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Turning Over New Leaf

Friday, October 29, 2010

Drops of Jupiter?






Drops of Jupiter?


Try to teach students how to write, interpret poetry, critique a novel, or analyze a play and you are likely to get "This is boring" as a response. Ask them to analyze pop music and instantly it's a great class! Why exactly is that? I don't know for sure, but I surmise that many students today only want to learn what they already know, or learn more about about what they already like. If you're a teacher, go with it. As long as they learn, you have done your job. So what if you must buy an aspirin or two from time to time.

Recently, I tried this experiment in one of my classes and it went over big time. I gave them the lyrics to the hit song Drops of Jupiter by Train and I accomplished ten times what I would have with a Shakespearean sonnet. When we were done, my students wrote some fantastic analyses on a Shakespearean sonnet.

The problem: I studied Shakespeare, but Train leaves me to my own devices. I love the song, and I think I did a pretty good job with my interpretation, but I take nothing for granted. So please help me out. Below I have posted the lyrics to the song. According to my kids, there are multiple meanings.

What is your interpretation?


Now that she's back in the atmosphere
With drops of Jupiter in her hair, hey
She acts like summer and walks like rain
Reminds me that there's a time to change, hey

Since the return from her stay on the moon
She listens like spring and she talks like June, hey, hey

But tell me, did you sail across the sun?
Did you make it to the Milky Way
To see the lights all faded
And that heaven is overrated?

Tell me, did you fall for a shooting star?
One without a permanent scar
And then you missed me
While you were looking for yourself out there?

Now that she's back from that soul vacation
Tracing her way through the constellation, hey
She checks out Mozart while she does Tae-Bo
Reminds me that there's room to grow, hey

Now that she's back in the atmosphere
I'm afraid that she might think of me as
Plain ol' Jane told a story about a man
Who was too afraid to fly so he never did land

But tell me, did the wind sweep you off your feet?
Did you finally get the chance
To dance along the light of day
And head back to the Milky Way?

And tell me, did Venus blow your mind?
Was it everything you wanted to find?
And then you missed me
While you were looking for yourself out there

Can you imagine no love, pride, deep-fried chicken
Your best friend always sticking up for you
Even when I know you're wrong?

Can you imagine no first dance, freeze-dried romance
Five-hour phone conversation
The best soy latte that you ever had, and me?

But tell me, did the wind sweep you off your feet?
Did you finally get the chance
To dance along the light of day
And head back toward the Milky Way?

But tell me, did you sail across the sun?
Did you make it to the Milky Way
To see the lights all faded
And that heaven is overrated?

And tell me, did you fall for a shooting star?
One without a permanent scar
And then you missed me
While you were looking for yourself?

And did you finally get the chance
To dance along the light of day?
And did you fall for a shooting star?
Fall for a shooting star?

And now you're lonely looking for yourself out there

Drops of Jupiter by Train

***Please Note: If the song is not playing automatically, click on the Mixpod on the right. Thanks.***

32 comments:

  1. She's finding herself.

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  2. Anon: Perhaps, but I think it is much deeper than that.

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  3. I think the meaning of a song is largly determined by who is listening. Someone who gets high would probably see it as getting trippy, a person on a self docovery path would see it as that. You kind of get out of art visual and auditory what you take in with you. Also what a song means to someone may mean something so different to the person who wrote or painted it.

    Think I need to listen to the song as reading it is cold just as reading Shakespeare would feel cold, a play needs to live through its actors to gain life or a poem is just words until a voice gives it life.

    Sorry for the ramble there.

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  4. Following you back! Thanks for stopping by Joseph's Grainery.

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  5. Just listened to the song, The singing stlye sounds embittered as if it was sung by the person who was left behind. I forgot to add the feel of a song can change with the singer.

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  6. Chibi Janine: I agree it is up to the listener. I never thought of the "trippy" traveler. BTW, the song is playing on the Virtual IPOD on this blog. Have a great weekend. Thanks for stopping by.

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  7. Joseph's Grainery Recipes: Thank you!

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  8. Chibi Janine: Once again, I missed that. The singing style is really meaningful. I will have to listen to it again myself. Thanks.

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  9. Hello,

    My impression of the song from hearing it around was that it is about a lost relationship (most likely romantic) where one person needed to experience more in life than the other. Something simple like small town girl sees the world, she's back, and small town boy isn't good enough any more.

