What stops someone from really striving for their dreams like becoming an astronaut or rockstar? Often it can be those that are the closest to us that do not want us to get hurt if we stumble and fail in the pursuit of them. In the song “All I want” by A Day to Remember the band explores this topic and what it means to have a place to call your own. The band has a mix of punk and metalcore genres and uses that to their advantage to speak on things most will often avoid. The band has been together for fifteen years, has had multiple songs at number one, in their respective category, has two gold-selling albums and singles, selling out entire continental tours this band has been around the block (ADTR). In this particular song, the lyrics play on the idea of what it means to say what one wants and what needs to be done to get there. The music video is just as interesting as it brings in an assortment of well-known and established bands to further get the idea across of what it is that they are saying. The band also holds an almost yearly rock concert titled “Self-Help” which often has performers leaving audiences with ideas of bettering oneself and ignoring what the world will say. While not a new band A Day to Remember has many songs that people can find easily relatable to.
The first verse of the song jumps straight into the idea of someone not willing to keep their voice down and speak out. Which really has no specific audience as there are many people who often feel that what they have to say does not matter to those that are listening. Sherman argues that there are 3 reasons for someone would feel that their voice cannot or will not be heard, the first being they really just do not understand what is being spoken to them, second the listener does not want to understand, and third being the speaker thinks that the listener will not understand what is being said. When the lyric, “I’m always screaming my lungs out ’til my head starts spinning” one can assume that pathos is at work drawing a potential response from the audience of relatability, that everyone often feels like they are not being heard. Pathos in this instance referring to the speaker’s ability to feel something or invoke some sort of emotional response from the audience. At some point in life, there are going to be times that when one’s opinion can be disregarded completely and the band combats this with the suggestion to scream it out till sickness ensues. “Won’t keep my voice down… words I speak are the words I think out loud” are the following lines that apply to the band’s ethos. The ethos being a source of values such as credibility, trustworthiness or in this case character. Showing the point of view the band holds, thinking the same things that they are speaking, not holding some sort of double-sided meaning to everything they say. “I like to keep things honest I’m a safe bet like your life’s staked on it… I’m constant like the seasons I will never be forgotten” are the next lines that follow, all the previous quotes were part of the same stanza or verse. Applying to both pathos and ethos in these lines, pathos in the sense that the band is showing their values and linking them with the audiences by using a simile. The band uses ethos in an attempt to establish credibility that they do not easily change their minds like the seasons a character trait of someone steadfast in their beliefs. With the beginning of the chorus “All I want is a place to call my own, to mend the hearts of everyone who feels alone” appealing the audience’s pathos of pity and self-interest. According to Fikes, “three-fourths of Americans experience moderate to high levels of loneliness” feeling alone is a very common issue that one will experience in their life and as stated in the article the chances are high. The following verse “Keep your hopes up high and your head down low” give the audience ethos in the respect that they are understanding of their problems and should ignore the naysayers and be ever hoping for the best. The rest of the lyrics have the same message of leaving no words unspoken and to live life with no regrets regardless of the world’s doubts and harsh words.
The music video only adds to the message of the song, strengthening it and making the song really stand out. Testimonials are a strong resource and that, “power of persuasion comes from the person selected to be the authority” (Gourley). Where ethos comes into play, more specifically testimonials are in the entirety of the music video as it features a multitude of well-established and well-known bands all singing the same words rocking out with the rest of the band. The plethora of artist that are shown singing are not doing so grudgingly but with enthusiasm, as it helps to engage the audience and makes it more motivational (Why Speak 17). If someone was speaking in a monotone way or with little to no emotions it makes it hard to relate or want to understand what is being spoken, so when various well-known bands are all singing the same thing it adds to their credibility and overall message of the song. The influence of celebrities is immense and very useful for selling various things sometimes without even uttering a word. While in the case of this video it is used in a positive manner, the celebrity power remains, “Studies have concluded that customers are more likely to choose goods and services endorsed by celebrities than those that are not” (Schiering). The entire video is also annotated with animated texts and drawings that emphasize key phrases that audiences can identify with making the words seem more relatable as they are in plain view and easier to focus on. A song that talks about not listening to doubts and striving for one’s dreams are emphasized by the various artist singing how even successful people have felt oppressed at some point in their life but still managed to achieve great success.
At the end of the day, there is no one
else but oneself so keeping a low head and hopes up high is the best thing that
someone could ask for. A Day To Remember tackles this topic using different
forms of rhetoric such as pathos, things like emotion, and ethos, such as credibility
and values. Their song is full of concepts that audiences that have felt
oppression or alone at some point in their life can relate to in one way or
another and is what arguably makes them so successful. The world is full of
people that will wish for the downfall of others and will say harsh things but
those that can keep striving for what they desire are the ones who will achieve
it. The music video shows popular bands singing the same message so one can
assume they have felt the same way or believe the things that they are singing,
tying the whole song together. When the world is tearing one down all said
person can do is keep their head down drowning out the doubts and keep striving
A Day To Remeber “A Day To Remember – All I Want (Official Video).” YouTube, Victory Records, 30 Sept. 2011, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pn-6eOxnEMI.
“A Day To Remember.” Facebook, ADTR, 18 Sept. 2018, www.facebook.com/adtr.
Fikes, Bradley J. “3 Out of 4 Americans Are Lonely, Study Says.” Phys.org, Phys.org, 20 Dec. 2018, phys.org/news/2018-12-americans-lonely.html.
Gourley, Catherine. “How Advertisers Persuade.” Writing, vol. 22, no. 1, Sept. 1999, p. 6. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=2761897&site=ehost-live.
Schiering, Matt. “Red Carpet BRANDING.” Brandweek, vol. 44, no. 33, Sept. 2003, p. 28. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=10920906&site=ehost-live.
“Why Speak with Enthusiasm?” Watchtower ONLINE LIBRARY, wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/101972644.