The Poietic Aspect of Hendrix 's "All Along the Watchtower"
Jimi Hendrix, probably one of the greatest guitarists of all time, in 1968 covered "All along the watchtower," a song originally written and performed a few months earlier by Bob Dylan. Even though Hendrix 's admiration for Dylan 's work was well known , his choice to cover a song belonging to a completely different music genre is emblematic. So why did Hendrix decide to cover Bob Dylan 's "All along the watchtower?" In this paper, I will argue that Hendrix 's cover of Dylan 's "All along the watchtower," thanks to its lyrics and sound dynamic, optimally conveys his anti-war and anti-violence beliefs.
To understand the meaning of the song, it is interesting to analyze its dynamic …show more content…
In fact, overall, the guitar - high pitched when playing alone, while grave and perfectly following Hendrix 's voice while he sings - sounds as it would like to mutely communicate the melancholy of the lyrics and the meaning of the song . The electric guitar also has one other crucial role in the song: during every verse (0:18-0:52; 1:10-1:43; 2:49-3:23), it fills the voids left by the vocals, which, after every sentence, take a brief pause . The guitar-lyrics alternation feels as though Hendrix is trying to communicate, with music, what words fail to - or cannot - say. The lyrics of the first verse prove exceptionally interesting when analyzed both alone and accompanied by the instruments. In particular, the first verse is the recount of a conversation between a joker and a thief, archetypal of society rejection, where the joker argues that "there must be some kind of way outta here" (verse 1). Although it is not clear to what the joker is referring to, it seems that he is asking about a way out of a situation which has been going on for a while. For example, the joker may be referring to the Vietnam War and wondering whether the country 's situation would improve. The verse continues with the same character 's monologue characterized by a deep …show more content…
Moreover, the two transitions between the three verses (0:52-1:10; 1:43-2:00) also prove compelling. First, the electric guitar has a high pitch sound and it is distorted thus generating a sound that feels almost chaotic. This combination of sounds may be a reference to the general confusion that people felt towards the outcome of the Vietnam War during the 1960s. Moreover, even though the instruments build up in intensity, it feels like they never truly unleash the frustration and anger that characterizes the lyrics; this choice could be an allusion to Hendrix 's anti-violence beliefs. Therefore, not discharging all the pent-up resentment could be his way of suggesting that violence is not - and will not - be the solution to anything, neither in a war nor in a song. This hypothesis could also be substantiated by the sound dynamic from minute 2:00 to 2:15 where the heavy guitar distortion makes the electric guitar sound bouncy - psychedelic. These fifteen seconds might be an alternative offered by Hendrix to the violence that could have arisen from his cover song. In particular, these sounds could be a reference to the Hippie counterculture that developed as an anti-war movement during the sixties. The Hippie movement advocated peace, love, and, also, pleasure. They expressed their disagreement with politicians and society through their style, the music they listened to, their way of speaking and communicating, and the use of recreational drugs. This
Click here to unlock this and over one million essaysShow More
Altschuler discusses media commentator Jeff Greenfield’s opinion about the influences of Rock and Roll on American youth. Greenfield states, “Nothing we see in the counterculture [of the 1960’s], not the clothes, the hair, the sexuality, the drugs, the rejection of the reason, the resort to symbols and magic – none of it is separable from the coming to power in the 1950s of rock and roll music.” He continues with “Brewed in the hidden corners of black American cities, its [Rock-n-Roll] rhythms infected white Americans, seducing them out of the kind of temperate bobby-sox passions out of which Andy Hardy films are spun. Rock and Roll was elemental, savage, dripping with sex; it was just as our parents feared.” (Altschuler, 8) Rock and Roll stood as a powerful alternative to the conformist ideals Americans had valued.
1967 is the year that Jimi and his fifth new band, Jimi Hendrix Experience, nurtured the beginning of the outstanding reputation that Jimi would go on to develop. During his time with Jimi Hendrix Experience, Jimi Hendrix and his crew released some of the most impactful songs of his career: Purple Haze, Hey Joe, and The Wind Cries Mary. Almost immediately after the release of these songs, Jimi Hendrix Experince topped the musical charts in Britain. As a group, they traveled to California to perform at the Monterey International Pop Festival where Jimi’s humble band, Jimi Hendrix Experience, literally became one of the most successful and lucrative bands overnight. Just as a reference for how this band was welcomed, at the end of his performance, Jimi doused his guitar in lighter fluid and burned it.
