Katy Perry is a very popular recording artist, who is well known for the her catchy melody, emotional connection to her audience and symbolic meaning behind her songs.
The song I’ve chosen to analyze is one of her cleverly put together songs titled Dark Horse. Which is one of her 15 songs of her album titled Prism which was released October 22, 2013.
Katy Perry chose her cover title to be Prism because she felt as though she had let some light into her life and now it was time for her to beam that light through her all her song to her fans.
Beside her title her cover the imagery used in this cover was meant to reflect the fact that Katy Perry is now leaving the dark place that she used to call her life and letting in the good that is now coming to her. As an artist she is trying to communicate that her feeling and view of life have now changed and are still changing for the better. In her album she talks about topics such as love and loss including her divorce from her ex-husband Russell Bran but she is trying to show that her aspect of it all is no longer negative. In the image she appears with less makeup to transmit the meaning of being more organic and natural, showing that she’s almost reached a place in which she is more confident in herself.
My personal favorite song from this album is titled Dark Horse featuring Juicy J.
She begins the first verse of her song with this sort of cocky kind of cynical attitude, of knowing that the guy she is talking to would come look for her, showing confident in herself.
I knew you were
You were gonna come to me
but as she talks to him, she begins to warn him about what he is getting himself into. Katy has had bad experience with guys before and so he is letting this guy know that she can’t just leave her, but that he must stay with her. Also implying that she can do anything, stating that she has power and she can do some damage.
But you better choose carefully
I’m capable of anything
Than she begins to talk about how she should be treated, stating that if he really wants her he will make her, his Aphrodite, talking about the the story of the Trojan War. She is saying that she wants him to treat her as the most beautiful girl in the world and make it seems as though she is the only one in the world. Also warning him in emphasis and repetition, that it wouldn’t be a good idea to be in bad terms with her, once again referring to the beginning of the verse when stating her power.
Make me your Aphrodite
Make me your one and only
But don’t make me your enemy
She than begins to interrogate the guy by making him think twice about playing games during her chorus. As she asks questions about him being sure able handing someone like her.
So you wanna play with magic?
Boy, you should know what you’re falling for
Baby, do you are to do this?
Than she states these questions than hits him with the bigger picture of comparing herself to a darkhorse. Meaning that she is not someone that is not to play with. She uses the term and symbolic meaning of a dark horse, going along with the title, since meaning that she could strike at any minute. She tries to communicate that is smarter than anyone can ever image.
She also has a few separate image cover that have been made to representing this song, this being one of them. Representing her as an woman of power, strength and no fear. Also showing that as innocent as she may look, she can also have a dark side to her personality when being played with.
She than continues her chorus with intimidating questions, and asks if he is ready for a perfect storm explaining her perspective of herself. She identifies herself as perfect but she also uses the word storm to explain how nasty she can be, and just how horrible she can make his life if he has bad intentions.
Are you ready for?
A perfect storm?
She than mentions that once he makes the decision to be with her, there is no changing his mind. Once again stating that this isn’t a game.
Cause once you’re mine
There’s no going back
In her second verse she begins it with a big hey along with an exclamation mark to get his attention and make sure he is paying attention. She than beings to open up about how wonderful the love they can have can be and how it will just keep on growing. She describes it as a bird without a cage, identifying the meaning of freedom and there would be no holding back in the relationship they could have. Also adding that their relationship would not be in the cloud like a dream but realist.
Mark my words
This love will make you levitate
Like a bird
Like a bird without a cage
We’re down to earth
She waits for a response as she informs him that even if he wants to leave he shouldn’t because it would be a good idea. She makes him be sure of his answer letting him no that she doesn’t believe in being left hanging with the word maybe but that he better think about it, before he makes any decisions. Once again using repetition to emphasis and make sure he knows that he must be sure before making any decisions before he gives it all to her and she falls for him.
If you choose to walk away
Don’t walk away
It’s in the palm of your hand
it’s a yes or a no?
So just be sure
Before you give it all to me
All to me
Give it all to me
The final verse is made by a rapper named Juicy J. He begins describing Katy as a beast and stating that her name is karma, also directing this to the guy, which she may be talking to that he’s already had experiences with her and he does not recommend it. He is explaining and reinsuring the fact that she will get pay back, whatever he does will come back to him.
Uh, she’s a beast
I call her Karma
Than referring back to the beast statement he adds on that she can eat his heart like Jeffrey Dahmer, a murderer involved in cannibalism meaning that Katy is not innocent.
She eat our heart out
Like Jeffrey Dahmer
He continues to warn him to be careful and not play games because she has a big heart. To further describe her heart, Juicy J uses the word steroids to explain just how strong and unescapable her love it that he may just fall in love with her as a result.
Try not to lead her on
Shawty’s heart is on steroids
Cause her love is so strong
You may fall in love
He than begins to talk about how special Katy is and how he should feel lucky to have a girl like her. Than once again turns it back around and states that just because she is special she should be played with or else that sweetness will change in a matter of seconds.
When you meet her
If you get the chance you better keep her
She’s sweet as pie but if you break her heart
She turns cold as a freezer
He than refers to the story of sleeping beauty, explaining what he would like to do to her, further explaining on how his experience with her was and how he is attracted to her. He beings to talk about his feelings about her and his perspective, after so much warming he begins to no longer care about how bad she can be because she is worth it.
That fairy tale ending with a knight in shining armor
She can be my Sleeping Beauty
I’m gon’ put her in a coma
Damn, I think I love her
Shawty so bad
He starts to change his tone to more persuasive, talking about how he feels about her and how it doesn’t bother him, she can do whatever she wants to him sexually, as he begins to describe her riding him like a roller coaster, to describe how they are sexually and using an amusement fair to describe how much fun she is. He describe her love as addicted like a drug and how once you start you can’t stop. He describes Katy isn’t someone that anyone could just get involved with and leave, because she is that addictive that she makes her way to a man’s heart.
I’m sprung and I don’t care
She ride me like a roller coaster
Turn the bedroom into a fair
Her love is like a drug
I was tryina hit it and quit it
But lil mama so dope
I messed around and got addicted
She ride me like a roller coaster
I personally enjoy this song a whole lot because I relate to it in a whole lot of levels. Katy Perry is herself a very good and talented artist but this song doesn’t just have a good beat. It shows a lesson about playing around with people’s emotions and how it isn’t right to lead people on because there aren’t just people who get revenge but sometimes what goes around comes around. It expressed how a woman should be treated and how sometimes in the world there are a lot of woman who get played with because they are seen as the inferior sex. In a way this song shows that woman have power, it may not be physically (even though some woman are) but emotionally. It stand up to woman rights and shows that woman can play the same game men can, and men don’t always have to be the ones that do the damage but woman can do just as much damage if not more.