An Interpretation of a poem written by Frances Ellen Watkins Harper.

This poem of loved and appreciated by so many. “Songs for the People” was written by Frances Ellen Watkins Harper. This poem’s message is deep; it’s touched my heart and changed the way I think about music. It’s also changed the perspective of every other person who’s ever read this poem. Now I know how music can save people, bestow peace, and so much more. The poem states this exact message. Watkins also tells just a fraction of ways music changes people, ending in peace.

The message is that simple, music can change everything. Watkins states how there are songs for everything, which leads into her most fundamental points of this poem. She says that songs can calm and reunite people. This makes sense because music is a universal language that every single person can speak. They don’t have to go to college as a music major, but even a young child or a silver haired senior citizen can make music. That’s what this poem really means. Everyone need’s music, ad music can reunite them all.

In the first stanza of this poem Watkins states how every single one of us needs songs of music:

“Let me make the songs for the people,

Songs for the old and young;
Songs to stir like a battle-cry
Wherever they are sung.”

She says from old to young that there are songs to help people, and to simply make life better.            

            Throughout the rest of the poem Watkins continues to poetically list different ways and different kinds of music people need. She uses a dramatic contrast between the two comparisons, to keep the reader interested and captivated.

            From the first stanza and on, Watkins starts to list the people that need music.  In the second stanza of the poem she starts to reinforce her main idea and dream of peace. She says how we can replace war with songs that can thrill mankind just as much. For the remaining stanzas Watkins continues to tell the different varieties of people who use music to abolish pain and suffering from their lives.

            In the last stanza of this poem Watkins states the most touching thing:

“Music to soothe all its sorrow, 

    Till war and crime shall cease; 

And the hearts of men grown tender 

    Girdle the world with peace.”

Watkins believed in peace. During her lifetime she strove to see world peace happen, but in her lifetime it didn’t. Watkins had faced stereotypes herself, as she was an African American. She knew how music could save everyone. From the young to the old, the poor to the rich, and even the weary to the strong. Music was a thing that could be expressed peacefully without wars and strife breaking out.

            This whole poem is short, but moving and so motivational. There are songs for everyone; there are songs for everything. Every situation in life that we may face can be complemented and maybe even fixed by a song. The songs could bring us peace, and we could bring peace to the world as the final stanza states. This is what the whole poem, and possibly even the poets life was about. Songs can change our lives, and we can change the world. We can bring peace.

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