Fate and Freewill in Music! [C-Block]

Fate and Freewill

While ALL THE PRETTY HORSES can be enjoyed for its compelling action, the novel’s thematic content encourages closer reading. Of all the subtext embedded, it is perhaps the discussions of fate and freewill that rise to the forefront. By its conclusion, ALL THE PRETTY HORSES presents arguments for fate, freewill, and the potential relationship between the two.

To continue examining these ideas, we are going to check out a couple of songs!

Click the link and follow the instructions!

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THE TASKFirst, listen to the songs embedded below and read along with the posted lyrics. Then, respond to the following prompts by using the “Leave a Reply” feature at the bottom of the page. As these responses will be used by the class to facilitate discussion, go into as much detail as possible. In short, treat the analysis of lyrics/music just as you would the analysis of text/literature.

PROMPTS
A) Identify which song you will be investigating.

B) What is this song’s stance on the issue of fate/freewill? How is this expressed in the lyrics? 

C) Describe the music. What genre is the song? What instruments are used? What do the vocals sound like? How does the music itself contribute to the discussion of fate/freewill?

D) What is the tone/mood of the song? How is this expressed via lyrical/musical content.

E) Imagine that you are creating a soundtrack for McCarthy’s novel. Record a passage (that means quotation and page number) from ALL THE PRETTY HORSES that you think would be well complemented by the song. Describe how the song and the passage work in tandem.

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[“Freewill” – Rush – Lyrics]

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[“In the Air Tonight” – Phil Collins – Lyrics]

21 thoughts on “Fate and Freewill in Music! [C-Block]

  1. A. I will be investigating “Freewill” by Rush.
    B. This song takes the stance supporting free will. It is expressed majorly through the chorus that states “ If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice” as well as “I will choose a path that’s clear, I will choose freewill.” These two lines display that everything in life is the result of a decision, even if you choose not to make one. The second line describes the idea that expressing your free will is the best decision to make, and you will reap the benefits from doing so. The song additionally mocks people that solely rely on fate saying that they are the “host of holy horrors.”
    C. This song is performed by Rush, a progressive rock band. It sounds like acoustic guitars and drums are the instruments being used in this song, adding to the “rock” feeling. There is a long guitar solo about half-way through the song. The song is fast paced and gets the listener excited. By making this an upbeat song, it encourages the progressive vibe making people amped up to make their own decisions.
    D. The mood is definitely upbeat with a positive tone. Rush is obviously encouraging society to choose their own paths, and believes that leaving decisions up to fate is a mistake by referring to life as an “aimless dance.” On the contrary, when discussing people that believe in fate there is a condescending tone expressed through the lyrics. This song is relatively repetitive, promoting free will over fate continuously with little variation. This repetition serves to enforce their point further and gets the listener thinking about what life would be like if they dismissed fate and made decisions freely.
    E. This song would be a great soundtrack for the scene in All the Pretty Horses where Alfonsa is speaking with John Grady Cole about her life. A specific passage that is complemented by the song begins on page 230:
    “Because the question for me was always whether that shape we see in our lives was there from the beginning of whether these random events are only called a pattern after the fact. Because otherwise we are nothing. Do you believe in fate?”
    “ Yes mam. I guess I do.”
    “My father had a great sense of the connectedness of things. I’m not sure I share it… For me the world has always been more of a puppet show. But when one looks behind the curtain and traces the strings upward he finds they terminate in the hands of yet other puppets, themselves with their own strings which trace upward in turn, and so on” (231).

    In this passage Alfonsa is explaining to John Grady Cole her opinions on the fate vs. free will debate. She describes that although her father was a strong believer that all things in life are connected, she doesn’t buy it. Alfonsa would agree with the ideas advocated in the song “FreeWill” because she thinks that everything in life is based on decisions made either by yourself, or by others. This is why she is trying to keep Alejandra away from John Grady Cole. She does not want Alejandra to experience some of the struggles that she did in her teen years. By making the right decisions, Alfonsa feels that Alejandra can lead a happy and successful life.

  2. a.) I am investigating “Freewill” by Rush.
    b.) The song “Freewill” expresses the idea that an individual is able to control aspects of their lives and that things are not predetermined. One can decide what they want to do in life. This can be seen in the lyrics “There are those who think that they were dealt a losing hand, the cards were stacked against them.” The song is saying that people are not metaphorically dealt the hand of cards. It is also saying that if things are not going your way, you can change them because you have the power to do so.
    c.) This is definitely in the rock genre because of its use of the guitar and drums. The vocals in the song are upbeat and loud which creates excitement and almost anticipation within the listener. The music itself sounds happy and as if it is encouraging people to take control of their own lives and make it what they want.
    d.) The song is happy and upbeat which at some points feels like Rush is trying to make the listener side with them on the issue of fate versus freewill. They are promoting their values and beliefs through such an exciting song.
    e.) Like Rush, Alfonsa is a strong believer in fate. While she talks to John Grady about the fate versus freewill debate, she clearly states her side of the debate. She states that her “…father had a great sense of connectedness of things,” and that she does not believe the same as him, (230). She also says, “I think if it were fate that ruled our houses it could perhaps be flattered or reasoned with,” (231). This further proves her side of the argument.

