Discourse in the Beatles Song's Lyric

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CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION

This chapter is an introductory part of the research paper. It includes the background of the study, research questions that cover the problems of the study, aims of the study, scope of study, clarification of terms, and organization of the paper.

1.1. Background
The Beatles have become a phenomenon and a legend among musicians who started their career in the 1960’s. The style of their music and lyrics has given a vast influence on the development of music and culture throughout the world. This statement is supported by Hecl (2006:13) in his research entitled “The Beatles and Their Influence on Culture”:

What makes them so special is their impact on music in general – the influence they have had on bands of various genres all over the world from the sixties up to the present day – and their immense influence on culture and people’s thinking.

The Beatles began their career in 1962, and decided to disband in early 1970.

During

that

period,

they

had

recorded

214

songs

(www.iamthebeatles.com), released in thirteen studio albums: Please Please Me

1

2

(UK)/ Introducing The Beatles (US), With The Beatles (UK)/ Meet The Beatles (US), A Hard Day’s Night, Beatles For Sale, Help!, Rubber Soul, Revolver, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, Magical Mystery Tour, The White Album, Yellow Submarine, Abbey Road, Let It Be, several singles and compilation albums. Numerous people around the world adore the Beatles and call

themselves “Beatlemania”. This term firstly appeared in 1964 when the Beatles visited US for the first time to perform in Ed Sullivan’s Show and their fans greeted them with a rousing welcome. The Beatles no longer exist, but “Beatlemania” still do until today who not only exist in Europe and US, but also in Asia including Indonesia.

In 1965, the first president of Indonesia, Ir. Soekarno, explicitly prohibited the Beatles’ songs to be played in Indonesia for indistinct reasons. He named them “ngak-ngik-ngok” band to refer to the music style of the Beatles known as Rock ‘n Roll. He proved that his prohibition was serious by putting Koes-Plus in jail because they had the same music style as the Beatles. During the peak of the Beatles’ career as a band in 1965, the members started to use a kind of hallucinogen drugs called LSD that stands for lysergic acid diethylamide, also known as d-lysergic acid, which can create a hallucination in the mind of the user (Olive, 2008: 9). It is widely believed that there was an issue related to the use of LSD in several of their songs. The use of LSD was closely related to the emergence of Hippy communities, the American and British youth

3

who protested against the Vietnamese War and others controversial issues at that time.
Considering the prevalent social and political situations at that time, besides the issue about LSD, there might have been some other issues in the Beatles’ song lyrics conveyed to the listeners. In fact, song lyrics as a kind of artwork function not only to entertain people but they also function to influence or even to change the thoughts or beliefs of the listeners. Hence, as the members of the band grew mature and as the social situations changed over time, some alterations might have been made in the issues that they brought into their song lyrics in every album.

In revealing the issues or hidden messages in the song lyrics, Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) can be applied because song lyrics are also a kind of text or discourse. As Halliday (2004: 3) defines the term “text” as “any instance of language, in any medium, that makes sense to someone who knows the language”. By applying CDA in analyzing a discourse, the hidden messages, issues or ideology of the discourse can be revealed because CDA not only relates texts or discourse with social phenomena but also disclose ideologies through the application of its Functional Grammar tools (Fairclough, 1989). Based on the backgrounds...
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