Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Mosher, Harold F. Jr. "The Lyrics of American Pop Music: A New Poetry." In American Popular Music: Readings from the Popular Press, ed. Timothy Scheurer. Vol. 2, The Age of Rock, 144-50. Bowling Green, Ohio: Bowling Green State University, 1990.

Mimetic songs are a trend in popular music, and the lyrics of these songs follow in the tradition of classical poetry. These songs have meanings, expressed "by simple implication, ambiguity, irony, symbolism, surrealistic devices, or by dramatic means." Paul Simon's songs provide rich examples of meaning, and they draw upon multiple voices, often one newly-composed and one borrowed from pre-existing material. A dramatic opposition and multiple meanings are created between two voices in both Seven O'Clock News/Silent Night and Scarborough Fair/Canticle. Humor and satire is found in At the Zoo.Mrs. Robinson offers a satirical or ironic view of the suburban housewife and includes a mocking reference to Jesus Loves Me This I Know.

Works: Paul Simon: America (146-47), Seven O'Clock News/Silent Night (147), Scarborough Fair/Canticle (147-48), At the Zoo (148), Mrs. Robinson (148-49), A Hazy Shade of Winter (149).

Sources: Franz Gruber: Silent Night (147); Traditional: Scarborough Fair (147); William B. Bradbury: Jesus Loves Me This I Know (149).

Index Classifications: 1900s, Popular

Contributed by: Victoria Malawey

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