    1. a.) I am investigating “Freewill” by Rush.
      b.) The song “Freewill” expresses the idea that an individual is able to control aspects of their lives and that things are not predetermined. One can decide what they want to do in life. This can be seen in the lyrics “There are those who think that they were dealt a losing hand, the cards were stacked against them.” The song is saying that people are not metaphorically dealt the hand of cards. It is also saying that if things are not going your way, you can change them because you have the power to do so.
      c.) This is definitely in the rock genre because of its use of the guitar and drums. The vocals in the song are upbeat and loud which creates excitement and almost anticipation within the listener. The music itself sounds happy and as if it is encouraging people to take control of their own lives and make it what they want.
      d.) The song is happy and upbeat which at some points feels like Rush is trying to make the listener side with them on the issue of fate versus freewill. They are promoting their values and beliefs through such an exciting song.
      e.) Like Rush, Alfonsa is a strong believer in freewill. While she talks to John Grady about the fate versus freewill debate, she clearly states her side of the debate. She states that her “…father had a great sense of connectedness of things,” and that she does not believe the same as him, (230). She also says, “I think if it were fate that ruled our houses it could perhaps be flattered or reasoned with,” (231). This further proves her side of the argument.

  3. A) I’m investigating the song “Freewill” by Rush.
    B) This song takes a stance on the issue of freewill. This issue is expressed in the lyrics in multiple ways. Two examples are the lines “You can choose a ready guide” and “I will chose a path that’s clear”. Both of these lines show how everyone in the world has a choice in life. We are all capable of making decisions that shape our lives. It is left up to us humans to choose the right path out of freewill. Our lives are not laid out ahead of us.
    C) “Freewill” falls into the genre of rock music. The instruments heard in the song are the drums, cymbals, and the electric guitar. The vocals have a loud, upbeat attitude. The loudness in the music itself creates an exciting environment for the listener, encouraging them to go make their own decisions because they control their own lives.
    D) This song has a positive mood and an upbeat tone. The loud instruments keep the song exciting and optimistic. When listeners hear this music, they feel happy and get excited to go make their own decisions. The encouraging, positive lyrics make us want to go about the world choosing what we wish to do.
    E) “The second group is called the control group. It is the control group which enables the scientist to gauge the effect of his experiment. To judge the significance of what has occurred. In history there are no control groups. There is no one to tell us what might have been. We weep over what might have been, but there is no what might have been. There never was.” (McCarthy 239)

    Alfonsa says this in a conversation with John Grady Cole. Living a life seeing many different things, Alfonsa has gained a significant amount of wisdom throughout her lifetime. She has a strong sense of the world and how it works. The song inspires people to control their own lives by making their own decisions. This quote goes along with the song because Alfonsa is telling John Grady how no one has the power to control him. She pushes him to go out of his comfort zone so he does not regret “what might have been” later in his life. This all ties into the idea of freewill. Although fate appears unavoidable, it is a responsibility put on people and the choices they make. We humans have the ability and willpower to make choices that no one else can tell us different. They’re our lives so we have the capability to sway what happens in them out of pure freewill. Nothing else.

  4. A) I will be investigating “Freewill” by Rush

    B) The song “Freewill” clearly stances on the issue of freewill. They lyrics state you in everything their is a choice and even when you are not making a choice, that is your choice. They are saying that even if you refuse to make a choice and want to let fate take over that is your choice. You are choosing to let fate take over which this song is explaining is not fate, it is your choice. Freewill is not a gift but rather a choice.

    C) The music is very different than anything I have ever heard. The singer sounds like he is more speaking the words than singing them. The genre is some type of rock. When looking up more information I found it was released in 1980, which begin to make sense why it sounded the way it did. Many instruments are used such as guitars, drums, etc. The music itself draws you in and makes you feel and question your own choices.

    D) The tone is kind of dreary but meaningful. You can tell he had true meaning and feeling to his words. He truly wants people to believe that each choice they make is their own and not the act of fate. The lyrics play a large roll because it describes all the feeling and facts behind why freewill is greater than fate.

    E) “It’s not so much that I don’t believe in it. I don’t subscribe to its nomination. If fate is the law then is fate also subject to the law? At some point we cannot escape naming responsibility. It’s in our nature.” (241) The song “Freewill” will be perfect at this part in the book because Alejandra’s aunt is talking about the choices John Grady has made. She believes his choices are all wrong and she does not want him with his niece. This quote is in attempt to explain that to him. I believe that this song would also help John Grady understand.

  5. A) “Freewill” by Rush
    B) In “Freewill”, it is explained how we have our fates chosen already, and how we are “puppets on a string”. Things are predestined, and it is not up to us. However, in the chorus, they say that they choose freewill, that that is their choice, instead of choosing not to decide. What they are saying is that everything is chosen already, and there is a path for all of us to follow already planned out, but we still have the power to choose, and not necessarily change some of those things, but do what we want.
    C) The song is of the genre rock, using guitar, drums, and vocals. The vocals are upbeat, and a bit cheery, even when talking about not always having control over what goes on in our lives. The music is upbeat and that contributes to the tone of being able to choose freewill, or just leave your fate up to what has already been decided. Meaning that it is up to you to choose what you want or leave the choices alone.
    D) The tone/mood of the song is somewhat sad, but it is hopeful. This is expressed by the music with the change in sound when the singer says he will choose freewill. The lyrics bring across this tone by explaining all of the ways that life is predestined and we do not really create our own fate. However, he says that he will choose freewill, because life can be what you want it to be and what you make it out to be. You can be the one to make choices.
    E) “Ever dumb thing I ever done in my life there was a decision I made before that got me into it. It was never the dumb thing. It was always some choice I’d made before it.” (McCarthy 79) In this quote, Rawlins expresses his thought that every dumb thing that has ever happened to him has been a consequence of his own actions. He is saying that he is making decisions that create his own fate, acting under freewill, which is similar to the chorus of the song in which they say that they choose freewill. It also relates to the part of the song in which they say “Blame is better to give than receive” when they talk about leaving their fate to things predestined. Rawlins is putting blame on himself, and receiving it, instead of blaming supreme being or a misalignment of the stars.

