If you thought the modern troubadours burst into songs with lyrics that are destitute of profound emotions and observations, then the following list of 11 meaningful songs with metaphors will make you feel some deferential regard for them.
Forrest Gump portrayed by Tom Hanks, in the 1994 movie, shows how Forrest and his mother would make a living by renting out rooms for travelers, and one such guest to lodge with them was none other than Elvis Presley who plays “Hound Dog” for Forrest’s character.
Literary garnishments in songs are not just used to beatify a song, but also to pique the listener’s imagination. Metaphor is a potent weapon of mass seduction that is used by songwriters to manipulate their listeners emotionally.
With this literary device, one can liken a passionate feeling with an inanimate thing to make tantalizing revelations or unfold profound feelings.
A metaphor makes implicit suggestions or comparisons to hint resemblance; for example―I am like a torrid noonday sun, implacable and unbearable.
We now present to you a selection of songs with metaphors in them.
Life Is A Highway By Rascal Flatts
“Life is a highway
I wanna ride it all night long
If you’re going my way
I wanna drive it all night long”
“Life is like a Highway” is a metaphor that likens life and highway. Life, like a highway, is a long road with twists and turns, stop signs, and speed bumps, but it doesn’t remain the same forever.
Human Nature By Michael Jackson
“If this town
Is just an apple
Then let me take a bite”
This song from the phenomenally successful album of Michael Jackson ‘Thriller’ has perceptible hints of existentialism. The above lines are metaphorically implying the New York City, which is known by the nickname “The Big Apple.”
Your Love is a Song By Switchfoot
“Your love is a symphony
All around me
Running through me
Your love is a melody
Running to me”
This song is suffused with metaphors. A beautifully written song, the above lines compare love to symphony and melody, which are suggestions of love’s gratifying and all-embracing attributes of love.
One By U2
“Love is a temple
Love a higher law
This song by U2 metaphorically refers to love as a temple and higher law. This song talks about how love is about resolving our unique difference and living together as one. The metaphors used in the song designate forgiveness and angst.
Hound Dog By Elvis Presley
“You ain’t nothin but a hound dog
Cryin all the time”
Well, this is definitely the most unceremonious thing to compare someone with a hound dog but ‘Hound Dog’ uses this metaphor to compare someone’s whining to a hound dog.
Heart of Gold By Neil Young
“I wanna live, I wanna give
I’ve been a miner for a heart of gold”
It can’t get more straightforward than this. Through these metaphorical lines, the writer tells how he is always hankering and striving to find people who are kind, friendly, and lovable.
Roar By Katy Perry
“I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter, dancing through the fire
‘Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar
Louder, louder than a lion
‘Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar”
‘Roar’ again is rife with metaphors and essentially talks about how one should stand up for oneself and let people hear your voice, and speak your mind as loudly as one can. We are feeling inspired already!
Make You Feel My Love By Adele
“When the rain is blowing in your face
And the whole world is on your case
I could offer you a warm embrace
To make you feel my love”
The above lines from Adele’s song are steeped in metaphorical meaning. These lines mean that when the whole world is interfering with you or judging you, I will protect you and support you.
Set Fire to the Rain By Adele
“I let it fall, my heart,
And as it fell you rose to claim it
It was dark and I was over
Until you kissed my lips and you saved me”
Through the above lyrics, the writer compares a meaningless life to a dead person and how her lover brings her back from the dark and resuscitates her from the death.
The Dance By Garth Brook
“Yes my life is better left to chance
I could have missed the pain, but I’d have had to miss the dance
This song by Garth Brook makes use of striking metaphors and compares life to dance. It talks about how things in life must be let to uncover themselves gradually, for knowing how everything ends, robs you from valuable experiences.
I’m Already There Lonestar
“I’m already there
Take a look around
I’m the sunshine in your hair
I’m the shadow on the ground
I’m the whisper in the wind
I’m your imaginary friend
And I know I’m in your prayers
Oh I’m already there”
“I’m Already There” is a moving song about a father in the war. Through the above metaphorical lines, the father makes various comparisons to say that he is there with his daughter through sunshine, ground, prayers, et al.