Notes On… Series

by Alan W. Pollack
In 1989 the American musicologist Alan W. Pollack started to analyze the songs of the Beatles. He published his first results on internet. In 1991 — after he had finished the work on 28 songs — he bravely decided to do the whole lot of them. About ten years later, in 2000 he completed the analysis of the official Beatles' canon, consisting of 187 songs and 25 covers. Copyright © 1989-2001 by Alan W. Pollack. All Rights Reserved. This article may be reproduced, retransmitted, redistributed and otherwise propagated at will, provided that this notice remains intact and in place. These song analyses were published on The 'Official' Home Page. In case you want to quote these pages, please refer to the original sources. So for Pollack's remarks on “Free As A Bird” refer to: Pollack, Alan W. (1995), Notes on “Free As A Bird”. Notes on ... Series no. 194, 1995. The 'Official' Home Page ( How The Songs Are Arranged The first 28 song analyses (1-28). Pollack started his series with a selection of songs from the Beatles' songbook. Looking at these songs, Pollack concentrates on the central elements and characteristics of the musical idiom of the 'Fab Four'. Next to insightful analyses, this series offers a short course in the necessary musicological concepts. Beatlemania (1962-1964) (29-64). In their first years as song writers and performers, the Beatles developed their own style of popular music out of the roots of American rock 'n' roll and rhythm and blues. Here Pollack analyses the peculiarities of these early Beatles' songs. This series of 36 pieces includes the first singles and songs on the albums Please Please Me, With The Beatles, A Hard Days Night, and Beatles For Sale. Becoming artists (1965-1966) (65-103). In the middle of the sixties rock musicians began to see themselves as artists. The Beatles stood at the front of this movement, treating their music as an artistic expression of their emotions and a serious reflection of their feelings. As a result, growing further away from their musical roots, the songs on the albums Help!, Rubber Soul and Revolver show a growing independency of style. The studio years (1967-1968) (104-160). From 1967 on the Beatles operated as a studio group. A number of themes and techniques, Pollack writes, which appear with gathering momentum on their earlier albums and singles now can be seen to converge and blossom fully forth during this psychedelic musical season on albums like Sgt. Pepper's, Magical Mystery Tour, the White Album and Yellow Submarine Get back (1969-1970) (161-195). In their last years as a recording group the final split of the group slowly becomes visible in the growing number of solo projects. As an antidote in January 1969 the Beatles initiated their Get Back project at the Twickenham Film Studios in London. Some of the results of this tribute to their roots are collected on the last albums Abbey Road and Let It Be. To his analyses of these songs Pollack adds his views on the two original songs on the recent Anthology CD's.

The First 28 Songs
Pollack started his series with choosing 28 songs more or less arbitrarily from the songbook of the Beatles. These articles are especially interesting, because Pollack spices his analyses with some lucid explanations of his musicological insights and knowledge. If you are unknown in musicological territory, the best you can do is to read these pieces in numerical order. You'll find the index here down below. From the left to the right in the columns you'll see Pollack's number of the song, the title of the song, the year of publication and the number of the song in Ian MacDonald's book Revolution in the Head, as this last book gives some usefull information for those who want to know more about it than just the musicological aspects.

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We Can Work It Out
Key: Meter: Form: D Major 4/4 Verse – Verse – Bridge – Verse – Bridge – Verse – Outro (with complete ending)

General Points Of Interest
Style and Form
We begin our studies of the Beatles' songs with an example chosen on purpose roughly from the middle of the catalog; it's having been released as one side of a “double A” single together with “Day Tripper” on the same day as the Rubber Soul album. We'll discover that “We Can Work It Out” is a deceptively simple example of just how innovative the Boys could be within the framework of what on the surface is just a 2:10 pop single from what we would later knowingly look back on as a prime nodal point of their songwriting career. The form is one of small number of standard pop song models. Let's call it the “double bridge with single verse intervening.” Over the long run it's one that the Beatles would use often, though I suspect the lack of an intro and inclusion of a complete ending are somewhat unusual variations on the model; at least in terms of pop music in general, if not the Beatles themselves. A close cousin of this form is the variation where two verses intervene between the bridges, the second of which is often an instrumental solo. In both cases, the doubling up of the verses before the first bridge and the single verse trailing the second bridge works very well. If you omit the repeat at the beginning you feel rushed into the bridge. If you double up at the end, the whole thing starts to drag. Unique lyrics are provided here for the first 3 of the 4 verses; the 4th is an identical repeat of the 3rd. Even so, two of the three variations cleverly use a common framework of “Try to see/while you see” for their first and third lines.

Melody and Harmony
The melody of the song is “appoggiatura” intensive; (i.e. this is a technical term defined as follows: “a ‘leaning note’, normally one step above the main note. It usually creates a dissonance in the harmony and resolves by step on to the main note on the following weak beat.” Grove Dictionary, quoted without permission.) Combined with rhythmic syncopation and a tendency to hammer away on the same note for several syllables at a time, these leaning tones give the song a persuasively insistent edge. A couple of highlighted lyric fragments to show where these babies are: Think of what I'm saying We can work it out. We can work it ou-ut. ... and there's no ti-i-i-i--ime for fussing and fight -ing my friend The choice of keys and chord progressions here is straightforward compared many another Beatles song; no tricky chromatic progressions (e.g., “Help!” intro) nor remote modulations (e.g., “You're Gonna Lose that Girl” midsection). The verses are in D major and the bridge is in b minor, the “relative minor” of D; pretty standard. The opening phrase relies on the modal flat-VIII chord (C Major) in order to establish the home key instead of the "V" (A major) chord. The latter doesn't make an appearance until the very end of the verse section. The verse and refrain have different harmonic shapes. The verse is open ended in that it procedes from the tonic eventually to the dominant chord which ultimately wants resolution: I -> flat-VII-> I-> IV-> V. When it

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flows into the refrain, it's with a “deceptive cadence” (technical term used to describe the situation where you get a different chord than you expected) to the b-minor (vi). It's this hanging dominant chord which requires the brief outro to tie things up neatly. The bridge has an harmonic shape completely closed off but in its contrasting key. This closed-ness is part of why the return to the original key seems somewhat abrupt; of course the rhythm (see below) plays a part in that too.

The basic backing consists of acoustic rhythm guitar, bass guitar, drums and tambourine, onto which are superimposed a part for harmonium and the vocals. The appogiatura motif is followed through on the backing track. On the incomplete non-vocal take 1 you can hear a lot of leaning tones in the top line of the rhythm guitar. It even carries through to the final melodic riff of the outro. Perhaps the best example (and also one of the highlights of the entire song) is in the bridge where the harmonium sustains the note B-natural through a change of chord from b-minor, to G major (where it belongs) and continues to hold it through the shift down to F# Major before letting it fall finally to A#. Again, the take 2 we're privileged to have with the forward-mixed harmonium really underscores it. For the verses Paul sings a double (triple?) tracked solo lead. In the bridges he's joined in parallel thirds by John.

Section By Section Walkthrough
Here's where things really get interesting! Compared to other songs (e.g. “Can't Buy Me Love”) where the phrases are all 4-measures long and come in 16 measure sections of 4-times-4, this song does some fancy things. The verses are indeed 16 measures long but are divided into three phrases in a 6+6+4 AAB pattern. This lends them a bit of a free-verse quality in spite of the underlying steady 4/4 rhythm.
----------------------- 2X ---------------------|D |- 9-> 8|- |- 9 |C 3-> 2 |D | I flat VII I


|G 9-> 8|D IV I IV

|G 9-> 8|A V


The melodic leaning tones add several harmonic disonances I've notated above. The most interesting one is the way the appgogiatura 9th (E) in measure 4 is not allowed to resolve until the next measure where its resolution note (D) is now become a dissonance over the new chord change. A precious Beatles “detail” moment: in the lone middle verse, they throw in a syncopated dotted rhythm into the final measure of the second iteration of the first phrase above. It's the only place in the song where it happens. In consequence, you wind up feeling as if they're winking at you when, in the same measure of the final verse, they blithely play even quarter notes with a casual vengeance.

The bridge indeed contains only 4 measure phrases but these are organized into a 12 measure section of 3-times-4 which is repeated to make the overall bridge length 24 measure:

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D: b:

|b vi i





|G |- 6->5 VI V

|F# 4->

|- 3



|b 4->3 i vi





The asymmetry of the this three line bridge is effectively underscored by the shift to the “3/4 oom-pah-pah” rhythm in the third phrase. This rhythmic shift is interesting in that it is done without changing the tempo. The length of a measure remains the same except it is suddenly filled for one phrase with 3 beats instead of four; a sort of time warp. When the verse returns after this it sounds faster but isn't really! Another characteristic detail: the way in which the slow triplets are articulated by tambourine and harmonium only; no drums, because the latter would be overkill. This type of slow triplet is something we'll discover to be a favorite of John's over the long run. They tend to connote a kind of rhetorical emphasis not at all disimilar from Macca's hammered leaning tones. A good precedent setting example of slow triplets that the Beatles surely would have been familiar with is the in final refrain of Buddy Holly's “That'll Be The Day.” Again there is harmonic dissonance created by melodic leaning tones which I've notated.

The outro is a four measure extension of the final verse:
|D I |G 6/4 (IV?) |D 5/3 I ||

The cadence sounds plagal, with the G chord in the second measure sounding like G Major in the second ("6/4") inversion. You'll get used to me asking you to think of that G chord as neighbor tone motion in the upper voices, rather than a true root chord change. This brief little outro makes for an ingeniously unifying effect. The tune, chords, and backing texture feel on the one hand as though derived from the verse, but the slow triplets are clearly an allusion to the bridge. The finished track does a neat fade down on the final chord. The unprocessed, rough take 2 mix betrays a long-sustained and ultimately frayed end.

Some Final Thoughts
There's still more one could say but I think I've overdone it here plenty for one day; is there anyone I haven't alienated? WARNING: this can (and most certainly will) become part of a series if you don't watch out.
“They tried to fob you off on this musical charlatan, but *I* gave him the test.” 021300#1.1

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Eight Days a Week
Key: Meter: Form: D Major 4/4 Intro – Verse – Verse – Bridge – Verse – Bridge – Verse – Outro (with complete ending)

General Points Of Interest
Style and Form
I'm going to ease my way into this series gradually. At some point I'll bite the bullet and start covering the songs more or less in chronological order from the beginning, but for now, I'm content to browse the catalog more randomly, picking out favorite songs that illustrate particularly well one or another of the technical or stylistic hallmarks and mannerisms which characterize the Beatles sound over the long run. Last time, with “We Can Work It Out”, we pulled apart an apparently unassuming mid-career single to discover uneven phrasing, and a shift of meter at its core. This time, we'll step back even a bit earlier in the catalog to look most closely at chord progressions and the details of an arrangement. In particular, we'll discover how the harmony of “Eight Days A Week” is built out of a wonderfully teasing exploitation of the special effect called a “false (or “cross”) relation”. This harmonic idiom is used quite a bit throughout the Beatles' output and I think that “Eight Days A Week” provides an object lesson worth exploring. In terms of form, we have another double bridge with single intervening verse. The lyrics are on the light side in terms of content in spite of the characteristic cleverness of the title phrase. The four verses all end with the hook phrase, and verse pairs 1/3 and 2/4 respectively contain the same opening couplet. The one complete outtake and couple of fragments of “Eight Days A Week” on Anthology 1 reveal the following: • • • • • Using the opening verse chord progression for the intro/outro was already in place, but the scoring lacks the driving triplets. Similarly, the “pedal point” for the intro/outro was originally planned for the vocals rather than the bass line. The chords are played in root position in the outtakes but the top vocal line sustains F# through all four chords creating the interesting free dissonance of E9 and G#7 in the process. When Paul is not harmonizing with John's lead vocal he's singing it with him in unison. The specific content of the backing vocals and their exact placement is different from the official version. The title phrase at the end of each verse is given an outrageous falsetto flip, an idea abandoned, alas. There's a small snippet of characteristic studio banter, with Paul dissing John in a “funny voice” that if something in the next take doesn't come out just right it'll be just “too bad.”

False Relation, Defined A false-relation is nothing more than a chromatic contradiction between two notes in a single chord or in different parts of adjacent chords. Within the confines of academic tonal theory this is considered a “syntax error” but it has been used throughout the ages by composers for expressive effect; a sort of a musical poetic license. As my one sentence definition above implies, false-relation come in two flavors; both are well loved by the Beatles and I'll cite examples of each though only the second flavor is of concern in “Eight Days A Week”: 1. Contradiction between two notes in one chord -- the manifestation of this seen most frequently is the simultaneous use of the major and minor 3rd in a chord; this is one of the factors which makes the blues sound, well, bluesy. A Beatle example off the top of the head is “The Night Before”; the accompaniment

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is clearly in D major (which uses F#) while the melody repeatedly incorporates the F-natural of the minor mode. 2. Contradiction between adjacent chords – this is the more subtle of the two flavors because the ear picks it up only by following the succession of two chords over time, whereas the flavor #1 above involves an outright, instantaneous clash. As we'll see, the pervasive application of this effect provides a unifying influence on “Eight Days A Week”. False-relations appear in both the verse and refrain of “Eight Days A Week”. The song is in D-major and the false-relation in each case involves G-natural and G#; note that The G-natural has a melodic tendency to fall to F# and the G# has the tendency toward A-natural.

Melody and Harmony
The tune throughout stays within a relatively tight range of a 6th; from B up through G. The individual phrases manage some reasonably interesting melodic contour, but the restricted range is hard to avoid noticing; indeed, does it perhaps have the side effect of nudging you to pay more attention to the chord changes? A medium-large group of six chords are used in the song: I, ii, IV, V, vi, and V-of-V.

“Eight Days A Week” provides a fine object lesson in the Beatles art and science of production values; demonstrating an amazing attention to detail in general, and the use of texture changes to help articulate form. The backing track contains electric, acoustic, and bass guitars, plus drum kit and hand clapping. John double tracks the lead vocal and gets strategically placed flashes of backing from Paul.

Section By Section Walkthrough
The four measure intro turns out to be none other than what you'll quickly find out is the 'A' phrase of the verse, performed here over a pedal point of D; a technique reminiscent of many a prelude-style movement of one JS Bach. The intro is faded in, scored without snare drums and sizzling cymbals in the drum kit, and with the bass line pedal pounded out in seemingly difficult-to-sustain rapid triplets. Other than the outro which is essentially a verbatim repeat of this section, that triplet figure appears nowhere else on the entire track. The combined effect is one of building momentum that is allowed to crest on the downbeat of the first verse, at which point (you should not think it a random event) the drum kit DOES enter together with the lead vocal.

The verse is a four-square (4 * 4) 16 measures long, with a musical phrasing pattern of AABA':
------------------------------ 2X ------------------------------(uses G#) (uses G-natural) |D |E |G |D | I V-of-V IV I


|b vi

(uses G-natural) |e |b ii6/3


(uses G#) |E | V-of-V

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|D I

|E V-of-V


|D I


The A phrases are harmonically closed; the B phrase is a classic harmonically transitional shape, both starting and ending away from the home key. The harmonic rhythm is brisk yet even-paced. Every phrase of this section contains a cross-relation. The one in the A phrase is particularly subtle because the G# in second chord appears in a middle voice while the G-natural in the following chord is in the outer voices. In the B phrase the false-relation does not happen between immediately adjacent chords. But I still think you pick up on the G#/G-natural contrast created by the alternation of the e minor and E Major chords. I would argue that the false-relation is especially emphasized in this phrase by the fact that the E-minor chord appears in its first inversion with the G-natural in the bass line! Watch the arrangement: • • • • • Hand claps appear on beats 2 and 4 of the measure in all three A phrases along with drum kit thrashing of a particularly sizzling nature, typical of the early Beatles sound. For the B phrase the hand claps adopt a snapping dotted rhythm, and the drum kit completely drops out. John sings the lead vocal throughout and is always joined in harmony on the title phrase when it appears at the end of the verse. Paul also harmonizes on the B phrase of only the second and fourth verse. There's no way you'll convince me that kind of detail was ever left to chance by them. On the other hand, I'm willing to imagine that John's election to melissmatically moan in only the 3rd verse may have originated more spontaneously.

In spite of its starting off with a clear declamation of the title phrase, I call the middle section here a bridge rather than a refrain because its harmonic shape is so open ended. The bridge makes a double-edged contrast to the verses; with the phrase lengths shortened in half while the harmonic rhythm is lengthened. The bridge is eight measures long, built out of four short phrases that make an ABA'C pattern:
|A V (uses G#) |E V-of-V ||b vi ||`



(uses G-natural) |A7 IV V


The bridge again contains a cross-relation, but our interest in this section should be more on the V chord. “Eight Days A Week” makes very spare use of the dominant chord ("V"), and even when it does appear it doesn't always behave as you might expect. The V chord's first appearance is delayed all the way until the downbeat of the bridge. It doesn't make any appearance in the verse, which is a particular tease in that the E-Major chord ("V-of-V") would seem to prompt for it. The first appearance of the V chord at the beginning of the refrain resolves “deceptively” to the vi chord instead of the tonic (I). The V-of-V in the second part of the refrain finally moves to the V itself but by way of the false-relation-inducing IV chord.

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The return of the verse following the refrain, then, is the only place in the song that we have a garden variety V->I ("full") cadence. In other words, the verses by themselves rely on the IV->I (so-called Plagal cadence) to establish the key. Again, watch the arrangement: • • • Drum kit (as well as most of the backing track) conspicuously drops out for measures 3 and 4 of the bridge but plays for the rest of it. Hand claps are “supposed” to sit the entire bridge out, but you'll notice an uncharacteristically sloppy couple claps mistakenly performed in the first couple measures of the first bridge. Paul's harmonizing all the way through the bridge is particularly stunning, and the latter's a word I try not to over-use. I hope I've got the following properly transcribed by ear:
Eight days a week E E F# E A A B A Eight days a week E E F# E G# G# A G# I D A is D B lo- o- o- o- ove you E D E D E D B B A B A B A F# not enough to show I care E D E D E E G B B B B C# C# E

Paul John

Paul John

The vocal harmonization of the first half of the bridge is in parallel 5ths for the title phrase followed by parallel 4ths for the remainder, on the unusual melissma (the only one of its kind in the song). Most clever of all is how the second half shifts to less shocking parallel 6ths and 3rds for the most part, but still exposes that same open 4th (E/B) we heard in the second half of the first line in a couple places in the second half of the second line. Note how the context differs in the second case: the top note of the fourth (E) resolves downward, appoggiatura-style over the B that is sustained beneath it. Thus, in the second case, instead of parallel 5ths we get a momentary flash of the Beatles much beloved added-6th chord (on G).

The outro evolves out of the final verse, with “three times you're out” reprise of the final phrase. The latter is a well-established, venerable pop music cliche of which we'll see no small amount of in the rest of the Beatles songbook. I'm not sure yet whether this is a matter of laziness, true fondness for the gambit per se, or merely a side-effect of their manifest preference for complete endings over fadeouts. The final part of the outro is musically identical to the intro but the decision to neither repeat the fade in, or even worse to change it into a truly symmetrical fadeout, is a good example of avoiding foolish consistency.

Some Final Thoughts
Lest any of you think I'm some dessicated pedant who derives no joy from actually listening to the music let me share with you: I was in 11th grade when this song first came out. In those days I was a regular little Schroderfrom-the-Peanuts-cartoon who was heavy into classical music and eschewed virtually all popular music. To make a long story short, I can still remember (and experience) the hair on the back of my neck standing up when I hear(d) those parallel 5ths/4ths in the bridge for the first time. So there :-). By the way, I assume a certain basic knowledge of musical notation and theory in these articles.
“They tried to fob you off on this musical charlatan, but *I* gave him the test.”022700#2.2

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And I Love Her
Key: Meter: Form: E Major/c# minor – F Major/d minor 4/4 Intro – Verse – Verse – Bridge – Verse – Verse (instrumental) – Verse – Outro (with complete ending)

General Points Of Interest
Style and Form
With “And I Love Her” we move still earlier in the songbook to the first of Macca's unabashed original love songs to be released, and an equally early example of a kind of Major/minor key harmonic twist that emerges as a much favored stylistic technique of their's over the long run. Indeed, the plaintive bittersweetness of “And I Love Her” derives in large measure from it's tonal ambiguity; is it in a Major or minor key? The song continually flip-flops back and forth between a minor key (c#-minor) and its relative Major (EMajor). Another major point of interest (and source of ambiguity) in this song is that it makes a delicious modulation up one-half step at the beginning of the guitar break, but more on that later. The form is unusual: one bridge, only, with 2 verses preceding and 3 verses following; and the middle verse of the final three scored for guitar solo. The first three of the four verses set to words feature different lyrics in a verbal pattern of “I”, “She”, “the stars.” The final verse repeats the “stars” lyric. The alternate version released on Anthology 1 features the following major differences: • • • • The form does not contain the familiar intro, outro, or bridge. The string of 3 verses precedes the guitar solo. The backing track is the more standard electric guitar trio plus full drum set, making the whole thing feel much less gentle even though the tempo is very close to that of the official version. The introductory hook for lead guitar is not in evidence.

Major/minor Relatives, Modulations, and Pivot Chords Defined Technical Background Mode ON Major and minor keys are said to be mutual “relatives” then they share the same key signature. (e.g., C major/a minor, F major/d minor etc.). Implicit in the sharing of a key signature is the fact that they share the same chords, although each chord has a different harmonic/grammatical meaning (i.e., crudely put, a different Roman numeral) depending on which mode you're in. For example, in the pair of keys C major/a minor, the d minor triad is common to both but it's the II chord of C and the IV chord of A. The ample selection of common chords in this situation makes it very easy to modulate between the two keys. Such chords are called “pivot” chords when they're used to effect a smooth modulation from one key to another. In terms of aural perception, one experiences such a chord initially in the old key, but within the following two chords, one retrospectively hears it as part of the new key; a kind of harmonic pun. Technical Background Mode OFF

Melody and Harmony
The verse tune is shot through with McCartneyesque appogiaturas and has the melodic contour of a sophisticated sine curve; the first three phrases reiterate an upward trajectory from mid range, with the final two phrases picking up at the top, traveling all the way down to a low point roughly symmetrical to the earlier peak, finally tying

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things up right back around the mid point. The bridge tune, by contrast, features a triadic pattern in fixed range. The six chords common between E Major and c# minor are the primary harmonic vocabulary: E, f#, g#, A, B, and c#.

The conspicuously sparse backing track contains acoustic lead and rhythm guitars, electric bass, and in the percussion department nothing more than the gentle tapping of claves (small cylindrical wood blocks). Paul's lead vocal is double tracked throughout. There are no backing voices. Resting “on one” becomes a subtle motif for the song; both the opening guitar hook as well as every single one of the vocal phrases begins with a rest on the first or third beat of the measure. Other details in the arrangement: • • • The intro/outro guitar hook appears only in verses 1 and 3. The delicate arpeggio figure that appears throughout verse 2 is delayed a couple measures from entering in verses 3 and 5. The bridge features prominent, slow strumming of rhythm guitar chords on the downbeat. The same gesture reappears for the final chord.

Section By Section Walkthrough
The four-measure intro repeats the following progression of two chords. I think one hears it as a “weak” (i.e. nondominant, not even Plagal) cadence toward the Major:
------------------------------- 2X -----------------------------|f# ||E || ii I


I won't dwell on it, but starting on a non-I chord in this context is itself ambiguous. Think about it: if you stop the song after the first chord, what key would you think you were in? The guitar lands with the note C# on the downbeat of each chord change. In the case of f# minor, that note is part of the chord, but in the case of E Major, that C# turns the chord into an added 6th; strange shades of “She Loves You.”

The verse is an unusual 10 measures long and is built out of 5 short phrases in a pattern of AA'ABC:
E: c#: |f# |c# ii iv i |f# iv |c# i |f# iv |c# i |A IV |B V VI |

|E E: I



Coming off of the intro we think we're in the key of E major, but as soon as the verse begins we find that the f#minor chord moves to the c#-minor chord in a IV ->I (Plagal) cadence; this is repeated three times and I think one gets the definite sensation of being grounded in the relative minor. And yet, in the last line of the verse we move

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from the c# minor chord to a straightforward IV -> V -> I cadence right back into E major again. All this goes down quite smoothly because of the pivots which are schematically shown above.

The bridge is a four-square 8 measures long with a phrasing pattern of ABBC:
E: |c# |B vi V |c# vi |g# iii |c# vi |g# iii |B V ||

Both verse and bridge have similar patterns of harmonic rhythm; steady throughout but with the final chord sustained for two measures. The contour of the chord progression in this bridge closely echoes that of the verse; down a step, back up, down a fourth, etc. I don't believe that the composer actually sits there and conceptualizes this, but I also don't believe it's a random coincidence, and it does provide a source of subliminal unity. The harmonic shape converges on the V chord of the Major key, but the direction is unsettled up until that point; with the c# chord of the relative minor filling three of the eight measures, and the music threatening even to modulate to the unusual key of g#. The transition from this bridge to the verse that follows provides yet another harmonic tease with the V chord denied an immediate resolution to E Major, with the next verse leading off, as usual, with its Plagal cadence in the key of the relative minor.

Guitar Solo
Instead of a repeat of the bridge, we get a verse-worth's of guitar solo. But not so fast – in the instant in which the guitar solo commences, the music neatly modulates up one half step; if the original key pair was E/c#, we're now in F/d; from the world of 4 sharps to one of one flat. While such upshifts for later verses have been a staple of the 2-minute love song since the fifties, this one is unusual because the first chord in the new key is its IV chord. It's a real attention grabber because it contains no notes in common with the previous key. In this specific case, we're talking about a g minor chord (g-b-flat-d) plunked down in a neighborhood of 4 sharps! A sort of triple cross relation. Once we get a few bars further and the new tonal plane is established it's no big deal in retrospect; you'd have to listen to the song several times in a loop to necessarily notice that you've ended up higher. Nonetheless, the moment of impact of that g triad is special. If I got away with calling the “We Can Work It Out” refrain a time warp, then this one is the harmonic equivalent.

There is one final verse following the solo in which everything is as before except that the music is transposed a half tone higher, followed by an outro very similar to the introduction with one critical difference:
F: d: |g ii ||F I ||g |ii iv |D *Major*|I#3 |

The song ends ironically on the Major flavor of the relative minor; I would half expect the sheet music to contain a smiley emoticon at the end. This gambit has been around since the Baroque period in which it was considered dissonant to end on a minor chord so many pieces in minor keys ended in those days in this manner – the fancy term for this is the Piccardy Third, no kidding.)

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Some Final Thoughts
So What's the Answer ? Which relative key is the song in; Major or minor? Consider the evidence: • • • • • • • The intro is in the Major. The verse is in the minor for more than half its length yet always shifts to the Major at the end. The bridge equivocates at first, then comes around to the Major, only to go right into another verse with its predominant minor opening. There is only one bridge section, but there are 5 verses including the guitar solo. The upshift modulation is irrelevant to the Major/Minor question and was added in to relieve what otherwise would have been a tedium of too many verses in a row without break. The outro, while ending on the root of the Minor, is nonetheless a Major chord. On the one hand, if you tally the total number of measures appearing in minor-versus-Major keys, then minor wins out. On the other hand, the Major key is clearly established repeatedly by the strong IV-V-I cadences, whereas the V chord of the minor key appears nowhere at all.

If you insist on my making a binary decision, I'd hesitantly give it to the minor key “on points” (like a boxing match), but it's kind of moot; I myself was recently willing to actually reverse this standing opinion of more than 10 years in order to give it to the Major key Don't be fooled or confused. It's the ambiguity per se here that is germane. Uncannily, the opening song of Robert Schumann's (1810 - 1856) Dichterliebe (Poet's Love) has a very similar tonal design to “And I Love Her”. Schumann's song is called “Im Wunderschoenen Monat Mai” (In the wonderfully-beautiful month of May ..). Schumann's song also creates an overall feeling of being in the relative minor key, even though there is no full cadence ever made to the minor key (its V is always left hanging), and his verse section immediately moves to a full cadence in the relative Major. Instead of a Piccardy 3rd ending, Schumann ends the song on V7 of the relative minor; a ballsey move for mid-19th century. Anyway, if it's good enough for Robert Schumann ...
“They tried to fob you off on this musical charlatan, but I gave him the test.” 030800#3.3

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Day Tripper
Key: Meter: Form: E Major 4/4 Intro – Verse – Verse – Bridge – Verse – Outro (fadeout)

General Points Of Interest
Style and Form
“Day Tripper”, by virtue of its handling of harmonic rhythm, ostinato guitar riff, and subtle textures in scoring, is remarkably instrumental, even orchestral in gesture for a “pop song.” There are also several noteworthy examples here of one of a composer's trade secrets; i.e., avoid rote (read: foolish) consistency even when conveying homogeneity. Yeah, I know that Len and Mac were quoted in a 1966 interview that this was a “forced” bit of a pot-boiler, crafted under pressure of looming deadlines. You'd never guess it from the finished product. The song has a somewhat compact form by virtue of its single bridge. It is more typical of songs of this period to repeat the bridge/verse one more time but, as we'll see later on, the nature of the bridge here argues strongly against that. The bridge has no “words” per se, but all three verses feature new material. Note the avoidance of foolish consistency in the switch to “Sunday driver” for the final verse. This is the first time in this series that we come upon a Beatles song that bears the signature of an unforgettable guitar riff used to both open and unify the whole production. Like most other musical devices we'll come upon in our studies, this kind of branding-by-riff may not be something the Beatles necessarily “invented,” but there's no denying that it is one of several techniques by which they would be known. Some terms defined • “Harmonic rhythm” is the rhythm articulated by the chord changes in a piece of music. It affects one's perception of the speed at which the music moves forward more so than the actual tempo. For example, a piece with a fast beat and many sixteenth notes in the foreground will still feel lumbering if the chords change infrequently. The same is true in reverse. Furthermore, harmonic rhythm can be manipulated to lend a passage a feeling of acceleration and climax, or conversely, a feeling of relaxation. DT conspicuously manipulates harmonic rhythm to dramatic effect. “Ostinato” is the term applied to the repetition of a musical pattern several times in succession. While such a pattern is often part of a bassline, it may also appear as part of an upper melodic line; it may even manifest itself as a chord progression or rhythmic pattern. DT's ostinato riff is among the most memorable of the entire Beatles catalogue.

Melody and Harmony
The melodic material is less tuneful than it is rap-like and jagged in terms of both contour and rhythmic syncopation. Most of the phrases, outside of the bridge, make an overall downward gesture. The familiar I-IV-V trio of blues chords is supplemented by an equal number of altered chords, not indigenous to the home key: V-ofV (F#), V-of-vi (G#), and Major VI in a Major key (C#); the latter being the parallel Major version of the home key's relative minor. Think of the chords from another perspective: there's not a minor chord in the bunch. Rather you have here the Major chords built on the first six scales degrees of the home key's scale.

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The raw backing track is for bass, lead, and rhythm guitars, plus drums. Tambourine was added during the overdubbing phase. Paul would appear to have the honor of singing double tracked lead vocal, with John harmonizing with him much of the way.

Section By Section Walkthrough
The song starts off with an unusually long intro consisting of no less than five repetitions of the ostinato riff, during which the instrumental texture is continually thickened; first with just double-tracked guitar, second with bass guitar added, third with rhythm guitar and tambourine added, nothing changed in the fourth repeat, and finally those terrific drums and cymbals coming in on the fifth repeat. The lack of change in the fourth repeat is the second example here of an avoidance of foolish consistency. An obsessive detail to look for in the arrangement: the tambourine in its accompaniment of the riff is double tracked only for its first two ostinato frames; with a the more familiar offbeat (2 and 4) shots backed there by a unique piece of eighth-note shaking. Taking a cue from Paul's count-in (as can be heard on the unreleased session tapes), note that the tempo in one sense is quite fast, but the static harmony and the outspread arch of the ostinato itself (each repeat fills two complete 4/4 measures) are in stark contrast to the underlying beat. To sum up, we have ten full measures which consist harmonically of nothing more than a prolongation of the E (I) chord. The effect is far from boring. The thickening texture builds anticipation, plus, the verse commences unexpectedly following an odd (actually prime) number of repetitions, catching us by surprise. In comparison, four repeats would be simply too four-square, and six or more would make it all too long; think the song through in your head with these variations and notice the difference. The melodic shape of the ostinato and its syncopated rhythm are worthy of their own discussion, as is the manner in which the syncopations of the sung lyrics contrast with it:

|1 |E

& -

2 -

& 3 & 4 & |1 Fx G# B E D (Fx = f double sharp)

& -

2 B

& F#

3 -

& B

4 D

& E


Paradoxically, the riff has both the overall shape of a non-symmetrical rising arch whose descent does not completely balance out its ascent, yet it makes an impression of upward bound saw tooth angularity; note particularly the way it drops a full octave in the space of a single eighth note whenever it repeats. Harmonically it outlines a bluesy I9 chord (with the flat 7th!). Rhythmically, it places hard syncopations on the eighth note preceding both the first and third beat of the second measure, while its final three eighth notes provide momentum that effectively leads into the repeat.

The verse is a standard 16 measures, alright, but the harmonic rhythm and the progression of the chords are unusual:

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to the extent that they repeat the same lyrics over eight measures worth of I . I don't want to digress here but some points worthy of further study in this verse: • • The ostinato appears in only the first eight measures of the verse. and before doing so. a chord which badly wants resolution to the V. if you are unequipped to do so. An interesting exercise would be to write out the composite rhythm of the two lines. the verse still has trouble getting harmonically off the dime. after a ten measure introduction consisting of one chord. The different though complementary pinpoints of syncopation between the bass and the voice parts are also noteworthy. no less. Not only is this V-of-V prolonged per se. The chord progression in the last eight measures also underscores the lyrics' description of being teased and strung along. The third phrase hangs back again on a single chord. albeit indirect. cross relation with the E# of the C# chord two measures earlier. try this – concentrate hard in listening and try to hear that composite rhythm: • Page 15 . The ostinato which is flowing and arch-shaped stands in sharp contrast to the voice parts which are jagged and downward in gesture. The first eight measures of this verse are quite bluesy. Incidentally. in the fourth four we get a change of chord in each measure providing long awaited kinetic relief. have you tried singing this song in the shower lately? I believe that this is one of two major factors which create the overall instrumental flavor to the song. it provides a pungent. The choice of chord for the third four is the V-of-V. but it is not allowed to resolve properly until all the way at the end of the following four measures. Again. Finally. another example of homongeneity without foolish consistency. when the ostinato on E returns following the verse.|E E: I |- |- |- | |A IV |- |E I |- | |F# |V-of-V |- |- | |A IV c#: VI V |G# I#3 |C# VI VII |B V |E I |- |- |- | The harmonic rhythm effectively mirrors the deferred gratification described by the lyrics. but the arpeggio quality of the ostinato continues in the bass line even when the ostinato itself isn't present. particularly without the underlying chords to keep you oriented.IV . The long sustained chord of the first four bars is followed by only one change during the second four. we have an intervening flirtation toward the key of the relative minor (appearing in Major mode. The melody of the voice parts is very difficult to sing. which makes it sound even more remote than it really is).I.

to rebuild suspense and slow the pace of the game because of whatever momentum is picked up in those last four measures of the first verse.e. and 1 measures respectively. they coincide only on 4& and in alternate lines Measure 2: • • Ostinato puts accents on 2& and 3& .e. switching back to the offbeats for the second half of it. Rather than continue to slavishly reflect the lyrics. but you've got to remember that in its time. then switches to all 4 beats for the rest of it. the breathing literally gets heavier. but he does this in all 3 verses. it's fairly obvious that a second repeat of this bridge within the same song would create an absurd anti-climax.” (Sorry for the sophomoric vulgarity. The prolongation of a single chord serves a very different purpose here from that of the introduction.Vocal puts the accent on 1& (“yeah”) and 4& (“For”) . I believe it is this bridge which is the second major factor behind the instrumental feel of the overall song. Imagine the song without them and see how the second verse feels like the music is starting to hurtle. All this is very strange for the genre and the time period. Bridge Right off. Schematically: Page 16 . it's built on a prolongation of a single chord (B. look at one specific detail: the breathing/phrasing of the voices in the second six of the bridge. Oy!) Given all of this. These six measures are sung in three phrases of 3. very reminsicent of the transition from end-of-development-to-recapitulation found in many classical and romantic symphonies. More obsessive arrangement details: o Tambourine plays on beats 2 and 4 in first eight measures. like a petit reprise of the intro. o Ringo throws in a very subtle little sixteenth note figure on the downbeats of only measures 13 and 14. we're treated to the familiar ostinato followed by wordless harmonization in the vocal parts. • Tambourine plays a fast roll in the first two measures of the intro reprise. No subtly rising expectations this time. no point of coincidence! I'd argue that the two repetitions of the ostinato (four measures worth) which separate the two verses were intentionally put there. the lyrics of this song were quite properly snickered over by many adolescents. total climax leading back to the final verse. Melodically.Got a Tak-ing Got a Tak-ing |1 & |E - good reason the easy good reason the easy 2 & 3 & Fx G# B (Fx = f double For way out For way out 4 & |1 E D sharp) yeah & 2 B & F# 3 & B 4 D & E | Measure 1: • • • Ostinato puts the accent on 4& Vocal puts accents on 2& and 3& (the two syllables of “reason”) and 4& (“out”) I. the V chord). instead we have a powerful. 2. the music takes us well beyond “half way there. let's note that this “middle 8” is actually a size 12. If you have any doubt about the climactic intention of the bridge.I. Furthermore.

Oh well. starting on D# and ending on high B. day tripper yeah!” but in the first statement of this pattern one of the singers accidentally blurts out “yeah” after the first “day tripper. don't you. Two last examples of foolish consistency avoided: • • the falsetto variation in the fourth phrase of the verse in the coda. but I gave him the test. the voices start in on the fifth repeat of the ostinato. But we also have an example here of an outright performance mistake the engineers tried unsuccessfully to turn into a (second) gap: There are two or more singers in the coda. not after it. the material for the coda is recycled from the intro. Some Final Thoughts The official recording contains a mysterious.” and you can hear a small gap on the track just after the goof up. As seems to be a common Beatle practice. The top vocal part similarly sings a six note scale over the course of its six measures. Listen for it on the 2nd beat of each measure. We have the same five repeats of the ostinato with the same plan for thickening the texture. The voices join in with a repeated pattern which carries us through the fadeout." Page 17 . “it took me so long to find out. which bootlegs of the raw session tape reveal to be an attempt to retouch a stray bit of mechanical/instrumental noise. in order to be able to go on. starting on B in the baritone range and ending up on F# and octave and a half higher. Outro The petit reprise of the intro is repeated between the end of the bridge and start of the last verse. |ost |lead guitar solo ---------| | | 5 6 |7 8 9 10 11 12 | Two other examples of “rising” in the arrangement: • • One of the guitars executes a twelve note scale over the course of this section. awkward “gap” of an edit during the final verse. you've got to catch your breath at some point. The pattern in the lyrics is supposed to be “Day tripper.” “They tried to fob you off on this musical charlatan. The final verse is virtually identical to the first two and architecturally provides ballast and balance to the song overall. 3 4 |Ah----------|Ah------|Ah--| |ost.voices: instruments: | measure #s: |1 2 | |ost. After all.

The harmonic rhythm is fairly regular throughout with no extremes.a. from the word "think" up to “saw. let's not pull any strokes or do anything I'll be sorry for. the fact that no final verse intervenes between the second refrain and the outro is an unusual detail. especially by the downward “yeah. raw feelings in the choice of words and imagery is a fresh twist. Page 18 . And yet.” In particular: • • • • • The phrasing throughout is totally four-square. The harmonic scheme. The chords generally change every two measures.” For now.k. The second half of the verse could be said to. in which I've chosen to pull apart individual Beatles songs that demonstrate a conspicuous willingness deal adventurously with compositional parameters such as form. is rather static. Also enjoy the way in which that opening verse scale outlines a awkwardly pungent Major 7th. content-wise. shades of Norm's warning to the group. The first notable thing about “She Loves You”'s form is the use of a refrain (a. While the plot line here of a 3rd party go-between who advises his friend on how to make up to her is one of a small group of archtypal Top 40 themes that hardly originates with the Beatles. yeah” motif. per se. there are a number of significant ways in which “She Loves You” is not particularly daring. overlap with it. “she almost lost her mind.” Melody and Harmony The tune covers the range of a full octave. harmony. their special "sound" is already apparent. even while it so aptly characterizes them in their early career. the song is firmly in G throughout. The few places where this pattern is broken by chord changes every measure would seem to be carefully staged. in spite of a few localized touches of color. The intro and outro turn out to be variations of it. the song contains a musical vocabulary and arrangement that is shot through with quirky details and nuances that were soon to develop into trademarks of the group. yeah. Over time. I think the focus here on extreme. Refer to my sidebar on the hook/verse/refrain question in Note's on “All My Loving. Even more notable is the one-track-mind ubiquity of this refrain.” and “pride can hurt you too. the verse is is four times four. and the refrain is a true middle eight. just note that “She Loves You” is the first time in this series we've run into the refrain. however subconsciously. chorus) for the contrasting sections rather than a bridge. • • Each of the three verses feature some unique lyrics. Upward motion in the form of the verse's opening scale and the title phrase's jumping motif is nicely balanced out. Finally. it has achieved an iconic status with respect to time and place that ironically transcends the Beatles. Against the backdrop of the first few articles in this series. phrasing and the like.She Loves You Key: Meter: Form: G Major 4/4 Intro – Verse – Verse – Refrain – Verse – Refrain – Outro (with complete ending) General Points Of Interest Style and Form “She Loves You” is one of the very first Beatles songs most of us Americans ever heard.” It's the musical equivalent of getting your arm lock/twisted in a funny position.

the Major home key melded with its relative minor. Think of it as a spice as opposed to a nutrient. iii. Let what is now the 6th (E) be repeated or sustained in the next chord of which it should be a member. Resolve the 6th down to D as a member of a chord that follows. opaque. The note 'E' is a perfectly legitimate member of the first two chords. strictly speaking. the minor iv chord. i. A Major. Alas. You might also want to think of it fancifully as if it were the I and vi chords superimposed upon each other. B. either to a note that is part of the current or following chord. that motif always repeats three times in a row. the free 9 and 11 chords of Debussy for example were quite the talk of music theory classes 100 years ago. typically stepwise downward. I'm frankly of divided opinion whether to think it either scandalous or ironically appropriate that the nominally authoritative version available to us in the year 2000 of such an important classic sounds no better than it did at the time of its original release as heard over a cheap transistor AM radio. that E sitting on top of the G triad serves no structural musical purpose other than to give sensuous delight. IV. lead. any note appearing in a chord that was not part of the chord's root triad was considered a dissonance. In the final result. E: • • • Resolve the 6th down to D as the 5th of the current chord. or non-functional) dissonance. and unclear sounding. In most tonal music until the twentieth century. Paul and John provide a two-part lead vocal in their characteristically which vacillates between unison and flashes of their characteristically funky counterpoint. it sounds no better on the vinyl so-called "stereo" pressings from Capitol. from the home key's parallel minor mode.) Here. George assists in the refrains. then check out th ending of Mahler's “Das Lied von der Erde” (1908. You can find a number of interesting details here in spite of the wall of sound first impression: Page 19 . and vi. it was expected to be well behaved by “resolving”. the melodic pattern is sufficiently well established for you to accept it over the G chord even though it doesn't belong there. rhythm guitars. V. this strict treatment of dissonance broke down even within the so-called classical domain though not without many raised eyebrows. By that point. The most classic example of this is the way in which the "7" of the V7 chord resolves to the "3" of the I chord: F D B G C: V ->E ->C ->G ->C I Textbook dissonance treatment would demand one of the following options of our added-sixth chord of G. As mastered on CD. Arrangement The backing track sounds like the standard Beatles live combo of bass. In the refrain section. The Added-Sixth Chord On a theoretical basis. And if you want to hear a particularly early and lush usage of the added sixth. the track is maddeningly thick. it is the repetitious insistence of the yeah-yeah-yeah motif (melodically descending G -> F# -> E) enables the G6 chord to sound flawlessly logical. As such. plus drums. They are joined by two altered chords: the already familiar V-of-V and. By the end of the 19th century. as it were. each time over different chords: e minor. D. that added sixth is called a “free” (in the sense of gratuitous. and then C -> G Major.e.Five out of seven diatonically available chords in the Major home key appear in the song: I. borrowed. In this case you rationalize added-sixth dissonance as an “anticipation” of the second chord. making its first but by no means only appearance in this series.

what you might call a kind of girl group from the Big Band era of the 1940s. Fans of old Abbott and Costello flicks may recall them as having provided the musical respite in the 1941 features. Quite apart from its from harmonic implications already discussed.• • • • • Ringo uses sizzling cymbals only in the verse section.” Paul's bass part uses a rhythmic pattern of dotted quarter followed by an eighth note and half (the boom pah'boom pattern heard years later in “All Together Now”) just about everywhere in the song except on that syncopation in the third line of the verse. would emerge as a Beatles penchant for mixing stylistic elements that seem to be mutually antagonistic and/or individually anachronistic in ways that create surprising. George Martin himself is reported as having tried to talk them out of using the added sixth here. Each verse is introduced by a growling. The harmonic shape of this section. the song begins “in medias res. in contrast to the intro. “Hold That Ghost” and “Buck Privates. is “open. Section By Section Walkthrough Intro To borrow a phrase from ancient Greek drama. being a surprisingly early example of what. AA'A": G: |e vi |- |A7 |V-of-V |C |IV |G |I | The use of the V-of-V moving to the IV (with the inevitable cross relation) is an early example of what we saw in “Eight Days A Week”. Each refrain is introduced by a short burst of signature falsetto singing on the phoneme.” speaking of Million Dollar Movie. The opening chord progression which doesn't start on I and takes four somewhat disorienting chords to finally get there shows up again in. “whooo.” We get a little drum roll and the intro starts off as though the song were already in progress. “Help!” Verse The verse is 16 measures long with four equal phrases that make a pattern of AABB'. among other place. The fact that the intro is actually nothing other than a variation on (an anticipation of?) the refrain is what creates this effect. Nouvelle cuisine-like effects. fanfare-like guitar lick that contains a number of minor key inflections.” by virtue of starting on I and ending on V: Page 20 . We're not "in" G as much as we are heading toward it. and outro omit them. over the long run. placing his accents on the eighth notes preceding beats 3 and 4. The feeling of having started in the midst of the action is heightened by the opening chord progression. the added-sixth chord is a factor in the arrangement. refrains. Ringo tries for a wrenching syncopation in parts of all the non-verse sections. the intro. The intro is eight measure long and its phrasing pattern is 2 + 2 +4. saying it sounded too much like a throw back to the Andrews Sisters.

a typical harmonization of this line puts the Major IV under the word “discouraging” and then changes it to a minor iv for the word "word.e. play it out in your head -. putting the chord in it's first inversion which carries less weight than the root position. In a more straight-laced context. it vitiates the power of the first one. it's at the top of the rising scale on the word “love”). you're moving in this example from C Major to c minor and you can hear that E slide down to E flat in the inner voice. there are two additional reasons for the powerful effect here yet again teaching us how “less is more”: • • the same syncopation is not repeated in the next phrase where (rote) symmetry would have argued for it. none other than the iv chord borrowed from the parallel minor of G Major. It comes right after “She said she loves you” and it occurs on the off beat between the 2nd and 3th beat of the measure.--------------. yeah. but it's almost too hard and a little difficult to bounce off of.2X -------------|G |e7 |b |D | I vi vi V |G6 |V |e vi |- | |c |iv |D |V | Harmonic rhythm is increased temporarily to a chord change every measure for just the first two lines of the verse. e. play it out in your head – it's very reasonably symmetrical but overall. Think of the line in “Home on the Range” which goes “where seldom is heard a discouraging word”. yeah” motive of the intro and refrain. “Please Please Me”’s poses a paradoxical quality – they have different key signatures (and hence a slightly different set of chords) yet they don't really sound at all like remote keys from each other because of the common tonic (I). the minor iv chord is quite a garden variety effect. This e7 here is not such a big deal per se. parallel Major/minor (“Please Please Me”) keys are simply the Major and minor modes of the same tonic root. try this – tap straight 4 with one hand and sneak in a hard whack between 2 and 3 with your other – you'll see what I mean about falling out of your seat. that flat 6th has a very strong melodic pull downward toward the 5th degree of the scale. In spite of all of the scholarly verbiage used here. that D would want to get resolved to a C on the next chord. Huh? Not to be confused with the concept of relative major/minor keys. In the second half of the phrase which contains the syncopation we have the lead guitar fill in a space with a quote of the “yeah. Indeed. There's another striking free dissonance near the beginning of the verse: the e7 chord formed by the D in the voice part (i. what a unifying impact the use of this motive has on it! Then of course there's that c-minor chord which begins the fourth phrase and seems to get people in quite a stir.g. The particular favorites choices in this regard are the iv and vi which contain the flattened 6th degree of the scale. the chord for our syncopation is G but the choice for the low note in the bass is B. except in consideration of the period and genre in which it appears." If you're in the key of G. composers frequently have borrowed chords from the parallel minor when in a major key for effect. The fact that this sort of syncopation is used so sparingly within this song makes this instance the more powerful. It's always been there so you take it for granted but step back and think of the song as a whole. you can even hear the E flat slide down to D in the next line of Page 21 . like stamping hard into mud. G Major and g minor.the note G in the bass makes for a harder blow. There's a heavy syncopation that just about pulls us out of our seats at the beginning of the third line of the verse. Going way back into the classical period. Again. You don't quite realize this has happened until it already shifts back to changing every other measure. It's actually not that far out a chord...

Their pride in the sound of that final chord. This sort of barbershop harmony is quite sentimental in effect.e. something about what acoustcians call the rapid “beats” that result from small intervals that are not perfect consonants. close together. Page 22 . the effect is more exotic than sentimental mainly because the iv chord is jumped into (from e minor. This one sounds even more exotic than the earlier one because of it's juxtaposition to the A7 (V-of-V) chord. E. both have 2 + 2 + 4 phrasing. the unique use of the cliche rock chord progression this time. yet it also momentarily steps out of tempo: |e |vi |A7 |V-of-V |c |D iv |G V |e | I vi |c |D iv V |G I |e vi | |c |D iv V | The latter is followed by the outro. in particular. with their three voices singing B. The refrain is 8 measures long and bears comparison with the intro. i. proper. The sensuous experience of single three notes like that with two of your friends is worth having at least once in a lifetime. D. In “She Loves You”. which forces yet another cross relation: e natural versus e flat) instead of being set up as it more usually is by the Major IV. Outro The outro grows out of the final refrain with yet another example of the familiar three-times-you're-out gambit. here it is AA'B: |e |vi |A7 |V-of-V |c |D iv |G V || I The minor iv makes a second appearance in the refrain. Refrain The verse ends on nice fat V chord which resolves “deceptively” to the vi which starts the refrain. only: |G I |- |e vi |- |C |IV |G6 |I | The first iteration of the yeah-yeah-yeah motive in the outro is purely instrumental. Note. Again. yet another variation on the eight/bar intro/refrain. Harmonic rhythm here is increased to a chord change every measure just for the first three measures of the second phrase. The end of the refrain is the only place in the song where we ever hear a complete V -> I cadence.the song. as well as the phrasing pattern. with the voices singing only the final two repeats. it forces a double cross-relation of C/C# as well as E/Eb. Both converge harmonically on the home key. observe the subtle throttling of harmonic rhythm through this entire section. This provides some relief from what otherwise (with the exception of the minor iv) is a very straight harmonic scheme. Interestingly. But the specific chord progression is different. But it's nothing to get hung about. the third petit reprise is truncated by two measures. is manifest in the way they sustain it a brief instant after the instrumental sound has died away.

ja.” 031200#5. Nonetheless. In “She Loves You”. the theoretician stands in awe of a natural. thirds and sixths being the typical means of harmonization. und du sollte zu ihr gehen.”) There's not much more your learned astronomer (shades of Walt Whitman) can say about this effect.1 Page 23 . nur an dich. miraculous phenomenon. in the second measure (as on the word “love)” and in the tenth measure (on the word “bad. For some reason. the sparking variety seems to particularly show when they sing open fifths or fourths. It's a wonder that they ever stumbled onto this. there's a pair of sparkling open fifths in every verse.Some Final Thoughts Have you ever noticed the peculiar property of the voices of John and Paul heard in close harmony? Sometimes they sound like a third voice which resembles neither of their own. it is also a tell tale signature of their early sound. and sometimes they quite simply make vocal “sparks”. Open fifths in most Western music sounds like an archaic allusion to Medieval times. they somehow went out of their way to sing open fifths and though it's an incidental detail. “Sie denkt.

“Help!” makes a couple of formal adjustments to avoid rote monotony: • • The lyrics of the three verses create an A-B-A pattern. In spite of the nice effect with the G chord. the rest of the chords last two whole measures each. static feeling in the song created by the following factors.Help! Key: Meter: Form: A Major 4/4 Intro – Verse – Refrain – Verse – Refrain – Verse – Refrain – Outro (with complete ending) General Points Of Interest Style and Form Even while you're totally riveted by “Help's” hard driving beat and desparately anxious lyrics. independent of. In absence of the continuing story line upon which the typical folksong relies in order to sustain interest. Melody and Harmony With the exception of the extraordinary upward leap of a sixth to a high C# sung in screaming falsetto (on the word “please” the climax of each refrain) the tune is centered within a small range of just a fifth. the chords last four measures each! The 16 measure verse is built out of a musically identical repetition of the same 8 measures. from A up to E. In the refrain. or in addition to. is no stranger in the Beatles song book. shades of “got no time for trivialities” from a slightly earlier song of the same composer. the latter all serving to greatly accent the exceptional impact of the big leap. The folk ballad form. The music underscores the urgent single-mindedness of the message contained within the lyrics. An unusually large number of chords are used: 6 out of the 7 diatonically available to the home key. In the verse. right!? • If anything. plus the modal flat-VII (G Major). or flirtation with a different key. the refrain provides no relief in terms of excursion to. except for the phrase “help in any way” where the chords change twice within a measure. The narrowness of the range is further emphasized by the predominance in the tune of motifs that are either triadic or in short downward scale fragments or 3 or 4 notes. adding a folksy stylistic cross current. common sense and experience tells us you don't need to be versed in music theory to recognize a great song when you hear it. but they were to use it Page 24 . with its repetitious alternation of verse with refrain. (By contrast. The texture of the instrumental arrangement is dramatically lightened up for the first half of the last verse by thinning out the drum part and eliminating the backing vocal part.”) All this is not to say that “Help!” is ineffective or unsuccessful. The flat-VII chord was obviously not “invented” by the Beatles. But I'd argue that this relatively small amount of relief is frankly not enough to dispel an overall closed. the flat form: • • • The harmonic rhythm is fairly slow and unvarying throughout. this unusual unrelieved closedness is intentional and actually part of what makes the impact of the song so strong. I find myself pondering that perhaps. its flat ballad form and prominent part for acoustic rhythm guitar are at work. think about the space opened up by the middle eight of a song like “From Me To You. The harmony from an architectural viewpoint is unrelievedly in one key (A) throughout. but it appears much less frequently than the more familiar one or two-bridge pop song forms.

