English Major 101: Analyzing SZA’s ‘Doves in the Wind’ as poetry

In today’s post I will be analyzing the song ‘Doves In The Wind’ as I would a poem. This song is extremely powerful, as is SZA’s whole album. Remeber there are no right or wrong answer when analyzing artists works, just different interpretations. These are my **personal** interpretations of what I think the lyrics mean, feel free to comment and let me know what you think. I will post the lyrics below.

 

 

Lyrics to ‘Doves in the Wind’:

Real n****s do not deserve pussy

Meaning it’s more, you see right through walls

Ain’t talkin’ about pussy

Meaning you deserve the whole box of chocolates

Come with me

Forrest Gump had a lot goin’ for him

Never without pussy

Y’know, Jenny almost gave it all up for him

Never even pushed for the pussy

Where’s Forrest now when you need him?

Talk to me, talk to me

Hey, ayy, hey

(Attention, all you n****s

All you bitches)

[Chorus: SZA]

Sit back and relax your mind, just ride, just ride

Sit back and relax, you’ll find just why, just why

Sit back, relax, just ease your mind, just ride

You are now watching MADtv

[Verse 3: SZA]

You could never trivialize pussy

But a bum n**** like you would try it (pussy)

I know what you really ’bout

High key, your dick is weak-body

It’s only replaced by a rubber substitute

We ain’t feelin’ you

Think I caught a vibe, kinda feel a n****

You could touch the booty if you like, I ain’t trippin’ on ya

(Such a nice girl, SZA)

I’m really tryna crack off that headboard

And bust it wide open for the right one

Is you that for me?

‘Cause if you that for me

Like doves in the wind, hey, hey

That pussy, like doves in the wind, hey, hey

Pussy like doves in the wind

I will make you beg for it

I wanna see you call out

[Chorus: SZA]

Sit back and relax your mind, just ride

(Give you all of me and I won’t stop, not a little bit)

Sit back and relax, you’ll find just why

(Dangerous boy, I wanted to do it all)

Sit back, relax, just ease your mind, just ride

(Unfortunately you couldn’t get your shit together)

You are now watching MADtv

[Outro]

We take things, and my influence so far, and then it’s out of my hands. And, y’know, while as I said it can be scary, it can also be a little bit comforting. Because I’ve learned that when I get to that point, and I can acknowledge, “Okay, Audrey, that’s as much as you can do,” I can actually let it go…

 

Analysis:

SZA’s song, ‘Doves in the Wind’, is an ode to the power of women, and female sexuality. The act of sex is symbolized in this song by the single word ‘pussy’, another modern day slang word for vagina. The repetition of the word ‘pussy’ shows how potent and powerful female sexuality is and can be, especially expressed in the second verse written by Kendrick Lamar. The word ‘pussy’ itself, a stereotypically un-ladylike word, is repeatedly used in this song to comment on how society allows men to oversexualizes the female anatomy, yet makes subjects like sex, and ‘pussy’ tabooed for women to speak about.

Right off the bat SZA reels you in with her first line,”Real n****s do not deserve pussy”, followed by a small beat and an explanation of her intentions, “Meaning its more, you see right through walls”. This first section of the song deals with her conflict of wanting more from a relationship that seems to be just sex, symbolized here by ‘pussy’. Not to say the guy she’s talking about in the first line doesn’t deserve to have sex with her, but she believes that she can give him so much more, “the whole box of chocolates”. The guy SZA is talking about in the first line is “real”, because he was able to break down her walls. He was able to get to know her past a sexual level, and that’s why he deserves more, or the whole package; something SZA wants to give it to him, but cannot seem to.

SZA then beckons both us, the listener, and her man from line one to “come with [her]”, as she further explains her feelings towards her current relationship. She does this through an analogy of one of Hollywood’s most heartbreaking relationships, Jenny and Forrest Gump. SZA, an omniscient narrator looking over the relationship of Forrest and Jenny, is able to sympathize with both characters, presumably seeing a little bit of herself in each of them. On one hand there’s “Forrest Gump [who] had a lot goin’ for him”, and on the other hand there’s  Jenny who “almost gave it all up for him”. In the story of Forrest and Jenny, Forrest is always ready to fully commit to Jenny, not wanting a sexual based relationship, but wanting something more. Jenny, however, spends a bulk of the movie denying him this love, due to the fact that she is both not ready to commit, and believes she would be bad for him. 

In this analogy SZA could be comparing an old version of herself to Jenny, someone who, at one point of their life, was about to enter into a serious relationship, to “give it all up for him”, but ended up bailing. Ironically, it seems that the present SZA narrating the song has finally realized she’s ready for that serious relationship, and deeper connection; one that is lacking in a purely ‘pussy’ relationship. SZA wonders aloud: “where’s Forrest now when you need him?” Meaning: where is a serious man ready to commit when she’s finally ready to commit, most likely alluding to the man from the first line who “see[s] right through [her] walls”, and who she believes “deserves the whole box of chocolates.” This kind of back and forth relationship between two individuals shows how little control we have over the situations we find ourselves in, alluding to the title of her album ‘Ctrl’. 

The chorus of this song seems to try to send the listener into a trance, repeating the phrase “sit back and relax” as if to absolve any worries the listener might have. These lines can also be SZA talking to herself, “Sit back and relax your mind, just ride, just ride”, pleading with herself to ignore the issues she brought up in the first verse, and “just ride”. Just go along with the relationship, and keep giving him “pussy”. She repeatedly tells herself to just go with it, “you’ll find just why”, meaning to let things play out naturally. In this situation SZA is realizing things are out of her control, and she either has to fully end the relationship, or continue to “just ride”. 

SZA’s third verse starts with her taking some blows at one of her ex-dudes, obviously one that wasn’t that great, seeing that he is easily replaced by a “rubber substitute”. In this line SZA is clarifying to the world that while “pussy” is this amazing thing that men pine over, wine and dine over, dick is easily replaceable; shown by her ability to kick this lame guy to the side, “we ain’t feelin’ you”. SZA also makes another jab at societies abhorrence to women talking about sex by underlying the phrase “such a nice girl, SZA”, while singing lines like “really tryna crack off that headboard” and “you can touch the booty if you like”. These lines, normally inappropriate topics that women are outcasted for saying, show SZA reveling in the power of her sexuality, and empowering women by taking back control of the things that are ours, aka our freedom to express ourselves and our sexuality as we please. 

In this song SZA takes the listener on a journey to find and fully accept the power of female sexuality, something that, as women, we do actually have control over. This sense of control is in total opposition to the out of control feelings SZA has towards the man who “unfortunately couldn’t get [his] shit together”.  In the end we hear SZA’s mother comforting SZA’s loss of control in this situation, stating: “while it can be scary, it can also be a little bit comforting [knowing] that’s as much as you can do”.

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