Monday, December 7, 2015

Yellow Light - Music Poetry

Of Monsters and Men, a five member indie folk band, gained popularity in 2010 when the group won an annual battle of the bands competition in Iceland. Recently, the band has become a worldwide hit and has performed in numerous popular music festivals across the United States. The band's debut album My Head is an Animal reached the number one album in Australia, Iceland, and Ireland. "Yellow Light," one of the lesser known songs from the My Head is an Animal album tells a twisted love story through the perspective of a man and a woman using various poetic devices. Due to the abstract nature of the song, it can be interpreted differently by each listener. I understand the song as a story of a manipulative man leading a confused girl astray in her life. He drowns her thoughts and she feels powerless. He causes her to ignore the warning signs of her own well being and convinces her she is just blinded by love.

The woman in "Yellow Light" uses personification to express how lost and alone she feels. In the final line of the song she says, "The light is blinding my eyes, As the soft walls eat us alive." The woman is being led by the man to believe that everything is okay, and she is being blinded by her love. This manipulative statement is followed by an example of personification. Soft walls are usually found in an asylum, where the woman suggests people go crazy. She is being driven mad by an unhealthy relationship that she is unable to escape. The personification of the walls eating her alive represent how this toxic relationship is consuming her life, and eating her alive.

The poetic device of a hyperbole is used in the line, "Running into the night, The earth is shaking and I see a light." This exaggeration of the earth shaking is used to describe how the woman feels that her life is out of control. This manipulative man has figuratively shaken her world upside down, leaving her feeling confused and helpless. He has twisted her thoughts into thinking that he is the light of her life, the only thing that matters.

Of Monsters and Men often use symbolism in their songs. In “Yellow Light” the woman sings, “Water up to my knees but sharks are swimming in the sea.” The shark represents the man in her life, lurking underneath the water which represents her life. Other people in her life may not realize the fear he is causing, because the water is only “up to her knees,” and doesn’t seem very dangerous.

“Yellow Light” by Of Monsters and Men perfectly exemplifies music poetry. The indie folk song is full of poetic devices, accompanied by a slow tune that perfectly sets the mood for the lyrics.


  1. I'm a fan of Of Monsters and Men, and I really like your analysis. You did a really good job of deconstructing the song and looking at individual aspects like personification and symbolism. You do a great job of guiding the listener through the song with your analysis.

  2. I liked how you walked through the song, picking it apart, and also explaining it in your own words. I thought you did a really nice job of showing us how deep in meaning this song goes, while complimenting the artist on their complexity through creativity.