At the section's climax it overdubs that funky series of chromatically descending arpeggios. but the backers put the accent on the E at its apex (on the first syllable of “never”).B A. they sing the figure with very different points of rhythmic emphasis. also missing at this point is the tambourine and the heavily doubly downward bass line of the refrain. bass. John. John puts the main emphasis on the syncopated second C# (on the second syllable of “today”) of the figure. In the first half of the final verse he plays only on the downbeats where the chords change.C# C# C#|C# C# C# C#|C# C# C#E * |A . the flat-VII chord appears in the midst of an unusual chromatic chord progression. In the verse it is used to make what Wilifred Meller's was talking about when he used the much ridiculed but very apt label. lead guitar.| * * * |.|B A |G# - 4 1 2 3 4 C#|. Flat-VII appears repeatedly in this song. In the refrain. and I dare say that they are at least partly responsible for the chord's becoming somewhat of a cliche in late 60s/ early 70s pop music. provides the double-tracked lead vocal with a complex backing part for Paul and George. but to lead into the refrains he opts for the insistent pattern of 7 even eighth notes starting on the half beat after 1. By contrast. Initial attempts to capture the signature rapid arpeggios in the lead guitar at this point are abandoned after George complains it's too hard to perform the rapid eighth notes evenly in tempo. but they trail by a few beats. alternately serving two very different purposes. by which time they not only have to “jump over” the lead (in terms of range). There is much to admire in the detailed arrangement: • • • • Ringo uses a short. Page 25 . and is one of the modes in which the flat-VII chord naturally occurs. and it doubles the descending bass line during the big build up. of course. The lead guitar has no part in the verses. but best of all. The backers fascinatingly alternate between adding points of bold font-like emphasis to the lead part with chordal doubling. Arrangement Lewisohn points out how it was in the sessions for the Help! album that the Beatles first really locked on in a big way to the procedure of recording backing tracks before laying down vocals and other finishing touches as successive overdubs.” The Aeolian mode is the white note scale on A. and drums.. Is this a Greek chorus of friendly observers commenting on the protagonist. or is it more likely the protagonist's inner dialog? The most precious vocal detail is found at the end of the first line of the verse: lead 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 |.C# E C#B|A * * * * * backers Note how near the end of the line the backers sing the identical pattern of five notes as the lead. it plays percussive chords on the offbeats (where it is doubled by the tambourine). nor does either of the parts consistently lead or follow. which in their part falls smack on the 3rd beat of the measure. In addition to all vocals. If you listen carefully. one-beat roll to pickup the first verse and round off each refrain. This is amply borne out by the rough early takes of “Help!” fortunately available in unofficial release. Paul uses the dotted rhythmic pattern we noted back in “She Loves You” for just the verses.quite a bit starting from around the time of the A Hard Day's Night album. the two sets of words are almost but not quite exactly matching. and is used in place of V to make a complete cadence with I. sort of like a character actor filling two different roles in the same play. “Aeolian cadence. The basic track includes acoustic rhythm guitar. and providing a form of melodic counterpoint in which both the words and notes they sing subtly intertwine and overlap with the lead. in the intro and refrains.

I think that several of the possibilities below are quickly rejected in retrospect by the ear but I list them all to underscore the ambiguity. huh ??? V-of-ii. If you'll allow me to quickly change metaphors yet again. Ask yourself at each step. I like to think of that G chord here making a harmonic "pleat" between it's two neighboring chords. dealing out one chord at a time. a nice subdominant->dominant>tonic cadence. maybe ??? I b: iii i I ->G VI ->E ->A V-of-flat-VII. What makes it work is the contrapuntal movement in the outer voices: Top: F# ->G ->G# Bottom: A: B ii ->A ->G ?? ->F# ->E V Scale-wise motion. b is it *or* g: *or* D: vi *Actually* it's A: ii VI V-of-V flat-VII V V. What I hear in this context is more of a hard to pigeon-hole "filler" chord between the ii and the V. flat-VII is a surrogate dominant (V-like) function. I think one isn't certain of the key being A until the verse actually begins. the possibility of the A at the end of the intro actually being a V which will go the D as the I chord is very real to the ear. “classic” in the sense that early Romantic song writers like Schubert and Schumann loved this gambit. Our example from "Help!" is a very tiny example of this technique – it extends over only three chords. given that the harmonic rhythm is rather slow throughout. In music of the late nineteenth century (for examples see Chopin or Wagner) this technique could be extended through very long passages creating a rather floating tonal experience. But what of the G chord ? I put a flat-VII under it but I don't hear it that way at all in this context. or whether to give it one at all. “where am I heading?” I think you'll get the picture. huh ??? This is more than just mental gymnastics on paper. It's a very pleasing effect. At what point in “Help!” do you know for sure what key we're in? Below are some of the ways in which I believe the opening chords can be heard. Try and put yourself in a frame of mind as though you're hearing this for the first time (try!). and play it out “Name That Tune” style. can make the ear follow and “accept” some of the craziest chord progressions. Once you get used to this progression I believe you hear the overall motion as being from the ii->V->I. this Page 26 . “what key am I in”. the outer two of which are clear tonal anchors like the towers of a suspension bridge.Section By Section Walkthrough Intro The intro is an eight-measure long compressed version of what will turn out to be the refrain section: A: |b ii ||G ||E flat-VII |V |A || I The chord progression of the intro is a classic harmonic example of starting a piece out in left field. particularly in a bass line or particularly when any line moves chromatically as the top line does here. In the final analysis (ugh!) I'm not even sure what Roman numeral to give it.

the word “me” in the final refrain is given an f# (vi) chord. though not on the rhythm track. Verse The verse is sixteen measures long. thing are quickly put right in the following and final phrase. and the sixth is added as a melodic neighboring tone. The four-fold repeat of the title in this outro appears to violate some rhetorical rule of three. off the beat. kind of like the late-adolescent tale told by the lyrics. is strongly implied by the voices: Please |A I |- please (E) |A (V) I help |- me | This pattern is changed in the final refrain and made into a beautiful example of a deceptive cadence. Page 27 . in pure Bach style. built out of a repetition of the following eight-measure phrase which. in falsetto voice on the phoneme “Ooh”. itself.unusual chord progression which is repeated four times in the course of the song is a conspicuous touch which adds a much needed feeling of forward and outward movement.e. but more than makes up for it in the way the final one is literally screamed out. the plain A chord is given on the down beat. breaks down into a 4+4 AA' pattern: |A I ||c# iii || |f# vi |- |D G IV |A flat-VII I | Refrain The refrain based on the same musical design as the outro.. On a visceral level you might say that what otherwise is a cock-sured sense of kinetic motion in this progression is subtly belied by an uncertainty over its exact direction. This latter change reveals a hidden element of “slow build up” not at all apparent in the faster/shorter intro version: A: |b ii |- |- |- |E |- ||flat-VII | |E V Outro |- |- |- |A |I |- |- | I always hear the final phrase of the refrain as follows with a V chord on the word “help” which. but here is stretched out to double the length (16 measures) by multiplying the harmonic rhythm by a factor of two. i. The final chord of this song is another added sixth chord. but you already knew that. In contrast to the splat-like attack on this chord at the end of "She Loves You". As in all such cadences. “Ouch!” indeed. the boys use it in “Help!” with great subtlety.

given its chronological place within the cannon.g. But take the one who always jokes and laughs like a clown and have him admit to his private indulgence in copious tears that fall like rain from the sky – and now you've really got something. and zany public personna.” 033000#6. yech.. though. Check your lyrical concordance. it's the only Beatles song where you'll find the words “independence. The fact that such songs can be found from one end of the songbook (e. big time.. of blowing such a carefully cultivated image.” or “insecure. Nebbish singing tough songs not fully believable.” just change the opening verb from “need” to :love. “I Want You/She's So Heavy”) should have mitigated anything in the way of "surprise" but that's PR for you. “Misery”) to the other (e.Some Final Thoughts The public relations hype said that we were all affected especially hard by John's more confessional songs because they revealed a surprising vulnerability we'd never have expected was lurking beneath his tough. Even in this context. pathetic.I know for a fact within four weeks he'll be suffering from a violent inferiority complex and loss of status. Maybe those PR folks really knew what they were doing..” But don't be fooled into thinking that we're dealing with a kind of perverse impulse to recklessly cast John “against type. the song “Help!” would appear to have pushed the envelope.” “self-assured. Rather it's precisely because of the cross casting here that the overall production it work as well as it does! Consider the alternatives.. A final footnote on lyrical concordances: the only other Beatles song in which I could find the phrase :you like I've never done before” other than in this song is in the Quarrymen's parodistic “You'll Be Mine. just shy of mid-career.g. Nebbish singing nebbishy songs is. and its rather “psychiatric” choice of words.” running the risk. cool.” Is this merely a coinicidence or does it suggest the phrase having been on John's tongue “for years” just waiting for the right moment to be free? “.1 Page 28 . Tough guy singing tough songs is okay but predictable.

The bridge is foreshortened by a single measure shy of what would have been a more expectable length of eight measures. that details such are these are among the tangible. with the third verse being a literal repeat of the first. Keep in mind. The tune of the intro begins with a “pickup” that precedes the first downbeat of the song. and be prepared to track this parameter as we move forward in the series: • • • • “We Can Work It Out” has a verse that starts after the downbeat. but both its hook phrase and bridge start on the downbeat. “And I Love Her” is a song in which the verse and bridge are after. begin after the downbeat of their respective sections. The verse and bridge. susbstantive musical elements that “define” the Beatles style and sound. The transition into the bridge involves both an extension of the verse's length and an harmonic sleight of hand. The lyrics all three verses are based on the computer programmer's conditional “if/then” clause. “Day Tripper” has a verse and bridge that is on the downbeat and a hook phrase that precedes. by contrast. in many cases just with a single syllable. To wit: • • • The same title-based hook phrase is used to both open the song as well as end each verse with a kind of mini-refrain. The rest of the melodic material is less sharply characterized and placed in a generally lower range.You're Going To Lose That Girl Key: Meter: Form: E Major 4/4 Intro – Verse – Verse – Bridge – Verse – Bridge – Verse – Outro (with complete ending) General Points Of Interest Style and Form “You're Going To Lose That Girl” and "Help!" make for an interesting pair of compositional siblings to the extent to that both songs similarly exploit (not just utilize) the flat-VII chord. More on all of these techniques below. Rather it is the freedom and liberality with which such tricks are deployed throughout the Beatles songbook that stands out dramatically against the backdrop of standard/average (read: ordinary/mediocre) pop music of the period from which the Beatles emerged. and share a similar approach to their backing vocals. Compare this with the other songs we've looked at thus far in this series. “She Loves You” conspicuously precedes the downbeat in every section. for now. the hook phrase actually precedes (aka is a pickup to) the downbeat. But “You're Going To Lose That Girl” also does some funky formalistic things of its own which belie our seemingly straightforward categorization of it as being in the standard “double bridge” model with single verse (that happens to incorporate a guitar solo) intervening. It matters not that such tricks are neither unique to this song nor were necessarily invented by the Beatles themselves. The two bridges feature identical lyrics that are contrastingly couched in a consequentially assertive tone of voice. The transition back from the bridge involves both a different harmonic sleight of hand and that foreshortening of the bridge's length. Page 29 . Melody and Harmony The introductory hook phrase is notable for its pentatonic flavor and broad arch shape marked by long jumps.

It's tempting to suggest that the fact that “Help!” and “You're Going To Lose That Girl” were composed in close proximity to each other implies more than mere coincidence. In this connection I'm reminded of a Playboy cartoon of the same period in which a FAB look alike is harranguing his girl friend. Who said Ringo couldn't do anything intricate? John sings lead. there are four sharps in the key signature. I call it “remote” because there is no G chord (either Major or minor) that's native to the key of E. it is used with similarly audacious effect in “Things We Said Today” to slide back to the home key from the bridge.e. while his mates standing right behind him. There's no flirtation or fake pass here. and vi are supplemented by V-of-vi (in place of iii) and flat-VII. In this case. interestingly. in bed with someone else. V. This is not the first time the Beatles used this device. Off the top of my head I can't think of a song that combines both these techniques but it's not unheard of.g. The bridge supplements its use of I and IV with its own flat-VII. ii. the pivot modulation is cleverly made by exploiting the flat-VII chord. treating the F Major chord as both the flat-VII of G and the flat-II of the original home key. indigenous choices of I. the third of which is G#. those bongos.• “Help!” is a bit harder to parse because of the countrapuntal vocal arrangement. a lot of Baroque music employs this chord in final cadences such as flat II->V-I with the flat II in its first inversion.. switch from Major to parallel minor (e. It's actually not all that exotic a chord. “And I Love Her”). The only “rationalizable” relationship between E Major and G Major is to say that G is the relative Major of our parallel minor key. with a chord change on almost every measure except. Flat-II is sometimes called the “Neapolitan chord”. it's a fullblown interlude in that second key. double entendre style as the V of the key of flat III. a sort of squiggly pencil border drawn around a colorful drawing. The modulation to flat III which we have here is the more audacious because there is an easier/textbook alternate way to make this key change – i. They're unessential but delightful. there are no indigenous chords common between the two keys. A relatively large number of chords are used. Usage of the flat II chord in “You're Going To Lose That Girl” is unusual in that appears in root position and without a V chord between it and the I. but getting back to the original one can be even more challenging. The Greek Chorus backing vocals of Paul and John bear some contrast with the ones in "Help!" despite their similarities. The harmonic rhythm is fast throughout. periphrastically reinforce his message. For the verse the standard. trust me! Going to a remote key is one thing. “I'll Be Back”). In fact. Don't ask me how I snuck that issue of the magazine into the house. treating it. it may sound convoluted but it's not double talk! Given the lack of naturally occurring common chords. and try and hear the bongo part in the foreground with the rest of the music as accompaniment. and of course. Think it over.. preferably with earphones. The home key of the song is E Major but its bridge is clearly in the remote key of G Major. Strictly following the lead line gives us an Intro and Verse that follow the downbeat and a refrain that is emphatically right on it. at least not in the classical world. with repeated recourse to falsetto for the notes from high G# and upward that occur at the end of each verses. in spite of their frequent overlap with the lead part. this is grammatically legitimate though still a surprise. heavily echoed and double-tracked throughout. we saw there a different.. like rescuing a cat from a treetop. Since the backers in this song consistently trail the lead. their overall melodic impact is more in the way of antiphonal obligatto. For a really good time (just when you think you've had your fill of this song) give it a listen. and then it's a short hop to the relative Major (e.g. the Beatles use a pivot chord we haven't seen yet. Arrangement The backing track is relatively homogeneous with the standard combo backed up by a bottom-heavy piano part. but equally creative and unusual application of the flat VII chord. along with a change of key for the bridge section that's a real test of our skills for dealing with so-called pivot modulations. Page 30 . When we looked at “Help!” last time. remember. in the bridge.

In the final result. is it two verses of ABB-ABB with a concluding repeat of A or is it two verses of BB surrounded on each side with a refrain of A ? But my question is a bit of a strawman. From a casual listen. not even a single chord from which the singers can find their opening notes – a miracle of the recording studio. I think it's the delayed entrance of the drums until the first B phrase that help's clarify the situation. from which point the rest of the analysis falls in place with relative ease. with its hint that the opening A phrase was probably an introduction. Label this Phrase "A" for now and make note of it: |E E: I |c# vi |f#9 ii |B V | We have another “in medias res” opening: no intro. we're not sure how the seven phrases are meant to be parsed. moving from I to V.2X ------------------------------|E |G# |f# |B | I V-of-vi ii V |E I |c# vi |f#9 ii |B V | Label the repeating first phrase of the verse as “Phrase B” and observe how the phrasing pattern running from the start of the song through the second verse is a symmetrical pallindrome of A-BB-A-BB-A. The reappearance of the BBA pattern after each bridge really nails it. Page 31 . The overall section's like a 12-bar blues frame with very different harmony. For all its symmetry. though. Verse The verse is 12 measures in length. The final phrase is the one we've already heard for the intro. built out of three even phrases in a 3 * 4.Section By Section Walkthrough Intro The intro is four measures long and has an open harmonic shape. here all three phrases open out from I to V: Phrase "B" -----------------------------. If it wasn't for the delightful "9" chord in phrase A (with the falsetto G# in the voices) we'd have a potential problem with monotony. this passage keeps us a great deal more off balance than the more typical four-=sqaure design for a couple of reasons beyond the obvious uneven nature of a grouping of seven: • • There is an almost hypnotic effect created by the fact that both phrases A and B end with a ii->V chord progression. "BBA" pattern. and nicely motivating the verse which follows.

repeat the F chord for an additional measure before dropping to E and you'll see that it's more satisfactorially four-square in one respect but less. Instead. and the complete vocal chorus (including lead) resuming in the final "A" phrase. Some Final Thoughts In the Help! film the Beatles appear as though performing this song live in the studio. The tobacco companies must have also liked this scene. The scene. the only place in the entire song where the harmonic rhythm exceeds one chord per measure: |f# ii |D A |E flat-VII IV (IV-of-IV?) |I | It's ironic that a song with so much harmonic movement from I to V should choose to end with this heavily Plagal formula. AA' pattern. that flat-VII.Verse' All verses that are not immediately followed by another verse (which means all the verses in the song except the first one) are extended to an unusual 14 measure length by the following half phrase which effects the modulation to G in the bridge by pivoting on the D Major chord: E: |f# ii |D flat-VII G: V | The middle verse features a lead guitar solo for the two "BB" phrases. for lack of a better word. with the backing vocals still hanging on. and Ringo alternately behind the drum kit or sitting on the floor with the bongos – it provides a delightful fantasy of what the real recording sessions might have been like. Bridge The bridge cruises along nicely in G and then. As an experiment. Ringo is shown drumming with a cigarette precariously clenched in his teeth. The foreshortening of the second phrase subtly draws your attention all the more closely to the harmonic gambit played at its end. staged surreality – Paul alternately playing bass guitar and sitting a grand piano.” Outro The outro develops out of the final verse at just the point where it sounds like an impossible third bridge might be forthcoming. “fun. D Major chord is used as the start of a surprise concluding “double Plagal” cadence. for all its absurd. it shifts back as follows to E for the next verse: |G G: I |C IV |G I || |G I |C IV |F flat VII E:V-of-flat II E flat II I The section is an uneven 7 measures long. just as deftly as it shifted there from E. And we get a long close-up of Paul and George facing each Page 32 . and built out of two parallel but unequal phrases in a 4 + 3.

1 Page 33 .other. I don't want to find you've lost him. So much for not particularly subliminal persuasion. even if the thought has never before occurred to that person. hunched on opposite sides of a single microphone in order tightly execute the backing vocals.” 051900#7. The scene is filmed with back lighting such that you can see the rhythmic thrust of their sung syllables punctuate like skywriting the generally smoky haze that builds up as the scene progresses. “Well look after him. It's the kind of thing that looks cool enough to persuade a person of a certain mindset to want to start smoking as soon as possible.

The bridge is a lopsided arch. for starters.” was unprecedented for the Beatles. the other song in this category we've looked at so far fills in what would otherwise be these dead spots with its yeah-yeah-yeahs. The placement of such an unhappy love song in the all-important slot of album opener. the bridge provides relief from the intensity and dramatic shape of the verses. are used along with two secondary dominants. The bridge is noteworthy in that is the same length as the verses. except for the climactic 3rd one. In “No Reply”. followed no less by two more downbeat originals in the form of “I'm A Loser” and “Baby's In Black. As a side of effect of this. in the long run. the "ii6/5" chord.” “All I've Got To Do. There is only one bridge which is followed by only one verse. turn out to be unique. (For you guitar players we're talking about a d minor 7th chord with the f-natural in the bass.No Reply Key: Meter: Form: C Major 4/4 Verse – Verse – Bridge – Verse – Outro General Points Of Interest Style and Form The intense and complex emotionality of “No Reply” comes as much from its construction as it does from the screaming. C Major. though all its phrases.e. Melody and Harmony The tune is far from being purely pentatonic but several pentatonic licks are conspicuous in the foreground. and would. we saw a bridge so climactic that a repeat would have been an anti-climax. With the Beatles opens with an upbeat trio of “It Won't Be Long. All phrasing of all sections here is with pickups that precede the downbeat. Play out the two-bridge variations in your head in which either one or even two more verses intervene between them and you'll see what I mean. We run into a new chord for the first time in this song. We'll do an end-to-end run-through but be forewarned to keep your eye on the third phrase of the verse in particular. and curiously reminds me of Dylan in a way. In “Day Tripper”. the majority of whose melodic action is on the ascent. The form is curiously similar to that of “Day Tripper” but for different reasons. ii.e. ABA) in this case is because the title phrase. The use of a rhyme scheme that crosses stanza boundaries (i. double-tracked lead vocal.) Page 34 . “your face” and “my place”) was on their minds from early on based on the horsing around with the word "face" on the Anthology outtakes of the song. The overall form is compact. you have the opening figure (“This happened once before”) and the title phrase at the end of the same line (“no reply-y-y”). We've already seen a couple of functionally sub-dominant chords in the other songs we've looked at: IV. The issue here is not so much that the bridge can't be repeated as much as it is that we couldn't handle more than three verses without feeling burnt out. By contrast. The lyrics for the three verses form an ABB pattern. The verse has an overall melodic contour of an arch.” providing rather an object lesson in the relative benefits of maintaining Positive Mental Attitude. I suspect the reason for not repeating the first verse at the end (i. which is nothing other than the ii7 chord in its first inversion. Keep your eye out for fragments taken from the descending pitch set of E-D-C-A-G. Note how “She Loves You”. a full sixteen measures. first heard in verse A reappears the bridge. which function as much as an obbligato to the tune as they are part of the tune per se. In NR we encounter a new variant. Six of the seven indigenous chords of the home key. The latter creates an undercurrent in which the listener feels as if the singer is dramatically pausing to let his individual points sink in before proceeding in each case.” and “All My Loving. make descending gestures. and V-of-V. V-of-vi (E Major) and V-of-ii (A Major). many of the phrases have rests of a full measure or longer at their ends.

From a formal perspective. as well as the bridges. will be appreciated: • • Vocals: John is double-tracked as lead for all verse phrases except for the 3rd one. In the latter as well as in the bridges. the Boys seem to have liked doing that. and drums without cymbals in all verse phrases except for the 3rd one. In the latter. we have a straightforward 4-by-4. For this reason." Backing track: We have quiet scoring for acoustic guitar. Both the rhythmic pickup of the vocal part as well as the chord progression contribute to this effect. analogous to the way that people sometimes say that the blue flecks in your necktie pick up the color of your eyes. while cleaner. alternatives and corrections. do not feature the final arrangement. The first downbeat in the song is actually on the syllable “fore” in “This happened once before. It's difficult to clearly savor the arrangement from the grungy mono mix available officially to us on CD. 16 measure verse but the dramatic AA'BA'' shape created by the four phrases is worthy of note: ------------------------------. The harmonic rhythm in every phrase of the song other than the 3rd phrase of the verse changes chords on each of the first three measures. the exact nature of the vocal arrangement and the manner in which the ensemble sound is intensified for the third verse phrase and bridge are particular mysteries. rats. But I find myself wondering if instead of John doubletracked we have John and Paul singing in unison. That infamous phrase 3 of the verses changes chord in every measure. and sustains the 3rd chord through the 4th measure.2X -----------------------------|d |G |C || ii6 V I(added sixth) 5 C: |a vi |e iii |F7 |e IV7 | iii |d ii6 5 |G V |C || I(added sixth) Page 35 . Paul sings in harmony above him. The Anthology outtakes.” The first chord of the song is the ii-6/5 which moves quickly to V -> I. as though ii and IV were super-imposed on each other. For now I'm willing to suggest the following. Its usage here is all the more appropriate because our ears make an alliterative association between it and the C chord with an added sixth which is used heavily throughout. Arrangement The basic combo on the backing track makes prominent use of acoustic guitar and is supplemented in spots by piano and handclaps. For the bridge also add handclaps. as always. bass. piano and maybe electric guitar.The ii6/5 chord is an especially cute sub-dominant because of its “added sixth” sonority. yet again. Section By Section Walkthrough Verse We start off. in the midst of the action. add cymbals to the drumming. a la "Misery.

Note how the tune turns all the C Major chords into added-sixth sonorities.) Bridge The bridge is 16 measures long. Then the tension increases to a peak in the third chord where we move to F with the tremendous dissonance of e sustained from the previous chord. Harmonically. maybe the I chord. We have a full cadence with a two-measure prolongation of the tonic. the other two verses definitely show F. e. and though you may throw me my own line about avoiding foolish consistency. this would be easier with music paper): A G E F E F** C (** In the first verse of the song. In terms of implied dissonance. The words are self-assertive and confrontational while the harmony vacillates. the D in the first verse was a sloppy "mistake". if you listen very carefully. vi -> iii is a rather logical progression because it lies along the circle of fifths. the note. It repeats the following eight measure phrase to create an AA form: |C I |d ii |E V-of-vi |F IV |A V-of-ii |C I || |- | Page 36 . and yet. it's no accident that this material is recycled in the coda. this turn of events is surprisingly effective because it provides an uncanny foil to the lyrics. not slide impotently backwards to where we came from. After the descent to E. you might argue that the second F in the above bass line is actually a D. I'm going to say that in this case. the repeated vacillation between E and F before finally moving up to G reminds me of the “two-steps forward-one-step backward” physical sensation of pushing a heavy object up an incline. This would certainly be an instance where an alternate take of the song might help settle the point.The A phrases are musically straightforward. Here's the bass line of the third and fourth phrase run together (yes. The syncopations here are quite violent.) but the Anthology outtakes are just as maddeningly indefinite on this point as the official version. The repeat of the A phrase at the end of the verse nicely makes for a dramatic “arch” shape. it's not clear if our hero is as ready for his moment of reckoning as he states. Now let's zero in on the harmony. In my personal experience of this phrase I definitely expect something other than a return to e minor for the last chord. The contrasting B phrase ("I saw the light/I nearly died") is the focal point of dramatic tension for the entire song. I believe that we expect to go forward from this F chord. This contrast lends a degree of subtle complexity to feeling projected by the song. is actually sustained through the entire phrase. is left hanging (on the word “light” or “died”) after the a minor and F Major chords shift back to the e minor chord. You have to resort to the accompaniment to get a sense of that note resolving somehow downward to E or G. However. Focus your ears on the bass line in phrases three and four of the verse if you want to experience the vacillation and eventual movement more keenly. with the chords changing in each of the four measures on the eighth note just preceding the downbeat. the D instead of the F also makes for a nice melodic bass line too but I still wish they were consistent in this case. The first pair of chords is fine. In the final result I could argue phrase is equally effective with D in the bass line. the melodic note. A. further pulling back from the emotional peak of the previous phrase. the juxtaposition of this last phrase to the end of the B phrase provides us with an e-to-F chord progression which finally does move up to G. Actually.

“I” appears three times there. The final chord is special. The bridge sounds at first like it's going to stray much further away from home harmonically that it eventually does. A notable example of Lennon wordplay is found here in the way that the lyrics blithely change point of view twice in the first phrase. The same thing happens in phrase B above when the F7 chord slides down to E. a sonorous. In one particular spot (when John jumps down from E to C# on the words “that I. with the rest of the ensemble conspicuously not joining him. Paul frankly sounds like he's trying to upstage John on his own song with continual horsing around and hammy vocalizing. The E chord "might" be a V-of-vi. there is little of the earlier tension. the added-ninth comes into play when an inner voice moves from E (in the F7 chord) to D (on top of the C chord. but switching to refer to the antagonist for instance 2. a “take 1/demo” from early June '64 and a “take 2” from the late September session at which recording of the song was completed. it's not without reasonable motivation. This sort of harmonic wilting of resolve provides still more of a foil to the decisive lyrics. and the appearance of A Major instead of a minor is a further surprise. most of the time in harmony rather than unison. Outro The verse is repeated once more following the bridge and then we're treated to a four-measure coda which is a variant on the B phrase of the verse: |a vi |e iii |F7 IV |C I9 | 6 In the measure just before this coda Ringo very casually throws in a hard syncopation just before the downbeat.) You think I'm pushing it? I say listen carefully and savor the way they let that final chord ring out! Some Final Thoughts The two outtakes of “No Reply” released on Anthology 1. but without the hard syncopations. A small but telling detail: in the bridge. Demo • FORM: The most critical and glaring difference is in how the third phrase of the verse is only partially developed at this point.” Paul winds up singing G# • Page 37 . At this stage the song ends with just half of a verse following the bridge. If you look back at the first two chords in the phrase (a -> e). referring to the hero himself in instance 1 and 3. VOCALS: Paul backs John the whole way through. in our final chord progression.The delivery intensifies yet again for this section. the Beatles were known for using just such half-phrases. it's hard to accept it as it is in this outtake. with one chord change to a minor. freely dissonant added sixth plus added ninth (notes A and D sounding on top of a C chord). Paul harmonizes consistently at a 3rd above John. and not much syncopation. just two measures long. It's interesting to note that while the ninth in the final chord is “free”. it's really turns out to be "only" V-of-ii and we're right back in the key of C. At any rate. make for fascinating comparison with the official version as well as with each other. there is an inner voice that moves downward from C in the first chord to B in the second chord. Yes. In the instant before we realize that it's only V-of-ii we think we “might” be actually switching keys to A! But alas. At least for we who are so familiar with how it eventually turned out. but this one sounds uncomfortably forced. This bears a direct comparison with the way in which the group casually drops a certain dotted rhythm in favor of even notes in the last verse of “We Can Work It Out”. The E and A chords create a momentary intimation of modulation which is quickly dispelled.

and by implication.• • Take 2 • • • to E which sounds terrible. VOCALS: The familiar pattern of verse harmonization is in place. The first verse is correctly quiet for the first two phrases and loud for the third. but sloppily and inconsistently executed. ARRANGEMENT: The familiar quiet-versus-loud pattern is almost there. doubling him when there's no harmony.1 “Any one at home?” Page 38 . The piano shows up intermittently in this take elsewhere in the verses than just the 3rd phrase. LYRICS: The verse lyrics are deployed in the ABA pattern. In both the later outtake and the final version. 052900#8. The final coda is appears in part. No part yet for piano. ARRANGEMENT: None of the quiet-versus-loud contrast manifest in the final product is yet in evidence. but the loudness is incorrectly sustained through the fourth phrase. though Paul still sings all the way through with John. The decision to go with ABB apparently must have been late breaking. The bridge accidentally starts out quiet instead of loud. And watch out for “forget” instead of “forgive” in the bridge. • FORM: The familiar. but breaks down midstream with a comment from John that suggests that it had only recently been figured out. The second verse is "loud" throughout with no quiet contrast. LYRICS: The “forgive/forget” change has now been made. but the verse lyrics are still deployed here in the ABA pattern. much better. And the rhythm guitar part is electric rather than acoustic. complete version of the 3rd verse phrase is now in place. Paul breaks the parallel 3rd rule to move up from his G# to A. was not yet fluently under their fingers.

" It's that singular break from the anticipatory syncopation that makes the title phrase sound as though it starts right on the downbeat. Paul provides an extremely active and melodic bass part. itself. arguably) place their stress right on the downbeat. George singing “ooh la la-la”.You Won't See Me Key: Meter: Form: A Major 4/4 Intro – Verse – Verse – Bridge – Verse – Bridge – Verse – Outro (fadeoutttt) General Points Of Interest Style and Form Tucked away within the harmonic inner voice leading of “You Won't See Me” harmonic structure are descending chromatic scale fragments whose recurrence in all sections help unify the song with subliminal efficiency. c-c#-d-d#-e-f etc. The harmonic rhythm is predominantly one chord per measure. The only place in the entire song where Paul does sing on the downbeat is (no coincidence) the one place in the song where the backing track. The verse lyrics are in a form of ABCC.. I said “voices.”! The form is the familiar two-bridge model with single verse intervening and no solo instrumental section.Double-track Macca solo. Against the backing track's rock-solid backbeat Paul's double-tracked lead vocal is pervaded almost completely by syncopations that anticipate the downbeat. provides syncopation on the eighth note before "3. literally. Melody and Harmony The verse tune is roughly arch-shaped. and we have a chromatic assist from V-of-V. Arrangement The standard backing combo is conspicuously augmented by piano and tambourine. though it does end with an upsweep that provides the song with its melodic high point.e. is an archetypal example) allows us to easily knit fragments of chromatic scales into a tonal harmonic fabric. The bridge is less clearly so. no backing voices. "V-of-V". In our standard major/minor scales you never find even two such semi-tones in a row.Add single part. The verses begin with a pickup.g. The moderate tempo drives the track's running time to 3:22. e. Variation of the vocal accompaniment each time the verse is repeated is another major point of interest in “You Won't See Me”: • • Verse 1 . but the bridge (and even the title phrase. Verse 2 . though double tracked.” George. and Ringo provides unusually detailed patterning to the drumming. even though. All the indigenous chords of our A Major home key are used except for iii and vi. But what does "chromatic scale fragments" mean? A chromatic scale is simply a scale which consists of all semi-tones. unique lyrics for the first three sections. the use of chromatically altered chords in a progression (the secondary dominant. with the final verse repeating those of the third section. It tends to connote a certain kind of sentimentality and can easily become a cliche. lending sense of grim pronouncement each time. causing the few places where it is either faster (end of the verse) or slower (throughout the bridge) to dramatically stand out. not “lights. However. You've got to use it carefully. i. that's not true. Page 39 . clearly discouraging any thought of doubling the verse between the bridges.

Some choice details in the arrangement: • • Ringo's high hat fills: in the verses he does two sixteenth notes as a pickup to 4. and punctuating chords on the off beat in the electric guitar) is unchanged throughout. the tambourine is hit twice at the end of every verse coinciding with the syncopated appearance of the words “see me” in the title phrase. If you step back from it all and try and grasp the song “in the big picture” as a totality. that is.Add two/three part harmony to "ooh la la-la" including a constant pedal tone of A-natural in the top part. except the first appearance of this phrase in the final verse. the backing “oooh la la-la” vocals: inner voice: chords: harmonic analysis A: ----------------------. and like the high hat fills. Starting with the intro. Verse 4 . Verse The verse is an unusual 18 measures long. in every verse. where it's obviously flubbed. minus the vocals. you later realize that this is an anticipation of the title phrase in the verse. All this is suddenly dropped during the outro. though it breaks down as a typical 4-times-4 measures (in a pattern of AABA') followed by a petit reprise of the last two measures of the fourth phrase. In other words. It's uncanny how this characterizing shot of syncopation is first dealt to you right off the bat. and though it seems relatively inconsequential when you hear it at the beginning. I believe that this steady increase in complexity of the four verses stands in beautiful contrast to the otherwise balanced alternation of verses and middle-eights in the piece. four-note chromatic scale fragment buried in an inner voice of the accompaniment. providing a sort of formalistic counterpoint. both starting and ending on the I chord.2X ---------------------|E |D# |D-nat |C# | |A |B |D |A I V-of-V IV I | inner voice: chords: harmonic analysis: |G |A7 V-of-IV |F# |D IV |F-nat |d iv |E |A I | | Page 40 . At the end of only the second bridge Paul opts for jumping down an octave in the bass part to “lowest” E. The overall effect is one of the musical texture increasing in density and complexity over the course of the song.• • Verse 3 .Same as Verse 3 but mixed further forward to sound “fuller. When we look closely at the harmony. we discover that every phrase has a downward. also terminating on the fourth beat. the piano part at first. and later.” or perhaps that's just an illusion. drums. • Section By Section Walkthrough Intro The intro is just two measures long. All four phrases are harmonically closed. in the bridge he does four sixteenth notes as a pickup to 4. this perceived increase in thickness is entirely due to the vocals. this is somewhat curious in light of the fact that the instrumental texture (piano. bass.

” This is the same chord progression. by the way. but we still have a hidden chromatic scale. after all the close-toclaustrophobic harmonically closed verses: |F# |b ii |F-nat |G# dim. You know there's a rehearsal of “Two of Us” in which Paul tells George that “I'll give you a wink when she goes four in the bar. thank goodness.inner voice: chords: harmonic analysis |E |A I |D# |B V-of-V ----------. and a slow turn around the chord's 7th in the backing vocals. D in the bass).e. The V chord that ends the bridge decorated in a manner reminiscent of classical music by both a 4-3 suspension in the arrangement. I direct you to these two syncopated measures (“if you won't see me” “you won't see me”) in which the accompanying voices sing the same four-note scale fragment. 3 and 4.” I can't help feeling that the end of this verse in “You Won't See Me” is metaphorically the same gesture. I'm labeling the middle chord in the first phrase as a G# diminished 7th chord in its 4/3 inversion (i. running from F# down through C#. this time in the mirror image. upward direction! They even repeat it in measures 17 . If you have any doubt regarding the intentional use of the chromatic scale as a unifying factor in this song. Instead of the last two chords each filling a measure each as they do in phrases 1 and 2. transposed this time to fit the new chords. there is actually a significant variation in the harmonic rhythm worth noting. 7 |D vii4/3 ||A |E | I | |D# |B V-of-V ||- |D-nat |E ||V7 4 | 3 | In this section we find a downward chromatic scale of six notes. rather than 1. actually ending on the downbeat of the following verse. 2 and 4.2X -------1& 2 & 3 4 1 2 3 4 |D C# |C# D D# E | |D A |IV I | Note the use above of the iv borrowed from the parallel minor. Not only is the harmonic rhythm conspicuously slower here than in the verses. Bridge The bridge is a true “middle eight” that is harmonically open at both ends. Although I said that the fourth phrase (“And I will lose my mind”) is essentially the same as phrases 1 and 2. even though the G# itself doesn't appear until the tune supplies it in the following measure. syncopated appearance in between beat 2 and 3 of the measure before the one in which it would seem more squarely to belong. The third phrase (“We have lost the time”) is built on a different chord progression. that opens “Eight Days a Week” though the crossrelation between the second and third chords is greatly softened in this instance by the fact that the D# is followed by the D natural in the same voice. a chord we first discussed when looking at “She Loves You. Note how much more obvious and equally less interesting is the latter alternative. the last chord makes an early. Checkout George's “Something” for a surprisingly similar example of this.18 for emphasis. but we also find a very subtle ultra-slow syncopation in the way that the chord changes in the first phrase appear in measures 1. Page 41 .

with bonus points because unnamed others are complicit in the crime (they said you were not home. But they sure are different. keep an open mind. we find a prominent place given in each tableau to the telephone as a circumstantial prop.1 Page 42 . Some Final Thoughts Faithful readers of this series will be familiar with my ironic postulate that John and Paul never appear so sharply characterized as individuals as when they adopt a common theme. The fadeout is rapid. reaching complete silence by what would otherwise be the sixth measure of this section. “I'd be quite prepared for that eventuality. saw you walk in your door) What type of relationship has this been even on the best of days? • PAUL: Not necessarily requited (if I knew what I was missing) • JOHN: He's been thrown over (again. with another man in my place). This time it's “You Won't See Me” versus “No Reply. Additional bonus points because he knows that she knows he's caught her (I know that you saw me) How long has this been going for? • PAUL: Repeatedly.” 060600#9.Outro The outro consists of the verse section performed without lead vocal. Both approaches here are equally valid regardless of what you personally prefer. the hope of reconciliation is expressed in the wishful subjunctive voice (if I were you I'd realize) It's difficult to draw out such comparisons without appearing to making a value judgment. So I urge you. another man in my place) Any hope for a better future? • PAUL: Mixed emotions: acknowledging both total loss (since I lost you) yet trying to coax another chance by making her feel guiltily responsible for his suffering (I will lose my mind if you won't see me) • JOHN: As grim as the situation seems.” The two songs present protagonists who either predict they will shortly lose their mind or have already nearly died because the object of their respective affections repeatedly avoids seeing them. though unspecified (time after time) • JOHN: He can fluently enumerate the specific occasions (this happened once before. But look at how they diverge: What is the girl doing to upset him? • PAUL: Evading contact (line's engaged. and in spite of his acute distress. want to hide) • JOHN: Lies and betrayal. As if that weren't enough of a correspondance.

” Even then. Under this last option. in the contemporaneous “I Want To Hold Your Hand. by the way. and that the verse itself is one measure short of a balanced eight measures. (ignoring the first. I fretted at some length over how to parse the following mosaic: X Y X Z Y X Z Y X I think you can eventually reduce the form to the double-bridge model with a single intervening verse but in order to do so you need to parse the second half of the verse section as mini-refrain that also happens to be used as the song's intro.. (ignoring its first appearance as an intro) is it joined to Y as the second half of a compound (YX) verse unit ? Under this last option. “Z” is the couplet that starts off with “Since you left me . is generally jumpy. Melody and Harmony The tune covers more than an octave in range. the verse tune comes in after the downbeat.” (both Page 43 . “Y” is the couplet that presents different words each time. way back.It Won't Be Long Key: Meter: Form: E Major 4/4 Intro – Verse – Bridge – Verse – Bridge – Verse – Outro (with complete ending) General Points Of Interest Style and Form “It Won't Be Long” is a raving album opener. easy-to-recognize distinction between verse/bridge/refrain is rather blurred here by the repeat pattern as well as the particular content of each phrase. By contrast. Y (with it's ever changing lyrics) is the natural choice for verse. the song is built out of three distinct. Y-only verse) is it joined to Y as the first half of a compound (ZY) verse unit ? Under this last option. is X a refrain? Or perhaps. and ends unusually with the downward leap of a perfect 4th. On face value. rich in detail and elliptical in form.” What's particularly interesting is how the normal. compare this with “You're Going To Lose That Girl. The mini-refrain and bridge open with a pickup. Some of the following questions and options come to mind: • • is Z a bridge? Or perhaps. Or perhaps. In my original look at this song.. and the structure is meant to be parsed by us at the level already diagrammed above. The difficulty comes in trying to cluster these phrases into the sort of verse/bridge/refrain divisions you come to expect in this genre. two-line phrases. you'll notice that the song curiously does not double up the verse section first time around. sing it aloud and notice what doing so physically pulls out of you. The opening lick is strangely reminiscent of Beethoven's 5th in its hammering insistence. and I'd feel compelled to say that the rest of the form is a highly unusual hybrid in that we have both a refrain (X) and a bridge (Z). and has a lot of downward gestures that eventually get balanced out by the upward flourish and high point with which the bridge comes to an end. Z does indeed fit the role of bridge. there are no compound verse units. You find another example of this. X does indeed fit the role of refrain. each of which reappears at least once: • • • “X” is the couplet that begins with the song's title phrase.

. not to mention the same key! The special chord in the second half of measure six needs no Roman numeral since it's the result of chromatic voice leading between the IV and I chord on either side of it.” Granted. Still. and vi supplemented by a couple secondary dominants.. the flat-VI. and an harmonic shape that converges on I. The intensification effect is enhanced by the fact that this chord marks the solitary moment in this phrase where the harmonic rhythm quickens. Melody challengingly intersects with harmony every time the I chord (E) in the verse changes to flat-VI (C). Section By Section Walkthrough Intro The intro presents the refrain-like second half of the verse section.g. The backing vocals are a combination of antiphonal and chordal in the verse/refrain.. while in the other case it's made from 3 to 7.B . minus the melodic pattern.7 I || |A |- | The use of the vi chord as a pseudo dominant is almost a signature device of the The Beatles in this period. starting off unaccompanied at the start of song with a delivery whose visceral impact just about knocks you out of your seat. though the lead guitar notably delivers its signature riff in the baritone range.. and his muting of the cymbal sizzle factor at the start of each bridge. night the tears. in our case the leap is made from scale degree 2 down to 6. with familiar choices such as I. Ringo helps articulate form with his chewy drum fills on most of the section boundaries.the hammering and the downward leap) on the phrase “. It's eight measures long with a phrasing pattern of 2 + 2 + 4 (AA'A''). look at the very the next song on this album (“All I've Got to Do”) and note how they use the same chord progression. but provide a descending chromatic line against the lead during the bridge. the parallel is extraordinary.C natural" kink. The rhythmic pattern. and another couple touches of purely chromatic harmony. as on the words “. forcing the tune into a bit of a "C# . starting away from it on vi: E: |c# vi |c# vi ||E I Fx IV |E #ii dim. I insist. me be your man. The chord sounds liked a diminished 7th chord of the "sharpened II" (in this case. V. Page 44 . The overall effect is similar to the physical feeling of having your already-twisted arm tightened yet another half. painful turn. while the inner two voices elect for chromatic movement through the progression.” Try singing that figure without the aid of the underlying chords! Arrangement The backing track is for the standard combo. 7 build on the unlikely note "F double sharp) placed on top of the static bass line note of A: S: A: T: B: C# A E A -> -> -> -> A# Fx -> -> -> -> B B G# E Note how the outer two voices sustain their pitches going into the novel chord. e. is again found in the abandoned contemporaneous version of “One After 9” The harmonic diet is on the rich side. John double tracks the lead vocal. that's a dim. IV.

One last "#ii diminished" related factoid. Verse The full verse length. “It's Only Love” and “Dear Prudence” are two widely spaced examples that come to mind. The descending. Its phrasing pattern is actually "AA" but there's a funky elision effect where what should be the last measure of the first phrase overlaps with the first measure of the repeat. Kids: do try this with your friends at home with your friends to see what I mean. chromatic bass line is another device used by the Boys all over the map. difficult to perform but fun to listen to even in mono.” John himself reuses the chord in the bridge of his roughly contemporaneous “I Call Your Name. As with the special chord in the mini-refrain. eight-bar length and is harmonically wide open at its end. Page 45 . no less. it was recorded once as an “edit piece” and then overdubbed like a macro each time. throughout the phrase. Savor that bent F double sharp -> G#. B. yeah. Think of it as the VI chord borrowed from the parallel minor key. is fifteen measures because its first non-refrain half is an unsual seven measures long. much later songs: “When I'm Sixty-four. contrasting nicely the close harmonic shape of the Verse and mini-refrain. Check out “Real Love. I myself am tempted to dub it "the Buddy Holly chord" because of the iconic familiarity of its appearance in the bridge of “Peggy Sue. but also contemplate the skill of the player in getting it consistent in each repeat.” of all songs.” Bridge This section reverts to a square. sings his “yeahs” on the off beat.” The section has an harmonically closed shape but relies on the flat-VI chord as a surrogate dominant: |E E: I |C flat-VI |E I | |E I |C flat-VI |E I |- | It's called the "flat VI" since its root is a half-tone lower than what it would be for the vi chord that naturally appears in the Major key. The closest John-like other example of the same trick I can think of is in “Any Time At All. presented as a ninth-chord. They are given a not-so-gentle syncopated feeling by the fact that John's voice. Try to hear the middle voice which descends in parallel with bass at the interval of a third as well as the upper voice which focuses on the same note. as if! The antiphonal “yeah – yeah” vocals are really something. for a similar usage of the augmented triad. This winds up creating an unusual augmented chord in measure two and a minor chord in measure three to which I wouldn't assign Roman numerals. which is mixed forward from the others. including the mini-refrain. chords: middle voice: Bassline: E analysis: I G# D# |E |B-aug |b |C#7 G-nat F# F-nat D-nat C# V-of-II IV V A E V-of-V |B D# V |F# |B | The harmonically open effect is amplified by the use of V-of-V. unless of course.” “The End” and “Her Majesty.” The “Day Tripper”-like guitar riff used in measures seven and eight reappears in what will turn out to be the first half of the verse section. The same chord shows up in the following list of conspicuously unrelated.” “Blue Jay Way. and helps unify the song overall. I'd describe the harmony here as being essentially a move from E (I) to C# (V-of-II) in which the two intervening chords are incidental structures created by the melodic motion which connects the first and last chords.

”070400#10. including “the works. combined with a cliche “grand pause” of the sort John would eventually parody in “. elaborated by a Barbershop Harmony cliche stream of chromatically descending dominant 7th chords (that need no Roman numerals): |c# vi |A IV |E G7 F#7 F-nat7|E | | The final chord.In the raving context of the rest of the song.. falsetto vocal backing combined with the change in drumming texture in this section provides an effective. the A Major chord does not morph to the funky diminished chord.” In this single instance.1 Page 46 .” in a manner similar to the ending of “No Reply. “I knew I could rely on you.. itself is freely dissonant. the subdued.” Some Final Thoughts Refer to the “Kissing Cousins” finale in “All My Loving” for consideration of yet another pair of songs that reveals the paradox emergent when you compare or contrast Lennon and McCartney with each other at any detailed level. contrasting oasis-like moment of relief. and the final cadence continues in a much subdued tempo. Warm Gun. Outro The brief outro is setup by the final verse which cranks the already intense mood up another notch with a late breaking vocal variation during the refrain (John flips over the F# sharp of the title riff and the backers wildly mimic his gesture).

Melody and Harmony The melodic material fills slightly more than an octave's space. topping out perilously on step 7 (G#). but nonetheless. this song in its own quiet. outro. and even hand claps but there is little in the way of guitars. “Oh ?”. perhaps. The form is essentially that of a folk ballad. In other words. Granted.e. Arrangement The backing track prominently features piano. Among the various overdubs are relatively well developed whole second tracks for both drums and piano. and is harmonized with by John and George for the refrains. you say. two of the four are “altered” chords that don't occur naturally within the home key. Check it out below. “Good Day Sunshine” contains no exotic instruments. but is aligned below the scale of the home key. Page 47 . B/E/A/D. with strictly alternating refrains and verses. The refrain's downward jabs are counterbalanced by the upward pressure (F# -> G#) of its overall contour. The verse starts with a pickup. drums. You might say this harmonic pattern is a major source of the nostalgic effect of the song. The refrain commences right on the downbeat. i. Paul single tracks the lead vocal in the verses. and recording techniques. The ballad format encourages the different lyrics we find in each verse. combinations of styles. The intro. or drug references. Only four chords are used throughout. the meter is a solid 4/4 throughout. which is often glibly said to characterize the so-called Late Middle Period. and semi-instrumental middle verse lend an explicitly “pop” cross current.The verse's initial couple steps upward are more than amply balanced out by downward gestures that follow as the consequence of upward jumps. but they carry considerable spice because they are all Major chords positioned around the “pure” cycle of 5ths. feel-good. and bottoming out on step 6 (F#) nine notes below. nostalgic and folksy way amply demonstrates the sort of willingness to experiment. This is an excellent example of where you can get a clear sense of how the Beatles would layer an arrangement by comparing the separated stereo tracks. worthy of enquiry. I was rather surprised to discover here that what I'd been thinking of for years as a fancy change of meter in the refrain section actually isn't there for the most part! With the exception of the outro. both with musical syntax. The fact that at the very time this song was being recorded at Abbey Road in June 1966 a comparably sun-drenched song titled “Daydream” by the Loving Spoonful was topping the charts in America strikes me as a remarkable coincidence. and what feels like a change of meter is actually a s-l-o-w syncopation. tape loops.Good Day Sunshine Key: Meter: Form: A Major 4/4 Intro – Refrain – Verse – Refrain – Verse/Break – Refrain – Verse – Refrain – Refrain – Outro (fadeout) General Points Of Interest Style and Form We're going to sneak a bit further ahead in the chronology this time from where we've been mostly hanging out to look at the song that opens what quaintly used to be called the “B side” of the Revolver Long Playing (LP) record album.

you have “Here Comes the Sun” and the intro to “Because. and is not settled until the verse begins. This intro. Page 48 . no more than) the chords used in the intro/refrain. the verse is comparatively straightforward.. a lot of jazz riffs played in even eighth. The chord progression from V-of-V back to its own V rather than forward to the V of the home key is musical kind of “approach avoidance. The six measure length is deceptively simple once you get it parsed out in "straight" 4/4. followed a few beats later by a cymbal roll. as well as the beautiful economy provided by a recycling of all (and with the exception of the A chord. if it helps! The track starts off entirely without percussion. Refrain The refrain is six measures in length with a phrasing pattern of AAA' and an harmonic shape unusually opened at both ends.. We essentially have eight beats in each phrase divided into a pattern of 3 + 3 + 2. but also seems like a hint from the composer not to be lulled into metrical complacency. we would assume from the opening. though still convergent upon the home key. provides contrast with what follows. The first two measures like so: Beats: Accents: Words: Chords: A: V-of-V |1 > Good B 2 3 > Day F# V-of-(V-of-V) 4 |1 2 > Sun 3 4| shine (daa-de-da-de) The next two measures are a repeat of the above followed by this: Beats: Accents: Words: Chords: V |1 > Good E7 2 3 > Day 4 |1 2 > Sun 3 4| shine I take a. but you've probably seen it in much faster tempos.Section By Section Walkthrough Intro The intro consists of four full measures of a plain E chord (actually just an open fifth instead of the complete chord). Note both the contrast provided by the return to an unequivocal 4/4 beat and the clear establishment of the home key of A major. If you're interested in trying to count through the syncopated refrain. tapped out in a mechanical four-to-the-bar. Closer to home. Until proven otherwise. mixed in respectively from left to right. For example. the key is also equivocal at this point.” Verse In contrast to the refrain.” The meter isn't the only thing that almost eludes our grasp in this refrain. that the key of the song is going to be B rather than A as it later turns out. This is a type of syncopation you're actually rather familiar with. you'll find that the intro is quite helpful in getting yourself firmly in the 4/4 groove before the turbulence starts.or sixteenth-notes are accented in this 3/3/2 manner. counting out loud. but we quickly have the staggered entrance of drums. Literally get up and march around the room.

but retrospectively is understood as a punning V of D Major..” This sort of repeat of a background figure starting only in the second verse or refrain is a Beatles trademark going all the way back to those “Do Dah Doos” in “Do You Want to Know A Secret. the second four measures of this verse are in the key of D and are presented as a solo for piano. This section is followed by another refrain and a third eight-measure verse. i. musically identical to the first with the exception of hand claps now added to the mix on beats 2 and 4 of each measure. fussy and fastidious. we are treated to the harmony taking an enigmatic half-step upward (to an F7 chord). The consistent use of the "rat-ta-ta-tat" triplet figure in the snare drum to punctuate the last two beats of measures 2 and 4 of each refrain starting only from here to the end of the song is a choice detail. The break in the meter occurs in measure six (refer back above). In an unusual move. proper. but in this case. we get next a second eight measure verse. Outro The third verse is followed by a final pair of refrains and an outro. with a phrasing pattern of AA. Instead of something more obvious like a third repeat of the refrain going into the fade-out. all three examples in the canon interestingly provided by Macca. The Beatles however make limited use of it.” Page 49 . the second measure of the sustained E chord is only three beats! But the real frosting on the cake is what the outro. note again the use of overdubbed “stereo drumming. half-length solo in the same place are out of the ordinary. we also have “And I Love Her” and “Penny Lane. having both the modulation and the brief. making for a longer than usual coda. the shift back to A Major makes a pun on the D Major chord: |A A: I F#7 |B7 V-of-(V-of-V) V-of-V |E7 V |A I D:V | |D A: D: I B7 |E7 |A7 IV V |D I B V-of-V V-of-(V-of-V) V-of-V The cross-relation briefly exposed here (the only place in the entire song) by the sequence of D Major and B Major chords demonstrates the less-is-more wisdom of restraint.” Verse/Break Moving on.e. and a closed harmonic shape: ------------------------------. The A chord in measure four is first heard as I in A major. In other songs we certainly have seen guitar solos in this same architectural position.2X -----------------------------|A F#7 |B7 |E7 |A | I V-of-(V-of-V) V-of-V V I A: The first verse is followed by another six measure refrain. and the vocal arrangement suddenly being refracted into a series of cascading echoes. Similarly. a tremendous illustration of the secret art of knowing when to avoid a foolish consistency. In these two immediate repetitions of the refrain we actually do get a break in the 4/4 meter for the first time. Oldies afficianados will recognize this effect of modulating up a step at the end as a fairly widely used cliche of golden aged rock and roll.The verse is a fully squared off eight measures long. in addition to “Good Day Sunshine”. The key switch to D is done as a classic pivot.

on “She Said She Said.Some Final Thoughts I'd be hard pressed to account for every item in the L&M songbook as being one side of a yin/yang parallel effort of John and Paul to solve similar compositional challenges. yet another clue or just a bit of troublemaking? “You two have never had a quarrel in your life. John's approach to metrical disruption operates under no such scruple.1 Page 50 .” 073000#11. we've got a pair of songs intruigingly worthy of comparison and contrast. for the third time in a row.” One additional point of contrast with “Good Day Sunshine” is the way Paul's song turns out to fit the 4/4 meter as a point of technicality. what do you make of that funny bit of muttering from Ringo in the final verse where he mimic's Paul on the words “she feels good”. And moving from the ridiculous to the sublime. Check out the finale to the next note. By the same token.

