Sample Handout for a Song
The sample below could be handed to an audience for a group presentation
about a song, emailed to augment a phone conversation individually, or even
segmented for use in a PowerPoint about the song that could illustrate a
group or an individual presentation.
It includes biographical information about the songwriter-singer,
comments on the arrangement, and annotates the lyrics to describe the
behavior of the instruments used and of the singer. After that, it
uses a few of the checklist topics to analyze poetic qualities of the song
by Amanda McBroom
The Singer & Songwriter: Bette Midler
popularized this song--and consequently its writer--in 1979 with
version of "The Rose," that ends the movie of the same name.
Respected for her pure voice and emotional lyrics, McBroom has performed
from London to D.C. to Taiwan and Australia for more than twenty years;
she has made several albums, including a ground-breaking hi-fi album
sung directly to vinyl in 1980, as well as performing in stage musicals.
In her song writing, she often collaborates with Michele Brourman
("Amanda McBroom Biography"
Lyrics and Arrangement: The general pattern of this
arrangement is to build in intensity from verse to verse first from a
single synthesized instrument behind the voice to an added piano-like
synthesized instrument and two-voice harmony (reverb?) to the climactic
third verse that adds drums and back-up singers.
Italic = highest volume of singer and instruments
Before or after these words
the background instrument makes multiple notes, perhaps a trill or
|Some say love, it is a river that
drowns the tender reed.
Some say love, it is a razor that leaves
your soul to bleed.
Some say love, it is a hunger, an
endless aching need.
I say love, it is a flower, and you its only seed.
It's the heart, that fears a breaking, that never learns to
It's the dream, afraid of waking, that never takes the
It's the one who won't be taken, who cannot seem to
And the soul, afraid of dying, that never learns to live.
When the night has been too lonely, and the road has been too
And you think that love is only for the lucky and the strong,
Just remember in
the winter far beneath the bitter
Lies a seed, that with the sun's love, in the
spring becomes the
|Organ (few notes)
Piano joins in.
Piano and voice
∑ Imagery: Translate the figurative language into plain
English to point to a theme or tone.
o The basic image is of the rose, which embodies the
speakerís view of love: Dormant for a time, love can bloom. Though
precious, lovely, and fragile, love can also be hearty.
∑ Rhythm: What's the beat of the song? Or, what mood does the
o The songís rhythm is four beats per measure, which can be
a slow, stately rhythm, suitable for a contemplative song.
∑ Rhyme: Do any of the rhymes hint at the song's main idea, or
o The long e
rhymes of the first stanza are at least a unifying element that spans
the extended metaphor of the debate in the first verse.
∑ Connotation: Which words mean more than they say outright?
o The most emotion-charged words in the song are "bleed" and
possibly "fear," which is repeated in various forms in the second
∑ Theme: What idea or impression emerges from the work?
o This is a song of hope, more specifically, a speaker
pleading with someone that she cares for to maintain hope until the
time when the love that lies dormant within him can bloom.