February 15, 2011
Rolling Stone assignment
“Apologize” The Best of OneRepublic
OneRepublic’s Apologize would have been in the Rolling Stone Magazine top 500 songs of all time if it had been created before 2004. The songs brought the full potential of the band and finally the got the attention they deserved. Apologize was written by the Producer and Lead singer, Ryan Tedder, and played by Zach Filkins (guitar and backing vocals), Eddie Fisher (drums), Brent Kutzle (Cello and Bass), and Drew Brown (lead guitar) (Apologize). Apologize was number one on Billboard top 100 for eight weeks. The song also sold 4.3 million digital copies making it the most legally bought song in history. Additionally, The song hit number one in 16 countries, one of which stayed at the number one spot for thirteen weeks (OneRepublic).
“ What we didn’t want to do was to create a too obvious of a story line” (Ryan Tedder). The story of the song varies for every person. The first two lines of the song, “I’m holding on your rope, got me ten feet off the ground” sums up the situation the singer is in. It gives the idea that the singer is in a unstable relationship nearing its end. The singer is holding the rope that may symbolize hope for a resolution, or the fact that the singer is in a state of depression. Based on the next line, we are able to deduce the latter is more reasonable. Got me ten feet of the ground gives us the assumption that singer may be committing suicide because of the relationship. “I’m hearing what you say, but I just can’t make a sound,” tells us that he is disoriented by what he feels and what the person he’s talking about is telling him. Another interpretation of this song can be the fact that the singer committed suicide and physically can’t respond to what the other person is saying. “ You tell me that you need me, then you come and cut me down”. This is the first time the singer tells us the reason why he feels this way. The second person is manipulating the singer into doing what they want, and as their benefit wears thin, they leave them behind. The next line gives us the information we need to assume that the second person is still very manipulative and the line after that shows us that the singer is tired of being controlled by him/her. The repetition of it’s too late to apologize if to strengthen the meaning of his newfound independence. Like a heart needs a beat, gives us how much the singer wanted the other person. This is reinforced through another metaphor now involving fire and how its color signifies the intensity. “I loved you with a fire red, now its turning blue” tell us that his intense love is slowing diminishing just like how the fire is slowing fading away. “ Sorry, like the angel heaven let me think it was you” again reinforces a different idea but nevertheless just as important. The singer tells the other person of how they were lied into thinking they were going to be together forever.
There are poetic elements that enhance the experience one gains from listening to this for the first time. While Rhyme exists in this song such as ground and sound, it is not the focal point of this song. The tone of the song is somewhat sad and even throughout the song. I believe that the use of repetition is the main focus by which the artists are trying to tell us the theme of this song. There is a repetitive rhythm that is played throughout the song that makes the song simply better. It is a quarter beat followed by two one eighth of a beat that is then concluded by one quarter beat, 2 sixteenth beats, and lastly 3 eighth beats. The song and the beat compliment each other and the results is the melody with the background that can still be just as nice if it was played alone (OneRepublic).
Apologize, with its amazing lyrics and great usage of poetic elements, has had a fantastic success in the world. The deep theme that the song gives us also had a large cultural impact on my generation. Dare 2 Share ministries located in Colorado are using this song as a way to teach Christian beliefs to teenagers (How to Share). In my opinion, not putting this song on the top 500 of all time is a grave mistake, not because of its cultural impact, but because of what message it gives to the listeners.