Rock and roll rhetoric: White Room

“In the white room with black curtains near the station. Black-roof country, no gold pavements, tired starlings. Silver horses run down moonbeams in your dark eyes. Dawn-light smiles on you leaving, my contentment.” White Room (Brown, Bruce), Cream Maybe a text-book example of asyndeton in rock lyrics. Poet and lyricist Pete Brown paints his scenes […]

Rock and roll rhetoric: Werewolves of London

“Little old lady got mutilated late last night; Werewolves of London again.” Werewolves of London, Warren Zevon Warren Zevon was such a talented songwriter. He was musical and he was literate. He was eloquent and he was deliciously dark. He was part of the West Coast scene in the 70s, along with the Eagles and […]

Rock and roll rhetoric: School’s Out

“Well we got no class And we got no principles And we got no innocence We can’t even think of a word that rhymes” School’s Out, Alice Cooper (Bruce, Buxton, Cooper, Dunaway, Smith) This bears a moment’s thought, and then another moment beyond that. On first hearing it’s simply a great song with a raucous […]

Time takes a cigarette …

Thinking of rhetorical devices used in song (as highlighted by both Forsyth and Romm), I’ve just remembered one of my favourite lines: “Time takes a cigarette And puts it in your mouth” The opening line from David Bowie’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Suicide (from the Ziggy Stardust album). Aside from the staccato alliteration of “Time takes”, […]

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