Another Project done! This has probably been my favourite project we have done this year so far! This project was unique because we learned how to analyze songs and poetry. Through the memorization and practice of poetic devices, we learned how to fully analyze songs and poetry. This allowed us to complete our final assignment in picking 5 songs that represent our life. We called it, “The Playlist of My Life.” The driving question of this project was “How might we use music to represent ourselves and test.” Throughout this post and project I set out to answer this question.

We started the project off by learning our poetic devices. We had two mini tests on them to show our knowledge. As we progressed throughout the project, we tested our skills by annotating different songs and poems. We listened to them, read them, and tried to find as many poetic devices as we possibly could. This was great practice for our playlist and helped us get familiar with annotating.

During this time, we also listened and shared all different types of music with each other. A learning experience I wanted to get out of this project was to expand my horizons. I wanted to broaden my music taste and focus on exploring new genres and songs. I have been wanting to do this for the longest time but never had the time. This project gave me the perfect excuse to do so. And even if most of the new songs I found weren’t included in my playlist, the ones that were included were amazing.

Soon enough came our first keystone in the project. We had to submit one of our songs we chose for our “Playlist of My Life.” We had to analyze the song and explain our personal connection to it, as well as the poetic devices in the song that allowed us to make these personal connections. I chose “Keep your head up” by Andy Grammer. At the time, I thought it was a great analysis. As I read my others analysis, I was immediately inspired to re do mine and be determined to make my other 4 analysis as good as possible. 

The first song I identify with is “Keep Your Head Up” by Andy Grammer. This song resonates with me because it leads the way into revitalizing a bad day. On many of my bad days, I experience doubt. More specifically doubt in myself. I doubt my abilities. Whether physical, or psychological I am constantly questioning my purpose. I worry about my future. Will I accomplish my goals? I ask myself if I am completing my fate, like a level to a game. It is at these key moments where Andy Grammer succours. 

  The song starts off with identifying everyday struggles that Andy Grammer is going through. “Ive been waiting on a sunset, bills on my mindset. I can’t deny they’re getting high, higher than my income, income’s bread crumbs I’ve been trying to survive.” (011-021) These lines resonate with me as they connect with everyday struggles people go through. These struggles are personalized, so, I fill mine in where applicable. This allows me to relate to the song making my connection with it more personal. 

As the chorus comes, reassurance is set. I am re assured that the journey and path I am on now are all part of the plan. I am repetitively told that “Oh, you’ll turn out fine.”(0:34) The repetitiveness of this phrase emphasizes this point dramatically. I am also reminded that I must keep my head up. For everything to work out, I must keep pushing forward. No matter how hard, as the song mentions “…only rainbows after rain.”(1:57) There cannot be a rainbow without rain. A rainbow cannot exist from sun alone. Just how our lives aren’t identified by only the positives, but also the negatives that helped us reach those heights.

The last verse of the song inspires me the most. The last verse explains how life is a cycle. In the song Andy metaphorically compares the weather cycle to life. And how hardships, success, and failure are all just one big loop. And they cannot exist without each other, but we as humans must figure out how to keep pushing when our successes aren’t always in the forefront of our lives.

Our next keystone was our final “Playlist of My Life.” I chose 5 songs to represent my life and I analyzed their poetic devices and literary terms to make my connection to them as best as it possibly could. To compare to my first analysis of “Keep Your Head Up,” the level of writing is much different. I have chosen 2 of my favourite analysis to show you.

In 7 years I re read the lyrics multiple times BEFORE starting my writing piece. I looked at all the poetic devices I could find and I went from there. This allowed me to set up a visual spine to my writing making it more organized and tell me story in a more unique way.


7 years, Lucas Graham

7 years by Lukas Graham is my anthem. The first time I heard 7 years, I thought nothing of it. This song, although being mostly free verse, was very catchy and the lyrics were easy to learn and repeat. 10 year old me liked it. Now, “7 years” later I appreciate the song, in a whole new light.

In this song, Lukas recounts the highlights of his life. Learning points, memories, and his mindset as he grows up. As the first verse is sung, the audience is immediately encountered by an idiom. “Once I was seven years old, my mama told me go make yourself some friends or you’ll be lonely, once I was seven years old” (0:19-0:30) While literally meaning go make some friends, Lukas’ mom is alluding to the fact that Lukas needs to find a passion. A passion that will stay with him throughout his entire life. Without said passion, Lukas’ mom worries Lukas’ will be empty, and have no driving force in his life.

As Lukas vocalizes his dreams, “…So I started writing songs, I started writing stories something about that glory, just always seemed to bore me…” (1:09-1:19) Lukas is aware of the deceitfulness of life. He shows that the harshness that comes with growing up, caused him to distance himself. And, “…only those I really love will ever really know me.” (1:19-1:23)

As Lukas expresses his mindset towards his goals, I resonate with them. I have been chasing my own dreams of playing university soccer and amongst all the doubt I must see the light at the end of the tunnel. As Lukas doesn’t believe in failure, I admire that mentality and everyday I strive towards it.

Throughout the rest of the song, Lukas doesn’t fail to acknowledge “his boys.” Whether still with him now, or in the past Lukas acknowledges everybody along his path. This is extremely important to me and has taught me a valuable lesson. I worry about losing friends and becoming distant if I go abroad for university. This constant acknowledgement teaches me that, even if we move on, my friends, no. My family are a major part of my life, and the lessons I have learned from them will serve me for the rest of my life.

