Retail

A Semantic Analysis of Figurative Language in Michael Jackson s Selected Song Lyrics

Description
Volume 13 (1), 2015 of Figurative Language in Michael Jackson s Selected Song Lyrics STBA Teknokrat Abstract This article focuses on the types of figurative language that refers
Categories
Published
of 9
All materials on our website are shared by users. If you have any questions about copyright issues, please report us to resolve them. We are always happy to assist you.
Related Documents
Share
Transcript
Volume 13 (1), 2015 of Figurative Language in Michael Jackson s Selected Song Lyrics STBA Teknokrat Abstract This article focuses on the types of figurative language that refers to the theory of Patrick Griffith and Hurford who divide the figures of speech into metaphor, simile, personification, hyperbole, irony, and metonymy. The aim was to know the figures of speech used in Michael Jackson s songs and to portray the meanings found in the lyrics. In the process of this research, the writer applied library research. In addition, they used descriptive qualitative method. The songs written and sung by Michael Jackson were the data sources. The data were the lyrics of the songs. The most dominant type of figure of speech found in the analysis was conceptual metaphor and the least was metonymy. The figure of speech that was not found in the whole selected songs was irony. In addition, the writers also found some other figures of speech like hyperbole, personification, and simile. Key Words: hyperbole, metaphor, metonymy, personification, simile Introduction The mechanic of language has to be understood in terms of how it facilitates communication. According to Fred (2005: 4), language is the backbone of society which becomes one of the major characteristics of being human to understand one another and improves the quality of life in an atmosphere of world peace. It becomes the reason about how important the language for human interaction. Through language, the individual enjoys the life to be able to communicate with each other in expressing feeling, ideas, and intentions to one another. Everyone has their own style for having communication. There are so many possibilities happened when people cannot understand the meaning that they hear or read, since not all people can grasp the meaning directly, or sometimes the one will use different style of language to indicate different intention. Moreover, people like to express their feeling, emotion, ideas or thought through some ways like poetry, short stories, novels, or even songs. Sometimes it becomes the media to devote their critical thinking and imagination freely over the event that happened in their life. Song is one of the works that can be found easily in everyday life which contains flowery words. Moreover, song is defined as literary work of musical expression to express human thinking and feeling where it has been the soul of the life that cannot be separated (Tsauri, 2007: 13). The composer uses the words with different stylistic in a particular way in order to beautify, be vivid and be nice enough to be listened by the hearer. However, the meanings of the words sometimes are so vague and unclear that the words cannot be interpreted literally. Lyric means an artistic form of auditory communication incorporating instrumental or vocal tones in a structured manner (Hakim, 2009: 9). Lyrics of the song can be as the description of song s writer expression to devote the feeling, thought, and the willingness. Therefore, lyric can be as the form to convey a message in communication. To understand the lyrics, people have to determine the speaker's intention, which sometimes the composer is using figurative language on the song, therefore the listeners not only be able to enjoy the melody of the song but they can get more knowledge from interpreting the point of view on things in the world revealed through song s lyrics. Figurative language is an explicature interpretation that involves treating one or more words as if they had meaning different from their literal ones (Griffith, 2006: 81). From this focus, it will aim the reader to grasp the meaning construction draw naturally. The usage of figurative language is to make an imaginative description in fresh ways. Its language is commonly used non-literal meaning to beautify the language by giving a different stylistic of language and stress how important the things revealed. Based on the functions, it can be meant that figurative language is the way which is not solely giving the meaning that is inherent with its letter; rather it needs a richer mode interpretation to get the meaning in a particular way. Moreover, it is also commonly called as an art form language in which many authors, poet, or even composers use it to create more meaning through language in expressing their ideas and imagination freely by which readers or listeners can gain understanding of and appreciation toward their works. In this case, the reader or 1 Volume 13 (1), 2015 listener are demanded to construct their own mind in obtaining the intended meaning which differ from the actual literal meaning of the words themselves. Unfortunately, sometimes