‘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 also metaphorically depicted in the music video as Ashcroft walks down a busy London street without changing his speed or direction. While walking, he collides with people walking by, is almost hit by a car, and is confronted by a woman whom he pushed to the ground. As this occurs, he continues apathetically and, as the song implies, is immobilized in his mould and has no other choice but to continue and accept the consequences.
The chorus of ‘Bitter Sweet Symphony’, which consists of two stanzas, conveys the literal message of the song. Stanza one states, ‘’Cause it’s a bitter sweet symphony, this life/ trying to make ends meet/ you’re a slave to money then you die.’ Ashcroft gives the statement that life is bitter sweet because, as a society, we focus too highly on money until we die. He then prepares the listener by telling them that he is about to regard his own bitter sweet life story as he continues to say, ‘I’ll take you down the only road I’ve ever been down/ You know the one that takes you to the places/ where all the veins meet yeah.” In stanza two, Ashcroft repeats several times that he is unable to change and continues to state, “But I’m here in my mould/ I am here in my mould” implying that he would like to...
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