• jurnalsasaba

“An Analysis of Interpersonal Meaning Used in Selected Song Lyrics of Westlife’s Album (A Study Base



  • Background of the study

When people interact one each other, people need a language to convey their mind. Language is the important ways for human to communicate with each other. Every phrases and sentences in a language has a meaning. When people try to identify the structure of phrases and sentences, it can be called as studying grammar. Grammar is the process of describing the structure of phrases and sentences. There are many function of grammar, such as to show the times of past, present and future. The structure of language is usually taken as consisting of syntax, morphology, and sometimes also phonology or semantics. However, the main point in grammar is the rule of the structure without seeing the meaning.

The structure of language is familiar with the terms of article, adjective, noun, pronouns, and then followed by verb, complement or others which has its origins in the description of languages such as Latin and Greek. Obviously, people use the traditional grammar as the standard structure of language before the nineteenth century. The structure of language is the important part in phrases and sentences. Meanwhile, the structure of language has not changed. It’s because there are standard structure, such as the rule of present tense, present continuous tense, past tense, present perfect tense or others. But, the rules in every tense have the function itself although they have different structure.

Every language has the important role and meanings. Sometimes, it will be hard to understand every meaning without knowing the function. To understand the function of language more, it need to study Systemic Functional grammar. According to Halliday (1994), he states that Systemic Functional Grammar is how we talk about languages as an object. In Systemic Functional Grammar, linguistic distinguish the function in paradigm context and function in syntagmatic context. When learn syntagmatic context, it’s better when know the system and the structure of language. However, Systemic Functional Grammar focuses not only on the structure of language, but also on the properties of discourse and its functions in specific social and cultural situations.

Society is resources of meaning and language is the meaning maker. Generally, the function of meaning is to express the experience of human which related to people, experience, mode, circumstances, and others. Functional grammar is different from traditional and formal grammar. In traditional and formal grammar, the structure in phrases or sentences is the most important part. However, functional grammar is more concerned with the meanings of language than the structures. In functional grammar, a clause is more important unit than sentences.

Every clause can be identified based on the function. Language plays an important role in human life where it has many functions in our life. Muharrem Ergin (1990), he states that language is a natural means to enable communication among people, a living entity that it has its own peculiar laws, by means of which can develop, a system of contracts whose foundation was laid in times unknown and a social institution interwoven with sounds. The other function is to make the communication easier. When people don’t have a language, they will have difficulties to communicate with the others. Then, when people only know the language without knowing the function or the meaning, it will be strange.

To understand language people need to know how the meanings of words combine into phrases and sentence meanings. There are three metafunction in Systemic Functional Grammar. Three kinds of metafunction are ideational, interpersonal, and textual meaning. Each of the three metafunction is about a different aspect of the world. The ideational meaning focuses on the experiences, while the interpersonal focuses on the message and textual focuses on the mode. Many researchers are usually analyzing three metafunction above, especially ideational and textual metafunction in short story, magazine, speech, or other. From three kinds of metafunction above, the interpersonal meaning in song lyrics is not fully explored.

People use interpersonal meaning in communicating their feelings, emotion, believes, etc. In Systemic Functional Grammar, the interpersonal meaning can use to explain how the writer expresses their mind and their feelings.

In this era, song is one of many tools in communication used by the songs writer or the singer to the reader or listener. In music, song is a composition for voice or voices who performed by singing. A song is a language that describes human experiences that the form of that language is beautiful. A song can cause feelings of emotion in the heart of readers or listeners. People can share their feelings through songs with spoken or written lyrics. In expressing something in a song, a song writer must conveys feelings and thoughts also language in different way because (Yeibo, 2012) states if one writers without understand the message, one’s speech or writing will be dry. According to that phenomenon, it needs a research to understand the message through the structure in every phrases or sentences.

Everyone in this world has a different experience of life and the messages in the song can make a different mind in a different imagination. Listeners will have a slightly different interpretation or expressive for themselves. There are four aspects to make a sense of the source song can be received by listener, such as sing ability, rhyme, rhythm and naturalness (Elena and Aleshinkaya, 2016). Every song will have different sense when it translated by different people. Thus, a translation can convey the message of song in different language. From the statement above, it can be concluded that the message in songs is important. A message will make listener enjoy the song.

Grammatically, the grammatical systems play a role in the construal of meanings. This is the basis of Halliday’s claim that language is metafunctionally organized. Obviously, interpersonal metafunction at the clausal level enjoys mood. Mood is concerned with the topic of information or serving and whether it is giving or demanding. In interpersonal metafunction, the type of the relationship between the writer and participants in a text through the type of modality can be explored. To know the purpose of every clause, its need to identify with mood structure and mood system. Mood structure is the structure where the meaning of proposal or proposition of a clause can be found. Meanwhile, mood system is the system of clauses as interpersonal resources. The element of a mood is consists the Subject and the Finite (auxiliary or lexical verb) and the remainder of the clause as the Residue, determine the mood of a clause as a verbal group. Mood is built from the relation between subject and finite, whereas residue is the rest. The functions of clause as exchange were: (1) To construe social reality and realize interpersonal meaning; (2) To explore clause resources for participating in exchanges; (3) Exchanges: to give and to demand information and goods or services.

