Bryan Polak Essay

Submitted By samad0914
Words: 801
Pages: 4

Bryan Polak
September 10th, 2013
Morals above Revenge
In the song “Galveston Bay”, written by Leo Robin and Harold Arlen, there is a confusion at hand between whether or not the main character, Billy, killed another character Le Bin Son. Throughout the song Robin and Arlen make very difficult to understand whether or not Billy kills Le Bin Son. The writers use gloomy imagery to convince the reader that Billy will kill Le Bin Son. However, Robin and Arlen have convinced me that Billy has not kill Le Bin Son, he instead chose to pick his morals over another person’s past decisions. The writers convincing came from them making comparisons between the two men to show that both have love for their families and are equal as people. Robin and Arlen also use the water in the song to symbolize purity and times of happiness throughout the two men’s lives. Leo Robin and Harold Arlen use symbolism and comparisons to prove to the reader that Billy chose his morals over revenge in “Galveston Bay”. “Billy stood in the shadows, his K-bar knife in his hand, and the moon slipped behind the clouds, Le lit a cigarette, the bay was still as glass” (Robin and Arlen 42-45). When hearing this in the song “Galveston Bay”, the reader suddenly gets a feeling of gloom or darkness. Making the bay still as glass gives the reader or listener an idea that this glass is piercing and sharp. When Billy pulls out his “K-bar knife” the reader ultimately thinks that he will stab Le Bin Son and be done with the deed. Finally Robin and Arlen mention the shadows that Billy are standing in. When a reader sees the word shadows they think of darkness. In movies when a character is “in the shadows” it usually leads to the death of another character, in this case Le Bin Son. “But as Le walked down the courthouse steps Billy said ‘My friend you're a dead man’” (R&A 39-40). These lines are right before the quote of darkness. By Robin and Arlen stating that Billy told Le Bin Son that he is a dead man makes the reader think right away that the next thing to come is going to be Billy killing Le Bin Son. These are all prime examples of why some people could make the argument that Billy did kill Le Bin Son, however Robin and Arlen prove later in the song that Billy did not kill Le Bin Son. Throughout the first part of the song, Robin and Arlen use a comparison between Billy and Le Bin Son to show that these two men should be, and will be, viewed as equals in the song. “For fifteen years Le Bin Son, Fought side by side with the Americans, In the mountains and deltas of Vietnam, In '75 Saigon fell and he left his command, And brought his family to the promised land” (R&A 1-5). This is the portion of the song that