April 1, 2006

The Corner

Posted in Irin Westerfield at 2:04 am by groupone


Yes, the words of the song are compelling.

"The corner” has been a significant place for social activity, especially since the advent of big city life. Throughout American history, groups such as Italians, Irish, Hispanics, and African Americans tended to live in close proximity to each other for support and / or survival.

In low-income areas such as the one described in the song, the corner is still part of the social infrastructure.

The song, in my opinion, laments how the vibrancy, hope, comfort, and excitement of the corner has been replaced with despair, hopelessness, and fear.

The 1960s terms are references to hope that was borne out of LBJ’s “Great Society.”

Instead of great advances in the inner city and financial freedom, the only ones making money seem to be the drug dealers and rappers. Why do rappers only use anti social lyrics? “We write songs about wrong cause it’s hard to see right.” 

Jobless men have succumbed to drugs. The songwriters make reference to the fact that the lotteries are making their money mainly from the poor. The German beer references the growing popularity of Heineken in low income areas.

“Arabs” is the common name given to any person of Middle Eastern, Pakistani or Indian descent (they seem to own all the little places of business in the blighted areas).

Examples of some Rhetorical Strategies / Devices:Themes is obviously used throughout the song and is described how in several parts of my introduction.

Repetition of the word “corner” for emphasis.

Counterpoints between the good corner days and the corner of today.

Style, tone, voice: The song is intentionally “edgy,” gloomy, and ethnic (Ebonics).

Hyperbole: The listener may come to the conclusion that the corner is nothing but drugs and


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