  6. A. “In the Air Tonight” – Phil Collins
    B. This song is sort of a mixed bag when it comes to the issue of fate vs. free will. As Collins sings “I can feel it coming in the air tonight/I’ve been waiting for this moment all my life” it leads you to believe that the song is supporting the side of fate. He feels that what he’s been waiting for all his life, what he wants, is finally going to be obtained. However, in lyrics such as “Well if you told me you were drowning I would not lend a hand” it makes me believe the song is about free will. He has the opportunity to save this persons life, and he is deciding not to.
    C. The genre I would classify as a soft rock, definitely reminiscent of the 1980’s. The percussion is what makes the song so good instrumentally. They start slow and erie and half way through the song they pick up and play a classic rock beat. The vocals are soft and full of suspense. They make you anxious for both Collins and the situation he is singing about. In regards to fate vs. free will, when I hear the drums pick up I think that is symbolically referring to taking action, and beginning to control the situation. The beginning of the song, the drums were unsure of what to do and kind of just went wherever the rest of the song was did.
    D. The mood is suspenseful and eire, like you’re waiting on something to happen. The consistent melodic hum as well as lyrics such as “I’ve been waiting” or “I can feel it coming” back that sense of anxiety that goes with the song. There’s an uncertainty of what do and what your next move is going to be.
    E. I think the best place for this song in the novel would be in the beginning, when Rawlins and Cole first set off for Mexico. They ride outlined by the stars unsure of what will happen next, just as the song expresses. And like the lyrics, Cole has been waiting for this all his life. “They rode out along the fenceline and across the open pastureland. The leather creaked in the morning cold… They rode out on the high prairie where they slowed the horses to a walk and the stars swarmed around them out of the blackness. Thy heard somewhere in that tenantless night a bell that tolled and ceased where no bell was and they rode out on the round dais of the earth which alone was dark and no light to it and which carried their figures and bore them up into the swarming stars so that they rode not under but among them and they rode at once jaunty and circumspect, like thieves newly loosed in that dark electric, like young thieves in a glowing orchard, loosely jacketed against the cold and ten thousand worlds for the choosing” (McCarthy, 30).

  7. A) In the Air Tonight, Phil Collins
    B) This song is definitely arguing that fate trumps free will. I think it would be fair to say that just about every line of this song displays the concept of fate in some manner but I believe the idea is most explicitly shown in the chorus when Phil Collins sings “I can feel it coming in the air tonight, oh Lord. And I’ve been waiting for this moment for all my life, oh lord. There are three specific elements of this passage that I can see arguing for fate. First is the idea of something “coming in the air tonight”. This is almost mystical in a similar way to the idea of fate. You don’t always know what is coming, but sometimes you can feel it. Second is the fact that Phil Collins says he has been “waiting for this moment for all [his] life”, thus implying that he has not had the ability to decide whatever “this moment” is for himself. He has known it will be his destiny his whole life. Finally, a little more of a reach, but I believe the addition of the phrase “Oh Lord” after each line in the chorus adds to the argument for fate. God is often associated with idea of fate or predestination and many believers in God believe that He has already set their lives out for them.
    C) This is definitely some form of rock but at the same time it certainly isn’t the straightforward sort of classic rock to which we are all accustomed. It has all of the normal instruments of rock n roll, guitar, bass, some sort of techno keyboard, and of course (what this song is now famous for) drums. The instruments are used in such a way as to create a majorly eerie feeling. Phil Collins voice seems to echo a bit, giving it that same eerie feeling. Its slow and deliberate annunciation also contributes to a bit of a creepy, foreboding tone. This is apt to fate because sometimes fate can give a person a bit of a foreboding sense. Not knowing what is to come of your life but knowing at the same time there is nothing you can do about it is certainly an uneasy feeling.
    D) I got into this a little in the previous response but the tone of this music is definitely one of eeriness and foreboding. The diction that Phil Collins uses in his lyrics creates such a tone. Phrases like “Path of Lies”, “Keep your silence up”, and even the title of the song “In the air tonight” create quite an uneasy feeling for the listener. Foreboding is an important subsequent piece to fate in some cases, certainly in this case. The music video itself adds to this eerie feeling. The video portrays an up-close and personal view of Phil Collins’ face singing the song as well Collins sitting alone in a small, dark room looking out the window at what appears to be some sort of apparition. Creepy, right?
    E) I think this song would be perfect to play as a backdrop to the reunion of John Grady and Alejandra at the train station. “The train from San Luis Potosíand Mexico was due in at eight o’clock… he kissed her and took the suitcase from her” (248). The line of the song that says “I’ve been waiting for this moment for all my life” would perfectly describe John Grady’s feelings at the moment. He cannot wait for Alejandra to disembark from the train, but more importantly, I believe the line from the chorus that says “And I can feel it coming in the air tonight, oh lord” is pertinent in describing the actual tone of the plot at this point, one of foreboding, as we, the readers, know that Alejandra will never be able to be with John Grady. The foreboding tone of this song sets the mood perfectly for this scene. John Grady may have believed his fate was to be with Alejandra, but in fact it was just the opposite, proving fate to be quite the fickle beast.

