One in a Million

For my found poem I decided to choose the widely controversial song, “One in a Million” by Guns N’ Roses. This song has provoked a large negative audience and caused the band to omit the song from many sets due to racist, homophobic, and anti-immigrant sentiments. The band said they will not change the lyrics because they want to maintain free speech and they believe people are just perceiving their feelings wrong. However, the words from the song, “immigrants and fagots they make no sense to me,” and, “that’s right get outta my way,” strongly suggest a hatred towards immigrants and homosexuals – adding to the controversy surrounding the song.

In my poem I decided to take parts of the lyrics and create a different meaning by turning the words of hatred into an immigrant’s dream of peace. I used the words to tell the story of how many immigrants came in chains (figuratively and literally) and tried to contribute to our country. The words, “we tried / to reach/ you,” are supposed to be the immigrant’s efforts to contribute to a new culture, although they are often underappreciated. To me, the words, “just / one in a million,” can mean an immigrant’s thoughts of surviving and being accepted in the United States. Finally, the end is about the immigrants’ dream of a more peaceful future.


One thought on “One in a Million”

  1. Mikayla,
    I really enjoyed your poem! Growing up on classic rock, I love the music Guns N Roses produced. However, I agree that the lyrics of this song should be changed as the content is racist and homophobic. I liked the concept of taking the lyrics and switching them around to tell the stories of those the song originally oppressed. Taking a song that is not about peace and turning it into a song with the hope for peace is a beautiful concept!

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