Bullet and a Target by Citizen Cope
Bullet And A Target Lit Analysis
Choosing a song that the meaning is unknown is extremely difficult until you know what your looking for. It took me until the day before due date to find the song that I was going to use for sure. I had songs picked out and songs that I had even started writing for but none of them felt, well right. To attempt to find the right song for me, I asked people and I searched through my Ipod relentlessly. I came down to two songs a country song by Casey Donahew Band called “Crazy” and a song that names off our problems to problems that we create. “Bullet And A Target” by Citizen Cope is a song that puts a mental thought inside the listeners head of being in between a bullet and its target and who’s fault it is. The meanings are clear in the lyrics, there are going to be problems and you are going to get caught in between the bullet and its target but you don’t have to stay there you can move, you can always make things better.
The Dalai Lama is a Tibetan religious leader who is said to be a part of a reincarnation of many spiritual leaders who is supposed to enlighten the followers. The song opens with the lines, “Mr. Dalai Lamas, another sister’s shootin’ heroin tomorrow, amputees in Freetown . . .” It seems as if the song is being said from the perspective of the people who are looking for an answer, an answer for a problem in the world with a girl who is on drugs and people looking for help because they have limbs that have been amputated. I say this because there is no sense of happiness in the song, the entire demeanor of the song is almost sad but also very straight forward.
This year and the year before were years of change and attempt to create a better world for us to live in. In years before that problems were everywhere, TV, social gatherings, and radio all you ever heard were the worldly problems. Citizen Cope sings, “The Church wasn’t honest, Creating hostility among us, teachers sad no college, people wanna bomb us, more people scatter and run from us, you can blame it on Zues and Apollo and Adonis.” These lines set the tone for the entire song with us being the bad person and the church being the bad person and then the school who is a bad person. The very last verse in that stanza says that all those problems can be blamed on the mythology of Zues, Apollo, and Adonis. To me personally its saying that the church was telling people wrong things to attempt to get something out of the people, and that is creating hostility among us but truly every part of this stanza is creating hostility. When the teacher said no college it made me think of the larger schools where there are so many kids that some just get forgotten and don’t get the chance for help. They talk about some people who want to bomb us I think of the countries who are sick of us Americans trying to change their ways. Then it says that more people want to scatter and run away from us, which gives me the impression that there are more people are afraid of us and the terror that we could bring upon them.
The chorus of a song is usually what it is named after and is like the meat of the song. It’s the part where the meaning is unknown unless you know the rest of the song. The chorus in this song was the reason why I chose it. I knew what the words meant but I never knew what they meant in context. “But what you’ve done here, is put yourself between a bullet and a target, and it won’t be long before, your pulling yourself away.” When you put yourself in between a bullet and a target you are standing in front of a force that is not meant for you but is headed right for you. If you are smart and you know what you are in between, it won’t take you long to pull yourself away. This chorus in context to the song is talking about the regular person being stuck in between a force such and the government and their goal. Even if the person thinks that it is wrong the government will make it happen because they have the power over the person. It can also take the role of the church trying to persuade a group to do something and all you have to do is pull yourself away.
When a guy falls for a girl and she has had a hard life and he hasn’t, its easy for her to not care about him as much as he does for her. He will remember nearly everything about her and he would think about her every once in a while. “I’ve been knowin’ her for years, I’ve been seeing her for years, she got dark dark wavy hair, with a voice that she just don’t care, she got a skirt with a halter top.” When kids grow up some have it easy and others have it very difficult. Its tough in some cases for the child to grow up and be successful, to pull yourself out of the line of the bullet and the target. In the last stanza of the song it talks about a situation like this, “She’s got a dad who never even cared, she drinks a beer with a proper shot, she got knocked up in a pickup truck, but she got engaged when she was nineteen, to this dude who was acting insane, had a .45 that he always cleaned, said one day one day one too many days.” When a young boy or girl has a father or a mother who doesn’t care about anything that they do then they are already going to have a tough life. This girl in particular didn’t stray away from this fact, she grows up and starts to drinks. Then it says she got pregnant in a trucks and that she got engaged when she was nineteen. I thinks all of this relates back to the father who didn’t care about her. Not only did she get pregnant and and engaged very young but it was to man who was completely crazy. He carried a gun and you can just tell that he treated her like she was nothing. I believe that if her father cared at all none of this would have happened.
When one spouse treats the other like a she or he is nothing, the other can sometime get away and other times they can’t. In this situation the girl that the artist knows very well finally, without anyones help, realizes that she can get away and that she doesn’t have to put up with the guy any more. Citizen Cope says in the very last part of the stanza, “Now she ducked and she ran away, Never to be heard from, never to be seen, I check the cover of a magazine, I’m just wondering how just wondering how.” To me this says the most about the entire song. Its saying what the chorus and the rest of the song is trying to say. It says that “she ducked and she ran away” that line sums up the entire song because she moved out of the way of the bullet and a target. Then it says that she was never seen again until he looked at a cover of a magazine, which means that she got out of the slum of a world that she was living and made something of her life. All Citizen Cope can think of then is how she did it and why others can’t figure out how.
The point of this peice and the point of the song is that you don’t have to stay in between a bullet and its target. You can get out and you can make something of your life, just as the story of the girl who had the terrible teen life who now is on the cover of a magazine. From the first stanza to the second there is a huge change from bad to good. Just like most things everything ends good in some way. From the church and to the government’s decisions, the answer is that we can change things. It could be changing ones life or changing ones ideas on a certain subject. The thing is that we don’t have to stay in the path of the bullet, we can move we just have to be a strong enough person to be able to do so. Don’t get hit with the bullet, don’t be the target, and don’t be in between, create your on path.