  8. A. I will be investigating Rush’s song “Freewill”
    B. This song definitely advocates for the idea of free will, and is the most prominent in the song’s chorus. Two of the lines in the chorus: “If you choose not to decide, you still made a choice” and “I will choose a path that’s clear, I will choose freewill” both emphasize that everybody has the power to make his or her own decisions. Whether he or she chooses to base his or her decision off of “fear” or “kindness” or not to make a decision at all, it is still entirely up to the individual. Also, arguments against fate can be seen throughout the song, especially in the line “a prisoner in chains, A victim of venomous fate.” This is basically saying that fate limits individuals and that an over reliance on fate is poisonous.
    C. This song is categorized a Rock. This song is definitely more upbeat than Phil Collins’ “In the Air Tonight,” and I think the goal of there is to encourage free will over fate. Throughout the song, the drums, guitars, and peppy vocals can be heard.
    D. The tone of the song is upbeat and encouraging. I think the purpose of this is to urge individuals to make their own decisions and to be excited that they possess the power to do so. However the tone is unfavorable and pessimistic when the lyrics discuss the idea of fate.
    E. “Every dumb thing I ever done in my life there was a decision I made before that got me into it. It was never the dumb thing. It was always some choice I’d made before it.” This song would complement this passage perfectly because it is saying that everything that happens in someone’s life is a result of a decision they had made in the past, and that any outcome is not influenced by other possible factors i.e fate.

  9. A) I am investigating “In the Air Tonight” by Phil Collins.
    B) The song is absolutely arguing in favor of fate. In every line of the song, Collins implies that he was meant to be at the exact moment that he was in. The main line that is repeated throughout the song is “I can feel it coming in the air tonight, oh Lord. And I’ve been waiting for this moment for all my life, oh lord.” The reference to God is a great indicator that this song is attached to the idea of fate. Whatever your religious beliefs may be, often God is a symbol as fate as he preordains everything that happens in the world. God is a symbol that everything done in the world is done for one purpose and everything is following a plan. The lyrics also indicate the Collins has been waiting for “this moment for all [his] life,” meaning he knows that he was meant to be in the situation he was facing regardless of what he did in his life. In the end, he would end up in the exact same spot, and he knows it.
    C) The song can almost fit the typical mold for a rock song yet it is a little different. It does not fit any of the typical genres that we are accustomed to. Many common instruments are used in the song but cannot be heard over the powerful drums in this song. The percussion establishes the eerie moments leading up to the big moment which is demonstrated by the longer drum ‘solo’ partway through the song. The vocals have the same eerie feeling that the drums do, and have a sort of echo and vibration in them throughout the song. These sounds contribute to the anxious feeling of the listener during the beginning stages of the song. The feelings evinced from the song contribute to the idea that one has no control over what happens in their life. It almost seems as if the slow start to the song is demonstrating a person trying to control their life and the major drumming part of the song demonstrates the failure of that person to do so, as fate takes over
    D) The mood is obviously suspenseful and makes the reader try to anticipate what is going to happen. This can be found through certain lyrics throughout the song and the music video. The music video consists of Collins staring passionately into the camera and singing, which demonstrates that the event he is describing has a profound impact on him and it is the only thought going through his head. “The hurt doesn’t show but the pain still grows,” is a line that demonstrates the impact the event has on Collins and furthermore makes the listener anticipate what will happen next. The vagueness of every lyric leads the listener to be engaged with the song.
    E) “As she walked toward him her beauty seemed to him a thing altogether improbable. A presence unaccountable in this place or in any place at all.” (247).
    This would work perfectly for this song as John Grady’s anxiety is at all-time high in his life. He is waiting for the woman of his dreams at the very moment. All the times in his life where he dreamed of meeting the perfect girl were boiling down into one scenario at this moment. He knew that this moment would happen sometime in his life just as Phil Collins did and it is finally happening. An unshakable feeling and presence overcome the two men in both their scenarios and all the worrying they had up until this point will be answered. The foreboding tone of the song will work well here as their relationship was never meant to be.

  10. A. Freewill by Rush

    B. This song is clearly written about to be a pro freewill song over the idea of fate. In the beginning, the writer condemns the idea that the “gods are malign” and the structure of the stars will rule a persons life. In short, the singer in a series of like comparisons; explains that there is no outside force that will control or rule a persons life. The chorus especially dictates what the singer believes concerning freewill. He states that some people “can choose a ready guide in some celestial voice..I will choose free will.” In these lines, the singer states that some people can feel free to accept fate in a premade religion or that you can choose to take matters in their own hands. Freewill is real according to the singer and that religion/spiritual/etc destinies are unclear and that people are capable of taking charge of their lives.

    C. Rock and Role is the genre, and what better genre for a freewill discussion than Rock? The song uses fast and loose, high pitched vocals. The instruments include the electric guitar and drums. The music of Rock and Roll was hated by older generations because it steered away from the more austere, religious music prior to Rock. Rock became a symbol of freewill due to lyrics expressing choice over tradition. Music as a whole played a large part in decreasing the idea of destiny as lyrics moved away from talk of religion. This genre could not have more compatibility with freewill.

