Compare and Contrast Essay

Take your pick for ASSIGNMENT IV. There’s a bit more variety here, but all were, and some remain, extremely popular songs. You can compose an essay on only one, or compare/contrast one, or two, or all four even, with another. In terms of an entirely different approach, you might want to tie the song(s) you select into social history, or the context in which the song was composed and what subsequent events cemented it into the popular imagination long after that. Or you might be interested in learning more about the composer or lyricist. For example, a so-called romantic ballad, “Are You Lonesome Tonight,” though it was composed in the 1920s, was one of The King of Rock’n’Roll’s biggest hits in the mid-fifties. (That’s Elvis, in case up don’t know.) And “As Time Goes By” was, for several generations, an anthem for the anti-war movement as much as a tribute to sacrifice for others. To understand why, you might want to watch the movie, “Casablanca,” on YouTube. (It’s a great story, and stars Humphrey Bogart.) As always, too, to each his or her own. Still, behind every great song, one that has “stick-to-it-iveness,” has to be that it expresses love and longing, hope and endurance, all those various manifestations of loneliness and losing we are all as much familiar with, or at least we imagine as much. Sooner or later, everyone goes “there,” to where a song seems to express for him or her his deepest feelings. Think of each of these songs as having done, and still are doing, that very thing for someone right at this moment.

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