Two Versions Of The Song Roxanne

949 words - 4 pages

Many say that music has evolved over the years. This essay shall explore the elements of two versions of one song. It shall discuss the correlations and disparities of these songs and confer how it has been revolutionised to entertain the audiences of today.
The two songs which shall be scrutinized shall be Roxanne. Originally released in 1978, it was performed by ‘The Police’. The cover version El Tango de Roxanne was rearranged by Mariano Mores in Moulin Rouge, 2001.
The main gist of the song is Sting telling his girlfriend that she doesn’t have to be a prostitute anymore. One could say that repeating the words “Roxanne, you don’t have to put on the red-light” in the song causes it to become the main idea of this song. As the song is about him trying to persuade his girlfriend to stop being a prostitute, the key –which is in minor–, reflects his sadness of the predicament. The singer executes his voice in this version high pitched as if to be pleading, connecting better to the audience and punctuating his lyrics further. As Sting’s lyrics take precedence, at times the band stops playing which creates dramatical pauses for the instruments and signifies the lyrics of that section more.
The instruments used for this song is of a standard rock band; lead vocalist, electric guitar, bass guitar and drum kit. The genre for this song is determined by the steady and yet simplistic instruments used in this version. An interesting note is that the chorus is in the genre of rock but the verses combine the genres tango and reggae. This could be because merging these three different styles of music attracted the attention of youth more with rock being rebellious at that time and tango and reggae having a heavy beat for that time period. Although underlying, the bass guitar creates a rhythmic punctuation to accompany the snare drum and emphasise the beat more hence incorporating the genre tango. The off-beat sequences of the electric guitar create a reggae feel for the song endorsing it to be mellow. Throughout the song, the electric guitar does not have any solos but variations of its sequence are repeated throughout the structure of the song. Doing so gives the lead singers’ message more priority. The domination of the classic drum kit creates a ‘head-bobbing’ motion for some when listening to this song, helping it become more popular and an easily enjoyable song.
The cover version of Roxanne (El tango de Roxanne) uses classical instruments to create a genuine tango feel; violins, viola, cello and Spanish guitar. The song consists of many layers of instruments creating a thick texture at times. With the violins being the base of this, the viola and Spanish guitar both have solos instead of consistent melodies throughout the song, giving short but addictive...

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