    D. A lot of emotion was put into this song. The music and lyrics are upbeat and every line flows into the next line with smooth transition. There is a thread of sadness, I believe, from the way the singer feels about the topic. The singer uses fast lyrics and the overall positive tone contribute to the stated topic of freewill. The positive mood sheds an unambiguous light on freewill, a light that shows freewill to be the very real and better choice over destiny.

    E. “There is no one to tell us what might have been. There never was. It is supposed to be true that those who do not know history are condemned to repeat it. I do not believe knowing can save us. What is constant in history is greed and foolishness…” (McCarthy 239).

    As seen in the lyrics, the idea of freewill is the choice of the singer and he states that everybody has the ability to choose the clearer path between fate and freewill. In this passage, Alfonsa is detailing her personal view between fate and free will. She states that unlike a biology experiment where people can identify the what could have been, mankind can make no such observation. She explains that we yearn for a knowing, another route, but this is foolish because mankind is not an experiment that can be controlled. Tying this with the song, Alfonsa is saying that destiny too is pointless and that the gods are not malign. The only destinies in mankind are that of personal choices of greed. It is the compilation of acts of freewill that give the false impression of destiny.

  11. A. I will be investigating “In the Air Tonight” by Phil Collins.
    B. This song takes the stance of fate. It says in the lyrics of the chorus “I can feel it coming in the air tonight, oh Lord” and “I’ve been waiting for this moment for all my life, oh Lord.” It is evident from these lyrics that the song is talking about fate rather than free will for a few reasons. One reason is that the singer says he has “been waiting for this moment for all [his] life,” meaning that he did not make this moment happen, but it rather came to him. Another reason is that he says “oh Lord” many times in the song, including in the chorus. This shows that he believes in a higher power, and he thinks it is this “Lord” of his, whatever Lord he may believe in, is in charge of his life and of “this moment.”
    C. The song falls under the genre of soft rock. The instruments that are used are vocals, drums, and guitar. The vocals sound serious and monotone at the beginning of the song, and then they start to get harsh and angry towards the end of the song. The instruments act in a similar way. The song starts out with a simple beating pattern of a drum, and then the rhythm becomes louder and faster at the end as the voice grows harsher. The song generally follows a slow pace, with little to no liveliness, and this is similar to the idea of fate because it is dark. The idea of fate is that everything in life is predestined, and this makes day-to-day life seem essentially meaningless, and I think the song’s instrumentation shows this idea well.
    D. The tone of the song is restrained anger. This is clearly shown through both the lyrical and musical content. The singer says things such as “so you can wipe off that grin, I know where you’ve been, it’s all been a pack of lies.” He is clearly angry at someone, but he is restraining this anger in the tone of his voice. He does not sound mad, but rather disgusted. Then, at the end of the song, his voice becomes harsher, the drums beat faster, and his anger finally breaks through.
    E. “He saw very clearly how all his life led only to this moment and all after led nowhere at all. He felt something cold and soulless enter him like another being and he imagined that it smiled malignly and he had no reason to believe that it would ever leave. When she came out of the bathroom again she was dressed and he made her sit on the bed and he held her hands both of them and talked to her but she only shook her head and she turned away her tearstained face and told him that it was time to go and that she could not miss the train” (245). This passage would be well complemented by the song because it is about John Grady Cole and Alejandra’s love, which is a fate story, and it has to do with why the song was written. The love story of John Grady Cole and Alejandra was one of fate from the start because Cole did not stand a chance. Alejandra’s family did not approve of him, and they had other plans in store for Alejandra. He tries to avoid this fate by fighting for Alejandra but, in the end, she leaves anyway. This passage also relates to the song because it is about a breakup, and Phil Collins wrote “In the Air Tonight” after his divorce with his wife.

  12. A) I will be investigating the song “In the Air Tonight” by Phil Collins

    B) This song is in favor of fate. In about every line, the word “lord” is used, which is a religious symbol. The singer has been “…waiting for this moment for all my [the singer’s] life.” This line of the chorus of the song seems to support the idea of fate and destiny because the singer knew that that moment was coming, no matter what.

    C) This genre of this song is rock and it was released in the 1980s. The instruments used in this song are drums, guitars and vocal. The lyrics are softly sung, seeming almost cautious. The way in which this song is sung contributes to fate vs free will. There seems to be an aura of mystery about the way the lyrics are sung, like the singer is unsure about what to expect, but he knows that whatever happens, he has been expecting it, like he knew that that moment was bound to happen.

    D) There is a tone of certainty and mystery throughout the song. The singer “can feel it coming” and he’s been “waiting for this moment” but does not know when its coming. The listener can feel the singer’s anxiety while both the listener and singer wait for whatever is coming.

    E) Passage: “They spent their night with their hands chained through the stirrups of their saddles, trying to keep warm under their single blankets” (McCarthy, 154).

    This passage is when The Captain takes John Grady and Rawlins captive. They are walking locked up and have no idea as to where they might be going. This is the first time they are feeling helpless and they need to find some way to get past this. Both boys must have had some feeling that they were going to run into trouble when they left and now they have. Just like in the song, the boys are waiting to see what happens and where they end up. Also, just like the listener of this song, the reader feels some anxiety while reading because The Captain is a character just being brought into the story. The reader has not had an encounter with a character like The Captain until this moment, so the reader is waiting to see what happens, just as the singer is waiting for his moment.

