Running Head: Let Freedom Fly: An Analysis of the song Independce Day



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Running Head: Let Freedom Fly: An Analysis of the song Independce Day by Martina McBride


Let Freedom Fly

An Analysis of the song Independence Day by Martina McBride

Melody Hammann

Texas A&M University Corpus Christi

Abstract

Songs have great meaning behind them. In Martina McBride’s song Independence Day, she deals with the difficult issue of domestic violence and abuse. The writer of the song, Gretchen Peters, uses strong imagery, metaphors and ethos to connect to an audience who may have dealt with the issue personally.

Every great song in history has made it to greatness by having a meaning that strikes chords in its audience. The meaning of the lyrics makes all the difference of the song. Martina McBride's song Independence Day hits right into the heart of her audience by using metaphors and imagery to bring to light the issue of domestic violence.

Domestic Violence is an issue that, although only a few may fully realize it, affects everyone. It happens when one family member or friend constantly abuses a person that is close to them. It can happen in any home, in any family and in typical situations, it is a topic left unspoken. It happens behind closed doors and sometimes the scars can remain hidden, but the emotional scars can last forever. Many people refuse to talk about it, because the abuser often forces compliance. For thousands of years, domestic violence had been an ignored issue. Women were deemed as a lesser sex and were discriminated. Men were superior and often beat their women into submission. However, with the emergence of the battered women’s movement, among others, began to give ground in the 1970’s, “spousal abuse became a public issue” (History, 2011). Finally in 1984, Congress passed a bill that allowed states to assist in incidents of domestic abuse and provide shelter to the abused. However, domestic abuse still went remained out of the “public sphere and it still continued to go unnoticed in the medical community” (2011). It was not until two court cases of Anita Hill and Nicole Brown who were both sexual abused that domestic violence finally became a social issue.

The song was original written by Gretchen Peter. Although in an interview, Peters said that she never experienced domestic violence herself, she tells this story through in the eyes of an eight year old little girl. In “Passage A”, the song by Martina McBride, lines 1.1- 1.7 she gives the background on the family and the introduction to the story.

The author’s intent with this song is to show the dangers of domestic violence and expose it when it had been hidden for so long. Domestic violence was a topic that at one time everyone knew about but no one ever really brought it to the surface. This song helped put domestic violence as a forefront issue to be finally dealt with.

The intended audience is mostly for those who listen to country music, because, stereotypically, country men are more often domestic abusers although that is not often the case. Also, though country women are stronger and more able to take on their abusers. The secondary audience is anyone that listens to music and who can relate to the issue. Although the song’s premace is one fictional story of a little girl, it is very generalized so as to appeal to anyone.

The song hits to the heart of domestic violence by exposing it for what it is. It shows how violence destroys a home, a family and how everyone just turns a blind eye to it. She appeals to emotion by showing the issue through the eyes of a little girl. She also appeals to an American patriotism by giving a double meaning of “Independence Day”. She makes allusions to Christianity and Christ’s death throughout the chorus of the song.

The song begins by giving background to the story and the family. She uses general terms and no names to give the story a universal appeal that anyone can relate to. Then in the second verse, the author uses more imagery and figurative language to give the story more depth and meaning. It is very informal speech, like colloquial language.

The form gives greater meaning to the content by expanding the song’s universal appeal and patriotic message. If the author had immediately started with heavy figurative language, its emotional appeal would have been lessened because it would have overshadowed the story of the little girl.

Passage A
Line#

1.1 Well she seemed all right by dawn's early light


1.2 Though she looked a little worried and weak
1.3 She tried to pretend he wasn't drinkin' again
1.4 But daddy left the proof on her cheek
1.5 I was only eight years old that summer
1.6 And I always seemed to be in the way
1.7 So I took myself down to the fair in town
1.8 On Independence Day

2.1 Well word gets a round in a small, small town


2.2 They said he was a dangerous man
2.3 Mama was proud and she stood her ground
2.4 But she knew she was on the losin' end
2.5 Some folks whispered and some folks talked
2.6 But everybody looked the other way
2.7 And when time ran out there was no one about
2.8 On Independence Day

3.1 Let Freedom ring, let the white dove sing


3.2 Let the whole world know that today is a
3.3 Day of reckoning
3.4 Let the weak be strong, let the right be wrong
3.5 Roll the stone away, Let the guilty pay, It's
3.6 Independence Day

4.1 Well she lit up the sky that fourth of July


4.2 By the time that the firemen come
4.3 They just put out the flames
4.4 and took down some names
4.5 send me to the county home
4.6 Now I ain't sayin' it's right or it's wrong
4.7 But maybe it's the only way
4.8 Talk about your revolution
4.9 It's Independence Day

3.1 Let Freedom ring, let the wight dove sing


3.2 Let the whole world know that today is a
3.3 Day of reckoning
3.4 Let the weak be strong, let the right be wrong
3.5 Roll the stone away, Let the guilty pay, It's
3.6 Independence Day

5.1 Roll the stone away


5.2 It's Independence Day

References



History of domestic violence. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.columbia.edu/cu/ssw/courses/1999-3/t6910/pl103-322bdw/dv_history.htm

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