Symbolism shows up a lot in music so it comes as no surprise to me that Greek mythology is often utilized in lyrical writing. Do I necessarily love this trend? Not exactly, but it is interesting to read these lyrics after all of the time that I have spent lately getting to know these characters of Greece.
So, let’s take a look at a few of these songs.
First up we have “Hercules” by Sara Bareilles. I had never heard of this song. I’m going to go and listen to it right now.
Ok I’m back. Interesting. I am not a huge fan of the song, but her ties to Greek mythology are pretty cool. The song sounds very Bareilles-ee. If you have ever heard any of her music then you will know what I mean by this. In an interview with VH1 Sara says that when she was writing this song she wanted to think of something that was strong, and she ended up with Hercules.
I guess she could not get stronger than that!
“Cause I have sent for a warrior
From on my knees, make me a Hercules
I was meant to be a warrior please
Make me a Hercules”
These lyrics make me think that she is talking about a time when she is really down, or feeling weak. And she is just hoping and praying to become stronger, and that’s why she says, “Make me a Hercules.” Hercules is considered the divine hero so I think she chose correctly. I do however think that the song is a bit boring. I’m going to say that Hercules deserves a more exciting song. He would not approve.
Next up we have one of my favorite songs. “She’s So High,” by Tal Bachman. I don’t need to go and listen to that song… but I am definitely going to.
This song does not exactly scream “Greek Mythology” like Hercules does, but it does make a slight reference in the chorus.
“Cause she’s so high…
High above me, she’s so lovely
She’s so high…
Like Cleopatra, Joan of Arc, or Aphrodite
She’s so high…
High above me”
In this lovely one hit wonder Bachman is talking about a girl who he is very interested in, but it sounds like she in on another level than he is. She is wealthy, beautiful, and it does not seem like Bachman feels like he stands a real chance. He compares her to Aphrodite, which I had never noticed before I started this blog. It seems like Greek-everything is standing out to me now!
In Aphrodite’s myth… she is the Goddess of love and war. I guess the love part is why Bachman made the reference. However, something could be said about the fact that she is also believed to have started the Trojan War. Bachman’s love interest must have been quite the lady.
One article on the Goddess says, “Aphrodite involved herself on several noteworthy occasions with the affairs of mortal heroes. Could it be that Bachman is comparing himself to a mortal? If that is the case then he is also hoping that “Aphrodite” will give him a chance.
Come on Aphrodite! Give him a chance!
Moving forward now. I have found that Greek mythology has done more than just affect the songs we listen to. It has even played a part in where we listen to music. In an article online I found that Greek mythology can be found in a lot of the language we use today. For example, the Apollo Theater.
“According to the online article, ‘Mythology In Modern Business,’ the god of music, light, and male beauty is the namesake for the popular New York City Music Hall, the Apollo Theater.”
I never even thought about the name of that theater, but it is completely appropriate for it to have been named after Apollo. If you remember an earlier post of mine I talked about the relationship between Apollo and Hermes (brothers). Apollo ends up trading Hermes all of his cattle for a few instruments. This is a God who really likes to get his groove on!
Do any of you have a favorite song related to the toga wearers? Or do you have a Greek reference you’d like to share? If you don’t… here are 100 references to get you thinking.