  13. a) I will be investigating “Freewill” by Rush.
    b) This song takes the stance of Free will. Throughout the song and mainly during the it’s chorus, the lines “You can choose a ready guide” and “If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice” show that the song is very supportive of the idea of free will. The lyrics portray the idea that humans are the ones who control their lives, not some supreme force or being, so your live will turn out however you decide to make it turnout; with or without making important choices.
    c) I would say that the genre this song falls into would be rock. It is not as aggressive and in your face as some heavy metal rock songs, but it is also not really calming and relaxing like some soft rock songs. I would say that it has an up-beat tempo which is made possible by instruments such as guitar (possibly electric), drums, and vocals.
    d) I believe that the tone/mood of the song is very upbeat, more more so than “In The Air Tonight” by Phil Collins. It seems like the artist singing the song is trying to persuade the listeners to choose free will over fate because the song is very pleasant and catchy. He is using the lyrics and the music of the song to portray his own personal belief in free will, and by doing so he created a very upbeat and pleasing song to listen to, with some awesome guitar solos!
    e) “Ever dumb thing I ever done in my life there was a decision I made before that got me into it. It was never the dumb thing. It was always some choice I’d made before it” (79). I feel like this passage from All The Pretty Horses complements Rush’s song “Freewill” because it focuses completely on making decisions and how those decisions influence your life. If John Grady had never made the decisions that he did, he would not have done any dumb things. It wasn’t fate that planned out the dumb things that happened in his life, but rather the dumb decisions he was allowed to make by the power of his freewill.

  14. A. I am investigating “Freewill” by Rush.

    B. Rush seems to be taking the side of freewill in this musical piece. Through various sections of the song we get the idea that the writer believes in the idea that someone makes all the choices in their life that eventually effect the overall outcome of a situation. Specifically Rush states, ” If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice. You can choose from phantom fear and kindness that can kill. I will choose a path that’s clear, I will choose free will”. The writer also suggests that “gods are malign”, giving us the idea that the song is not in favor of fate. Throughout the song we are shown various comparisons between fate and free will telling the listener that that no outside forces other than personal choice can control a persons life. Destiny does not exist and it is up to an individual to decide what their future will be.

    C. The genre of “Freewill” appears to be rock. I think that overall the music gives off a more upbeat and positive feeling compared to that of “In the Air Tonight”. I think this can be reflective of the ideas of freewill and fate. Fate can often be a depressing idea because there is nothing you can do to change your future while with freewill all the power is in the individuals hands. The use of guitar and drums contribute to the more positive feelings.

    D. The overall tone and mood of the song is positive and optimistic. The loud instruments help get this idea across. During the sections of the song where the writer is encouraging freewill there seem to be a more positive feeling but when they talk about fate the song obviously becomes more depressing and less optimistic. The favorable opinion in the song is clearly towards freewill.

    E. I think the idea of freewill in All the Pretty Horses can be complemented by the song specifically in the following text, “There is no one to tell us what might have been. There never was. It is supposed to be true that those who do not know history are condemned to repeat it. I do not believe knowing can save us. What is constant in history is greed and foolishness” ( 239). As mentioned in the song, people have to be accountable for their own choices whether or not they are foolish or not. Both the novel and the song have heavy influence of freewill. Alfonsa is discussing how the only destiny in the world is that of personal choice. She doesn’t believe in the idea that everything happens for a reason, in stead she is explaining how things are the result of choice.

  15. a) I chose “Freewill” by Rush
    b) This song very clearly takes the side of free will. One line of the chorus that stuck out to me was “If you choose not to decide, you still made a choice.” I think this was the best argument presented for the side of free will because logically, no matter what, everyone makes choices every day. You could take the easy way out and say that whatever happens is meant to happen and therefore not do anything, or you could do as the song singer says, “I will choose a path that’s clear, I will choose freewill.” By choosing freewill, you control your own fate. There were also a lot of persuasive arguments that went against the idea of fate. For example, the singer tries to argue that we are not dolls controlled by strings or “a prisoner in chains.”
    c) This song isn’t something many of us would normally listen to. The tempo is really upbeat and most of the time, it seems likes the singer is yelling rather than singing so I would probably categorize it as rock. I heard vocals, drums, and electric guitars. The music on its own, especially the instrumental part, makes you really think about the lyrics you just heard and think about your own view on the topic.
    d) The song’s tone is upbeat, in your face, and maybe even slightly demanding. I think it is this upbeat, fun music because it is meant to get people into it and want to keep listening. At the same time though, it is a little overwhelming because it feels like the singer is yelling at you about how her view is obviously the right one. The idea of fate is hugely trashed and put down.
    e) We pointed out and discussed a quote already in class that read, “Every dumb thing I ever done in my life there was a decision I made before that got me into it. It was never the dumb thing. It was always some choice I’d made before it.” This was said by Rawlins when referring to ditching Blevins or letting him join them on their trip. This passage agrees with the song in the sense that everything that happens in a person’s life is because of a decision that made earlier. It is not because of fate, but rather due to free will because they have the power to choose different options in those situations and must live with the consequences.

