Thursday, December 13, 2018

"Surprise Me"

"Surprise Me" appears on Mahalia's EP Seasons. This song displays poetic elements through its ability to convey an experience through the use of song.

The song tell the tale of a long-distance relationship, and how this relationship eventually suffers. The song begins with the lyrics:

       I'm waking up and you just fell asleep
       It's funny cause you think I'm meant to be
       Used to this
       If you only know what you are to me
       You'd understand why this hard
       I'm new to this

These lines indicate that the speaker is in a long distance relationship and it is difficult to navigate over a distance. By specifically targeting aspects of a long distance relationship (e.g. being awake at different times), the audience is able to visualize better what it would be like to be in a long distance relationship. The direct language helps the audience understand clearly how the speaker feels, and gives the lyrics a frankness--as if the musician were speaking directly to them.

The speaker continues to reference specific elements of the relationship that are difficult with lines such as "You say 'don't wanna live your life through photos'", and "You say 'don't want to live your life through phone calls'". These two statements are from the perspective of the speaker's partner, and indicate that they are also experiencing difficulties with the trouble of a long distance relationship. As these are all things they have said to the speaker, it adds an extra layer of tension; the speaker's partner is deciding that they no longer find the relationship worth pursuing due to the literal distance between them. This helps the audience understand how a relationship can decay.

The speaker's partner is not the only one unsatisfied with the distance between them. The speaker states:

       I fell asleep and you're just waking up
       I've had enough of always waiting up
       For you

This indicates that she is also feeling pressured by the relationship. However, it seems that a lot of the responsibility to continue the relationship is being put on her, as she is the one staying up late to talk to him, and the lyrics referenced in the beginning indicate that her partner is not willing to stay up late to speak with her. This is an added level of stress to their relationship as one person is putting in all of the work while the other becomes unwilling to do anything, causing tension. This helps the audience understand and feel for the speaker. They can now visualize the situation and empathize with it.

This song does an excellent job of conveying an experience through words, and for this reason it may be considered poetry.


  1. Your analysis is very insightful. It gives the song a deeper meaning.

  2. Thanks for the insight, Isabella. It's clear that you feel a very strong connection to the piece, and you do a fantastic job of conveying that connection through your analysis.

  3. You do a really good job of clearly articulating your understanding of this song! Good job!