the hearers are getting difficulties or even confused to comprehend the meaning inside of the lyric, which actually referred to non-literal meaning. Therefore, the writer is interested to analyze figurative language on song, based on the songs compilation of Michael Jackson. Michael Jackson is the king of pop in music industry that he is categorized as the legend of music. Jackson has big contribution in music world in creating a different kind of education with lessons which are taken from his personal stories, moral consequences, and life itself. It can be seen through his works that have deep meaning related with some issues of social, political, and cultural which are typically formed to express his criticism on those part and as the media to express the feeling in conveying particular messages through the lyrics about conditions happened. Furthermore, most of his songs compilations are expected to create the works with the main theme of world peace. The theme of world peace itself is fortified to lead a harmonious life for the all people in the world characterized by the lack of violent conflict and the freedom from war of violent conflict, free of hostility to build international relationships, prosperity in matters of social or economic welfare, the establishment of equality, and many others. Hence, there will be a growing realization among all people to live peacefully. Those are some issues that Michael Jackson tried to bring through his songs. Moreover, according to Marillyn (2009:44), song s lyrics which are written by Jackson are the workings of social categories such as gender and class also shift through routes which grasping the politics and social condition that yields a broader fluidity of society. In addition, his criticism toward current issues is proven through his song that is described about how he critiqued the US s complex racial histories in his work, particularly on his lyrics. Along his career, Michael Jackson has written many songs album compilation, he has a particular purpose which is extended beyond entertainment over the music itself which not only to let the listeners enjoy the melody of tone but also rather to educate, inspire, represent people, influence, change society, and also provide social comments. Besides, through his songs compilation people can indirectly learn about some issues in the world, such as shatter stereotypes, different culture and question social injustices which can inspire a lot of people to create the world as it should be, and then live peacefully. Therefore, figurative language needs to be studied because it is very useful to know the composer s interpretation of the lyrics. Throughout this study, the writer tried to identify the figurative language in the lyrics of Jackson s songs. Therefore, the writer was interested to conduct this research as of Figurative Language in Michael Jackson s Selected Song s Lyrics. Method In this research, the writers explained the analysis of metaphor (conceptual and conventional metaphor), simile, personification, hyperbole, metonymy, and irony described in Michael Jackson s selected song s lyric by using the research design of descriptive qualitative method. Qualitative method is research procedure to gather objectively with emphasis on personal experience in described situations to improve how things work in order to build individual knowledge through analyzing, accumulating, and concluding the results (Stake, 2010: 28). Descriptive method is the procedure of research that the data gathered can be in the forms of words and picture, but it cannot be a number or the statistic pattern (Fred, 2005: 88). The source of the data of this research are taken from songs album compilation by Michael Jackson which contained a lot of songs with certain themes inside, for example like love, sexuality, and also world peace concerned to the social, cultural, and political issues. Moreover, by considering the analysis discussion, the writer tried to limit the songs with the theme of world peace. Therefore, the selected song s lyrics which become the data are The Earth Song, Cry Song, Will You be There, They Don t Care About Us, Heal the World, Black or White, and We Are the World. The steps in collecting the data are selecting the songs based on the theme of world peace, reading all the lyrics, identifying the figures of speech existing in the song lyrics, and underlining the selected song lyrics which contained figures of speech. In analyzing the data, the writers interpreted the data to find out the clues or signals that emphasize the strong point in characterizing the figurative language use and mean it as literally to know the context use. Then, they analyzed the data of Michael Jackson s lyrics in the song by interpreting them based on the theories of figure of speech; so that the writer could know the meaning of each kind of figures of speech which are exist in the data. 2 Volume 13 (1), 2015 The Earth Song Discussion This is the song entitled The Earth Song. This song is Jackson s inspiration with the plight of Mother Earth. It is also as Jackson's belief that the Earth could feel pain caused by the destruction, so he wanted to write