Song Analysis Micheal Jackson-
In 2009, we lost one of the greatest entertainers in music history, however his music still lives on, inspiring and touching people’s heart. I have always been a fan of Michael Jackson, and the reason why I picked this song is because it presents a strong message. Not only did Jackson make a powerful statement with his lyrics, he also made one with his choice of rhythm and beats. The guitars and drums that were used, give the song a dramatic rock vibe.
According to music critics Jackson’s album Thriller seemed to be inspired by “a mixture of several genres which previously were never combined” ( thrilleralbum). It is pretty obvious what message Michael is trying to bring across, the song is about gang violence and about making the right choices. During the video shoot of the song “Beat It”, Michael was interviewed by Tom Joyner, and he stated that “the theme of the song is about two gangs who are coming together to rumble and Jackson’s objective was to spread the message that we turn the other cheek, we don’t fight.
This basically means that if we know when something is not right, we should ignore the fact and move on instead of getting into trouble. An eye for an eye mentality would only cause more problems, therefore it is always better to just “Beat It”. Michael repeats the phrase “Beat It” several times in the chorus of the song. The chorus for the most part, expresses the intention of a song and helps the listener to comprehend what message the artist or person who wrote the song is trying to bring across (Riley). Informally, the phrase beat it is defined as “ a rude way of telling someone to go away”(thefreedictionairy).
I believe the reason why Jackson used the phrase repeatedly is because he wanted emphasize that it is totally acceptable to just walk away and avoid a dangerous situation. The first verse is an introduction to what is to follow. “They Told Him Don’t You Ever Come Around Here/ Don’t Wanna See Your Face, You Better Disappear. ” The members of the gang are giving a clear warning , stating that if you don’t want to get in trouble, you need to go away. The second verse talks about making the right choice to just go away instead of shedding blood, and trying to be a tough guy.
The third verse simply describes that even if one chooses to walk away, it is better to be alive than to risk it. The fourth verse in my opinion talks about the consequences of fighting and that if one chooses to be violent, chances are that they will get hurt. As mentioned earlier the chorus defines to just walk away although “No One wants To Be Defeated. ” It is better to go because in the end “It Doesn’t Matter Who is Wrong Or Right. ” Jackson uses very powerful words and explains that it is always best to look out for yourself instead of proving yourself to others. It is not worth the struggle (songfacts).
As I was analyzing the song, I was listening for specific sounds and noises that would symbolize the meaning of the song. I heard a police siren which could symbolize that if you get involved with gangs and violence, you will end up in jail. I also heard a snapping sound and deep breathing sounds. The breathing sounds could represent the sound of someone running away and catching a breath. I could detect sounds as if someone was getting punched and sounds of blades which could represent a fight. While searching for different meanings of the song I came across an interesting observation.
A person said, as she was reading the lyrics she could envision a little devil and angel sitting on top of a young boy’s shoulders who was trying to get involved with a gang. The Angel would tell him “They Are Out To Get You, Better Leave While You Can” and the Devil would respond with “Don’t Wanna Be A Boy, You Wanna Be A Man”. The Devil and Angel scenario could be used for all of the Verses in the song (nersa). Besides violence and gang mentality, I could also see that this song could be about how Michael is struggling to find his own identity.
During the time when the album was created, Michael experienced the feeling of sad and loneliness and felt undervalued in the music Industry (thrilleralbum). In Joyner’s Interview, Jackson said “he is now just learning about the value of friendship, and getting to know people”. I find it very strange that a 24 year old man never experienced friendship before ,although for Jackson it seemed to be normal because he grew up on stage. Michael also revealed that he had tutors, because it was impossible for him to attend public schools due to the fact that he was famous.
I interpret the first verse (…Don’t Wanna See Your Face , You Better Disappear / The Fire’s In Their Eyes And The Words Are Really Clear… ) as if the media is attacking Michael Jackson, and spreading rumors about him. He is trying to get even with the media when he says “You Have To Show Them That You Really Not Scared/ Showin’ How Funky Strong Is Your Fight. ” Jackson defends himself and says that he is “Bad”, as in the best entertainer around. Nobody can judge him, who affirms what’s wrong or right? But on the other hand he doesn’t know how to handle all the stress, and accusations made about him.
Should he fight back or just keep moving because he is better than them. In the blogs, a lot of people also related this song to a sexual context. Djcu77, mentioned in his post that the song is about masturbation. I also read post that claimed that “ Beat It” is about child molestation (songmeaning). In my opinion, this was the early stage of MJ and in the early 80’s, when the song was released MJ was not associated with child molestation. Therefore I think that this claim is incorrect. Generally, I believe that the moral of the song is that violence is never a solution for anything.
Sometimes it is better to just walk away from a negative or violent situation and get control over feelings that might motivate someone to cause a fight, instead of dealing with an issue by means of being physical violent. Michael Jackson is known to be a peace maker and he stands for peace, not war. When he was interviewed, he admitted that he never hit the streets, which basically means that Michael has never experienced any type of gang related violence (Joyner). Still, he wanted to tell the world that it is okay to just “Beat It”.