Figurative language in Katy Perry's "Firework"


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An analysis of Katy Perry's song "Firework" for its figurative language.

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Figurative language in Katy Perry's "Firework"

  1. 1. “Firework” by Katy Perry English 12 Oral Presentation December 9th, 2010
  2. 2. Outline 1. Introduction to Katy Perry 2. References to fireworks in music/literature 3. Inspirations 4. Audience – who will “hear” this song? 5. Major themes presented 6. Figurative language 7. The Music 8. The Music Video 9. Critical Acclaim & Opinion 10. Sources 11. The Song
  3. 3. Who's Katy Perry? <ul><li>Born October 25th, 1984 </li></ul><ul><li>Santa Barbara, California </li></ul><ul><li>Former Christian folk singer turned pop star </li></ul><ul><li>Influenced by Alanis Morrissette's “Jagged Little Pill” (1995) </li></ul><ul><li>Her debut album “One of the Boys” featured hits “I Kissed a Girl” and “Ur So Gay” (and you don't even like boys...) </li></ul>
  4. 4. Why Fireworks? Reference to title: Singular firework Positive connotation (typically) Other songs titled “Fireworks” -Tragically Hip, Roxette, Drake, Animal Collective... Reference to Jack Kerouac's On The Road: &quot;[...] the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes 'Awww!'
  5. 5. Audience Who will “hear” this song? Youth (based on most of her other songs...) Troubled spirits? Those looking for inspiration American audience? Reference to Fourth of July... NOT for death metal fans...pop genre
  6. 6. Themes Presented Could be considered as personal philosophy Human spiritual growth and awakening Revelation of self to others Individual worth and self- esteem
  7. 7. Figurative language? <ul><li>Do you ever feel like a plastic bag </li></ul><ul><li>Drifting through the wind </li></ul><ul><li>Wanting to start again </li></ul><ul><li>Do you ever feel so paper thin </li></ul><ul><li>Like a house of cards </li></ul><ul><li>One blow from caving in </li></ul><ul><li>Do you ever feel already buried deep </li></ul><ul><li>Six feet under scream </li></ul><ul><li>But no one seems to hear a thing </li></ul><ul><li>Personal appeal at start of song – use of various similes </li></ul><ul><li>“ Six feet under scream” mixes imagery of burial and frustration </li></ul><ul><li>“ No one seems to hear a thing” indicates lack of connection with others </li></ul>
  8. 8. Metaphor for the spirit... <ul><li>You just gotta ignite the light </li></ul><ul><li>And let it shine </li></ul><ul><li>Just own the night </li></ul><ul><li>Like the Fourth of July </li></ul><ul><li>Baby you're a firework </li></ul><ul><li>Come on let your colors burst </li></ul><ul><li>Boom, boom, boom </li></ul><ul><li>Even brighter than the moon, moon, moon </li></ul><ul><li>Light imagery is huge here – symbolizes the human potential... </li></ul><ul><li>“ Let your colors burst” portrays inner talents as colors...metaphorical </li></ul><ul><li>“ Even brighter than the moon” uses hyperbole to inspire us... </li></ul>
  9. 9. Sound Devices <ul><li>Make 'em go “Oh, oh, oh!” </li></ul><ul><li>As you shoot across the sky-y-y </li></ul><ul><li>Boom, Boom, Boom </li></ul><ul><li>Even brighter than the moon, moon, moon </li></ul><ul><li>It's always been inside of you, you, you </li></ul><ul><li>Cause baby you're a firework </li></ul><ul><li>Come on show 'em what you're worth </li></ul><ul><li>Use of repetition for sound effect and mood </li></ul><ul><li>Use of “boom” to imitate opening of spirit – onomatopoeia </li></ul><ul><li>Rhyme scheme is irregular, but present where convenient... </li></ul>
  10. 10. Other figurative language <ul><li>You don't have to feel like a waste of space, </li></ul><ul><li>You're original, cannot be replaced. </li></ul><ul><li>If you only knew what the future holds, </li></ul><ul><li>After a hurricane comes a rainbow. </li></ul><ul><li>Maybe you're the reason why all the doors are closed, </li></ul><ul><li>So you can open one that leads you to the perfect road </li></ul><ul><li>Like a lightning bolt, your heart will blow </li></ul><ul><li>“ Waste of space” - bullying language </li></ul><ul><li>“ Hurricane...rainbow” - weather metaphor for potential </li></ul><ul><li>The “perfect road” - metaphor similar to Robert Frost </li></ul><ul><li>“ Like a lightning bolt” - use of simile to describe process </li></ul>
  11. 11. ♪ The Music... ♫ <ul><li>Heavy bass beat typical of dance music </li></ul><ul><li>Addition of cello adds sophistication </li></ul><ul><li>Vocal role of Perry overpowers </li></ul>
  12. 12. The Music Video <ul><li>Uses explosive image of fireworks exploding from chest area </li></ul><ul><li>Case study of four youths in differing situations </li></ul><ul><li>Video was partially “censored” in Britain </li></ul><ul><li>Filmed in Budapest, Hungary </li></ul>
  13. 13. Do People Like It? Reached no. 1 in two countries: -New Zealand (November 14th/10) -USA (Currently Billboard no.2!) -Highly ranked in Europe (but not no.1) MTV News quoted Perry as saying this song is “Probably my favourite song off the record.” Personal favourite of mine at the moment; great teacher song, catchy tune. Mixed reviews from “the experts”...
  14. 14. My sources “ Katy Perry Biography.” Author unknown. Source:http: // Online December 7/2010. “ Jack Kerouac quote.” Author unknown. Source: “ Katy Perry's 'Firework' video censored.” Author unknown. “ Katy Perry on new single 'Firework'”. Author unknown. Online December 8/2010. Cole, Matthew. “Katy Perry; Teenage Dream”. August 22,2010. Online. http://www.slantmagazine .com