An Analysis Of Billy Joel's We Didn T Start The Fire

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This essay will look at Ernesto Cardenal as a poet and an activist in the Nicaraguan Revolution, how these two worlds merged together, more importantly how it affects his writing in the context of Epigramas and Hora 0, and whether or not these political works can still be considered poetic. While there is a wealth of poetry today that could be analysed for similar techniques, I have chosen to investigate modern music instead. After all, what is a song but a poem set to music and in today’s culture it is likely to have as broad a reach across varying demographics, if not broader. After graduating from Columbia University in 1947, Cardenal worked with José Coronel Urtrecho translating American poetry into Spanish; and after travelling around …show more content…

The song is composed of brief, rapid fire allusions to more than 100 headline events ranging from 1949, the year Joel was born, and 1989, the year the song was released. The following is the latter half of the final verse, “Wheel of Fortune, Sally Ride, heavy metal, suicide Foreign debts, homeless Vets, AIDS, Crack, Bernie Goetz Hypodermics on the shores, China's under martial law Rock and Roller Cola wars, I can't take it anymore” (Joel, 1989) These are the important events chosen by Joel having taken place between 1980 and 1989. Throughout the song there is a global perspective with obvious emphasis on American affairs; as an American songwriter Joel is heavily influenced by his environment. In this time Wheel of Fortune was a hit TV show; Sally Ride was became the first woman in space; it was thought heavy metal and suicide were closely linked; foreign debts led to inflation in the U.S.; veterans of the Vietnam conflict found themselves homeless; AIDS began to spread throughout the world; a highly addictive form of cocaine became prevalent in the U.S.; Bernie Goetz was on trial for shooting four youths in a New York subway; medical waste washed up on the shores of New Jersey; martial law was introduced in China after protests in Tiananmen Square; and of course Coke and Pepsi contend for the cola crown paying celebrities to endorse their respective

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