics of Popular Music
December 9, 2014
Final essay
Every day a person finds that special someone to love or thought to be love. Relationships are the hardest thing to work on. Many work out but many don’t. Most of the times the means is clearly no one’s fault. If there were a lyricist that explore most of his songs on the same topic who would it be? A speaker with the same motif in his songs is Bruno Mars, in which some of his are about breakups and betrayals. Songs like “Grenade”, “Natalie” and “When I Was Your Man” are some good example of which it shows Bruno’s relationship problems with woman. Bruno Mars expresses the consequences of his decisions throughout different concepts such as broken hearth, regrets and betrayal; also they are represented by using symbolism, irony and metaphor, in order to show his depressive mental state.
Firstly “Grenade” by Mars, generalizing about the lyrics of this song, it is about a broken heart guy just got dumped by a girl, who did not love him and made him suffer a lot. The lyrics expressed show that the speaker is very sad and depressed, which are the same to a failure stage in a relationship like every other unhappy couples. The first sentence of this song, which says “Easy come, easy go/That's just how you live oohh” (1-2), makes you immediately think that this is the type of girl who doesn’t view relationship as anything serious, which causes a lot pain and stress for Bruno when he tries to save their failing relationship. The artist says he willingly gave the other person his all in the relationship, he treated her with respect but she instead took advantage of his love. She treated Bruno’s undying love and devotion like a piece of rubbish and threw it away without thinking. This person that Bruno was really into must have been really something to him because he goes on to describe all the ways in which he would be willing to die for his beloved: grenade, blade, train, and bullet. A lyric that illustrates well this situation is “I’d catch a grenade for ya” (11), the word grenade is referred to his ex, for whom he would do everything for the other person, and in this case he would catch a grenade, or die for that person. Although, the writer does not show any anger towards the woman, but instead shows a heart broken man who tells us what he would do for her afterwards, in contrast she wouldn’t do anything in return to him. These actions are illustrated by the use of hyperbole, whereas the speaker says “Yeah you’ll smile in my face/Then rip the brakes out my car” (21-22). These lyrics are an example of overstatement, as it means that the girl is two faced enough to smile when she with Bruno, then rip out his breaks once he turns his back, knowing very well that could lead to a fatal car crash.
Secondly, betrayal is one of the most painful experiences. “Natalie”, is about Mars telling a story of his speaker’s revenge against a gold digger named Natalie who took the protagonist for everything and how he won’t stop at nothing to make sure she pays even if he ends up spending life time in jail. Not like the previous song was about breakup, this one is focuses more on betrayal, in which the girl stole Mars money and left him broke, for that reason it causes him to go on a vengeance spree. Although Natalie played with his emotions, the speaker describes the situation with a positive tone; for example when he tells us that “I spend a lifetime in jail (yeah, that’s what I’ll do) I’ll be smiling in my cell (yeah, thinking about you)” (32-33), the composer is admitting that he doesn’t care about the consequence of murdering Natalie; as long as he can get his revenge on her, he’ll be happy to spend the rest of his life in jail, knowing she’s long gone. The writer uses a technique in the song, which is the synecdone of lines. The method changes the way you interpret the song, because the speaker his uses words that