Reclaim – Lyrics as Literature

Ólafur Arnalds is an artist hailing from Iceland. Although this song may not be well known to students, the lyrics are great, and it may broaden their music taste.

Arms were rivers, through sinuous hills, oh
Winds wore shivers and longing for thrills, oh

Veil the night wakeful stars blow dread astray, dread astray.
Veil the night wakeful stars blow dread astray, dread astray.

Shake the dawn, aweless dare
Throw along youngest stare
Arms reclaim.

Shake the dawn, aweless dare
Throw along youngest stare
Arms reclaim stars unnamed.

Morning light reunites
Fallen flames, a flawless frame
Through ember eyes.
Over night, hearts arise
All the same, a solace shame through…

Veil the night, veil the night,
Wakeful stars reunite,
Arms reclaim.

Veil the night, veil the night,
Wakeful stars reunite,
Arms reclaim fallen flames.

These lyrics evoke emotional images and a good activity to pair with it would be to read it aloud using the fives senses.

Assign each student either touch, taste, smell, sound, or sight. Ask them to read the lyrics and highlight words and phrases of words that link to that sense (in any way, it doesn’t have to be literal!). When students are finished, the teacher is to read aloud the lyrics, ask the students to read what they have highlighted with the teacher. The reading will end up being similar to a choral reading yet with many layers as sometimes there will be only one voice, sometimes multiple voices, and sometimes all voices.

The purpose of this is to suggest that in writing all the senses can be accessed and using sense is a good way to evoke images and emotions in a reader.

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