How to do a Lyrical Breakdown

What is “Bad Guy” by Billie Eilish about?

That is what the thorn I was going to remove from my brain today but..

But while crafting that analysis and researching if anyone else has already created such a work, the reality that no one one the first three pages of google has anywhere near a decent analysis is a far greater thorn.

If you don’t understand the language of a song

then you are listening to this song

and if that is the case all you should concern yourself with is the mathematical patterns in the harmonics… the deviations in the scale and the chords used… phonetically you can ignore the lyrics

but if you think in the same language as the song be it Thai, Portuguese, Pigeon, or Engrish

then listening to that song whether you are actively paying attention or passively distracted is almost the same as having those lyrics as your own thoughts.

This is why lyrical analysis’s are important. If you don’t think in the language of the music then the song is gibberish

But if you do…

And you want to ask someone what these thoughts mean…

That is not an unreasonable request.

As with any Art there will always be at least three meanings.

The first is the Author’s intent

This song is about taking power in a relationship

The second is the Listener’s personal interpretation (in this case mine)

This is a song about sexual abuse and the victim trying to take control of their victimization by trying to convince themselves that they wanted it. While struggling with the shame of being both a victim of the abuse and being socially punished for attracting such abuse.

Then there is the general interpretation

using as much data as is possible what does this song mean to a typical Gen Z, Millennial, or the population at large. What culturally relevant shared experiences do these demographics have that would frame the piece of music in question?

This is the type of breakdown I was going to do…

I’m not because it bothers me more that either no one knows how to do this type of breakdown

and no one even bothered to even give out there own personal interpretation.

Because if I had a few Gen Z’er’s personal interpretation and a few Millennial interpretations plus the Artist’s intent then a general interpretation would be relatively easy for me to triangulate.

SO FINALLY

here is how you analysis a song with your personal interpretation

First let the audience know what the Artist’s intent was. This will build credibility for the argument that your personal interpretation is the correct one.

Now present your interpretation

“Bad Guy” is about the singer pretending to be meek and girly in order to attract strong men who have fragile ego’s and can’t handle a real powerful woman.

Then using the lyric’s provide evidence for your position.

If you are actually and objectively trying to answer the Question

What is “Bad Guy” by Billie Eilish about?

Then you will need to provide as many frames of reference as possible.

Gen X will see this song very differently than Gen Z

and then explain what it would mean to them and why

Gen X many of them might remember listening to Aqua’s “barbie girl” for the first time at their child’s birthday party and being horrified to hear their child singing along.

Baby Boomer’s haven’t heard this song

Millennial’s have an awkward position

and Gen Z likely knows about the Artist’s other works and how her process is not just herself but she comes from a musical family… which has impacted the shaping of her lyrics significantly. Billie Eilish is a master of her vocal craft but the source of her lyrics is highly collaborative.

that is the type of analysis I wanted to write but limited on the resource of time.

This is all I can offer at this point.

I tell you what though

If this post gets 100 likes before the end of August 2019

I will carve out the estimated 8-10 hours to do a proper analysis on

What is “Bad Guy” by Billie Eilish about?

Or leave a comment asking for an analysis of any song in the Engrish language and the first to get 10 likes I will give my personal interpretation on.

With Love,

Hngyhngyhppo

Resistance through pain.

This has been inspired by two thorns.

A fantastic YouTube video by Storytellers

How To Be Creative: How an Artist Turns Pro

And my current flaring hemorrhoids

The video covers the subject of resistance. The resistance of doing anything but the creative work that you should be doing. Whether that is procrastination, fear, and/or anxiety that prevents you from starting or continuing.

What this hasn’t covered or mentioned is the resistance of being in physical pain.

Everyone has experienced at least a bad day when you haven’t had enough sleep. You’ve forgot to take your caffeine and you’ve got a headache that you know will rob you of the next few hours of work. Bruised and sore muscles.

We can get through our paying gigs just fine. Suffering through these aches and pains without a great loss to the man we are making dollars for. But then when we have the chance to work for ourselves … well … results may vary.

I’ve torn a muscle in my shoulder two hours into an eight hour shift during my first ninety days at a cardboard factory. It’s been two years and there is still of whisper of that muscle that hasn’t been reclaimed reminding me of that I’ve lifted and worked through a 7 on the Stanford Pain Scale. And I’ve experienced a certified 9 as reference.

Right now I’ve got a cough and a hemorrhoid that spikes my pain from 3 to 5. But here I am still getting work done. Tonight when I’m lifting in my warehouse job I might be between a 5 and 7 but that’s not going to stop me there.

So why does this pain stop me when I’m here?

Why then can’t I get work done, pages written, plots thickened, or characters killed, if I’m experiencing anything greater than a 4 on the pain scale?

Why isn’t this type of resistance discussed?

What really burns me through… is how I forget that I was ever in pain to begin with. I was sick last Friday and I couldn’t get more than a single page of a comic script transferred from storyboard to word. Then I spent all Saturday beating myself up about how I’ve wasted a twenty four hour period. Only to have a cough remind me that I was still sick and bring some form of validation for the choice I made.

I know at this point that even taking one day off is disaster to my time frames and deadlines. One day breeds two years and a decade later you’ll be just as unhappy with yourself as your unfinished or unstarted projects.

If your in pain but you do a quality 10%…

Try to be happy with that

rest and heal

Maybe tomorrow you’ll be able to do 15% or more.

But if you start doing 0% the resistance will only grow stronger and you’ll need to be at 110% before you start again.

Wishing you all good health,

Hngyhngyhppo