Jeremy Hubble English II,3 May 20, 1990
This poem is a slightly-altered version of the first eight verses of the third chapter of Ecclesiastes. The central purpose of the Biblical passage is to convey the idea that every thing has a certain time and place when it is appropriate. It creates this view be repeating a series of quasi-paradoxical phrases. The song version presents the same phrases, but through the repetition of certain ones, and an addition of an additional line at the end, creates a song which jumps heavily into the 'peace' movement, which was popular at the time the song was written. Thus, the central purpose of the song is to convey the idea that everything has its time and place, and world war needs to be quickly replaced by peace.
The central purpose is carried out by using a variety of techniques. First, the quoting of the Bible strengthens the message of the poem. The choice to alter some of the original words to create a more poetic feel also helped improve its appeal to a critical, modern-day society. Though the poem uses many literary devices, the imagery this poem creates is of greatest importance. The quick changing of opposing images causes a person's first view of an image to stick in his mind. This view is often the most basic, stereotypical view of the image, and thus creates the greatest contrast with the opposed image. This helps to emphasize that different occasions call for different actions. This also helps give larger weight to the poems secondary purpose, the call for peace. By quickly emphasizing war and peace [no pun intended], the reader will create a strongly negative war image, and a positive peace image.
Though this poem has survived for thousands of years without music, the music greatly enhances its meaning. The song employs the inverse of the common structure found in most other songs. The repeated chorus is placed before each verse, instead of after the verse. Thus, instead of a series of verses which lead up to a reoccurring main theme, the song uses a repeated introduction to connect a series of different points. The addition of the phrase, "turn, turn, turn", to the chorus also enhances the poem, by providing a backup theme. This helps to emphasize the need to turn from one area to the next based on the situation. It also provides a convenient, abstract way for a way of naming the song. The opening of the song also presents the poems underlying theme in music. It starts with a mellow guitar and bass line, which is then followed by some screeching guitar notes; the juxtaposition of opposed ideas which are in the instrumental introduction serves as a subtle pretense to the songs repetition of many opposed ideas. Then, by gradually adding in the drums and then the voice, the song helps further the point that many different things complicate the situation, and the proper choice must be made in the situation. The voices singing the song enhances the song meaning and appeal. If a heavy metal, or modern pop singer would have been singing this song, it would not have the power and appeal which is created by the gentle duet employed by this song. The voice selection helps the song to sound as if a parent or pastor was gently instructing the listener to do as the Bible instructs in this situation, and place everything in its time and place. "Turn, Turn, Turn" also employs an excellent drum line which enhances the song. In the opening, the drums are first used to accentuate each change in phrase. Then a small drum lick is used to foreshadow the opening of the lyrics. During the first opening chorus, the soft eighth notes on the high-hat and the 'and-one' rhythm of the bass drum provide a soft mellow undertone for the music. Then the switch to the ride cymbal, the adding of a straight eighth-note bass line, and a series of individual licks all help bring give a greater strength and deeper meaning to the primary verses. At the conclusion of the verse, the drum then starts a poco crescendo as if trying to usher in a new high point of the song. Then everything suddenly cuts off to absolute silence. Reinforcing the song's meaning by showing sudden changes are to necessary keep everything in it's time, the silence also serves as a sudden drop-off that allows the song to continue on a continuously crescendoing pattern of advancement. Another feature found in the music is the brief singing solo that introduces each verse. After the brief voice solo, the drum comes in with a strong beat, and then the remainder of the instrumentation returns to the song. Yet another instance of placing different things in different times is thus created by this load and sudden introduction of the drum. Music serves as a great asset to these verses from Ecclesiastes by subtly echoing the meaning of the song. The complete instrumental solo after the third verse further aids the song by providing a chance for the listener to ad in his own set of quasi-paradoxes to further his interpretation of the song. Finally, by ending the song with "peace, I swear it's not too late", the listener is stuck with the sentiments of peace in his mind, and one of the songs central goals is achieved.
To every thing turn, turn, turn There is a season turn, turn, turn And a time to every purpose under heaven A time to be born A time to die A time to plant A time to reap A time to kill A time to heal A time to laugh A time to weep To every thing turn, turn, turn There is a season turn, turn, turn And a time to every purpose under heaven A to build up A time to break down A time to dance A time to mourn A time to cast away stones A time to gather stones together To every thing turn, turn, turn There is a season turn, turn, turn And a time to every purpose under heaven A time of love A time of hate A time of war A time of peace A time you may embrace A time to refrain from embracing To every thing turn, turn, turn There is a season turn, turn, turn And a time to every purpose under heaven A time to gain A time to lose A time to rend A time to sew A time for love A time for hate A time for peace I swear it's not too late
1] To every thing There is a season And a time to every purpose under heaven 2] A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which was planted; 3] A time to kill, and a time to heal;... 4] A time to weep, and a time to laugh;... 1] 3]... A time to break down, and a time to build up; 4]...A time to mourn, and a time to dance; 5]A time to cast away stone, and a time to gather stones together;... 1] 8] A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace. 5]... a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; 1] 6] A time to get, and a time to lose;... 7] A time to rend, and a time to sew; 8] A time to love, and a time to hate; A time of war, and a time of peace.