A Theme Of School Shootings In Lyric Poetry

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A poet Alice Osborn once affirmed, ‘Poetry can influence our life if we let it and embrace it, it can offer us a way to empathise with one another. In its immediacy, poetry is a counsellor helping us to understand one another. Leading us away from hate to love, from violence to mercy and pity.” This certainly can be the case, that poets can express hate and violence. This can possess huge power to influence the audience’s views on many distinctive issues with our fractured world that we live in today. One issue readily available around our world in past and recent times worldwide is the high suffrage of all school shooting survivors. Songwriters and poets have expressed strident views on the issue of school shootings, both educating and trying to influence heavier gun laws to take action on this issue and give justice to the survivors. Two songwriters and band The Boomtown rats, their song about, ‘I don’t like Mondays’, and songwriters Burt Bacharach and Rudy Perez Pen, in their song, ‘Live to see another day’. It is highly unmanageable to not feel influenced immensely by these two powerful lyrical texts.

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The Boomtown rats were one of the first bands to release a lyric poem, displaying the impact of the individuals and ‘I don’t like Mondays’, was one of their first ever hit singles. Written in 1979, this shooting took place on January 29th 1979. ‘I don’t like Mondays’ is a metaphor, which describes how Brenda Spencer a 16 year-old girl explained her actions by saying, “I just don’t like Mondays. This livens up the day.” The Boomtown rats implied that they did not see the set as a ‘shooting.’ More like a girl coming home from school and her parents just sit by the television instead of knowing what has happened that day. The purpose of this song was to convey audiences of the destructive consequences and impact of a school shooting in Australia. School shooting survivors felt ostracised in the new part of the fractured world that had now been discovered, feeling belittled as many had to stand there and watch their loved ones get shot. They felt weakened, as they could not rescue anyone, instead live with that memory forever replaying in their heads. These song lyrics presents a sense of isolation and hopelessness, especially in the line, ‘And today’s lesson is on how to die.’…’what reason do you need to die?’ This causes the reader to feel greatly about this terrible situation. These two lines display the use of rhetorical question, ‘What reasons do I need to die?’ this identifies that the songwriters themselves stand with the survivors’ and does not have an answer for why they were to die that young. This invites the reader to try apprehend that Mondays are displayed as a metaphor for the survivors’ and the experience of watching others die in our diverse culture.

The songwriters’ use of free verse structure reflects the impact of Brenda not liking Mondays and the way that she has impacted people’s lives have been deranged. The song begins with free verse and no rhyming. The song starts to sway into repetitiveness, displaying the fact that Mondays’ were not highly enjoyed. The songwriters use characterisation to describe how the character created conflict between many, also people’s deep connection towards the survivors. Furthermore, the use of repetitiveness and metaphors invites the readers to create a deeper understanding that these survivors were stripped of their power and felt useless, just like the family who were impacted by a love one being in a shooting. This poem strongly influences audiences to understand that there has been a tremendous lack in recognising the most basic human rights being manipulated to make all survivors feel powerless.

Like The Boomtown rats, Burt Bacharach and Rudy Perez Pen have created a song intense power to shine light on an issue of importance. Burt and Rudy have done that in their song ‘Live to see another day’. This Lyric poem, released in 2018, is a song in protest of supporting school shooting survivors. ‘We stand as one. We all want the same thing. We all want our freedom.’ This song has received a lot of praise all around the world. Burt has also recognised the fact that school should be a safe place for all children; he asked himself what he should do. He called up Rudy and asked to make a song with him to recognise the fact that shootings are now happening too readily around the world. The language is more emotional and objectifying as it displays the truths of school shootings and they have put emotional wording into this lyric poem to make it hit closer to home. The use of simple stanzas in this poem reinforces how high of an impact a simple evil act can have upon many. The delivery of rhetorical questions and metaphors in this lyric poem positions the readers to feel emotionally connected to the lyrics and this powerful music delivery does just that. The lyrics of this song makes it impossible to try and sweep this issue back under the carpet, instead the song sheds some light on how bad this issue is and how great of an impact it has on others.

The use of repitiveness in this modern form of lyric poetry repeatedly displays the issue of school shootings. The metaphors used in this lyric poem make the audience fall even deeper into a trance with this ongoing issue. It is clear that we should be taking more action upon this issue. This issue is a hot topic, it can be quite delicate to many Individuals, and can trigger some people and their emotions connected to this issue. The delivery of the rhetorical questions and metaphors in this lyric poem it connects the audience to feel connected to take action upon this issue. In combination with the lyrics as well as the music it greats an atmosphere for the audience to be able to express how they feel upon this issue without them realising. This song makes it near to impossible to ignore the issues of shootings.

Unquestionably, poetry makes a tremendous difference in the world we live in today. It lets individuals express their views and experiences on these issues. Poetry does not only encourage audiences to think, feel but act upon these issues that can deeply influence individuals on this important issue. In conclusion, the Lyric Poets, The Boomtown rats, Burt Bacharach and Rudy Perez Pen, all have all created highly reminiscent and powerful lyric poetry which will be heard by individuals by generations, highlighting the emotional connection we all have to express their views on this issue, also act upon the issue together against school shootings and gun laws.

16 August 2021

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