The only relief from this constriction is in the downward direction for the culmination of the verse section. heavy limiting applied to virtually every instrument as well as the voice track. acyclic (albeit clearly articulated) forms are rare enough in their output that their identification and examination as a group would itself make an interesting study. and of course. All this is noot intended as a criticism. far from inducing boredom. and the special characteristics of modal harmony.e. (e. “Revolution 9”. I mention it to acknowledge that for all their glibly touted breaking of barriers. the Boys were really neo-classicists at heart. The lyrics create the relatively common form of ABCC. Modal Harmony! The harmonic vocabulary of “She Said She Said” is purely from the Mixolydian mode. Melody and Harmony The tune is hypnotically anchored within the tight range of a fifth. the two-bridge model with a single verse intervening. and a whole step instead of a half-step at the very top -.think of it as the white note scale starting on G.e.. with the third's set of lyrics repeated the fourth and final time around.g. this song also provides us with object lessons about two other general compositional topics: how to experiment without things falling apart. new lyrics for the first three verses. texture. The hard melodic ceiling. it is as though they needed these forms as a bedrock on which to anchor their experiments lest they fall apart. harmony. rhythm. this mode being the scale with the Major bottom half. I'm tempted to argue that it is no coincidence that the even fewer cases where they abandoned articulated form entirely. or your composition come apart as though from centrifugal force. Experimentation! Among other things. that wobbly meter. i. it also sports a positively buttoned down. I believe this principle is illustrated on the high level by the choice of form. This principle potentially operates on many different levels to the extent that the “parameters” involved may include as diverse elements as form. classic form. Page 51 . clung to such classic forms in their songs. The usage of asymmetric. While this may seem obvious. but I want to discuss the formal issue here. i. and on a more detailed level in the way the arrangement pits rhythm and meter against each other. The issue of rhythm and meter will be covered as we go through the music itself.She Said She Said Key: Meter: Form: B flat Mixolydian Major 4/4 but disrupeted in the Bridge Intro – Verse – Verse – Bridge – Verse – Bridge – Verse – Outro (fadeout) General Points Of Interest Style and Form Although the most conspicuous feature of “She Said She Said” is the metrical high jinks of the bridge. The Beatles with very rare exception. it's a point worthy of emphasis: no matter how experimental they were in other aspects of composition. In spite of the fact that “She Said She Said” flaunts inscrutably psychedelic lyrics. even lyrics. All the sections begin with the tune right on the downbeat. this song teaches us yet another of the composer's trade secrets: whenever you are pushing one parameter of your musical grammar to the max. In our current song. Start with “Happiness is a Warm Gun” and “You Never Give Me Your Money” and see how many more you can find! Going even further. hold at least some if not all of the other parameters steady lest your meaning become obscured by sensory overload. “What's the New Mary Jane”) have turned out to be among their least popular work over the long run. uncannily suggests the not entirely unpleasant sensation you derive from repetitiously stoned conversation at a noisy party where you can barely hear the sound of your own voice. from B-flat up to F.

the harmony of this song is also distinguished by its frugality. This means that the key signature. as in the ubiquitous “Hey Jude” progression: B-flat B-flat: I A-flat flat-VII IV E-flat I B-flat By the way. In fact. double tracked throughout. Page 52 .. barely noticeable but for that fleeting tickling sensation you get on the high end of your ears. and chord selection of Mixolydian B-flat is identical to that of E-flat Major. The burden for establishing the key in this mode falls on the sub-dominant IV chord and the pseudodominant flat-VII chord. for examples take a look a “A Hard Day's Night” where the "pure" Mixolydian spell is first broken in the fourth line of the verse (“I find the things that you do . Although these chords can be used individually in apposition to the tonic I chord. the scalar coincidence leads in turn to several distinctive harmonic characteristics: The naturally occurring "v" chord in the Mixolydian mode is minor and does not make for an effective V-I cadence. often in parallel thirds for interior phrases. It introduces with elegant efficiency both the mocking-bird lead guitar riffing and the fancy-footwork drumming that so heavily contribute to the overall flavor of the song. in our modal B-flat key. Section By Section Walkthrough Intro The intro is only three measures played out on the B-flat "I" chord of the home key.. It's worth noting that this phenomenon is somewhat analogous to the relative Major/Minor relationship. There are many other Beatles songs with a strong Mixolydian flavor to them which nonetheless contain a fair amount of the regular Major mode added to the mixture. Arrangement The backing track arrangement is relatively homogenized for the Beatles. one of which doesn't even make an appearance until the climax of the bridge (on the word “boy”) but I'm getting ahead of myself. The common pitch content between the tonic and the key of the IV chord makes it very easy in Mixolydian mode to effect a pivot modulation to that key.. with a kind of heavy limiting applied to everything including the drums that makes the track sound as if recorded surrealistically too close up. Almost subliminally far in the background of this soupy mix you find the organ. these are the E-flat and A-flat chords respectively. However.. but generally in unison for the opening and closing phrases of each section. Leaving modality aside.The key of the song is ostensibly B-flat but the key signature features an A-flat instead of an A-natural.”) by the appearance of a V chord. scale. they are often used together. The vocal arrangement is for John. I've been often tempted to label that A-flat chord a "IV-of-IV" when used in this context. Finally. in this particular case. alone. Here in “She Said She Said” the only detail that comes even close to breaking out of the modal mold is the bent blue 3rd in the vocal and lead guitar riff that ends each verse. I would re-emphasize the “modal purity” of our current song. As a result . I was gratified to recently learn that Beatles musicologist Walt Everett coined the term “double plagal” to refer to this. this key of the IV is actually capable of being established more firmly than the tonic (I) itself because of the following paradox: the I chord makes a stronger Vof-IV cadence with IV than does the naturally occurring minor v chord with the I. There are only four different chords used throughout.

the same trick as in the bridge of “We Can Work it Out. each with three beats.” The bass line. 5. Notice. One detail you might quibble with me on are the measures shown as being six beats instead of two measures. and because I hear the those six beats accented by the voice part as though they are broken into 4+2.3X -------------. I "No. The harmonic shape is closed at both ends: ------------. The syncopation is all the stronger for coming after three identical repeats of an unsyncopated. i. how the fancy drumwork in the second half of the measures containing only the E-flat chord helps counteract this stodginess and effectively pushes the music forward.” The drum part in the two measure reprise following the verse neatly reinforces the syncopations without fancy figuration. is also used to push things along here. a good example of avoiding foolish consistency. the key of the IV. The lead guitar part antiphonally imitates the voice part in measures 3. and the two measure reprise.. The chords change on every measure boundary.IV I flat. The phrases are all short and make a pattern of ABB'C. Everything was right.--------------." said [4+4] [3+3+3] [6+3] [6+3] Our great illustration of the principle of keeping some musical parameters steady when maxing out on others is two-fold: rather than “fight” the changing meter (at risk of obscuring it). built out of an 8 measure verse plus a petit instrumental reprise of the last 2 measures. and is used to help make a pivot modulation to E-flat.IV I VII VII |E-flat Measures 7 and 8 (on the words “making me feel like my trousers are torn” as they are found a rough and rare home demo of the song ) feature strong syncopation.e.” Page 53 . and are given an immediate instrumental reprise. on a more subtle level. in fact. not “EVERYthing. When I was a boy. This little chart indicates the succession of measures and the number of beats in each: She said "you don't understand what I said". and the drumming (and the bass as well) forgo fancy syncopation for strictly even eighth-note marking of the beat. Other tasty details: • • • An additional source of rhythmic turbulence is to be found in measures 3 and 5 where we have slow triplets (3 notes against two beats) in the voice part. here's a high-level view of this bridge: • • The f minor chord is introduced for the first time in the song at what is possibly the moment of climax. I've chosen to go with six beats because of where the chord changes are. both the harmonic rhythm and the drumming are slavishly at the meter's service. not 3+3. I hear the words accented as “everyTHING”.2X ----------|B-flat A-flat |E-flat |B-flat A-flat B-flat| B-flat: I flat. Everything was right. you're wrong. a Ringo signature going all the way back to “I Saw Her Standing There. Bridge If the gory details are too daunting at first sight.Verse The verse section is 10 measures long. The meter may be erratic but it's not without its own pattern. no. no. almost stodgy harmonic rhythm.

no you're A-flat B-flat: flat-VII --------------------------------------------------------------------- --------------------------------------------------------------------1 2 3 3 wrong. This is the notational convention used below: • • • • • • Each group of lines enclosed within dashed lines below represents one measure of music.Without further ado. I said B-flat B-flat: I --------------------------------------------------------------------- --------------------------------------------------------------------1 2 3 3 "No. no. When I was a B-flat B-flat: I --------------------------------------------------------------------- --------------------------------------------------------------------1 2 3 3 boy f B-flat: v E-flat: ii ** point of pivot --------------------------------------------------------------------- --------------------------------------------------------------------1 2 3 4 5 6 6 everything was B-flat E-flat: V Page 54 . --------------------------------------------------------------------1 2 3 4 4 She said "you don't underB-flat A-flat B-flat: I flat-VII --------------------------------------------------------------------- --------------------------------------------------------------------1 2 3 4 4 stand what I said". but let's go for it. here are those gory details! Without music paper. The chords are labeled in the third line of the group. The “Roman Numer” for the chords are labeled in the bottom line of the group. this will be a bit awkward to map out. The beats in the measure are marked out in the top line of the group. The lyrics are laid out across the measure in the second line of the group. The number in the left margin indicates the number of beats in the measure.

the two songs compared in this instance are about as quintessentially typical of each songwriter as any you could find! “Oh do I? You're the first one who ever said it. similarities between “She Said She Said” and “Good Day Sunshine?” Consider it: each has metric changes. E-flat E-flat: I B-flat: IV ** point of pivot back --------------------------------------------------------------------- Outro Two details worthy of attention in the outro: • • The canonic imitation in the split voice parts is a novel development of the idea originally presented by the lead guitar in the verse.--------------------------------------------------------------------- --------------------------------------------------------------------1 2 3 3 right. then go off and develop their own personalized solutions to it.” 080600#12. rhythmic coup de grace. and cascading vocals in the coda. but those evenly-pounded-out eighth notes in the fade out give me a strong feeling of acceleration. coming as it does at the end of two full minutes during which we're constantly bombarded by either syncopation. The sudden release of all syncopation is a final. as though driving into a free skid on ice.1 Page 55 . Some Final Thoughts Anyone else out there struck by the underlying. or a fickle meter. The tempo remains the same. Granted. but nonetheless. an unusually restricted harmonic vocabulary. it makes me wonder if they would possibly set themselves an abstract musical problem statement or recipe. albeit unlikely. With all that we read about the “friendly” competition between John and Paul. E-flat E-flat: I --------------------------------------------------------------------- --------------------------------------------------------------------1 2 3 4 5 6 6 everything was B-flat E-flat: V --------------------------------------------------------------------- --------------------------------------------------------------------1 2 3 3 right. this might be a totally fantastical notion.

The second half commences with less mechanical. We'll examine each section in turn and come back later to this question. The second half iterates on the double plagal cadence. Harmonically. The first half of Part Y almost mechanically follows a sequence of “third-down and step-up” units down a full octave. Each of the three parts has its own rhyme scheme.You Never Give Me Your Money Key: a minor/C Major/A Major Meter: 4/4 Form: Part X -> Part Y -> Part Z (fadeout) General Points Of Interest Style and Form Taking a cue from the emphasis in my last note (re: “She Said She Said”) on the undeniable primacy of classic song forms within the Beatles songbook. By the same token. though none of them is quite large enough. Melody and Harmony The relative autonomy of what we'll respectively call the X. As with all but the final section of “Happiness Is A Warm Gun”. Y. along with “Happiness Is A Warm Gun” being one of the extremely rare examples in the canon where the Beatles opt for "teleological medley" in place of any more traditional periodic/cyclical form. respectively). but virtually unrelated to each other. the second of which is balanced by a final upward jump. multiple repetition of the same line. “You Never Give Me Your Money” is built from three different sections that are nominally compatible. each is presented for now in a fragmentary manner where they rely heavily on the immediate repetition of a single idea to establish any sense of formal autonomy. Melodically: • • • Part X clearly has an A minor triad for its backbone. All three parts lyrically start off after the downbeat. you find that while each of the sections here suggests the potential for complete development into a song that can stand on its own. let's look this time at “You Never Give Me Your Money” at the other end of the formal spectrum. The first half of Part Y is rich in secondary dominants. underlying what on the surface look like two downward gestures. but still more downward. and Z sections of the song is reflected in both the melodic and harmonic raw materials and design. the latter halves of parts Y and Z both feature immediate. Part Z is clearly the jumpiest of the three sections in the melody department. plus the following unique characteristics: • • Part X runs through the diatonic circle of 5ths. each section is distinguished by a different home key (a minor. providing a foil for the children's counting rhyme of the song's outro which very much starts right on it. to get into literal repeats of whole sections of words. formally. Page 56 . but it begs the question of how any feeling of unity is brought to bear on such independent diversity. C Major. and A Major. motion that is balanced out at the end by the high placed appoggiatura implied in the choral vocals. On the one hand that makes it easy for the listener to grasp the articulation of the larger form.

and double-tracked lead vocal. dominated by heavy drumming. "Sun King. Page 57 . Arrangement The arrangement also underscores the XYZ high-level design both in terms of a different ensemble sound for each section. The harmony of this eight-measure phrase is a full. The placidity comes from the slow and (except for measure 6) even harmonic rhythm. as will see. boogie woogie tack piano. The final section provides another opportunity for 3-part harmonizing vocals. and it also shows up in the harmonic rhythm in measure 6. John. and Paul's lead vocal single tracked is already evident in the pickup measure to this section. note the unusually sloppy way in which resonance of the guitar is allowed to hang over the continuation of the piano part. but softened at the same time by the fact that the chords all appear “au naturel. Part Z restores heaviness to all parts including piano. E |a || This progression creates an ambivalent impression of being at once both placid and forward moving. adding an overdub at the unison in the same location as the guitar points of emphasis. first an unusually long instrumental introduction (it's unusual to give away the entire verse section like this in an instrumental intro). In part X. circle of fifths: a: i |a7 |d9 ->8 iv VII |G7 III |C4 ->3 VI ii F V I |b dim. bass. albeit diatonic. many of the chords contain 7ths or other appoggiaturas on the down beats. try out the alternative of using a D Major chord in measure 2 and a C dominant seventh chord in measure 4. this syncopation appears in the melody in measures 2 and 8. the effect could be either further softened by use of some chords in inversions. and a bit of extra fuzzy reverb applied to the very end of the vocal. This phrase also contains a liberal measure of functional dissonance which also helps push it forward. piano. the latter being a signature of the Beatles work in all of the later albums: • Part X opens with solo piano and lead guitar judiciously applied for emphasis. with Moog-synthesized sounds-of-nature effects that commence in the outro and are allowed to bridge the gap to the following track. and choral vocals for what sounds like the group of Paul. The second half of Part Y features (synthesized?) chimes. its recurrent appearance in several otherwise unrelated sections of this song becomes a subtle source of alliterative unity. including a flourishing fanfare of diminished seventh chords. drums and a double-tracked lead guitar. Rhythmically. as well as the multiple cross-relation inducing progression of V-of-V to flat III. The second verse adds bass and light drum work with Paul now singing in 2 or 3 part harmony with himself. The movement derives from the the "transitive verb"-like quality of chord progressions that move in fifths. The different ensemble for the first half of Part Y. as well as a pronounced tendency to selectively retouch and remix at the detailed level.• Part Z conspicuously uses a larger amount of chromatic harmony than either X or Y. lighter drum work. this phrase makes early use of the syncopated accent on eighth note that falls between the second and third beat of the measure. The first verse has Paul doing single track lead vocal. This is a sufficiently garden-variety device for music of this period and genre. but it's worth singling out here because. and George. followed by two verses of song. The dynamic quality is heightened on the one hand by the appearance of every chord in root position. or further heightened by turning some of the chords into "V-of" chords.” In other words. rhythm guitar." • • Section By Section Walkthrough Part X: You Never Give Me Your Money This section is built out of three repetitions of the same eight measure phrase.

The section is built out of an unusual five repeats of a three measure phrase. the use of the D Major and E-flat chords being slightly unusual and uncannily foreshadowing the same chords being used again at the end of “The End”: |C C: I |D |E-flat V-of-V flatG | V III But it's measures four through eight in which the harmonic stops are pulled way out.. Also note how this section also has the distinction of itself dividing into two contrasting subsections similar to what you have in "Hey Jude. If anything. “Polythene Pam. of all places. The second subsection (call it 'YB' – “But oh that magic feeling . the harmony of which is none other than our old friend. These four measures are built on a cycle of minor thirds in which both the bass line and the upper melody outline a sequence of diminished seventh chords. Like section Y. However. Part Y: Out of College Money Spent This new section is cleanly set-off from the preceding by a new texture as well as a change of key. but the quickening of the harmonic rhythm to two chords per measure. but it's still heavy on the verb-like root progressions of a fifth."Out of college money spent . The architectural function of this phrase is simple enough: to modulate back to A. The tempo is the same as before.. the modal double plagal cadence (speaking of “Hey Jude..”) brings a return of the “twixt 2 & 3” syncopation and a harmonic switch from C Major to C Mixolydian. leading directly into section Y. the gambit employed to do this is a truly extraordinary choice for the genre.The 24 measures of section X ends with a simple pivot modulation to the key of C.”) |B-flat |F |C | C: flat VII IV I (IV-of-IV?) The sudden return to a harmonic rhythm of one chord change per measure creates a strong initial sensation of putting on the brakes. This is done by moving to a G Major chord in the final measure of the section. The introduction is one of the most interesting phrases in the entire song. I actually hear an alliterative connection between this phrase and the reappearance of the same chord progression in.. The first subsection (call it 'ZA') contains an eight measure introduction followed by an unusual seven and a half measure verse." The first subsection (call it 'YA' .” Total coincidence? At any rate. this section begins with an extended instrumental introduction that is partially built out of the material that will appear in the upcoming verse. The first four measures are in a chromatically inflected C major. this segues right into section Z.") is built out of two repeats of this four bar phrase: |C C: I E |a C7 |F G IV V |C I || V-of-vi vi V-of-IV There's no full circle of fifths this time. this section also subdivides into two contrasting subsections. As an aside. However this feeling is modified to one of gradually rising expectations by the prime number of repeats of a phrase whose length is also asymmetrical. Part Z: One Sweet Dream Like section X. plus the boogie woogie background beat make it all seem faster. the harmony is harder driving in this phrase because of the frequent use of secondary dominants. This device is something that you'll Page 58 .

And then. a temporary. The final subsection (call it 'ZB') is musically built out of the following two-measure phrase. and finally fade out with the implication of a jam session that might go on forever. as well as documenting what really happened in Page 59 . the most salient thing to note is how they symmetrically divide an octave on the one hand. the 2&3 syncopation also makes a dramatic re-appearance in these two measures. this phrase actually continues into the first two measures of the next section creating a nice formalistic elision. This creates two perceptible harmonic effects: 1. we have “down with the lights. repeated 14 times into the fade out. though Gershwin himself could be said to be ripping it off from the likes of Liszt.C# At any rate. and bring on the ‘Sun King. The remaining ten repeats first accompany the enigmatic “One two three four five six seven” chorus.V III |A I |d iv |** = half measure |A |B** C I V-of. (the first four of which are a direct transposition of the introduction). yet do this by hitting notes which are not part of the scale of the octave being subdivided. the harmonic rhythm underscores the syncopation only in the first measure. Macca rules vocally in the first 4 iterations. from the point of view of the lyrics. free-fall sense of not quite being in any specific key.find all over the place in a piece like “Rhapsody in Blue”. followed by a fragmentary repeat which breaks down after only one and a half measures.A G GBb-B-B#-.’” It's worth your tracking down an unedited. up with the synthesized crickets. for the rest of them: |C Bass line: chords C B flat-III G A flat-VII |A I | The first four repeats of this phrase accompany the final lyrics of the verse started in the previous section. with a children's counting rhyme introduced. and 2. seemingly non-sequitur like. the above passage leads right into a short verse of seven and a half measures which subdivides into one phrase of six measures. To be more accurate. if you've heard the early-mix outtake of this referenced below you'll know what I mean about forever. I believe its use here is unique in the work of The Beatles. early mix of this song missing all of the vocal overdubs (other than Paul's single track lead) and some of the instrumental retouching. discussion of which is way outside the scope of these articles. The by-now-familiar syncopated rhythm shows up in both measures of this phrase. what prompted Macca to think of it is beyond me. and leads directly into the next section: |A I |B V-of-V |C E flat. though in yet another classic illustration of “avoidance of foolish consistency”. For now.flatV III A: Note how the sustaining of the minor iv chord in measures 5 and 6 suddenly puts the breaks on just when momentum is gathering. Check it out! C# BbGUpper voice: Bass line |E| |CA Bb|G| |EbC C#C#|Bb| |GbEb |C#| |AE EE| | | Gb-G-G#-. Diminished seventh chords have several interesting properties. a clangorous series of chromatic cross relations.

Some Final Thoughts So how does all of this hang together? Granted. the chord progression of section ZB appears to be a summing up of the harmonic plan in a nutshell: X a minor Y C Major Z A Major 2. in this light. along with the more subtle inter-song resonance with “Polythene Pam” and “The End. The song presents its own alternative notion of repetition in place of a more standard form.” 082300#13. Additionally.” “Lord John McCartney. further followed by an apparently spontaneous launch into “At the Hop” which goes on for close to another minute stopping eventually with a complete ending.5 to 14 But obviously. This uncropped outtake shows the initial 4 iterations of section ZB followed by an instrumental jam session of 20(!) iterations of it. 1969 first piecing together of the complete medley. Even though none of the sections of this song make a “return” performance once the music has moved on to another section. In fact. The harmonic plan for the three sections is a straightforward arch. we're dealing with more than a mish-mosh. the form of this song is a seeming jumble. It's unusual but I believe it works. and a solitary sustained organ note in place of the sound effects. On a higher level. with a fadeout that is complete by the end of the eighth next iteration.the studio during and after the fadeout of the official version. he's the millionaire Irish peer. as descriptive on a relationship in which neither side is ever genuine when the chips are down.--------------------. there are several sections that consist of a short phrase repeated immediately several times.--------------------------------| X-intro -> X1 -> X2 YA1 -> YA2/YB1 to YB5 ZA-intro -> ZA1/ZB1 to 4. I'd argue that the this lack of an internal “reprise” within this song itself is what makes the reprise of section 'X' inside of “Carry That Weight” so satisfying. there is the rough mix of this song from the July 30. On strictly musical grounds. in the context of a genre in which you expect to see some patterned alternation of verses and breaks. a medley at best: X Y Z |------------------.1 Page 60 . there is the monetary leitmotif running through the lyrics of all three sections. but it's worth hearing to discover an ending of the song in which the counting rhyme starts off during the last of Macca's first four iterations of ZB. though I've always interpreted the "money" of the X section more metaphorically. The unofficial releases available of this have terrible sound quality. filthy rich of course. The form may not be "standard" but there are at least two unifying elements at work (in addition to the recurrent syncopation discussed earlier): 1.

because it's such a good illustration of two compositional lessons – how to fill a large canvas with simple means. Superimposed against that background we get half-sung/half-screamed interjectory phrases from Paul. albeit without an intro.Hey Jude Key: Meter: Form: F Major 4/4 Verse – Verse – Bridge – Verse – Bridge – Verse – Bridge – Verse – Jamming phase (fadeout) General Points Of Interest Style and Form “Hey Jude” is such a monumental favorite. There are many other songs by contemporaneous artists which break the 3-to-4 minute length barrier. and orchestration to articulate form and contrast. I'm almost dissuaded from touching it because of the pressure to say something profound. though the examples which come immediately to mind use a variety of techniques. The song-like half of the track is cast in the standard two-bridge model with one verse intervening. hymn-like song together with an extended. There's also the subtle matter of the way that time in this song is divided into classically proportional durations. mantra-like jam on a simple chord progression. slowly fading out to eventual silence in the middle of the final repeat. The Long Form Much has been made of the unusual length of this song (7:07).” The melody of all sections here begins with a pickup before the down beat. The Classical Style A number of factors lend a four-square. particularly for a single. and from what simple musical materials they are constructed. or simply a long series of verse/refrain couples (“Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands”). Page 61 . but it's the means by which this length is sustained (not the length per se) that's of interest. bass line. the only chromatic exception being the relatively tame use of the F7 chord (V-of-IV) to shift into the bridge section. even if I do get everything wrong. The jam-like half of the song presents no less than nineteen repetitions of the same phrase. almost classical flavor to the song half: • The harmony is purely diatonic F Major. The Beatles opt here instead for an unusual binary form that combines a fully developed. and how to use diverse elements such as harmony. The lyrics of each section are different. medley-style (“Macarthur Park”). but more on all of this to come. I'll go for it nonetheless. The main “lyrics” are scat sung to the syllable “na-na” and start right on the downbeat of the phrase. It will become clear from a detailed examination of “Hey Jude” just how neatly the two halves complement each other. which comes close to reiterating the words of the first section significantly substitutes “under your skin” for “into your heart. even for the two bridges. none of which is used in “Hey Jude”: an extended improvisational break in the middle (“Light My Fire”). In the case of the bridges that pickup anticipates the downbeat by close to a full measure. the stringing together of several shorter songs. most unusual! Even the final verse.

Also add bass. The piano part's right hand features an oscillating chordal style. The jam session tune is a nicely lopsided arch. In the song-like half. IV. 1969.As in Bridge 1. skewed toward its upper end. single tracked. We'll discover below that both verse and bridge sections both subtle means with which to counter what would be an otherwise unrelieved squared-off feeling. the bass line of the verse. the only exception being the repeat of the C chord (V) in measures 2 and 3. is a key source of the perceived contrast between the bridge section and its surrounding verses. in particular. non-existent) role for George. Neither adding to or varying the arrangement of the second bridge sets a good example of "avoidance of foolish consistency". as we do one of formal articulation. choosing to fade it out in mid-jam. Note the stray backing vocal with the terrific anticipation of the phrase "so let it out and let it in" from the next bridge. Page 62 . and the harmonic rhythm is a stodgy single chord change per measure. by the way.• • • • In the verse. and an extremely diminished (in some cases. The song-like half uses the garden variety chords of I. we find not so much a source of contrast. ii. A simple. Melody and Harmony The verse tune has nice multiple arches. all of these alternates present the song with much less “solemnity. Arrangement When we turn to the arrangement. and tambourine on the offbeat. and how the final two verses continue to present deft touches of variation on what has come before: Verse 1 Verse 2 Piano solo with Macca vocal. section-by-section narrative reveals both how the texture is increasingly thickened over the first three sections. and V. almost subliminal syncopation. fairly late example of the progressive layering technique that appears as a Beatles trademark almost from the beginning. Add acoustic rhythm guitar.” and with quite a bit more hard-rocking edge and horsing-around sense of humor than the official version. The bridge features a Bach-like walking bass line which. thereby creating a very slow. The Alternative Versions The Anthology included one early take of the song from July 29. A couple other outtakes from the following day's sessions. The jam-like half opts for the so-called double plagal cadence. Verse 3 Second half has backing vocals in parallel thirds with lead. and very casually-yet-artfully includes both unique high and low points. Interpretively. in conspicuous walking style. all the chords are presented in root position. we have an excellent. The melody pervasively makes use of appoggiaturas and “escape” notes. have been unofficially available as well. Bridge 1 . The technical common denominator of all these alternates is the lack of orchestra in the jam session. that were filmed for partial inclusion in a TV show. Also add backing vocals singing "Ahhhh" in the second half of the verse. The bridge tune is more simply downward in gesture. no less. after all. simply follows the roots of the chord changes.Add drums and tapping cymbals. I think it also underscores the relationship of the two bridges to each other. as well as their contrasting role with respect to the verses. Bridge 2 .

and is built out of four phrases that are through-composed. a painting in which the perspective is so deep that the vanishing point of singularity seems to approach the infinite. it actually sounds triple tracked . "the long caravan which passes slowly by". but the sorts of things which come to mind are "the music of the spheres". and screaming Macca. Contrary to popular belief. rocking foreground texture of the piano. drums.. found on a variety of popular under the counter rarities.Verse 4 - Note Macca's melodic ornamentation of the initial "Hey Jude" phrase.” Macca's performance of that flourish. please!) Section By Section Walkthrough Verse The verse is a standard eight measures long. In general.Bass fiddles in unison with the ground bass. would ya'. . is quite a tour de force. combined with the sensation created by the sustained-note doubling of the bassline. in addition to all the instruments used in the first half (with the exception of the bass guitar. and brass. according to Lewisohn). Whatever is really been said there. the session documentation lists a full variety of strings. and how the parallel thirds of the backing vocal follows all the way through this verse. Jude. The arrangement and the recording of the jam section also contain some interesting strategic details. they add up to one long mega-phrase that contains no internal repeat structure. but what you hear mostly on the finished recording are bowed strings and trumpets.. and a third singing “make it. The urban legend about an "undeleted expletive" on the finished recording at time stamp 2:59 has been documented by no less than Lewisohn. this technique lends an overall feel of weightiness and measured motion to the music. The curious thing about the recording of this jam is the extremely long fade-out that begins as early as the tenth repetition of the mantra-like phrase. though I've seen the veracity of it debated. eleven notes above middle C – real soprano territory – and he does it without having to fully overblow his voice into falsetto. i. the repeated ground bass line of the jam is underscored by sustained doubling of a small orchestra of 36 players. The verses sections that are followed by a bridge have one measure rhetorically added: Page 63 . Repeat 8 . by the way.”) which leads to the jam section. woodwinds. Though he was sufficiently insecure about his performance to have double tracked it here. There's also the final vocal flourish (“better. Most notably. Repeat 4 . Unlike “All You Need Is Love” (with which it is perhaps sometimes confused). This gambit. you can get a more pristine.”” The doubling of the bass line is progressively layered over the course of several repetitions of the mantralike phrase: Repeat 1 .two Maccas singing the flourish itself. (Get this guy out of here.Add violins at 4 octaves above ground bass. though they sound like they sustain a simple F natural rather than following the melody of the bassline.e. better. It's an appoggiatura'd arpeggio covering just over two octaves from E below middle C all the way up to high F. creates an astonishingly transcendental effect. single tracked audition of this feat on the Take 9 rehearsal version. the chorus here is not made up of the Beatles “closest hundred friends. at a point where there are still a full two minutes of music left to come. curiously in contrast to the otherwise bustling. it's a strange bit of accidentally-on-purpose sloppiness left in the transcript of a recording in which everything else seems so carefully controlled.Add mid-range strings (cellos/violas ?) and trumpets two octaves above the ground bass. or perhaps. the ad-lib choral singing of “na-na-na” was done by the same session musicians who played the orchestral overdub. I stumble for metaphors to describe it.

|F F: I |C V |- |F I | |Bb IV |F I |C V |F I -7 (V-of-IV) | The harmonic shape is closed. and provides a foreshadowing. Bridge The bridge is an unusual 11 and a half measures long. in spite of what appears on the surface to be its AA parallel phrasing: chords |Bb bassline|Bb A IV |g |G ii F V |C |E |F C |F I | |-7 | (V-of-IV) | |Bb IV |g ii |C V |F I |-7 |C7 V |- | The first phrase is rhetorically extended to five measures so that its connection to the second phrase mimics the lead-in from the verse to the start of the bridge. but it shortens the measure with the F7 chord in it by half. more subtle sources of contrast. Mixolydian flavor which contrasts with the almost simplistically “straigh”. The use of the flat-VII chord here gives the jam session a decidedly modal. two-measure “na-na” phrase that leads back around to the following verse. The harmonic shape of this section is open at both ends. The second phrase starts off in parallel to the first one. diatonic Major mode of the first half. but there are two other. though the final chord is subtly turned into a V-of-IV which leads us directly into the bridge. Page 64 . associative link with the jam section. and tacks on a short. Some pedants would insist of spelling the Eb on top of the F7 chord in measure 9 as D# because of its melodic resolution upward to E natural in the C chord. The Jamming Phrase The second half of the song is built on no less than eighteen and a half repetitions of the following four measure phrase whose harmonic shape is closed: |F I |E-flat flat-VII |B-flat IV |F I | Not only does the repetitive nature of this section create an obvious contrast with the symmetrical form of the first half.

creates a freely dissonant 9th against the E flat chord. blissful joy of the second half falls right into place. and feeling of having encountered something somehow “classic” or “epic” one experiences in this song. all of the plentiful melodic dissonance to be found there is carefully. obviously something of a preoccupation of some of the Beatles during the era in which this song was composed. Some Final Thoughts The Time If you chart out the durations of the major sections of HJ. But the older I get. the more convinced I am that the main message here is to be found in the first half – the “imperative” to now pursue one's destined love the minute either you have found her.fade out ---| I would dare to suggest that on top of everything else we've discussed.jam section ---------| |-. the affect that each song has upon you would be hardly diminished if for some reason you were to remain oblivious to the biographical background of either. as a rule. the transcendent. you find that.1 Page 65 .” 082700#14. adds a new dimension to your appreciation of it but. with its emphasis on the F-natural at its apogee. myself. yet so pungent that I dare say it's one of the signature characteristics of this track. it's a small effect. this proportional division of time is yet another source of the satisfaction. The fact that the song was written by Paul to Julian Lennon during the breakup of John and Julian's mom.The “na-na-na” vocal melody of this jam. with the jam turning out to be the longer of the two major sections: minutes:0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 |-------. So my question stands. golden-mean proportions. as I've observed with respect to the fact of John's having written “Julia” in honor of his own mother. If you look back at the first half of the song. The jam section taken alone would seem to point in the thematic direction of “spiritual enlightenment”. they divide up the time into notquite symmetrical. you'll note that in contrast. consistently resolved. or she has found ---------|--------. I do believe that once you internalize that much. What's It All About ? I've never been quite sure. Cynthia. So. relaxation. Yes. “Control yourself or you'll spurt.

variation on the more standard two-bridge model.. and the segue of the second bridge directly into the outro without a verse section intervening. syllabic setting for the rest of the way. even strange. The Bridge's melodic line over the course of its four phrases creates a lovely arch shape.” “woah-woah. In addition. the verses before each bridge share the same lyrics. The text of this song pervasively incorporates trademark Beatles wordplay on phonemes (“hey-hey-hey. the form is an unusual. for the first time in this series. neither is it all exceptional.” “can't you see. Browsing through the Beatles canon. the big crush appears around the SP album. as in “and I do” and “can't you see..” “So-oh.” and “give me more. with the obvious climax on that upward falsetto flip in the third phrase.” and “tooooh -ooh-ooh-ooh.” I wonder if the exception to this. and in spite of a couple relatively early examples. In two out of the three verses. though. the novel features being the appearance of three verse sections in a row between the bridges (the middle one of which is an instrumental). but still asserts an ascending gesture overall. “I. Four of the verses have lyrics with an overall repeat scheme of ABCB.. For starters. most of which are Page 66 . a situation where the two verses that precede a bridge section are subtly modified in order to effect a smoother formal transition. oh”) and immediate repeating of short trite phrases (“and I do. or simply for the heck of it): There's A Place Not A Second Time You're Going To Lose That Girl Within You Without You Good Morning Good Morning A Day In The Life I Am The Walrus The list is clearly dominated by John.”) Melody and Harmony The Verse melody covers the narrow range of a 6th. Jude” and “. especially in comparison with either of the two we most recently looked at together. you find a number of ways in which The Boys simply refuse to just play it straight. the long vowel sound is exploited toward the end of the section. The fairly large amount of melodic ground covered by this (a 10th!) bridge is in contrast to the more restricted pitch range of the verses. While this procedure is definitely not the default of the genre.” is merely random or an intentional avoidance of foolish consistency.Money. we run into. and the list here excludes cases in which a verse variant is used for purposes other than smoothing the bridge transition (such as only to smooth the transition to the outro.” is immediately followed up by a rhythmically active.. mostly noodling on the top 4 notes. “. This bridge melody is quite distinctive in its own right from the way in which each of its four lines end with an open vowel. In other words. we find the following other examples. The most distinctive thing about this melody is the manner in which the unusually long sustained note at the beginning on the open vowel.” If you look closely enough at this one. “give me more.I Should Have Known Better Key: Meter: Form: G Major 4/4 Intro – Verse – Verse – Bridge – Verse – Verse (guitar solo) – Verse – Bridge – Outro (fadeout) General Points Of Interest Style and Form You would think that “I Should Have Known Better” is a relatively straightforward Beatles song.

do trace it carefully and note how.set melismatically (i. illustrating yet another basic compositional principle: in matters of sharp spice. entirely in G Major. a melodic. John gets the lead vocal honors. i. a little goes a long way. Arrangement The backing arrangement. of course that bluesy harmonica.e. The bluesy harmonica is right there on the downbeat with an 'E-F-E' melodic pattern that creates a series of piquant dissonances against the recurring D chord in the accompaniment. You walk away from a casual listen thinking it's always there but. almost hyperactive bass which is mixed relatively far back. the 'E' on the downbeat making a nice 9th. Verse A most unusual feature of “I Should Have Known Better”is that the verses come in two variants. its primary function being to introduce each verse in turn. light drumming. it is actually used rather sparingly. double tracked most of the way through except for an exceptional break in the second bridge. third. electric lead. The key scheme features a short-lived modulation to the relative minor for the bridges. and. Section By Section Walkthrough Intro A number of musical elements which ultimate characterize the entire song are immediately presented in the short and simple four-measure introduction: ----. dominated by acoustic guitar. and fourth) are characterized by a ten-measure length and a "closed" harmonic shape. with the exception of the guitar solo section.e. The chords used are relatively small in number are all garden variety.. both beginning and ending essentially on the I chord: |G G: I D V |G D I |G V D I |G V D I | V |G I D V |e vi6 vi 3 | |C IV |D V |G I D V |G I D V | Page 67 .4X -------|G D | I V G: The alternating I-V chord pattern is to continues beyond the intro through no less than five measures of the verse and comes back again for another two measures at the end of that section. It's also interesting to follow the intermittent use of this harmonica throughout the song. with the vowel sung over a succession of pitches). those that are followed directly by another verse (as are the first. is rather homogenized throughout. and the F-natural neighbor tone making a class-A cross-relation against the F-sharp of the chord beneath.

the e chord is sustained through the entire measure. with a bass line which descends from G down to E. which hovers around a relatively restricted choice of pitches. where it introduces the next verse. just as the return of the IV oscillating harmony in measures nine and ten adds symmetry. there's no harmonica here. Verse’ A Verse’ variant is used for those verses (i. by the way. placing the chord at the beginning of the measure in the so-called “first” or “6-3” inversion. Measure six features the rare occurrence in this genre of a chord in non-root position. you see that the ten measures are meant to be parsed as 6 (actually 4 + 2) + 4. as well as the melodic structure. The solo ends with a surprise touch: the melodic leading tone of f# near the end of the solo. Coloristically. instead of being resolved up to g. The slowing of the harmonic rhythm in measures seven and eight adds nice ballast. in particular. the second and the fifth) which lead directly into a bridge section. free verse feeling. Bridge The bridge is an unusually long and well-developed sixteen-measure section of four different phrases. being a repetition of the original melody with just the slightest hint of embellishment. but also creates a pervasive added-sixth chord on G. is followed by an added-sixth G chord with an e on the top. and is characterized by an eight measure length and an open harmonic shape. is a good example of what has become a dying breed. creating some strikingly dissonant tone clusters against the melody of the guitar. against that added-sixth chord at the end. except in measures nine and ten.From the phrasing of the words. The closed harmonic shape is reinforced by the melody. The solo. starting in the key of e minor and eventually modulating back to the home key of G Major via a pivot on the C chord in the ninth measure: |e e: i |C VI |G III |B V e i ||G III |G7 | V-of-VI |C |D e: VI G: IV V |G I |e vi C IV |D V |G I D V |G I D V | Page 68 .. the melodic emphasis on the note 'e' not only extends the presence of the D9 sonority already heard in the intro.e. Those seemingly extra middle two measures (“that I would love everything that you do”) with their repeat of the melody from the preceding two measures create a rhetorical.e. And. i. starting in G major but leading to the key (actually ending on the V chord) of the relative minor key of e: |G I D V |G D I |G V D I |G V D I | V |G I D V |e vi6 vi 3 |C IV e: |B VI | V This variation is notably identical to the primary verse right up through measure 7. Note how this solo section is the only one in which the harmonica continues its ostinato pattern all the way through a verse. of course. The guitar solo is also built on this primary verse form.

The harmony subtly teases you when it dips down to the e chord in measure twelve. and it is always nicely foiled by the steady unsyncopated rhythm of the backing track. Just a few examples to get you jazzed for further study: the harmonica part starting in the second measure of the intro. returns in measures fifteen and sixteen to herald the arrival of the next verse. the first entrance of the voice part on the word “I”. this time.. you'll find this accent on the offbeat of "four-AND. don't they? – You'd expect something a little more palatial. 'cos they usually reckon dogs more than people in England. But then again. to a single track recording of John's voice.. was I surprised. the end of each phrase of the verse (e. As an example of the sort of attention paid to fine detail. Keep a lookout for exactly where in the song that Patti Whatsername covers her eyes of blue with her long blonde hair because it (John's single track singing) is all too much. on the words “you” and “do” in verse one). The only difference between the two bridges is the sudden shift in the second one. time for me to cover my eyes of blue.” 092400#15. but also underlies the extent to which you might say that this song "swings" or conveys a passionate subtext. I'm tempted to argue that John was more usually double tracked. true to form. there is a pervasive use in this song of syncopated accents on the last eighth note of the measure. Based on rough outtakes of other Lennon songs from this period (e. it still has the power to stop you in your tracks. I don't want to spoil the party for those who like to go digging for such details on their own. the very top of the falsetto flip. Note that this effect actually begins on the last measure of the previous verse. quite the opposite. Outro The second bridge is followed by an outro which fades out with the same musical pattern and arrangement of the intro.The arrangement introduces the electric guitar in the bridge for the purpose of underscoring the first beat of every measure with a single strummed chord. with the voice added. and of course my favorite.g. Oh well. The harmonica." This subtle element not only helps unify the song. note how the double tracking is restored just for an instant in order to reinforce the falsetto flip.) “Funny . I went into this one expecting to find something close to a standard formula. because in single track mode. (Ooops. for the first and only time in the entire song. “A Hard Day's Night” or “I'm A Loser”). I recommend you take a peek at the performance of “I Should Have Known Better” in the baggage car scene of the A Hard Day's Night film. I suppose I should have known better. just when you think you've fully turned the corner back toward G. but I promise you that this syncopation is to be found all over the song. but. somewhat smoothing over the “seam” between the second verse and the bridge.1 Page 69 . If you doubt the capability of this sound to awaken little spikes of whatnot in its listeners. if you count along very quickly in tempo. not because he didn't sound secure enough without it.g. and boy. he almost sounds too intense. This section is perhaps the high point of the song because of the single tracking. Some Final Thoughts Underlying all the other structural and harmonic details discussed above.

it follows the bridge as well as providing the final phrase of each verse. The song is in D major. The outro is a neatly crafted extension of material from the intro. and bridge) is predominantly downward. and A. the arrangement here is also something to be savored. and features that three-time repetition of the same phrase which is so much a trademark of the Beatles. and those harmonica parts. I trust our peek at the vocal parts will. and a final verse.. But note the following intriguing peculiarities: • • • The intro is repeated before the final verse. though they each contain at least some amount of counterbalancing upward motion. The drumming is mostly in even eighth notes. and more than 90% of the music is built on the I-IV-V chords of D. John and Paul collaborate on the vocals though. strictly speaking. in particular. The lyrics of the three verses create an ABA pattern. though Ringo's at least given a chance to break loose in the outro. Aside from the title phrase per se. There is a lot of mileage gotten here out of only three chords. It's a quick one (2:05) and a lowly single B-side no less. The Capitol release of this recording on the Second Album features additional harmonica dubs and a shamelessly excessive amount of reverb not found on the Past Masters CD release. Beyond the formal and harmonic sorts of details we usually explore.Thank You Girl Key: Meter: Form: D Major 4/4 Intro – Verse/Refrain – Verse/Refrain – Bridge/Refrain – Intro – Verse/Refrain – Outro (with complete ending) General Points Of Interest Style and Form “Thank You Girl” is yet another deceptively simple song of the early period. Only two other chords are used. Melody and Harmony The melodic shape off all three sections (verse. G. At first blush. whose unvarnished sound quality comes across in contrast more like chamber music than a wall of sound. the whole thing enclosed by both intro and full-ending outro. The four-bar phrase "And all I've got to etc. a bridge. the arrangement is sufficiently straightforward to be played and sung entirely in real time without overdubs. but one that reveals a variety of surprising twists applied to the old formulas. Arrangement The backing features harmonica. the vi and ii chords of b and e. With the exception of the outro." is repeated throughout the song as a refrain. and is to be strongly Page 70 . and bridge all start off right on the downbeat. it appears like we're dealing with one of the very standard forms: two verses. alone. you might say John leads. i. and these make their first and only appearance in the bridge. giving us a rare chance to hear in a studio context what they must have sounded like live. be worth the price of admission. refrain. The intro.e. verse. The mini-refrain portion of the verse has the smallest of pickups before the bar. which were recorded separately. the song has notably very little syncopation. an unadorned root-note bass line and simple rhythm guitar(s) parts.

there's a slight ambiguity as to what key we're in at the outset. Schematically it looks like this: |Harmonica -------chords: |A |G D: V IV |Voices |A V -----------|G IV |Verse |D I First off. there is the suspenseful possibility that we just might be in the key of A. the D chord of the fourth bar is sustained for the entire measure instead of moving to G in the second half of the measure. not how the simple phonemes “oh-mmm-you” are elided to sensual effect.recommended to those not familiar with it. we find that by the time the verse begins. moving homewards having started in the outfield. whereas the chords in the intro are all embellished by neighboring tones on the offbeats like so: F#-FE-EC# A Two other details: • • The successive harmonica and vocals parts in this intro fit together into a single descending scale of E-DC#-B-A. This mistake is not repeated in either of the other verses. though why they didn't stop for this in the first instance remains a riddle considering. There is a vivid kiss-like sensation embedded in the introductory vocal parts. this phrase has a convergent shape. Turning to the arrangement. you'll note that this slight detail was enough to trip up the rhythm guitarist on the first verse. Page 71 . there have already been three changes of texture in very short order. The first two measures feature harmonica plus heavy tom-tom drumming which stresses every beat in the measure. almost hard to believe it's the same take which underlies the Capitol version. Paul plays the notes D and A on beats 1 and 3 respectively while John (?) plays a G chord on the rhythm guitar. the music finally lets you know that “this is 'D. The next two measures introduce John and Paul's voices in Everly Brothers' style parallel thirds while the drumming shifts over to the lighter snare and cymbals-tapping work which is used throughout most of the rest of the song. that they generally did stop for errors of a similar nature. as we learn from the outtakes readily available to us these days. E-EC# A F#-F-| E-EE-E|D-DD-D|B |G Verse The verse is eight measures long and built out of a virtual repetition of the following four measure phrase: |D D: I G IV |D I G IV |D I A V |D D G IV | Note that in the second phrase. the start of the verse provides contrast with the entire intro in that the chords of the verse are presented in an unembellished oom-pah style. To put all this another way.'” but until then. and that the opening chords are I and flat VII. try it yourself and see what it does to you. Thirdly. If you listen carefully. By the time you reach measure 5. Section By Section Walkthrough Intro The intro is only four measures long but is quite rich in detail.

Compared to the intro. In spite of the slowed harmonic rhythm in this phrase. that same twangy and dissonant flavor we discussed above in connection to the verse. it's definitely not something out of the Everly Brothers! Instead of bonehead parallel thirds what we get here is an almost seemingly arbitrary and yet delightfully pungent. The vocal part is quite “Misery”-like: all in unison except for that open sixth which blossoms forth for an instant on the word “do”. no. Now this added bit of harmony not only has on first hearing. is similarly motivated as above. the result is a sort of third voice that sounds like unlike either of them? Even better though is the quintessentially Beatles-esque harmonization of the second phrase. but there is also the oscillation between the IV and V chords. in fact. the first half of the verse is given to us in unison. there is a subtle feeling of propulsion created by the gentle syncopation of those “Thank you”s in the vocal part. there is more two part harmony added at the end of all the other repeats of this refrain. almost statically bound to the tonic. At any rate. that G chord in the second half of measure four is quite necessary to leave the first phrase just sufficiently open to allow for a repeat of the phrase in measures five through eight. not accidentally at the melodic apogee of the phrase. “Thank You Girl” has ample examples of both methods of contrast. my dear reader. we not only have the slowing of the harmonic rhythm back to one chord per measure.. “Misery”) or even whole phrases of two-part counterpoint.g. ever notice how when John and Paul sing together like this.e. When you look at the vocal arrangements of the early period you find the Boys favoring the device of peppering a song that is sung primarily in unison with either occasional notes here and there which suddenly shift into two part harmony (e. check 'em out: Paul: John: |A |F# D E G |F# A B D |A D E G |F# A B D |A D C#B |A F# E D |D Refrain This is another short section of only four measures whose harmonic shape is wide open with an emphatic focus on a dominant V chord which goes begging for resolution: D: |G IV |A V |G IV |A V | I also tend to subliminally associate this section with the intro. do let's move on to the vocal parts. the verse seems a tad faster and more driving. the new upper part sung by Paul in all refrains except the first one is pitted against John's singing of the identical part they both sung in unison this first time around: Paul: John: |E D |E D D D |F# E |C# B E A | | Bridge This is an eight-measure section built out of two phrases: Page 72 . but on closer examination.The overall harmonic shape of the verse is rather closed. But you know. in large measure. more consonant sixths. Interestingly. i. dissonant jumble of fourths and fifths mixed among the few. this is due to the up shift of the harmonic rhythm here to two chords per measure from the one-per-measure of the intro. granted they're in reverse order this time. After those vocal parallel thirds of the intro. that this strange counterpoint is not at all without motivation – listen carefully and note how the lower line sung by John is none other than the self-same melody sung by him and Paul in the first phrase.

