Why it’s “Yesterday Once More”

At first glance, one would not think that Yesterday Once More, by the Carpenters, would constitute as a poem. Yes, it rhymes and has stanza and a few similes but it doesn’t seem to have that “poetic feel” to it. However, Yesterday Once More has a subtle extended metaphor that drives the entire song; The songs that the speaker listens to depicts her past and much can be inferred once one takes this into consideration.

” Lookin’ back on how it was in years gone by

And the good times that I had

Makes today seem rather sad, so much has changed. “

The speaker is clearly stressed by recent changes in her life, possibly the loss of a close friend, as suggested in the second stanza.

“Those were such happy times and not so long ago

How I wondered where they’d gone

But they’re back again just like a long lost friend

All the songs I loved so well”

Assuming that is the case, the song implies the speaker is failing to come to terms with the loss. She fails to realize that although she describes the “good times” as “not so long ago”, in reality years have gone by since the event. At the same time, she seems to cope with the loss by trying to remember the “good times” and trying to relive her memories. However, as the years go by her memory is failing her, and she is only able to remember the melody of the songs, not the words which were sung.

“Every sha-la-la-la

Every wo-o-wo-o, still shines

Every shing-a-ling-a-ling, that they’re startin’ to sing’s, so fine”

As she spirals into loneliness, with only the fleeting memories of her friend to comfort her, she continues to relive “Yesterday Once More” in a vain attempt to regain what she has lost.

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