  16. A. I will be investigating “In the Air Tonight” by Phil Collins
    B This song surely supports the idea and belief of fate. As it can be argued that each lyric line supports fate, the part that stands out to me the most is the chorus- “I can feel it coming in the air tonight. Oh Lord. I’ve been waiting for this moment for all my life. Oh Lord”. As many believe that life is put in the hands of The Lord, adding “Oh Lord” to the end of each sentence adds a sense of fate and an idea of where everything is stemming from. Things are in The Lord’s hands. As Phil Collins sings “I can feel it coming in the air” it gives off a sense of an unexplainable feeling that is just supposed to happen. You just “have a feeling”, which is a very common phrase. Lastly, as the singer waits “for this moment all my life”, it supports the fact that fate has brought him to this point. He has been waiting for this moment to come, yet could not control the time or place it “came” because that was left up to fate.
    C. This songs can definitely be categorized as rock, however it is a soft and almost soothing rock song. Drums play a major role in this song. Although I am not very good with picking out instruments due to my lack of knowledge in the music category, I believe there are electric guitars. However, the most important instrument in this song is definitely the vocals. As each word lasts and echoes, the song gives off an almost creepy feeling. As the song is slow and techno, the vocals perfectly match the foggy, gloomy, and creepy aroma to the song. This supports the idea of fate because it can be scary to not know what is to come next in your life. If believing in fate, you feel as though you have no control over your life because no matter what decision you make, fate is still not going to be effected. Therefore, this song’s creepy aroma supports the creepiness and fogginess of what is to come of fate.
    D. The most accurate words I can use to describe the tone of this song are creepy and foggy. Although a song can not necessarily be described as “foggy”, I felt a foggy feeling while listening to this song. As the techno in the background along with the hard beating drums set the tone, the vocals and the echo added to the creepiness. I felt as though nothing that was said was said clearly. This tone supports the fact that fate may not always be clear. Some do not know what their purpose of living is. Adding to the fact, the close up of Phil Collins and the weird looking “singing” shape adds to the creepiness and fogginess as well. He could “feel it coming”.
    E. I think the song “In the Air Tonight” would have been a perfect background song for the scene as John Grady stands up for himself to Alfonsa. Although she is forbidding him to see Alejandra, he does not have it.

    “You wont let me make my case.

    I know your case. Your case is that certain things happened over which you had no control.

    It’s true.

    I’m sure it is. But it’s no case. I’ve no sympathy with people to whom things happen. It may be that their luck is bad, but is that to count in their favor?

    I intend to see her” (McCarthy 240).

    As Alfonsa gets John Grady out of jail, he is relieved as she is too but for a different reason. Of course this passage supports the idea of fate as Alfonsa says “Your case is that certain things happened over which you had no control”. However, as John Grady says “I intend to see her”, he shows power and strength, two things he had been craving. It was a time that he has “waited all of his life” for. By standing up for himself, he finally gained courage along with the hopes of seeing Alejandra in the future. The power and intensity of this scene matches perfectly with with intensity of the song due to it’s rock feeling along with creepiness.

  17. A) I am investigating “In the Air Tonight” by Phil Collins.
    B) “In the Air Tonight” stance is clearly in favor of fate. Collins consistently describes his situation as meant-to-be. “I can feel it coming in the air tonight, oh Lord. And I’ve been waiting for this moment for all my life, oh Lord” is repeated numerous times throughout the song. By saying he has been “waiting for this moment for all [his] life,” Collins is stating that he knew that he would be in this situation regardless of whatever happened beforehand. His choices in life would not prevent or alter the occurring of whatever he is talking about. Collins’s reference to God (“Lord”) reinforces the idea of fate. God, as well as any supreme being from any religion, represents fate and the idea that certain things happen independent of other events.
    C) “In the Air Tonight” is a rock song, but admittedly it is a little bit different than most other songs of the genre. One might say it is unique. The song features many elements of a classic rock song, including the guitar and keyboard, but the drums take center stage in this song. The drums seem to have a lurking presence from the beginning of the song. As the song progresses, the drums become more and more powerful and start to overpower the vocals. The vocals echo and vibrate, creating what seems like an anxious feeling from the vocalist. The singer knows he has no control over the course of his life and he is waiting for fate to take over. To me, fate takes over when the drums take over the song with a huge drum solo around the 3:15 mark.
    D) The mood of this song is somewhat eerie, almost creepy even. As a listener, you have to have an uneasy feeling for the speaker. With phrases like “It;s all been a pack of lies” and even the title “In the Air Tonight,” you get the sense that something, perhaps even something bad, is about to happen to the speaker. There is a sense of foreshadowing in the lyrics. The mysteriousness regarding the coming fate of the speaker keeps the listener engaged.
    E) “In the Air Tonight” is the perfect song to accompany the scene in which John Grady meets Alejandra at the train station. “She came toward him and she smiled at him sadly and she touched her fingers to the scar on his cheek and leaned and kissed it and he kissed her and took the suitcase from her” (248). John Grady has finally met and been reunited with the girl of his dreams. Fate has brought him to this moment. The repeated line “I can feel it coming in the air tonight, oh lord” would suggest another ending to this love story. As the reader knows, fate has another ending in mind that John Grady does not yet know. The two cannot be together, and the foreshadowing tone of “In the Air Tonight” would reinforce this.

  18. A. I will be investigating “In the Air Tonight” by Phil Collins

    B. This song is supporting the idea of fate. It is quite clear that Collins knows that this moment, as described in the song, is in his destiny; this is considering he’s been “waiting for this moment for all [his] life.” He also admits that “[he] can feel it coming in the air tonight,” further proving that he has been expecting something to happen. If this song was arguing free will, Collins would not be able to sense something that was going to happen. However, since he truly believes that he has been expecting this moment, it is obvious that Collins is reliant on fate. Also, many of the lines finish with “Oh Lord” implying that Collins’ belief in God allows him to believe in his fate. He has been able to sense what this moment has in store for him and acknowledges God’s presence. God and fate (predestination) are more commonly associated than not, especially in how Collins’ sings about his mysterious beliefs about fate.

