Last Updated 16 Apr 2020

First They Killed My Father

Category Essay Examples
Essay type Research
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Song Analysis for First They Killed my Father In Phnom Penh a little girl named Loung and her family had to leave everything behind because of the Khmer Rouge soldiers. Loung Ung wrote a book of her life in Cambodia and three themes for the book are confusion, pain, and hope. This book is called First They Killed My Father and the song I chose that goes with the book is called Gone too soon by Daughtry. For the song I choose three parts from the book. The parts include when Loung had memories of when she was little and was forced to leave her home, when Keav dies and Loung misses her, and finally when Loung loses her mother.

Loung and her family were enjoying their time until the soldiers came and made them leave everything behind and leaving behind happiness, and their rich lives. Loung and her siblings were playing and their mother and father were packing and everyone’s smiles turned into frowns. “Not a day goes by / I’m always asking why” (Daughtry). This is the lyric that I felt matched with this part of the story. “What’s going on? Where is everyone going? Where have you been? (Ung 19). My first element is confusion.

Loung is asking her Ma and Pa all these questions and no one will explain anything, so everyone is confused. Everyone is leaving and walking on foot to places where they don’t know. The area of interaction is approaches to learning because his is where she learns where things will change for now on. However, this is not all the tragedies and emotions that happen. “Today could have been the next day of the rest of your life”(Daughtry). “She is not going to live; she is not going to make it” (Ung 97). Everybody dies, but people in Cambodia would die of sickness, starvation, or die a killed death.

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This part is where Keav is dying from something she ate. Loung Ung and her family are feeling pain. This is the first family member who dies and it is a tragic. She would have never died at such a young if he Khmer Rouge didn’t force all teens to work for soldiers. The area of interaction is health and social. It is health and social because Keav’s health is really bad from starvation and something she ate. This lyric matches with this part of the story by how it explains how Keav could of lived for a very long time.

So far Loung has had memories about how her life first began to get worse, and when her first family died. “Everybody was laughing / instead I just sit here and cry” (Daughtry). “Ma where are you! Ma you can’t do this to me! ( Ung 160) Depression is hard and it can go for a long time especially if you are in Loung’s family. Ma was taken away and Loung was crying and going over everything she went through. The area of interaction is health and social because Loung is dealing with her feelings for her family.

She is longing for everything to be the way it was. This lyric matches this part because she is crying for her life and being hurt while everyone is being normal. This is where the theme is depression. She is always going to be scared for life because of the deaths of Geak, Ma, Pa, and Keav. There is pain, depression, and confusion for the elements in this story. A tragic life for Loung Ung and the struggles she has went through. She may never feel the same way. There are so many songs, and quotes from the book that touch your heart.

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First They Killed My Father. (2016, Dec 29). Retrieved from

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