Symbolism And Imagery In “Ana’s Song”
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Songs are a form of poetry and therefore often contain most or all of the same elements. Daniel Johns, lead singer of the Australian band Silverchair, originally wrote “Ana’s Song (Open Fire)” as a poem about his battle and obsession with his anorexia, and his band later wrote music for it. Johns uses symbolism in the words of this song/poem to express the true meaning of the lyrics.
The first and most important example of symbolism is the fact that Johns seems to be singing to a girl named Ana. However, Ana is meant to be a physical representation of his disease, anorexia. In the first verse, the lyrics read “Please die Ana for as long as you’re here we’re not.” This line shows Johns wants to be rid of his disease, and that its presence is causing him to disappear. He goes on to tell Ana that she makes “sharpened nails seem softer.” He is telling Ana this to display the fact that he is experiencing depression because of his anorexia. This depression is causing his experiences and level of awareness to be dulled.
Johns repeats the phrase “And I need you now somehow” throughout the song. This is how he expresses his dependence upon his eating disorder. He has become so reliant on it, that he is not sure that he will be able to live without it.
The chorus of the song reads “Open fire on the needs designed / On my knees for you.” These lyrics show how his eating disorder is affecting his life. Expressed here is how anorexia is slowly but surely changing his life’s design. The fact that he says he’s on his knees for Ana shows that he feels submissive to the powerful disease he has.
In the second verse, the lyrics read “Imagine pageant / In my head the flesh seems thicker.” These lines refer to body image. A pageant is a place where you display your body for others to see and judge. However, the second line shows that in his mind, his body is distorted. He, like all anorexics, has ...
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