Too Many Gods

The song “Too Many Gods” by Asap Rocky Joey Badass from the album, For the Throne is undeniably poetry. From the title of the song to lyrics this song is written in almost all figurative language. It is one of my favorite songs because of the angelic beat and tone. “Too Many Gods” is a song where Asap Rocky and Joey Badass rap about the overabundance of God-like figures in the world.

The central idea of this song is that there are too many people portrayed as “God” in the world and that not everyone can be a god. We get this in the first stanza where the song reads…

“Tell me why we go to war, too many gods
Tell me what we praying for, too many gods
Feel like things will never change, I swear to God
Sometimes I wonder if God ever prays for me (ooh)
Tell me why we go to war, too many gods
Tell me what we praying for, too many gods”

There is a pattern where the first and last two sentences of this stanza end with “too many gods”. They use this phrase as something to blame war on and the reason we pray. Asap Rocky is saying we have war become there are too many people portrayed as “Gods”. The phrase “too many gods” can also just mean a lot of gods. This stanza can be interpreted as Asap Rocky saying we go to war for the gods as if they are protecting them or standing with them.

In the second stanza Asap Rocky sings…

“Battle scars, too many spores
Knight in shining armor, such a pretty wh*re
Strange screams down the corridors
Divide, conquer, call it yours
Another false prophet’s on the thrones”

He begins rhyming every word/sound at the end of each line and speeds up the pace of the song and changes the tone from relaxed to more chaotic and dark. This stanza also speaks back to meaning of the song and there being too many “fake” gods when its says “false prophets on the throne”.

In conclusion, the song ends with…

“Life is too short to be living in fear
‘Specially when you know winter is here”

This sort of contradicts the whole song as its saying it doesn’t really matter because life is so short.

“my tears ricochet” -Taylor Swift

While many write off Taylor Swift as a whole due to radio overplayed hits like “Shake It Off,” age and experience has greatly contributed to her writing. I believe that the song “my tears ricochet” from her album Folklore exemplifies this. 

At first listen, this song may seem to be another emotional song about a breakup, but if you examine the lyrics closer, it is a much more complex metaphor about death, closure, and unresolved emotions. The song explains that even death doesn’t bring closure.

The song begins, “We gather here, we lineup / weepin’ in a sunlit room.” These lines immediately place the setting of the song at a funeral. The song continues, “‘cause I loved you, I swear I loved you / ‘Til my dying day.” These lines reference the common saying at weddings “til death do us part,” signifying to the listeners that the speaker and the ex were possibly married, or at least very committed to each other at one point. 

The chorus begins, “I didn’t have it in myself to go with grace.” This is a turning point in the song. This line is telling the audience that the end of their relationship was not pretty, but referencing a previous line, she still loved him “‘til her dying day.” The next line is one of my favorite lines in the song. Swift sings, “and you’re the hero flying around, saving face.” This line is quite ironic because she labels her ex as “the hero,” but also says that instead of saving lives like classic heroes, the speaker is dead and he is busy “saving face,” meaning he is only attempting to save his reputation. She continues and askes, “and if I’m dead to you, why are you at the wake?” This line is a good representation of human relationships. Even if their romantic relationship ends in chaos and hatred and being told that she was “dead to him,” he still shows up to her wake when she actually dies. This line also confirms the setting of the funeral. The chorus wraps up with “cursing my name, wishing I stayed / look at how my tears ricochet.” Despite being in an unhappy relationship, he is not happy about her death, giving the listeners a sense that the ex is searching for a resolution and closure, which is a very human thing to do. The last line, which also contains the title of the song, is an example of how death is the biggest denier of a resolution, so the ex will never achieve closure. The speaker, even dead, is crying, showing the unresolved emotions remaining after their relationship, and even after her death. The ex is still alive, so his actions can “ricochet” out to affect others. 

The next verse begins with a metaphor for relationships: “We gather stones, never knowing what they’ll mean / Some to throw, some to make a diamond ring.” Humans “gather” relationships for minimal reasons and interactions, or for important life changes, like marriage. The verse ends with “You wear the same jewels that I gave you / As you bury me.” This is another line pointing to the unresolved emotions. If the ex is wearing the jewels that she gave him, are there feelings that remain? 