The songs that show the song writers feeling can be heard from one of the phenomenal band, Westlife. Westlife is an Irish pop band formed on 3 July 1998. The band is the only act in UK history to have their first seven singles go straight to Number 1, and they have gone on to sell over 45 million records worldwide which includes their studio, single, video, and compilation albums. They have many album with the popularly songs such as the song in the first album. Their first album is entitled Westlife (self title) which released on November 1999. Their song is known as popularly songs almost in every country. In this album, there are six singles from Westlife, such as Fool Again, If I Let You Go, Swear It Again, I Have a Dream, Seasons In The Sun, and Flying Without Wings. This album is their first album which achieved twenty times platinum appreciation for more than one million copies sale.

Westlife album is the best first album of Westlife band. This album got “The biggest-selling International Album ever” labels. In this album, there are many functions from the structure of the lyrics. For the example, when singer sing the song’s lyric “How will I know?” in If I let you go’s lyric, it can be identified that the mood exchange is demanding. It’s because the mood structure consist of subject in word “I” and finite in word “know” which create the proposal information from interrogative structure. Meanwhile, in the song’s lyric “When all the birds are singing in the sky” in Seasons in the sun’s lyric, it can be identified that the mood exchange is giving information. It’s because that lyrics gives information that all the birds are singing in the sky.

Through the mood structure and mood system, it can be easier to analysis the meaning especially interpersonal meaning of a clause from the structure based on Systemic Functional Grammar approach which is introduced by Halliday. When the singer try to convey a song without knowing the meaning, it will be difficult for the listener gets the message. For the other examples in Rising Star (a talent show), when the contestant shows their ability in music, some of them just see the structure of the song lyric first than the meaning. What they do can make they are fail in that competition. Its mean the structure is related to the meaning. Meanwhile, to make a good phrases or sentences, the structure has the important role.

In English, the meaning has the important position to study because it will give influence to someone to understand about speaker’s mean or how far some information can receive by listeners. The clause of grammar is not only a figure, but it has a function as a message. From the statement above, the purpose of this research is focuses to identify the function of Westlife’s selected songs in Westlife’s album by seeing the structure and to interpret how the song writers show the influence of songs to public. Because when language is used, there is always something else going on. To know the message from sees the structure through the analyzing mood exchange on selected songs, this study will be attempt the analyzes about the function based on the mood system entitled “An Analysis of Interpersonal Meaning Used in Selected Song Lyrics of Westlife’s Album (A Study Based on Systemic Functional Grammar).”

  • Problem Identification

From the background of the study above, the problems can be identified as follows:

  1. Many people do not know the interpersonal meaning of the structure especially in the song lyrics.

  2. Structure of song lyrics is not as rules, but it is described as systems. Its make people rather not understand the meaning of the structure.

  3. People do not aware that the structure of song lyrics reflects the nature of human experience and interpersonal relations.

  • Scope and Limitation of the Study

Based on the background of the problem statement above, the writer specifies about Analysis of interpersonal meaning used in selected song lyrics of Westlife’s album (A Study Based on Systemic Functional Grammar).

  • Statement

Related to the backgrounds of the study above, the problem statements are formulated into three main questions below:

  1. What are the types of interpersonal meaning used in the lyrics of Westlife’s selected song?

  2. What is the dominant of the Mood Types used in the lyrics of Westlife’s selected song?

  3. How is the interpersonal meaning in the lyrics of Westlife’s selected song?

  • The Objectives of the Study

In the line with the research problems statement above, the objectives of the study are:

  1. To describe the types of interpersonal meaning used in the lyrics of Westlife’s selected songs.

  2. To know the dominant of Mood Type used in the lyrics of Westlife’s selected songs.

  3. To identify the interpersonal metafunction in the lyrics of Westlife’s selected songs.

  • The Benefits of the Study

Based on the objectives of the study, the benefits of this study are:

This study is expected to explore the study of English especially in structure to help more understanding the meanings or messages in lyric. Based on this study, it will give us the knowledge about how the structures build the meaning. This study will giving more SFL knowledge to the students.

  • Practically

It is hoped that the research findings of the study will give benefit to:

  • Writer

The study is a very significant and useful to improve the writer’s knowledge in understanding three metafunction of systemic functional grammar, especially the interpersonal metafunction behind the selected song lyrics. It will give some valuable experiences and it can be used for the preparation of the writer as a candidate of teacher or song writer.

  • Reader

This study is useful to students who like songs and it makes every one more knows and understands about interpersonal metafunction, because when we study about language especially song, we will find kinds of function used in clause to more interesting and also many interpretations which give reader or listener understand uses their word and the structure.

  • The definition of Key Term

For more understand about this study, it is provided several definition of key term.

  1. is examined or studies especially, by separating something into its part.

  2. Interpersonal metafunction is defines the environment in which children first learn the strategy of grammatical metaphor.

  3. Lyrics are a poem that expresses deep personal feelings in a way that is like a song (Merriam-Webster Dictionary 1828).

  4. is an Irish pop band formed on 3 July 1998. The group's original line up comprised Nicky Byrne, Kian Egan, Mark Feehily, Shane Filan and Brian McFadden who left in 2004. Currently, Filan and Feehily serve as the band's lead vocalists. The band is the only act in UK history to have their first seven singles go straight to Number 1, and they have gone on to sell over 45 million records worldwide which includes their studio, single, video, and compilation albums.


© English Letters IAIN Surakarta 2016


Gedung E Lt 2 R. 204

Jl. Pandawa Pucangan Kartasura Sukoharjo 57169

Central Java



Socialize with us

  • facebook-square
  • Twitter Square
  • youtube-square
  • Instagram - Black Circle