Sociology Assignment: Song Lyric Analysis Of “Blowin’ in The Wind”
Task: We watched the documentary “Sounds Like a Revolution”. This introduced us to the concept of using music as a means of social action – something that has been done all through history. In keeping with this, you will choose a song that is a representation of some form of social action movement/statement, then relate its lyrics and/or music to the movement.
Your sociology assignmentshould have the following content, and be a minimum of 2 pages (more is welcome – no max):
1.) Intro: Provide me the name of the song, the performer, writer (often performer and writer are different) and which social action movement you believe this song to be associated with
2.) A concise (but complete) summary of the social action movement
3.) Full lyrics to the song (presented in proper verse/chorus format…example on next page)
4.) Relate the following parts of the song to the social movement (how are they connected/what is the meaning)
ii.) Any 3 other parts of:
A) at least 2 lines (could be from verse one, two, bridge, outro, etc.)
B) or a specific passage of the music (provide me the approx. time this occurs)
5.) Brief summary of your overall thoughts on the song in relation to the movement (likes, dislikes, how effective you feel it is, how it makes you feel, etc.)
There exists musical creations or songs that carry a social message related to some specific social action movement that took place. The name of the song that is chosen in this sociology assignment is “Blowin’ in The Wind”. The performer and song writer of the song was Bob Dylan. The song was related to social issues as well as a social movement that was the Vietnam War that was being fought and the symbol of freedom that was to be explored.
2)A concise summary of the social action movement
The social action movement of Vietnam War has been linked to the song Blowin’ in The Wind that was written by Bob Dylan. According to Levinson(2019), the Vietnam War was fought during the period of 1954 to 1975 and it was a conflict that made the Communist aligned North Vietnam rage a war against the South Vietnam. United States played the role of a major ally to South Vietnam as they fought against North Vietnam. North Vietnam had actually raised the conflict that resulted in a war since they had defeated the French few months before the Vietnam War and established the idea of developing Vietnam under a communist regime.
The military advisers were in traduced to the Vietnam War by 1961. According to Belcher(2019), the strength of the US military personnel was 5,00,000 but China and Soviet Union supported North Vietnam with war weapons and capital that helped them to put up a consolidated attack upon South Vietnam and its allies. The US was badly affected by the expenses and casualties of the war and they withdrew from the war in 1971. Many lives were lost and that led to huge losses for both the sides and Vietnam emerged as a potential military power in the society after the Vietnam War was over. Vietnamese War Memorial was set up and the soldiers who had died in the war was paid tributes. USA had to ponder about their losses as more than 55000 USA soldiers had died during the Vietnam War that took place.
3) Full lyrics to the song
The lyrics of the song including the song parts is as follows:
4) Relate the following parts of the song to the social movement
The part of the song that fell under the chorus section was symbolic as the songwriter Dylan wanted to express that the answer to all the social injustice and the massacre that the Vietnam War creates was to be found in the open surroundings carried by the wind. Since the human race was suffering, so the message of the damaging consequences upon mankind was carried by the air.
ii) Three other parts
The different messages related to establishing peace and freedom could be identified in the lines of the verses that was incorporated within the song that influenced the social movement. According to Saha(2019), Dylan has questioned the fact that how many years a mountain can really freely exist before it has to face its consequence of getting washed to the sea. This was relevant as it symbolised that fact that the humans were not really free from the ultimate consequence of death that they had to face sooner rather than later. Also, the lines of the verse that questions the number of years for which the people would live before they are really allowed freedom. This was a realistic question considering the shackles under which the people had to live during the war. Another line of the verse section that denoted the numerous deaths that occurred and also questioned the fact that how many deaths more needed to happen so that it could be known that too many individuals have died during the Vietnam War. The song pertaining to the social movement thus helped to specify the symbolic aspects related to human conditions (Palmer, 2017).
5) Brief summary of personal reflection of the song based on the movement
The song “Blowin’ in The Wind” was written by Bob Dylan as a symbolic song based on the Vietnam War that was fought during 1954 to 1975. Along with the melody and harmony of the lyrics, the words that was used and the lines of the verses was very much symbolic and I felt was sensuous. I believed that the song was associated with the life philosophy and conscience. According to Webb-Gannon& Webb(2019), the war created a huge conflict and massacre that caused losses for the individuals who could not restore their space.
The fact that death was the eternal truth in individuals was portrayed by the song. According to Mahini et al. (2018), the social movement of Vietnam war and its occurrences could be understood by linking with the basic features and elements reflected by the song. The song was very much didactic in nature as it provided the moral rejuvenation of the human souls and did not glorify wars. The repetition of the chorus helped to understand the fact that when the human souls suffer, nature carries the message of social injustice.
Belcher, O. (2019). Sensing, territory, population: Computation, embodied sensors, and hamlet control in the Vietnam War. Security Dialogue, 50(5), 416-436.
Levinson, M. H. (2019). MAPPING THE LANGUAGE AND RHETORIC OF THE VIETNAM WAR. ETC.: A Review of General Semantics, 76(3-4), 261-275.
Mahini, R. N. T. N., Barth, E., & Morrow, J. (2018). Tim O'Brien's" Bad" Vietnam War: The Things They Carried & Its Historical Perspective. Sociology assignmentTheory and Practice in Language Studies, 8(10), 1283-1293.
Palmer, C. E. (2017). 'Our Silence Buys the Battles': The Role of Protest Music in the US-Central American Peace and Solidarity Movement. Music and Politics, 11(2).
Saha, S. (2019). Bob Dylan's Literary Merit: A Critique. IUP Journal of English Studies, 14(4), 7-19.
Webb-Gannon, C., & Webb, M. (2019). " More than a Music, It's a Movement": West Papua Decolonization Songs, Social Media, and the Remixing of Resistance. the contemporary pacific, 31(2), 309-343.