The only line that is different in the next chorus is “‘Cause when I’d fight, you used to tell me I was brave.” Notice in this line she says “when I’d fight” rather than when we’d fight, explaining that they used to be on the same team. 

The bridge delivers multiple powerful lines. Swift sings “and you can aim for my heart, go for blood / But you would still miss me in your bones.” “Aim for my heart” versus “go for blood” is an interesting contrast between a classically romantic phrase and a violent one. Also, “miss me” in the second line is multidimensional. It can mean that even though he aims for her heart, he will physically miss her when he shoots, or it can mean that he will emotionally miss her no matter how violent their end is. 

The last two verses contain a lot of poetic meaning. The lines “You had to kill me, but it killed you just the same” and “You turned into your worst fears” show that the end of the relationship and the end of the speaker’s life were not successful at making the ex happy. Overall, the ex begins to spiral and their actions continue to “ricochet.” In the end of the song, Swift writes “and you’re tossing out blame, drunk on this pain / crossing out the good years.” These lines just continue to symbolize the lack of closure and remaining unresolved feelings that the ex has for the speaker. The word “drunk” also serves another multidimensional purpose of the ex being physically drunk off of alcohol because he is in pain, but he is also reflecting and creating pain. The line feels as if the ex is losing control, and almost creates the image of a drunk past lover pouring their heart out while “cursing my name, wishing I stayed.” 

Overall, this song to me reflects a deeply felt, but troubled relationship and its aftermath. It is almost an ironic viewpoint from the speaker because they are dead, showing that death doesn’t bring closure. 

Jimmy Sparks

The Lumineers album III tells the story of the Sparks family. the album is broken up into three EP’s I, II, and III. I focuses on the mother/grandmother, Gloria Sparks, an alcoholic whose poor choices constantly put her and her family at risk. II is about Junior sparks, Gloria’s grand son. III depicts the life of Jimmy Sparks, Gloria’s son and Junior’s father. He struggles with many kinds of addiction and has little experience with healthy relationships. As the song Jimmy Sparks goes on it tells the story of Jimmy’s troubled life and how his strained relationship with his son as a child affects him in the future.

Jimmy believed in the American way
A prison guard, he worked hard and made the minimum wage
He found his freedom lockin’ men in a cage

This song centers around addiction and hardships. Jimmy is stuck in multiple unhealthy habits and is governed by his own addictions. Professionally he works as a prison guard and uses the power he has there to gain a sense of control. These lines explain the entirety of Jimmy’s experience. He worked as hard as he could to no avail, causing him to feel lost. Instead of addressing this directly, Jimmy looks for other outlets, such as his authority over prisoners. The irony in the last line is used to show how he feels out of control in his personal life and overcompensates through his control within prisons.

The waitress babysat the boy at the bar, oh no
After an hour, Jimmy doubled his cash
He took his kid and his winnings as the dealer just laughed

These lines display the relationship between Jimmy and his son. Junior grew up watching his dad struggle with substance abuse and a gambling addiction. While Jimmy did win, the dealers reaction shows that it won’t be the end of it. The dealer is aware of Jimmy’s problem and is amused by his temporary victory before he returns and loses the money again. The description of a simple expression says a lot about the patterns Jimmy displays that aren’t blatantly mentioned.

His old man waved his hands with tears in his eyes
But Jimmy’s son just sped up and remembered daddy’s advice
No, you don’t ever give a hitcher a ride ’cause it’s us or them
‘Cause it’s me or him

Jimmy and Junior have an obviously strained relationship but that is never explicitly stated. In this one moment, one of the final stories told in the song, the full extent of their issues are visible. Jimmy was incapable of providing his son with a typical childhood and it stuck with him. The majority of these lines are a memory of a “lesson” Jimmy gave his son. This lesson influenced Juniors decision to not help his dad. Junior is unable to move past the way his father brought him up and because of that, they no longer have a relationship.

hoax: Why Taylor Swift is a Lyrical Genius

The song “hoax” is the final track on Taylor Swift’s album, folklore. This album was a time for Swift where she fully wrote about situations that she has not experienced, and truly experimented with storytelling.