2 Page 73 . The abrupt editing in of this outro goes down smoothly on casual listening. but that in the several stand-alone takes of the coda. the first of which is six measures long. Outro The outro consists of three similar phrases. and making sure that Ringo's elaborate fills stay within the framework of the backbeat right down to the wire. As a result. the vocal parts are primarily in unison except for the brief. here the “girl” is singled out for her having provided emotional support. while the remaining two are four measures each. you made me glad when I was blue. in which romantic effusion is more than likely to be prompted by the physical attractions of youthful beauty and technical prowess on the dance floor or in the loving department. The first phrase repeats the music of the intro virtually verbatim and then tacks on two measure which are harmonically identical to the beginning of the verse section. From the outtakes of this song it not only seems possible that a fade-out ending was originally considered. The third and final phrase begins as though going for yet another verbatim repeat of what preceded but the last two measures now neatly provide the full ending with the same sort of neighbor tone embellishment of the harmony as seen in the opening measures of the intro. Although this bridge section makes a half-hearted attempt at harmonic excursion away from the tonic by starting off on the vi chord. we are given some well needed.D: |b vi |D I |A V |- ||e ii |A V |D I |- | Harmonically. “Boys. I'd suggest that one of the most forward-pointing details in this song is to be found in a fragment of the lyrics. the shape of this section overall is unusually closed for a bridge. the repeat of the openended refrain at this juncture works quite well in the way it sets up the rest of the song. the lines about how “you've been good to me.” Against the backdrop of the other songs of theirs from this early period. punctuated repeat of the phrase “way that you do” in parallel thirds.” 101700#16. Melodically. In that sense the song looks ahead to the likes of “Help!” and beyond. you don't know what this means to me. but once you know that it's there. As in the refrain. The second phrase repeats what were the last four measures of the previous phrase. you're hard pressed to ignore its sudden increase of reverb and even a very slight speeding up of the tempo. albeit short-lived relief from our strict diet of only three chords. the voicing of the rhythm guitar chords. though in place of the voices we now are given fancy flourishes on the drums. we see the Boys fiddling with the details of the bass line. Some Final Thoughts Independent of the technical music theory details. the use of scalar material in the melody provides a unifying association with the refrain.

The two verses contain no lyrics that are repeated. In “Any Time At All” the form is conspicuously not a variation of the more familiar one. we'll still not have come across too many songs in total can be said to be playing it strictly by the so-called rules. This folk ballad-like design. Here we find the more gut wrenching of the two flavors of syncopation that can occur on "4-AND.” The harmony uses a small number of chords and Page 74 . rather than recycling material from the refrain or the verse as is more common. the one that's not followed by an explicit demarcation of the downbeat that follows. enough so to bear comparison with “We Can Work It Out. Note how much flatter the whole song sounds if the break section simply opts for the same rhythmic gesture of either the verse or refrain. that is still quite a pleasure to discover at whatever stage of your interest in the group's music you eventually encounter it. It is even more conspicuously shot through with appoggiaturas. Their rhyme scheme using the 3rd and 6th line of each verse is novel. you find a wealth of more adventurous options to be explored. Compare this with the similar “When I Get Home.” And contrast it to our recently studied “I Should Have Known Better” and “You Can't Do That” for examples where the downbeat following syncopation on four-AND is marked out." i. The song contains only two verses. while a common enough device in other pop and folk music and. yet once you get past the surface glitz. It's also a fine example of a song whose form and content on the surface seems so straightforward and familiar. John sets the tone with his downbeat melissma on the word “all” at the start of the refrain. But thus far. and is noteworthy on three counts: • • • • A frequently recurring refrain section dominates the song. Melody and Harmony The tune is somewhat pentatonic and arch-shaped. This answered in spades by the backing arrangement at the downbeat of the following measure.e. once we look at it carefully enough. I am beginning to suspect that by the time we get through the entire repertoire. In context of the refrain's starting with a long pickup and the verse's starting after the downbeat I think it's an effective (and not entirely coincidental) twist that the instrumental section starts right on the downbeat. The bridge itself introduces new. every one I've chosen reveals its own variations. and the simpler pleasures. It's a heavily syncopated little number. the number of repeats of the refrain. I assume that the doubled-up length of the verses themselves. and the peculiar placement of the bridge so close to the end of the track all argue against inclusion of a late-breaking third verse. I embarked on this series of articles fully expecting in short order to stumble occasionally (if not quite repeatedly) into examples of formulaic Beatles songwriting. unique material (though the melodic material does link back to the appoggiatura stuff earlier).Any Time At All Key: Meter: Form: D Major 4/4 Refrain – Verse – Refrain – Verse – Refrain – Bridge – Refrain – Outro (with complete ending) General Points Of Interest Style and Form “Any Time At All” is yet another one of those Beatles songs that tends to get eclipsed by the more popular hits of its period. is not often found in the early work of the Boys.or two-bridge models we've seen over and over again.

D: |b vi |D I |A V ||b vi |G IV A V |D I || The tune is quite full of appoggiaturas. and the use of the vi-I progression at the outset. John's double-tracked lead vocal rules unassisted except for Paul's hocket-like provision of the second line of the refrain in place of John. The is relatively thin. Section By Section Walkthrough Refrain The track begins with a startling drum thwack on the second beat of the measure. My gut tells me this was inattention to detail. The second one does a 4->3 leaning-tone turn around the note C# over the A chord in measure 4. drums. only serves to enhance the effectiveness of the appoggiaturas. though where this thwack fits into the meter isn't quite clear to the senses until you hear at least the next repeat of this refrain in context. Ringo appears to break the syncopation pattern in the second refrain by marking the downbeat instead of avoiding it. is not only also leaningtone oriented. The tune is constructed out of several short interjectory phrases with enough room between each of them for a series of antiphonal. not intentional avoidance of foolish consistency. These phrases themselves are noteworthy. The use of several bluesy f-naturals in the tune. commentary-like obbligato figures in the guitar and bass parts. and the recording (at least insofar as we are currently stuck with nothing better than the mono version on CD) is unfortunately noisy. which make for cross relations with the f-sharps of the underlying chords. homogenized. the latter an extreme favorite of Lennon/McCartney. The first one is a sort of mirror image of the first phrase of the tune. The latter creates a novel textural effect and at the same time spares John from having to reach for a high 'A' that is out of his vocal comfort range. Beatles trademarks show up here in the prominence given to both the vi -> I cadence (check out “All I've Got to Do” among others). but is also a melodic motif which reappears both at the end of the verse (still shyly in the background). the several hard syncopations. (G-F#-E-D--F#) at the very end of the refrain. and later has the privilege of reappearing at the climax of the bridge. is built out of two repetitions of the same phrase: chords: bassline: D: D I |D C# iii |f# B vi |b Bb iv |g A I |D C# V |A | |D D I |f# C# iii |b B vi |g Bb iv |D A I |A C# V |D D I |- | Page 75 . Arrangement The backing track is for a combo of guitars. The last one. in spite of its apparently lopsided 6 + 8 phrasing pattern. and the occurrence of “call” and “I'll”. While the choice of chords is nothing unusual. Verse The verse is an unusual fourteen measures long and.hangs closely around the home key. The refrain is a standard eight measure length and has a closed harmonic shape. such juicy leaning tones may be heard on each occurrence of the word “all” in this refrain. and the chromatically descending bass line cliche. take note of the unusually varied harmonic rhythm. and piano. as well as on the word “any” in measure 4.

which could rightly be. The only real difference between them is in the singer's point of view. For example. there is a high level of harmonic tension which accrues over most of its duration. When the above phrase is repeated. so clearly a John Lennon trademark in so many songs. in the passionate context in which it now reappears. In both songs. technically speaking. The build toward a climax is ably abetted by the use of those slow triplets in the lead part. which adds a not unpleasant undertow to the chord progression. What truly raises the repeated use of such techniques over the course of a career from mere mannerisms to the level of true elements of personal style. is the historical context of continual maturation and evolution in the music of the Beatles. the last time we saw this special effect in these articles was in the verse section of “It Won't Be Long”. there is someone who offers him or herself up completely and unconditionally to support another should such help be wanted or needed. which now that I think of it also has a chromatic walking bass line. Outro The outro is a petit reprise of the last part of the final refrain with a finishing flourish of guitar chords that sounds strangely “flown in” from elsewhere in terms of its tone quality. In terms of verbal theme “Any Time At All” turns out provide an uncanny mirror image of what we saw in “Thank You Girl”. And as mentioned earlier. there is also the sheer number of compositional devices and tricks used in this song. which factor place the otherwise garden variety 7th chords of that phrase appear in unusual inversions. the same old trick as it is here. but look at the difference between the two songs! The same goes for the slow triplets in “We Can Work it Out” or “Don't Let Me Down”. no coincidence that the same composer might be involved. due to the repeated approach-avoidance maneuvering with the V chord. reveals another side to its character. described as some of his songwriting trademarks. Note especially how our example here of “the minor iv chord in a major key” is nicely motivated by the movement of the bass. The common denominator of the two songs rather Page 76 . Some Final Thoughts I suppose you might say that this is a very typical “John song” of the period. so to speak. the first measure of the second iteration is elided to the last measure of the first one. Hmmm.We have here an almost entirely chromatic walking bass line. But let's not get started on this sort of list right here – it's the sort of topic worthy of a sidebar article or more in its own write. The harmonic construction of the first two-measure phrase is based on the contrary motion of the outer voices. here he is the offerer. the familiar little phrase from the accompaniment to the verse. and there he's the receiver. eh? Bridge The bridge is an unusual ten measures long: ------------top line: |G F# chord: |A b bassline: |E F# V4/3 vi4/3 2x -------------|E | |A | |G | V4/2 |G IV |A V |G IV |A V |D I |- | Though we eventually find an effective release at the end of the bridge. the walking tenor-line in “Dear Prudence” is. Aside from whatever there is in the phatic subtext of both the words or music that would lead you to make such a statement.

I mean I wouldn't have it.1 Page 77 . Mind you. I stood up for you.” 103000#17.casually provides food for thought about just how it is that mutual love sometimes begins. Read the lyrics of both songs carefully: in neither case is it necessarily true that the two people involved are aware of any mutual interest prior to the offer of support. John seems to imply that when you offer emotional support to another who may have never explicitly solicited it from you that this may yet turn out to be a prime movement. This raises the profound question of whether love may indeed ignite based on this kind of sympathetic interest of a 3rd party in absence of any pre-existing acquaintance or attraction.

The verse pairs are internally differentiated between a primary version and a slightly modified variant that leads more smoothly into the refrain. I'm parsing this as an up tempo 3/4 both for simplicity and because John himself counts it out that way on the outtake of the song included on Anthology 2. This Boy Baby's in Black Yes It Is You've Got To Hide Your Love Away (our song du jour!) Norwegian Wood Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds (verse) Being For the Benefit of Mister Kite (instrumental break) Happiness is a Warm Gun (Parts 2 and 3) Yer Blues I Want You (She's so heavy) Dig a Pony Paul 1. She's Leaving Home 2. 7. think of how many of Zimmy's own ballads save the harmonica solo for after the final verse! And this is our first encounter with a ternary time signature. Perhaps the following will come as no surprise to those resident teenagers out there who make a religion out of knowing such details. with a central unit of two verses plus a refrain repeated twice. 9. Oh! Darling Page 78 . I wonder if part of this reaction is based on the use of this form. 3. 2. 4. I find it intriguing that many people hear the influence of Dylan in this song. 8. 10. The form is a cross between the two-bridge pop song and the verse/refrain alternating folk ballad.” a song that further exemplifies some of John's signature style traits as much as it breaks some new ground for its time. 11. but I thought it was interesting to note to whom the lion's share of these belonged: John 1. Of course. 6. but a search through the Beatles songbook reveals John to be the most partial of the four toward songs written with at least an entire section in a ternary meter. songs in such time signatures comprise only a small fraction of the total canon. 5. Beyond John's vocal style and the lyrics. quite unusually.You've Got To Hide Your Love Away Key: Meter: Form: G (Mixolydian) Major 3/4 Intro – Verse – Verse – Refrain – Verse – Verse – Verse – Refrain – Verse/Solo (with complete ending) General Points Of Interest Style and Form From the upbeat self confidence of “Thank You Girl” and “Any Time At All” we move this time to the other end of the emotional spectrum with “You've Got To Hide Your Love Away. preceded by a scanty intro and followed. But one could just as easily transcribe it as a moderate 6/8 with two of my 3/4 measures to one of the 6/8 measures. by an instrumental verse that wraps the whole thing up.

a range of 7 notes. the secondary verse. the former would be grossly unfair. he comes in tied with Paul. Luckily. it seems to get a major boost in popularity on the Help! album.” and “I'll Be Back. I Me Mine Given George's small “market share” of the official canon. the next four Len/Mac songs on side one all contain this special chord. with our current selection. i. and IV. The four sung verses all contain different lyrics which adds to the ballad (versus pop) side of the equation. so grammatically. All the sections rhythmically start right on the downbeat. One spicy by-product of this almost purely modal style is the repeated cross-relation exposed by the juxtaposition of the F sharps in the D chord with the F naturals in the F chord. as found for example on the word “on” in the phrase “can't go on. you'll be amazed to note that flat-VII appears for the first time on the Please Please Me album in “P. “Taste of Honey.S. The use of such a limited harmonic palette contributes to the extremely closed tonal shape of the song. and similarly.” we saw how the modal spell is kept unbroken by using the minor v chord. and “You're Going to Lose Page 79 . Compare this example with “Any Time At All” and “Eight Days A Week”. the two phrases in the refrain section each end on V that neatly leads back around into the next verse. Pepper and White Album period. But while the latter may be a slight exaggeration. much of his output (both early and late) is heavily blues based or influenced. in order of appearance.e. The key is G major. a gesture that resonates with the depressed affect of the song's mood. George!) and “All My Loving.” On the Help! album. “When I Get Home. The refrain and final phrase of the primary verse section both feature unusual phrase lengths of six measures. V. The primary verse contains no larger interval than a minor 3rd and covers a range of only 5 notes. such as “Strawberry Fields Forever” and “I Am the Walrus” which are quite imaginative in chord choices and progression. it's significant that in this category. “Another Girl”. I Love You” and the cover.” are a veritable Lennon/Beatles trademark. we have yet another song built exclusively out of four chords. Long. This could have been easily avoided by substituting the C Major IV chord for flat-VII in every place it is preceded by V. In “She Said She Said. D. you find that in addition to the title track. granted. The Rise of the flat-VII Chord The flat-VII chord turns out to be a Beatles favorite over the long run. Long. It's tempting to attribute what I describe as John's penchant for harmonic frugality as more a reflection of a limited vocabulary than a conscious element of style. But at any rate. Look back. in addition to the standard I. The refrain opens with the jump of an octave downward and covers an overall range of 11 notes. “The Night Before”.” I describe the harmonic style of “You've Got To Hide Your Love Away” as "almost modal" because of the use here of the Major V chord together with the flat VII. and though you can find a small but constant scattering of examples of it in the earlier albums. you have G. we also have the modal sounding "flat VII" chord.George 1. C. but at the very least. Long 2. we have several examples. during the Sgt.” With The Beatles has “Don't Bother Me” (hey. in the sense that it somehow takes more energy to come in before or after the beat. In contrast to the modal purity of “She Said She Said. The short downbeat melissmas. each of the two phrases of the verse section respectively opens up to either the IV or V chord which at least help motivate the refrain. and F. Melody and Harmony The broad melodic range and large leaps of the refrain contrast dramatically with what might be called the claustrophobic narrowness of the verse. as a matter of avoiding a stultifying sense of stasis. There are no excursions or modulations away from the home key. our current song. but try it out as an alternative and note how very much more ordinary (albeit bluesy) it sounds compared to what John decides to go with.” A Hard Day’s Night has the title track.

By the same token there are the typical orchestrated details: Verse 1 Verse' 1 Refrain 1 Verse 2 Verse' 2 Refrain 2 Verse 3 No additional percussion. To be sure. bass guitar. The outtake on Anthology 2 is enjoyable but reveals little more about the composition and recording. soft brush work on drums plus additional sparse percussion. Ditto. Verse The primary verse is an unusual 18 measures long. Keep all percussion and add pair of flutes doubling each other at the octave. i. Add tambourine on the downbeat of even-numbered measures. plus the final verse minus the flute overdubs. Keep the tambourine this time.” Does this perhaps give you the feeling that the composer(s) were having a field day playing with a new harmonic “toy” so to speak ? An exhaustive exploration of where the Beatles got the flat-VII chord from and the different ways in which they used it would require searching through one or both of the following: • • Any song covered by the Beatles that has the chord. Section By Section Walkthrough Intro The intro is just two measures of the I chord.e. and John's single tracked vocal. Any song from the pre-Beatle era pop song repertoire correlated with music the Beatles would have been familiar with even if they didn't include it in their repertoire. alto and tenor flutes. and backing texture. but this boy-o hears an electric Hoffner). The backing track is predominated by acoustic rhythm guitars. But I'll wager these are overshadowed for most listeners by the characteristic snippet of “Paul broke a glass” teasing studio chatter that precedes the music. Same as before. At risk of belaboring the obvious. Continue with the tambourine and adds maracas playing three-in-the-bar. meter. and the first(!) use of a hired studio musician to supply a part played on “exotic” instruments. which establish the home key. It has a phrasing pattern of ABAB' (4+4+4+6) in which B' is a rhetorically extended version of the original B phrase: Page 80 . Any takers? Arrangement The arrangement of this song is notable on two grounds: the almost exclusive use of acoustic instruments (sorry. this latter tactic became a major clue to the new direction of the boys for many albums to come.that Etc. This is way more than I can deal with at the moment but I'll leave it here as another good sample thesis topic. you get to hear an alternate vocal with slightly different scanning of the lyrics.. Mark L.

And the slower harmonic rhythm creates a free-verse leisurely feeling that nicely resonates with the final phrase of the verses. The harmonic rhythm is one chord change per measure except for the final phrase where it creates a slow/fast/slow-again pattern.2X -------------------------------|G ||C ||D || I IV V 4 -> 3 -> 2 -> 3 Again. for example. Refrain The refrain is 12 measures long with a phrasing pattern of AA (6+6): ------------------------------. first to IV and then to V. Verse' then weighs in at 20 measures long with its ABAB' pattern stretched out to 4+4+4+8. this time over a descending line in the bass. Final Verse (Outro) The final verse is an instrumental based on the primary verse with the last measures modified to provide an harmonically closed ending. makes a conspicuous appearances in Stravinsky's Page 81 . The latter adds a sense of both closure to the verse pair and one of inevitability with respect to the upcoming bridge. That turn around the F# of the D chord in the final two measures is a relatively garden-variety harmonic effect that for some reason you do not find often in the Beatles songbook. Verse The only difference between the secondary verse form and its primary counterpart is the addition of two measures at the end to further extend the final V chord.|G G: I |D V |F flat-VII |G I | |C IV |- |F flat-VII |C IV | |G I |D V |F flat-VII |G I | |C IV |- |F flat-VII |C IV |D V |- | The harmonic shape of each couplet is open. The latter more closely matches my experience of this section than parsing it as though it were five phrases of four measures each. no less: |C IV |- |F flat-VII |C IV |G I |- | Even the usage of a plain old transverse flute would have seemed unusual at this stage of their career. is rather extraordinary. The usage of the over-sized alto and tenor flutes. the likes of which are considered pretty exotic even within the realm of the concert or studio ensemble. the harmonic shape is completely open. Those lower-pitched flutes have actually been around since at least the turn of the 20th century. The alto flute. one created by a double plagal cadence.

you'll also hear him focused only on the heartache that motivates it. or does it more likely convey the real-time immediacy of his just now being hit with the news of her leaving. you took the wrong turn and what happened. The phrase “if she's gone” is intriguingly ambiguous. Here we find our hero immobilized to the point where vengeance is the least thing on his mind because it hurts so badly that he can't even stand to be around other people. As it is. is there ever any middle ground left to which such a relationship can move? “You'd have wound up a Senior Citizen of Boston. I can't quite ignore what seem to me to be the strange aspects of this song's lyrics. But I do believe that “You've Got To Hide Your Love Away” is unique even in this context. and he's and talking out loud trying to digest what it means.” 112300#18. In our own times. if you just wait a minute. What does the “if” mean here? Is the hero merely rehearsing in advance his fear of the possibility of her leaving in the future. Similarly. though the way it's ended off on the 5th degree of the scale is distinctively unusual. there is also one like “Misery. being pretty much a meat-and-potato chordsand-form sort of fellow. For every song like “You Can't Do That”. not when one is ramping down or breaking off. maybe our hero is himself perplexed and hurt by this very difficulty.” Whenever you find him talking about striking back. and vulnerable soft core. an even greater emotional crash than “I'll Cry Instead.“Rite of Spring” and works by Debussy and Ravel. In spite of this. against all odds and obstacles. the “Mission Impossible” theme) but still remains a specialty item used for the purpose of creating special atmosphere.” for example. We tend to take for granted our biographical knowledge about how that young rebel who was suspended by Headmaster Pobjoy for throwing a blackboard out of a classroom window actually was someone with an insecure. it is popular on TV and movie soundtracks (e. It's interesting to note how such a similar song in tone as “Yes It Is” was recorded in the same week! But there is a delightful.1 Page 82 . the line “how could she say to me love will find a way” is very difficult. when such a thing is just not possible. almost Dylanesque ellipticality to these lyrics as well. it's the sort of comment you expect someone to make when s/he's trying to keep a relationship going no matter what. we are privy to his state though we could read his mind or his private journal – and it is from this unusual sense of intimacy that I believe the song derives much of its impact.g. But then again. For when love somehow cannot find a way. Some Final Thoughts Though you know I generally don't get too involved with the words. you're a lonely old man from Liverpool. The solo itself is an improvisation closely modeled on the tune.

' There'll be more to say about this before the end but as usual. if” Page 83 . We also have here yet another one of our examples of an avoidance of foolish consistency – the final verse is truncated to half of its normal length. as we've often seen with other songs. when you consider the cumulative duration of the song caused by the preceding three verses plus three bridges. with the middle two identical. the middle one of which is musically different from the outer two. it reveals an uncommon design upon closer look. The outro. but is crucial for the way its being in A Major sets the surprise-trap for the verse. Play it out in your head with a full final verse and see for yourself if you start getting a tad antsy or not. the standard device of a looped figure repeating into a fadeout actually is of “programmatic” significance to the extent that it helps us visualize our hero heading off into the metaphorical sunset with the most exquisitely ambivalent feelings in his heart. and the final one being an abridged variation of the first one. would seem almost negligible in its scant two-measure length. The form is deceptively familiar but. even though it bears some resemblance to the them. For a change. The lyrics of the four verses make a pattern of ABBA'. The erudite musical term for one of these is an 'anacrusis' . the largest number of phrases begin with a pickup before the downbeat. I find it rather sublime to contemplate how what you come to later recognize as the central personality trait of this song is presented so neatly encapsulated right off at the start. It's a good example of formalistic fine-tuning.drop that one casually at your next party. Rhythmically. at first blush.I'll Be Back Key: Meter: Form: A Major/minor 4/4 Intro – Verse – Bridge 1 – Verse – Bridge 2 – Verse – Bridge 1 – Verse – Outro (fadeout) General Points Of Interest Style and Form The poignant bitter sweetness of “I'll Be Back” stems in large part from its obvious yet equally effective gambit of shifting constantly back and forth between the Major and minor modes of 'A. which follows beginning in a minor.To wit: Verse: “you know” "”cause I” “this time” Bridge: “I love you so-o” “I want to go” The few exceptions to this rule where a phrase begins right on the downbeat stick out all the more so in contrast: Verse: “You could find” “You. recapitulates this same notion. While it wouldn't be the end of the world to leave this last verse just like the others. of course. you find much more than just this one gambit in a detailed walkthrough of the song. Most unusual here is the total of three bridge sections. The intro. it's probably a good thing the Boys decided to not keep us.

in the bridge sections of both takes. and breaks down in the middle of the second bridge (“too hard to sing”). This is a relatively complete take though there is still no outro. Only the complete session tape will tell for sure. features at least one electric rhythm guitar plus a lot of cymbals on the backing track. albeit doubletracked. The primary source of textural relief is found in the vocals. lightly accompanied by maraca-like drumming.Bridge: “I thought” The way the almost strict alternation of “You” and “I” at the beginning of each section is yet another one of the simpler pleasures one eventually uncovers in this song as a result of obsessive listening. All of the bridge sections exploit the contrasting choices available from the parallel Major scale. Anthology Outtakes Takes 2 and 3 of “I’ll Be Back” are one of the highlights of Anthology 1. The verses harmonically feature a downward chord stream based on the natural minor scale. The bridges feature dramatically sustained long notes alternating with patches that are more rapidly syllabic. has not intro. always so thrilling. The acoustic strumming is predominantly foursquare yet you find a small snippet of their much-beloved slow triplets in the majority of the verse sections in the measure that has the F Major chord. Lewisohn remarks on the speed with which they appear in this session to quickly abandon the original plan to do this song in 3/4 and work it up alternatively in 4/4. and in place of what eventually be the final verse. I would suggest that all these lyrical pickups within the song bear some associative relationship to the guitar pickup in the intro. If they didn't already have the 4/4 arrangement well in the bag at the start of the session I'm skeptical how they could have worked it up on the spot and still have had time for all the rest of the takes in less than 3 hours. Arrangement The arrangement is dominated by the percussive sound of acoustic rhythm guitars. Section By Section Walkthrough Intro The intro is two measures long with a two-beat pickup from the guitar hook and it immediately exposes the Major/minor gambit with the start of the first verse: Page 84 . Take 3 is in 4/4 and the arrangement sounds closer to the finished product though they hadn't yet lost the electric rhythm guitar. they loop the ending of the third bridge into a fadeout. Take 2 is surprisingly arranged in a 3/4 waltz tempo. single tracked voice. Keep in mind that the length of the entire 6/1/64 recording session for this song was only 3 hours and encompassed 16 takes. At any rate. Melody and Harmony The melody sticks throughout within a surprisingly restricted range but is also marked by frequent appoggiaturas. I wonder though if maybe the song was planned to be in 4/4 from the beginning and that take 2 was a last minute alternate tryout in 3/4. Parallel thirds in the verses alternate with solo. John in the bridges. You can hear John's solo. The verses feature the c-natural/c-sharp switch over. My hunch here is prompted by the fact that the 4/4 version of take 3 sounds suspiciously too polished up compared to the previous 3/4 take.

Yes.e.. and that it's actually Paul on top. The other savory detail is the repeated use of that sensuous little trill (pedantically speaking. The tune creates a short chain of 6->5 and 4->3 suspensions against the bass line. The virtually unchanging harmonic rhythm of one chord per-measure only reinforces this further." i. also a longstanding trademark of theirs. In its first appearance here at the start. Interestingly.A: 3&4&| |A I |i a . the harmonic shape of the verse is decidedly closed. in spite of the syncopation in the voice parts. the downbeat IS marked everywhere else the hook appears. The "4-AND" syncopation of the guitar hook is carried through to the vocals in measure 4. this phenomenon is to be found all over the place throughout their repertoire. Curiously. a C Major chord (in second inversion) in the first half of measure 2. It is in this spirit that I notate only a single chord in measures 2 and 4 rather than an actual root chord change. the hook provides us with an example of the more gut-wrenching variety of syncopation on "4-AND. That little four-note hook (f#-b-e-c#) is used in happy repetition throughout. you note that John is on the bottom part. the one where the following downbeat is specifically NOT clearly marked. beginning and ending squarely in A. but the sustaining of the baseline through the measure robs you of any sense of root movement between the two halves of the measure. the alternation between minor and Major has no effect on one's perception of this closed-off feeling. More precisely it is a four-measure phrase with two trailing measures of "space": soprano:|C alto: |A bass: |A chords: a: i C D |E E D B |C A B |C C B G |A |G |F |G |F flat-VII flat-VI 6 --> 5 4 --> 3 C|C B A B C#| A|A G# F# G# A | |E | |E V 6 ->5 ->4->5 4 ->3 ->2->3 |a | soprano:|(C#) alto: |(A) bass: |A chords: |A I ||||| | | | In spite of the strong pull of the descending bass line.. Page 85 . The vocal arrangement of the verses uses rather simple parallel thirds sung by John and Paul throughout (the liner notes to the album imply that George is in there as well. but I don't hear him) yet there are some characteristic details worthy of note. and its melodic content and rhythmic syncopation become a mantra-like leitmotiv for the song. First off. I understand how the suspension creates what is. a “mordent”) in the third measure of each phrase. there is a timbral paradox in that overall. Verse The verses consist of two repetitions of the same six-measure phrase. de-facto. yet when you listen carefully. one hears John's voice predominating in the melody. where they anticipate the music's shift to the Major mode an eighth note ahead of the downbeat of measure.

/I want to go .5 measure ending of the first bridge is repeated here verbatim. after which the outro. however short lived. The outro features the Major/minor gambit in a short loop of two measures for each mode. The harmonic shape of this bridge is even more open at first than the other bridge section. 6 or 8 measures in length. think of taking some poetry in strict meter and purposely making one of the lines two syllables short. but the two sections are ultimately first cousins in that the 2. but in each case. 9->8 example in measure 6. proper.” This bridge opens up the harmonic architecture of the song by suggesting an excursion. The E->D.. we have a real Lennonesque descending chromatic line in an inner voice (b->b-flat->a->g#). 4->3 example at the beginning of the section is one of the most climactic moments in the entire song. I feel the first five or six measures of this section as being on the prowl as far as key is concerned: |b A: ii ||c# iii ||f# vi |B |b6 |E . we even find a syncopation in the chord changes of the last two measures. heading immediately back to the V chord of A. The varied harmonic rhythm of this bridge is another source of contrast with the surrounding verses. etc. The most unusual thing about this bridge is that measure 5 is only a half-measure and this really adds a unique kick to the way one feels the phrasing of this section. We find still more juicy appoggiaturas. we never actually settle down firmly within the new key... Of course." The second bridge starts off somewhat differently from the first one. Similarly. though with the strong implication that the alternation itself may go on indefinitely.. measure 6 (7->6->5).. by analogy. this one of 6. Bridge-2 .. 5 ii V * D in the bass V-of-V Running from the downbeat of measure 1 through the downbeat of measure 3. commences. Outro The final verse is extended a seventh measure with the A Major chord sustained.. In a pop song universe where phrases are typically 4."I thought that you would realize . in measure 3 (9->8) in the half-measure 5 (6->5). to the key of f# minor (which happens to be the relative minor of A). Page 86 . clearly the man really liked this device. There's also an exotically tangy cross relation of the d# in the B Major chord (measure 6) with the d-natural of the b minor 6/5 chord in the following measure. we have another C#->B.Bridge-1 – “I love you so .. C# and B. Though we never settle in any key away from A. The complete fade out sets in sooner than you realize. the harmonic context is different.5 measures really grabs your attention: half-measure * |D E |D V IV V |f# |f# i |b iv |A:vi |E E IV | V The tune here features three appoggiaturas in close order all using the same two notes.

we're dealing with an oft-quoted line from “I'm a Loser” (“Although I laugh and I act like a clown .. All I am trying to suggest is the extent to which certain themes of heartache appear to perpetually fascinate. softly I close the door.” I offer you some excerpts from the lyrics of this song (translated from the German) and wonder if you'll gasp the way I did to discover what bittersweet topic was on Schubert's mind: “Why should I remain longer. which uses the same minor/Major gambit albeit in a more limited fashion than IBB.1 Page 87 .Some Final Thoughts Subtext surges externally. As I go out I will write ‘Goodnight’ to you on the gate so that you may see my thoughts were of you. not to mention inevitably become relevant to composers of music as well as us plain folk. I can't hold back from sharing with you an even more unlikely lyrical correspondence between another Len/Mac song and some older music. I'm not suggesting that anyone has plagiarised a bloody thing here.” Now.1828).. until I am driven out? ... This time.” 121000#19. softly. “Gute Nacht. I will not disturb you in your dreams. entitled in curious anticipation of the final track on the White Album. you might say that great minds run in the same direction. 'twere pity to spoil your rest. You shall not hear my footsteps. He can't walk out on us. it's the first number from his song cycle “Winterreise”. I honestly couldn't help making the free association to a song by Franz Schubert (1797 .”) and the title of a “virelai” (a distant forerunner of the 2minute pop song) written by Johannes Ockeghem (you won't see his name in Billboard) of the 15th century: “Ma bouche rit et ma pensee pleure. After a dozen or more concentrated listenings to this song. I wouldn't even dare to suggest that either of these pieces of music were songs of our Own Sweet Boys' acquaintance. “We've got only half an hour till the final runthrough. To put it another way. just hold on a second (“you promised”).” If you like this one.

or perhaps wanted to play.” Granted. and the choice of keys and chord progressions used in the non-blues sections. when you do a sort through the cannon of official releases looking for originals. e. R&B Revisited It's really quite a thought provoking paradox: judging from the pre-historic repertoire of their Quarrymen era (see Note 197). the strict blues form was not an idiom they felt all that comfortable with in terms of self-image and expression. And yet. in terms of arrangement. were The Blues. Prior to the White Album. “Dizzy Miss Lizzie”. in a burst of post-adolescent enthusiasm even sought to emulate and sometimes imitate them. This relative dearth of twelve bar originals (pun fully intended) continues through the White Album and beyond. But as they matured they likely found that. to name a few. Interestingly. both at the Beeb and on their first several EMI albums. they are musically very different from the classic role models which inspired them. and “For You Blue. and just about anything by Chuck Berry and Larry Williams. “Birthday” stands out as a representative example of the sort of plain old blistering Rock that The Beatles were still capable of in the heart of their so-called Late Period.Birthday Key: Meter: Form: A Major 4/4 Intro – Verse – long connector – Bridge – Verse (instrumental) – short connector – Bridge – Verse – Outro (with complete ending) General Points Of Interest Style and Form In its White Album context of so many varied moods and styles. you still find very few blues numbers: only “Birthday”. in spite of all early interest. their choices for cover songs were again frequently in the 12-bar mode. it's tempting to describe their style as “Neo R & B” to the extent that they manifest more of a self-conscious updated stylization of an old form and not just a nostalgic evocation of it. “Long Tall Sally”.. though once you probe more deeply. which are at least partially built on a strict blues.g. you'd think the only thing they knew how to play. “You Can't Do That”. but it did remain for them something to be used sparingly. for special effect and exotic tang. and the middle eight of “She's A Woman”. “Boys”. Page 88 . but if you grade them strictly. form you come up amazingly short. In spite of the presence in these songs of the 12-bar formula. they fail to make the cut. On the surface. The Beatles not just admired their Blues predecessors but. listen to the Quarrymen do Elvis' “That's When Your Heartache Begins”. one of the first things you notice is that this is one of the very few Len/Mac songs that is even partly in strict 12-bar blues form. “The Word”. (examples abound throughout. there are many songs in the cannon that are very blues-like. they never quite forgot or expunged the technique from their vocabulary. lyrics. In spite of the number of hard rock songs on those albums. As an attempt to explain this paradox I would propose that as nascent artists. even though the conventional wisdom says that the last couple of albums demonstrate a conscious return to their early roots. you quickly discover that this is no mere rote revivalist knock-off. I could only find four examples: the verses of “Can't Buy Me Love”. When you consider this elite group of the Beatles' blues songs. “Yer Blues”. Later as The Beatles. all the way from “I Saw Her Standing There” to “Ballad of John and Yoko” and “Come Together”).

and handclaps) are worthy of special notice. but.This section is a standard 12-bar blues frame with all the chords appearing as dominant sevenths. But for the long connector. nothing is left to chance. The only vocals that enter on a downbeat are the backing females in the bridges. This of course is a hot button for those who like to rag on Paul for being such a control freak. Nonetheless. though not limited to the boundary lines between sections. you have the bass doubled by lead guitar in the odd numbered measures alternating with parrot-like repetition by just the bass alone in the even numbered measures. Section By Section Walkthrough Intro The instrumental intro is twelve measures long and turns out to be a formal anticipation of the entire verse. a relatively small number of chords is used. In this introductory verse. The figure used in the sung verses is notable for its emphasis on the blue 3rd and 7th scale degrees. the blues trio of I-IV-V of the home key (A.Form We have something here that is very close to the standard two-bridge model. The bridge sections provide an abrupt modulation to the unusual key of flat-III (C Major). typically. In the vocal department you find multiple overdubs of Paul's voice mixed out to separate stereo channels. and where a certain informal. it's worth pointing out that the sustaining of the V chord in measure 10 (as opposed to the more typical move to IV) is mildly unusual though not unheard of: |A7 |A: I ||| Page 89 . If you want to get picky. as we'll see. D. the instrument verse in the middle sticks more closely to the plain Major mode. “come as you are” feeling permeates right to the core of the piece. Melody and Harmony The melodic content is delivered in short.” Verse . Ringo turns in an effective performance of his trademark technique of punctuating long stretches of evenly accented eight notes with complex thirty-second note snare drum fills in all the right places. you'll find the texture of each section of the song has been carefully and neatly planned out. Arrangement The drumming and other special percussion effects on this song (such as maracas. chant-like fragments. tambourine. it's this attention to detail that elevates a good rock song to the level of a gem. For contrast. and the unusual connector sections that introduce each appearance of the bridge. We lead off right from the start with the an antiphonal style that carries through to almost every section of the song. Another formalistic technique which considerably unifies the song is the consistent use of antiphony in all appearances of both verse and bridge sections. repetitious. the lyrics of the formal sections build a close-to-perfect palindrome pattern of ABC/instrumental/CA. E) and the tonic/dominant IV of the bridge key (C. still. overall. though it is somewhat camouflaged by the long instrumental opener. If you make the effort on your own to map out how the rest of the percussion effects are worked into the piece. Ringo's crackling and metrically ambiguous opening drum fill starts “on 3. The point being that even in a song like “Birthday” which we know was worked up very quickly. G). The lead vocal enters well after the downbeat throughout the song.

we have both a general crescendo as well as a quickening of the handwork in the drums.|D7 |IV |A7 I |- | |E7 |V |A7 I |- | The baseline riff syncopatedly outlines the chords and is heard doubled by the lead guitar two octaves higher. This section has musical ties both to the verse in terms of its use of antiphony (between Macca and the female backers) and to the preceding long connector in terms of its repetitiveness. one which adds a bit of tonal depth perspective to the music. Long Connector – “Yes we're going to a party party . |aa-c#e-gF#--e|a . do keep your ears attuned to the way that bass line snakes its way from the sustained E down toward C during the second half of the last measure.g. e. coming as the deceptive resolution of that prolonged V chord of the preceding section. This section appears four times in the song... It's tempting to ascribe the shrieking in the first phrase as just another obscure “clue” of sorts. The first eight measure phrase features drums only with Macca shrieking a count-off of the measure numbers that is muffled so far in the background that it's barely audible except with earphones. “You're Going To Lose That Girl. that V chord resolves not to I (A) but rather to the chord of flat-III (C). The second eight measures beats away on the V chord (E) with the vocals coming in as a slight surprise starting in the third measure.” This section is built out of two eight-measure phrases each of which is hypnotically repetitive. Antiphony to the blues baseline riff is provided by the lead vocal in the verses. C being the relative Major of the parallel minor of A. during the second phrase. e.. and though the second and fourth repetitions with their virtually identical arrangement and lyrics are indeed quite verse-like. it's quite a surprise nonetheless. though the little details in the way the numbers are recited over the beat definitely add to the building tension. the end result of which is a buildup of tension that makes you want to beg your partner to tie you down if you don't get some relief very soon. Similarly. it's actually quite a pleasurable one at that. In the break it is provided by a heavily processed tack piano part. Note for example how there is a straight-line climax which crests on "7" but is followed by an "8" that can't even wait for that number measure to begin. respectively. Bridge – “I would like you to dance – Birthday” The choice of C Major as the key for this bridge is not so far out as it would appear on the surface. the first and third appearances of this section are entirely instrumental and serve the purpose of introduction and "break" section. and it's a key relationship employed in many other songs. as though a door had opened to reveal another universe that you suspected. it's a “deceptive” one. The baseline in this section also harkens back somewhat to the riff used in the verse: |-------.” In “Birthday”.. was there. As surprises go.g. But even more effective than the buildup per se is the way that when the climax arrives.3X ------| chords: |C |G |C |G |E |bassline:|C-E-F-F#-|G-F-E-D-|C-E-F-F#|G-G#-A-A#|B |E C: I V I V A: flat-VII V6/4 | | V Page 90 .. but were never quite certain..

even “a young man. but in the warm moment of arrival you were moved. The arrival on the E Major chord in its second inversion feels especially euphoric and heady because we've just barely recovered our bearings from the surprise modulation to C. The broken octaves on the piano which seem to psychedelically ricochet even as they fade. But look at the obvious differences between them. while earlier. we had quite a bit of drums and even vocals. both connectors serve the purpose of modulating from the key of A to the key of C. it was an impromptu decision to recruit Yoko and Patti for their participation here. the entire mood was one of climax and surprise. They don't appear anywhere else before this. makes one wonder what the heck Linda was up to that evening. the natural minor mode of A (with its C and G naturals – no sharps!) which is used for the guitar parts makes for a smooth and gentle transition. it's quite astounding to read in Lewisohn that this song was essentially composed by Paul. a repetition of the long connector would frankly start to chafe. Even the specific strategy for making the modulation is different. The appearance of the female backing voices is another small source of surprise here. how could Paul have claimed to be upset two years later about Spector's adding the chorus to “Across the Universe”? According to Lewisohn. loaded.The bass line makes its rearward approach to the note B by a clever “keep going” extension of the upward chromatic motion already in progress as part of the first half of the riff. Outro The rest of the song follows the gesture of that second connector and provides more in the way of matched bookend ballast and balance than it does any further excitement. Short Connector There is a profound lesson to be learned about the dramatics of music when you contemplate how this shorter connecting section serves a functionally identical purpose to the earlier longer one even though it is musically so different from that first one in almost every way. Any sudden disruption that might otherwise be caused by this ending is mollified nicely by two details: • • The decelerating effect of the syncopations on "four-AND" in the last few measures of the song. nonetheless: • • • This one is only four measures long compared to the earlier one of sixteen. In retrospect. here. In the end. Here we have a return to the orchestration of the opening verse with just guitars playing plain octaves punctuated by sparse drum work. Some Final Thoughts In the final result. recorded and mixed in just one extended session of eleven and a half Page 91 . And besides. in which its function as V of the original home key becomes clear. For a brief instant. arranged. which Maureen Cleave used to describe John (not Paul). whereas this quieter short one (it's the only place in the entire song where the drums stop for a few beats) provides some welcome respite. In terms of structural utility. the bass line jumps down to place the chord in its root position. it all seems like nothing to get hung about. famous. the passionately inarticulate noise of Macca screaming “dance” in rhythmic pattern totally at odds with the beat enhances the rush of it. The net effect reminds me of the way your body is jostled when you stop the car too quickly. and waiting for something” can't reset that quickly. and leverages the end of the final verse to bind things off with a complete ending. but before you are allowed to get too unhinged over it. after this. To put it rather crudely and simultaneously lift a phrase. it's a simple law of physics and the art of avoiding anticlimax that demands these differences. whereas earlier. there's a vertigo sensation of not being sure of just where you stand key-wise from the promontory of this chord.

Of course.” “I'm Down.” “I Wanna Be Your Man. In this energetically vital and innovative song. and obviously meant to be. and the equally simple device of happy repetition is used effectively to expedite the cranking out of the piece. Mozart-like. Actually.hours starting in the late afternoon of September 18.” and “The Ballad of John and Yoko. so “ready to do the show right now” that the music springs right out of him without a struggle of any kind. I hear a composer so well primed and up to speed. From the style of my analysis you might get the mistaken impression that I somehow imagine him walking into the studio after many hours of erudite forethought with the song all worked out in his head and a point to prove. “It's my birthday too – yeah”121700#20. this one. Rather it is in this very spontaneity per se that I believe that the genius of Macca. such as “Little Child. It's a vivid demonstration of how to live in this moment. second nature. this song is no magnum opus. I rather expect it to have all been quite the opposite. the elements of both words and music here are quite simple. circa '68 is to be encountered.1 Page 92 . as though it were all so casual. 1968 and running through the wee hours of the next morning. to keep it in perspective.” But none of this diminishes in any way the incredible prowess demonstrated in this act of spontaneous effusion. for one thing. In this respect “Birthday” makes for an interesting comparison with other real standup quickies of theirs.

One might even call it stylistically prophetic. Contrast this with other Beatles songs of the same period that more typically place a solo in one of two intervening verse. by itself. and the modal melody. After all.” The verse lyrics are unvarying through four repeats. The most intriguing aspect to this intuitive innovation of the early Beatles is the question of how much of it was motivated by intentional originality and how much a by-product of less-than-entirely-adept emulation of their derivative influences. Melody and Harmony “Love Me Do” is ostensibly in the key of G Major though it contains a strong Mixolydian modal inflection from the heavy use of both F-naturals in the tune and in its reliance on the I-IV-I to establish a feeling of tonal center. I present this quirky first official release of theirs. The form used here is none other than the standard two-bridge model with a single verse intervening. I expect general agreement from you all that “Love Me Do” wouldn't have done that for our Boys. e. and a vocal duet that would appear to be ripped off from the Everly Brothers. The non-modal Major V chord with an F# is used only in the bridge. the answer to which. This is possibly an all time Beatles record. The bridge tune also has a downward shape and is interesting placed in range below where the low end of the verse range ends off. ditto for the bridge through two. has nothing to do with the relative merit of the final product itself. “Love Me Do” is hardly the blockbuster of which legendary careers are made. It's a quite serious question. especially in regards to the phrasing. In contrast. Page 93 . The positioning of the instrumental solo within a repeat of the bridge rather than a verse is unusual and likely accounts for the absence of there being a pair of verses in the middle.Love Me Do Key: Meter: Form: G Major 4/4 Intro – Verse – Verse – Bridge – Verse – Bridge (solo) – Verse – Outro (fadeout) General Points Of Interest Style and Form To those who argue that the early original songs of The Beatles are just the same old stuff of which the Top 40 was made in the early 60s. a gawky post-skiffle beat which threatens to break into a polka in a couple of places.g. those silly lists of “The 500 Most Golden Oldies of All Time” promoted by certain radio stations are peppered through with songs by groups whose claim to fame rests on the strength of just one single. but I leave this question for now in the hands of the aestheticians. we have what must be very nearly the skimpiest Lennon/McCartney lyric ever. In fact. The verse tune covers the range of an octave and its overall contour is a downward sweep in spite of the rhetorically repeated upward phrase that it starts off with. it's tempting at first blush to dismiss this one as too simple and even unappealing. Another different sort of modal inflection in this song comes from the liberal melodic use of bluesy bent-notes on B-flat over the G major chord (with its Bnaturals) in the accompaniment. but also a great deal of idiosyncratic originality in the compositional details. you find not only that certain bristling intensity in their voices.” or even “How Do You Do It. yet another factor in the somewhat clunky overall impression made by the song. the vocal harmonies. “I Saw Her Standing There. All sections begin exactly on the downbeat. in spite of the seeming pejorative value judgment in my choice of words. Granted. But just beneath the surface.

love me |do. The demo also reveals Pete Best as an incredibly unsteady and tasteless drummer. no matter how likely.3X -----|G |C |G |I IV I | G: We're treated right at the outset to another soon-to-become signature device of John's: the slow triplet rhythm. I'll| |always be |true So | |G |C | I IV G: Page 94 . Verse The verse is an unusual thirteen measures long and is broken into the sub-phrases which pretty much follow the scanning of the lyrics. or shall I say that the final part of the verse is set-up as the hook by virtue of its having already appeared in the intro? Just a matter of semantics." as it appears superimposed over the C chord. released on Anthology 1 reveals that the reportedly latebreaking decision to modify the arrangement to include John on harmonica had already been made. with its bluesy emphasis on the seventh note of the scale (F) and the heavy use of flutter-tonguing on the repeats. You | |know I love|you. The lead harmonica part is just about the only detail here that you might not have expected. I suppose. a second rhythm guitar part? Hard to imagine. with his changing the backbeat for each of the bridges. The rest of it. Furthermore. There's also the melodic emphasis in this little riff on the note "D. A question begged by this demo is what part there was on the backing track for John before his switch to harmonica. we find in this harmonica solo a very early example of the use of a hook-phrase used throughout an entire song: the little descending motif of "F-E-D-G". would emerge in short order as an unmistakable trademarkable sound.3X ------------------|Love. bass. and that this arrangement would remain essentially unchanged through the two officially released recordings of it the following September. as it is found here in the harmonica part. this introductory hook is made ubiquitous in the song by the incorporation of this intro within the final portion of the verse section. drums. but that's a separate issue.Arrangement It doesn't get much closer to a completely natural recording of the Beatles than this. creating an unusual pattern of AAAB (2+2+2+7): 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 ----------------------. Section By Section Walkthrough Intro The intro is a balanced eight measure phrase and utilizes just the two chords of G and C: ------. As we'll soon see. a backing of rhythm guitar. lending an overall jazzy C9 flavor the song. measure 3. so suggestive of a sob or a cry. and his apparent slowing of the tempo for the verses following them. with Paul and John singing their duet in close harmony. The 6/62 demo recording of the song with Pete Best.

