The song “Happy” by Pharell is almost too easy of a choice when it comes to songs that are like poetry. Pharell Williams put together a masterpiece with his song. In this feel-good radio hit anthem, Pharell cheers his listeners to embrace happiness in all ways shape and form when faced with problems. The music video for “Happy” was nominated for Best Male Video and Video of the Year at the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards. It also won the Grammy Award for Best Music Video at the 57th Annual Grammy Awards. Alongside its musical perfection, it also is very poetic in the way it is able to sneak in many poetic devices in its lyrics.  The first example of this is:

Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof

(Because I’m happy)

Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth


Pharell starts off hot with an uplifting simile. There is a simile in ‘clap along if you feel like a room without a roof’. The person is compared to a room without a roof. In the song, you can feel Pharrell’s energy when he is asking if you are very happy. Pharell uses the simile to make something boring like clapping sounds uplifting and joyful. Along with the simile it also uses rhyme with the words roof and truth giving it that song vibe. It just makes you wanna get up, dance and clap. 

Throughout the song Pharell is also able to use Personification, attaching human qualities to nonhuman things, excellently. One example being:

Here come bad news, talking this and that (Yeah!)


In this line, Pharell is able to articulate that there is a lot of bad news going around. He used personification to make it seem like the bad news was actually saying something as if it were a real person. The use of personification in the song adds more depth and makes the song more interesting, just like how poems are deeper than just the words on the page.

Finally, the last highlighted poetic device is how he is able to implicate extended metaphors throughout his hit song.

I’m a hot air balloon that could go to space

With the air, like I don’t care, baby, by the way

These lyrics use a metaphor because it’s comparing two unlike things, a person and a hot air balloon, without using connecting words. As Pharell isn’t really in a hot air balloon the metaphor just shows that he is really Happy. As the overall theme of the song is about joy and happiness a lot of the lyrics, in connection with the one above, are extended phrases or metaphors for happiness itself. In the whole song the repetition of ‘because I’m happy’ is quite clear to stress on the word and metaphor for happiness.


To add to all of that, what isn’t more poetic about a song written and released as the first and only single for the soundtrack of the film Despicable Me 2 (2013).

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