Culture from the time loved all the new music coming from the artists. The new artists and bands would go on to create new genres of music. Jimi is even credited to having some influence in creating other genres such as hip hop. Jimi Hendrix is also credited to creating the sharp distorted sounds of the guitar including sound effects, and incredible sound melodies. (“Jimi Hendrix Biography”).
Home is defined and dealt with differently depending on the individual, the environment they’re in, their perspective of it all and reaction to it. With New York City being the home for many Latinas/os seeking a new life in the United States away from issues that may have risen from their home country, many communities group together through the common thread of trying to find some type of safe haven. Thus, there are prominent neighborhoods throughout the city that house these particular groups, such as Washington Heights and East Harlem, also known as Spanish Harlem and El Barrio, that provide a community for these Latinas/os in these situations. Over their years within these communities, many cultural pieces have come out gauging how the
“Gonna Know We Were Here” is a country song written and sung by Jason Aldean in 2014. (AZL Lyrics). With the use of countless forms of figurative language, this song is a testament to two lovers who want to live their life to the fullest and be remembered for the fun that they had in their town. Whether it is the similes, idioms, or even personification, this song creates an understandable meaning that translates to two distinct poems in the poem packet, “To the Virgins make much of Time” and “To His Coy Mistress”. With that being said, this song helps bridges the gap between southern slang songs to poems that were written hundreds of years ago.
Article: When Veterans Protested the Vietnam War Song: We gotta get out of this place In the article, “When Veterans Protested the Vietnam War”, it talked in a first person point of view. Jan Barry, who wrote the article, described many reasons why war was not a good idea. In the song, “We gotta get out of this place”, it talked about how war was a waste of time and that you’ll eventually die before your time.
There was rock, folk music, and many more. But, in the late sixties Rock n Roll, commonly reckoned as the golden age of rock and roll when it attained a maturity unimaginable for the delinquent rebellion of the fifties, there are numerous references to the Vietnam War. The criticism of the war is submerged in or displaced by the politics of sexuality, lifestyle, and drugs. Rock music of that time period celebrated anti-materialism, spiritual awakening and social disengagement (James pg 133). Like the social movement it made possible, hippie music was ideologically and economically assimilable.
I was listening to a hard rock/heavy metal radio station and suddenly the glorious American national anthem, “The Star Spangled Banner” was playing. In the midst of the anthem, the sounds of car crashes, sirens and explosions could be heard. To my surprise, all these sound effects were produced by an electric guitar with the aid of guitar effects. Being a guitarist myself, I found it astounding to how the guitarist produced these sound effects and what influenced him to do so.
By changing “oh well” to “farewell,” slowing down the chorus, and adding more emotion to his vocals, Pat Boone does not leave the song open for interpretation of the meaning the same way Fats Domino does. While this does help him appeal to his more conservative audience, his version does not seem to embody the mixed emotions one can experience when a relationship comes to an end. The Fats Domino version combines the sad lyrics with the easygoing and optimistic vocal delivery and background music. This allows his version to embody both the heartbreak one may feel, but also the bittersweetness of reaching the end of a relationship that is not working out. Additionally, the Fats Domino version also hints at moving on with the lyric “oh well, goodbye” and the upbeat music, which is another thing the listener may relate to when thinking about the end of a relationship.
The hippie movement is arguably one of the most famous culture movements from the twentieth century, made widely famous in pop-culture involving romanticized images of overly friendly people clothed in bell-bottom pants and flower-print button down shirts. The romanticization of this movement allowed for a widely accepted and skewed view of the true events that happened during this time. The reality is much darker than publicized to the ignorant generations that followed. It can be maintained by many that personal experience and firsthand knowledge provides the most accurate depiction of the true happenings of the time period. Through vivid imagery and impersonal diction, Joan Didion offers a critical unveiling the mayhem that she witnessed during her various firsthand immersions in the developing culture of the 1960s.
It gives off the a tone to the reader that there is war or that there once was war. Levine’s word usage is what gives the poem its unfortunate tone right from the start. Rather than choosing softer language, he starts his poem with words a phrases like “acids of rage” (Levine 3) and
What is a watchman? By reading Go Set A Watchman, we were informed that when they are referring to a watchman, they are referring to a person as a moral compass, but the “title comes from a passage from the King James Bible in Book of Isaiah. Isaiah 21:6 reads: “For thus hath the Lord said unto me, Go, set a watchman, let him declare what he seeth.” ("What Does ‘Go Set a Watchman’ Mean?" Heavycom. 2015. Web.