The line, “I made the man so happy when I wrote a letter once” (2:52-2:56) is the most important to me. I interpret this line as accomplishing my dreams for my parents. All those long nights in Abbotsford for tournaments, all those Saturdays being spent driving from left to right for games. I just want to be able to say “Mom, Dad I did it.” I want to show them that they didn’t sacrifice so much for nothing.

As Lukas thinks toward the future he says “Soon I’ll be 60 years old, will I think the world is cold or will I have a lot of children who can warm me…” (2:59-3:08) This phrase metaphorically compares two opposite lifestyles that Lukas will be living. Lukas questions the future and how his life will play out. This symbolizes the unknown and to me symbolizes my unknown of playing university soccer or not. And the constant questioning of “am I good enough?”

As Lukas repeats “Once I was 7 years old” in the last verse of the song, he acknowledges his roots. That first piece of advice his mom gave him. His connection back to home…

Another example of this is my analysis of:

Wavin’ Flag


I have known Wavin Flag’ by K’NAAN since I was 5 years old. For the longest time it was my favorite song. The song is sung by K’NAAN, a Somali-Canadian artist. The original song was produced for the intent of aspiring for the freedom of Somalia. In 1991 Somalia broke out into a civil war that is still ongoing to this day.  K’NAAN moved to Canada in 2007 and released Wavin’ Flag to inspire the people of Somalia. To unite them in times of struggle. I interpret the song as representing courage and freedom. Since its release Wavin’ Flag has been remixed twice. Once for the Haiti earthquake in 2010 and again for the World Cup hosted in South Africa also in 2010. 

    From Canada, K’NAAN reached the hearts of all Somalians. The constant repetition of the chorus, “When I get older I will be stronger they’ll call me freedom just like a waving flag” (0:00-0:08) serves as constant reassurance. K’NAAN sings the song from the point of view of a Somalian. Consequently, when repeated, the Somalian people are singing the song, they are talking about themselves and that THEY are the ones who will be free. THEY are the ones who will “be called freedom.” This connects K’NAAN to his people, he knows how they feel. He was once one of them.  

    The simile in the chorus also comments on the power of freedom. Freedom is compared to a waving flag. A waving flag represents sacrifice and history. The sacrifice that is made so that there can be a flag waving freely. “They’ll call me freedom just like a wavin’ flag,” (0:03-0:08) because just like a waving flag I will be free. Freedom is often associated with the prideful waving of a country's flag. When their flag can proudly wave, then the people will finally be free. 

    The song also comments on Somalians being treated unfairly throughout these times of civil war. The innocent, being brought into something they were never meant to be a part of. “Bringing us promises, leaving us poor” (1:16-1:19) comments on politics. Each side has their promises so people will fight for them. The horrible truth is they are not kept often leaving citizens in a worse state than they were already in. “We fight their battles, then they deceive us. Try to control us, they couldn’t hold us..” further supports this argument. The constant undermining of the Somalian population, innocent and just wanting peace. 

The rhyme scheme  of the song allows it to be easy to pick up. This is effective as it can reach a broader audience. Most of the ballads in the song follow along the main rhyme scheme of ABCC for example in:

 “So we struggling, fighting to eat,

 and we wondering when we’ll be free 

So we patiently wait for that fateful day

 It's not far away so right now we say” (0:47-1:00)

In the verse, “Born to a throne…streets we would roam”(0:23-0:35) the rhyme scheme instead is AAAA which is simpler allowing the audience to focus on the lyrics and their significance. By doing this, K’NAAN is able to pick and choose which lyrics will be paid more attention to. This ballad states the massive wealth gap between the colonizers and the citizens. So,  this lyric is clearer and easier to understand allowing for a more heartfelt connection.


    Wavin’ Flag opened my eyes. While believing it was just some innocent song about uniting nations across the world over soccer, I now conclude its real meaning. The song serves as a shift in mindset. K’NAAN has shown me that one lesson can be applied to every single aspect of life. His lesson, his messages spread through the initial version, has been applied in so many different aspects of my life. “Accept no defeat, surrender, retreat…” This phrase permits me to stand up to every challenge. No matter how hard, I will not back down. 


So,  how have I used music to represent myself and text? “7 Years” by Lukas Graham represents me. In the song Lukas talks about his life experiences growing up. As I have grown up, I have been able to relate to these extremely well. I provide more evidence of this in my analysis of the song. I have used poetic devises and the analyzation of poems, song lyrics, and more to fully comprehend what it means to analyze a song.

Throughout my time analyzing the songs, I identified literary elements to make sure my connection to each song was valid, and that I could support my thoughts with this evidence of my learning.

Through the sharing of my songs, I connected to listeners within my class. I was able to explore my music taste as well as theirs to expand my horizons and connect with my classmates.

Our final form of assessment was our presentation. We presented our 5 songs to different classmates. This presentation was beneficial to me because it allowed me to show my learning. I was able to show off what I had learned to my classmates and my teacher. I provided evidence of my learning by providing the lyrics to the song, a slideshow, and my playlist so my classmates could follow along.

Overall, my goal with this project was to improve my contract grade. I have contracted for a 95% and by the end of the first project I was only at an 80. My goal with this project was to increase my contract grade closer to a 90 so that by the end of the year I can achieve my contract grade.