    C.This song can be classified as rock. There are definitely a few instruments present, but most notably are the drums and guitar. The drums are ever present throughout the entire song; they set the tempo and the mood. They also help introduce the last chorus, which is effective in bringing the song full circle and solidifying that Collins’ feelings about what this moment holds are still true. The guitar is sometimes subtle but also influential. Phil Collins is a very passionate vocalist, especially in this song. He emphasizes “in the air tonight” and “waiting for this moment” quite a few times. Otherwise, he is pretty even and smooth in his singing. This music contributes to the discussion of fate v free will because this songs displays Collins’ uneasiness when relying on fate. The loud drums run seem to run parallel to his thoughts and feelings on what this moment holds for him.

    D.I believe that this song has a somewhat melancholy and mysterious mood/feeling. To begin with, most of the lyrics are quite depressing. Collins sings about how “if you told me you were drowning I would not lend a hand.” Despite the fact that Collins believes in his fate, he is for some reason is unable to help out someone who is struggling. This is also sad because Collins seems to be expecting something to happen, but cannot help when the moment is actually upon him. Also, the song fades into silence, which leaves it somewhat open ended. He ends with “oh Lord, oh Lord” which may signify that he truly is relying on God and his fate. This ending is mysterious, leaving the listener wondering what really happened. Could his fate be trusted?

    E. “That night he dreamt of horses in a field on a high plain where the spring rains had brought up the grass and wildflowers out of the ground…in the dream he was among the horses running and…he himself could run with the horses…and they ran in that resonance which is the world itself and which cannot be spoken but only praised” (McCarthy 161-162).

    This passage highlights John Grady’s belief that he must fulfill his destiny as a rancher. Despite the fact that the ranch was no longer in his family, he truly thought that he was meant to live on a farm and be with horses. He was willing to uproot his life and endure an ongoing struggle in order to fulfill his destiny. Just as Phil Collins had been “waiting for this moment all [his] life” John Grady knew that this was where he belonged. At the same time, this song is appropriate for this passage because this is only what Grady is dreaming of. In real life, his life is certainly not like what he dreams of. Although the song emphasizes a more eerie topic, Grady is at times uneasy in his travels to fulfill his destiny, just as Collins seems to be.

  19. A) I will be investigating the song “Freewill” by Rush.
    B) Even the title of this song reflects its position on the fate vs. freewill discussion: The artist says that no matter what, whether you choose to believe in a higher power, in freewill, or in nothing else, you are still making a choice. No matter what, the song says that people influence their own futures.
    C) The singer’s voice has a less fluid quality to it, and I believe that this speaking/yelling would categorize this song as rock. In addition to the vocals, there are drums and guitars.
    D) The tone/mood of Freewill is upbeat. The speaker is pleased that he is making his own choices in life, and is ready to take full responsibility for his actions, an optimistic outlook.
    E) Freewill in “All the Pretty Horses” is best accompanied by a quote by Rawlins. When discussing Blevins with John Grady, Rawlins says, “Ever dumb thing I ever done in my life there was a decision I made before that got me into it. It was never the dumb thing. It was always some choice I’d made before it” (79). Rawlins is accepting responsibility for his past mistakes, and attempting to prevent future ones by making good choices. This is a character who has embraced freewill.

  20. A. In the Air Tonight by Phil Collins
    The songs stance on fate versus free will leans more towards fate being the truth. The lyrics tell the story of someone getting what they deserve from something that happened in the past. The narrator was “there and [he] saw what you did.” Now, he can feel that the revenge is going to happen soon; he can “feel it coming in the air tonight,” he’s been “waiting for this moment for all [his] life.” Fate is coming for this guy, clearly it isn’t going to be pretty.
    B. The music is very eerie. The vocals echo throughout the song giving it a very overwhelming feel. The drum patterns are harsh and consistent and the drum solo towards the end is very dramatic. It builds up throughout the song as he is telling the story about the person who did something bad and is meeting their fate tonight. The drums feel like they are that moment. That person is getting what they deserve. The music makes fate seem terrifying. It’s coming for you…It’s going to get you.
    C. The tone of the song is very intense. He so passionately sings about waiting for this moment his whole life. He wants this person to meet their fate, what he presumes to be a terrible fate. The music backs up this passion with the drums getting faster and faster until the explosion of drums that parallels a fate well deserved.
    D. “John Grady looked at him. As he did so the pistol shot came from beyond the ebony trees. Not loud. Just a flat sort of pop. Then another.
    When they came back out of the trees the captain was carrying the handcuffs. Vamonos, he called” (178).

    This is the moment that Blevins is killed. Blevins is getting what the Mexicans think he deserves. Whether or not he actually deserves it could be up for debate, but he did kill a human being, so this follows the eye for an eye saying. What I took from In the Air Tonight was that the narrator knew that this person did something bad and their fate is bad because of this bad thing they did. Their fate is coming in the air tonight, just as Blevins’ fate has come to him. He was always been mysterious and it can be speculated that he has done some questionable things, so this is the fate he deserves. The song could be from the Captain’s point of view. He sees Blevins as evil, so he kills him. John Grady and Rawlins could have made him seem innocent if they tried hard enough, but they didn’t. They did not lend a hand when Blevins was drowning.

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