Many people in our society believe that all songs are poems. This can be thoroughly debated, but the truth is, some songs can be poetry, and some cannot. For a song to be considered a poem, it must follow most of the rules of poetry and have elements of poetry present in the lyrics. For example, the song Under Pressure by Queen and David Bowie is an amazing, inspirational song that has one main point. Love needs to be put back into the world if we ever want to continue a peaceful way of life. Under Pressure was first released on the album ‘Hot Space’ by Queen.
This song shows many elements of poetry such as imagery, metaphors, similes, ect. Some of the figurative language used in this song is metaphors, similes, personification, and alliteration. In the thirty-six line the simile would be “Turned away from it all like a blind man” is used to show that even though the author could clearly see the horrible things that is happening to the world, he ignored it as if he could not see it. He did this only because he knew the only way to help the world was to put love back. An example of personification used is the line “Insanity laughs under pressure”. This is personification because insanity is a mental disability and cannot be laugh.
Alliteration is used all over the place in this song at the beginning and in the middle when Freddie Mercury makes random and meaningless, but alliterated noises. This song, like most, is all about imagery. Even though visual imagery is the easiest form of imagery to read and understand, a good poem, or song, contains other types of imagery. In Under Pressure, for example, one lyric says, “Kick my brains round the floor. These are the days it never rains, but it pours”. Obviously, you can see a person somewhere very white, bright and sterilize kicking brains across the floor. You can also see a complete severe downpour over a city. Either way, visual imagery is very well used, and present in this song. What is a rarity in poems is the use of other forms of imagery such as auditory. Sticking with this particular song, there is one lyric that shows itself using auditory imagery. This is the line “that burns a building down/Splits a family in two/Puts people on streets”. Just because the lyrics may not say that you should, or need to, hear this, you can hear people screaming and crying in distress. Another example of auditory imagery used is the line ‘Watching some good friends/Screaming “Let me out”’. Again, even though this one does say to ‘watch’ your friends scream, hearing them scream would, to me, be the present sense used. This song can be construed to mean so many things. Some people in the past have been ignorant and claimed that this song was only about Freddie Mercury coming out that he was gay the year earlier and gay love.
This, to me, is very unlikely. I believe that this song was written to show America, and maybe the rest of the world, that is we do not put aside our hatred for each other and learn to love then we will crumble as a society. This song is about our lives, our relationships with each other, and the lack of love in modern lives. It says that love will prove everything and save our lives. Though Freddie Mercury and David Bowie wrote this song for everything that was happening around the time it was written, I believe that maybe they knew that we would need this song as a reminder for a later generation.
This song can be considered a poem because it has rhythm, it contains a good amount of the five elements of poetry, and, like all well-written and meaningful poems, it will be heard and listened to for many generations to come. Unfortunately, we will never know why Freddie Mercury wrote this song or chose David Bowie to sing it with, but it is still an breathtaking piece of music, or poetry, about why we need to change our ways, and soon, before the love runs out.