Song analysis

Aniello Napolitano
Media 330w
 paper#1
                                                Song: “Where is the love” (War Edition) Black Eyed Peas
On September 11th 2001 New York City endured one of the greatest tragedies in human history. Two planes hit the World Trade Center in a terrorist plot to terrorize Americans. This was a time of many governmental questions, and many people came together at the time of this tragedy.  The song I have chosen is “The Black Eyed Peas, “Where is the love (War Edition)”. I choose this song because it defiantly has greater meaning than any other song, and it is very dense and can be interpreted in many different ways. In this song, the Black Eyed Pea’s question Government, bash war, and discus many other meaningful aspects of life and the world.
                                                                “The instrumental”
The begging of the song has a nice up tight beat; it is hard to distinguish the instruments being played.  You continuously hear a violin, indicating sorrow and pain. I think the beat is symbol of the feelings and emotions of people during this tragic time. Many New yorkers and Americans were in deep depression and anxiety during late 2001. People were afraid of ongoing terrorist attacks as well as morning the loss of their love ones.  The music sounds are very depressing at times, but at times the beat gets louder. I’ve noticed when an important point about war or the world is made from the vocalist the beat becomes louder, which is significant.
 
                                                “The lyrics”
The lyrics in this song are very interesting and controversial. Questioning government and CIA is always controversial. The Black Eyed Peas defiantly go beyond questioning and critizeing government.  Religion, politics, tragedy and war are all incorporated in this song. The beginning of the song implicates that there is something wrong with the world… The CIA, gangs, and the KKK are labeled terrorist. I believe labeling the “CIA” a government agency terrorist is a little extreme, but that’s the way this group felt and they weren’t going to shy away from their options.  Discrimination is hate, and greed leads to war are the core of the lyrics. Love and mediation is the answer to war. The vocalist’s explains you have to possess love for every race not just your own.  Mediation is also another solution to war and hate.
 The second verse’s lyrics ask questions such as is the world insane? War is a big problem to these artists and they believe war is unnecessary and it affects little children in a negative way. “Chemical gasses filling lungs of little ones” War is going on but the reason is undercover.. These lyrics are indicating that the world is going in the wrong direction. War is labeled secretive and the wrong decision.  I think the ultimate goal of this verse is to convince people that war needs to end and that they should stand up and do what they can (protest) to stop the fighting.
The last verse’s lyrics are explaining how the majority of people are filled with greed and very money hungry. And the reason for this is cinema and media based. “Wrong information always shown by the media”  The artist in this song strongly feels that the media and cinema are showing the wrong things to the kids.  This in most cases is true, and the artist also feels that the media does not reveal all information about the war and discloses important facts. Media and Government all seems to be connected in the wrong way. Materialistic things and money are imbedded in the media and in cinema and this song explains that this is wrong.
 
                                          “The chorus”
Justin Timber Lake is supplying the vocals for the chorus and is doing a wonderful job. He sings about the war and the bad affects of it. He also asks the Lord above for guidance and aspires to end. The question of “Where is the love?” is continuously recited by Timberlake. This is indication that love is lost in the world and he is looking for it. 
 
I believe this song is historically significant because it was release at a time of war and great devastation on the home front. This song had great influence on Americans to try to change and not always believe what they see and hear from the media. I really feel y feel this song was great and very influential, it maybe realize many things about the world I didn’t know before listing to this song.

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6 Responses to “Song analysis”

  1. Jamie Parganos Says:

    This is a great song in a time where these sorts of topics are not handled in the mainstream. The Black Eyed Peas continue to push the envelope. Their most recent hit, “Imma Be” defies pop conventions in structure. Here, they are taking a political stance. As for the CIA, four years of majoring in international politics has exposed me to the atrocities they have committed, so I don’t think they are going too far out on a limb with their comparison. Good choice.

  2. Anda Pielaru Says:

    I think that this song/hit was a really great choice to do your musical analysis paper on. It is such a nice and melodic song musically, and includes beautiful vocals from the group members. This song itself, I strongly feel, was the one that made the Black Eyed Peas a household name. It is indeed a well fitting song for the time period of when it was released. I enjoyed reading this overall. The only thing that i would have to say something about that is a bit on the negative side of things, given that I am an English minor, would be to make sure you read over your paper before handing it in. I saw a number of grammatical errors along with spelling mistakes. I am just attempting to give you some friendly advice, just in case you would like to revise it for a higher grade. :0))

  3. ylok100 Says:

    Great post! I’d have to agree in that this song has really reached out to many of us especially in a time of war like you mentioned. I feel musicians are also important in helping shaping our generation given that they are able to spread good morals and values. This song in particular is easy to listen to with a light and catchy tune and its good that many of us, when we hear this song, are able to come together. Most importantly it poses a question “where is the love”? in order for people to hopefully realize and come to senses that we are suppose to be embracing everything around us today.

  4. Jamie Parganos Says:

    PS http://www.neatorama.com/2009/01/27/only-four-chords-are-needed-to-make-a-hit-song/
    Check out this link, in which “Where is the Love?” is included. It is hilarious, and it shows how the same four chords have been used on many hits we have today. Enjoy!

  5. Amy Herzog Says:

    Neil, I think you make a strong case for the political significance of this song. I’m also glad to see a strong structure in the way that you’ve organized your argument. I do have a few suggestions for ways to strengthen your post further. From a grammatical perspective, there are a number of typos and misspellings to clean up. In terms of your observations about the music itself, I know this is a challenge, particularly if you don’t have the technical vocabulary to describe what you are hearing. But see if you can spend a bit more time listening and describing the music, as if you had to walk someone through the song who had never heard it before.

    On a side note, the clip Jamie posted is really amazing– even knowing how formulaic pop music can be, I was taken aback by how many songs drew upon that same chord structure. It might be interesting for us to talk about what it means for us to be moved by songs that are ultimately quite repetitive and derivative. At the very least, now I know why I love Journey AND Bic Runga so much, which never really made sense– ha!!

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