Pop music – like it or not – 2

Posted on April 7, 2012

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Gloria Gaynor – I will survive

This is a strong song about strength, which has already survived more then three decades since it was first published in 1978. It can still be heard on the radio, the video has more than twenty million views on YouTube, and, by reading the reviews, it seems to me that for many it has became a symbol of a don’t-give-up attitude.

The tune, the rhythm and the lyrics in this song fit together perfectly, but they are really brought to life by Gloria Gaynor’s authentic singing, which makes them resonate with elementary emotions in the listener. Everything has been kept simple and clear – the piano introduction, the strings playing the tune in the background, one solo dancer ice-skating in the video – making it easy to enjoy the melody, the verses and the crystal clear voice of Gloria Gaynor. The lyrics elegantly depict a procession of emotions i.e. feeling helpless after a rejection which turns into anger and then provides the energy for a strengthened self-confidence. Such a progression would normally be considered as desirable and healthy in similar situations experienced by most people, and the song makes it sound possible for a few minutes. Also, there is an element of humour in the verses (survive? people survive breakups) cutting the edge of the drama and making things somewhat more easy, which is something I would expect from good popular music.

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Posted in: Part 1