I went with Chopin’s Funeral March for a few reasons. Firstly, it’s something I feel most people have heard, but are unaware of. The reason I chose it , as it relates to the reading (White Teeth), is because the opening chords have a dreary vibe. I am relating this specifically to when Samad reflects on sending Magid to Bangladesh and Milat’s disconnection from his father’s culture. Samad enters a man vs self crisis of conscience, and begins questioning his parenting. The opening chords are symbolic of this bleakness, followed by the explosiveness of the higher pitched sounds. This, I connect to Samad affirming in his mind that sending Magid back was a good idea, and that he made the right decision, despite it being a tough one.
The song “Cat’s In The Cradle” by Harry Chapin is one that I have held in my heart for a long time. This is due to the fact that the motif developed throughout the song is that the singer’s son grows up not really having a father figure. This is due to the fact that “there were planes to catch, bills to pay” (Chapin). The singer solidifies this theme by even mentioning how his child learned to walk while he was away. The lack of a father figure in a developing child relates to me, as my father passed away when I was a small child. The chorus is symbolic of the father not being present in his son’s life, as the father is tirelessly working or away. The father is always trying to reassure the son they will spend time together, but it is quite evident that this does not actually happen. I enjoy the fact that while their is a guitar highly present throughout the song, the main instrumentation is Harry Chapin’s voice. This is because Harry Chapin died while his children were quite young, so the song holds even more meaning. Another thing Chapin does very well is juxtapose the lack of time spent between both the father and the son. Towards the end of the song, the father yearns to spend time with his son (having retired), and the son turns him down, as he is beginning his family, work, and life overall. I feel this is very emotional, due to the fact that this is where the father realizes neither one of them spent enough time with the other throughout their lives.