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Songs With Similes

Teaching About Similes With Songs


A simile is a figure of speech where the comparison of two unlike items reveal a much greater meaning.. For example, "She's as cold as ice," is a simile that can be found in a song by Foreigner. Obviously, in this example, this statement is not referring to the weather. Instead, it is comparing a woman as ice in order to show that she doesn't not care. A similar figure of speech is a metaphor. The difference between the two is that while similes use words such as "like" and "as" in them, metaphors do not. "He is such a pig," is an example of a metaphor.

Metaphors and similes are very common in everyday speech, literature, and music. Music provides a high interest way to teach students about both metaphors and similes, as can also be seen by this article: Songs With Metaphors. The following list gives ideas of songs with similes that you can use in your lesson plans. These can help students begin their exploration of songs with metaphors and similes.

1. Speak Now - Taylor Swift

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This song by Taylor Swift about a woman stopping a wedding in its tracks includes three similes:

And she is yelling at a bridesmaid
Somewhere back inside a room
Wearing a gown shaped like a pastry.

And the organ starts to play
A song that sounds like a death march.

She floats down the aisle
Like a pageant queen.

2. Like a Rock - Bob Seger

In Bob Seger's song "Like a Rock," he repeats a chorus a few times, varying the words each time but always comparing himself to a rock:

Like a rock, I was strong as I could be
Like a rock, nothin' ever got to me
Like a rock, I was something to see
Like a rock

3. It's My Life - Bon Jovi

Bon Jovi's anthem to independence includes these lines:

My heart is like an open highway
Like Frankie said
I did it my way
I just wanna live while I'm alive
It's my life

4. Like a Prayer - Madonna

Other than the obvious simile in its name, this song by Madonna also contains a number of similes including:

Like a child you whisper softly to me
You're in control just like a child
Now I'm dancing
It's like a dream, no end and no beginning
You're here with me, it's like a dream
Let the choir sing

5. Candle in the Wind - Elton John

Elton John's ode to Marilyn Monroe's title alludes to the simile that is found throughout the song:

And it seems to me you lived your life
Like a candle in the wind
Never knowing who to cling to
When the rain set in

6. Bridge Over Troubled Water - Simon and Garfunkel

Simon and Garfunkel's hit is not speaking about an actual bridge but instead the one explained by the following simile within the song:

I'm on your side
When times get rough
And friends just can't be found
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down

7. Born in the USA - Bruce Springsteen

While the song "Born in the USA" by Bruce Springsteen might sound upbeat, it is actually not an anthem to America. It includes the following simile:

You end up like a dog that's been beat too much
Till you spend half your life just covering up

8. Ring of Fire - Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash sings about the dangers of love when he sings:

The taste of love is sweet
When hearts like our's meet
I fell for you like a child
Oh, but the fire went wild..

9. Like a Rolling Stone - Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan's song is about a woman who has fallen from wealth to despair. Its title is the simile:

How does it feel
To be without a home
Like a complete unknown
Like a rolling stone?

10. Stuck Like Glue - Sugarland

Country group Sugarland has the following lines in their hit song:

I'm stuck on you, whoa oh whoa oh
Stuck like glue
You and me baby we're stuck like glue

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