1) Look at the opening five lines of the song. What are your first impressions of the singer? How do you think they are feeling?
2) 'Before the flashing light settled deep in my brain' - how does this 'flashing light' make the singer feel and why do you think this?
3) 'Hope that something pure can last' - what is the singer describing as 'pure'?
4) What makes something 'pure'?
5) What other things would you describe as 'pure'?
6) 'Now it seems strange//How we used to wait for letters to arrive//But what's stranger still//Is how something so small can keep you alive' - why does the singer say its seems strange that he used to wait for letters? What has changed? What is he thinking about here?
7) 'Now it seems strange//How we used to wait for letters to arrive//But what's stranger still//Is how something so small can keep you alive' - what kept the singer 'alive'?
8) 'All those wasted lives in the wilderness downtown' - what impression does this give you of 'downtown'?
9) The singer is scared of change - true or false?
Submarines by the Lumineers acts as a nice stimulus for writing. The lyrics track the story of a discredited man who believes he has seen danger approaching. However, he becomes frustrated at peoples' failure to take his warnings seriously.
This song could act as the prompt for narrative writing from the point of view of the singer. Who is he? What is his name? What is/was his job? Does he have family, or does he live alone? Where does he live? How did he become so untrusted? What does he do about this?
Questions for Discussion
1) Who do you think the singer is?
2) What do people in 'the town' think of the singer?
3) How do the police react to the singer?
4) Pretend that you are one of the police officers. What would you say to the man? Also, imagine how you would say it.
5) What are the jokes that the policemen made?
6) Choose three words to describe what the people in 'the town' think of the singer.
7) 'In the end it boils down to credibility' - what is the singer thinking when they say this?
Avicii's 'Waiting for Love' is a nice song for tracking emotions.
Show your children this song and then hone in on the chorus:
Monday left me broken
Tuesday I was through with hoping
Wednesday my empty arms were open
Thursday waiting for love, waiting for love
Thank the stars it's Friday
I'm burning like a fire gone wild on Saturday
Guess I won't be coming to church on Sunday
I'll be waiting for love, waiting for love
To come around
Ask the children about the singer's week and how hopeful he is a different points.
On a piece of paper get the children to draw an x and y axis. On the y-axis get them to write 'hopefulness' and on the x-axis write the days of the week. Get the children to draw a line depicting how the singers hopefulness changes throughout the week mentioned in the song.