Poetry of Song
May 8, 2009
Song Analysis 3
Throughout many years Rage Against the Machine has been known as one of the most rebellious and controversial bands of all time. Their notorious lyrics have been aimed at almost all political problems throughout the 1990’s and have caused much debate. Rage Against the Machine also had a unique sound of a mix of rock and rap that made them distinctive from every other band. Rage provided the music scene with many radical and rebellious songs. One defiant song was “Guerilla Radio” and it brought up many political challenges and disagreements.
“Guerilla Radio” has many stabs at the politics and the way the country is being run. Like many of their songs, Rage tries to get the point across that the United States needs to change their ways or nothing will improve. Even though the song was written before the attacks of 9/11, Rage stressed the issue that controversy in the Middle East was not to stop terror but for oil. They say “Was it cast for the mass who burn and toil?Or for the vultures who thirst for blood and oil?” This shows that Rage thinks the United States only get involved in foreign affairs, particularly in the Middle East, to gain money or control of prosperous imports, such as oil. This is only one of the many defiant lines in one of the many defiant songs by Rage Against the Machine.
A Guerilla is a member of an irregular armed force that fights a stronger force by sabotage and harassment. The line “Lights out, Guerilla Radio” is telling people to stop watching the lies and listen and react to the wrong doings of the world. Rage Against the Machine never fails to bring out the bad in the world and “Guerilla Radio” is one of the most effective songs in that regard. Like many other Rage songs, the main message of “Guerilla Radio” is to influence people to rise up against the negative aspects of America and to open the eyes of the ignorant to the problems of today’s society. Rage Against the Machine was regarded as reckless and out of line with their lyrics. Their fans were seen as outrageous and extreme because of their actions that were linked to the bands music. “Guerilla Radio” is a song that emphasized that point.
“Guerilla Radio” uses many poetic devices. Repetition is used often by Rage Against the Machine in “Guerilla Radio” to stress the message to the listener. The last stanza has repetition of beginnings of lines with different ends to show the point in a clearer way. It says, “It has to start somewhere, it has to start sometime, what better place than here, what better time than now.” The “it” refers to the rebellion against social ways and the lines are a call to action for the listeners. Rage then repeats the line “All hell can’t stop us now” six times. The lines are sung in an angry and irritated voice to show the feelings of the singer. The line means that once the rebellion starts nothing will stop them from changing the world into a place that they deem fit for life. The poetic devices used in “Guerilla Radio” effectively bring out the meaning of the song so the listener can comprehend it.
Rage Against the Machine never fails to make a rebellious song and “Guerilla Radio” only proves that point. The mix of unique sound with unique lyrics helps to make Rage one of the most well known bands of the 1990’s. The controversies caused by Rage’s songs are a big part of their success and a part of what rock has transformed into. The blend of sounds in Rage’s music set a standard for new bands trying to find their own originality. “Guerilla Radio” is one the best songs by one the best bands.