1 |ple|C IV 2 3 e- 4 e- 1 |e |- 2 3 4 1 |-ease | 2 3 4 Love me | | |Resume harmonica hook . especially those written by John. Its appearance here in such an early.9 (on the elongation of the word “please”) enhances the impact of the irregular phrasing. Paul's bending of the note so reminiscent of the harmonica part. not infrequent feature of their later songs. Regardless of the motivation. as on the drawing out of the word “please”. Paul: John: G E G D G C E G One final point of interest here is in the careful working out of the arrangement no matter how spare and simple it is. and otherwise not so ambitious. |G |C |G I IV I |C IV | For clarity of graphic presentation I've simplified the rhythmic scanning of the words above by eliminating the effect of the syncopated performance of them. one being the use of open fifths instead of the more typical thirds or sixths. piece of work is astonishing. a melding of the two voices. he's actually jumping the octave down from his earlier part to the range where John was singing in the duet. This sort of free meter in the scanning of the words (no iambic pentameter for These Boys) is a noteworthy. And a detail within a detail: note how at the end of the verse when Paul sings “love me do” solo. though with Paul in a busking partial falsetto on the top they're hard to distinguish from each other. The other vocal detail is the sustaining of the same note in the upper part against the scale-wise movement in the lower. According to the interview with Paul in Lewisohn's preface. this was an artifact of a last minute change in the studio to the arrangement. |do |.. as in the phrase “Love.. that arises from this sort of harmony. love me do”: G F / Paul: D D D / John: G G C Note in the above example the special coloration. Check out “Please Please Me” for another dramatic example of this technique. Note how the break of the regular harmonic rhythm in measures 7 .. The vocal harmony of this verse contains two specific seminal details which would soon become telltale characteristics of “that Beatles sound”. it's a nice serendipitous touch.. Page 95 . The music continues on with just the same two chords from the intro. I'm fairly certain that it's John on the bottom (though there's that interview clip with Paul discussing the infamous Quarrymen-period acetate of “That'll Be the Day” in which he sings the bottom part of this same fragment). John was supposed to sing it but it was impossible for him to get the harp in his mouth quickly enough to also play the hook on time. Note the unity amidst variation that is achieved by following the harmonica solo of the intro with a verse that first features a vocal duet and then concludes with solo voice and the opening harmonica hook figure as backing.

it is still rather dramatic in that. punctuated by a crash of the cymbal here serves in place of the V chord which begs for the next verse. but we haven't seen the pitch F# at all in the melody either. at a distance of almost thirty years. both starting and ending on I. in typical fashion provides a final reinforcement of the hook phrase. Some Final Thoughts An Overflow of Comparisons We've come to the end of this song but not yet the end of the article. just as in the verse. Paul makes another octave jump (upward this time) between his solo and duet parts. the verse staying exclusively with those bluesy/modal F naturals. For all its simplicity. “Love Me Do” versus “How Do You Do It” Just how does our current offering stack up against the Mitch Murray cover that George Martin would've had them perform for their first single instead? Some interesting contrasts: • Both songs are in the same key of G and have almost identical forms. In contrast to the verse. finally introducing the third of the three chords used in the song on its downbeat as part of the bluesy V-IV-I chord progression. this four measure extension concludes with another (dare I say) even more lame “Booomp” on the third beat of the last measure. Note how. with its repetition of the intro/endof-verse section ad infinitum into the fade-out. the phrasing of 4 + 4 is quite square. The bridge begins with an harmonically open gesture.Bridge The harmonic shape of the verse section is closed. and features the only new words to be found in the song outside of the first verse. the first eight of which are an adaptation of the previous bridge with John playing a harmonica part in place of Paul's vocal. just coincidence or true choreography? The second appearance of the bridge is an instrumental section of twelve measures. The first appearance of the bridge is eight measures long.2X -------------|D ||C |G | G: V IV I The arrangement of this bridge is just as careful as that of the verse. just to keep the game interesting. almost too much so. the solo note of D in the bass. Outro The outro. Tacked onto this first phrase are four additional measures of harmonica riffing over mostly just the G chord with an oom-pah bass line. I still find the “bim BOM” rhythm on beats 2 and 3 of the eighth measure disconcertingly teetering toward the lame: -------------. the vocal melody in this bridge alternates continually between the F# and F natural. Of course. In a manner analogous to the ending of the first bridge. I've got three sorts of brief comparative analyses up my sleeve for a grande finale.') yet. not only haven't we seen this V chord ('D. Here we have Paul singing solo while doubled by the harmonic alternating with Paul and John singing in octaves. Page 96 .

there are some interesting point-for-point contrasts. I Love You”. and “Do You Want to Know a Secret”. though “How Do You Do It” features straight-line parallel thirds. I'd venture to say that as a commercial recording. and “Misery” Uneven phrasing in “Do You Want to Know a Secret”. No surprise. “P. in spite of their well known R&B background both as Quarrymen and as Beatles at the Beeb. but some of the same signature devices of the nascent Beatles sound that we found in “Love Me Do” are also found in these other songs: • • • • Tight vocal duets with rich. is unique overall. unusual harmony in “I Saw Her Standing There”. the promise of. I) is definitely the one to be preferred because of power with which it speaks to both your ears and heart. and recorded with better presence and clarity. and “Do You Want to Know a Secret”. “Please Please Me”. the Ringo-drumming version (thankfully now generally available on Past Masters. “How Do You Do It” does have a catchy touch of syncopation in its hook phrase.S. this early set of eight originals overall is rather more pop-than-rock oriented. Point-for-point. “How Do You Do It” positions its instrumental solo in a more traditional verse section. because of the modal inflection of its harmony. again. vocal intros in “Do You Want to Know a Secret”. there's vi. three-part vocal harmony (I think) in “P. but note how the phrasing is unrelievedly four-square throughout. but these other songs have several telltale Beatles signatures not to be found in “Love Me Do”: • • • • Unusual chord choices in “I Saw Her Standing There”. ii. this time quite surprisingly.S.S. and “Ask Me Why” Strong rock flavor (including some fancy drum fills) in “I Saw Her Standing There” and “Please Please Me” Backing vocals in “Please Please Me”. let Gerry have it. “aaaaah. “How Do You Do It” is still closer to pop than hard rock or blues. say. “I Saw Her Standing There” and “Please Please Me” notwithstanding.” “Love Me Do” versus the other L/M originals on the Please Please Me Album Again. and “There's A Place” The harmonica. for a unique early snapshot of the Boys at work. Page 97 . Though less countrified than “Love Me Do”. The two officially released versions of “Love Me Do” compared: A lot has been made of the fact that the official version released on the Please Please Me album contains a studio drummer (one Andy White) with the unfortunate Ringo relegated to the lowly position of hitting the tambourine on the off beats. You have some of the same sorts of duet/solo alternation in the arrangement of both songs. and "Ask Me Why" Slow triplets in “Ask Me Why”. “There's A Place”. Besides. Yet. and and V-of-V. Compared to the raunchy modality of “Love Me Do”. and furthermore features solo guitar in place of harmonica. in “Please Please Me” Similarly no surprise. “P. “How Do You Do It” clearly wins out as a less risky. I Love You”. they hadn't written this one anyway. it's quite diatonically Major sounding. the Andy White version is the one performed with greater polish and confidence. By the way. I Love You”.• • • • • “How Do You Do It” uses "more" chords though nothing more exotic than the so-called Brill Building selection. and “Ask Me Why” Slow. you might note how. more conservative choice in terms that may explain both the lackluster albeit well mannered performance given it by the Boys as well as their ultimate rejection of it by them. in addition to I-IV-V. “Please Please Me”. and “Misery” “Love Me Do”.

the same for Ringo's drumming. More importantly. you can keenly feel them putting their “all” on the line. but you were brave enough anyway to commit it to print and give it to the world? Where you knew. but it was the Prime Step for them. Let's say. And such a humble offering. the overall texture sounds a tad thin.. in your heart.With your ears.1 Page 98 . There's a lot of “self” invested in those long. it ought to resonate in you with some past experience of your own. somewhere that you could make the future really happen for yourself? That's what “Love Me Do” meant to our own sweet Boys.but what a seed of passion contained therein. the dotted notes in his bass line sounding tentative and uncertain.” 122690#21. somehow. a situation in which your words weren't all you wanted to say. if only you'll open it widely enough. even if everyone told you “a guitar's all right. from the quiver in his voice. you can tell just how nervous Paul is at this first “for real” recording session. It may not have been the best song they ever wrote. But best and most precious of all is what your heart responds to in this version of the song. don't you think? “You never know.. some way. you might be lucky this time. it was their first shot at immortality. though without the tambourine. but you'll never earn a living by it” – or words to that effect ? Where you had to prove it to yourself. drawn-out phrases. that someday all your hopes and wishes would come true. you can more easily hear the handclaps in the bridge of this version. And if you've ever been so lucky in life.

this outtake is a rough performance in all departments. or even the couple of preceding EMI sessions. has Andy White on drums(?). The 9/11/62 rare version of the song released on Anthology 1 does not at all match Lewisohn's Recording Session commentary for this date. “Love Me Do”. much more. Stating Point of View The lyrics of “Please Please Me”. Compared with the extant tapes of the Quarrymen. seem rather unique in terms of point of view and expositional context. talking through clenched teeth in a forced-polite voice. it was their profession. the Star Club. This song is also emotionally quite gripping. In context of the rest of the top 40 of this period. failing recourse to a statistical analysis of the matter. where. 17 of the songs are written in direct address to the girl. yet you find yourself quite hypnotized if not overwhelmed by the force and subtlety with which the meaning of the words are played-off against the message of the music. we seem to at least remember everything as having a fade out at the end. and lacks both the several harmonica overdubs and the interjecting backing vocals of the bridge. The use of a complete ending is noteworthy. the relatively large number of early Lennon and McCartney songs with complete endings (12 out of those same canonical early 21 singled out below) would seem to be bucking a trend. On one level. when compared with the other contemporaneous songs of Lennon and McCartney. and these range from the vulnerable pleading of “Love Me Do” to the mushy puppy love of “Do You Want to Know a Secret”. even while his facade is continually cracking to reveal the true heat and impatience behind it. The form is the compact single bridge model we've seen before in “No Reply” and “Day Tripper” where the especially raving intensity of mood argues in favor of keeping things brief. it's a fairly obvious seduction scenario. “Please Please Me” gives us an energized performance and an arrangement more complicated than anything these Boys had attempted heretofore.. crackling drum fills. so far no surprise. The lyrics of the three verse sections create an ABA pattern. the Decca audition.” I suspect the latter adjectives were actually in reference to the unfortunately lost demo version done the previous June. circa 1963. much. but it was already a quantum leap in compositional terms over their first one. the 21 single and album cuts running from “Love Me Do” through “Not a Second Time”) makes for an interesting study from this perspective. then again. continuous variation in the deployment of the backing vocals. and as they say in the “biz”. Granted. after all. The verses rhythmically start after the downbeat. The canonical bundle of their original songs which were officially released up through the end of '63 (i. a thorough job is way out of scope with this current article but even the bare statistics are revealing. But it is far from “dreary” or “too slow. All 21 songs are about the romantic relationship between a boy and a girl from the perspective of the boy. we have here a couple of tricky chord choices. not only because of its apparently incessant drive. The bridge starts right on the downbeat. In addition to the tight vocal harmonies seen earlier.e. This would seem to suggest that the firm and creative influence of George Martin began to be felt even at this early date. to the glib Page 99 . but even more so for the very human way in which the hero appears to waver in the amount of self-control he can muster – starting out urgently insistent yet trying to appear controlled. granted. perhaps “setting a trend” would be more correct under the circumstances. for a while.Please Please Me Key: Meter: Form: E Major 4/4 Intro – Verse – Verse – Bridge – Verse – Outro (with complete ending) General Points Of Interest Style and Form “Please Please Me” was only their second single.

it's a small. Of course. The backing vocals are primarily antiphonal with a touch of backwash at the start of the bridge. VI. The harmony. which add just a hint of bluesy minor-mode inflection. Here. and our current choice. we have the unusual pick-up start on the fourth beat. which bridges the gap between the end of the intro and the beginning of the verse reinforces this gesture. we have the ever popular hook phrase trumpeted out by the harmonica and guitar in unison.” Two of the songs stick out as unique. Secondly. The bridge is also arch shaped with a first half dominated by stepwise motion and a jumpy second half that begins with the dramatic upward leap of an octave. in contrast. What you'll look back on later as the unrelenting forward drive of this song is thus to be found here right at the very start in the iambic “da-DUM” gesture of those first two notes. such hook phrases foreshadow material that will appear in either the melody of the coming verses or as a mockingbird-like obbligato figure in the background. Lastly. Melody and Harmony Compared to the tangy modality of “Love Me Do”. Arrangement The backing track features the basic Beatles combo with added harmonica. In PPM the hook is used both ways. In “Please Please Me”. take note for now of that pleasant dotted quarter note snap in the second measure of our hook phrase. like a so-called frame-tale short story in which by the second page you've totally forgotten that there ever was any frame established at the beginning because the action itself is so absorbing. plays a key expository role.giddiness of “I Wanna Be Your Man. The verse tune is relatively jumpy and has a broad arch shape. the better to appreciate how the phrase is modified for its appearance in the melody of the verse. and the presents us with a couple of surprises in the form of the non-indigenous flat-III and flat-VI. the intro.” The harsher confrontations that would suddenly become a staple trademark starting on the A Hard Day's Night album with such classics as “Tell Me Why” and “You Can't Do That” are represented in this sampling only by the relatively milder “Not a Second Time. even moot. even that little drum fill. Page 100 . we have what is in essence a direct address. which features core-talk advice from the singer to his friend regarding the friend's girl. First off. you have the encomium of “I Saw Her Standing There” versus the angst-ridden confessional of “Misery. as we've seen in so many other songs.” Only two of the songs are soliloquies in which the girl is spoken of in the third person. the melodic material here is purely diatonic E Major. distinction because your ultimate experience of the song is on the level of overhearing the boy urging the girl directly and in real time. “She Loves You”. Section By Section Walkthrough Intro The introductory phrase of only four measures played over the unchanging E Major (I) chord is deceptively simple. for all its brevity. but one that is framed as kiss-and-tell reportage of something that happened The Night Before. John carries the single tracked lead vocal. “Please Please Me”. while still heavily reliant on I-IV-V. In many songs. as though most of the lyrics should be written in quotes. also uses ii.

Verse The verse is sixteen measures long and is built out of four phrases of even musical length: |E E: I ||A IV E I | G GA AB BB | flat-III IV V |E I |- |A IV E I |- | |A IV |f# ii |c# vi |A IV | |E I |A IV B V |E I |A IV B V | As you work your way through the four phrases in turn. and of course.G Major . albeit insistent. and the remaining two phrases seem to meld into a refrain-like eight-measure unit. and an exchange of the “come ons” for the “please pleases”. this last perturbation being ironic to the extent that this very phrase is the only one in the entire song in which the harmonic rhythm holds steady for as long as four measures. the better to resume his former polite and measured. with the start of the second phrase. the progression away from the I yet not necessarily reaching a clear resting point. Although the second phrase is virtually identical to the first. note how the placement of the hook above the I-IV-V progression in this context gives it a different feel from the one it has when it is accompanied by just the I chord as in the intro or the first half of the verse. we seem to be hurtling just a tad out of control. per se. And yet. we experience yet another retreat of sorts in the way the fourth phrase resolves the accumulated tension of the preceding one with its return to a musical texture and vocabulary that is very close to that of the first two phrases: no more syncopations. note the three Major chords moving step-wise in a row and changing on the offbeat. The first two phrases are obviously related to each other. on the one hand. The open ending of the first one on V smoothly motivates the start of the second one. the difference between them in their final measures is of structural significance. reinforced by the return of the hook phrase at the very end. momentary speed-up of the harmonic rhythm. the combination of which sets off this opening couplet from what follows. You would surmise at this point that our hero has crossed the start-line and opened his attack for better or worse.G natural against a background of G sharps. For an instant.isn't even a legitimate member of the key we're in. The first two phrases hang together like a couplet. Order has been restored. but immediately following. though there is a subtlety in the transition between the two of them which is the first clue to our hero's wavering self-control. The last measure of the first phrase. is to be found in the reaching of the melodic apex (high A) of the entire verse in measure 12. adding a bluesy cross relation to the texture . you quickly discover a clever overall dramatic shape to the verse. the closed harmonic ending of the second phrase on the I chord includes that unusual guitar riff in measure eight. all this. tack. By contrast. The third phrase is one of both musical excursus and build toward a climax by virtue of the introduction of new chords. we're right back where we started out before. Incidentally. carried away by his own sweet excitement quickly catches himself and backs off. as though our hero. the first of which . The climax. the employment in every measure of the hard syncopation on the half-beat between 2 and 3. a resumption of plain I-IV-V. Page 101 . seems to suggest a sudden extra push forward with its syncopated.

changeable.Details. And on the side of vacillation. leads ahead to what follows. in the second measure. the technical term for which is “hocket. The second phrase starts out parallel to the first one but opts for a climactic gesture in the third measure. moves directly into the third phrase with its quickened harmonic rhythm. and uneven than virtually any other example we've looked at in this series thus far. 7/8. The forward-propelling syncopations of the third phrase are put into bold italics by the antiphonal deployment of the backing voices of Paul and George. the harmony holds still on I. Page 102 . at the same time. First off. provides plenty of contrast with what has preceded. and dispensing with what otherwise would have been the balancing fourth measure. where it too adds to the mood of insistence. It's a subtle gesture which binds off what has preceded and.” Gentler though undeniable pushes forward are to be found as well in the drum fills which bridge measures 4/5. and for a single instant (the only one of its kind in the entire song). and the springing guitar riff of measure 8 itself. soon to become yet another Beatles signature device. the entire verse is repeated virtually verbatim with one minor change made at the end to smoothly effect the transition into the bridge. followed by the surprising “in my heart” rejoinder of measure 4. Enhancing this is the way that Paul sustains the single tone of E above John's singing of the actual melody. and the music. the harmonic rhythm over the course of these sixteen measure is more varied. Aside from some new lyrics. almost hammer-like quarter notes of the first two measures. and the reprise of the fanfare-like hook phrase. Bridge Even though this bridge is built out of the same old three basic chords. just harmonized “ahhhs” behind John's solo. The adaptation of the opening hook phrase as it appears in the melody of the first two phrases conveys determined insistence on at least two levels. too. there is the unusual ten-measure length that is broken up into two three phrase making for a pattern of 4+3+3. open harmonic shape. The first phrase here is distinguished by its novel use of the backing voices. but is rather moved all the way to the extended ending of the hook phrase in measure three. the hook phrase is truncated by half. an effect of great antiquity in classical music. First off. AA'B: |A |B IV V |E I || |A |B IV V |E I | |A IV B V |E I |A IV B V | Note how all three phrases start away from the tonic and quickly close in on it. which draw you back to the final verse with the same music used earlier to lead from the first verse to the second one. at first. the snapped rhythm heard in the intro is here replaced by a continuation of the “marcato”. In the last measure here. the snapped rhythm isn't entirely dispensed with here. Unusual here is the way in which the fragments sung by the lead and the backers fit seamlessly together in one melodic line. Duckie All this agitation and the thrashing between polite insistence and a less patient coaxing is only further enhanced by the manifest details of the verse's arrangement. the lyrics of the song take a decided turn at this point for the openly confrontational in this section. all voices and guitars are tacit in favor of a series of solo drum fills. Quite nicely.

so to speak.” 123100#22. It is as though our hero. not just wishywashy. the E chord. Still. but suggestive of a different unraveling of our hero's outing. kind of like how the murder weapon in a mystery appears as a casual prop in the first scene. serves as a jumping off point for the third phrase with its open ending on V. yet. this song is a worthy textbook example of where a fade out ending would be. with which to bring things ultimately to a head with an abrupt. the boys do bring out a couple of surprises they've clearly been saving till the end. where the melody suddenly jumps an octave to high B (no coincidence. hence. yet. we were even sort of "warned" to half-expect something like this given the early appearance of the G chord by itself in the verse. Instead. there can be no retreat. which in the first phrase provides a focal point of repose. The first one is the pseudo-contrapuntal texture wherein the “please please me” and hook phrases seem to swirl and cascade around us. in which they usually omitted the harmonica fill at that point leaving George in the clear. especially if you think of them in context of being borrowed. I dare say). here in the second phrase. try this last phrase with the more "correct" diatonic chords of G# Major and c# minor and see how hopelessly square it sounds by contrast. the chords for the beginning of all three bridge phrases are identical. one filled with intimations of endless begging. we back off yet again from what otherwise might have seemed a point of no return. This fact is exposed in a variety of alternate recordings of the song. by virtue of the melodic high-point. What is perhaps the most climactic moment of the entire song takes place in the third measure of this second bridge phrase. this time. (not without some difficulty. the bluesy hint of the minor mode plus the implicit cross-relations of the G and C naturals against predominant sharps of the E Major key makes an extremely bracing effect. besides. as it were. Although none of the thematic material in this outro is anything new by this point of the song. with the transition right into the final verse. the audacious ending we are given provides the quite appropriate denouement for the passionate plot of the song up to this point. For laughs. has held back something. The musical climax of this section is in direct synchrony with that of the lyrics. pro-active bang. But most attention grabbing of all is choice of chords for the final phrase. context is everything. such as those from the Beeb (or even the Anthology outtake).1 Page 103 . from the parallel minor key. Some Final Thoughts In the final result.” Ironically. and the familiar device of ending with a triple repeat of the last sub-phrase is neatly worked in here as a natural outgrowth of the fourth phrase of the verse. careful not to shoot his whole wad too soon lest all else fails. the single highest melodic peak in the song) on the phrase “to reason with you. “You've just made your first number one.Strangely George does not play the exact text of the hook phrase at this point but rather a variation of it. each one of which is sharply punctuated by a fill of four even sixteenth notes on the snare drum: |E I G |C B V-of-flat-VI flat-VI V |E I || The use of the G and C chords is not nearly so far out as might seem at first sight. Outro The final verse is a full reprise of the first one. the full ending from which.

but I would argue that this is an area in which John was both the most daringly original and successful of the three. A Special Season The year which runs from November 1966 to the same time in 1967 is a particularly special nodal point in the musical development of The Beatles. ends on 11/24/67 with the UK release of the “Hello. “Paperback Writer”. and I Am the Walrus An Introduction to Notes on John's "Triple Crown" In honor of the twentieth anniversary of John Lennon's tragic.Strawberry Fields Forever. some of which seem to be driven by a selfconscious desire to get back to prime roots. I will treat each of the songs in turn to a detailed. but the ones I've chosen for this article are perhaps the most ambitiously successful and perennially popular of the bunch. Eventually. the texts of John's songs on these heavy themes are most beautiful in their intruiging. For now. as their emerging preoccupation with the existential joy. they are written and arranged in a style unimaginably far removed from the guitars-and-drums young-love songs of just a few years earlier. A Day in the Life. we'll come back to compare and contrast these three specific songs with each other. Yet at the same time. I'm re-posting a revision of this article originally published ten years ago on the same date. Later on. There are arguably more than just three songs that fall into this category. wonder. individualized analysis. and is roughly bisected by the release on 6/1/67 of the Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album which concludes with “A Day In The Life”. In hindsight. each of these three illuminate different facets of John's achievement. childhood memory. none was more astonishing at the time. they're not everyone's favorites. “Taxman”. and “Eleanor Rigby”. one notes the social commentary of songs like “Nowhere Man”. Page 104 . one finds both an over-ripening temporary decline characterized by the critical flop (relatively speaking) of Magical Mystery Tour and an almost neatly symmetrical divergence into still new directions. the better to place in perspective John's personal contribution. Paul and George also worked with these themes. I'd like to start with an examination of some global aspects of the Beatles' mid-career growth as a group. but there is no escaping their great originality. A number of themes and techniques which appear with gathering momentum on the Rubber Soul and Revolver albums (as well as on the several singles of that era) can be seen to converge and blossom fully forth during this musical season of '66/'67. this hot-house intensity turns out to be one which could not be sustained for long or even successfully developed much further. ineffably elliptical poetry.” The extreme sharpness of this convergence can be seen in the topical agenda of the Sgt Pepper tracklist in which there is a relative dearth of love songs and a conversely large number of tracks which deal with the social and experiential. Goodbye/I Am The Walrus” single. following a bit of a digression to consider other cases in music history where popular and classical genres have crossed over each other. Granted. and post-adolescent adjustment to the realities of the human condition. and sorrowful angst of self-discovery. And though there is some thematic and musical overlap among them. It is a period which begins with the first studio take of “Strawberry Fields Forever” on 11/24/66. and the re-learning of how to cope with this world after seeing drug-induced visions of other universes in “She Said She Said” and “Tomorrow Never Knows. I'd like to explore three of his greatest songs as a group because they so well characterize a songwriting sub-genre which is one of John's unique innovations and which remains a special part of his legacy. On the other side of this nodal point. nor is still so compelling today. and musically. My own admittedly clumsy one-sentence characterization in the previous paragraph aside. untimely death. Among the several new musical directions explored by The Beatles from mid-career onward.

our three songs here also manifest a compositional complexity and a borrowing from several non-pop/rock musical styles including both classical and avant garde. it was customary.e. In particular. in fact. a concern at first suffused with sometimes bitter sarcasm. much of the thematic and motivic esssence of 18th century Classical and 19th century Romantic music has demonstrable roots in European folk and popular music. and “Futuristic” composers such as Mahler and Ives (how strange to see those two in the same bed) conjuring up the vulgarity of a music hall ambience for special shock effect in the manner of a Duchamp “readymade. the change in the perception of these forms or styles by their audiences was immediately transformed. The crucial point here though (and one which will link us back up with the Beatles) is that even at the time that these earlier crossovers took place. there is something so compellingly deeper than that in the substance of the music that to get up and dance would seem somehow a trivialization of the music. as blurring of the distinction between the two. and vitality of the dance rhythm itself still exists in the music. and Bartok on the one hand doing this selfconsciously in order to give world-class exposure to their respective treasured ethnic heritages. during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. and yet one which would persist with increasing fervor and clarity of vision in his solo work after the group disbanded. for example. it almost seems like berating the obvious to point out how our three Beatles songs under consideration here. love ballads. Page 105 . or the Grande Valse of the 19th century. nor in Chopin's time to swirl around the salon in time to the “Minute Waltz”.” In the area of dance music. and nostalgic evocations of earlier pop styles on the last several Beatles albums would appear as a retreat from the heady experimentation of Sgt Pepper era. i. these have been typified by the stylized co-opting of a native pop form or style by the classical side of the house. John. Grieg. Curious Precedents In addition to the extremely serious subtext of the lyrics. The interesting thing about these classical-cum-serious dance forms is that at least some obvious phatic essence of the time. Similarly.For the most part. even expected for a composer to weave or embed a popular folk tune into one or more parts of a choral Mass. Their overall development can be viewed as a scenario in which successive rounds of ecclectic stylistic elements and techniques were to be superimposed on top of a relatively unvarying rock substrate. albeit with some transformation.'70. in spite of their (strictly speaking) quite danceable rhythm tracks. both of which were direct evolutions of what had been. but even so. you can imagine the powdered wigs and brocaded jackets when you hear those Bach minuets. carefully. nobody in Bach's lifetime would have gotten up to dance during the last movement of the Brandenburg First Concerto. we are dealing instead with some lucky fellows who had both the talent and all manner of wherewithal to just go off and do there own thing (man) unencumbered by up-front grandiose notions of where they were headed. no matter how rarified the serious transposition by the composer. Viewed in this light. the increasing number of straight-out rock songs. they seem to be more appropriately intended to be listened to. you even find a movement of “Nationalistic” composers such as Dvorak. at a later date would actually look back on it with some disdain and regret. or align himself with a larger movement.. party music by which to boogie. John's social/experiential interests are seen to mature into a genuine concern about the state of the world order. What makes the phenomenon of the Beatles' so unique in spite of the historical parallel is that in the past. Way the heck back in the Middle Ages and Renaissance. thoughtfully. Rather. make history. repeatedly. With the Beatles. place. or the flowing ball gowns and the heavily crystalled chandeliers upon listening to Chopin. To stay with our two examples. there are even more concrete examples of this phenomenon. The curious thing is that the history of Western music is replete with such crossovers between so-called popular and more seriously “artsy” genres. several elements from '66/'67 actually can actually be seen to survive into '68 . a crossover composer from the classical side would likely be doing so in full pre-meditation to prove a point. just one generation earlier. though over the long run. the ultimate effect being not so much a crossing over from pop to “serious”. Nonetheless. The most obvious ones here might be the Minuet of the Baroque dance suite and classical symphony. don't feel quite right to be danced to either.

John's musically experimental legacy is primarily in the MacLuhan-esque exploitation for its own sake of the indigenous quirks of the recording medium. and when he does so. it is John. Even at the time it was happening. improvement is clearly attributed to the presence of a significant other. Paul is also consistently imaginative in the novel use of modal harmony and unusual modulations (take a look. melodic style and phrasing. Paul is probably the leader in the area of bringing guest instrumental soloists into the Beatles' sessions whether it's the string ensembles in “Yesterday”. and unusual harmonic twists. Paul's more serious. I think we can safely conclude with no slight intended toward the lad. “Getting Better”. vari-speed. Paul's other main avenue of compositional experimentation is in the masquerade-like stylized evocation and spoof of exotic and antique musical idioms. as in such examples as “Fixing A Hole”. tape loops and whatnot. George has a different but just as clear lyric pattern. tending to speak in the first person either exhortingly as in “Within You Without You” and “The Inner Light” or complainingly as in “It's All Too Much” and “Only A Northern Song. we knew this from the White Album onward.” For George. but I believe John is the one who made the really big gestures in this department. A parenthetical note: although Ringo's handful of songs deserves some mention in an absolutely complete treatment of the works of The Beatles. themes. contemplative portraits of “Eleanor Rigby” and “The Fool On The Hill. and as a result. cross-cut switches between different meters. “Eleanor Rigby”. even this exercise only serves in the end to highlight their differences. “Blue Jay Way” for example remains a curiosity in the way the Indian-like drone harmony and arabesque melodic motives are retained even in the absence of specifically Indian instrumentation or "transcendental" subject in the lyrics.The Beatles in General. Note however that some will find fault in the extent to which this integration is a straightforward incorporation the foreign musical elements not fully digested. may be among the best examples of this though the roots of it go back as far as “Yellow Submarine” and “Tomorrow Never Knows. in fact. Ironically though. or the Bach trumpet in “Penny Lane” just to mention a few examples among many. What I can predict will emerge. or explicit editorial point of view. John also made consistently effective use throughout his career of uneven phrase lengths. John. in the latter two songs. who in spite of all later retreat to good old rock 'n' roll would persist with offerings like “Revolution 9” and “What's The New Mary Jane. that Ringo qua composer did not participate directly in the heady self-exploration which preoccupied the other three. John in Particular To the extent that all three of the primary songwriting Beatles wrote some songs in the social/experiential mode. On the musical side. Paul and George too were involved in all manner of tinkering in the studio with flanging. for example at as early as song as “Things We Page 106 . George's most obviously significant and reasonably successful experiment is in the integration into the pop/rock idiom of classical Indian instrumentation. hopefully without arbitrary "bashing" of the other two. we now even trace it easily back to the earliest of days and albums. after all. it is especially interesting to contrast John's personal approach and outlook with that of the others. On the verbal side. or the French horn in “For No One”. and “Hey Jude”. we've all become so used to thinking of the Boys as separate artists with individual styles.” As a relatively intuitive composer.” He speaks in the subjective tone of introspection with relative infrequency. the latter especially ironic in light of his conspicuous harmonic frugality in the early days. improvement of some kind is possible if you are willing or capable of some sort of spiritual awakening. and “She's Leaving Home”. Our three songs here are notable in their total lack of love interest. Our three songs.) By now. and techniques. he's typically optimistic about the future. significantly. advice. and with greater hindsight. is John's especial strength in this area. true to form going as far back as “Help!” and “You've Got To Hide Your Love Away” takes the significant emotional and artistic risk of speaking most consistently in the first person with an open willingness to expose his vulnerability to pain and confusion. non-love songs seem to tend toward the journalistic.” And of course. It almost requires some conscious effort to step back from the details in order to recognize the obvious yet uncanny parallels among the three of them in terms of macrotrends. his output does not figure here.

. radio program. there is the joining of two takes differing in mood and ensemble. “A Day In The Life” leans slightly more in the direction of social comment. the orchestra (and choral) part is a complex overlay on the basic rhythm track in which exaggerated gestures are employed to almost comically highlight or underscore various details in imagery of the words and music. at any rate) in real time without recourse to extensive editing and other post-processing of pre-recorded sources. each one of these songs in some obvious way or another does things with sound that you simply cannot do at all (or easily so. “Strawberry Fields Forever” and “I Am The Walrus” are closer cousins to each other than “A Day In The Life” is to either of them. but it's getting high time that we finally faced the music itself. all these devices provide an evocative backdrop for the message of the words. containing signficant. On the lyrical level. but something of their essence would get lost in the translation. In “I Am The Walrus”. each of these three songs contains examples of harmony or phrasing that is adventurous to an extreme not often seen in the music of The Beatles. though much more straightforward. You could make concert adaptations of each of them if you cared to. while the other two (especially “I Am The Walrus”) are much more inscrutable and Zen-like. and other sound effects all on top of a basic rhythm track and vocal which themselves have been heavily flanged. the orchestra appears suddenly in the second half of the song in a heavy yet exceedingly jumpy pseudo-classical texture which works at cross-currents with the more flowing beat established in the take which comprises the first half of the finished song. And yet. and for the most part. In “A Day In The Life”. On a more subtle level. “A Day In The Life”. The Ties That Bind We'll find that in almost every measurable category. it is also used to help effect the transition from the end of the bridge back to the return of the verse. even traditional. In “Strawberry Fields Forever”. Very cleverly. guitar. complex parts for orchestra. the fact that there is a Beatles-esque rhythm track of the familiar drums. and chord progressions sufficiently unusual to make the tonality of the song periodically ambiguous. but I still think they all make a nicely complementary threesome. a brief switch into ternary meter. paradoxically. and/or piano at the root of all three songs is not be under-emphasized. Very briefly for now. e.Said Today”). “Strawberry Fields Forever” makes repeated use of both uneven phrase lengths. “I Am The Walrus” would appear to be the most heavily layered of the three. wallpaper of sound you might find on the backing tracks elsewhere. A couple of additional details include the vestigial echoes of Mal Evans' counting from 1 to 24. As I pointed out in an earlier article on “She Said She Said”. and features a seemingly very large orchestra which appears intermittently out of nowhere. all three are certainly examples par-excellence of what I have dubbed the social/experiential genre. the alarm clock. In “Strawberry Fields Forever”. plus the reverse fade which includes a very strange doppler-like sound effect. nor should we ignore the fact these songs all have clear. But getting back to the recording techniques. this retention here of the classic form in the midst of an otherwise extremely experimental milieu is of significance. the exact role of this auxiliary ensemble in the plot and arrangement of the song is quite far removed from the lush. still presents an ambiguous alternation between the related Page 107 . each of which had already been subjected to heavy postprocessing to begin with. the Phil Spector scores which appear on the “Let It Be” album.g. chorus. All three are songs intended to be listened to in recording rather than in live performance. in spite of their career-long penchant for novel chord choices. There's much more that can be said on this point. it is used quite sparingly to great effect at the end of the two verse sections in a sweeping crescendo up a scale of indeterminate pitches. “A Day In The Life” commences with a cross-fade from the preceding "Sgt Pepper" reprise track. song forms at their backbones. The paradox can be vividly savored by listening to the commonly available outtakes of each of these three songs which prove just how much of the essence of the finished product does and does not survive the elimination of all the special effects. but in each instance. it is only in John's later experiments such as “Revolution #9” that these formalistic values are abandoned. bass. and this additional appearance keeps the use of it in those crescendi from sounding too contrived and isolated. but I don't think you find anything in Paul's work that flirts with tonal ambiguity in the extreme way that something like "I Am The Walrus" does. and the orchestration and extended fade of the final chord. The employment of the orchestra is not only a common denominator of the three songs.

well. “A Day In The Life” at a reverential gathering of special friends one relaxed Friday evening after spring semester final exams for a first listen to the Sgt Pepper album. In the meanwhile. again on the way to school. but the introduction starts off on B.” 120890#23 Page 108 . Most of the song is ostensibly in the key of A Major. some things retain only nostalgic interest now. John's three songs continue to teach. I'd Love To Turn You On Finally (!) I'll admit that I've always had a “thing” for these three songs. what's most amazing is that this music continues to fascinate me (maybe “us”?) on levels far beyond those of mere nostalgia for Youth. and “I Am The Walrus”. or perhaps. the authentic impulse to action. again and again a new truth is revealed to us in whose light all our previous knowledge must be rearranged. Perhaps what I'm trying to say in tribute to John about the scope and power of not just these three songs but about his artistic legacy as a whole is most succinctly put by the following quote from a most unlikely source (Waugh's Brideshead Revisited. the very first line of the song (“I read the news today. and challenge me. the following fall semester.e. Ultimately. and there is so much step-wise movement in most of the chord progressions that a clear sense of key is never really well established. 79): “The zest. what we thought had been finally left behind.. beyond a point. all the traditional attributes of Youth . you know. Not everything from that period which turned me on at the time has fared so well. the verses are in G. These things are a part of life itself. the generous affections. again. “I Am The Walrus” is the least tonally stable of the three. I can still remember where and when I heard each of them for the first time.keys of G Major and both the Major and minor modes of e. the despair.” “Pools of sorrow. the fact that this was coincident with a rite-ofpassage-like time in my personal life increased their resonance for me by what seemed a thousand-fold. the renewal of power and its concentration on a new object. Even in the verses. p. even I won't try to hide it behind a smokescreen of bourgeois musicological cliches. with its infinitely step-wise descending chord progression and a top voice which is step-wise ascending has always conjured up in my mind visions of an limitlessly expanding universe. driving my parents car to school during my first semester of college. in spite of whatever supposed wisdom and maturity I may have earned over the intervening more-than-thirty years.. this time for a harmony 103 class after which I tried with limited success to convey my muckle-mouthed excitement over this new music to the professor. encourage. These old-fart reminiscences in their particulars aside. and others even come back to embarrass me into acknowledging the sophomoric and fickle nature of my passion at that tender and impressionable age. a subtle underscoring of the words. but both the bridge and the ending of the song are in E. under a new stimulus. The ending. waves of joy Are drifting through my opened mind Possessing and caressing me. again and again in riper years we experience. come and go with us through life.. “Strawberry Fields Forever”. not entirely. “consciousness” is more appropriate. oh boy”) starts off in neutral-to-optimistic G Major but quickly wilts away to the more wistful e minor. the illusions. i. the point is that these songs were equal parts catalyst and accompaniment for deep cultural and societal changes when they first appeared.

rhythmically begin right on the downbeat. on the surface just a plain old love ballad. Melodically. its alternating presence is definitely there throughout the song. it's a simple song. the minor v7 (e min7) chord with no G# is used in place of the more tonally functional Major one (with the G#. The AB verses feature a characteristic “I/we” swap.” What do you think? Is it that he doesn't give himself enough credit. Although this phrase never appears explicitly in the top-voice melody of “Things We Said Today”. along with the two bridges. secure home base. and they. a B flat chord is used in both the verse and bridge as part of a gambit in which what has started off as an aggressive excursion away from the home key is abruptly aborted with a return to that very same firm. and they create a pattern of ABCC. a trick reminiscent of what we saw in “I'll Be Back. being uninhibited as they were by any schoolbook knowledge of the so-called rules. Our friend Macca. we need to keep focused with some urgency on the fact that the protagonist has a lot that he must say right now lest this moment pass. takes place. there's a correspondingly precocious ambiguity over the exact scenario in which the song. which would have probably appeared either in place of the third verse or as an additional verse section preceding the second bridge. one of the most exciting discoveries to be made in an analysis of such a song is the way in which the details of the music assist the words in the evocation of an otherwise difficult to verbalize complex of emotions. The B flat chord in any mode of A is the unusual "flat-II" or “Neapolitan” chord (so- Page 109 . hidden in the inner voices of the chord changes.” The liberal inclusion of the relatively foreign note of B flat throughout the song adds even more spice to both the melody and harmony. the start of the bridge sections features a shift to the parallel Major key of A. of course. After all. Try the following little exercise if you doubt what I mean about the piquant effect created by this mode: first play the melodic fragment of A-B-A over a sustained A minor chord and then alternate it with A-B flat-A over that same chord. The one thing that does seem fairly clear is that it's about the imperturbable constancy of true love in the face of logistical challenge.) In contrast. think of it as the white note scale starting on E. with the phrase “and that's enough. or perhaps. In context it achieves a delicate balance between the rambling and the forthright. As you might expect. On the harmonic side. On the lyrical side here.Things We Said Today Key: Meter: Form: a minor/Major 4/4 Intro – Verse – Verse – Bridge – Verse – Bridge – Verse – Outro (fadeout) General Points Of Interest Style and Form “Things We Said Today” is one of the earliest and best-ever examples of the innovative harmony stunts which The Beatles were capable of. are we hearing just a small note of false modesty? The form is the standard two-bridge model with a single verse intervening. easy to play. you'll note how in the verse sections. The CC verses are each more tightly integrated with the bridges that precede them so that they rhythmically begin well ahead of the downbeat. suggests that he chose to revive this song for the '89/'90 tour because it “says something nice.. the fear of challenge. in an interview clip from the Put It There video. keeps the proceedings from becoming too relaxed... . Melody and Harmony The song is primarily in the modal-sounding “natural” minor key of A.. The inclusion of two bridges is in the interest of conjuring a somewhat relaxed mood.” the downbeat falling in this case on the final syllable. The lyrics of the four verses contain a refrain-like final couplet based on the title phrase. . this B flat in the context of A minor is suggestive of the exotic Phrygian mode. But the omission of an instrumental solo section. or perhaps more precisely.

“It Won't Be Long”. the remainder by L&M).. I'd say there are at least dozen or more of them in our sample study. While there is a sizeable group of songs which arguably contain some greater or less degree of minor flavoring. you find only 7 songs that are distinctively and pervasively minor: • • • • • • • the cover. but you might find more or less of them yourself depending on how picky or sensitive you are to this sort of thing.. when you get strict about it (“you'll have to be strict.g. 1 by Harrison. As I've asked before in other contexts. For example. These hints are actually the result of a couple of different compositional techniques used frequently by the Beatles. and what makes its use especially far out in a Beatles song is the fact that they resolve it directly to the I chord rather than via the V chord as is more customary in classical usage. Through July '64.” Emphasis on the I-vi progression. Beyond a point it becomes difficult to draw the clear line between what I'm labeling as pervasively minor songs and those in the “just a hint of the minor mode” category. “Not A Second Time” is characterized by I moving to vi.” A Scarcity Of Songs In Minor Keys As a sort of sidebar digression. Paul . “All I've Got to Do”. For now. e. “Do You Want To Know A Secret”) or as part of the minor iv chord (e. and “Money.. e. The first verse is primarily single tracked with two exceptions: the third phrase (as in every verse) has Page 110 . they had recorded 51 songs for official release (15 covers. Arrangement The vocal arrangement of “Things We Said Today” is neatly organized around the novelty of using only Paul throughout. “Can't Buy Me Love”. “Taste of Honey. “You Can't Do That”.. To my ears the chord that is the "destination" or "target" has a tendency to assert itself. and “I Call Your Name”).”). “All I've Got To Do” is the other way around. and “From Me To You”.called because of its overly frequent use in 17th century opera of said venue).g.g.. Use of the flat sixth degree of the scale either melodically (e.g. it moves from vi to I. it is worth noting how “Things We Said Today” is one of the very few early Beatles songs to be so fully grounded in the minor mode. Hard to know for sure if this is a valid distinction rather than a rationalized inconsistency. “She Loves You”.” our surprise entry George's “Don't Bother Me” “Not A Second Time” “And I Love Her” our own sweet “Things We Said Today” “When I Get Home” “I'll Be Back” A truly uncanny consistency is the fact the last 5 songs in the list above all make conspicuous use of the trick of switching back and forth between Major/minor phrase or section endings. is this style or mannerism? The songs that contain only hints of the minor mode are also interesting. you might say that “Not A Second Time” and “All I've Got To Do” more properly belong in the same class since they both are based on the I and vi chords. Note how the Boys were so pleased with themselves over this that they recycled the exact same magic trick in “You're Going To Lose That Girl. just some bullet descriptions with a few examples for further study: • • • Heavy use of bluesy cross-relations in a minor vocal part against Major chords in the accompaniment. the great majority of which are clearly in Major keys.. But the critical distinction for me between these two songs rests on the ordering of the I and vi chords.

and contains four phrases of even length. yet again. provides more easily discernable detail than the mono CD version of A Hard Day’s Night. or with a change to e minor 7 on the offbeat. and the second half of the last phrase of this verse (on the words “things we said today”) suddenly shifts to double tracking. The remaining verses and both bridge sections are consistently double-tracked in unison with a few similar exceptions as above: the third phrase of each verse uses the same parallel thirds as in the first verse (each voice of which is single tracked). And yet.9 |C a: III F: V |C9/7 |F I |B flat flat-II IV |a i Details such as the broad arpeggios in the electric guitar on the downbeat of each measure and the free-form way in which the words are scanned over the underlying rhythm in slow triplets and syncopation. whereas on the Beeb recording of July '64. in the syncopated electric guitar part. this track is at least one example where the real stereo mix which may be found on the American vinyl pressing. Just as a teaser. second. but the future course is kept uncertain. The even strumming and stroking of acoustic guitar and drums sets a predominantly tranquil mood. of course. and the second half of the last phrase (again. Harmonically too. we encounter the aesthetic of avoiding rote consistency.”) that the mood noticeably darkens. you hear them changing to e minor 7 on the offbeat. as well as between the official and the Beeb version cited above. they are quite static featuring in every measure either the lone a minor chord.. keeping you braced for possibly tenser times ahead. not to mention the harmonized pseudo-duet also help set off this third phrase from the other three. Something New. By the time we reach the B flat chord in the last measure. or perhaps keep moving along the circle of fifths to the even more remote E flat chord. Three of these phrases (the first. the overdubbed second vocal is separated very far to the right. While you'd expect to find a strict pattern as to which measures sustain the chord versus changing it. more ominous bang than you'd think you might need given the supposedly gentle nature of the song to come. at this moment of most extreme tension. a close look reveals some internal inconsistencies throughout the official version. In stereo.. the chords are stressed on the half beat in between beats 3 and 4 of the measure. but I think my prose description above is more faithful to one's internal experience: m. in the third phrase of this section (“Some day when we're dreaming . First off. I notate it below as though a modulation to F is the “correct” answer. Verse The verse is a standard sixteen measures long. On the official recording of this song. at the end of the second phrase of the final verse. and fourth) are musically very similar. largely as a result of a momentary tonal ambiguity. the B flat chord resolves surprisingly-yet-comfortingly back into the home key. It is.Paul harmonizing in parallel thirds with himself. it is uncertain to our ears whether we might soon stabilize in the new key of F. this same harmonization appears still one place else. the a minor chord is the only one used in this intro. Section By Section Walkthrough Intro We have just a brief two measures in which the backing texture of the verse is established. the opening sixteenth-note rhythmic fanfare (di-di-DUM) calls you to attention with a bigger. It's clear right at the beginning of this phrase that the music is suddenly headed away from the home key. Page 111 . By the way. Secondly. on the title phrase) has Paul harmonizing with himself in rather early-Beatles-sounding open 4ths. yet two details belie it.

More to the point. It would almost be an anti-climax except for the ingeniously unifying stroke of adding in the tambourine part from the bridge section. In spite of the fact that the steady reliability of the A minor backing riff extends as far as you can see to the horizon. the noisier texture of the bridge-proper (see below) begins right in the final measure of the verse itself. Page 112 . It's worth noting how in these verses which adjoin the bridges. It's in the second phrase. which is brought to a merciful end by the sudden return to the home key. As with the verse above. although you'd sooner expect the D# in top voice of measure 3 to resolve upward to E rather than downward. happy-Major-mode expectations. this ending also suggests that little pangs of anxiety will also remain a permanent part of the tour. it includes a onemeasure “reprise” of the intro including the little rhythmic fanfare. Outro As is common in songs of this period. especially as it follows the first three measures of rising. the first phrase is functional in a relatively traditional way. the melodic descent conveys some small sense of emotional deflation. the outro presents yet another reprise of the introductory material repeated into a fadeout. Perhaps. where this same melodic backbone is suspended over an extremely unexpected substitution of the B flat chord for the E7 that the sun chillingly goes in for a brief moment. it's more like an unhinging sensation of harmonic free-fall. And though the D fits quite logically on top of the E7 chord upon which it finds itself. the percussion gets much noisier including the addition a tambourine. These bridges are each eight measures long and contain two phrases of even length. Bridge The bridge sections provide sudden contrast in virtually every category: the harmony shifts entirely and optimistically to the Major mode. the gambit of harmonic excursion and sudden return which we saw in the verses is now even further developed. and the bass line features a different rhythmic and melodic pattern. as it does to D. The melody too is difficultly chromatic and adds to the emotional intensity of the section. |B flat ||a flat-II i Harmonically. labeling the B flat chord a flat-II maybe doesn't even fairly match your experience of the phrase. the final verse connects directly into the outro which also is just a reprise of the material heard at the outset. I've chosen to notate below what I consider to be the structural backbone of this melody: melody: A: I |C# |A |D |D IV |D# |B V of V |E7 |D natural | V7 | |C# |A I |D |D IV |D# |B V of V |D natural ||C nat. especially when this half-stepwise descent continues in a second surprise move to the A minor chord for the start of the following verse. There is melodic parallelism between the two phrases which is made bitter sweetly ironic by a difference in their harmony. Similarly. in addition to the usual chords.Verse Variations The first verse is the only one that is followed immediately by another verse and as a result. Verses two and three connect to bridge sections and feature a surprise ending on A Major instead of the minor chord you'd otherwise expect.

oftentimes though it has little more to sustain it than the memory of things we said today. you might mistake this song for one of a time-honored and slightly hackneyed genre: sentimental words of parting between lovers overhead at a railway platform or baggage carousel. and even then. For one thing. which on the surface can easily be read as sweet. love can and will persist. especially if one is so far away. in hypothetical terms only. Even the rest of the lyrics.Some Final Thoughts Future Fear Without the clues from the music itself. This is what I mean about how the hot flashes of uncertainty in the music help elucidate the text. The transcendence of the background accompaniment and the ease with which the steady carrier frequency of the A minor key may be accessed again in spite of momentary freefalls and loss of contact vividly underscore the meaning of the words: that in spite of the potential-yet-inevitable strains upon it.” 0105001#24. But the ultimately “nice” message of the song is to be found in the repeating line which ends each verse. But I think it's a tad more complicated. besotted gratitude for a love that is requited can easily be re-interpreted as containing more than just a suggestion of head-shaking skepticism and concern about the viability of love's lasting till the end of time. in which all fear is revealed to be an illusion.1 Page 113 . “He'll look good alongside Susan. the notion of a parting is mentioned only once. simple. be they tangible impediments or the one of times passing.

starting from around the time of the White Album. is loud. at the difference between the two versions. Within the melody.While My Guitar Gently Weeps Key: a minor/Major Meter: 4/4 Form: Intro – Verse – Bridge – Verse – Verse (solo) – Bridge – Verse – Outro (fadeout) General Points Of Interest Style Two very different versions exist of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”. essentially for solo voice and acoustic guitar. by the way.” The biographical and spiritual parallels to this musical transformation of George during the last phase of his tenure with the Beatles are fascinating but unfortunately also outside the scope of this already long article. In between these two extremes. wailing. Long.. With the exception “Only A Northern Song” and “I Me Mine”. the underlying tone is one of peroration rather than encouragement. Even when the topic is one of transcendental enlightenment. one might say that the expressive core of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” is to be found more deeply embedded in the musical elements which are in common between the two versions than it is to be found among the details of their contrasting arrangements. is very much the opposite in tone. was yet another arrangement which has not been released officially or otherwise. optimistic. the Beatle George would always let us know his opinion of others. Seen in this light.. Crying. there was virtually nothing among George's songwriting credits that might be called cheery. no matter how interesting it may be to explore and compare their details. “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” sits on a cusp between two eras. or at least ones with a more positive world outlook. Waiting. And yet. there is a clear trend. second. From Lewisohn's commentary it sounds rather similar to the official version would appear to have been scrapped as a matter of its having become overdeveloped with too many overdubs and manipulations of tape speed. we will also take a close look. starting on the third side of The Beatles with “Long. While the emphasis in this article will be on the so-called common musical elements. or even late-arriving friends. Perhaps closest in spirit is “Think For Yourself”.” “Something. Hoping . take 1. but it's a game with some basis in fact. Without You”. whether the topic be lost love.” and “For You Blue. Long”. despite the intermittent appearance of upward gestures that you would half-expect to lighten things up a bit. One. introspectively quiet and quite simply arranged. or fanciful. It is more or less the last of a chain of songs similar in tone and attitude. For A New Blue Moon It may be fashionable sport these days to pick on the supposed Quiet One for being rather noisily complaining in his song lyrics. though the Page 114 . with just a hint of harmonium toward the end. available for years in bootleg and finally released officially on Anthology 3. before the appearance of “Long. as in “Within You. The other version. Long”. and formal phrasing of the song we discover a thoroughly sad lament in which there is ironic tension on at least two levels: first. there is an unmistakable shift toward happier songs from him. Long. Amazingly.” “Here Comes The Sun. and arranged in successively recorded thick layers of sound. the materialistic blindness of society. heavy. that carries on through the remainder of the Beatles canon with such upbeat tunes as “Old Brown Shoe. the contrast between the ploddingly slow tempo and continually restless progression of chords. along the way. chord progressions. Even so. the predominance of downward-moving gestures which conjure a mood of pessimism. the official release on the White Album.

the parallel Major key of A. the outtake is in the key of g minor while the official version is in a. Form The form of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” is deceptively familiar. We'll track it section by section. the lyrics of every section are more or less different. Page 115 . representing on one hand the two bridge model with two verses intervening. songs running all the way from “Don't Bother Me” to “Heading For The Light” all keep him singing for long sections in a range that is several notes above middle C. There are a couple of differences between the official version and the outtake worth noting at the macro level. but far from all. This latter move is likely warranted by the slow tempo. Many. Arrangement The arrangement is a pretty thick.” The melodic content is shapely and far ranging. by slow harmonic rhythm and moderate tempo. Compare with “I'll Be Back” or “Fool On The Hill. yet demonstrates overall careful organization. On the other hand. it's actually an effect he's sought after throughout his career. and in a number of places. on the one hand. Aside from the refrain-like frequent reprise of the title phrase. instead of the more familiar verbatim repeat. the latter effect becoming a subtle signature of the piece. and the internal structure of the verse section itself. yet none of these keys are strongly established. this static. The use of harmony is a key element in the song's evocation of a mood that is paradoxically slow and measured. is particularly unusual. which starts off with the same line as the first verse. heavily layered affair typical of the period in which it was produced. some of which must have been superimposed later rather than sooner in the process. the unusual length of the intro and outro. nowhere in the song do the chords change more frequently than once a measure. Also. is replaced here in the later song by sad regret that is targeted more diffusely and ambiguously. The odd lines of the verse rhythmically commence with a pickup to the downbeat. languid processional is suggested. In spite of any strain on his voice. and even the comparatively remote key of c# minor. A somber. From the home key of A minor there are excursions toward the relative Major key of C. of the chords from both minor and Major modes of the home key are used. the rate of change is even less frequent. The use here of different lyrics in each bridge. No more exotic chords appear though the slowly descending bass line against a static chord in the odd lines of the verse. restless and fretful. yet never truly find rest for long. one of which is an instrumental. an effect that he must have liked very much because he chose to go with the higher of the two keys for the official version. Melody and Harmony This is yet another one of those Beatles songs in which alternation of parallel minor and Major modes is used as a structural element. as we'll see shortly when we pull it apart below. Both of these keys force George to sing the bridge section in a breathy. Even the final verse.rancor of that earlier song from Rubber Soul. with the music always moving on (“like a bird that flew”) almost as soon as it has touched down. The verse stays within the natural minor mode while the bridge shifts to the diatonic parallel Major mode. The outtake features all new words in the final verse whereas the official version presents a clever variation of the first verse in this spot. which would appear to be personally directed at an individual. On the other hand. the double verse we've come to expect at the beginning of Beatles songs is conspicuous here by virtue of its absence. The even lines of the verse as well as all the lines of the bridge begin on the 2nd beat following the downbeat. partly falsetto tenor. presents some new/different material before it is done. plodding tendency is more than amply balanced out by the way in which the chord progressions themselves always seem to be going somewhere. and the hint of a modulation to c# in the bridge bear some interest.

