Monday, December 7, 2009


HAIR - Lyric analysis

This song shows us that people are the same regardless of social class, race, beliefs and nationality. We have the same rights and duties.

HAIR 1979 (analysis - George Berger)

Hair is an American film adapted of a Broadway musical in 1979. It was directed by Milo Forman and the story is about a Vietnam war draftee, Claude Bukowski (John Savage), who meets and befriends a tribe of hippies on his way to the army induction center in New York. The hippies led by George Berger (Treat Williams) introduce him to their lifestyle, beliefs and new ways of seeing the world.

This musical focuses on the lives of two young men in the Vietnam era against the backdrop of the hippie culture, the most influential counterculture movement already seen. The counterculture movement was characterized by the mobilization and social protest peacefully. It was an alternative culture focused mainly on the transformations of consciousness, values and behavior in search of other spaces and new channels of expression for individuals and small realities of everyday life. In this movement, the hippies were radically opposed cultural values considered important in society as work, patriotism, nationalism, social mobility and even the "aesthetic standard." So they had long hair and wore old clothes with a more libertarian spirit without worrying about people's views.
The great example of what was the counterculture movement is the character George Berger, the leader of the hippies in the film. George Berger is a young man who believes in love, loyalty and equality among all men. Following these principles, he left his home and his family to live according to his beliefs.
Early in the film, we observed how this character cares about other people, he always tries to help everybody and for him all people are friends. That's what we see at the time that George knows Claude, he tries to show him the absurdity of war and the importance of love and equality among people. After all we are all fellow, regardless of social class, ethnicity and beliefs. Berger never stopped believe in these ideals and by accident he goes to the Vietnam War in place of Claude, dying for something he did not believe - the war. The Vietnam War, the greatest shame of the U.S., with the intention to contain the spread of socialism killed thousands of people, leaving wounds unhealed to this day. Therefore the hippies were against this war, making several demonstrations/protests against the Vietnam War. In addition to the hippies, college students, intellectuals and radicals in general (as members of the black movement) were against this war. But the main factor that gave consistency to the Movement for Peace was the lack of a perspective of military victory and the growing number of U.S. casualties.

Sometimes at the film, the Treat’s character seems to be a person alienated from the world, without goals or prospects. However, through his sensitivity George shows his ideals of a better world, making us rethink some values of our society. Unfortunately some values related to proper way to dress and behave persist to this day, where the importance of the person is related to the amount of money s/he has.
Another feature of this movement appears in the film is the issue of drugs. The hippies believed in freedom, in this way, the drugs were a means of achieving freedom - opening mind. Thus we see repeatedly in the film the characters using drugs, a common practice for them.
Moreover, other issues in the film are the “free love” and women's liberation. So hippies – men and women - wanted sex without engagement. Any kind of commitment was seen as a kind of oppression, slavery, which limited the person to live his freedom. We realize this reality with the character Jeannie (Annie Golden), she was pregnant and she did not know who was the father of her child and apparently Jeannie did not care about that. For hippies it was not important, because they believed they were a real family without lies and deceit that characterized the family institution at the time.
The movie hair can hold us from beginning to end, through memorable scenes, such as when Berger and his friends invaded a party and sang on the dinner table, the film makes us rethink some values of our society where only the poor, weak and black are affected. As we see in the film, during the Vietnam War, only these people went to war, while the rich followed the news on television and newspapers. Thus, Berger and his friends try to show others this sad reality and through their music they preach equality and love for building a more just society.
Because of these complex issues, Hair has become one of the best films of recent times, it music and criticism of society at the time is still part of the context in which we live.

Source :

Monday, November 30, 2009

With a little help from my friends - Joe Cocker (Linguistic Analysis)

Joe Cocker (born May 20, 1944) is a pop music singer.

He started his musical career in the city of his birth Sheffield, England in some minor bands at the age of 15: the first band was the Avengers (under the stage name Vance Arnold), then Big Blues (1963), and then The Grease Band (1966).

His first big hit was the song 'With a Little help from my Friends', a cover of the song by The Beatles, with guitar played by Jimmy Page. The same year he appeared at the Woodstock Music Festival.

Onstage, he often exhibited a physical intensity as he sang, and his unique stage presence was often spoofed by comedian John Belushi on Saturday Night Live, a famous American sitcom.

In the beginning of 1970s he had problems with drugs including alcohol that had a bad influence on his musical career. He managed, however, to make a comeback in the 1980s and 1990s with several massive chart hits like:

  • Up where We Belong;
  • You are So Beautiful;
  • When The Night Comes;
  • N'oubliez Jamais or Unchain my heart.



In the first stanza, we see that the person of music is questioning someone ‘What would you do if I sang out of tune (doing something wrong or unusual)/Would you stand up and walk out on me’. This way, the person is talking to someone ‘Lend me your ears and I'll sing you a song (he/she will tell something important)’.
So, the person begins to tell his story, he says he will face all the problems but for this he needs the help of his friends:
ohh baby I get by,
(by with a little help from my friends)
All i need is my buddies
(try with a little help from my friends)
I said I want to get high I will
(High with a little help from my friends)
‘(Does it worry for you to be alone?)/ (Are you said because your on your own)/ (Do you need anybody)/ (Could it be anybody) ’ it seems the voice of another person (the person who is hearing the story).
We see in the entire lyric that the person of music is afraid of being alone –‘ (Are you said because your on your own)/I hope you Don't say it no more’ - he needs to have people that love him to continue forward ‘All I need is someone, who knows just where I'm going yeah/Somebody who knows quiet sure, baby’.
He tries to convince this other person that he can change and live well again.
Despite many exophoric references, this music has coherence / sense. This song talks about the importance of having friends, we need to have friends in good and bad times of our life. After all "no one is happy alone".
Because of exophoric elements we cannot know who are the people of the music (I / you), we also not identify what are the person's problems of the song (why he needs the help of friends?) could be problems with drugs, if we account the historical context, however, we do not have this answer.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Motivation in the classroom (Douglas Brown)

Image by

Motivation (intrinsic or extrinsic) is a complicated topic, because there are many theories of how to motivate students, however these theories, in practice, are not always effective. We can say that "there are many questions to few answers”.
We as teachers have the daily challenge of finding ways to stimulate our students, in other words to motivate them. After all, there is not learning without motivation.

To make this possible, it is necessary dialogue between teachers and students. This way we will know what to do to captivate them. Thus we need to include in our planning what the students want to learn, so we are going to motivate them even more. Otherwise they lost their motivation over time.
As teachers, it is very important we know the theories that we are using in our classes . We have an obligation to know what we are doing -not just following the intuition.
Knowing these elements we will be contributing to the improvement of education!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Movie Review

By Daniele Guedes