The Currents

According to Edwin Black, the second persona refers to the implied audience. In the text that is being discussed you don’t have know the actual audience because the text will tell you. Essentially, the second persona exists to ask the question: who is there to judge the work? In order to pinpoint exactly how the second persona is working with a certain subject, is it imperative to know: who the audience is, are they aware that they are being directed, and what is it doing to the audience.

In this instance, the song “The Currents” is an excellent example when discussing the second persona. The song focuses on the impact of “bigoted opinions” held by people who are in a position of power. It is meant to reach out to those who are exposed to hurtful remarks made by those around them. In an interview with a magazine, Bastille discusses the song being about overhearing people express opinions that are unfathomable and difficult to comprehend. The band continues and say that the song is not there to offer a solution, but exists as a reminder to find comfort and separate yourself from the situation. Like how the song goes:

I’m swimming to the surface

I’m coming up for air

Cause you’re making me feel nervous

I need to clear my head

I can’t believe my ears

I don’t wanna believe my ears

I’m swimming to the surface

I’m coming up for air

I would like to believe that the song not only adds to the discussion, but also encourages it. In the intermezzo, a line from the 1948 cartoon short “Make Mine Freedom” mentions someone trying to take away our freedom and individuality.

“When anybody preaches disunity, tries to pit one of us against the other … you know that person seeks to rob us of our freedom and destroy our very lives.”

This serves as a push to listen to what other people are saying – this could be positive ideas or negative remarks. Today there is an enormous amount of people who feel they are being discriminated against because of their skin color, sexual orientation, religious practice, and nationality (just to name a few). This came about because someone in power can’t comprehend the power of words. When hate is spewed it leaves the waters dangerous for the rest of us.

How can you think you’re serious?

Do you even know what year it is?

I can’t believe the scary points you make

Still living in the currents you create

Still sinking in the pool of your mistakes

Overall, “The Currents” gives the audience a pen and paper to allow them to create their own currents, and serves a reminder that we are all swimming in the same ocean.



Black, Edwin. “The Second Persona.” The Quarterly journal of speech 56.2 (1970):109. Web.


7 thoughts on “The Currents

  1. Interesting analysis Liz. You mentioned who you believe the intended audience is and used some lyrical verses to reinforce that. I like how you connected that. I wonder who is that “someone in power”? Probably some orange looking fellow who has no filter.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I loved how you were able to relate this to something that is going on in our society every day. Minor issue, in your second sentence you put “have know”, I think you for to put “to” in between there. Other than that it was a great read, keep up the good work!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great analysis on the song and its meanings. One thing i would sudgest is puting the song somewhere in the post, possibly the end, just so its easier to grasp the points you’re making.

    Liked by 1 person

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