Internally.. and evenly played eighth notes. neither of which curiously lasts much beyond the intro itself. the likes of which not only repeat leitmotif-like throughout the song. and syncopated cymbal slashes on the syncopated offbeat between 2 and 3. instead of ending on V. but the melodic style of which. starting right off with the seemingly stray “hey up!”. serves as the basis of his incredible solo in the middle section. but only through the first eight measures of the first verse before the percussion switches over to a different texture for the rest of the song. This length sets an expansive tone for the song at the outset and the ending of this phrase on V nicely motivates the verse that follows. Ask yourself when it was you first suspected it. the form of this verse is more precisely that of a double couplet.By the way. the piano never reappears with equivalent prominence in the remainder of the song. and the cymbal slashes continue. Note that the intro to the outtake. There are two other instrumental details that are employed throughout the song and become emblematic elements of its sonority: the very heavy bass that often sounds as though more than one string has been plucked. AB-AB': |a bass line: A a: i |G |F# |F F-natural VI | |a i |G VII |D IV |E V | |a i |- |- |F VI | |a i |G V-of-III |C III |E V A I Page 116 . how they ever kept Eric Clapton's guest appearance on lead guitar any kind of secret is beyond me by the way. Verse All the verses in “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” are a square sixteen measures built from four phrases of even length. the VII chord of measure 6 is simply resolved to the "i" chord which fills both measures 7 and 8. hard rock texture. Of course Clapton makes his own dramatic entrance in the measure 7 of this intro with an obbligato-like riff. heavy on arpeggio outlines. We have a simple yet effective precis of what will emerge as the melody of the verse played percussively on the piano. Section By Section Walkthrough Intro The introduction is an unusually long one of eight measures in which the entire first half of the verse is presented instrumentally. Strangely. though also eight measures long. which sound as though recorded backward though they likely were just deftly damped by hand. but also containing two details of greater substance. appoggiaturas. does not use the the exact same chord progression. The arrangement of the Intro is attention grabbing. no less had it confirmed. i. and the Wilbury-like use of a steely-sounding acoustic guitar in an otherwise exceedingly electric.e. neighbor tones.

for a change!” The first eight measures of the first verse feature George singing by himself but double-tracked. The primary difference aside from the new words is in the way the vocal duet introduced in phrase three of the first verse is now repeated in both phrase 1 and 3 of this one. Similarly. The partially chromatic bass line moves against an A minor chord which is sustained for three measures above it. the approach to the E chord at the end by way of G and D chords is one of what you might describe as continual motion. It's not so much a big surprise per se. The second eight measures present a different vocal arrangement. but it is sufficient to add to that sense of restlessness. “oh well. there are still two small surprises to come in short order. Lyrically we have the pattern in every verse of an alternation between lines which begin with “while” and “still”.. I can't help but wonder if Paul might have been trying to horn-in or upstage poor old Hari in his own song by singing the upper part. When the E chord appears in measure 16 you think to yourself. we're given not A minor. but rather the parallel Major key of A. measures 7 and 15 respectively). The couplet structure is articulated by both words and music. either sit still. harmonically. From a guitar player's perspective. the chord in measures 4 and 8 may appear on paper as though it's a D minor chord that quickly changes to F Major.9. there's clear parallelism between phrases 1/3 and 2/4. the bridge further adds to the paradoxical mood of expansiveness with its sixteen-measure length. so much for a modulation to C. and the restlessness with its chord progression. But we're not yet finished with harmonic motion in this verse even though we're already at measure 15.) the cymbal slashes are abandoned in favor of bass and snare drum work plus a “dum-ditty-dum” sort of quiet tapping on what sounds like a wood block. Musically too. Bridge Harmonically. In the case of the guitar solo verse. George sings the melody part while Paul sings in harmony with him in parallel thirds unusually placed above the melody. “hey George. this makes for what look like different chords in every measure. yet there is a subtle difference created by the simple use of a different chord in the penultimate measure of each couplet (i. or let's really go somewhere. note by the way. but the more proper analysis is to call it F Major with a melodic appoggiatura of D->C on the downbeat.” Yet when the bridge begins. but analytically it's all one harmonic “event” and the novel sonorities of measures 2 and 3 are byproducts of the contrapuntal motion of the bass. it's straight back to the home key of A minor now. Starting in the second couplet of this verse (m. we find Clapton interjecting his brief comments in the final two measures of each couplet. mixed far to the left. the resolution of the G chord to C (instead of D) creates a articulative break in the motion because the dominant-tonic relationship of the G and C chords creates a definite albeit short-lived sense of having arrived somewhere new. Although George does have the melody in that third phrase and Paul sounds as though mixed less prominently than George.I believe it is this repeat-like structure within the verse itself is what discourages the use of two full verses in a row. ff. “proper” to the extent that the analysis matches one's experience of the music. This second verse is built on the same musical structure as the first one. one that persists for most of the rest of the song: in the third phrase. This is nicely balanced out by the symmetrical arch shape of the vocal melody. The first and third phrases prominently feature a descending bass line whose downward gesture permeates the song by virtue of its constant repetition. In the backing part.e. Structurally. it is a verbatim repetition of the following eight measure phrase: |A A: I |c# iii c#: |f# I |c# iii iv |b ii I |- |E V |- | Page 117 . Both couplets in this verse are harmonically open ended on the V chord. how the structure of Clapton's solo blurs the distinct articulation of the double couplet. In the second couplet. In the first couplet. The fourth refrain-like phrase reverts to just George.

without the help of Paul. finger cymbals miked very closely? Note how cleverly the relationship between the “why” and “how” of the two bridges seems to parallel the “while” and “still” of the verses. but rather are broken up into two slow. passes delicately below the low end of the octave and very quickly finishes up with a flourish that takes him all the way back up the octave to end on his earlier high note as the second bridge begins. suggestive of a loss of energy as well as hope. Guitar Solo Verse Even without the all the flanging and bent notes. even vocal sounding solo in which the 16 measures are treated not as a couplet. this would still be one gem of a guitar solo.Just like the ending of the verse. this one provides both sharp contrast to the surrounding verses as well as further development of the essential thematic mood of the song. The first part of the bridge extends the range all the way up to G#. The drumming in this section is slightly different yet again from what preceded it. but on some subliminal level it provides ultimate resolution of the high g# left hanging in the bridge section. But the establishment of this key. the bridge starts off with a dramatic swing upward. though in keeping with the inevitably sad nature of the piece. the second bridge is musically identical to the first one but for the use of different lyrics and minor tweaks to the backing track. ambles slowly back down the octave in measures 10 . While the vocal melody of the verse presented a full arch shape in the space of only eight measures. but also weakly established via its IV chord instead of with a stronger I-V-I cadence. Overall. Even more significantly. Page 118 . the ending of this solo is very much the climax of the song because it is the single moment in the song where a positive.14. The high A of this guitar solo is not only the single highest melodic note of the entire song. I'll resist the temptation to supply a complete transcription of it for now but will at least sketch it out.8. In keeping with the rest of the song though. there is a lifting of the harmonic root motion at the beginning of each bridge phrase that suggests a momentary flash of optimism but it quickly fades in the stepwise-downward motion of the c#->b chords which follow. In parallel to the melody. at least for a moment. what could it possibly be. Melodically. Clapton spreads the arch of his solo out over most of the full sixteen measures of the section. The melody of the verse had been constrained to the small melodic range of A to E (actually. this initial feeling of new energy is quickly dissipated by section's end with a sad descending which is reminiscent of that of the verse. Above all. suspensefully sustains the high note in measures 9 & 10. the melodic range of the second half of the bridge tends back downward to where it overlaps with that of the verse. The arrangement of the bridge features George singing double-tracked by himself again. Whatever follows this section more or less provides ballast and an emotional unwinding from this high point. as well as the fact the style of guitar figuration used in the solo had already been consistently presented in obbligato licks starting as early as the introduction. As with any good bridge section. this time apparently for the comparatively remote environs of c sharp minor. deep and contrasting phrases of eight measures each. the outtake version leaves this wilting gesture more simply exposed. Just as with the successive verses. Note how the official version tries to counterbalance this suggestion of lost vigor at the end of each phrase by a scale-wise pumping up based on the V chord that makes the music drive forward into the next phrase. By contrast and with greater pathos. and the eventual faltering of the harmonic rhythm in the remainder of the phrase. Also note the subtle addition in this section of a clanging sound on the offbeat in the percussion. He works his way up a full octave in measures 1 . and then. no sooner have we arrived with some sense of decisiveness in A Major then we appear to be off yet again. as with both C Major and A Major before it. it is an extraordinarily melodic. with breathtaking surprise in the final two measures. upward gesture has the last word and appears to stick. The solo achieves some unity with the rest of the song by virtue of Clapton's starting off with a retracing of the melodic outline of George's sung melody. is not only short-lived. this bridge provides some well needed upward gestures as well as an opening up of the melodic and harmonic space. E and G just below the A also make brief embellishing appearances though they are not a key part of the action).

Incidentally. or more a matter of Paul's suddenly trying out a new improvisatory trick with the bass line based on his assumption that the finished track would be fully faded out by this point. “Here's this kid trying to give me his utterly valueless opinion when I know for a fact .” 011401#25. In the last repetition of the verse section (at which point we're pretty well into the fadeout) it appears as though Paul and the rest of the group are out of step.1 Page 119 . whichever you prefer is likely to be a matter of your own sweet taste. there is what sounds to me like a glitch near the very end of the official version.. both versions are on some level a legitimate rendering of the words to our song. the outtake will be lacking in production values. to have a fadeout ending based on the I and flatVII chords. poor George cries for us all. In keeping with both the spirit and scale of the song to this point. chord-wise in both measures 7 and 15.. or even perhaps a Harrisonian adaptation of Dylan's “Don't Think Twice It's NOT (sic!) Alright. To give all concerned the benefit of the doubt. In the vocal part. Some Final Thoughts Having paid insufficient attention to the words.” But then I finally noticed the enigmatic use of the word “all” and for the first time realized that this song has as much in common with “Within You Without You” as it does with “Think For Yourself. intellectual level. it would be only a relatively short time after “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” that this same Mr. the official version may seem a bit maudlin. for those who like to follow this sort of detail. In the final result. Returning to our two different arrangements. I've been walking around for years thinking that this song is obviously about a love that George has lost or given up because he has grown apart from her on some spiritual. but more's the pity that his insight here is one that enervates him to a walking-in-circles inability to act rather than infusing him with the energy to do something about it. close to 32 measures of instrumental music into a fadeout that is accompanied by moaning. This outtake was unfortunately tampered with. Clapton. it's hard to tell if it's a mistake outright. Paul's accompaniment of George at a third above is now extended even to include the fourth phrase. we are given an unusually long outro consisting of almost two full iterations of the verse section. but the original is worth seeking.” Alas. the third line is unusually truncated. both vocal and Claptonesque. It's this latter version that appears on Anthology 3. Harrison would be capable of finding some joyful inspiration for “Here Comes The Sun” in the clear light of the backyard belonging to the same Mr. while for others. It's rather comforting to know that in retrospect. For some. In equally consistent contrast. the outtake makes a small musical change in the final verse so that its final two measures make a neat I-V-I cadence into a comparatively brief eight-measure outro with a complete ending that is followed on the original studio tape by a candid snippet of George asking to have it played back.Outro The last verse presents still more fiddling with the words and arrangement. Though the official version essentially repeats the lyrics of the first verse. as if it were his version of John's “And Your Bird Can Sing”. to the extent that tears come to reflect a broad spectrum of moods. originally for the Sessions project. you might say that.

” “I Saw Her Standing There” is one of the Boys' first fast. primarily John. in spite of the lack of any explicit passion in the words. and the alternation between “when” and “since” at the beginning of the final line of each verse.e. Page 120 . as absurd as this association of titles sounds at first. they chose to crown it with the leadoff spot on their first album. It was probably the most blazingly original song they had yet written at the time of its recording. Many other songs exist that describe this discovering of one's special love across a crowded room or at a dance. but a couple of such mishaps actually managed to creep into the official version. and arrangement of this song are replete with the touches and techniques that in retrospect define the early sound of the group. but “I Saw Her Standing There” is a very far cry indeed from the likes of Rodgers & Hammerstein's “Some Enchanted Evening” or Bernstein's “Maria”. It all goes to enhance a general feeling of urgency already projected by other aspects of the music. you cannot deny the uncanny parallels among their respective scenarios. Please Don't Be Long The song evokes such a pleasurably exuberant mood that I don't believe anyone these days ever finds it to drag or to be too long in its full form. thus making for comparatively long running time of 2:52. We also have early examples here of a type of wordplay that would be looked back upon as a Beatles trademark. “She”. the outstretched symmetry is one of its best features. The lyrics of the two bridges are a typical rote repeat of each other. More importantly for our purposes here. This starts as early as the introductory bass note that falls between the word “four” and the first measure.” or even “From Me To You” and “Thank You Girl. listen to "when/since" at the end of the third verse. or John's hesitation with “since” in the last verse. Not only are several of the outtakes riddled by word collisions. the latter of which is for guitar solo. hard rockers. Every section of the song starts off rhythmically with a pickup before the downbeat. if you bother to study the long line of live versions of the song performed for broadcast or in concert. This device was sufficiently clever to trip up the composers themselves. the successive use of “How”. The first three verses and bridge section narrate a deceptively simple boy-meets-girl tale in the first person to which the pulsating music lends a definitely hot connotation. Form The form is a fully cranked out two bridge model with two verses intervening. making it a prime choice for our detailed study. Words The lyrics of the four verses create a formal pattern of ABCA. i. if anything. Interestingly though. and “I” at the beginning of the third line of each verse. the words.I Saw Her Standing There Key: Meter: Form: E Major 4/4 Intro – Verse – Verse – Bridge – Verse – Verse (solo) – Bridge – Verse – Outro (with complete ending) General Points Of Interest Style In contrast with the post-skiffle beat of songs like “Love Me Do” and “Misery.. Appropriately and auspiciously. music.

e. However. but uncannily during the same time period. the tune has a relatively large number of G and D naturals in it for a song in the key of four sharps. There do not seem to be any written or recorded clues that shed any light on the motivation for this change. Compare this. It must have been a particularly playable key for them in terms of vocal range and chord choices. as early Beatles they performed it in a shorter form by omitting the second bridge -. and the many blue notes in the vocal line that pit melodic notes from the minor mode against the Major chords in the accompaniment. by dropping the second bridge right out of the arrangement. At least. because they used it so frequently in their early string of original compositions. they felt compelled to shorten it up by ~25 seconds. a strong bluesy flavor here created by the almost exclusive reliance on the I-IV-V chords. they resumed with the playing of the longer version until later the same spring. For one thing. remember. As both Quarrymen and as Beatles of the Get Back era. the slow harmonic rhythm with its infrequent chord changes. Paul still did it this way on his '89 tour. and it appears with strategic effectiveness right at the climax of each verse where the voices go into their falsetto “wooh”. Melody and Harmony The tune covers a broad range and consists of an interesting mix of stepwise motion with dramatic long jumps. A non-exhaustive list of examples includes “Please Please Me”. the longer version must have continued to be thought of as the “real” arrangement.not only the identical change as we find here in “I Saw Her Standing There”. there is no evidence from the February session tapes that a short version was ever considered for the OV itself. The song is. they began to play the short version exclusively for the remainder of the song's lifecycle. On some level.” Talk about being “tuned to a natural E!” Though not strictly a blues song. With one notable exception. “Do You Want To Know A Secret”. Only one truly unusual chord is used in the song. as we can confirm from listening to Brian Matthews' chat with the Boys between songs. Starting the following month (again. all extant recordings of the song up through a 6/17/63 appearance on the Beeb were the long arrangement. played in the key of E Major. “It Won't Be Long”. they played it in a long form with two bridges. because it is also surprisingly the earliest preserved performance of the song to come after the recording of the official version. There are several more specific trademark sources of excitement in the arrangement to which the entire group contributes: Page 121 . It remains a mystery to me that they would have been experimenting with this alternate version so soon after the album track had been cut. to the extremely truncated version of “Twist and Shout” with which they opened the set list on the tour of early '65. One specific performance of the short version seems as if it is out of sequence. 1963. and “All My Loving. in a performance from the Beeb). the shorter version allowed them to get it over with more quickly and onto the newer stuff which they would have found more interesting. From our various Beatlegs we learn that the recording history of “The One After 909” went through a similar series of modifications. Secondly. to the extent that the Boys themselves were starting to think of “I Saw Her Standing There” as one of their oldies. there's a delightful tension embedded in the song from the way that the slowness of the chord changes contrasts with the hard driving activity of the rhythm track and the frequent long jumps in the voice parts. but one might surmise that the shorter version on tour conformed more closely to the mass-media model of the “two minute” hit'll discover that at some point. Refer to a two-part study of mine published in volume 1 of The 910 (1991) for a more detailed analysis of close to two dozen live recordings of “I Saw Her Standing There” along with all the studio outtakes of the song available unofficially at the time. aired a full week before the album actually hit the store shelves. it seems strange how after this March date. that the early Beatles session for “909” was (should be no surprise!) in March '63. C Major. Arrangement Throughout. a Saturday Club date at the Beeb on March 16. for example. i. there is nonetheless. and always has been. down to around two and half minutes. Or perhaps. that's how I interpret the fact that it's the way that Macca played it on his '89/'90 tour.. “There's A Place”.

there are those who will argue that George's performance here sounds a tad too stiff and pre-arranged to have been made up in real time. the energetic tone of what is to follow. George's little obbligato riffs which fill the space between phrases sound a little more tentative than necessary. The tight vocal harmonies of Paul and John. The backing work on rhythm and lead guitars works in fine synergy with the bass and drum parts. The handclaps and the screaming used for background punctuation are unessential yet nevertheless characteristic. As always. If you can sight-read John's parts from my notation below. the few that do appear tend more toward lighthanded embellishment of the main tune (viz. which we will look at below in detail. but you'd miss them if they weren't there. Even the falsetto used here seems so bracingly different from what was to be heard from other contemporaneous groups who made a habit of it. Ringo's elaborately syncopated drum fills typically appear in the space between phrases or sections. from the very outset. and plays these fills with greater confidence and elaboration. the eighth note pickup in the bass. George does in fact come out of his shell a bit. and the generally rhythmic texture of the accompaniment all help to set. I recommend you try singing them along with the record for a good time. Verse The verse is in a standard structure of sixteen measures with four phrases of equal length: E: m. such as The Beach Boys or The Four Seasons. The appearance of a full-length improvisatory guitar solo is notable to the extent that instrumental solos of any kind are relatively uncommon on the early singles and albums. “Love Me Do” or “From Me To You”). feature a type of counterpoint that is conspicuously unlike the simpler parallel thirds or sixths of acts like the Everly Brothers.Paul's boogie-woogie bass line outlines the chords in a perpetual motion of eighth notes. When you work your way through the many later concert and broadcast versions of this song. however. it is only in a thorough walkthrough of the entire song that all the details can be fully appreciated. it's intended to sound as though improvised. Section By Section Walkthrough Intro The intro is a simple four measures of vamping on the tonic chord of E. but the count-in. He also always sustains a C in the bass line of measure 12 though the rhythm guitar plays an a minor triad above it. but the point is. you find that over time.1 |E I |- |A IV |E I 5 - |- |B V |- 9 |E I |** |A IV |a iv6/3 ||E I |B V |E I |- || [** bass players will want to note that Paul often but not always makes sure that E chord in measure 10 is supported by G# in the bass that allows the bass line to melodically move stepwise to the A of the following measure. Granted.] Page 122 .

I'm still not 100% certain whether John intends to be singing G or G# in measure 13.9 |B |G# E C# G# D# |E A |B F# B G | F# E C#| B A | | C E C E| E C| B D |B G | E G | E G** |F# How could I dance with an-oth-er. you'll find that the two places that were changed here sound somehow stilted or over-emphasized without the underscoring rhythmic emphasis of the words and vocal parts. along with the falsetto “wooh” in the vocal of that measure. the A chord from the previous measure is sustained instead of moving to the unusual a minor chord. I worry he was just waffling a bit. The song contains five iterations of this verse section and other than the words.” The movement of the bass line for the second chord is an unusual ploy and. some of which follow in parallel (measure 11). The vocal parts also help to bring the dramatic structure of the music into relief. i. Paul sings the first eight measures solo and is joined by John for the remainder of the verse in a bit of two part harmony that is most unusual and tangy. Sometimes. In the counterpoint transcribed below. It's a delightfully groin-tightening and ambiguous momentary spike of intensity. the verse sections have an harmonic shape which is closed overall and bound to the home key.. The most significant difference is in the guitar solo section where interestingly. note the number of open fourths and fifths. The chord in measure 12 sounds very much like the C Major.] Paul's octave jump upward in measure 12 is an extraordinary effect. when I saw her stand-ing there [** After many listenings. the second phrase reinforces this sense of key with its open ending on V. A smaller variation worth noting is the way that at the end of the two verses which each precede a bridge section. whoo. the chord progression is altered in two places. Bridge In spite of their drama.As often happens. the third builds towards a climax with its ending on the C chord. The manner in which this bridge section seems to be centered around the IV chord provides both a refreshing Page 123 . and the large number of G naturals in either voice which make for "class 1" cross-relations with the G sharps in the E major harmony below: Paul John m. on the words “the way she looked”). but other times. the bass line in the final measure contains downward scale which nicely leads us straight into the next section. but closer listening proves it to be an a minor chord placed in its first (aka 6/3) inversion by the C natural in the bass line. I even suspect he's intentionally shooting for the blue note that lies in between the two. I don't think this is random at all. there is very little variation among them. Harmonically it's an example of “the minor iv chord appearing in a major key. heightens the impact of the C# versus C-natural cross-relation between the chords. measure 3 sustains the E chord instead of moving to A. and the fourth phrase finally resolves all accumulated tension with its straightforward re-establishment of the home key. the harmony plays an important role in the articulation of the dramatic shape of such a verse: the first phrase expositorily establishes the key. leaving it up to us listeners to decide whether the protagonist's tension is one of approach/avoidance or more simply the joy of confident anticipation. and in measure 12.e. it sounds different from one repetition of the phrase to the next. and note how its motivation is anticipated by the earlier leap downward of almost the same magnitude at the beginning of the second phrase (measure 5. if you try to imagine the solo played over the chord progression from the other verses. flat-VI chord.

the jump to the falsetto high notes with its concomitant crescendo.C#-----------E |F#-------|---------|E--------|---.” The key contribution of the vocal parts to the strong impact of this bridge is not to be underestimated. As with two of its close cousins. creates an almost paradoxical effect – the decision to resolve the V chord deceptively to IV for two full measures on the way to its real destination of I is a delaying tactic that.change of outlook as well as a platform from which to set up the return to the home key when the next verse comes around. syncopated lead-in to the following verse w”Well. In contrast with the verse. You're so used to hearing it as written that it's hard to imagine it being any other way. with John employing a favorite device of theirs. However.10 look like: m. “Love Me Do” and “Please Please Me”. The following is what the composite vocal parts of measure 5 .. and Paul's dramatic.6. you'll notice that it would have been more obvious (read: less original and effective) to restrain the bridge to the more standard length of eight measures and simply end on the V chord. we have John and Paul singing together throughout this bridge. The section is ten measures long.. sustaining during measures 1 . the real master stroke of this section is in the use of falsetto within the final four measures. reduces some of the tension built up to that point of the bridge.A A |B | | | G| E | She held her hand in mine ---------------------------- Well we danced Page 124 . the single note of 'A' against Paul singing the actual melody part above him. on the one hand.. However. four other factors create an even stronger cross-current of *increasing* tension at the same time: • • • • the lengthening of the phrase by two measures. we have another bridge here with phrases of unequal length here. i. we .e. but if you can snap out of that mind-set for just a moment. and my ears scan it into three phrases. two + two + six: heart went |A |IV boom As I crossed that room |A |IV And I held |A IV her |- hand V in mine |B -IV -|- -|A -- -|- The totally static harmony of the first six measures.5 E|G A|A F# A |E |A B -------------. and the triple repetition of the same melodic phrase builds a suspenseful sense of expectation which is fulfilled by the elongated continuation of the third phrase. the gutsy support work from the rhythm section. What we have instead.

no pangs.” of falling for the first time in what you think just might be Real Love. and it is he who sustains that impossible high note all the way through to the C# in measure 9. and then moves down to E natural for measures 9 and the beginning of 10. Some Final Thoughts I've made a habit in these Notes of spending a moment or two at the end in consideration of what hidden meanings might be embedded in the lyrics. the high C# is sustained long enough that it overlaps with Paul's starting the next verse. an eventually bitter and disappointing side to this experience. i.2 Page 125 . a IV chord gets interpolated between the V and the final I chord. For you harmony freaks that like to keep track of every little Beatles trademark. The final repetition. on a structural level. The ultimate clue for this is that on some of the outtakes. while melodically the same as the previous two. we also have a classically free-dissonant chord at the very end. if you need me to sort this one out for you. But I'll tell you. Check it out! Stepping back from the details. you do know what I mean? “When was the last time you gave a girl a pink-edged daisy? When did you last embarrass a sheila wid your cool appraising stare?” 012001#26. Surely. but I believe that the song isn't so much whitewashing over this truth. and its reappearance here helps put the brakes on for the conclusion of the piece. there is more often than not. not even the slightest amount of self-doubt. but this is the best I can do with words alone: Paul actually sustains the F# at the beginning of measure 7 all the way through measure 8. no angst. John. we have no romantic or emotional complications. before picking up the melody again for the beginning of the following verse. but is the byproduct of John's jumping over Paul by an octave in measure 7. E Major with at least F# and possible C# as well tacked on for spice. you'll discover that the top line is not sung by one person alone. this time. The following blow-by-blow narrative of is perhaps less clear than it would appear to you if I had music paper on which to transcribe it. provides a small harmonic modification. the use here of both falsetto and an octave jump add unity to the overall composition by their subconscious association with the earlier appearances of both techniques.e. Outro The triple repetition of the final phrase of the last verse is relatively conventional for the genre we're dealing with. This is the same trick we saw at the end of the bridge. Granted. For a rare change. then you're really in trouble.. as much as emphasizing that the sweeter part of it is worth taking with you for the rest of your life. The first two repetitions are identical both melodically and harmonically. (to paraphrase Richard Price's The Wanderers) it's more like some “hip ditty bop noise” to remind us in perpetuity of the “nowness and coolness of being seventeen and hip. as well as providing yet another subtle touch of unification. it's worth noting how.If you listen very carefully though. and are built on a simple I-V-I chord progression. who has been singing just A natural beneath him the whole time moves up in parallel fifths with Paul to B at the beginning of measure 7 and in the second beat of the measure jumps a dizzying octave to the high B.

With The Beatles. most complex piece of songwriting yet” as of the time of its official recording in July '63. nicely supporting the sense of eager urgency manifest in the rest of the song's fabric. the Boys liked this trick sufficiently to reuse it from time to time. All of the sections begin with a pickup before the downbeat. Lewisohn among them. and the number of verse repetitions plus the complete ending make it seem deceptively familiar. along with the words of the outro. I'll postulate that virtually every song has a “hook” phrase or riff. the song seems to have forever been eclipsed in popularity by the other really big hits of the first American wave of Beatlemania. Perhaps this loss of status is attributable to “All My Loving”'s relative lack of drama or startling originality when compared to those other songs. not even “All My Loving”'s appearance as leadoff number on the first Ed Sullivan show could prevent it from happening. with all three of them containing an identical mini-refrain for the second half. especially in conjunction with the short bridge section for solo guitar. just browsing among the two dozen-odd songs we've looked at in this series. A close look at its compositional details reveals it to be very much a typical song of the second album.e. somewhere on the studio tape I'll bet someone plays the note 'A' for Paul just before they start. and suggest the following correlation between the location of this hook in a given pop/rock song and the likelihood of whether a bridge (or break) versus a refrain (or chorus) section to be found within it: Page 126 . or even a downbeat from which the singer can grab his opening cue note. Perhaps it's only the matter of never having been issued as a single. “Any Time At All”. The lyrics of the three verse sections create an ABA pattern. Also special is the way in which the song opens in the midst of the action without an intro. and Refrains We need to agree upon the definition of some terms in order to share a vocabulary with which we can track the development and variation of song forms in the Beatles canon. there's “She Loves You”. Either way. such as “She Loves You” and “I Want To Hold Your Hand”.All My Loving Key: Meter: Form: E Major 4/4 Verse – Verse – Refrain – Bridge – Verse – Bridge – Outro (with complete ending) General Points Of Interest Style Many people. it's a shame to have happened. “It Won't Be Long”. Clearly. the appearance a refrain section here is quite noteworthy. “No Reply”. I) chord of the home key. “All My Loving” represents a notable advance in sophistication and technique over the first couple of singles and the original cuts on the "Please Please Me" album. In “All My Loving” (as in “No Reply”). Hooks. or the strict verse/refrain pattern of the folk ballad. but it really doesn't fall neatly into either the single/double bridge model of which we've seen so much. and “You're Going To Lose That Girl”. Bridges. At risk of oversimplification. have described “All My Loving” as Paul's “best. Especially as concerns form and harmonic vocabulary. The refrains have identical lyrics which. In spite of all praise however. the abruptness of the effect is enhanced by the first chord not being the tonic (i. Form The form is relatively compact. because there's quite a lot to be admired in the song. In actuality. are based around the title phrase.

they differ in feel from bridges in that they are much the focal point of the song. In contrast with the earlier songs we've studied thus far. and I'll accept the burden of explaining below the motivation for its hybrid inclusion of the bridge section.” speaking of uncanny Dylan/Beatles cross-references. the hook will be found in a refrain section. we're given the nice contrast of Paul appearing single tracked in the refrain with George and John sustaining a backing harmony behind him on the phoneme “oooh”. manifest the reverse trend. As such. this one utilizes an unusually large number of different chords. rather than a momentary interlude away from them. it's amusing to note how the songs of Dylan. Otherwise. let me suggest that in spirit. singing with himself again) in the final verse. in measures 1 -3 and 9 . and even though such refrains are typically to be found in the same formal location as the bridges referred to above. plus a couple of other more adventurous ones as well. and “I Wanna Be Your Man”. and in no case is any chord sustained for more than two measures in a row. But you'll remind me. such as almost any one of the others listed at the end of the previous paragraph. There is a different chord in virtually every measure of the piece. The bass line suggests a perpetual motion of its own. then the middle section of the song is a bridge. typically implemented in part by harmonic movement away from or back towards the home key. Without exception. as well as through its rapid harmonic rhythm. we have the appearance of five out of the possible total seven chords diatonically available in the home key. it does still convey an infectiously unperturbed and self-confident vitality through the incessant fast motor triplets in the rhythm guitar part.If the hook is found in the verse section (typically in the first or last phrase of the verse). I could (and probably should) have proposed the above categorization scheme in the context of analyzing a more strictly category #2 type song. Page 127 . Indeed. the entire first crop of L&M originals up through the Please Please Me album fits into the #1 bridge category. It has been pointed out that he had never written a song with a true bridge section until his Highway 61 Revisited album. by which I mean to describe a section whose primary purpose is to provide contrast or respite from the music of the verse section. that our current song doesn't quite fit into either of my categories because it has both the refrain and bridge. As a further variation. which helps establish a sense of key. The two unusual chords are D Major (the flat VII) and an exotic augmented chord that is used in the bridge to smoothly mediate between c# minor and E Major. But what's most curious to note for the purpose of our current study is the sudden burst of interest in the #2 refrain style as evidenced from the songs of mid-late '63. in general. it recurs every verse. I believe a statistical study of the Beatles' output would reveal a long term trend in this direction. in addition to our “All My Loving”. Though it's not a particularly fussy vocal arrangement. given his folk roots. won't you. it belongs in the #2 category. Melody and Harmony The melody is characterized by step-wise motion that covers a full octave in range. For the momentary sake of a placing “All My Loving” in one of two pigeonholes. Beyond the large harmonic vocabulary per se. Parenthetically. refrains tend to showcase a catchy tune and are built from harmony.11. where you find the song “Ballad of a Thin Man. the rate at which the chords change borders on the hyperactive. they did take the trouble to double track Paul in the first two verses while saving a vocal duet in parallel thirds (for Paul. Arrangement Though “All My Loving” has virtually none of that Beatles-trademark sort of syncopation or uneven phrase lengths. the fulfillment of the verses. albeit a much slower one than found in the triplets of the guitar parts. contrast this back with what we saw last time in “I Saw Her Standing There”. and to our delight. “Little Child”. but the use of a downward walking scale covering the nine notes all the way from F# down to low E more than an octave below is quite stunning. “It Won't Be Long”. You can't always make out the specific notes in the bass. you also have “She Loves You”.

making for an early climax and a leisurely winding down. this flat VII behaves like a connecting chord between the ii and V chords. the former of which is left harmonically open with its ending on the V chord. the motivation for which appears to the ear as a result of the arpeggio outline of the root movement in the bass and the upward chromatic movement of an inner line from C#->D->D# over the course of measures 6 . Typically. The D Major chord in measure 7 demonstrates an unusual application of the so-called "flat VII" chord. The general pause in measure 16 is the only place in the song where total silence reigns for at least a single heartbeat. or as a sort of "IV-of-IV". especially in the songs of the Beatles. this slightly dissonant chord of Page 128 . you'd almost never make the free association without a hint because the two contexts are so different. In the context of a song whose mood and vocabulary are otherwise so imperturbable. as seen in the second-half jam section of “Hey Jude. Though this use of the flat VII is definitely less widely found than the other two I listed. the first phrase presents a chain of downward third-wise chord changes running from measures 3 . as well as a tactical resetting of the stage the start of the next verse. but (now. The most novel detail of the song is to be found in that augmented chord of the second measure. It provides both some welcome respite from the otherwise non-stop motion of the song. dig this) the same flat VII gambit used here in “All My Loving” appears all over again as one of the signature devices of no less familiar a song than “Help!” Refrain This section is eight measures long and built out of two parallel iterations of the following 4-measure phrase: |c# vi |C augmented ?? root ?? |E I |- Note how the melodic material of this section is craftily taken in bits and pieces from that of the verse.”) Here in “All My Loving”.Section By Section Walkthrough Verse The verse is sixteen measures long and is divided into two musically parallel eight-measure phrases.8.8. we've seen such chords behave either as pseudo dominants (as in the I-VII-I progression at the beginning of “We Can Work It Out”. while the latter one is closed with its ending on the tonic: 1 |f# |B E: ii 9 |f# |B ii V |E I |c# vi |A IV |B V V |E I |c# vi |A IV |f# ii 5 |D |B flat VII V 13 |E I |- Each of the couplets boasts a lovely melodic arch in which the peak is asymmetrically placed (measures 3 and 11). it is far from unprecedented. In place of what you might expect as the more traditional harmonic circle of fifths.

you expect to hear it the same way every time. essentially just as long as any other chord in the song. “weak” in comparison to the more traditional textbook cadences of V-I or IV-I perhaps. I can imagine it having been composed very late in the game only after they had been playing the song without it for a while. but rather a designation of the content of his solo as a “permanently composed” part of the arrangement. while it certainly throws a big hook at us. the slowing of the harmonic rhythm. too! Alright now. as is so common in other songs. so why the need for original material? My own pet theory is that there is something about the specific content of the refrain and its relationship to the verse section that creates a small compositional problem. but is rather the incidental byproduct of melodic motion by an inner voice of the harmonic texture.obscure harmonic origin provides an effective. Not all augmented chords are necessarily as rootless as this one. The harmony neatly converges on the home key with simple chord choices. in this case. I also base this theory on an intuitive feeling that it's hard to imagine the song with only the bridge and no refrain. this one does it in only elliptical terms by relying on the weak vi-I progression. Play this option through your head and see what I mean – without the refrain. The bridge for all its modest proportions provides everything that the refrain is lacking. it does not provide a strong sense of harmonic confirmation. feeling inarticulately uncomfortable about something just not being right. then I think its contrast with the verse is no longer sufficient. What Tony Barrow described as George's "intriguing" solo is in a style that is clearly not improvised. In spite of my proposed rules above regarding the paradigmatic tendency for refrain sections to clearly establish the home key. and if you double its length.” The fact that it is sustained for a full measure. this little bridge is ironically the most diatonically stable and harmonically slow moving spot in the entire song. not to mention (again) “It Won't Be Long”. i. didn't I? Bridge In contrast to both verse and refrain sections. and “Not A Second Time.e. so why did they need a bridge as well as a refrain here? Just to sharpen the question. such an augmented chord is said to not have a root at all. what my jazz-trained friend calls a “line cliche. the specific choice of chord progression is new material strictly speaking. and I dare you to find such a one. In theoretical terms. a G#5. But now run the opposite experiment – play the song out as is but omit the bridge. which this bridge comes along to fix. there's an insufficient presence of hook in the song. it's too short as is. which is arguably an inflection of the V chord.. and though the bridge by itself provides some contrast to the verses. provides some well-needed breathing space. though it's worth noting that it too begins with a chord that is not I: |A IV |- |E I |- f# ii |B V |E I |- Although there are no new chords used in this section. nor does it provide much contrast of melody or texture. “All I've Got To Do”. consider that if it was to showcase the guitar solo. My reaction is that the refrain does not sufficiently fulfill the functional requirements of true refrain-hood as outlined in my earlier proposal. from C# -> C natural -> B. but a strong favorite of the Boys starting with “Misery” and going through “From Me To You”. For contrast. is what particularly draws your attention to it. Page 129 . yet endlessly subtle touch of anxiety that belies the hero's apparent self-assuredness. or harmonic pace from that of the verses.” I told you “All My Loving” is rather archetypically second-album in style. In other words. The latter is no slam on George. by placing the solo over a musical repeat of either the refrain or the verse. however slightly. the vocal part is given a rest. they just as easily could have done that. and would likely be thrown or otherwise disappointed a tad to listen to some alternate version where it's different. see the one at the end of the bridge of “From Me To You”. and perhaps most subtle-yetcritical.

the temperamental differences between them (and perhaps their individual composers) become most apparent. that it is specifically when the common denominators between two songs are so numerous that. rote consistency.e. Some Final Thoughts Kissing Cousins Though I've kept saying throughout this article that “All My Loving” is very much a typical song of the With The Beatles album in general. you probably noticed by now that “It Won't Be Long” in particular keeps showing up again and again. abstract constraints. Take for example here.. the guitar solo section would not be as effective if it had been placed over a repetition of either the refrain or verse because both those other sections are harmonically more active.I think the final point helps explain why new material is needed here. Okay. Did you ever share private idiosyncratic phrases with a friend to the extreme where eventually. the way the lyrics of these two songs deal with the theme of lovers separated yet anticipating the immediate future: Page 130 . suggesting perhaps that the friendly competition between John and Paul may have manifested itself at times in their electing to write separate songs starting from a set of common. Also note how the single use of vocal falsetto is saved here for the very end. neither of you could remember which one of you coined the phrase in the first place? But moving beyond speculation. Outro This coda is actually an extension of the second refrain and it squeezes a standard triple repeat of the final phrase of the lyrics into its eight measures which are built from a repeat of the following 4-measure phrase: |c# |vi |E I |- Note the use again of the vi-I progression. so maybe it wasn't literally a contest. in the interest of what I often describe as an avoidance of foolish. may I suggest in the case of “It Won’t Be Long” and “All My Loving”. as a small treat. the augmented gambit between vi and I is not used. “All My Loving” and “It Won’t Be Long” share an uncanny number of features and details: • • • • • • • the home key of E Major (granted. ironically. In fact. there are many others from this period) lyrics that deal with the theme of “absence and return” a vocal opening “in medias res” prominent use of the vi->I progression an augmented chord that is motivated by chromatic linear motion the use of a refrain and a bridge even a little solo for bass or low strings of the lead guitar In an earlier pair of Notes on “She Said She Said” and “Good Day Sunshine” I noted a similar laundry list of uncanny parallels between those two songs. but I imagine them often trading ideas and comparing notes to the extent that this sort of compositional cross-pollination would have been inevitable. and how. i.

In “It Won’t Be Long”. In fact. you might say it's a love that has no past. Here. He earnestly promises to be faithful and muses aloud about having to adjust his love life to the realm of fantasy for the duration. The very least you can say is that both artists.” 012701#27. perhaps look to “Things We Said Today. were amazingly consistent and true to their respective visions. “All My Loving” is written entirely in the present and future tenses. as long as they were being sincere and doing their best work.” “It's homework time for all you college puddings. over the long run. but beyond this. no blame. artistically valid. tinged as it is with that small hint of anxiety. Maintaining a personal preference for one over the other doesn't necessarily mean the other isn't worthwhile or that it isn't an appropriate favorite choice for someone else. while filled with what sounds like repentance for having caused her to leave in the first place. any hint of what he's really feeling inside is left to the imagination and the musical subtext. I want this lot all answered tonight. it is he who will be doing the leaving and we have no reason to suspect there is anything more than a personal responsibility to be somewhere else that motivates the separation. John speaks of a painful separation he has endured when she left him. Both songs are musically. no hurt. if you can pardon my blasphemy. It's difficult to navigate such a contrast without taking sides or appearing to be making a judgment. if you want to find a real soul mate for “All My Loving”. In contrast.1 Page 131 . and he now in the present looks forward to a joyful reunion with her.

The bridge tune covers a slightly smaller range and is primarily stepwise. and who could really blame them. Rhythmically all sections start off with a pickup before the downbeat. recorded during the charmed period between the recording and the release of the Please Please Me album. “Thank You Girl. we could just as well have skipped this one. fixed list of ingredients. “From Me To You” has a difficult-to-pigeon-hole musical style. and the augmented triad in the bridge are also fairly typical L & M chord tricks. I'm only being whimsical in part. But. the drum fills. blues or skiffle? Maybe it's just unmistakably Early Beatles. of the specific techniques that come into play in “From Me To You”. Those tight vocal harmonies with their flashes of passionate falsetto. however. The irony of the short length versus long form will seem sharper if you recall that in form. The verse tune is somewhat jumpy and covers the range of a full octave. The second half of the verse lyrics are a mini-refrain repeated each time. Page 132 . with two bridges. the harmonica hook phrase. in spite of the relatively restricted compositional vocabulary with which they were written makes them all the more extraordinary. Melody and Harmony The melodic content is more chromatic than usual. and the D# atop the augmented chord at the very end of the bridges. So come 'head. given the roll they were so obviously on? We've already seen in our earlier studies of the likes of “Love Me Do”. this one's “got (almost) everything that you want!” Form The short eight-measure verse creates an overall time scale of modest proportions even though the form is paradoxically quite sprawling.From Me To You Key: Meter: Form: C Major 4/4 Intro – Verse – Verse – Bridge – Verse – Verse (solo) – Bridge – Verse– Outro (with complete ending) General Points Of Interest Style Besides a catchy tune and deceptively complex arrangement.” “Please Please Me. if anything. The prominence given to the I-vi chord progression in “From Me To You” is something fairly widespread among the early L&M originals. two verses intervening. the gratuitous dominant seventh on F in measure 5 of the verse (“gratuitous” to the extent that it doesn't actually function as a dominant seventh but merely comes along for the spice it adds). Similarly. “From Me To You” is identical to “I Saw Her Standing There”. a combination of the bluesy E-flats in the verses. the fact that the songs in this first crop of their originals are still so different from each other in mood and manner. and so many other details were becoming both Trend setting and a bit formulaic by that point. The image comes to mind of master chefs. “From Me To You” was their third single. if not all. after all. the personal pronouns. and both intro and outro. is it rock or pop. a few more novel details elsewhere in the harmony.” and “I Saw Her Standing There” most. If unique coverage of such techniques per se were our main interest in this series. capable of producing an astonishing variety of dishes from a small. Lyrics of both bridges are identical as usual. the modulation effecting B-flats at the start of the bridges. and with that. The lyrics of the four fully sung verses create a pattern of ABAA. even in the solo verse. There are.

the incomplete Take 1 of this song comes to a sudden. the many flashes of 2-part harmony are separated by long stretches of the same line sung in unison by Paul and John. Granted. structural or dramatic points in the song. but there is no vocal solo part here. Use of that F7. the verse is only eight measures long and its harmonic shape is closed off by virtue of remaining closely within the home key and ending more or less on the I chord. The fact that this detail is missing in Take 2 of the song (there. and the way the drum fill seems to both articulate the border between the intro and following verse section. In spite of its brevity. as well as effecting a neat transition between the two. The use of the vi chord in the second half of the last measure keeps the harmony open just enough to allow the music to continue at this point with verse #2. the harmony in this instance lends some dramatic arch shape to the verse. Also unique is the clever surprise ending on the vi chord. make frequent use of open fifths and falsetto singing. Just as we saw in “Please Please Me. Drum fills are carefully deployed at special. the excursus to F Major we'll see below creates an expansive sense of harmonic space that belies the compressed time scale of the song. Note the complete reliance in this intro on just the I and vi chords. helps add an effective bluesy bit of tension right at the midpoint. and the resulting three way discussion between John. with its E flats that are foreign to the key. ragged halt for no clear reason. Speaking of outtakes. two repetitions of the hook phrase of this song. Those flashes of vocal harmony.” the instrumental version of this hook turns out to be subtly different in rhythmic pattern from the one used in the verses even though the pitch content of both versions is identical. Section By Section Walkthrough Intro The short. See for yourself just how lame that transition would sound if you eliminate the vi chord. And what sounds like it might be a simple oom-pah bass part actually features a snapped rhythm of dotted quarters and eighth notes in alternation.The song is among the very first of their officially released originals to feature a modulation to an alternate key during the bridge section. Arrangement Several characteristic ingredients in the arrangement would eventually become almost cliche trademarks. An overdubbed harmonica is used to introduce the hook phrase. four-measure intro presents. while the slight increase in the harmonic rhythm toward the end of the phrase helps wind it down again: |C C: I |a vi |C I |G G F7 IV |a vi |C I G G |C a| I vi The diagram above is of the first verse. The vocal part features a duet virtually throughout. and the control room in which they accuse each other in turn of having called for the timeout is one of those particularly charming and candid snapshots we're lucky to have of their life in the studio at this time. right at the outset. Also note the scoring for harmonica and scat-singing voices. Verse As already mentioned. Page 133 . Paul. not at liberty. they stay with the C chord for the entire measure) indicates clearly just how careful they were in the studio to revise at the last minute even relatively small details for the better. Although the melody itself is not particularly arch-like in outline.

true to form. especially the cymbal bashing. I believe it is John who sings the lead part here with Paul singing harmony.” a simple.” The musical framework is identical to all the other verses. This bridge provides quite a bit of contrast to the verse sections. chalk up in verse 2 yet another of those infamous word collisions between John and Paul on the phrase “Just/so call on me . a very early clue. that crowd pleasing falsetto moan for two-part harmony on the word (ahem) “whooo.. One hears that chord at the time it's first played as the I of the home key. i. only to jump over it a few notes into the phrase.. Right off the bat the melody suddenly becomes much less syncopated.. and of course. Such common chords are not strictly required in order to effect a change of key. the drumming. This results in Paul singing above John in the first phrase and then crossing over him to sing below in the second phrase. they add in the second bridge a novel touch of two-part harmony at the very beginning of the section. Note how. but their utilization makes such shifts smoother. But the greater source of contrast is the way this section builds toward an ultimate climax as opposed to the arch-like. The common chord between the home key of C and this new key is the C Major chord at the end of the previous verse. is shot through with gentle syncopations which play off effectively against the even. And in live versions. This sustaining of the C root provides an added sense of closure at that point and the addition of the 7th to it more effectively sets up the coming bridge.At the end of the second verse the change to the 'a' minor chord in measure 8 is eliminated and in its place. I can do”). and less abrupt. the C chord has a dominant 7th added to it in the second half of the measure.e. so many years after the fact. yet what starts out as an instrumental solo Page 134 . Paul's backing part yet again starts off beneath John's lead... standard trick of the trade the Boys would re-use in “A Hard Days Night. that you want”) and a surprising and suddenly passionate burst of falsetto from John in the second (“. closed shape of the verse. Instrumental Solo Verse You might call this section a “semi-solo.” For the sake of variation (and avoidance of foolish consistency). The little snippets of vocal harmony include an open fifth in the first case (“.. a variation on a similar trick seen earlier in both “Love Me Do” and “I Saw Her Standing There”. Particularly in the last two measures we have a pile-up of intensification based on several musical factors – the augmented inflection of the V chord by literally stretching the D in the melody to a D#. or perhaps this “mistake” was on purpose. While we're on the topic of vocal parts. the ear retrospectively reinterprets it as though it were the V of the key of F. skiffle-like shuffle of the instrumental accompaniment. The melody of the song in general. It's somehow analogous to the variety of means by which you might change the topic of conversation. But once the bridge begins. the patented Ringo drum frills. may be noted to suddenly become quite muted at this point. the cross rhythm of slow triplets in the rhythm guitar (must be John.” It only goes to show that nobody who was there at the time was thinking in terms of people going over this stuff as carefully as some now do. The hook phrase as it appears in the first part of this verse is presented with quite a bit more bouncy syncopation in comparison to its rather more foursquare appearance in the intro. Either that. Bridge The bridge is also eight measures long but it harmonically branches out nicely in contrast to the verse: F: |g |C7 ii V |F I C: |IV D7 |- |G V-of-V |#5(aug) V | We have what is called a pivot modulation to the key of F.. right?).

” In “From Me To You”. The musical logic of bringing down the curtain on the hook phrase is so subtly persuasive. to be C Major. and based on the impression made by that otherwise pleasing performance. making for a creative variation on the more routine procedure where the entire last line gets reiterated. the I chord of our home key. First is the way that the instrumental first half of the section presents the hook figure in its alternate incarnation from the intro. actually on the chord of the home key's relative minor. for my money. yet the music immediately proceeds with one final statement of the hook phrase before terminating abruptly on the 'a' minor chord. in contrast. to establish such a direct connection to their audience ? If you think not. which in turn. but he adds that this started out being motivated by a desire to “play to the market. I think it would be unfair to under-rate it as a mere exploitational pandering to what Brian Matthews on BBC radio might call “the little darlin's. mockingbird-like interjection of the singers here which almost subliminally broadcasts the title of the song at you. could move in one of two directions. What we get is quite enigmatically ingenious: the very next chord following the augmented one turns out. it incidentally creates yet another augmented chord. spelled from bottom up. Some Final Thoughts Personal Pronouns Nowhere is the uniqueness of this song in spite of its recycled ingredients more evident than in the meaning of its lyrics. There are two other cute little twists in the front half. Outro This outro section is developed as a springboard-like outgrowth of the end of the final verse. even the intro at least included scat singing as part of the instrumental texture. indeed. which includes a descending bass line. for virtually for the only time in the song. one that is more suspenseful and harmonically ambiguous than the one seen earlier in the bridge.” He mentions our song by name in this context. The last two words of that verse are repeated the canonical three times. Far from being an arbitrary change. Paul with rather unwonted candor. in the midst of a crowded concert hall or across the incorporeal airwaves. Note by the way how. the repetition here of only “to you” bears effective emphasis. How else could this group of four fabulous gentlemen manage. This second augmented chord. or else. degenerates in the second half. is the responsive. resolving upward. that you barely note the ironic fact that the song has ended offcenter from the home key. to a refrain-like verbatim repeat of that part of the verse. As that bass line moves from C -> A -> A-flat. The rhetoric of the lyrics is ably abetted by the antiphonal accompaniment. the voices are silent in this little coda. “I Saw Her Standing There”. Second. is nicely reinforced by heavy syncopation and vigorous drum fills. This section did not yet exist as of that early Take 2 mentioned above.merely based on the same old chord progression. This momentary retreat into the realm of the more square makes the syncopated second half of the section sound all the more bouncy when it returns. but even so. a particular immediacy is achieved by the use of direct address. try for comparison the very different feel that this song takes on when the lyrics are just slightly changed as they were in order to use it as the title jingle for their series of BBC radio holiday specials. A-flat/C/E. making for a move to 'a' minor. Page 135 . as in. making for a move to C Major. Either the A-flat can resolve downward. I assume that they belatedly added this because the song felt a tad too short without it. the A-flat can behave as though it were a G#. for example. is much more impersonal because the change of “me” to the plural “us” subconsciously leads one to hear the “you” which follows in the plural as well. in the interview which appears as a preface to Lewisohn's Recording Sessions. “From Us To You”. allows that they had gotten themselves into a bit of a rut in the early songs with their repeated wordplay on personal pronouns.

) The list goes on. “From Me To You” is all the more potent because its expression of love that is ready and willing to be given is so completely unencumbered and unobscured. an expression of gratitude for love received (“Thank You Girl”) or a prayer that it be not harmed by absence or separation (“P. I Love You. The other pronoun-bound songs that come to mind are otherwise embroidered with details which. We're not even told in this instance what it is within or about the other person that motivates such love. As usual. I haven't done my homework as exhaustively as I should. also skew the focus and complicate the message. this one is still rare.” et al.S.” “All My Loving. but I hope the point is made.I bring this whole thing up because in the context of a plethora of songs about you & I.1 Page 136 . a polite request (“I Want to Hold Your Hand”) or a raw pleading (“Love Me Do”) that love be requited. “Get him whatever it is they drink. if not entirely unique in the way that its message so simply and starkly describes what the lover longs to give to the beloved without condition or expectation of anything in return. but the combination of words and music leaves no room for doubt that it most certainly must exist. a cokearama?” 020301#28. We find such things as the drama of pursuit (“Please Please Me”) or blind faith in its successful outcome ( “I'll Get You”). though they add context and color.

that reigned high in 1964. That year the group released the single Can't Buy Me Love / You Can't Do That in February. It started the Beatlemania. Page 137 . one EP and four albums. It was followed in August by the single She Loves You / I'll Get You. In November of the same year the single I Feel Fine / She's A Woman and the album Beatles For Sale were released. I Love You. in April From Me To You / Thank You Girl appeared. All in all this output totals to eight singles. Next in November the public could buy both the single I Want To Hold Your Hand / This Boy and the album With The Beatles. followed in June by the EP Long Tall Sally with the original I Call Your Name and three cover songs. in July. It was followed shortly in January 1963 by their second one Please Please Me / Ask Me Why. already the single A Hard Day's Night / Things We Said Today and the album A Hard Day's Night were available to the public.Beatlemania (1962 – 1964) At the end of 1962 the Beatles released their first single Love Me Do / P.S. Then. The same month saw their first album: Please Please Me. One month later.

