Dead Men on the Radio


~~In tribute to some of my favorite musicians. RIP. ~~

I heard a dead man on the radio
He was singing about his life
He said he was talking to the Man in the Mirror
He told me it didn’t matter if you’re black or white

I heard a dead man on the radio
He was singing memories of his father from way back when
It was a sad song
He just wanted for his momma to have one more dance with his father again

I heard a dead man on the radio
He sang of champions, his friends, and Killer Queens
I liked when he spoke of dynamite and laser beams
He was a really great entertainer by all means

I heard a dead man on the radio
He spoke of Space Cowboys and Jungle Love
He wanted to Fly Like an Eagle
I imagine he is now flying high in the sky above

I heard a dead man on the radio
He claimed to be free like a bird
He asked me to be a Simple Man
I hung onto every word


Stanza 1: Michael Jackson
Stanza 2: Luther Vandross
Stanza 3: Freddie Mercury (Queen)
Stanza 4: Steve Miller Band
Stanza 5: Lynyrd Skynyrd  

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  1. Haley on April 1, 2020 at 4:14 PM

    This is a super cool concept for poetry! I love that you perfectly referenced these icons without explicitly saying who they were. You also have great music taste.

  2. Kayelynn on April 13, 2020 at 5:11 PM

    Dear MH,

    Love this poem! For me, this poem highlights how music can affect us emotionally for however long a song goes on. The poem also highlights how impactful an entertainer can be, which I took from your last line. Your writing voice is authentic and clear. I can’t wait to see more writing from you in the future!

  3. Gabriella on April 23, 2020 at 12:06 AM

    I think this is a beautiful tribute to these singers. I’ve listened to a few of them before, but I don’t think I actually heard what they were trying to say in their lyrics and music. This poem makes me want to listen to their music once more and find those messages that you did.

  4. Jordan C on March 31, 2021 at 6:34 PM

    MH, I really enjoyed this poem. You represented these musicians and their work in such a great way, and the way it’s written is excellent. Definitely makes me want to listen closer to the songs on the radio!

  5. Emily H on April 16, 2021 at 5:16 PM

    Hi MH, my name is Emily and I go to college in Detroit. I came across this website for one of my classes in which we use service and community to engage in things besides our university and other major corporations. I think the poem greatly showed off your taste in music. The artists that I recognized in your list, I could pick up on right away and knew exactly who you were talking about. I loved how you gave a little clue into who each person is using lines or titles from their songs that could tell us who they were without physically telling us. I think it was great to start each stanza off the same because even though you featured different artists, it brought the whole piece together. I thought your voice was clear and I enjoyed how you ended your poem. I hope you post more of your work because it’s a great read and entertaining.

  6. Daphne on April 20, 2021 at 3:45 PM

    Your poem is lovely. It reads really nicely, and it really shows how you’ve connected with the songs of each artist you talked about. The poem itself is somewhat musical and has a fantastic rhythm.
    Music is such an important part of every person, and you really make me want to listen to the songs you’re referencing to try and see what you see in them. Thank you for sharing, your writing is beautiful.

  7. Emily H on April 29, 2021 at 11:50 PM

    Hi MH! My name is Emily, and I attend school in Detroit. I came across this website from one of my English classes in which we incorporate service and community into the curriculum. I really enjoyed reading your poem. It was interesting to see how you describe each of the dead men on the radio. I could pick up on some of the people so easily before I even looked at the key at the end. It was great to see how some of these musical talents have affected you. The way that you started each stanza with “I heard a dead man on the radio” really tied everything together. The poem flowed nicely and was written very well. Thank you for sharing your musical taste and giving us a glimpse of what you enjoy in life!

  8. Reilly on May 5, 2021 at 11:37 AM

    Wow! What a wonderful poem and tribute to these artists. Music impacts us all immensely, and I think you did a wonderful job portraying how it has impacted you through your writing. Great job!

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