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Songs With Metaphors

Teaching About Metaphors With Songs


A metaphor is a figure of speech where two items are compared to reveal a deeper meaning. For example, "He is such a pig," is a metaphor that you might hear about someone who overeats. A similar figure of speech is a simile. However, the difference between the two is that similes use words such as "like" and "as" in them. "She eats like a bird," is an example of a simile. Learn more: Songs with Similes.

Metaphors and similes are very common in everyday speech, fiction and non-fiction, poetry, and music. Music is a great way to teach students about both metaphors and similes. The following list gives ideas of songs with metaphors that you can use as you build your lesson on metaphors. Use this as a starting point as you have students explore other songs in search of metaphors and similes.

1. Human Nature - Michael Jackson

Kissing Apples
Ray Massey/ Digital Vision/ Getty Images
Michael Jackson's song "Human Nature" includes the following line:

If this town is just an apple
Then let me take a bite

The town in question is New York City which is metaphorically referred to as the Big Apple.

2. Your Love is a Song - Switchfoot

The title of the song "Your Love is a Song," by Switchfoot is not only a metaphor, but there are other lyrics within the song:

Ooh, your love is a symphony
All around me, running through me
Ooh, your love is a melody
Underneath me, running to me

3. Hound Dog - Elvis Presley

Elvis Presley's song "Hound Dog" includes the following lyrics:

You ain't nothin but a hound dog
Cryin all the time

4. One - U2

In U2's song "One," the band sings about love and forgiveness. It includes the following lines:

Love is a temple
Love a higher law

5. Heart of Gold - Neil Young

Neil Young's song "Heart of Gold" is about a man searching for true love. It includes the lines:

I've been a miner
For a heart of gold.

6. The Dance - Garth Brook

The entire song by Garth Brooks called "The Dance" is a metaphor. In this song, "The Dance" is life in general and Brooks is singing about the fact that when people leave or die it might be painful but if pain were to be avoided then we would miss "The Dance."

7. I am a Rock - Simon and Garfunkel

In SImon and Garfunkel's song, "I am a Rock," they sing the following lines:

Gazing from my window to the streets below
On a freshly fallen silent shroud of snow.
I am a rock,
I am an island.

8. I'm Already There - Lonestar

In the song "I'm Already There" by Lonestar, a father sings the following line about his children:

I'm the sunshine in your hair
I'm the shadow on the ground
I'm the whisper in the wind
I'm your imaginary friend

9. One Thing - One Direction

In the song "One Thing" by One Direction, the lyrics include the following lines:

Shot me out of the sky
You're my kryptonite
You keep making me weak
Yeah, frozen and can't breathe

10. My Heart's a Stereo - Maroon 5

The title and lyrics to Maroon 5's song "My Heart's a Stereo" include metaphors:

My Heart's a stereo
It beats for you so listen close

11. Naturally - Selena Gomez

Selena Gomez' song "Naturally" includes the following lyrics:

You are the thunder and I am the lightning
And I love the way you
Know who you are and to me it's exciting
When you know it's meant to be

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