Ryan Sharman Essay

Submitted By RyanS7066
Words: 1106
Pages: 5

Sting (The Police)-Roxanne
The first bar of Roxanne opens with a staccato guitar playing minor chords, accenting on the beat. The song is in 4/4 and this is established by the guitar. Accompanying the guitar is a hi-hat being accented on the 4th beat of the bar, this keeping the timbre of the song at an interesting level. The minor chords establishing the key to the listeners, D minor, the rhythmic form is a tango setting a kind of dance mood to the song. In the third bar the bass comes in as well as the snare and kick drum. The bass playing root notes and the snare playing an accented beat on the 2nd and 4th beat of the bar. On the 8th bar cymbals are hit as accented notes on the 4th beat of the bar and held for 2 bars. Sting comes in with vocal line and title track of the song in the 10th bar. (LYRIC ‘Roxanne you don’t have to put on your red light, those days are over. You don’t have to sell your body to the night.’) These opening lyrics show the point of the song. A possibly fictional name but real character is mentioned called Roxanne, who is a prostitute in the red light district who singer is infatuated by. You do not need to know anything about sting or the song to understand what it’s about. The next verse is just a repeat of the first; the chorus comes in on the 30th bar. The rest of the band joins in vocally harmonizing the line ‘Roxanne’ with sting to progress the song and thicken out the timbre. APENDIX

Kurt Cobain (Nirvana)-Polly
Polly is fundamentally simple as a song; it’s based around a simple turnover of chords as the listeners are supposed to focus on the lyrics. The song Polly was written by Cobaine after he had heard on the news about a girl who was kidnapped and tortured in a number of ways including with a blow torch. (LYRIC ‘I think she wants some water to put out the blow torch’) This inspired him to write a song about the incident, the song is written in the perspective of the person torturing ‘Polly’ properly a fictional name. The first 4 bars of Polly are just guitar playing a 4 chord shuffle establishing the key of Em, the song is in 4/4 and the relaxed tempo of the song set’s a mood. On the 5th bar Cobaine adds the vocal line, singing a simple almost droning vocal line really gives the song almost eerie sound. On the first beat of the 13th bar a cymbal is lightly struck introducing the chorus. The chorus is very similar to the verse apart from in the verse the chords are Em, G, D, C and in the chorus the chords are G, Bb, D, C this only adding a slight change to tonality. Although to give credit to Cobaine it’s intriguingly simple and really draws the listener in to focus on the lyrics. As well as the one chord change in the chorus the chorus is harmonized with Cobain by the other members adding texture to the song. The song then goes on to repeat the verse and chorus until the end making only slight changes lyrically but progressing as a story. (She caught me off my guard Amazes me the will of instinct) suggests that Polly escaped her capture this is never confirmed within the song.

Johnny Cash ()-Folsom Prison Blues

APENDIX-
Sting Roxanne
Roxanne
You don't have to put on the red light
Those days are over
You don't have to sell your body to the night
Roxanne
You don't have to wear that dress tonight
Walk the streets for money
You don't care if it's wrong or if it's right

Roxanne
You don't have to put on the red light
Roxanne
You don't have to put on the red light

Roxanne put on the red light
Roxanne put on the red light
Roxanne put on the red light
Roxanne put on the red light
Roxanne put on the red light

I loved you…