a song coming from the voice of the planet. Moreover, in this song, the writer found some figures of speech; they are personification, hyperbole, and conventional metaphor as the most type of figure of speech which are existing in the song. 1. What about killing fields (Line 5) According to Cambridge Dictionary, killing in literal meaning means an action which can cause someone or something to have a lot pain or even died. The word killing here represents the action to harm the physical body of someone or something. This sentence is included into the figure of speech of conventional metaphor, because the signal of the word killing is commonly referred to the object of human being, in which its action is done by someone to harm another person, meanwhile, the word fields here is not human. Moreover, implicitly the word killing here is comprehended as demolition happened to the lands. Therefore, this sentence is referred to the figure of speech of conventional metaphor that metaphorically means the fields in the earth have gone away to be depraved. 2. Did you ever stop to notice? (Line 11-12) This crying Earth its weeping shores According to Cambridge Dictionary, crying in literal meaning means an action which produces tears as the result of a strong emotion like unhappiness and pain feeling. Besides, earth is also meant as the world which people live in. In this line, the sentence is referred to the figure of speech of personification. In this sentence, the earth is placed as inanimate object that represents human action to cry that has a feeling of sadness and unhappiness feeling. This sentence places non-living object as if it were a person. This sentence personifically means the world as the place to shelter has been deteriorated by the earth s inhabitants. 3. Did you ever stop to notice (Line 9-10) All the blood we've shed before Referred to Cambridge Dictionary, blood literally means the red liquid that is sent around the body by the heart. Meanwhile, shed is also meant as an action which spills out a liquid like tears. This lyric has a connection with the previous lyrics in line 5-8, What about killing fields, Is there a time, What about all the things, That you said was yours and mine. These signals indicate an overstatement to describe something in exaggeratedly way, in order to intensify and enhance a dramatic effect toward the situation happened. Therefore, this sentence hyperbolically means we have struggled hard to sacrifice everything that anything will be struck on to keep the world as it should be. 4. The heavens are falling down (Line 32) Heaven is defined the place described with joyful things completed with tranquility and peaceful situation, that people can enjoy perfect happiness without exception, according to Cambridge Dictionary. Moreover, falling is also literally meant as an action which suddenly goes down onto the ground that usually without intending to. This lyric has a connection with the previous lyrics in line 23 and 31, Did you ever stop to notice, This crying Earth its weeping shores, What about the seas. This statement is referred to the figure of speech of hyperbole, because it is aimed to add dramatic effect exaggeratedly. This sentence hyperbolically means how all goodness related to the splendor of natural resources and peace atmosphere which are exist in this earth have been lost away for so many reasons behind, for example like impairment of nature s wealth. 5. It's our planet's womb (Line 37) Referred to Cambridge Dictionary, womb in literal meaning means the organ in the body of woman or other female mammal in which a baby develops before birth. The word of it s here is referred to nature s worth stated in the previous lyric in line 36. Moreover, the word womb here is commonly referred to the object of woman s body organ, meanwhile, in this phrase it is connected with the planet which is not woman. Implicitly the word womb here is comprehended as the ground in which it contains everything in the bowels of the earth. Therefore, this phrase is referred to the figure of speech of conventional metaphor. It metaphorically means the world is the place that creates all the things inside, for example human, animal and also a plenty of natural resources, such as mountain, sea, ocean, lake and the others. 3 Volume 13 (1), We've turned kingdoms to dust (Line 39) Kingdom is defined literally as an area which is controlled by a particular person, like king or queen, according to Cambridge Dictionary. Besides, dust is also literally meant as dirt like a powder that covers surfaces inside a building, or very small dry pieces of soil, sand or other substances. In this case, the word of kingdom is referred to the whole parts of the earth. Moreover, this statement is connected with the previous lyric in line 38, What about animals. Therefore, this statement is included to the figure of speech of hyperbole. This statement means the earth as a fit abiding place for all creatures including people, plant, and animal had already been destroyed by human itself. 