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the class. Present the singer, the context, the lyrics ; Sum up its issue
s! pro"lem ,su"#ect! etc.
Select a protest song that deals with a strong political or social issue.
Find out more about the artist and when the song was written. This might give
you clues about his/her interests and beliefs. As well, this will give you insight into
what was happening in the world when the artist wrote the song.
Identify what the issue the song is protesting about .
Read and carefully consider the lyrics. a!e notes on important ideas, phrases,
themes and techni$ues. Annotate a lyric sheet by circling !ey "uotes and
identifying techni$ues used.
#ote down descriptions of the sound and feel of the music in the song.
$se the Protest Song Analysis worksheet and the outline below to organi%e your analysis.
&and in a clean copy of the lyrics with your analysis.
Protest Song Analysis Worksheet
Name o Song:
Perorme" !y: Release #ate:
'hat is the message or theme of the song( 'hat is the purpose of the song(
'hat were the political circumstances at the time the song was released(
)oes the song seem to be written in response to a specific event(
)oes the song suggest any solution*s+ to the issues/problems addressed( ,-plain.
'ho is the spea!er *narrative voice+ of the song( Is it the artist or are the lyrics from another
To whom *or to what audience+ is the song addressed( ,-plain.
)escribe how this song ma!es you feel and why. In other words, what mood does the song
'hat elements within the song contribute to this mood(
&ow effective is this song as social protest( ,-plain.
%uote, identify, and explain at least % literary techni"ues found in
&uotation 'iterary Te(hni)ue *+,lanation
Outline : A Protest Song Analysis
*See Sam,le Protest Song Analysis/ 0&f & had a 'ammer1 +
Paragra,h - 2 Intro"u(tion
3 4ist the song.s title
3 The "and(artist who perform it
3 The year ( the time during which it was written / release date
3 5resent the historical context and give some "ac)ground information to 0set
the stage1 for your analysis. 1 *'hat relevant events are happening in #orth
America or in ,urope during the time of the song.s release(+
3 ention the important issue the song protests or is about and its point of view
3 The style of the song and e-plain the song*s purpose.
3 )escribe or summari%e the story and e-plain what is happening in the song
3 'ho is the spea)er( 'hat is happening or what has happened( 'hat is he/she
protesting about( Use $uotations to support your ideas!.
3 This body paragraph should begin by giving an overview of what the first verse or
verses! of the song is about and how the musical tone of the song supports this.
3 'hat are some of the po+erful +ords or images in
the song( 'hat do they mean and how do they add
power to the song( Are certain lines repeated( 'hy(
)iscuss techni$ues used to ma!e the song more
3 Include and e-plain at least three literary techni$ues
that ma!e the song powerful
3 'hat is the message in the song( ,-plain +hy the
message is effective. 'hat themes can you find in the
3 This should loo! at the chorus 6 what is the )ey
message of the words and how does the song.s style
change *or not change+ to re6inforce this.
&ow effective is the songwriter in getting his/her
message across (
1inal Paragra,h 2
3 &ow does the song finish(
3 'hat are the !ey words or feeling from the music that
we are left to thin! about(
3 Identify a main idea in your chosen song and e-plain
whether you agree or disagree with the songwriter.s
opinion. Support your response with specific reference
to the song and your own beliefs.
Te(hni)ues Use" in Song 'yri(s
Song lyrics use literary techni$ues to give the song a po+erful impact,
Re,etition of a strong word, phrase or line emphasi%es the idea and gives it
Example: “All we are saying is give peace a chance.”
Strong imagery uses visual word 0pictures1 to illustrate strong situations.
Example: “And I can see those fighter planes/Across tin huts as children sleep/Through the alleys of
quiet city street.””
An allusion is made when a writer refers to something from history, a
geographical location, a famous person or popular culture that an
educated reader is e-pected to recogni%e. Allusions help writers to
represent an idea.
Example: “Like Judas of old you lie and deceive”
Rhyme -I scrutini.e every word, memori.e every line I spit it once, refuel,
re6energi.e and re+ind I give sight to the "lind, my insight through the
mind I exercise my right to e-press when I feel it7s time1
Onomato,oeia is a word whose sound hints at its meaning.
Example “!isions clash" planes crash”
Personii(ation is giving human "ualities to inanimate ob8ects/things.
Example: “#y $lood%s so &ad feels like coagulating%.”
3eta,hors are comparisons that do not use li!e or as.
Example: the ha&&er in If I had a Hammer
Similes are comparisons that use li)e or as.
Example: “'is face red like a rose on a thorn $ush.”
Sym!olism is using concrete/real ob8ects/things to represent an important or
Example: a dove can represent peace