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Song Analysis of Piece by Piece
Portland State University
13 April 2020
Song Analysis of Piece by Piece by Kelly Clarkson
Piece by Piece is a song written and sung by Kelly Clarkson, who won the first season of American Idol in 2002. The song was first performed on February 25th, 2015, in the American Idol Farewell Season. This song was the fifth track of Piece by Piece album that was released officially on February 27th, 2015. According to People Magazine (Nelson and Margaret, 2015). A Kelly Clarkson Recorded Piece by Piece during her pregnancy with her daughter River, a period in which she was very vocal about her morning sickness. As stated by Kelly Clarkson, “I was pretty much trapped in my vocal booth since I would vomit 20 times a day,” says Clarkson. “But being inspired by other songwriters got me out of my dark little rabbit hole!” “Piece by Piece,” by Kelly Clarkson, portrays a complicated relationship Kelly has in her life with a male character. She also explains the relationship she has with another person later in life. The song is touching and presents an inside look into her life as a child and how it affected her later in life. When looking at the lyrics and purpose of Piece by piece song, you can quickly sense that it is about Kelly’s father and references to him divorcing her mother when she was young. Clarkson stated that it was traumatizing for her as a child, and it stuck with her as she grew up.
“And all I remember is your back” (Clarkson). This first line of the song explains both literal and figurative meanings. The person referred to in this song is most likely Kelly Clarkson’s father, who was physically walking “towards the airport” (Clarkson). He will probably no longer be able to be with her during her growing process. This also means that he will not be able to raise her. However, the line “leaving us all in your past” (Clarkson) also suggested that her father will not be there emotionally to support her. After knowing this person will be no longer involved in Kelly’s life, she mentioned that when she was older, she went to go visit him and try to reconnect with him, wanting him in her life, in the line “I traveled fifteen hundred miles to see you” (Clarkson). Although, when saying, “but you didn’t want to” (Clarkson), she demonstrates that this person does not want her back and has nothing to do with her.
The chorus begins with the singer introducing another man who helped her later in life. The lyric “But piece by piece; he collected me up / Off the ground, where you abandoned things”(Clarkson), tells us that by finding love in her husband, her trust in men is being restored, that she has found someone who is the extreme opposite of what her father was. Her husband is the man she wanted her father to be like and never had. This lyric also shows how Her husband, Brandon Blackstock, helps her to fix what her father did when she was a kid.
Apparently, the second first flashes a while after Kelly Clarkson won American Idol, when she became famous and started making money. Her father suddenly comes back, telling her that he is sorry for deserting her and not being able to raise and that he desires to be back in her life, but as Kelly sings, “all of your words fall flat.” She isn’t falling for it, “But/ your love, it isn’t free/ It has to be earned/ Back then, I didn’t have anything you needed/ So I was worthless”(Clarkson). She can plainly see that he’ll only give her the time of day if it benefits him. When she was a kid, he couldn’t take the full care of her, but now that she’s a household name and has money, he’s quick ‘all so mattering to him.’
The second chorus is nearly precisely identical to the first. Still, the last few lines of “Piece by piece, he restored my faith/ That a man can be kind and a father could stay”(Clarkson), which strengthens the evidence that she sees her husband as the man that could be a fabulous father. Thus, she believes it can be a real possibility in her life now.
The last chorus delivers it around full circle, “Piece by Piece, I fell far from the tree I would never leave her as you left me And she will never have to wonder her worth Because unlike you, I’m gonna put her first/And, no, he’ll never walk away He’ll never break her heart, He’ll take care of things, He’ll love her/Piece by Piece, he restored my faith.
That a man can be kind and a father should be great.”
She states that she will never be a copy of her father, that she’ll never leave her child the way her own father did. Her husband will be the father she always wanted to their own kid, and her trust is replaced that there are still genuine men left in the world that can be a great father to their kids since she had such a terrible experience with hers growing up. It ends up the song nicely, with an ending that makes you feel fabulous for her, understanding how she feels better now, and won’t let anyone take advantage of her and her hard work.
Personally, this is one of my favorite songs ever from her 2015 album. The feeling of the song gives and the story she shares. I can see that this will stay my favorite song of mine for a long while.
Format: APA; typed, 1” margins, double-spaced including heading
Your second official assignment is to write an analytical essay. The purpose of textual analysis is to move beyond telling what a text means by including an analysis of how and why it was written. As a writer, your task is to demonstrate to your readers that you have examined the ways in which a piece of text is composed, and then to argue your own ideas about this text in a clear and persuasive way. A textual analysis will use some of the persuasive skills we learned in your own first essay in order to persuade your reader that your interpretation of how and why another writer used certain techniques and strategies to present their ideas is correct or inappropriate.
It is up to you what text you choose to write about. It can be a short poem, a short news article, a book or a film. My advice is to keep it short. In choosing your text, keep in mind that analysis of the element in the text itself and the argument of your idea are the main focuses of this essay, so you’ll want to choose a text you can analyze in detail. Beyond that, feel free to be as creative as you’d like!
Remember, too, that the text you choose does not have to seem especially meaningful or interesting to anyone other than you. You are certainly allowed to choose some spectacular text to write about, but it can also be something as seemingly insignificant as the label on a jar of mayonnaise or a street sign or your birth certificate or the class syllabus. Your job is to make this text interesting to your readers by showing why and how it is interesting to you.
The paper should be at least four pages, typed and double-spaced, and follow normal APA formatting procedures. For more information on APA formatting, visit the Purdue Owl APA Formatting and Style Guide by Googling “OWL APA”. This is a great resource that I still refer to whenever I’m writing a paper! As ever, feel free to utilize PSU’s Writing Center.
Essay is out of 100 Points Total and Broken Down as Follows
|Clear organization that walks the reader through the paper, does not stray off topic||Clear organization but strays slightly||Organization is less than clear, or organization is clear but some digressions||Organization is unclear and/or paper strays substantially from topic|
|Paper has clear, strong arguments that go beyond description||Paper has discernable arguments but may be somewhat unclear or weak||Paper has arguments but often falls into description||Paper has little to no arguments, spends most time describing|
|Knowledge and Citation
|Demonstrates excellent understanding of content and is comfortable with nuances in material. Numerous, varied and relevant details and facts support arguments||Conveys content adequately but fails to elaborate. Details and facts support arguments, but may not provide enough or may be as relevant as possible||Gets basic content correct but is otherwise uncomfortable with material. Some details and facts to support arguments, but not enough and some lack relevancy||Basic content is wrong, incorrect, or substantially incomplete. Little to no relevant details and facts to support arguments|
|Demonstrates excellent analytical originality, either in creating new arguments or in relating facts in new ways (beyond what is covered in class discussions)||Demonstrates some, but not a great deal of, analytical originality, either in creating new arguments or in relating facts in new ways||Demonstrates little analytical originality, relies mainly on arguments and evidence already covered in class||Makes no attempt to provide original analysis
|Draft & Grammar
|Draft completed within page limits and with clear topic||Draft completed but lacking in length or topic||Draft lacking length and topic||No Draft was completed|
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