Under the Bridge Song Analysis
The rhythm affects the whole mood, tone and meaning of the song. The melancholy can be felt in the first stanza, “Lonely as I am together we cry. ” Kiedis has chosen different methods to give the song specific sounds that affect the pace and structure of the rhythm. The speed of the song begins quite slow not too intense but slowly the tempo picks up as he describes, “I don’t ever wanna feel like I did that day. ” The feelings of loss bring him to depression and remind him of his struggles with drug abuse.
The reference in the third stanza “take me to the place I love take me all that way” can suggests that Kiedis is taken back to the feeling of being high on drugs. Metaphorically he is attempting to overcome drug addiction but can’t help loving the feeling he gets when he is high. “The loneliness that I was feeling triggered memories of my time with Ione and how I’d had this beautiful angel of a girl who was willing to give me all of her love, and instead of embracing that, I was downtown with gangsters shooting speedballs under a bridge.
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(Kiedis 204) Kiedis memory of such a time stimulated his response of loneliness as he is doing so in song to his listeners. Drawing back from the people he was once so close with gave him an overwhelming feeling of loneliness and solitude, as he described, “Sometimes I feel like I don’t have a partner sometimes I feel like my only friend like my only friend is the city I live in the city of Angels” (Peppers) The descriptions of the city being his only stronghold during this difficult ime are realized in his city of Los Angeles which he feels would never leave him alone as some of his relationships at that time. The city is stable, and he is able to depend on her being there to support him. He refers to the city as his “companion”, and he does not have to hide from her because she already knows his deepest secrets but has yet to abandon him. It’s interesting to see the different interpretations to this song, but I do believe Kiedis was clearly recounting his drug addiction in a very personal yet abstract manner.
Revealing the solitude one has to endure when they find themselves in such a state. My understanding of the song shows the contemplation, withdrawal, and the acceptance of taking a dark path in life. Literature can be subtle or obvious, used carefully or carelessly. The repetition of the third stanza signifies meaning and creates a strong sonic effect to the listener. Kiedis use of this can be found in the chorus, “I don’t ever wanna feel like I did that day take me to the place I love take me all the way. (Peppers) The text states, “We all hear sounds differently depending on the meaning and context. ” (Beiderwell 522) The feeling this song gives me may be totally different that it may give someone who has experienced an addiction or feeling of despair. In general, the lyrics deals with particular things in concrete language, since our emotions most readily respond to his emotion and expressions. From Kiedis particular situation, the listener may then generalize by implication from the particular. “She sees my good deeds and she kisses me windy and I never worry now that is a lie. (Peppers) The use of personification occurs here when he describes inanimate objects as human that is, giving them human attributes, powers, or feelings. He is not literally speaking of a person but showing his connection with the city he loves so much, as the only person he feels loved by. Images suggest meanings beyond the mere identity of the specific object. (Purdue) Poetry “plays” with meaning when it identifies resemblances or makes comparisons between things, such as the Los Angeles being his only friend.
In the last stanza, “Under the bridge downtown is where I drew some blood under the bridge I could not get enough under the bridge forgot about my love under the bridge I gave my life away” (Peppers) Kiedis is recounting a low point in his life where he feels he surrendered his life to this addiction to drugs. This use of imagery is most valuable as a mode of perception that assists the listener to see around and to see the often conflicting interpretations that come from our examination of life.
In other words his message is most certainly concrete and particular it’s implied by the images of him under this bridge drawing blood which is what heroin addicts do. Works Cited Beiderwell, Bruce and Jeffrey M. Wheeler. “The Literary Experience. ” Beiderwell, Bruce and Jeffrey M. Wheeler. The Literary Experience. Boston: Thomson Higher Education, 2008. 217-229. Kiedis, Anthony. Scar Tissue. New York: Hyperion, 2004. Peppers, Red Hot Chili. “Under The Bridge. ” Blood Sugar Sex Magik. cond. Anthony Keidis. By Anthony Keidis. Los Angeles, 1992. Purdue, Owl. Owl Purdue. 21 April 2010. 07 April 2010 .