Only the Good Die Young

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Portia Francis
Comp & Literature
Feb 11, 2013

“Only the Good Die Young” vs. “Make Much of Time”

The tone in “Only the Good Die Young” and “Make Much of Time “are very different. Both the song and the poem speak of men tempting women to lose their virginity and “carpe diem” live life to the fullest, “Make Much of time” has a much softer tone, versus , “Only the Good Die Young” has a much more aggressive one.

In “Make Much of Time” the writer, although a “carpe diem” poem takes a much gentler approach to the women he is encouraging. Herrick refers to us, “Gather ye roses while she may” to show that in the 1500’-1600s women married much earlier and time was of the essence. He uses phrases ,like “ this same flower that blooms today will soon be dying, ”and “when youth and blood are warmer” to support his idea that women should not wait until they are older and choose to marry and ultimately give up their virginity. He speaks “having once lost your prime” to support his tone to women.. Herrick, in my opinion, is encouraging young women to marry before they are too old, which is relatively young but not missing out on the most important thing in their life.. He uses words like “ Rosebuds” and “smiles today” and having “lost but once your prime” to create a more gentle tone.

On the other hand Billy Joel writes a “more in your face “ carpe diem poem. He sites “Don’t let me wait, Catholic girls start much too late”. He seems to be putting on the pressure with the young women and pointing the finger to the reasons why. He seems to be more concerned with his personal satisfaction” after speaking of her, “Brand new soul” and “Cross of gold” after her confirmation, “But did she ever say pray for me?” To me, this indicates that he knew his thoughts were lustful and in a round--bout way, he acknowledged his feelings and wanted resolution. The songs title lends to his aggressiveness “ Only the Good Die Young”, because no woman is going to die if she doesn’t give...
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