Tapestry of Faith: Exploring Our Values Through Poetry: A Program for High School Youth

Alternate Activity 1: Lyrics As Poetry

Activity time: 15 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Index cards and pens
  • Newsprint or a dry erase board and markers

Preparation for Activity

  • Optional: Prepare a few index cards with love lyrics as an example for participants.

Description of Activity

Participants use the lyrics of popular songs to discuss cultural attitudes toward love.

Provide each participant with a few index cards and a pen or pencil. Ask everyone to think of song lyrics from popular songs-contemporary or older-that deal with romantic love and write down on each card a phrase from the lyrics. Have participants place their cards in a box, hat, or other container when completed.

While participants are working, draw a line down the middle of a sheet of newsprint or the dry erase board. Write the word "lyric" at the top of the left-hand column. Write the word "assumption" at the top of the right-hand column.

When participants' index cards are in the container, invite one or two volunteers to draw the cards out one by one and read them aloud. Ask another volunteer to write the lines and phrases in the left-hand column of the chart.

Choose some phrases to probe with the group. For each phrase ask participants to state, in less "lyrical" language, the assumption that it represents; for example, the lyric "You're my everything" represents the assumption, we are each incomplete and empty without someone else.

When you have enough lyric/assumption pairs, lead a discussion to explore our cultural beliefs about romantic love. Help participants frame a definition of love, based on the lyrics they contributed. Encourage them to discuss whether or not they accept the ideas about love that popular songs provide. Use these questions:

  • What does our culture "believe" about true romantic love?
  • What values do these lyrics reveal? Are these values consistent with our UU values?
  • How can romantic love feed us spiritually?
  • Why does our culture talk so much about romantic love versus other kinds of love?
  • If your group did Activity 1, Fairy Tale Love, ask if any of the lyrics could be the caption for your drawing. What ideas about romantic love does your fairy tale image share with our popular culture?