An Analysis of How Songwriter's and Musician's are Affected by Location

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An Analysis of How Songwriter's and Musician's are Affected by Location This land is your land, this land is my land From California To the New York Island From the Redwood forest To the Gulf Stream waters This land was made for you and me. -Woody Guthrie Although the above lines, from Woody Guthrie's geographical classic This Land is Your Land, are deep-rooted in American Soil they still work as an excellent indicator of how a songwriter's location can reflect the ideas and meaning behind the work that they produce. In Guthrie's case, life revolved around extensive travels throughout North America and therefore the images he conjures up represent a vast cross-section of geographical landmarks and natural representatives from several locales. His was the life of the traveler, never knowing one home for very long, and therefore it is quite obvious as to why his songwriting reflected that very lifestyle. Contrasting this, it can also be said that a finer understanding of a specific area can be achieved through a songwriter's ability to concentrate on a single area and allow it to inspire all that they write about. Whether the influence on the songwriter is a positive or a negative one there is still something to be said for the Canadian songwriter and his ability to convey a very strong sense of place in his/her songs. Whether it is the people of a particular city, an area's surrounding natural landmarks, or the main source of industry for a specific location, it can be said that Canadian songwriters are truly able to bring forth the true character behind their respective areas. For example, Neil Young It is very simple to listen to music without ever allowing yourself to actually hear ... ... middle of paper ... ...they are with the words within it. As can be noted from the information herein, each area discussed has its own unique and distinct purpose. Whether it be Rush's intense confusing clang representing the industry/technology-laden area of Toronto and other large cities, Great Big Sea's seemingly constant "head-held-high" homage to the East coast and it's surrounding natural beauty, or She Stole My Beer's easy-going musicianship reflecting the West coast, it becomes obvious just how severe an impact a band or songwriter's geographical location has on the work that they produce. And even though each band from these three areas assumedly has it's own individual sound and style they are all drawn toward their personal surroundings in their own way, whether it be the people or the landscape, and allow it to seep through into the music they create.

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