7. What about crying whales (Line 42-43) We're ravaging the seas Crying in literal meaning means to sob or shed tears because of grief, sorrow, or pain, based on Cambridge Dictionary. Meanwhile, whales are also literally meant as a fish which are categorized as larger marine mammals. This statement is referred to the figure of speech of hyperbole. The whale is depicted to cry where it is impossible for the animal to have feeling then crying like human s trait. This statement means that the condition of marine life, especially, for the sea s creatures are in the severe condition that needs to be conserved and protected. The Cry Song This is the song entitled Cry. This song brings one of world s issues about war, isolation, and also brotherhood. This song briefly explains the togetherness of all people to make a change to the world. Moreover, in this song, the writer found some figures of speech; they are hyperbole and conventional metaphor as the most type of figure of speech which are existing in the song. 1. You can touch the sky (Line 12) Referred to Cambridge Dictionary, touch literally means to bring something into light contact with something else. Meanwhile, the sky here is also literally meant as the area above the earth, in which clouds, the sun, the moon, and etc can be seen. This lyric has a connection with the previous lyrics in line 10-11, You can change the world, I can t do it by myself. This statement is referred to hyperbole, since people cannot reach high and far space basically. This line hyperbolically means you can do something to reach your goal to make the world better, in which the result is never can be expected before. 2. All we have to do is reach for the truth (Line 25) According to Cambridge Dictionary, reach in literal meaning means to arrive at a place, especially after spending a long time or a lot of efforts. Meanwhile, the word of truth here is another signal that explains the word of reach refers to. The word of reach here is commonly referred to the object of place; meanwhile it is connected with the word of truth that is not related with a kind of places. Moreover, this lyric is strengthened with the next lyrics in line 26-27, You can change the world, I can't do it by myself. This sentence is referred to the figure of speech of conventional metaphor that needs deeper interpretation. In this line, the sentence metaphorically means we have to find and get the true fact. Will You Be There Song This is the song entitled Will You be There. This song is regarded as spiritual awakening of Michael Jackson. It briefly explains that Jackson was speaking to the God as his pray for understanding and unconditional love. Moreover, in this song, the writer found some figures of speech; they are simile and conventional metaphor as the most type of figure of speech which are existing in the song. 1. Hold Me (Line 1-2) Like The River Jordan Referred to Cambridge Dictionary, hold in literal meaning means to take and keep something in your hand or arms. Meanwhile, River Jordan is also the signal as one of river as the most popular tourist destination that is depicted as a place created by the God with plenty splendor and fascinating place in the world. In these lines, there is a signal of like, which trying to make a parable how the word of me in the lyric here wants to be treated in the same way like its river. This sentence is referred to the figure of speech of simile. The sentence meaning is he wants the God to keep and take care of him as the way how the God always keeps the beauty of River Jordan to be looked good and interesting, in which a lot of people love it and want to be close with it. 4 Volume 13 (1), Carry Me (Line 5-6) Like You Are My Brother Carry in literal meaning means to transport or to take something from one place to another place, according to Cambridge Dictionary. Besides, the word like here is the signal that functioned to make similarity about the way how to treat someone else. Meanwhile, brother here is a man or boy in the same parents. This statement is clearly referred to the figure of speech of simile which means he is expected to be regarded as if he is the sibling in familial relationship that the closeness is more than just a common contact. 3. Love Me like A Mother (Line 7) Love in literal meaning means likening someone or something with a strong affection feeling, according to Cambridge Dictionary. Besides, the word like here is functioned as a signal which indicates the similarity about the way how to treat someone else, in which the one expects to be treated as if a mother treats her children. Moreover, mother here is referred to the female parent. This statement is referred to the figure of speech of simile which means he wants to be loved as if the one that is referred could treat her as if he treats his mother respectfully, compassionately, and carefully. 4. In Our Darkest Hour (Line 25) According to Cambridge Dictionary, darkest literally means lacking or hav
Search
Similar documents
View more...
Related Search
We Need Your Support
Thank you for visiting our website and your interest in our free products and services. We are nonprofit website to share and download documents. To the running of this website, we need your help to support us.

Thanks to everyone for your continued support.

No, Thanks