In order of appearance you have F. and 'a'. The bridge tune is based unusually on the step-wise descent of an entire octave. this is likely the very first appearance of a guest performer on a Beatles track in order to provide something the Boys could not do for themselves. and the rhetorical interjections of the song's title in the lyrics. pseudo-acoustic instrumental texture. This obscurity is particularly unfortunate to the extent that the song's overall sound. Paul uses the same sort of dotted quarter and eighth notes in the bass part that we saw in “From Me To You”. The lyrics of the four verses form a familiar pattern of ABCC. it's a far cry from the likes of the string quartets and solo brass instruments that would come later. The vi chord is used in this song as though it were a full-fledged sub-dominant (in the way it sets up the V chord) or even as a surrogate dominant (in the way it sometimes is inserted *between* the I chord on either side). Three of the four verses and the refrains all begin rhythmically on the downbeat. or submediant. And by that point the drift of popular attention to the group was understandably tilted toward the really new material. Melody and Harmony The first half of the verse tune sports a jumpy pentatonic lick before the other notes of the scale make their appearance in the second half. which begins with a pickup. typically saved for phrase endings. IV. but my theory is that the closed shape of those verse sections. The piano edit pieces in the intro and bridge are a relatively small touch. I. represents a genuine if somewhat under-appreciated facet of the group's early style. The lone exception is the second verse (“I've lost her now”). “washboard” beat and spare. V. but it's the same concept nevertheless. Page 138 . Arrangement The voice parts are predominantly sung in unison but there are surprise blossomings into two-part harmony. The melody is in short phrases. The relatively short duration of the finished song could have easily accommodated an additional instrumental-solo verse before the second bridge. but one of no small historic interest. would have been a claustrophobic mistake that they wisely avoided. C. i.e. Granted. a full two years after it was recorded. This also cleverly carries forward into the bass line the same snapped rhythm that pervades the main melody of the song. where most people had no familiarity with it until Capitol released the Early Beatles album in spring '65. respectively. characterized by a shuffling.. as well as it rescues the bass line from would be otherwise have been a dull. aside from the fracas regarding Andy White's guest drumming stint on the original version of “Love Me Do”. unrelieved four in the bar. Only at the beginning of the bridge is it used in its more typecast role as the relative minor. punctuated by rhythm guitar obbligato figures.Misery Key: Meter: Form: C Major 4/4 Intro – Verse – Verse – Bridge – Verse – Bridge – Verse– Outro (fadeout) General Points Of Interest Style and Form “Misery” is one of a group of songs from the Please Please Me album sadly fated for obscurity in America. Only four chords are used. especially built as they are from such a limited set of chords. G. The form is the standard two-bridge model with one verse intervening. and vi.

and the I-vi-V chord progression. the final measure shifts to the vi chord instead of sustaining the I chord all the way through.” I can't even think of another example off the top of my head. Mark for later reference the little chromatic move in the bass line during the transition from measure 1 to 2 (F -> F# -> G). In the space of just these few measures were are quickly introduced to several devices that ultimately characterize and permeate the rest of the song. Verse The verse is a brief and harmonically static eight measures: |C I |F IV |C I |F IV - |G V |C I |a iv Note how the embellishment of the F chord with “neighbor” tones of D-C-D in the guitar part lends a jazzy. Aside from the contemporaneous “Do You Want To Know A Secret. The choice of opening chord progression makes this yet another Beatles song that opens away from the home key.. but L&M very rarely used it at all. As we saw with “From Me To You”. e. the decorative use of the piano..e.g. added-sixth sound to the accompaniment. yet quickly converges upon it. In spite of the few chords used. the IV) over the two measures that straddle the mid-verse divide between measures 4 & 5. as happens in verses which are followed by a bridge. I've told you there are formulaic aspects to this sort of composition. F. something worth keeping an ear out for in the rest of our studies. the unison singing which unfolds into harmony. but it has the full essence of the rest of the song embedded within in it: "Adagio" -------------->"A Tempo" |F |G |C |a G C: IV V I vi V Starting off with a dramatically slow intro may have been a fairly common technique among the rest of pop/rock music. a subtle syncopation in the harmonic rhythm is created by sustaining the same chord (i. wherever a verse if followed by yet another verse section. Page 139 .Section By Section Walkthrough Intro The intro is only four measures long (discounting the opening piano arpeggio).

the very upbeat “I Saw Her Standing There”.” These come across as impromptu. disgusting!” 030401#29. The bass line contains two uncanny details that closely unify it with what is going on elsewhere: the lead-in to the bridge begins with the same sort of chromatic lick seen in the intro (G -> G# -> A). The 'a' minor chord in the first measure of this section sounds at first as though it might be a part of a modulation to that key but it's really too short-lived to count.through C). Though nicely performed and not entirely inappropriate. It is John who takes the lead in these vocal effects. and the lead-out of the bridge to the next verse is made up of a descending scale (G . Ironically. Unofficial releases of outtakes 1 through 6 of this song are an apt example of both a prime kind of material not included within the scope of the Anthology and candid portrait of them operating under the stress of a series of sloppy mistakes following what otherwise sounds like a pretty clean first take. chicken sandwiches. here the piano. punctuated by the accompaniment. and the steep scale-wise descent in the melody here is in contrast to the jumping here and about seen earlier. as well as some “lah-lahs. The vocal parts burst forth in some “oohs” which are more anguished than passionate for a change. declarative phrases in dotted rhythm. Outro This outro is built from several repeats of the last two measures of the verse into a quick fadeout. instead of the guitar. though we find in take 1 the virtually the identical set of them as in the final version. and cornets of caviar. In the context of the album lineup. it appears back to back on the Please Please Album with another one of these rare examples. I believe that this subtle hint in “Misery” of a sun concealed behind the overcast mitigates what might have otherwise been too stark of a manicdepressive contrast between those first two tracks.1 Page 140 . “Quite right.Bridge We have another eight-measure section. my guess is that he was asked to eliminate them from the final version in order to keep unbroken the hypnotic mood of the shuffling rhythm. one that provides the traditional contrast to the preceding verses: |a |vi |C I |- a vi |- |G V |- The harmonic rhythm is slower than the verse. Take 6 contains typical Ringo drum fills in measures 4 and 8 of the bridges. Some consistency with the verse is maintained in the way we still have short. invites to gambling dens full of easy money and fast women. The uninterrupted flowing beat of “Misery” provides some forward-looking optimism in counterpoint to the otherwise downbeat lyrics. reminiscent of the vocal part. Some Final Thoughts This is one of the rare. early L&M originals in which the girl is spoken of entirely in the third person. and his move is all the more effective because it is the first time in the entire song that we hear a solo voice. provides the mimicking obbligato.

the pervasive influence of IVI-V sorts of chord progressions which convey a strong sense of directed kinetic motion that is the musical equivalent of Hemingway's much celebrated use of transitive verbs. In the verse section.S. in “P. In addition to the chord choices. S. we have the chords of the flat-VI (B flat) and flat-VII (C Major). Melody and Harmony The intro tune here has a melodic kink around the 7th degree of the scale (C#) similar to what we saw in the verse of “She Loves You. it's an attention grabber. Still. in terms of dispensing with an extra verse section before the second bridge. Here. we find that several of the chord progressions in this song are unusual. The naturally occurring chord on C# in the key of D is a diminished seventh chord and that VII chord works nicely as a substitute V because it is the sonic equivalent of the V7 chord with the root note missing. with two bridges separated by only one verse. I Love You Key: Meter: Form: D Major (with Aeolian inflections) 4/4 Intro – Verse – Verse – Bridge – Verse – Bridge – Verse– Outro (complete ending) General Points Of Interest Style and Form The form is virtually identical to that of “Misery”. The little grace note ahead of the bar in the first syllable of the word “remember” stands out in contrast. to be borrowed from the parallel minor key of 'd'. In modifying the C# diminished chord into a dominant 7th. We're used to finding in the typical early Beatles song such as “I Saw Her Standing There”. coming right at the beginning as it does. and flat-VI->flat-VII->I as examples. stepwise root movement from chord to chord. and B -> A) to make it work. Against all textbook rules and logic. S. and for that matter. it suggests a languid sensuality. Even though “P. This is a technique is most closely associated with either early 20th century Impressionism or Jazz and it happens to break one of the standard old-fashioned rules against using parallel octaves and fifths between chords. Aesthetically. Therefore. scale-wise and with a couple of juicy appoggiaturas.” of all things. in theoretical terms. G# ->A. compare with “In Spite of All the Danger. The strangest chord of all in the song is the dominant 7th chord on C#. we find two different types of unusual chord progressions.P. employed in the intro as a surrogate 'V'. so is its bridge.” The beginning of the verse traverses an entire octave. The group of chords used in this song is much more exotic than what we've seen in the other very early period songs we've looked at. I Love You”. I Love You” uses a much richer set of chords than “Misery”. we find I->ii->I. the same avoidance of harmonic claustrophobia would seem equally applicable to both songs. both of which may be said. The lyrics of the four verses create a relatively clunky pattern of ABAB. The very use of these chords lends an exotic mixed-mode feeling to the song. its verse section is still quite bound to the home key. In addition to the standard fare of what is diatonically available within the home key. The first unusual type of progression is called a “chord stream”. E# -> F#. characterized by sliding. only to balance it out at the end with an upward leap of the same octave. Page 141 . Rhythmic attack is virtually always right on the downbeat in this song. An unusual and creative formal touch here is the way that the intro turns out to be a subtle variation of the bridge. the Boys throw us a curve ball in that you'd sooner expect the latter chord to resolve to the key of F#. they rely on the stepwise movement of all voices (C# -> D.

Verse The verse is not only an unusual ten measures long. for example. Though the backing part persists virtually all the way through.. and the fact that in the bridge.. how in all verses except the last one. there is more interesting detail to it than initially meets the eye. beat. yet again to avoid foolish consistency. The vocal arrangement presents Paul in the solo spotlight with a particular style of backing vocal from John and George. this is yet another convergent start away from the home key. a musical approach/avoidance..phrase #1. Note. without a cue. but it should be noted that it is Andy White (again) on the drums in this song. It's rather more like lounge-pop or Latin dance music.." "Keep all my love . Section By Section Walkthrough Intro Even though the words of the bridge are repeated in this intro. we're used to hearing an additional vocal part that harmonizes a third above the melody: -------------." <-----.The second unusual type of progression is called a “deceptive cadence”. 3 measures --------><. in large part due to the tempo. the resemblance between the intro and the bridge is cleverly disguised by the addition here of the C#7 chord.3X -------------|G C# |D |D A D: IV VII 7 I #5 #3 |D V | I By the way. and choice of percussion instrumentation. In the verse section. In the last verse. making for a musically italic/bold effect. yet again. we have the successive interjections by solo voices in between the phrases for the sake of some colorful variety.phrase #2. characterized by the V (dominant) being followed by something other than the I chord. it suggests a last minute retreat from coming to closure. Aesthetically. The singers come right in on the first beat. the backers sing behind isolated words only. we find examples of the V being resolved in one case to the plain vi chord. Arrangement The look and feel here is decidedly not that of rock-n-roll. poor Ringo plays only the maracas. and later on to the flat-VI. this effect is dropped in favor of them singing all the way through with Paul. but is made up of four phrases of several different lengths: "Treasure these few words . 2 measures -> |D I |e ii |D I |A V |b vi | Page 142 . The following piece of trivia is usually eclipsed by the “Love Me Do” story. Similarly in the second bridge..

I Love You” is ultimately an ironic blend of both backward and forward looking influences.1 Page 143 . on the words “together”. this outro grows out of the final measures of the final verse and presents the formulaic triplerepeat of the little hook phrase in a relatively straightforward manner..phrase #4. Note the repeatedly expressive use of appoggiaturas. and the eight measure section is articulated into two phrases of four measures each: -------------. “Quite right... On the one hand. then to flat vi. the most creative touch of all is in the way that the successive deceptive cadences in the verse provide an exquisitely realistic shyness and emotional “playing footsie” that otherwise belies the readymade paper-cut valentine of the words.. first to vi. you . “forever”. Aside from the sophistication of any specific technical device used here per se.C flat VII |D I || Articulation of the phrasing is nicely aided by the harmony with its multiple deceptive resolutions of V... you. especially in the harmony and uneven phrasing. and cornets of caviar.phrase #3. disgusting!” 031101#30.3X -------------|G |D |D A IV I V |D I | Outro In typical fashion. and the middle “you” of the final phrase. 2." <--.e. but even then. there's a technical sophistication here." "You. Some Final Thoughts “P. then finally to I. We're on a strict harmonic diet here of I-IV-V."P. S. i.S”. By the same token. only via the flat VII! The melodic arch of the first three phrases has a bottom-heavy asymmetry that is balanced out by the dramatic swing upward of an octave in the final phrase. chicken sandwiches.5 measures ---><--.. Bridge The contrast of this bridge to its surrounding verses is manifest in its simple chord choices and regularized shape. 2. the relatively soppy lyrics and the pop arrangement are reminiscent of their cover repertoire from the Decca audition period. invites to gambling dens full of easy money and fast women.S I love you . which looks well beyond many of the other apparently more original songs from the early EMI days.5 measures ---> |A V |B-flat flat VI |.. “P.

unique sonority of the E Major 7th chord is one of the essential characteristics of the song and. The other is the affirmative figure (B . drum fills. Paul takes the lead for most of the verse sections with John singing in harmony below him. The lyrics of the three verses create a pattern of ABA. see “I Should Have Known Better” for another example. the vocal parts are more intricately worked out than first meets the eye.D# . this leitmotif is *not* found consistently in the early outtakes and its later addition is a good example of how The Boys learned how to revise their work in real time for the better. and this likely motivates the choice of a relatively short form. At the end of the first and third verses. Notably. in the bridge. but not quite. The verses begin rhythmically with a pickup to the downbeat. on the surface. ) which reiterates in the background of most of the song and is largely responsible for giving the song its characteristic bounce. is the prime motivator of musical tension. The bridge tune features a distinctive call-and-answer pattern. Also on the reassurance side of the equation is the dramatic dotted figure in the bass and rhythm guitar (boom-b'-boom. Melody and Harmony The verse tune is characterized by short. the song also projects a groping. The form is unusually small with just a single bridge. pungent two-part vocal harmonies. and at the end of the middle variant verse. Page 144 . leaving some chords implied by melody. The first is the wailing instrumental motif (D#-----E-D#-C#) presented by the harmonica right at the beginning. The modification of the second verse to effect a smoother transition into the bridge is an unusual formal touch. The bridge. and melodic bass part. insecure sense of tonal footing. Paul suddenly drops out leaving John briefly exposed by himself on lead. Arrangement In many respects. though by no means unique. instead of being made explicit by full-voiced strumming. bass line and context. The hard-hitting. attacks after the downbeat. but proved to be some combination of difficult and undesirable. It's clearly in E Major on the one hand. There are two different hook phrases here that uncannily reflect the two sides of the tense/self-assured paradox mentioned above.There's A Place Key: Meter: Form: E Major 4/4 Intro – Verse – Verse (variant) – Bridge – Verse – Outro (fadeout) General Points Of Interest Style and Form The music of this song is paradoxically quite tense in spite of the self-assured message of the words. both the verse and bridge sections have their share of frustrated V chords and fitful modulations.E) which resurfaces in a number of places as the melodic setting for the title phrase of the lyrics. declarative phrases that are punctuated by rests of a couple beats each. On a more subtle harmonic level. The outtakes prove that they originally planned to present the opening hook this way too. yet as we'll see below. As usual. The guitar parts are sparser than usual. this is a “typical” Beatles arrangement of the period with several of the familiar ingredients: harmonica hook. We also have those familiar slow triplets in a number of places: the second half of the verse (“and there's no time”) and almost. by contrast.

Also. proceeds to tonally meander. By the way. c#. don't miss out on those trill-like ornaments John sensually tacks onto the end of his phrases in the verse." Note how the first eight measures have a classical open shape. instead of routinely closing it back up.1 |E I |A IV |E I |A IV 5 E I |c# vi |B V |- 9 |g# |A iii |E7 IV |A I 13 f# IV c#: vi c# iv 3 4 1 2 3 ||i "I ---4 B V think of 1 you. ending on the V chord. the next verse reverts directly right back to the home key.--there's a place . nicely enhanced by the bent note ('D. the remainder of the section. This excursion is itself short-lived and the verse ultimately settles down in what would appear to be a modulation to the key of the relative minor.. It's actually built out of regular sorts of four-measure phrases until near the end where the odd length is created.'#) in the second iteration of the harmonica phrase. Section By Section Walkthrough Intro The intro has an odd length of five measures by virtue of the unusually elongated vocal pickup phrase at the end of it: |E7 |A E: I IV |E7 I |A IV | "There. The bridge section alternates between solo John and John and Paul in unison.. In greater detail: the home key is established in the first phrase via the relatively weak Plagal cadence of I-IV. by the stretched out pickup to the next phrase: m. The next phrase opens up widely with those two full measures on the V chord. as in the intro.. yet this juicy dominant is left dangling unresolved as the music veers fitfully toward g# minor at the beginning of the final phrase. But after all this. Verse The verse has an unusual total length of 15 measures. that opening B natural bass pickup “on 'four'” sure does remind me of “Please Please Me”. Page 145 .John sings lead with a vocalese backing by Paul and George.. Yet." 1 2 3 4 12 3 4 1 | V The intense mood of the song is immediately established by that dissonant major seventh chord right on the first downbeat.

. the section continues at first as though a pivot modulation to the key of V (B Major) were in the offing.I hear the entirety of measure 8 as the V chord." |A ||B || IV V True to form and purpose. but only if the B chord itself would follow it. try it out yourself. see how nicely it works – c# -> F# -> E -> B. Page 146 . though if you listen carefully. The music then continues with the following straightforward four measure phrase that reiterates the earlier open ending on V: "Like I love only you .. The asymmetrical length is created (just as in the intro and first verse) by the reappearance of the by now familiar elongated vocal pickup for the next verse section: --------------. Though we start off in the relative minor key of c#. being heard as the IV of the new key. yet again. Part of the magical effect in those measures is the way that Paul and John's vocal parts climax twice on a tasty fourth that is resolves with their respective parts moving in contrary motion: Paul: John: G# D# -> E-D#-> A C# And note. Paul plays the notes G#->A->B during the slow triplet in that measure as though he were trying to do something like the "iii-IV-V" chord cliche we saw in “Please Please Me”. though basically built out of two identical repetitions of the same four-measure phrase. note how when we move onto the bridge. The single most compositionally clever detail in the entire song is the way that the wailing harmonica hook phrase is worked into John's backing vocal part in measures 9 . how the harmonica hook reappears on cue in measure 13.12. Verse Variant The first eight measures of this section are identical to those of the first verse.2X ------------|c# |F# |E |G# c# |B | c#: i V i E:V B: ii V IV -> ? (modulation abandoned) The sometimes-restless sense of tonal direction seen in the verse is further developed here to the extreme that each successive chord keeps us guessing as to where we're ultimately headed. Even the awkward appearance of the E chord in the third measure could work as part of this modulation. finally. by another deceptive cadence to vi! Bridge The bridge is an unusual 10 measures long. this V chord is frustrated. measure 4.

The song is also typically and prophetically John-like for its off-center point of view. concrete presentation of what I've alluded to as the underlying paradox of the song. in spite of the second person pronoun phrasing of those same lyrics. But even more provoking is the way in which the anxiety factor of the music combined with the escapism of the lyrics suggests that. if the story had been set in straightforward. we move into an outro in which both the vocal and instrumental hooks are presented antiphonally in strict alternation into a fadeout ending. in the second half of measure 14. casting-about feeling conjured by it is germane to the spirit of the song. Part of me is tempted to chalk this seeming inelegance up to inexperience on their parts. “Leave him alone. The expressed facility to escape inside of himself in order to commune with object of his love is strange enough for starters. or I'll tell them all the truth about you.It is the sudden appearance of the G# Major chord which abruptly cuts off that modulation in-progress. for one. Outro The final verse is identical to the first one though one measure shorter in duration. This listener. though I cannot escape the thought that the groping. even a dire ditty like “Misery”'s got a more relaxed phatic subtext. Some Final Thoughts We have here yet another of those songs in which John apparently soft and insecure emotional core would seem to musically belie his tough.1 Page 147 . Directly. or at least more self-assured lyrics. and briskly pulls the music right back to the key of c#. a vivid. would feel much better convinced by what's professed here as an unshakable belief in this special place. on this level. and in solitude. simple chord progressions and even phrases. Lennon.” 031101#31. the protagonist is not so much talking to his love. as he is ruminating to himself at a distance from her.

The song fairly overflows with a number of leitmotifs all built out of chromatic scale fragments of 3 or 4 notes. and the overall duration of the song brief. and in the recurrent little descending chord stream that appears in the second half of almost all the odd-numbered measures of the verse. which is why they probably dropped that for the official recording. a likely consequence of the large amount of repetitious rhetoric built into the verse section.” Arrangement The song leaves a lasting impression of having been enwrapped in a haze of gentle reverberation even though it was not literally nor entirely recorded that way. Singing in the intro begins after the downbeat. the rising lead guitar riff at the end of the intro. though the use of different material in both the intro and the bridge makes up some of the deficit.Do You Want To Know A Secret Key: Meter: Form: E Major 4/4 Intro – Verse – Verse – Bridge – Verse – Outro (fadeout) General Points Of Interest Style and Form The intro is slow. In the verses. One rare outtake has them singing the backing vocal even in the first verse. which are identical through all three verses. the less popular single bridge model. an effect that is carried through the rest of the verse melody. the verse long. Page 148 . the overdubbed tapping of drum sticks in the bridge is a musically small touch that is historically notable because of the trend in recording/arranging practice it signals. may nose out even “Love Me Do” for skimpiness. Allusions to the parallel minor key of e in both intro and verse provide a touch of pathos as well as harmonic variety. a descending portion of the verse melody (on the “woah” that precedes the word “closer”). Melody and Harmony The tune contains mostly scale-wise movement punctuated by a dramatic falsetto leap upward near the end of the verse before ending it off with a descending chromatic scale fragment The song is quite securely in E Major in spite of a firm modulation to the axis of A Major/f# minor during the bridge. we've seen this one before in “Things We Said Today” and “You're Going To Lose That Girl. it is introduced with a long guitar pickup before the beat. The form is compact. found here in both the intro and the verse. as well. No exaggeration. The single most unusual chord in the song is the "flat II". the latter being a clear violation of what would emerge as a Beatles layering trademark. The composers themselves show up vocally in the form of an old-fashioned “doo-wop”-like backing starting in the second verse. the lyrics here. George gets the first of his few chances to take the lead vocal in a LennonMcCartney tune. the bridge attacks the sung material right on the beat. Like the piano in-lays of “Misery”. For contrast. and the bridge short.

but entirely ad libitum. my delineation below of where the 4/4 measure boundaries are is purely a guess: |e e: i |a iv e i |G III |F B | flat II V The shift from e minor to E Major which occurs between intro and first verse is exceedingly smooth because of the "parallel" relationship between the two keys.7 |E g# g |f# B7 |A I ii V IV |B V | m..13 |c# vi |f# ii B V | The first phrase is six measures and would seem to run harmonically in circles if it were not for its surprise ending in which we find yet another application of the chromatic chord stream cliche.. Verse This verse has an unusual length of 14 measures and is designed as a couplet of two uneven phrases that share a common beginning: "Listen ." ----------------. but if you recall the first time you ever heard this song.2 x ----------------m. it still has the power to surprise.1 |E g# g |f# B7 |E g# g |f# F | E: I ii V I ii flat II "Closer .. Note how the F chord is unusually Page 149 .. that minorto -Major transition still effectively conveys the angst-cum-epiphanisticjoy “we” all go through in the unique moment of timidly expressing a burgeoning fondness.2 x ------------m. Though emotionally and compositionally simplistic on one level.Section By Section Walkthrough Intro The intro is not merely adagio." ------------.

analogous to the one in the bridge. only six measures long. the pivot for the modulation is not obvious to the ear. if not the official version. 11 . as though Paul were uncomfortable with a certain awkwardness about the chord progression and trying to paper it over a bit. yet it turns out to be (surprise!) c# instead.. Note how the melodic use of C natural at this juncture creates an allusion to the minor mode of e. one notes how much the sonority of the added-sixth resonates within it. the ear comprehends the structural harmonic progression as though from E in the first measure to f# in the second. It's a rather superb example of just how so-called pivot modulations work for those who have trouble grasping the concept: note how when the f# chord is followed by the B Major one. Looking back over the full length of the piece. The melody of this verse is just as repetitious as the chord changes. by playing a B natural which clashes with the chord above it. The song fades very rapidly and the outtake with the doo-dahs in the first verse reveals that at least one studio performance of the song. just like the verse. e. That added sixth so nicely summarizes the song that it's especially unfortunate they chose to mask it out.placed on top of the note C in the bass. and the falsetto flip in the last measure finally and satisfyingly opens up the previously constricted pitch range. the repeated appoggiatura of C#->B on the words “listen” and “secret” in the verse. George's pronunciation of the word “ear” (especially in the first and third verses) offers us what 'Simon Marshal' would someday describe as “the old adenoidal glottal stop for our benefit”. Paul makes yet another mistake in the bass line of this section. The rhythm is in a shuffling beat throughout until the final four measures where it's suddenly interrupted by syncopation (m.12). Outro The deceptive cadence near the end of the verse is leveraged and recycled for the inevitable three-repeat coda. and the large number of deceptive cadences in which you so strongly anticipate the next chord to be E. its harmonic rhythm broadens out into a deceptive cadence on vi before cycling back again to V.7 is actually more structurally significant than the previous one in that one hears the F Major chord as a surrogate Dominant with respect to the E (I) chord which opens the second phrase. And Paul. The pivot back to the home key is much smoother.g. Bridge This is one of the shortest bridges we've ever seen.2 x ------------|A f# |c# b |f# |B f#: III i v iv i E : IV E:ii | V The harmonic transition into this section from the V chord on B. actually ended. To the extent that this added-sixth has the incidental sound of the I (E) and vi (c#) superimposed upon each other. The second phrase is eight measures and though it too starts off running in the same tight circle. The chord stream of g# minor -> g minor -> f# is more coloristic than functional. The other chord stream in measure 6 . barely a few seconds after our fade. and built. it makes for an effective harmonic double-entendre. with a complete ending on an added-sixth chord. having played up to this point a nicely elaborate bass line. the ear retroactively reinterprets it as the ii chord of the original home key of E. but at least it is a common chord to both keys involved. which ends the previous verse. gets a little carried away in this section and winds up making a mistake on the first c# chord. Page 150 . the do-dahs are given a break in deference to George's solo vocal. out of two phrases unequal in length yet sharing the same opening content: ------------. is somewhat abrupt though by no means rude. In the arrangement. which then moderates to a pulsating bass drum beat before settling back to the shuffle.

to do was repeat the same words of love like a mantra. endlessly without stopping. that anyone out there who relates to the pre-confessional anxiety of the intro will also vouch for the corresponding post-declaration euphoria in which all they wanted. but it sounded distinguished like. they manage to rescue this one from drowning in its own cliches only by means of an abundance of interesting details and a modicum of sincerity.1 Page 151 . which provides one of the major sources of emotional realism and sincerity to the song. for example. didn't it?” 032101#32. it's the more subtle aesthetic of repetition here. Sweet and Cuddly Moptops notwithstanding. which you would be tempted to denigrate offhand as a matter of lazy craft.Some Final Thoughts The aesthetic of sentimental shy puppy love and gauzy soft focus is not one to which the Boys were often drawn over the long run. even needed. Even here. I'd bet. it didn't suit them as a group. “I don't really know. Ironically.

the I and iii. the single appearance of verse variant #1 has unique lyrics. Note how this same I7. and bridge. I Love You”. The Major seventh chord on E (the I7) is one of those chords that has the coincidental sonority of two different triads superimposed. The backing vocal part for Paul and George is repeatedly cut off in mid-phrase leaving John exposed dramatically in the spotlight. As with “P. and it itself reappears three times in the song. I Love You” and “Do You Want To Know A Secret”. All the phrases and sections of the song start off in the middle of the preceding measure. in part. The initial verse is typically expository in nature but has an harmonically open ending on V that is unsuitable for leading into the bridge. Key-wise. I half suspect that the I7 was purposefully exploited here. not just plain triads. because of the inclusion of the title phrase in its lyrics. which was used to connote great tension in “There’s A Place”. You can sort of parse it as a mutant version of the two-bridge model. feels so much more relaxed here because it is use in the midst of a chord stream of other sevenths. It creates the impression of being like a refrain. rather than appearing starkly headon. most complicated form we've yet seen. is crucially amended to link smoothly with the bridge that follows it. context is all.Ask Me Why Key: Meter: Form: E Major 4/4 Intro – Verse (initial) – Verse (variant #1) – Bridge – Verse (variant #2) – Verse (initial) – Verse (variant #2) – Bridge – Outro (verse variant #2 with complete ending) General Points Of Interest Style and Form This is just about the fussiest. To the extent that both the I and iii are used so heavily throughout this song. S. we have a strong presence here of chord streams. almost completely in E Major though the verse contains a momentary leaning toward the relative minor key of c#. always slightly different in content and formal context. The lyrics closely match the form. S. Variant #2 is a much-abbreviated affair that merely alludes to the other verses rather than fully recapitulating them.” Page 152 . variant #1. with the last phrase of each initial verse section breaking the mold. though very similar to the initial verse. Melody and Harmony Most of the melodic material stays within an octave running from E to E. as are the respective lyrics of both verse variant#2. in one such spot we hear his voice forced to cracking on the word “cry. but what is most notable is how the verse material appears in three variations. each of which is tailored to suit a different purpose. also contrast it for example with “P. analogous to the way in which added-sixth chord on I was used in “Do You Want To Know A Secret” for its sounding like the I and vi combined. though this time the chords are jazzy parallel sevenths. Compare this for example to “From Me To You” and “All My Loving”. Arrangement The two most conspicuous surface features of the arrangement are the pseudo-Latin dance beat and the harmonized “woahs” sung in slow triplets. Lyrics of both "initial" verses are identical. in this case. the song is solidly. As a result. indeed.

2..3..” Page 153 . The harmonic rhythm of the first measure is unusual for a Beatles song. Virtually everywhere you find a phrase or section commencing with a pickup on beats 3 and 4 of a measure. there is a neat pause “on 'two'”. What's subtle is the way in which the climax itself is the more potent because of this harmonically open ending.Just the smallest sound of silence is effectively used throughout the song as a leitmotif. for the beat preceding.” The initial verse is thirteen measures. 4] |f#7 B7 |E ii V I |- E7 I f#7| ii m. and the use of that intense 'V9' chord right before the peak.5 |g#7 iii [beats: 1. Verse (initial) – “I love you . Verse (variant#1) – “Now you're mine . In the first appearance of this section. the inclusion of a flirtation with the key of c#. but the final one is elongated: E: E7 I m.. The ending on V smoothly motivates the continuation to the next verse. this admittedly small change both represents an avoidance of foolish consistency and is an object lesson in how one should always hold back a little something extra for the next event. with the first chord (I) being sustained for three beats. a broadening of the harmonic rhythm. compare with variant#1 below. he ascends all the way to high B. you have to mind such details. The first two are even in length.2. The harmony supports the climax in a number of ways: an eventually complete shift away from stepwise chord streams toward root progressions with a stronger feeling of transitive movement. establish the home key via a I-V-I progression.1 f#7|g#7 ii iii [beats: 1. and the change to V occurring on beat four. When this section is repeated later.3.9 |c# vi |- |A IV |F#9 V-of-V |B V | The dramatic thrust of this verse doesn't truly start building until near the end of the second phrase at which point the melody mounts steadily towards an ultimate falsetto climax at the very end. and set the stage for the entrance of the singers. John melodically descends from the high g# in measure 12 to an f# in the final measure. If you want to play this song nicely. this trick is carried on into the verse. 4] |f#7 B7 |E ii V I |G# V-of-vi | m.. built out of three phrases. Section By Section Walkthrough Intro The intro is very short but within barely two measures it manages to set the mildly syncopated beat of the song in motion.

and the game plan is identical to that of the initial verse until the last three measures during which a number of important changes appear: m. In measure 11.y" 1 *2* E7 f#7 | 3 4 The rhythm guitar triplets in measures 1 and 5 provide rhythmic continuity with the verses even while the abrupt syncopations in measure 7 and 8 enhance the sense of contrast. John's much favored minor iv chord (i. It's not only much shorter than the other verses.5 |A IV |B V rhythmic emphasis: 1 & 2 |E | B. but offers a very different dramatic gesture from them. In contrast. but moving toward it: m. in place of the earlier climaxing. Verse (variant#2) – “Ask me why . which always has the potential energy to serve as a "V of IV".” This refrain-like precis of the other verses makes the first of its three appearances relatively late in the song. is nudged into this role here by the augmented alteration of the chord in the final measure of this verse. V#5-of-IV | m. I V "mi-ser.e. a balanced eight-measure length (they don't call 'em “middle eights” for nothing!). not until after the first bridge..9 |c# vi |- |a iv |E I |E aug. from the parallel minor key of e) is substituted for the naturally occurring Major IV chord we saw in the same measure of the initial verse. This change is brought about by the relatively flat melodic shape used in this section as well as the reliance on weak chord progressions.. V#5-of-IV | The ending of this verse is harmonically closed.This first variant is thirteen measures long again. starting away from the I..1 |A IV |B V |E I |E aug.” Typical bridge-like contrast is provided here by the use of simpler chords. and a convergent harmonic shape for each of the two phrases. Also note how the E chord. we get a chance to power down a bit here.. and the climax is muted this time by virtue of a less flamboyant melodic line and the way that the peak occurs one measure earlier than where it appeared in the initial verse. Bridge – “I can't believe . the one borrowed. Contrast how variant#1 sounds as though it ends in measure 12 with measure 13 functioning like a transitional filler. the climax in the initial verse runs right into the final measure of that section. such as stepwise chord streams and the plagal IV-I cadence: Page 154 . as it were..

E: E7 I m.1 f#7|g#7 ii iii |A IV |g#7 iii |A7 IV |E I (next verse) |.” 032701#33. it's very easy to be condescending about it.1 Page 155 . and possibly all other notes of the chord present except for the root! E: E7 I m. modified and extended this time to accommodate the triple repeat of the final lyrical fragment (“you-ou-ou”). But I'd dare to suggest that our analysis above clearly demonstrates that the music here is nowhere nearly as derivative as it may seem at first glance. the legitimacy of such first impressions is neither to be denied nor argued with.E7 f#7| The fact that this section is closed harmonically makes for a slight and uncharacteristically inelegant move when the next section (a repeat of the initial verse) begins. “Mind you. with B as the lowest note in the bass. I mean I wouldn't have it. which at this stage of the song would have been a tactical mistake.5 |A7 IV I ?? |E |A7 IV |E9 7 I Some Final Thoughts The quaint arrangement and corny backbeat of this song have a nostalgic power of sufficient magnitude to seriously get in the way of an objective assessment of its craft. Granted. When variant#2 returns for a second time. this was a rather fledgling compositional effort of theirs. The harmony gently fluctuates toward final quiescence on an extremely unusual voicing of an enigmatic sounding I9/7 chord. making it start to drag. the last measure is modified to contain the E augmented chord. On some level. Outro The outro turns out to be yet another iteration of verse variant#2. This is a clever move in that it creates a smooth lead-in to the second bridge without them having to repeat the entirety of variant#1. I stood up for you. for example. We know.1 f#7|g#7 ii iii |A IV |g#7 iii |A7 IV |E I | m. that they had it in hand at least as early as the June '62 EMI audition for George Martin and as such.

and in brief yet colorful splashes of 2-part harmony. maybe that's what George was playing for this session. a Major seventh on IV (G). John and Paul sing a duet literally throughout. or else. Page 156 . at the octave. the number of chords which appear with spicy embellishment is notable. though the manner in which the “Oh yeah!” motif of the intro is worked smoothly into the flow of the verse is a clever touch. Most unusual and forward-looking in terms of what would later emerge as a favorite item in the Beatles bag of harmonic tricks is the use of a minor v chord in the verse section (measure 10). On the one hand.I'll Get You Key: Meter: Form: D Major 4/4 Intro – Verse – Verse – Bridge – Verse – Outro (complete ending) General Points Of Interest Style and Form This is an extremely straightforward if not plain-and-simple song in terms of almost any compositional metric by which you'd want to measure it. In this light. though the verse endings open up additional space at the bottom. the harmonica does not get to play any memorable hook phrase. To the extent that John too sings throughout. unrelievedly. Both the higher-level form and the inner construction of the individual sections are quite standard.g. inconsistently) sports a number of fussy details. The lyrics of the three verses create a pattern of ABA. with a solitary little fill. And still. despite the Major mode of the home key. and the bridge likewise opens up the high end. Conversely. single bridge model. The sort of handclaps seen earlier in “Love Me Do” and “I Saw Her Standing There” appear here only in the intro as a surrogate percussion part. where indeed was George that day? The harmonica is used differently here from what we've become used to in other Beatles songs. refrain-like ending. The song is firmly. but it does appear unsparingly used throughout. to my ears at any rate. I've got to assume that this harmonica part was overdubbed separately. The verses have an identical. it is not until the end of the intro that the drums. e. All sections commence rhythmically with a pickup ahead of the downbeat. and a dominant 7/9 chord on the V-of-V (E). so that variety is provided by the two voices alternating frequently between singing in unison. the rhythm guitar and drums for the most part get to do no more than strum or stroke (as the case may be) in even eighth notes. thus adding a surprise modal/bluesy inflection to the music. Furthermore. make their entrance. Arrangement The arrangement has a rather nondescript backing track. except for a brief rest during the bridge. in the key of D Major and only about a half-dozen chords are used throughout. the added sixth chord on I (D). yet paradoxically (or should we say. it is full of trademark details which indelibly mark it as an early Beatles song. Although the bass part is both active and prominently mixed forward. Harmony The tune is centered within a D-to-D octave. there's no sign of a part for lead guitar. The form is the short.

this intro establishes the key and introduces the “oh yeah” hook phrase that recurs both at end of each verse and in the outro. but this just happens to be an unusually good textbook example. F# on top of the A chord in measures 4. The same dotted rhythmic figure seen earlier in “There’s A Place” to convey self-assurance is used here to similar effect. we simply converge back toward the home key after starting the section away from it. Examples here include: • • • • the use of B in the melody on top of the D chord in measures 2 and 11. As a matter of good dramatic practice. the higher melodic peak is saved for the second of the two arches. and E). each time over a different chord (G. hardly a phenomenon unique to the Beatles. how different in a rhetorical sense the melodic figure sounds with each change of chord. it makes for an interesting comparison with the later “We Can Work It Out”. There is an obvious word collision Page 157 . To wit. Bridge This bridge is a rather archetypal middle eight in which. thematic. the melody of this bridge contains the same three note descending figure (f# -> e. It appears right off in the bass part of this intro and is used frequently in the melody of both verse and bridge sections. and note.Section By Section Walkthrough Intro In only four measures. each eight-measure pairing of phrases presents its own symmetric arch.1 |D D: I m. instead of harmonic modulation. 8. E on top of the D chord in measures 5. D.9 |D I |- |G IV |A V D I |b vi |G IV |A V |a v |D I |b vi G IV |A V |D I |A V The number of melodic appoggiaturas is pervasive. and a large part of the reason for all the embellished chords mentioned above. and 14. and G on top of the D chord in measure 9 Melodically. Note in particular the drawn out build up toward the V chord: |G7 |IV |D I |E9 ||A 7 V |- V-of-V We have a wonderful demonstration here of the powerful effect that harmony can have on your perception of the melody which it accompanies.> d) repeated three times. Verse The verse is sixteen measures long and built out of four phrases equal in length: m.

is that they had by this point established for themselves not only a name but also a genuine musical style. who needs outtakes?! Outro As with both verse and bridge. but I'll dare say that “I’ll Get You” was a bit of a “pot boiler”. The harmonica is left still sounding after all else has halted. if not entirely off the pace.” 032701#34. growing directly out of the end of the final verse and repeating the last phrase three times. And that on their occasional off day in which they really might not mind being more derivative than original for a change. With examples like this. surely catches them in the act of treading water. merely that mapped against the steep growth trajectory they had so quickly established for themselves by this point. anyway?” That's not to say that it's necessarily not a good song. “The office was on the phone. I can just imagine someone in the studio wondering aloud to the effect of. they think it'd be better if we pushed straight to Wolverhampton . “who listens to the B-side of single. Some Final Thoughts I don't know if I can use the following term without sounding more harsh than intended..1 Page 158 . this outro is a fairly standard specimen of its genre.between the singers in this section followed by what sounds like a very brief instant of confusion (perhaps one of them thought to stop) before composure was regained. more than just a bunch of hackneyed mannerisms. you've got a midnight matinee. and both the music and recording of “I’ll Get You” have definite earmarks of a rush job which they must have assumed nobody would ever notice. “I’ll Get You”. The impressive aspect of this. It was originally released as the B-side to “She Loves You”.. which should not be lost sight of. this song demonstrates that they already had their own unique set of ingredients from which to crib and re-fashion.

for some of these covers. the Beatles' version transcends the original recording.Mini-refrain (complete ending) Composer: Alexander Influential Version: Arthur Alexander (1962) The original version is in the key of C and is slightly less syncopated than that of the Beatles. as well as a consideration of the cover repertoire in its relationship to the emerging Lennon/McCartney compositional style. but not for singles. it was a matter of fleshing out the act itself. Most surprising of all is the way in which.. It is most common to rationalize the specific cover song choices on the Please Please Me album as having been selected on the basis of their nicely showcasing the talents of the group and providing a way for them to pay homage to the music which they themselves enjoyed and which most directly influenced them. note how. these covers provided a type of material ready-made that they could/would not yet write as a matter of lacking some combination of technique. the pungent vocal harmonies. This sort of layering would later become a Page 159 . in England. Beyond this common wisdom. At this early stage. The Beatles arrangement closely follows the original with two telling differences: 1) it does not mimic the way that Alexander adds a string section to the backing starting in the second verse. of what we have come to see as the punchlist of early Beatles musical trademarks. but because of structural tweaks to the arrangement and composition! Anna Key: Meter: Form: D Major 4/4 Intro – Verse – Mini-refrain – Verse – Bridge – Verse – Bridge – Verse . imagination. it seems clear that they had. from the very beginning. i. they carefully avoided releasing any cover on a single. They were at least partly chosen for the way in which they rounded out the group's repertoire or filled gaps in what the they were interested in or compositionally capable of providing for themselves at this stage of their career.e. the tricky chord progressions. if any at all. a strong preference to record their own material. Even more significantly.g. 3. but when it came time to establish themselves as recording artists. the clever word play etc. The group maintained an astonishingly broad variety of cover songs in their stage repertoire while on their way up. On the later albums. even as a B-side! Filling out EPs and LPs was one thing. I think our cursory notes on each song below tend to suggest a number of additional ironies surrounding these cover songs: 1. or nerve. 2. at least a brief comparison of the Beatles versions to the originals.The Cover Songs That Appear On The Please Please Me Album General Points Of Interest Our study of the songs of the Beatles would not be complete without a modicum of attention paid to the covers. Beatles For Sale and Help!) perhaps the very appearance of any covers was quite frankly a shortcut to filling out two sides of vinyl. Witness for example their pushing back as early as September '62 on George Martin when he wanted them to do “How Do You Do It” for their first single instead of “Love Me Do”. As much as the Beatles might be said to have been inspired or influenced by these specific cover songs. it is curious to note the extent to which these songs do not manifest very many. (e. not just by virtue of performance quality.

that the Beatles preferred ordering takeout rather than take a chance with cooking it up for themselves. and the use of the minor iv chord in the bridge. the appearance of such harmonies in this song does help reinforce whatever Lennon/McCartney-like resonance it may already have from other sources. no less. though they went beyond this and also changed the scat-sung phonemes for the backing vocals. This song employs the 12-bar blues form throughout by use of a fairly old trick in which the backbeat and arrangement are modified for the bridge in order to disguise the fact that the music (or at least the chord progression and phrasing) is identical to that of the verses. by the same token though. Boys Key: E Major Meter: 4/4 Form: Intro – Verse – Verse – Bridge – Verse (guitar solo) – Verse – Bridge – Outro (fadeout) Composers: Dixon/Farrell Influential Version: The Shirelles (1962) The original version is in the higher key of G and includes a piano and sax in the arrangement. though personally. The placement of the second bridge at the very end with a third repeat of it into the fadeout is an additional formal novelty. 2) They replace the fadeout ending of the original with a complete one. This is the only one of the six covers here to have been recorded by its composer. and of course. there are a number of minorsounding inflections in the melody making the music sound both more bluesy and exotic. The fadeout of the original version loops on a rote repeat of the final phrase. As I've written elsewhere (in an article on the Quarrymen in Illegal Beatles #17.common technique for the Boys but they didn't take the hint this time. the Beatles characteristically stretch out one of those repeats. it seems that when it came to The Blues. the slightly free-form phrasing of the verse. Both these devices are fairly widespread and I don't mean to imply that their frequent use in the original songs of the Beatles is in any way directly related to this song. this song. As with “Anna”. The Beatles needed to change some of the words in order to make the gender pronouns come out right for a male lead singer. Page 160 . I don't think it is sufficient to prevent a certain monotony from setting in. already this had become a marked preference in their own material. John's intense single track vocal.' and is performed a bit slower than the Beatles version. this one is among the most Beatles-like as a result of the loverelated anguish in the lyrics. Harmonically. The Shirelles save that backing vocal for the second verse but the Boys start it right off the bat – further evidence that they had not yet learned the layering trick. the two treatments are remarkably similar with the exception of a saxophone used in one and an harmonica used in the other. and though its in a Major key. as well as “Boys” below are certainly examples of this phenomenon. over a minor iv chord. as well as a Note on the song “Birthday”). note the emphasis on the I-vi progression starting right off in the intro. Chains Key: B-flat Major Meter: 4/4 Form: Intro – Verse – Verse – Bridge – Verse – Refrain – Verse – Outro (fadeout) Composers: Goffin/King Influential Version: The Cookies (1962) The original recording is in the higher key of 'D. Among the six particular songs in this group. The verse of this song is in 12-bar blues form.

that particular song is not only heavily in the minor mode. less intense.” Baby It's You Key: G Major Meter: 4/4 Form: Intro – Verse – Verse – Verse (first half. say. the modally inflected minor key.” Interestingly. the only non-cover was “I Wanna Be Your Man”. and from then onward. but also has one special detail in common with “A Taste of Honey” – both end surprisingly on a Major chord. It also has a third verse (plus bridge) absent from the Beatles version. The original features an organ instead of a piano for the instrumental solo. Although the form of ”From Me To You” is otherwise quite different. The music features a number of tricks: the slow intro and outro. The arrangements are otherwise rather similar. and the way its final phrase is rhetorically extended to an uneven length. perhaps their slower tempo argued in favor of dropping it. right down to the heavy use of the I-vi chord progression. the Shirelles play it in the higher key of B-flat (the same relative transposition as in “Boys”) and their vocals are more breathy and soulful. likely a consequence of the longish verse and slow tempo. Page 161 . “And I Love Her. the first half of the middle verse is done up as break-like instrumental solo passage with the regular vocal part resuming in the second half. This also happens to be a type of sticky sweet ballad of the sort to which Paul must have always been drawn but did not write for himself until. Up until Rubber Soul. There are only three verses in the song. and the constant switching between ternary and binary meters from section to section. This one is also rather Beatles-like for many of the same reasons enumerated above re: “Anna”. And you might say that the Boys more smoothly join the gap between solo and second half of the middle verse. but not until much later. the minor chords which hang like a cloud over its middle section. Other subtle touches which resonate with the Lennon/McCartney style are the verse opening on IV instead of I. piano solo) – Outro (fadeout) Composers: M. the latter would eventually make its conspicuous appearance in several Beatles compositions. even with his own few original compositions. Taste of Honey Key: f# minor Meter: 3/4 (verse) and 4/4 (bridge) Form: Intro – Verse – Bridge – Verse – Bridge (complete ending) Composers: Marlow/Scott Influential Version: Lenny Welch (1962) The original is in the lower key of e and runs a bit faster.Intentional or not. The form is very unusual. the instrumental break there is very similarly handled. although the Beatles feature a scalar walking bass line and a complete ending whereas the original fades out. and in instead of a real bridge. compared to John. this song started what would develop into a long-lived tradition for Ringo to be relegated to covers and/or novelty numbers for his carefully rationed solo vocal assignments. we'd hear him more often than not on the likes of “Yellow Submarine” and “Octopus's Garden. though perhaps. David/Bachrach/Williams Influential Version: The Shirelles (1961) Again.

Twist And Shout Key: Meter: Form: D Major 4/4 Intro – Verse – Verse – Bridge + Arpeggio buildup – Verse – Bridge – Arpeggio buildup (complete ending) Composers: Russell/Medley Influential Version: The Isley Brothers (1962) This is the cover in which the changes made by the Beatles result in the most radical change of character and impact. of having arrived somewhere. though. is what really counts. The Boys had the savy to not only repeat the bridge and buildup but to parlay the latter into a slow-triplet-bound complete ending. even more so than John's unprecedented vocal performance. This gives the overall thrust of the song a much greater sense of teliology. the Isleys (itself not at all a bad version by any means) sounds in comparison more like just static vamping. written original songs with quite the same blistering beat in them as this one has. even though they had not yet. “Have you no natural resources of your own?” 090891#35 Page 162 . What the Beatles do to the form of the song. Two other musical features. The Isleys play this in the higher key of F and the rhythmic swing of their performance and their brassy arrangement gives the song an entirely different feel from the Beatles' rendition. the use of only three chords (I-IV-V) throughout. bluesy in an almost Latin way. soon enough. and the antiphonal backing vocals. as opposed to hard rock. at this stage. The Isleys end the song with an extended jam on the verse which follows the first arpeggio buildup. But that they surely would do. are reminiscent of the Beatles' own style.

In practical terms. the Major/minor byplay of the harmony. This exploitation of the vi/I chords was something which Lennon and McCartney leaned on heavily during this period. the melody of this song contains a higher than average quotient of appoggiaturas. an augmented triad on C# suspended over an E in the bass. “From Me To You”. the note on the bottom gives John the cue note for his vocal. this time. with a little help from their friends. it's E . We have yet another example here where the bridge is repeated but separated by only a single verse section. and the virtual absence throughout the song of firm V->I chord 'cadences' which would have more clearly established E as the home key. and by the chordal accompaniment of both Paul and George in the bridge. Arrangement John's single-tracked solo vocal is sensually accompanied by a brief bit of counterpoint from Paul in the verse. This spell is broken is for only a couple of d#'s in the verse (see the harmonization of the title phrase below). and the augmented triad above it works as an aurally acceptable albeit surprising surrogate IV-like antecedent to the c# chord which leads off the verse. and c#). Melody The melodic material of the song is almost entirely from the pentatonic scale. Two small but creative twists are applied to the otherwise straightforward short form: the strange opening that's not quite a full intro. and vi (E. Page 163 . I believe the reluctance to provide that additional verse is motivated by the slowness of the harmonic rhythm throughout the song. A. this time let's leave the locating of them all as what used to quaintly be described as an exercise for the reader. arranged as it is with a wordlessly hummed vocal. I. we also have near the end of the verse an appearance of the borrowed minor iv chord. Just as we recently observed in “I'll Get You”. a by-product of the way in which phrases of the verse start off on vi. but transposed here to the key of E. one of which is a juicy appoggiatura.All I've Got To Do Key: Meter: Form: E Major 4/4 Verse – Verse – Bridge – Verse – Bridge – Verse/Outro (fadeout) General Points Of Interest Style and Form This song retains a strongly exotic flavor from the combination of several factors: the pentatonic mode of the melody.A.” The opening chord is one of those sonorities that defies a neat textbook analysis. see for other examples. “She Loves You”. In addition to the naturally occurring Major IV chord. Harmony Most of the work here is done by three chords.C# . and “It Won't Be Long. fades out in mid-section.F . this one motivated by chromatic downward motion of an inner voice. Spelled from the bottom up. and the manner in which the final verse. There is no small amount of ambiguity as to whether the song is in E Major or its relative minor key of c#. ii and V (f# and B). think of it as the all “black note” scale starting on f#. IV. and the belly-dancer-like syncopation of the rhythm.

the verse opens with a chord that is not the I chord of the home key. Its first phrase is a standard 4-measures but is followed by two more phrases of uneven length. on the words “call you on the phone. such as the second half of the bridge. and then an unusual 5-measure phrase that is rhetorically elongated by the repetition of material in measures 7 . how this point of expansiveness coincides with the location of where the hard syncopation is given a brief rest: |c# vi |c# vi |a iv ||E I |f# ii ||| E: |- | | |E I | The home key of E is established harmonically only by indirect means. Syncopated emphasis on the eighth note between the second and third beats of the measure (on "two-AND") is a subtle leitmotif of the song. but then changes over to trademarkBeatles parallel 4ths by virtue of Paul briefly holding over one note (marked `*` in the transcription below) and then following the pentatonic scale downward the rest of the way: "All Paul John I've got to E C# do .The vocal counterpoint of the verse starts off as plain parallel thirds. it clearly begins moving steadily back toward E. appears on top. but there are places.8. but by the beginning of the second of its two 4-measure phrases.. Note." E C# * B C# G# B |C# B G# F#|G# F# E G# F# E D# F# |F# D# |D# Paul plays double stops on his bass in the portion of the verse in which the c# and E chords alternate. the root notes of each chord are on the bottom and a common note between them.. Bridge This bridge creates the early impression of intending to perhaps stray far and long from the home key. and the V chord never appears until the end of the bridge. where the bass and rhythm guitar maintain the pattern even while Ringo has switched for the moment to more evenly played eighth-note tapping. The B chord in measure 8 is the only appearance in the song of the V chord: |A IV |A IV ||c# vi c# vi |A VI || |E I |E I B V | Page 164 . g#. by the way.. and you'll be running home”. first the two-measure title phrase. Section By Section Walkthrough Verse This verse is an asymmetrical eleven measures long. It is delivered primarily in the form of damped high-hat cymbal slashes from Ringo.

