Song Writing Using Poetry

Topics: Poetry, Eagles, Song Pages: 3 (835 words) Published: October 30, 2009
Song Lyrics Essay

Many song writers don’t only write songs, they write poetry as well. This essay will compare the song “Hotel California” by the Eagles and “Cats in the Cradle” by Harry Chapin, examining imagery, diction, and repetition to prove that there are many different styles artists use to incorporate poetic devices in their songs.

Both the Eagles and Chapin use the poetic device imagery. In “Cats in the Cradle”, Chapin uses visual and auditory imagery. He mainly uses those two types of imagery to paint a picture of the father and son. For example, Chapin states “Well, my son turned ten just the other day. He said ‘thanks for the ball, dad, come on, let’s play.’ ” With that quote, the image of a little boy with his ball wanting to play becomes quite visible. However the Eagles use many types of imagery: visual; auditory; olfactory, the use of smell; tactile, use of touch. An example of tactile imagery would be “sweet summer sweat”. Everyone knows that feeling during the summer where the sweat just rolls down their cheek. With that quote, it produces that feeling for the reader. Furthermore, the use of imagery in “Hotel California” is much more concise resulting in a great deal of effect.

Another poetic device that both artists use is dialogue. Chapin uses a lot of dialogue; at least half of the song is when people are talking. Even though in most songs this would seem like too much, his use of dialogue produces plenty of effect. For example “‘when you coming home.’ ‘Dad, I don’t know when. We’ll get together then, dad. You know we’ll have a good time then.’ ” These lines are very significant to the song, not only because they are in the chorus and are said many times, but also because they are said as if it is the father wanting the song to come home, instead of vice-versa. This quote foreshadows what is going to happen later on in the story. On the contrary, the Eagles use much less dialogue in their lyrics. There are only a couple lines of...
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