Winter break is upon us, the air is getting colder, and I can bet a lot of us are getting ready for the extra relaxation after finals week. What better way to relax than with some heart-warming, thought-provoking poetry, right? Though there is no perfect season for poetry, there’s something about the cozy blankets, warm drinks, and frigid air that pair so well with it. If you are a poetry lover, here are five songs with clever lyrics and metaphors to add to your winter playlist this year.
1. “All This and Heaven Too”- Florence + The Machine
Florence + the Machine’s “All This and Heaven Too” is a love song, but it’s not your average love song. The track is a classic example of “showing” rather than “telling:” it describes these emotions without using the word “love” once. Mostly, it’s about someone struggling to understand the feelings in their heart. What’s so beautiful about it is that the words can be applied to any type of love: platonic, familial, or spiritual. It’s definitely the type of lyrical poetry that will make you feel warm and fuzzy this winter.
Favorite line from the song: “And the heart is hard to translate, it has a language of its own. It talks in tongues and quiet sighs, and prayers and proclamations…”
2. “Many Moons”- Janelle Monae
Janelle Monae’s “Many Moons” feels like a care-free track on the surface, but if the dark organ sounds in the background of the song aren’t enough to make you think otherwise, then its metaphoric lyrics about oppression, racism, and justice definitely are. While the song is technically written about a fictional futuristic world called “Metropolis,” its lyrics are very much about problems that exist in the world around us. Plus, the last verse of the song is packed with short, snappy rhymes that will make you feel like you are at a late-night poetry slam in underground New York City.
Favorite Line: “The silver bullets in your hand and the war’s heating up. And when the truth goes bang the shouts splatter out. Revolutionize your lives and find a way out…”
3. “Car Radio” – Twenty One Pilots
“Car Radio” by Twenty One Pilots is not a new song nor is it unheard of, but I couldn’t make this list in good conscience without including it. This entire song feels like one long spoken word poem. It discusses some pretty intense themes about mental health, but it encourages listeners to hear what their emotions are telling them and to not drown them out with distractions. In a world where these distractions are constantly at our fingertips, this is an important message to remind ourselves of. Our struggles matter, and we deserve to acknowledge them.
Favorite Line: “I ponder of something terrifying because this time there’s no sound to hide behind. I find over the course of our human existence, one thing consists of consistence, And it’s that we’re all battling fear…”
4. “L.E.S. Artistes”- Santigold
Santigold (a.k.a Santi White) wrote “L.E.S Artistes” after moving to New York and feeling taken aback by everyone pretending to be someone they weren’t. The inspiration for this song makes sense because everything about it screams authenticity. Its message is about knowing yourself better than anyone else and finding your place in the world. Santigold uses catchy rhyming all throughout the song to tell you to forget the facade and just be yourself.
Favorite Line: “You don’t know me, I am an introvert, an excavator. I’m duckin’ out for now, a face in dodgy elevators. Creep up and suddenly I found myself, an innovator…”
5. “Between Me and My Maker”- Kele
“Between Me and My Maker” is a beautiful song that talks about spirituality and building a connection with a higher power. Everytime I listen to this song, it makes me more grateful for my own faith. The song ends by urging listeners to “taste your words before you speak,” recognizing how instrumental words can be in the relationships we form with ourselves, our faith, and with others. I can’t think of a better piece of poetry to end this list with than one about the power of words themselves.
Favorite Line: “Into the light is where I’ll go, my body is not my soul. When I die my spirit rise upon a cloud of gold, so nothing stands between me and my maker…”