    After reading the lyrics just now I started thinking about it with a slightly different slant. I reread it thinking of the singer as the person that had moved on and took out the romantic element. While the singer was off finding himself, the other person's life (possibly a sibling or close friend) moved on too. Now the singer has grown from new experiences but he can't share his new life with this person. He may regret the lost time with this person while he was off on his adventure because he created the distance between them. It's his fault they were apart and now the other person is gone or unavailable to him for some reason. Boiling it down, I think he questions whether the experiences he had were worth losing this person from his life.

    Thanks for visiting me and now I'm following you.

    Enjoy the weekend!

    Alison
    http://welcomesunshinehome.blogspot.com/

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  10. Hi JJ,

    To me a girl and boy have met up but they live away from each other. The girl wants to commit but the man doesn't want to settle down, he wants to travel the world and find himself and the meaning of life.The girl is saying years later, did you find yourself? well its a bit late now i have moved on, i have seen those star and i have found peace but you haven't your still searching the stars for that special place but its to late now your old.

    But with every song or poem it depends i feel where you are in life or what mood your in as to how you read and see it. Sounds like a great lesson you had.

    Dee.

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  11. Hi this is Nicole from Colies Kitchen I just discovered your blog and wanted to drop by and say hi. I really like your blog, and am now a new follower. I would love to have you stop by Colie’s Kitchen if you get a chance. www.colieskitchen.com

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  12. Thank you for stopping by,have a wonderful Halloween...

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  13. Great site!! We are following you back!! Thanks for stopping by at Coupon Cents Sisters!! Have a great weekend!

    Julie and Adele
    The Coupon Cents Sisters

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  14. Not only is she looking for herself but I take it to be a person in a relationship and the partner has discovered that his partner has changed...The woman he fell in love with is no longer ... I think the song writer is showing the different ways that 'she' has changed... If I am right, the writer is quite talented... i.e. her character is so different he says "have u fallen for a shooting star"... how out there is that? when someone has changed so much we may feel they have 'fallen for a shooting star'...

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  15. Alison: I think you are right on the money. I had similar interpretations. Thanks for helping, and thank you for following me!

    Dee: I agree with you also, although I think the lovers roles might have been reversed. I think my kids had a great lesson - and so did I! Thanks for your help. Have a great weekend.

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  16. Nicole: Thank you for dropping in. I am now your newest follower as well. You have a terrific site. Have a great weekend!

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  17. Gingeyginge: Thank you, and have a fantastic weekend!

    Julie and Adele: Thank you for following. Have a super weekend!

    KBF: I think you are absolutely correct. Have a Happy Halloween!

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  18. Thank you for following me. I am glad to follow you too.

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  19. Traci66: Thank you! Have a great weekend. Happy Halloween.

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  20. I realised after I had commented that it was on the ipod. I turn it off as I can't read or write while music is playing. Interestingly I have no problem listening to something and painting.

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  21. Great blog you have here-I just returned the follow. That 's how I officially describe my self: author/educator...
    I'll look forward to keeping up with your writings

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  22. Hi JJ,
    I love that song!
    Happy Halloween
    Michaela

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  23. Chibi Janine: Understood. I can't do it either.

    Bocci: Thank you so much! Have a great weekend.

    Tummetott: Happy Halloween to you! Thanks for stopping by.

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  24. Hi Thank you for linking up with Spook-tacular Two Day Blog Hop!

    I'm now following you too!

    Cindy @ http://thepurplefroggieclaystuff.blogspot.com/

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  25. Cindy: Thank you so much! Have a very Happy Halloween.

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  26. Hi! I am a new follower from Halloween Creepy Crawl.

    Happy Halloween!

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  27. Kingston Girl: Thank you, and Happy Halloween!

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  28. When I read the lyrics to this song strangely the first thing that came to mind was that she was an unsettled & confused spirit, someone that was possibly suffering from bi-polar, ADD or something like that. I think she loved the familiarity & safeness of him but was manic and unable to settle. She was looking for herself or searching for something to appease the emptiness that dwelled within.
    I am probably way off but what do you think JJ?

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  29. Katherine: I'm not sure about bi-polar (maybe something like that), but I think you are right on the money! Thanks for helping.

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  30. Hi! Thanks for the follow...following you back.

    Kristin :)
    Keenly Kristin

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  31. JJ: How do you keep up with all the blogs?
    Also - how did you get the blog roll on your "About" page?

    LOL - This happens to be Andy & mine song. We just enjoy it. I enjoy the visuals in it...and hope that life lets me enjoy all the love and stuff I can find....

    Will the girl and boy in the song find happiness and love? Who knows? Imagine and it might come true....

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