Does the Sidewalk End?

“Open Road” by Roo Panes from the Weight Of Your World EP is a sweet song essentially about living life to the fullest potential while keeping home and family close. Although the meaning isn’t blatantly obvious, the listener is able to take from it what they want. When I listen, I focus on how the song is broadening my view of my own place in the world. I am reminded of the importance of living as free as possible, that our only real bounds are the ones we create for ourselves. There are a number of paths we can follow throughout our lives and all we have to do is start walking.

The song starts off with a hyperbole pertaining to an emotional state we all know too well. Sadness. 

And even from afar I hear you crying

Verse 1

This lyric is not meant to be taken literally. Panes is commenting on the strength of the emotion carrying from one person to the other without direct communication. Sadness is such a raw emotion that even when someone seems fine, anyone who knows them best can see through it. This is a powerful line as it suggests that someones sadness is so “loud” that it can be heard from far far away. 

The chorus is first accompanied by a Metaphor.

Let me out of this cage, ‘fore I swell up with rage


Panes is obviously talking about a metaphorical cage here. It is a cage of our own making that limits us to certain gratifications in life. Using diction like “cage” creates an image that is easily understood especially in the context of a fast paced song.

The chorus also consists of personification of the sky. 

Let me shout to the skies that I’m too young to die


This line can be interpreted a number of ways. Depending on how the listener interprets the lyric, the sky could be God, “the universe”, a different higher power, or the sky and world as in everything under the sun. As someone who is agnostic, I interpreted this line as simply the sky, in which case I consider this line to be personification since a sky cannot hear or receive a verbal shout. This line is also comforting in a number of ways as a seemingly much needed release of fears and emotions. 

The third verse utilizes one more lyric of personification. 

Wisdom knows the eyes through which you’re crying 

Verse 3

This line suggests that one emotion, which in this case is most likely sadness, is one dimensional on a unique multi-dimensional individual. We are so much more than one state of emotion, and as the eyes are the window to the soul, wisdom can see through the eyes into who you truly are. However, as we know, wisdom is not an actual person and that is where personification comes in as a useful device here. 

The purpose of this song is to comfort its listeners. Through the use of several poetic devices along with a steady tempo and voice, this song certainly achieves that.

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