Songs As Poetry Project

Posted By admin On 03/09/21

Our Undergraduate Research Scholar Louisa Day joined the project team in Summer 2019. The UGRS Scholarship enabled Louisa to undertake research on the theme ‘Beyond Song’. We have collated more than 1700 song settings of Baudelaire’s poetry but what other types of musical adaptations can be found? In this first blog post, Louisa examines. Steps to the Project: 1. Pick a classroom appropriate song with at least 10 literary devices 2. Copy and paste your song lyrics onto a Word Document. Make sure your song title and song artist is at the top of the page. You MUST get your song approved before continuing on your project. Analyze your poem.

At least five songs must be included in your project. Each song’s title and artist should be listed with a link to its lyrics page. List and describe at least three poetic devices used in each song. Simply typing a specific line is usually sufficient, but if you’re describing a metaphor, you must specifically explain what two objects are compared and how (if this is not apparent in the song). Try not to use the same three devices in every song.


1. “Grenade” by Bruno Mars: lyrics Super mario 64 machinima.

  • Poetic Devices: metaphor, alliteration, repetition
  • Metaphor: Catching a grenade is compared to experiencing pain, both physically and emotionally, in order to prove your love for someone.
  • Alliteration: “Black, black, black and blue. Beat me til I’m numb.”
  • Repetition: “Oh, take, take, take it all.”

Songs To Use For Poetry

2. “Dog Days are Over” by Florence and the Machine: lyrics

  • Poetic Devices: simile, alliteration, metaphor
  • Simile: “Happiness hit her like a train on a track.”
  • Alliteration: “Leave all your love and your longing behind.”
  • Metaphor: The line “the horses are coming, so you better run” is a metaphor for the inevitable occuring and trying to prolong it as long as possible.

3. “Winter Winds” by Mumford and Sons: lyrics

  • Poetic Devices: alliteration, personification, rhyming couplet
  • Alliteration: “And if your strife strikes at your sleep / Remember spring swaps snow for leaves.”
  • Personification: “But my heart told my head / ‘This time no.'”
  • Rhyming Couplet: “You’ll be happy and wholesome again / When the city clears and the sun ascends.”

4. “The Trolley Song” sung by Judy Garland: lyrics

  • Poetic Devices: onamonapia, alliteration, rhyming couplet
  • Onamonapia: “Clang, clang, clang went the trolley / Ding, ding, ding went the bell.”
  • Alliteration: “With my high-starched collar and my high-topped shoes / and my hair piled high up on my head”
  • Rhyming Couplet: “The day was bright, the air was sweet / The smell of honeysuckle charmed you off your feet.”

5. “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen: lyrics

Songs As Poetry Projector

  • Poetic Devices: repetition, allusion, metaphor
  • Repetition: “Hallelujah” is repeated several times throughout the song.
  • Allusion: The song references biblical characters.
  • Metaphor: “Love is not a victory march / it’s a cold, and it’s a broken Hallelujah.”