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The Songwriter's Idea Book by Sheila Davis

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STRATEGY FOURTEENApostrophe as Design Device

Some Background

Apostrophe (A-POS-tro-fee) is a figure of speech in which a place, thing, or absent (often dead) person is addressed as if alive and will presumably answer. It is a subtype of metaphor related to personification. This strategy employs the second-person viewpoint in a figurative, rather than a literal, way.

Some Apostrophe Examples

Apostrophe as a design device comes in four discrete categories: The singer addresses a place, absent person, aspect of nature, or an abstraction or inanimate object:

PlaceAbsent (or Imaginary) Person
SwaneeJesus, Take the Wheel
California, Here I ComeAmelia
GalvestonDear Ella
April in ParisMr. Sandman
San FranciscoVincent
Don't Cry for Me, ArgentinaPapa, ...

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