EL3221: Literary Stylistics
Fifth Tutorial

Discussion date: 27th September 2005

As in the previous tutorial, you need to know the material covered in lecture notes 4 and 5 to do this tutorial. The tutorial is of relevance to your project work, and in fact, will be directly discussed during the tutorial session proper (see question 4 below).

Tutorial Questions

The words of Alicia Keys' song 'Karma' are given below. Relevant lecture notes: 4 & 5.

1) What are the sound features that you can find in the lyrics?
2) Is the linguistic analysis of the song different from a linguistic analysis of a poem that is not sung?
3) What is your evaluation of the quality of the song lyrics?
4) What are the features found in this song that are relevant for the analysis of the song or songs chosen for your project work?

Incidentally, as some of you may know, Keys has also written poems without setting them to music, such as some of those contained in her latest anthology Tears for Water: Songbook of Poems and Lyrics (2004). The following suggestion is completely optional, but if you are a fan of hers and own a copy of one of her books that contains poems that have not been set to music, you may want to bring it to class for discussion, in relation to the second question above.

Keys selected as one of the world's 100 influential people in 2005 by Time magazine.

Recommended Reading: H. Samy Alim, 'On Some Serious Next Millennium Rap Ishhh' Journal of English Linguistics Vol. 31.1 (2003): 60-84.

Project: Confirmation of project titles. As indicated, discussion on the project is included as the final part of this tutorial. Also, you should be able to answer the following questions: What is the nature of the work involved for the project (i.e., is it similar to or different from project work that you have been involved with in other modules)? How are the tasks divided among group members?


Karma

Weren't you the one who said that you don't want me anymore,
And how you need your space, and give the keys back to your door?
And how I cried and tried and tried to make you stay with me.
But still you said that love was gone and that I had to leave.

(Now you)
{Talkin' 'bout a family.}
(Now you)
{Sayin' I complete your dream.}
(Now you)
{Sayin' I'm your everything.}
{You're confusing me, what you say to me.}

Don't play with me, don't play with me.

'Cause

(What goes around comes around;
What goes up must come down.)
Now who's cryin,' desirin' to come back to me?
(What goes around comes around;
What goes up must come down.)
Now who's cryin,' desirin' to come back?

I remember when
I was sittin' home alone,
Waitin' for you
'Til three o'clock in the morn.

And when you came home you'd always had some sorry excuse,
And explainin' to me, like I was some kind of a fool.
I sacrificed the things I wanted to do things for you.
But when it's time to do for me, you never come through.

(Now you)
{Wanna be a part of me.}
(Now you)
{Have so much to say to me.}
(Now you)
{Wanna make time for me.}
{What you do to me, you're confusin' me.}

Don't play with me, don't play with me.

'Cause

(What goes around comes around;
What goes up must come down.)
Now who's cryin,' desirin' to come back to me?
(What goes around comes around;
What goes up must come down.)
Now who's cryin,' desirin' to come back?

I remember when I was sittin' home alone,
Waitin' for you
'Til three o'clock in the morn,
Night after night, knowin' somethin' goin' on.
Wasn't home before I be goin', goin' gone.

Lord knows it wasn't easy, believe me.
Never thought you'd be the one that would deceive me
And never do what you supposed to do.
No need to hose me, fool, 'cause I'm over you.

'Cause

(What goes around comes around;
What goes up must come down.)
Now who's cryin,' desirin' to come back to me?
(What goes around comes around;
What goes up must come down.)
Gotta stop tryin' to come back to me.

(What goes around comes around;
What goes up must come down.)
It's called karma, baby,
And it goes around.

(What goes around comes around;
What goes up must come down.)
Now who's cryin,' desirin' to come back to me?


Last revised: 08 August 2005