Friday, December 14, 2018

Daniel Caesar Probably Took AP Psych

When analyzing the lyrics to Daniel Caesar's song "Freudian", his use of allusions, rhymes, and metaphors make the song feel more like a poem. The song as a whole is an allusion to Sigmund Freud both with the title and the topic of the song. One of Freud's main beliefs in understanding the human mind is that our childhoods mold our adult personalities, therefore shaping the rest of our lives. Caesar's song is addressed to his mother, and there are clear references to Freud's beliefs in the opening verse of the song:

        I have to preserve you 
        'Cause you're my everything
        Babe I know I f****d up
        F****d with some empty cups
        But you got your friends too
        Better believe in it
        Truth I'm up on my luck
        Can't stop running amok
        But you got your friends too

His mother is the one who raised him, shaping his childhood and, according to Freud, influencing his adulthood because of that. Caesar admits to his wrongdoings, but also points out that his mother has some too, Freud would identify that Caesar has these flaws because his mother has them. Caesar also refers to his mother as his "everything", probably because everything in his life up until this point is due to her influence on his childhood. 

In the second verse, Caesar uses the metaphor, "Rising up from the flames/ The phoenix that I became." Not only does he use figurative language to emphasize his point about how he's developed throughout his life/career, but Caesar also changes the wording of these lines in order to help the flow of the lyrics and make a rhyming couplet. Rather than saying "I became a phoenix", he reversed the wording. 

Another example of Caesar's attention to his rhymes becomes apparent in the bridge:

        Send me kisses when it's grey skies
        It's been so long, look how time flies
        If you love me won't you let me know
        I've been trying to learn to let you go
        Call my name whenever tears fall
        When you face your fears you stand tall

These six lines consist of three separate rhyming couplets, Caesar puts further emphasis on these lines by repeating them immediately afterwards and introducing a choir to sing with him for the entire bridge. This part of the song is still discussing his mother, but seems to show a bit of role reversal between the two. "Call my name whenever tears fall/ When you face your fears you stand tall," sounds like something a mother would typically say to her son, not the other way around. 

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