In an interview, Swift stated that this song was written about several “fractured” situations about love, family, and a “business thing” (the drama surrounding Scott Borchetta and Scooter Braun). The song is centered around betrayal, and love. How even when someone has betrayed you deeply, and has traumatized you, you can still feel love for them, and want to stay with them. Love isn’t just easy, just sunshine, and rainbows. Love is hard, and painful, and tragic. And with the right person, it’s worth it.

Verse 1

The first four lines of the verse read:

My only one
My smoking gun
My eclipsed sun
This has broken me down

Right out of the gate, it is evident that something is wrong within the narrator’s relationship. The narrator opens by stating that the subject of the poem is their “only” one, meaning that they are their one true love, or the only person the narrator feels they will ever be with. The narrator describes their partner as a “smoking gun.” This is an idiom, and can mean a piece of incriminating evidence. However, in a more literal sense, it can mean that the narrator has already been “shot” by their partner, and that the narrator is now reeling in the wake of being betrayed. The “eclipsed sun” also adds to how the narrator has once had a beautiful relationship, but this relationship is now shadowed, leaving the narrator “broken.” I think it’s interesting how throughout the verses, the partner is referred to with “my,” revealing that the narrator feels a deep connection to this person.

The next four lines of the first verse read:

My twisted knife
My sleepless night
My win-less fight
This has frozen my ground

Again, Swift is pulling in imagery to depict how painful the narrator’s partner’s actions have made the narrator feel. But what I think most interesting about this section is the line, “This has frozen my ground.” When ground is frozen, nothing can grow. Essentially, the relationship is unfruitful. However, this could also be an allusion to a lyric in Swift’s song, “the lakes,” which states:

A red rose grew up out of ice frozen ground

This meaning would be the opposite. Even though a relationship may be frozen, something beautiful can grow. There is hope. So even when a relationship seems to be going downhill, there may be something salvageable in the remnants of disaster.


The chorus reads:

Stood on the cliffside
Screaming, “Give me a reason”
Your faithless love’s the only hoax
I believe in
Don’t want no other shade of blue
But you
No other sadness in the world would do

Now, the narrator is begging their partner to do something, anything, that would allow the speaker to not feel as though they should leave the relationship. The narrator wants to stay. It also gives slight suicide imagery, with the speaker literally standing on the edge of a cliff, though we don’t know if they are actually contemplating jumping. Within the chorus, it is also revealed that the speaker knows that their partner’s actions aren’t healthy. And yet, they still believe in the “hoax” of the relationship. In an interview, Swift discussed the last three lines of the chorus. She stated that this was what she believed true love was–not just finding someone to spend joyful moments with, but finding someone that you’re willing to be miserable with. This message is revealed through Swift’s use of enjambment within the fifth and sixth lines of the chorus. This enjambment places emphasis on the words “but you,” showing that this is the only person the narrator would tolerate this behavior from.

Verse 2

The second verse reads:

My best laid plan
Your sleight of hand
My barren land
I am ash from your fire

The first line of this verse may be an allusion to a line from Robert Burns’ poem entitled “To a Mouse,” which reads,

The best laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men
Gang aft agley

that translates to, “The best laid schemes of mice and men often go awry.” So, the speaker had a plan (possibly the romanticized version of being in love), which their partner has ruined. The “sleight of hand” line lends to how deceiving the partner is being. But the speaker isn’t fooled by their partner’s magic trick, and upon reflection, is able to see what they are plotting. And then, there is the word “barren.” This could mean that the relationship is empty (maybe empty emotionally, especially from the partner’s end), but also, like the frozen ground line, could mean that nothing good can come of their relationship. Then comes one of my favorite lines of the song: “I am ash from your fire.” Other than being just a beautiful line, it really shows how destructive their relationship is, but also how the narrator feels that they are simply the remnants of their partner’s terrible. They are no longer a physical thing, but dust. Ash.

Swift then goes into the chorus, which is the same as above.


The bridge is often the most poetic part of Taylor Swift’s songs.

