"Requiem for the Masses" by the Association (1967)

Maddy, Hannah, Bryce, Josh

Tone: The music is slow, giving it a very solemn feel because it is very serious without being, yet heartfelt because the reality of the war is given and it shows respect to those who serve

Imagery: Imagery was used to create dark and disturbing pictures in your head to tell the truth about the war

  • “Bloodshot sky”
  • “Red was the color of his blood flowing thin”
  • “Pallid white was the color of his lifeless skin”
  • “Blue was the color of the morning sky he saw looking up from the ground where he died”
  • “Black and white were the figures that recorded him / black and white was the newsprint that he was mentioned in / black and white was the question that so bothered him”

Syntax: There is a lot of repetition to emphasize important ideas in the song

  • Repetition of the line: “Mama, mama, forget your pies / Have faith they won’t get cold / And turn your eyes to the bloodshot sky / Your flag is flying full”
  • Repetition of Black and white: "Black and white were the fingers that recored him, Black and white was the newsprint that he was mentioned in, Black and white was the question that so bothered him"

Details:

  • The title of the song tells a story in itself. A “requiem” is a mass for the dead - and it pertains to the soldier that is focused on in particular with this song. The description of the red, white, and blue as he died symbolizes how he is an American soldier and he gave his life to fight for his country. The “Mama, Mama, forget your pies” line draws the attention to, what one could guess, is his mother and brings the atrocities of the war to life through her eyes because her son is dead

Symbolism:

  • "Black and white were the fingers that recorded him, Black and white was the newsprint he was mentioned in, Black and white was the question that so bothered him" These lines represent the routine  and unemotional side of death in the war

Requiem aeternam, requiem aeternam

Mama, mama, forget your pies

Have faith they won't get cold

And turn your eyes to the bloodshot sky

Your flag is flying full

At half mast, for the matadors

Who turned their backs to please the crowd

And all fell before the bull

Red was the color of his blood flowing thin

Pallid white was the color of his lifeless skin

Blue was the color of the morning sky

He saw looking up from the ground where he died

It was the last thing ever seen by him

Kyrie Eleison

Mama, mama, forget your pies

Have faith they won't get cold

And turn your eyes to the bloodshot sky

Your flag is flying full

At half mast, for the matadors

Who turned their backs to please the crowd

And feel for the bull

Black and white were the fingers that recorded him

Black and white was the newsprint he was mentioned in

Black and white was the question that so bothered him

He never asked, he was taught not to ask

But was on his lips as they buried him

Rex tremendae majestatis

Requiem aeternam, Requiem aeternam

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