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Music Inspired by Lord of the Flies
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by Eric Bryan
| 9 Questions
Note from the author:
Get your students interested and push them! Most high school students are more interested in sticking their ear buds in their ears and tuning out the world around them. Channel that desire by assigning this Formative that pushes students to make connections between modern music and the themes/motifs found in Lord of the Flies.
Song #1: Below are the lyrics to the Iron Maiden song “Lord of the Flies,” which is a lesser-known work of theirs. The song was inspired by William Golding’s literary masterpiece of the same name that we have read in class. As we listen to the song in class, follow along with and read over the lyrics. Answer the questions that follow.

"Lord of the Flies" by Iron Maiden
I don't care for this world anymore I just want to live my own fantasy Faith has brought me to these shores What was meant to be is now happening
I've found that I like this living in danger Living on the edge it feels... it makes me feel as one Who cares now what's right or wrong it's reality Killing so we survive wherever we may roam Wherever we may hide we've got to get away
I don't want existence to end We must prepare ourselves for the elements I just want to feel like we're strong We don't need a code of morality
I like all the mixed emotion and anger It brings out the animal the power you can feel And feeling so high on this much adrenalin Excited but scary to believe what we've become
Saints and sinners Something within us We are lord of the flies
Saints and sinners Something willing us To be lord of the flies
1
3 pts
Discuss how the song reflects the events and/or the message of the novel. Explain thoroughly.
2
5 pts
Whose point of view from the novel do the song lyrics echo the closest? How so? Use details from the novel to explain clearly.
3
5 pts
What sort of tone does the song express? Use evidence from the song to back up your point. Does that tone match that of the novel? Explain.
Song #2: Below are the lyrics to R.E.M.’s popular song “It’s the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine).” This is another song known to be inspired by Golding’s classic novel Lord of the Flies. Look over the lyrics and watch the video that is linked below at the same time. Please answer the questions that follow.
"It's The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)"
That's great! It starts with an earthquake, Birds and snakes, an aeroplane; Lenny Bruce is not afraid.
Eye of a hurricane, listen to yourself churn. World serves its own needs, don't mis-serve your own needs. Speed it up a notch, speed, grunt, no strength. The ladder starts to clatter with fear of fight, down height. Wire in a fire, represent the seven games In a government for hire and a combat site. Left her, wasn't coming in a hurry With the furies breathing down your neck.
Team by team reporters baffled, trump, tethered crop. Look at that low plane! Fine, then. Uh oh, overflow, population, common group, But it'll do. Save yourself, serve yourself. World serves its own needs, listen to your heart bleed. Tell me with the rapture and the rev-'rent in the right, right. You vitriolic, patriotic, slam, fight, bright light; Feeling pretty psyched.
It's the end of the world as we know it. It's the end of the world as we know it. It's the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine.
Six o'clock. TV hour. Don't get caught in foreign tower. Slash and burn, return, Listen to yourself churn. Lock him in uniform and book burning, bloodletting. Ev'ry motive escalate. Automotive incinerate. Light a candle, light a motive. Step down, step down. Watch a heel crush, crush. Uh oh, this means no fear; cavalier. Renegade and steer clear! A tournament, a tournament, A tournament of lies. Offer me solutions, offer me alternatives And I decline.
It's the end of the world as we know it It's the end of the world as we know it (It's time I had some time alone) It's the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine (It's time I had some time alone) I feel fine
It's the end of the world as we know it (It's time I had some time alone) It's the end of the world as we know it (It's time I had some time alone) It's the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine (It's time I had some time alone)
The other night I tripped a nice Continental drift divide. Mountains sit in a line. Leonard Bernstein, Leonid Brezhnev, Lenny Bruce, and Lester Banks Birthday party, cheesecake, jelly beans, boom! You symbiotic, patriotic, slam, but neck, right? (Right!)
It's the end of the world as we know it (It's time I had some time alone) It's the end of the world as we know it (It's time I had some time alone) It's the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine (It's time I had some time alone)
It's the end of the world as we know it It's the end of the world as we know it It's the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine (It's time I had some time alone)
It's the end of the world as we know it (It's time I had some time alone) It's the end of the world as we know it (It's time I had some time alone) It's the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine (It's time I had some time alone)
It's the end of the world as we know it (It's time I had some time alone) It's the end of the world as we know it (It's time I had some time alone) It's the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine (It's time I had some time alone)
4
3 pts
Cite some of the lyrics that might have been inspired by the novel. Explain how you think they could be related to the book.
5
3 pts
What about the novel might have inspired the artists to write/perform this song? Back up your opinion with support.
6
4 pts
Discuss EITHER (1.) what theme the music video most closely reflects from the book OR (2.) how the video mirrors (or connects with) the novel. Use details from both in your answer. (Select only one)
Song #3: Below are the lyrics to the song “Mad World” by Gary Jules. This song has been featured in many TV shows and films, so it could sound a little familiar to you. It has a very specific tone and sound that can be considered similar to Lord of the Flies.Watch the video linked below and listen to the song. Please answer the questions that follow the video.

"Mad World"
All around me are familiar faces Worn out places, worn out faces Bright and early for their daily races Going nowhere, going nowhere
Their tears are filling up their glasses No expression, no expression Hide my head, I wanna drown my sorrow No tomorrow, no tomorrow
And I find it kinda funny I find it kinda sad The dreams in which I'm dying Are the best I've ever had I find it hard to tell you I find it hard to take When people run in circles It's a very, very mad world, mad world
Children waiting for the day they feel good Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday And I feel the way that every child should Sit and listen, sit and listen
Went to school and I was very nervous No one knew me, no one knew me Hello teacher tell me what's my lesson Look right through me, look right through me
And I find it kinda funny I find it kinda sad The dreams in which I'm dying Are the best I've ever had I find it hard to tell you I find it hard to take When people run in circles It's a very, very mad world, mad world
Enlarging your world Mad world
7
4 pts
Summarize the thoughts and feelings coming from the song’s speaker. What does he/she communicate to you?
8
3 pts
From whose point of view does this song seem to reflect the best from Lord of the Flies?? Explain and use evidence from the song and novel to support your answer.
9
4 pts
Cite lyrics from the song that reflect events and/or themes from the book and explain their connection.
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