The first four lines of the bridge read:

You know I left a part of me back in New York
You knew the hero died, so what’s the movie for?
You knew it still hurts underneath my scars
From when they pulled me apart

What I think is really interesting about the bridge is Swift’s choice of tense. She begins in the present tense, then transitions into the past tense, which plays into the cycle of this relationship. The partner will continue to betray, and the narrator will continue to fight for the relationship to continue. I also love the hero line. I feel like this line is the narrator speaking to themselves, asking themselves why they’re still in the relationship if they know the ending (getting hurt). The scars line speaks to the narrator’s past relationships, and how they keep seeming to get hurt by those they once trusted. It also describes the permanence of the narrator’s trauma. Like a scar, they will never be fully healed.

The next seven lines of the verse read:

You knew the password, so I let you in the door
You knew you won, so what’s the point of keeping score?
You knew it still hurts underneath my scars
From when they pulled me apart
But what you did was just as dark
Darling, this was just as hard
As when they pulled me apart

I absolutely love the password line, and the metaphor it brings. It’s saying how this person knew exactly what to say to the narrator to gain their trust, only to betray it. The partner knew exactly what buttons to push to rile up the speaker. Then, we get an expansion of the scars line. It is added that what the partner did to the narrator was just as terrible as being dissected by others. And yet, the narrator still calls their partner “Darling.” They are still using this term of endearment even though they have been so deeply hurt.


The outro reads:

My only one
My kingdom come undone
My broken drum
You have beaten my heart

Don’t want no other shade of blue
But you
No other sadness in the world would do

Again, the partner is the narrator’s “only one.” Who they believe to be their soulmate, the only person they would stay with while being treated horribly. The kingdom line is a biblical reference, and reveals how the narrator once had the perfect relationship (a kingdom) that is now unraveled because of one side’s actions. The next two lines show how a rhythm of life has been disturbed, and essentially how heartbroken the narrator is. And yet, despite this heartbreak, Swift ends her song with the repetition of the line that she said described true love.

Despite much of the song’s negative tone, I’m not sure if the meaning of the poem is entirely negative. Yes, it describes a seemingly terrible situation, but I think it’s also saying that if you truly love someone, you will be willing to stick by them through these situations. Love is willing to be sad, and happy, and everything in between. But I also think that there’s a difference between a loving relationship that has flaws, and valleys, and a truly toxic relationship.

River Don’t Go

Charlie Puth’s song “River” from his Nine Track Mind Album, is undeniably poetry. Just the way the song expresses feelings of love and trust makes it an incredible masterpiece. The slow texture of listening to the words and their meaning is very profound. It is one of his overall underrated yet good songs. Along with Charlie’s other songs about love, relationship, and heartbreak, this particular song has a deep metaphor for the word river. This song has a speaker in it which is Charlie and the audience which is his ex-lover and the occasion is really not important. But the what and meaning of the song is about Charlie’s ex-girlfriend blocking him out entirely and acting nonchalant about her pain, and in return makes Charlie feel more hurt as he wants to see her express her emotions more instead of forming into a river and flowing away from him. We get a sense of this in the first stanza, which says…

Look, you can play it cool
Act like you don’t care
River don’t be cruel
You’re pushing me away
Don’t want to get hurt
So you hurt me first
With the words you say

We can notice the AABB rhythmic stanza in the first verse between cool and cruel, and away and say. Also, the way the word river is used. We may ask ourselves well, how can a river be cruel. Because the only definition for a river is, a large natural stream of water flowing in different directions. I can see now, why Charlie chooses the river to be the main idea in his song. Relationships can go in different directions, like rivers. And sometimes with the pressure of the water can also push people away. But the song also doesn’t lose its sense of structure. In the next verse, it explains how Charlie is now giving up on this relationship seeing as going nowhere and now he feels that she should just fall.

