The Ironic Musical Edge: Using Songs to Present and Question Myths

  • Jason Blake University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts
Keywords: Arrogant Worms, culture course, irony, irony in music, culture and society courses

Abstract

Professors never have enough time to cover everything they would like to teach. If the temptation in literature survey courses is to whittle the reading list down to a few canonical texts, the temptation in culture courses is to reduce “American Culture” or “Canadian Culture” to facts and figures, important dates in history, and so on. This paper argues that ironic songs can efficiently introduce important information about a country’s myths and sense of self, while simultaneously questioning those myths. After a discussion of syllabus agonies of choice, the paper discusses irony, then irony in music, before finishing with an examination of The Arrogant Worm’s comic song “Canada’s Really Big.”

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Author Biography

Jason Blake, University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts

Jason Blake teaches in the English Department at the University of Ljubljana. He is the author of Canadian Hockey Literature (University of Toronto Press, 2010), Culture Smart! Slovenia (Kuperard, 2011), and three writing guides aimed at non-native speakers of English:

Writing Short Literature Essays: A Textbook with Exercises for Slovenian Students, 101 English Tips: A Quick Guide to Avoiding “Slovenglish” and (with Andrej Stopar) 102 English Tips: Another Quick Guide to Avoiding “Slovenglish”.

Published
2016-06-20
How to Cite
BlakeJ. (2016). The Ironic Musical Edge: Using Songs to Present and Question Myths. ELOPE: English Language Overseas Perspectives and Enquiries, 13(1), 99-110. https://doi.org/10.4312/elope.13.1.99-110
Section
English Language and Literature Teaching