Depression in Music Essay

Submitted By j03bh09an
Words: 1869
Pages: 8

The mental landscape can be a beautiful place. It is whatever someone imagines it to be. On the contrary, it can also be the worst thing imaginable to someone. It is inescapable. Imagine this once perfect place, your Garden of Eden, was destroyed. Everything you care about has been set on fire and is irreversibly incinerated. This is depression. Pulling one’s self together after this feels impossible. Whereas “Top of the World,” by The Carpenters depicts an unburdened psychological dimension and its beauty with vivid imagery, “Pardon Me,” by Incubus shows the struggle being in a depression and the journey to overcome it through literary devices.
The Carpenters wrote “Top of the World,” about the feeling of being in love. Everything in life seems perfect. They show this perfection primarily through images of nature. They tell that there is not a cloud in the sky and the sun is shining. The fourth stanza, “Somethin' in the wind has learned my name/ And it's tellin' me that things are not the same/ In the leaves on the trees and the touch of the breeze/ There's a pleasin' sense of happiness for me,” gives a pleasant mental image for the reader or listener by describing perfect weather and the writer’s feelings towards it. The Carpenters also allude to the speaker being in Heaven, a perfect place. This is shown by the chorus, “I'm on the top of the world lookin' down on creation/ And the only explanation I can find/ Is the love that I've found ever since you've been around/ Your love's put me at the top of the world.” This stanza depicts an image of someone’s love raising someone up to the point that he or she feels on top of the world and in a perfect place.
“Pardon Me,” written by Brandon Boyd (lead singer of Incubus) was released on February 22, 2000 as part of the album Make Yourself. Boyd’s inspiration for this work came from the perils that were occurring in his life. His girlfriend of seven years cheated on him and of both his grandmother and a close friend passed away. One day, he walked into a bookstore and opened a magazine, in which he spotted a picture of a guy ablaze. Boyd could relate to this, feeling like he can enkindle at any moment.
Romanticism is a movement from the eighteenth century; which emphasized personal emotion, free play of the imagination, and a predilection for melancholy. “On the verge of spontaneous combustion,” and “I’ve had enough of the world,” are examples of this theme because they verbalize his thoughts about his life and his depression. Another literary genre found in this song is Gothicism. Gothicism is characterized by supernatural events, violence, and grotesque actions. “On the verge of spontaneous combustion,” and, “Exploding seems like an imminent possibility to me,” are some of the many lines that make this song Gothic. The lyrics are disturbing and depict someone who is going through mental distress. It is unheard of for someone to randomly explode or combust, but he uses these images to convey_________ to the listener. Satire is found in some lines in “Pardon Me.” Satire is a piece of literature designed to ridicule the subject of the work. This is present in the title of the song, “Pardon Me,” because of the situations Boyd is going through; he would not use such a polite tone towards those whom the song is directed towards, notably his ex-girlfriend. Also, in the third stanza, Boyd says, “I've been thinking of combustication as a welcome vacation from the burdens of the planet Earth.” When one thinks of a vacation, it is a pleasurable time that one would enjoy, but as described in the song, bursting into flames would be more pleasurable to Boyd than being on Earth. The last literary genre present is Transcendentalism. This philosophy emphasizes on extending of the fundamental reality. This is present when Boyd says “Rise above the flame,” which means he will overcome life’s overwhelming hurdles.
An allusion is a reference in one literary work