Maybe you should fall
That’s what rivers do
’cause when you’re in love
You don’t mind a different view
Things are looking up

So in the song, Charlie is still wanting his ex-girlfriend’s love but again she’s not returning the feelings back to him. But he still pushed forward and wanted to accept the facts and still be with her but continuing to tell her not to run away from him. While listening to the song’s lyrics, Charlie is explaining to his ex-girlfriend how she shouldn’t give up because when the water gets rough where is she going to go his heart is her home and nothing is as cold as running on your own so River you shouldn’t rush. And we can infer that maybe river is a part of a nickname that Charlie has for his ex-girlfriend.

In conclusion ending of the song ends with Charlie continuing to say that she shouldn’t run from him and not from their love. The How of the story and the way the language has meaning is that you should never give up on the things that you love even if it feels like there’s no hope you always have to keep trying because one day you will feel that love and your River Won’t Give Up and won’t run.


Daft Punk’s Grammy winning album Random Access Memories is the duo’s seventh and final album and features the song Touch featuring Paul Williams. The song was used in a video announcing the duo’s split in 2021, and has since become associated with the end of Daft Punk. This is fitting as the song’s lyrics and themes have to do with memories and the loss of better times. Similar to their previous songs such as Human After All, Touch is a song about a robot capable of feeling human emotions. This robot, who’s experience is displayed via the lyrics sung by Paul Williams, illustrate a deep sense of longing the robot feels for these emotions. The lyrics begin with the robot saying:

Touch, I remember touch.

Pictures came with touch.

A painter in my mind,

Tell me what you see.

This opening establishes the robot’s memories of the feelings of touch that he’s felt. Lines like “a painter in my mind” establishes their disconnect from the feeling. Instead of being their own experiences, they are pictures created by another person in their mind. The song continues with the lines:

A tourist in a dream,

A visitor it seems.

A half forgotten song,

Where do I belong?

The robot has been disconnected from his own feelings so long that he feels like “a tourist” or a “visitor” as he remembers his own feelings. Because of how disconnected they are, they are disoriented, confused, and have no true understanding of who they are, asking themself, “Where do I belong?”. They further question their own identity as they say:

Tell me what you see,

I need something more.

Kiss, suddenly alive.

Happiness arrive.

Hunger like a storm,

How do I begin?

As the robot begins to question their own experiences and further explore their memories of touch, the music becomes more upbeat as the robot feels “suddenly alive” as they re-experience their past feelings. They feel an intense “hunger” for more feelings, asking themself, “How do I begin?”. As they further explore their memories, the robot says,

Touch where do you lead?

I need something more.

Tell me what you see,

I need something more.

The robot wants to find out where these feelings will lead them, and as they further explore their own memories, they repeat “I need something more”. With this, the music kicks into an upbeat composition as the robot experiences the joy of feeling these newfound emotions and memories. Then, as quickly as it sped up, the music slows down. The music builds into a bridge that slowly gets happier and happier as the following phrase is repeated by first Daft Punk’s robotic vocals and then a choir:

Hold on, if love is the answer you’re home.

Hold on, if love is the answer you’re home.

The robot, having found a greater understanding of themselves, finally feels like they are home. They now understand what it is they’ve been searching for, and the uplifting music displays this. Eventually, as the chorus reaches its highest point, the vocals and music are abruptly cut off, leaving a few seconds of silence. This silence is interrupted by the robot’s returning vocals, stating:

Touch. Sweet touch,

You’ve given me too much to feel.

Sweet touch,

You’ve almost convinced me I’m real.

For whatever reason, the robot has now been cut off from their feelings of touch. They have been left once again without their feelings of touch, but now with the memories of what once was, and the sadness as they wish to return to those times. This brief understanding of their feelings has left a hole in the robot, who says “You’ve given me too much to feel”. The robot is so apathetic now that they no longer believe themselves to be worthy of human feelings anymore, saying, “You’ve almost convinced me I’m real”. Now knowing what feelings and emotions feel like but left without any way to experience them any more, the robot only says:

I need something more,

I need something more.

Ending with a low piano note on the final “more”, the song leaves with a feeling of longing and sadness, replicating the longing the robot feels for the emotions and feelings humans go through, and their despair as they realize they are unable to. This song has recently become associated with Daft Punk’s split, which is fitting considering it’s themes. As time advances, we will be left with only memories of past experiences and feelings, and we will only be able to wish for more time, for something more.