Melodically. particularly significant for the continued creative trend which they presage. lending a free-verse rhetorical feeling to the section rather similar to that felt in the second half of the verse. chicky baby.” 100191#36 Page 165 . And formalistically. but that it rather effectively drives home the underlying self-satisfied subtext of the lyrics. “You can be replaced. Final Verse/Outro In context of the rest of their original songs recorded to this point in time. A Final Thought I'd also suggest that the hummed ending here is more than just a clever device for its own sake. such as the comfortable equilibrium of a relationship between helpmates. you know. to the extent that some things in life. defy completely adequate expression in words. John modifies the phrase on the words “I'll be here” so that it creates a new high point. the humming and early fade of this section are both novel and unprecedented little experiments.There are two deft variations applied to the repeat of the bridge. the last sub-phrase is repeated.

it would have been the easiest. especially in light of what must have been the creative climate within The Beatles as a group at the time of its composition. unsuitable for use as a strong Dominant in establishing the home key. or at least easier. i. On the other hand. such as the “natural minor” (aka “the Aeolian mode”). Melody The melody of this song is equally as pentatonic in pitch content as “All I've Got To Do”.original composition George was to do With The Beatles.G# . the 'v' chord used here is a minor triad. mentioned in our note last time. rearranges the same five notes to convey a deeply minor mode. the burden of that function is shared in this song between the VII chord (which in a Major key would have to be called 'flat VII' because it does not occur naturally in Major keys. Instead. The appearance in this song of the Major IV chord in a minor sounding mode is a unique twist on a trick we're used to see being played in reverse. in the second half of '63. the distinctive modal inflection created by the absence of both a 4th and 7th degree in this scale. Harmony Although the song sounds overall as though in a minor key. Page 166 .. but there is a crucial difference between the two songs. let's normalize the two song melodies by transposing them so that they both lie along the black notes of the piano. it is technically quite polished. Note carefully. In this case. you've got to admire him for being himself at all costs. more experienced mates. the first solo. Strictly speaking. our song here.C# . have a minor 6th degree. the minor key. the sensually modal melody. the home key of “All I've Got To Do” may be said to be F# Major. with rare exceptions. yet even more notable for its compositional individualism. though you might be sorely tempted to want to pull him down on the bed with you by his shoulders and beg him to lighten up (would ya' ?). of course.e. the presence of A#. how its 6th scale degree is a Major sixth above the tonic note of the scale. and the melody is for the most part built out of a Major scale that has some unusual gaps. is sufficient to establish the underlying feel of a Major key. In particular. whereas it is actually quite at home here in the minor/modal domain). and the IV. and for coming up with a song that turns out in retrospect to uncannily foreshadow musical techniques and tendencies with which he would preoccupy himself for years to come. you'd think.F#. given the rapidly rising tide of Beatlemania. this device is associated with the ancient “Dorian” church mode. Even without any kind of direct peer-pressure from John and Paul.D# . whereas the other modes we're familiar with that have a minor bottom half. As a premiere effort. Consequently. think of it as the all white-note scale starting on d – and note. path for George to show up with something a lot less imaginative and rather more slavishly imitative of his older. and the inwardly focused and sad/angry theme of the lyrics. a Major third above the tonic note.Don't Bother Me Key: Meter: Form: e minor (with Pentatonic & Dorian inflections) 4/4 Intro – Verse – Verse – Bridge – Verse – Verse/half solo – Bridge – Verse – Outro (fadeout) General Points Of Interest Style and Form This moody and exotic sounding number was. there are a number of positively modal touches to be found in the chord choices and progressions. the tune of AIGTD is limited to a scale of F# . in particular. In order to explain this. “All I've Got To Do” uses the five notes of the pentatonic scale to conjure a mode that is primarily Major in feel. “Don't Bother Me”.A# .

somewhat ponderous feel as a result of the slow and even pace of the harmonic rhythm. I know that none of the Beatles could read or write musical notation and were untrained in the rudiments of theory. By the same token. the fact that they were capable of such intricacy on the subconscious. right down to that recognizable figure in the bass line: chords: bassline: e: |D F# |E |D i |e E || D VII Regardless of tempo and elaborate percussion noises. If anything.G# . I acknowledge with equal unequivocality that none of them as composers would likely ever work the sorts of technical pirouettes we've been discussing into their songs aforethought. when transposed to this world of the black notes. The second scale degree (E# . is carefully saved for its powerfully unique melodic appearance at the very climax of the bridge section. without any recalibration.F# . In contrast to AIGTD.13.let's keep it all transposed to d# minor for the moment). and there are no other backing voices. the presence of F# in this scale.“Don't Bother Me”. limited appearance. In any event. for example. intuitive level makes their achievements all the more impressive. Page 167 . If you have the chance to hear the single-track vocal on take 13 (which is the actual base track to which the second vocal was overdubbed) you'll acquire a sense of the power that double tracking has to paper over a multitude of notes sung slightly out of tune. But that in no way diminishes the manifest sophistication of the finished product. Section By Section Walkthrough Intro I believe that the tempo of this song is actually twice the speed of what George slowly counts in at the beginning of takes 11 . And yet again. even if they had been trained in music theory. in which the instrumental solo part is a close paraphrase of the original melody. The solo guitar section is structured in a remarkably similar way to the one in “From Me To You”.D#. the harmonic trick of alternating throughout the song between a minor and Major chord on IV (A minor as alternated with A Major) is made possible by manipulation of the 6th degree of the scale (in the transposed context of d# minor. And to hopefully head off my critics at the pass. it also turns out to be the highest melodic note in the entire song. The rhythm track is characterized by heavily reverbed guitar parts and an almost ostentatious battery of world-music percussion instruments. but which contains its own unique set of modal inflections. What's particularly interesting about “Don't Bother Me” is the way in which those missing scale degrees do make their subtle. we're talking about B and B#) which is otherwise entirely absent from the tune.C# . an example of yet another formulaic device of the genre. the intro is four measures long and is built out of material which cleverly anticipates the opening of the bridge section to come much later. in my humble opinion. and the vocal part is then resumed for the last phrase or two of the section as though it were a refrain. is in a home key that sounds very much like d# minor. our scale for “Don't Bother Me” is spelled as D# . the latter being overdubbed by the other three Beatles along with George's second vocal. the song retains a measured. if for no other reason than the section lengths will appear to be impossibly short in terms of numbers-of-measures if we take George at his word. This time it is the absence of a 2nd and and 6th degrees in the scale which lend a characteristic pungency to the song's melody. Arrangement We get George's double tracked vocal the whole way through in this song. a minor third above the tonic note. is sufficient to establish the underlying feel of a minor key.A# .

All such formal articulation aside. followed by a sudden grand pause for just an instant further articulates this structure. Though the harmonies and overall style are far removed from the strict blues style. just as in the verse. and not the i! Verse The verse is twelve measures long and built out of three phrases equal in length. the fourth iteration of this section. this claustrophobic and withdrawn feeling of the music here is very much in keeping with the sense of the words. All three melodic phrases are flatly declarative in the way they tersely finish saying their respective pieces well before the end of the four measures of music allotted to them.The non-I opening with its reliance on the VII -> i progression to establish the initial sense of key is quite elliptical. with the third phrase providing a refrain-like capping off. this section is relatively static and closed up in shape. giving virtually unrelieved emphasis to the i chord of e minor. Bridge The bridge is sixteen measures long and is built out of four phrases even in length. the appearance of a couple of chords not yet heard in the song. the third phrase comes to balance out the couplet parallelism of the first two phrases: |D VII ||e i |||D VII ||e i ||| |b v |- |a iv |- |C VI |- |e i |- || Several elements help create some sense of contrast between this section and the surrounding verses: the 4x4 phraseology. and allows George to save that Dorian Major IV chord for expressive. the structure here is undeniably quite blues-like: |b v |a iv |G III |e i | e: |b v |a iv |G III |- | |e i |A IV |e i |- | The first two phrases have a couplet-like parallelism to them. The minor iv chord is used in context of the chord-stream-like progression of the first two phrases where it fits in smoothly. At the very least. Similarly. The ending of the second phrase on G for a change. the flourish of drums at the end of the second phrase. with its guitar solo for the first two phrases and return of the vocal part in the final phrase also serves to underscore the refrain effect. The harmony is similarly static. the opening up of the melodic space to allow for an effective climax on the high f# in measure 9. perhaps it would be more accurate to describe the final eight measures as one longer phrase. surprise effect in the final phrase. you might even be fooled into thinking for an instant that the song is going to be in the key of D Major and that the e chord which follows is the ii. and the way in which the downward melodic motion of the third phrase balances out the upward gestures of the preceding two phrases are our only dynamic formal gestures. and the sudden slowing down of the harmonic rhythm Page 168 .

The harmony here oscillates between the i and IV chords. there are some key differences between the two songs which only serve to sharpen our view of George's individual profile and outlook. I believe that the wordiness of the song enhances and accentuates its impact. followed as it is by a descent from the minor v chord to iv. the return in the following verse to chord changes in every measure creates a subtle illusion of acceleration. As a variation upon all previous appearances in the song of this chord progression.” As a listener it makes you feel paradoxically in no real doubt as to what key we're. It's one of those cases where you can turn off the CD and read the text of the song quietly aloud to yourself from a book or computer screen. its a touch of musical agitation in keeping with and reflective of what has been described in the words of the song throughout. and above all. George gives us many words and pronouncements.. but still you may feel vaguely dissatisfied. “Can I say something ? . Intentional or not. note the parallel fifths created between bass line and melody by this move. It's a matter of what I so often describe as an avoidance of foolish consistency.. on "four-AND".. a feeling not at all out of keeping with the song's own inner feelings.. the inwardly focused and static mood established in the verses is pretty well sustained in this bridge. the message still seems come right at you. but even more so. winds up defaulting a large part of that function to a phenomenon that might be described as “establishing the key by repetitive insistence. Although the tempo of the song is steady throughout. complaining about the unfairness of his fate (“it's just not right”).” 101491#37 Page 169 . The relative absence here of strongly functional chord progressions. primarily a result of the continued relentless emphasis on the tonic chord of our home key of e minor. it is George who seems to rush in where John would fear (or is perhaps too crashed-out to want to) tread. It's highly unlikely we'll be on. certain there can never be another like her. crying/waiting/hoping that there's a happy ending somewhere in store when she'll come back. In place of John's reticent perplexity. Whereas both fellows might seem to suffer with equal amounts of inconsolable sadness. . etc. even without the musical medium. which in most songs are the principle agent by which a key is one chord change every other measure. straight from the shoulder. blaming himself. The most sublime moment of pathos in the song is found in the arpeggiated melodic ascent to the high note of f# in measure 9. etc. And for all that it superficially would seem to pressage John's “You've Got To Hide Your Love Away”. Outro The outro presents a typical sort of looping on the final sub-phrase of the verse which by no coincidence includes the title within its lyrics. Some Final Thoughts At the time of its release “Don't Bother Me” was likely the most negative lyric in the Beatles' canon to-date. the IV chord is now emphasized by a hard-accented syncopation on the eighth note just before the downbeat where you expect it to appear. In spite of all the above. I mean the law of averages are against you and it seems that.

or every other measure). augmented or otherwise altered harmonies helps to project the uncomplicated emotional tone of the song. Page 170 . though this formal ambiguity caused by the disposition of the lyrics is noteworthy.Little Child Key: Meter: Form: E Major 4/4 Intro – Verse – Verse – Bridge – Verse – Break – Bridge – Verse – Outro (fadeout) General Points Of Interest Style and Form The form of this song is a bit tricky. Unlike many of the other songs we've looked at. I'll stay with my original analysis. IV. that what I've labeled a “verse” is more of a “refrain” because the words are unvaried over four repeats of the section. a double-tracked John is featured solo. diminished. there are the I. restricted to only four chords and very common ones at that. On the vocal parts. B. respectively. that what I've labeled as a “bridge” is more properly a “verse” because it is only in that section that the words are varied. and F#. as one of the standard and familiar formal models. A. in strict 12-bar blues no less! Harmony The key is decidedly E Major and the mood ravingly upbeat. However. However. on some level. chord changes in every measure. Similarly. the repeat pattern of the lyrics would seem to argue otherwise. Note how the lack of any minor. Arrangement There's a lot of overdubbing on this otherwise simple track to the extreme that even the original British mix of it on With The Beatles has a Dave-Dexter-Jr.-like muddiness that becomes part of the experience of the song. that's the Major chords built on E. whether or not you particularly like it aesthetically. and V-of-V. the verses in particular. the harmonic diet here is more low-budget than we've seen in a while. On strictly musical grounds. We ran into a similar dilemma on “It Won't Be Long” way back in article #10 of the series and the temporal proximity of these two songs makes me wonder if. in which harmonic rhythm tends to follow a fairly regular pattern (e. This alternate pigeon-holing scheme though would yield an unusual formal structure indeed: Intro -> Refrain -> Refrain -> Verse -> Refrain -> Break -> Verse -> Refrain -> Outro (fadeout) Hence. V. Instrumental overdubs feature Paul on piano and John on harmonica pretty much the whole way through. Unlike the case of “Thank You Girl” I'm afraid to think that there's no clean/dry version of this one even in the vaults of EMI. the harmonic rhythm in this song is a bit more flexibly varied to help articulate shape of the sections.g. In order of appearance. John was consciously experimenting at the time in this way. with Paul joining him for little flashes of harmony. Another quite uncommon feature in the form of this song is the appearance of an honestto-goodness instrumental break. I believe one hears it in the way that I've parsed it above.

” snippet in “One After 909”. Page 171 .” Here. your ear can't figure all this out until the accompaniment kicks with that piano glissando right before the third chord. the structural purpose of the change is to harmonically close up the ending of the second phrase: |E I ||A |E IV I ||B V |A IV |F#9 B |E V-of-V V I || E: Bridge The stylistic gesture of short phrases seen in the verses is perpetuated in this bridge as well. in measure 5 of this bridge. move over twice . and during a good part of the instrumental break. They are precisely in tempo making the intro weigh in at four measures long: |E I |A IV |E9 I || E: Of course. and the slightly later “I Should Have Known Better. “There's A Place”.Section By Section Walkthrough Intro Don't be fooled by those seemingly ad-lib and out-of-tempo harmonica chords at the beginning. the quatrains of the surrounding verses... and by its harmonically open ending on the V chord. above F# chord. and provides some helpful relief from. yet contains three phrases equal in length: |E I |B V ||E I |||F# |B V-of-V V || The usage in this section of a poetic triplet nicely contrasts with. freely dissonant note that is picked up on again in the repeated appearance of Major 9th chords of the verses. there's a virtual absence in this song of melodic appoggiaturas. and it is harmonically closed in shape. The spicy F# in the harmonica played over the E chord in the third measure sounds a jazzy. However. Verse The refrain-like verse is only eight measures long and built out of two phrases equal in length: |E I ||A |E IV I ||B V |A IV |F#9 |B V-of-V V || E: The first four-measure phrase itself subdivides rhetorically into a ready-steady-go group of three short ”phrasettes” (to coin a term). Compared to a song like “I'll Get You”. there's a stunner of a d# in the melody on the downbeat. The second phrase nicely balances this out by subdividing more neatly right down the middle of its four measures. quite reminiscent of the “move over once. which is only six measures long. The second verse is a slight musical variant of the first one of the sort we've seen before in songs like “Ask Me Why”. but it's just this sort of ambiguity than enhances the fun of the music.

and this tweak helps to unify the break section with its surroundings. Some Final Thoughts This song is the fifth one in a row on the first side of With The Beatles in the key of E. the words eventually warm up to strike you as the quite realistic braggadocio of a cool dude on the make. Even a closer look at the music itself might make you think of it as a potboiling throwback to the first album because of the small number of chords. My only complaint here is the uncharacteristic roughness with which both the beginning and end of this overdub were edited in. I believe you start hearing this song actually as one feel-good rocker of no small sincerity. And yet. In time. more or less. following on the heels of “Don't Bother Me” it's a case of “from the ridiculous to the sublime”. “Little Child” is probably the weakest of those five songs. And what you at first reacted to as rudeness in that cool appraising stare of his is nothing other than his active compensatory factor. Though a comparison of the album's running order to a Baroque dance suite is perhaps a jesting overstatement. its condescendingly wiseguy/sexist lyrics. the facile melody. Outro We have a very standard looping into the fadeout based on the final two measures of the verse with some clever handling of the duet vocals as they alternate in pattern on the "oh yeahs". or shall we say it the other way around? On casual acquaintance. there is a certain amount of classic sensibility reflected in the way those five Beatles originals are sequenced to provide a balanced and varied alternation of mood and tempo. as if this fact were not already clear as an azure sky or an unmuddied lake. The last two chords of this otherwise pure 12-bar blues passage are modified to include the IV -> V-of-V -> V progression which by this point of the song strongly resonates with the end of the verse sections.Break It's a rare early Beatles song indeed that has such a break section as this one. it's easy to dislike “Little Child” for what are. by today's standards. My turn? Bingo!”102191#38 Page 172 . and simple phrasing. Alan. if you can get beyond your own hyper-serious reactions (hey. speak for yourself). “I bet you're a great swimmer. both completely instrumental and not based on one of the preceding sections of the song. John's wailing solo is quite nicely done and as a little bonus he even throws in some slow triplets right at the climactic penultimate measure as though just to let us know for sure it's a “John song”. That said.

the special dramatic flavor of this chord is manifested in the way that. there is no escaping its technical sophistication. it's actually not quite as remote a neighbor to the home key as may appear at first glance. sewn between the layers of fabric. In theoretical terms. is a bit more rare and dramatic in sound. Harmony The song is unrelievedly in the key of F Major. we hear an implied melodic wavering between the Major/minor third degree of the scale. The rhythm track features the similarly widespread use of an ostinato figure in the bass and guitar parts. The textbooks describe it as the relative Major to the parallel minor – imagine the home key being f minor instead of F Major and you'll see what I mean. Consider the following three items for starters. we're talking about the notes A flat and A natural. I believe that the most important resonance for “Hold Me Tight” is in its affinity with the emotional push-pull of “Please Please Me”. Arrangement Page 173 .” However. In context of the Beatles. And that's where the easy parts of it end. and metric elision in which the measure containing word “you” serves as a pivot.Hold Me Tight Key: Meter: Form: F Major 4/4 Intro – Verse – Verse – Bridge – Verse – Bridge – Verse – Outro (complete ending) General Points Of Interest Style and Form This one's a good example of the standard two-bridge-but-no-solo formal model. it has some mixed reputation among even the serious fans. and an ostinato bass line in “Day Tripper” and (eventually will when we get up to) “Lady Madonna. no matter. when juxtaposed with the I chord. By now we've become quite used to seeing examples of the first two of these chords in Beatles songs. or if “Hold Me Tight” really is that stylistically resonant. In between the end of the second verse and the beginning of the bridge there is a simultaneously melodic. i. We observed widespread use of chromatic line cliches in “You Won't See Me”. to an extent that the device provides structure and unification. and none other than Paul Himself has been known to vaguely shrug it off as just a “work song. the same arpeggiated riff transposed and repeated for many of the chord changes. minor iv (B flat minor). and flat III (A flat). Even though “Hold Me Tight” does not contain the same level of expository high drama as the latter song. In order of appearance these are V-of-V (G). I don't know if it's just a side-effect of the growing number of songs in the Beatles canon we've already covered in this series. "flat III". and it's in the unusual key choice for the Beatles of F Major. In any event. and keep in mind we're not even getting anywhere near the finer details yet: • • • Chromatic “line cliches” are hidden throughout the song within the inner voices of the chord changes. Granted. in our song which is in F Major. not just decoration. phrasing elisions in “It Won't Be Long” and “Any Time At All”. as it were. or borrowed ones.. three of them (almost half the budget) are altered.e. Though only seven different chords are used throughout.” But. we've seen this one used before in the bridge section of “You're Going To Lose That Girl” and as part of a little chord stream in the verse section of “Please Please Me”. not occurring naturally in the home key. verbal. it does seem to describe a similar tableau of hot pursuit at the brink. but I am struck by the extent to which it freeassociates with other Lennon/McCartney songs. But the last one.

there is the infamously repeated verbal collision every time the phrase “it feels so right so/now” appears. This is actually a widespread trademark device of the group and perhaps the reason why some react to it here with less than their usual enthusiasm is because the combination of John with George in this context is just not as euphonious as it is with Paul. The first four measures of the long third phrase are rhetorically insistent in the way they repeat the same two melodic notes several times (“so hold me Page 174 . expose the ostinato guitar figure. lots of cymbal sizzle. and introduce what emerges over the course of the song as one of its hooks. are high up in the voice range. The backing vocals sound discordant to the extent that they are placed very close to each other pitch-wise. The setup of the climax is musically abetted by a number of factors. and the last eight measures combine to make one long phrase which nicely balances out the previous two: |---------------------. a variation in the rhythmic emphasis of the backing track here makes for a subtle difference. However. Section By Section Walkthrough Intro The intro is only two measures long yet it manages to quickly establish the key.|F IV I |C V | This section has a strongly dramatic arch-like feeling to it in the way it begins to intensify during the third phrase toward a clear climax on the downbeat of the thirteenth measure (on the phrase “it's YOU”).The arrangement has an overall thick sound with husky sounding guitars. and for John especially. Paul gets to sing the lead vocal solo.2X ----------------------| line cliche: A chords:|F F: I B flat |B flat IV B natural |G V-of-V C |C V | line cliche: F chords:|F F: I E flat |F7 V-of-IV D |B flat IV D flat |b flat minor| iv chords:|F F: I |b flat min." The whole thing sounds deceptively similar to the way the end of the bridge sections lead back around into the verses which follow them. Verse The verse is sixteen measures long and divides up into three phrases. Though there are several other such mistakes littered throughout the official recordings. The first two are a couplet of four measures each. and hand claps. The same sloppiness of execution which brought take 22 of the song to a rapid halt may also be heard on the finished track for an instant during the third verse. And of course. I tend to think of this as being not so much an error as what I can only surmise was an intentional albeit misguided experiment. the phrase "it feels so right. while John and George provide a backing part that features a tricky passage of syncopated antiphony with the lead in the third phrase of the verses.

followed by the downward one at the beginning of the third phrase helps portray a dramatic development which has quite a bit of real-world experiential resonance to it. Verse Variations All the verses other than the first one contain an A flat chord (flat III) in their last measure.. created by the elision mentioned above. all the smoother to lead toward the bridge and outro sections. line cliche: A chords:|F F: I A flat A |A flat |F flat III I B flat |B flat IV ii B nat. The slowing of the root harmonic rhythm toward the end reinforces that sense of suspense. we have in this section a more snake-like inner line which lends an air of suspenseful indecision to the music. One might say. that this section is to be heard as eight measures long if you include the last elided measure of the verse as part of the bridge.”).. while the downward ones connote grimness or impatience. this sort of musical ending doesn't bode well for the fate of our hero. There is even some ambiguous possibility. Some Final Thoughts In context of the rest of the Beatles' early output. in the same oversimplified language that allows us to describe the Major mode as “happy” and the minor as “sad”. Even the sequencing of upward versus downward line cliches plays a dramatic role. Note though how this mood is shaken off by section's ending with another climax. Bridge This bridge is an unusual seven measures in length and its subphrases are not easily or neatly to be parsed. Outro The outro is done as fake pass at a third repetition of the bridge that literally grinds to a stop. that upward line cliches connote such things as eager expectation. The cheerful coaxing of the first half of this verse might be said to give way to something a bit more desperate before it's over. with the ritardando starting a full three measures before the end. I even hear this tension reinforced by the way the minor iv chord is inserted so quickly after what would otherwise be a moment of release following the climax. In that sense. C |g minor |G Major |C V-of-V V As a variation on the straight up-or-down line cliches of the verse.tight. The big moment itself is enhanced by the appearance of the long-awaited melodic high note on the downbeat of measure 13. and the sudden cessation of the agitated syncopation of the previous measures. this is clearly one of their hotter “touch” songs. try that phrase with the more “natural” Major IV and see how different it feels. Other more typical sources of bridge-like contrast here are the change in texture (drumming without cymbals and slowly-strummed guitar chords on the downbeats – see “I Should Have Known Better”). This is further supported by the way in which the root harmonic rhythm suddenly slows from a change every measure to every other measure and the syncopated antiphony of the backing vocal. Page 175 . Yet another small example of foolish consistency avoided can be found in the way Paul throws in a little vocal flip and stretches out the scanning of the words in the first phrase of the third verse. tonight . this time assisted by an upward line cliche. and the backing voices being given a rest. the use of the upward gesture in the first two phrases. Given the sort of emotional program of pursuit sketched out earlier. more urgent than the sweetly pleading “I Want To Hold Your Hand” but also less confrontational than “Please Please Me”.

whatever parallels may be found between “Hold Me Tight” and “Please Please Me” also serve to underscore some of the primal differences in style between Paul and John.Ironically though. There's also a much simpler logistical difference between the respective endings of “Please Please Me” and “Hold Me Tight”. John. the latter would seem to leave us with the poor hero “on my knees. always includes both allusions to the past and her actions. Just as in “All My Loving”.” 112091#39 Page 176 . oops. and is emotionally self-centered with no allowance for or representation of her feelings and actions. the focus for Paul in “Hold Me Tight” is temporally on the present and future of the relationship to the love object (no past!). let tonight be the night. don't ever let me go.” In the final result. darling. I hear echoes in it of Carl Perkins' “Sure To Fall” which includes the line. isn't it? “Aye. “Hold Me Tight” also reminds one at the same time of the more innocent precursor songs of pursuit by other artists. but don't rush. even resorting as necessary to some clever measures to work this into the lyrical narrative no matter how obliquely. beggin' if you please. None of your five bar gate jumps and over sort of stuff. “so hold me tight. that's a different song altogether. as we saw earlier in the case of “All My Loving” versus “It Won't Be Long”.” But. In particular. in contrast. Whereas the former would seem to end with the gauntlet thrown down and the situation beyond the point of return.

preserved as they are in unreleased recordings of BBC radio broadcasts and live concerts. plus one additional measure to give a little breathing space for the long pickup into the refrain. Page 177 . My guess is that they decided to include it as the lesser of two evils because if you try this section out without that seventeenth measure. and a lot of screaming. this chord change is much more clearly articulated in the live versions. but the hot little guitar lick that precedes the opening downbeat helps immediately set the wild and crazy mood of what is to come. The bluesy melody with its emphasis on f# and the flat-seventh (d) lends some indirect harmonic embellishment of that lone E chord. and the improvisatory instrumental break. with double tracking. under some circumstances. gets to sing the lead vocal and he's accompanied by John and Paul in the refrain. this one is formalistically notable for its bridge-like refrain. perhaps even overdone a bit. the song would seem to demonstrate just how it is that a pop song can. with the verse section being a jam session on virtually just one chord. present a revised arrangement which omits the organ but is in all other respects more effective. In any event. In context of the other contemporaneous L&M originals of the period. The rest of the texture is quite fluffed up. I'll single out such specific improvements as we come to them in our walkthrough below. be written on the fly in what I'd wager must have been less than a single afternoon. A few additional chords appear in the refrain though they are all garden variety in nature. Harmony Very few chords are used at all. overdubbed Hammond organ. If you're charitably disposed. representing a certain kind of triumph of style per se over content. Arrangement Ringo. and its presence does indeed create a slightly awkward metrical asymmetry. We have the case here where non-official versions of the song. you'll say that the heavy attention paid to external mannerism and evocation of mood more than adequately compensates for the otherwise minimalistic amount and quality of material used throughout. though there is a brief hint of the V chord (B) in the second half of measures 8 and 15. The overall section is seventeen measures long and divides up into two eight-measure couplets.I Wanna Be Your Man Key: Meter: Form: E Major 4/4 Verse – Refrain – Verse – Refrain – Break – Verse – Refrain – Outro (fadeout) General Points Of Interest Style and Form This song is ravingly bluesy in a stylized but facile. simplistic way. This last measure is not strictly required in the scheme of things. Several live versions include four full measures of introductory vamping on E before Ringo's vocal entry. Only the I chord (E) is used in this section. the title phrase which commences the refrain gets garbled in a scramble to squeeze it into measure sixteen. Section By Section Walkthrough Verse You can hardly call it an intro by itself. of course.

Break The break is twelve bars long and like the verse. A small flash of the IV chord (A) during the fadeout hints at the real blues jam session that might have gone on in the studio after the faders had been lowered all the way. not one. it jams on just a single chord. The heavy blues style returns with what seems like a high water mark amount of shouts and grunting. in spite of whatever its limitations.” The live versions turn this section very clearly into a 12-bar blues frame and feature more overall shape to the guitar solo. and #2 – that it is John on the Hammond organ. almost against my will as it were. that our song must have had. only this time there is an adaptation of the vocal parts of the refrain superimposed over the backing track. The existence of such a parody forces me to acknowledge. not (as Lewisohn reports) George Martin. Though this refrain doesn't actually stray at all from the home key. On a more subtle level.Refrain This refrain is eight measures long and built out of four little 2-measure phrases each of which declaims the title phrase of the lyrics: riff: E: f#-f-e|d# |F# |B |E V-of-V V I e-d#-d|c# |C# |f# |B V-of-ii ii ** f#-f-e|d# |E |V I | [** that f# minor chord just *might* be F# Major but I find the recording too muddy to tell for sure. There are a number of well known Dylan-Beatles connections out there.] The shift in this section to a distinctly non-bluesy style with those cornball chromatic-scale guitar riffs is the primary source of formal contrast. The guitar solo here consists of sound-bite-like short “licks”. gets caught in. in the refrain of which he humorously sends up our own “I Wanna Be Your Man”. see the unreleased Take 7 of “She's A Woman” for an example of what I'm thinking of. the large number of intensely functional chord changes (with root movements lying along the circle of fifths) make it sound as though it's very much on the harmonic prowl. Some Final Thoughts Tony Barrow. the introduction in this section of a number of different chords with a concomitant amount of harmonic rhythm also contrasts with the monotony of the verses. Outro The outro brings a return of the texture heard in the Break. whose liner notes on the first couple albums are surprisingly accurate most of the time in spite of their unabashed PR-perspective. a song entitled “I Wanna Be Your Lover”. a sufficient presence as a ready-made pop-culture icon in order Page 178 . but two lies regarding this song: #1 – saying the song was written especially for Ringo rather than the Rolling Stones. The live versions of our song in fact replicate the 12-bar blues form seen in the Break and thus take the song to an alternate complete ending. but one of the more obscure and unusual examples must be Zimmy's unreleased track from a late '65 session done with the proto-Band. There is very little of the sort of melodic continuity or dramatic sense of direction seen in the solos of either “I Saw Her Standing There” or even “Little Child.

. . I wanna be your's!” 112491#40 Page 179 . “I don't wanna be her's. with my own wisecrack about the triumph of style per se over content. even if only in jest. But I guess that's what I meant to begin draw such distinguished imitation.

this one has its own share of small-to-medium sized stylistic innovations. allows this last minute change to hold sway. Our song.” Here though. A total of six chords is used though they are all part of the set that is diatonically available within the home key. You also expect a refrain to be a bit more tunefully catchy if not downright jingle-like than this one is. Unusually. think of examples such as “She Loves You”. Nevertheless. Page 180 . This I/vi ambiguity had been used rather incidentally by the Boys in such past songs as “From Me To You” and “All I've Got To Do. there is quite a bit of emphasis given to the relative minor key of e by virtue of heavy use of the I . seemingly for the first time. The lyrics would seem on the surface to articulate a feeling of unbendable resolve not to be taken in or fooled any more. after which. yet the manner in which the resolute harmonies of G Major repeatedly give way in the refrain sections to surprising turns toward the more mournful. disappointed key of e would indicate that the hero is not quite so able to follow his own best advice. and “It Won't Be Long”. such deceptive cadences to the relative minor are typically done as a tease. and of course. in contrast. In Classical usage. things are quickly put right. especially in terms of form and key definition.” After all. making it feel all the more ominous.” The appearance of the instrumental solo in a section based on the refrain instead of the verse is another unusual formal feature here. Though ostensibly in G Major. John appears vocally double-tracked throughout and it's a rare track indeed from this early Beatles period in which literally no other backing voice parts are included. The identity of the home key is less clear. Arrangement Keyboards show up relatively frequently in the songs on the With The Beatles album. Less unique but nonetheless noteworthy is the use of a variation of the original verse section for those verses which immediately precede a refrain. it provides a programmatic touch of pathos that belies the plain meaning of the words. diminished chord on vii is used but the more common IV chord is not. it's still an unusual sort of refrain for its convergent harmonic shape and the way in which it sounds like a continuing outgrowth of the verse instead of a discrete section on its own. Harmony The harmonic vocabulary is relatively straightforward. The middle section of the song would appear to be much more of a refrain than a bridge according to the couple of principles suggested for making such a distinction back in our Notes on “All My Loving. with its solo part played in the unusual baritone range. it does feature the song's lyrical hook at the end and feels overall more like a fulfillment of the verses than a contrasting interlude away from them. So is the fact that this solo-refrain immediately follows another refrain chord progression in the verses and the way in which the refrain veers toward the key of vi.Not A Second Time Key: Meter: Form: G Major/e minor 4/4 Verse (initial) – Verse (variant) – Refrain – Refrain (solo) – Verse (initial) – Verse (variant) – Refrain – Outro (fadeout) General Points Of Interest Style and Form Though far from having been one of the big hits of its period. though the piano part is especially prominent in a bottom heavy way on this track. “All My Loving.

A resolute rhythmic figure (“bom - pause - b'bom - ching!”), one quite reminiscent of “There's A Place”, pervades much of the song. By no coincidence, “There's A Place” turns out to be a yet another song in which a tension between decision and doubt would seem to reign.

Section By Section Walkthrough
Initial Verse
The lack of an intro is partially compensated for by the way the drums come in at the beginning of the fifth measure of the first verse, making the first half of the initial verse feel somewhat like an intro in retrospect. The tune is heavily pentatonic though not exclusively so; reminiscent of what we saw in “All I've Got To Do”, right down to the detail of the way in which the non-pentatonic 7th degree of the scale (f# in this song) is used as an expressive 9-8 appoggiatura over the vi chord (e minor); refer to the fourth measure of the verse on the word “why”. The verses all have an odd length of seven measures which parses into subphrases of 2 + 2 + 3 measures:
----|G I 2 ----|e vi |G I ------ 2 ------ ----------- 3 --------|e vi |D V |G I |D V |


Verse Variant
The primary difference between the initial verse and this variation of it is in the change of the chord in measure six from I (G Major) to ii (a minor). Even though both verses otherwise have the same length, sub-phrasing, and open harmonic ending on V, this isolated chord change still does make for a subtle difference. In the initial verse, the appearance of the I chord in measure 6 provides a palpable sense of closure, almost as though the verse were really six measures long, with the V chord of the seventh measure being an appendix put there specifically to motivate the following verse. This is especially true in the first appearance of the initial verse where the vocal part ends in measure 6, leaving measure 7 fully exposed as a filler. By contrast, the ii chord in measure 6 of the verse variant extends the open-ended feeling of the V chord that precedes it in measure 5. As a result, one can feel a sense, building all the way through the last three measures of this verse variant, of expectation that is ultimately fulfilled with the arrival of the refrain.

As we alluded up top, this refrain is unusual many respects. For starters, it is ten measures in length and breaks down into a number of rhetorically short phrases of varying lengths which lend a free-verse feel to the music that is very typical of John Lennon even in this relatively early period: You're giving me the same old line/I'm wondering why You hurt me then/you're back again No, no, no, not a second/time (2 + 2) (1 + 1) (2 + 2)

Note, by the way, the powerful effect here which stems from the fact that the only one of the little phrases which begins emphatically on a downbeat is the one beginning with “No”. Harmonically, we find a vague restlessness in the chord progression of this section. For one thing, not all the chords are articulated clearly by the fuzzy texture of the arrangement; e.g., is the chord in the third measure below G Major with an added sixth of e in the melody, or an e minor chord in its so-called first inversion with the note G in the bass line? And for another thing, the bass line snakes around (especially in the second half) in a way which further blunts the sense of clear root chord movement:

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e ??? chord: |a bass: A G: ii |b B iii ??? vi |G G I |e E vi |a A ii |f# dim|b A B vii iii |f# dim|e A E vii vi ||

In fact, I believe that the bass line movement in measures 5 - 8 is one of the critical elements in setting up the sense of "deception" when the e minor chord appears in place of G Major in measure 9. Even if you don't explicitly "listen" to the bass line during the song or read music, I still think that you expect the bass line to move scale-wise to a chord on G, rather than take the plunge to e at that point. Curiously, no V chord is used in this refrain. Instead we have the diminished chord on vii, which is not only a very reasonable surrogate for the V of the Major key, but is also one of those chords which enharmonically can also be substituted as the V of the relative minor. In other words, those diminished triads in measures 6 and 8 might be either the vii of G or e depending on how they're “spelled”, and it is this ambiguity which helps smooth over the deceptive cadence and makes it the more believable when it happens. Outro The outro consists of an harmonic vamping on the I-vi progression with the vocal part being a medley being built out of pentatonic fragments of what had been the tune of the verse sections. In terms of what I've described above as “programatic significance”, this repeated alternation of I-vi into the fadeout would seem to just about sum up the underlying mood of the song. As a break from the straight double tracking heard in the rest of the song, there is a small spot during the outro where John's second part is cascaded against the primary track. One can only guess whether this is an accidental glitch or an intentional special effect. Perhaps it serendipitously started out as the former, and they decided to keep it as the latter once they heard what it sounded like; just maybe.

Some Final Thoughts
The story of a love/hate relationship in which someone is trapped between their rational side which says “go” while their weaker heart cries “stay anyway, or at least for now” is surely one of the standard pop-song plotlines of all times. But whereas the songs by other artists which come to mind (e.g. “You Really Got A Hold On Me” or “You Keep Me Hanging On” just to name a pair off the top of the head) seem to place the dialectic tension of the situation right on center stage of the lyrics, it is quite striking to note the extent to which John would be capable of trying to hide the waveringly weaker side of the story behind an apparently straight-faced and tough-minded lyrical exterior as he does here. Even more striking is the unexpected way in which this sort of ironical use of musical subtext shows up later in his non love songs. You'll likely have to wait a couple of years or so for it at the rate at which I'm making progress with the series, but some day when we get to a detailed Note on it, you may surprised to discover how the same Major/minor musical card trick is tucked beneath the otherwise arch-blase and disaffected lyrics of no less an epochal song than “A Day In The Life.” Same exact chords and keys, no more, and certainly no less.
“Eh, Mister, are you nursing a broken heart, then?” 120891#41

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The Cover Songs Appearing On The With The Beatles Album
General Points Of Interest
Both the Please Please Me and With The Beatles albums contain six cover songs and eight originals. While there are some parallels between the covers on both albums, there are equally interesting differences as well. The parallels: Both sets of covers contain examples of types of material that the group could or at least would not write for themselves at this stage of their career. The connections between “Taste of Honey” versus “Till There Was You” (soppy love ballads), “Boys” versus “Roll Over Beethoven” (jumping little records with every section a 12-bar blues frame), “Anna” versus “You Really Got A Hold On Me” (heavy soulful ballads), and “Twist and Shout” versus “Money” (raving screamers) are fairly obvious. Given the decidedly male image of the group, both sets of covers contain a surprisingly strong showing of material first popularized by so-called Girl Groups; three out of six on the first album, and two out of six on the second. Although The Boys would seem in some respects to rather slavishly copy the original versions of the songs in both sets of covers, they almost always, by the same token, appear to include their own subtle stylistic touches. This appears with increasing liberty on the second album, where for example three of the covers whose originals feature a fadeout ending are given a complete one by the Beatles. The differences: Overall, the set of covers on With The Beatles is more heavily weighted toward driving R&B. Either that or perhaps it is in sympathetic vibration, as it were, with the heavier set of originals on this album that one hears the covers this way. Though a highly subjective call, I dare say that With The Beatles packs a harder punch as an album than does Please Please Me partly because of the type of covers it contains. Less subjective is the fact that the With The Beatles covers represent, in part, an older layer of the Beatles repertoire than the ones on Please Please Me. Of the six covers on With The Beatles two (“Till There Was You” and “Money”) go back at least as far as the Decca audition, and “Roll Over Beethoven” goes back even further. According to Lewisohn, there was even a time when the proto-Beatles played “Roll Over Beethoven” with John singing lead! The Please Please Me covers, in contrast, were mostly recent hits at the time the Beatles recorded them; only “Baby It's You” predates the 1962 season which immediately preceded the recording of Please Please Me.

Till There Was You
Key: F Major Meter: 4/4 Form: Intro – Verse – Verse – Bridge – Verse – Verse (guitar solo) – Bridge – Verse – Outro (complete ending) Composer: Willson Influential Version: Peggy Lee (1961) The Beatles acoustic arrangement with its Latin beat and bongos is certainly a far cry from the smoothly flowing schmaltz of the original version heard in The Music Man Broadway show. Perhaps this bouncier treatment was

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inspired by Peggy Lee (unfortunately this is the one original cover version I did not have on hand for this article), or perhaps, they took their own cue for it from the likes of “P.S. I Love You” and “Ask Me Why”. A couple of details betray the Beatles own fingerprints; e.g. the flat VI chord (D flat Major) in the coda and the final F Major chord with the added Major 7th are definitely not part of the original. Despite this, the musical essence of this song, with its chromatic winding that pervades both vocal melody and bass line (and which indirectly affects the choice and progression of chords) is something quite off the Beatles track. No matter how much you think he deserves to be ragged on for playing it apparently from such rote practice, George's acoustic solo work on this track is tastefully conceived and executed with great nuance. Granted, it's simultaneously both impressive and depressing to hear the identical solo, note for note just about, on the Decca tape.

Please Mister Postman
Key: A Major Meter: 4/4 Form: Intro – Refrain – Verse – Verse – Refrain – Verse – Refrain – Refrain – Refrain (fadeout) Composers: Dobbin/Garrett/Garman/Brianbert Influential Version: The Marvelletes (1961) Every section of this song is based on the same I -> vi -> IV -> V chord progression, one of the most popular cliches of early Rock and Roll, yet one which for some reason the Beatles generally eschewed. The monotony of the harmonic plan tends to blur somewhat the distinction between what is “refrain” and “verse”, but it should be noted how the former utilizes dramatic antiphonal counterpoint between the backing and lead vocals, while the latter features the lead up front with the backers softly “oooh-ing.” One of the other covers here features similarly conspicuous antiphony (see “Devil In Her Heart”) and this sort of device would eventually become a major trademark of the Beatles original work; think of the likes of “You Can't Do That” and “You're Going To Lose That Girl.” In “Postman” the vocal antiphony starts, bang!, right in the intro, and I for one can't avoid hearing a direct resonance between those opening shouts of “Wait!” and the Boys own “Help!” John is double tracked while the Marvellete's lead is not. Otherwise the arrangement of both versions is essentially the same, allowing of course for the large change of key required to accommodate the different vocal ranges of the two groups. Incidentally, you'll find that there is some confusion over the authorship of this song if you compare various sources. Current CD pressings of With The Beatles credit the team listed above. However, the older LP copies of the Second Album list just “Holland” and this is supported by the Parlophone company-memo originally defining the running order for With The Beatles as reproduced in Lewisohn's Recording Sessions. Note though that Lewisohn's Live book lists it as “Holland/Bateman/Gordy.” Does anybody out there know what I sense must be an interesting story behind this?

Roll Over Beethoven
Key: Meter: Form: D Major 4/4 Intro – Verse/Refrain (3 times) – Bridge – Guitar Solo – Verse/Refrain (two times) – Refrain (complete ending) Composer: Berry Influential Version: Chuck Berry (1956)

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As with many other, if not quite literally all, of Chuck Berry's songs, every section of this one is in the 12-bar blues form – eight of them all in a row! I only call the fourth section a bridge (“Well if you feel it”) because of the subtle change in the melody and backbeat. There's a minor variation here on the standard blues formula in the way that the chord progression of the last four measures of the 12-bar pattern is played as IV->V->I instead of V->IV->I. This is actually much easier to hear on the Beatles version than the original, though I believe they both play it the same way. Formalistically, each 12-bar section is internally sub-divided so that the first eight measures provide verse-like exposition, and the final four measures deliver a refrain-like hook. Note how the text of the hook/refrain itself is varied from section to section. Also, note the subtle way in which formal plan here contrasts from of that of “Money” below. The lyric is wordy to an extreme bordering on the “talkin' blues” style, and is quite wryly irreverent. Seen in this perspective, Chuck's performance scans the words against the beat more freely than does George, in a way that anticipates the style of Dylan in some respects. The original features a drumming style that is less splashy than the Beatles cover while the Beatles double track the lead vocal and add their hand-claps to the rhythm track. But these are small details and otherwise, the Beatles just about rip the whole thing off from Chuck right down to the opening riff and “middle twelve” break.

You Really Got A Hold On Me
Key: Meter: Form: A Major 4/4 Intro – Verse – Refrain – Verse – Refrain – Closing – Bridge/Re-Intro – Verse – Refrain – Closing – Refrain – Outro (complete ending) Composer: Robinson Influential Version: (Smokey Robinson and) The Miracles (1962) There's an unusually complex form at play in this song; note, that I define my terms used above as follows: Verse: “I don't like you ...” Refrain: “You really got a hold on me ...” Closing: “I love you and all I want you do ...” Bridge/Re-intro: instrumental followed by “Tighter!” The vocal arrangement is equally complex with the relationship between the lead and backers frequently alternating between trio, solo, and some antiphonal singing. Harmonically, the song features an emphasis on the I- vi progression that is rather Beatles-like in an coincidentally ironic way. Smokey does it in the higher key of C with (just like Chuck) a different scanning of the words. The original arrangement also features saxes and notably, a fadeout ending. John has the good sense here to sing it single tracked, but while his performance has an obvious intensely raw sincerity to it, Smokey's own smoothness is rather hard to beat.

Devil In Her Heart
Key: G Major Meter: 4/4 Form: Intro – Refrain/Verse (three times) – Refrain – Outro (complete ending) Composer: Drapkin Influential Version: The Donays (1962)

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The lyrics and arrangement of this song present an argument between the backers who warn the lead of his lover's cruel dishonesty, and the lead who point-by-point protests their sad prophecies as false and refuses to be swayed by their counsel; it's a regular little Greek Chorus Drama in miniature. The form of the song though is surprisingly flat in spite of the dramatic scenario, with a mechanical succession of Refrain and Verse pairs. Defining my terms again: Refrain: “She's got a devil in her heart ...” – I'll still peg these sections as refrains in spite of the fact that the lyrics which follow the hook line keep changing in each reiteration. Verse: “He'll never hurt me or desert me ...” Both formal sections of the song have a convergent harmonic shape, which is unusual. The refrains start off with ii->V->I (shades of :Don't Let Me Down”) and the verses start off with the IV->iv->I (Major IV to minor iv) cliche. The transfer of this song from a female to male group obviously necessitated changing the words a bit as well as a transposition of key (the Donay's did it in E.) The original has a large-ish sounding band behind it and a fadeout ending. The Beatles include maracas, and not only make the ending a complete one, but adorn it with one of their beloved Major ninth/seventh chords on I.

Key: Meter: Form: E Major 4/4 Intro – Verse/Refrain (three times) – Break – Verse/Refrain – Refrain – One Last Refrain (complete ending) Composer: Bradford/Gordy Influential Version: Barret Strong (1959) This is yet another song in which (virtually) every section is in 12-bar blues form, but it bears an interesting comparison with “Roll Over Beethoven”. Here, the 12-bar frame is divided so that only four measures are verselike exposition with the remaining eight devoted to a raving refrain. The proportions in ROB are a reversed eightto-four. And the difference is more than just a mathematical curiosity to the extent that the longer refrain section in “Money” is as much a factor in making it a screamer of a song as is the performance of the lead singer. If you're looking for other examples with which to test this theory, look back to the first album where you find the verse of “Chains” which corresponds to the “Roll Over Beethoven” 8+4 pattern as well as “Boys” which matches the 4+8 pattern of “Money.” One additional parallel between “Money” and “Roll Over Beethoven” is the way they both have final sections in which the hook-phrase takes over the lyrics completely. The Beatles cover presents the intro and solo as an eight-measure compression of the 12-bar frame. The original keeps both those sections at the full twelve bar count. Note however that the original has only two instead of three verse/refrain pairs before the break. The vocal line of this is very bluesy with lots of juxtaposed Major/minor thirds and flat 7ths and the arrangement yet again features a large amount of antiphonal singing. The Beatles throw a hard edged piano in the mix and of course John's blistering vocal now single tracked. The use of the E Major key nicely supports Tony Barrow's suggestion that you can flip the disk over for a second play from the beginning since the first track, “It Won't Be Long”, is also in E. The selection of this particularly raving number for the final track of the album and the modification of it to include a big-finish complete ending sounds to me like they were striving hard to repeat the immense success of “Twist And Shout” on the first album, and I'd dare say they come pretty darn close. If you want to get picky here, perhaps you might deduct a few points either because the spin-off of the earlier “Twist And Shout” triumph is a bit too obvious or because the message of the lyrics is kind of crass and rough, for all its tongue-in-cheek

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posturing, in a way which doesn't entirely become the image of the group at this point with their collarless suits and little boots. If I don't watch it, though, I'm going to starting sound too much like Eppie.
“Have you no natural resources of your own?” 121791#42

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I Want To Hold Your Hand

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This Boy
Key: Meter: Form: D Major 4/4 Intro – Verse – Verse – Bridge – Verse – Outro (fadeout)

General Points Of Interest
Style and Form
“This Boy”, with its tight three-part harmonies, jumping triplet rhythm, cliche chord progression, and climactic bridge section for the vocal soloist, is a stylized update of the late 50's genre sometimes described as “the slow wall climber.” The form is short, partly because of the slow tempo, but more importantly because the intense nature of the bridge argues against a repeat of that section. Although the final verse or two of the typical Beatles song tends to repeat the lyrics from one of the earlier verses, every verse of This One contains different words. The lyrics also feature “this/that” wordplay throughout.

The chord progression "I->vi->ii->V" permeates the verse sections. It is remarkably similar to the "I-vi-IV-V" cliche we saw in “Please Mister Postman”. However, the use of ii here places the last three chords along the circle of fifths and on a very subtle level (try comparing the two of them, yourself) this gives the overall progression a feeling of gentle inevitability that is missing when IV is used in its place. The prevalence of appoggiaturas in the vocal parts makes almost every chord in the song into seventh or a ninth chord, many of which are resolved though by the time they do so, it's often already the next chord. A good example of this appears at the end of the verse on the word “again”. The top vocal part there pits a b -> a appogiatura above the D chord, except that by the time the b resolves down to the a, the harmony has already moved on to a b minor chord which now puts the same note 'a' which would have been a consonant note in relation to the D chord into the unexpected position of being a 7th on top of the b chord. This particular style of dissonance treatment conjures an aesthetic of romantic yearning, and in the realm of classical music is one of the hallmarks of such mid-late 19th century composers such as Wagner, Brahms et al. Though the bridge does not make a firm modulation, it does in fact drift away from the home key just far enough to allow for a big build up on V and a pleasant sense of return at the end of it.

Along with “Yes It Is” and the much later “Because”, this is one of the Beatles most ambitious forays into sustained three-part harmony. One of my favorite video clips of the group is from their February '64 concert at the Coliseum in Washington DC at which, forced by a combination of the primitive audio equipment of those days and the pandemonium of the crowd, they perform "This Boy" with the three of them huddled uncomfortably close around a single microphone in order be able to hear themselves. Unusual here is the manner in which the combination of the following factors creates the not-unpleasant effect of obscuring the actual tune: the close placement of the three vocal parts in relation to each other, the relative lack of melodic individuality among the three parts, and the assignment of John (who sings what is ostensibly the main melody) to the bottom part. This also makes John's finally soaring clearly above the range of the others in the bridge section seem all the more spectacular.

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Section By Section Walkthrough
The intro opens with three unaccompanied guitar chords, the first of which actually marks the middle of a measure, followed by an instrumental ensemble performance of our cliche chord progression. The section is an asymmetrical five and a half measures long, as though the first three chords were merely an elongated pickup to a four-measure-long intro-proper.

The verse is sixteen measures long. The backing part is built out of essentially four ostinato-like repeats of what I've dubbed the cliche progression:
|D I |b vi |e ii |A V |


Note though, that the vocal parts actually make up three phrases which are not only unequal in length, but start in a different place within the four-bar frame. The first phrase (“That boy took my love away”) begins right on the downbeat of measure 1. The second phrase (“Though he'll regret it...”) begins its long anacrusis in the midst of measure 7. The third phrase (“But this boy...”) has a small pickup on the word “but”, however the emphasis on the word “this” gives it the feeling of starting squarely on the downbeat of measure 11 and it ends early enough to leave measures 15 and 16 as though they were between-verse filler. Note too how the backing rhythm is momentarily silenced to good effect at the beginning of this last phrase. The way that they manage to feature the D Major 7 in the vocal arrangement at the beginning of the first three 4-measure phrases even though the melodic context is different each time is quite ingenious. To the extent that this motif reappears in the outro, you might say that its the hook of the piece. The last four measures of the second verse, which happens to directly precede the bridge, are modified so that instead of the usual chord progression we find the D Major 'I' chord sustained throughout, and actually modified to D7 so that its potential secondary function as the V-of-IV is brought into play by the end of the phrase.

The bridge is also sixteen measures long but is internally designed to contrast with the verse on a number of levels, not the least important of which are its division into two neat phrases of equal length and the sudden slowing of the harmonic rhythm to only one chord change every two measures:
|G IV ||F# |V-of-vi |b vi ||D |V-of-IV |




|E |V-of-V

|A V





The slowing of the rate of harmonic change is made ironic by the increased sense of restlessness in the sequence of chords. Note in this section the high quotient of chromatic harmony (i.e. chords not diatonically indigenous to the home key, such as 'V-of ...' chords) in spite of the fact that we never actually leave the home key. In terms of

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word painting, I hear this gambit as illustrative of a lad who is desperately pulling out all the stops, using all the tricks he has at his disposal, ultimately to prove a relatively simple point regarding the constancy of his love. The other obvious contrast is in the vocal arrangement of this bridge, with double-tracked John stepping in front of the backing chorus, as it were, for his big solo. Lewisohn tantalizes us with the disclosure that early takes in the studio actually featured a guitar solo here instead! As in the verses, the perpetual backing rhythm is briefly halted during the final two measures of this section to great dramatic effect. Right between the very last beat of the bridge and the final verse is an obvious, ugly splice. Granted, it doesn't go “click”, but this is still further proof (as if you needed it) that not too many people involved at the time could have been thinking that people would listen this closely this long after the fact.

The outro merely presents the opening hook phrase looped in alternation with a little counter melody played by the lead guitar. The latter is the only place in the song where this much prominence is given to the lead guitar and I wonder if this is partially a vestige of the bridge solo abandoned earlier.

A Final Thought
The lyrical concordance of the Beatles' songs titled “Things We Said Today” (edited by Campbell and Murphy) has "This Boy" subtitled as “Ringo's Theme”, which is news to me. I'll take it on faith that this correctly reflects how the song was published. But I will ask if anyone out there can answer whether the alternate title was supplied before or after the making of A Hard Days Night. The fact that an instrumental version of “This Boy” is used in the film as accompaniment to the long scene in which the sad and lonely one goes paradin' about town seems like just too much of a coincidence to ignore. But on the other hand, I've got just the shadow of a doubt that perhaps the movie scene was inspired by the song rather than the other way around ... just kidding.
“Well, that's lovely talk, that is. And another thing, why aren't you at school ?” 123091#44

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Can't Buy Me Love
Key: Meter: Form: C Major 4/4 Intro – Verse – Verse – Refrain – Verse – Verse (guitar solo) – Refrain – Verse – Outro (complete ending)

General Points Of Interest
Style and Form
We have here a very standard long form with two refrain-like bridges separated by two verse sections, one of which contains a guitar solo. However the combination within the same song of a verse section so traditionally bluesy with a refrain/intro/outro that is equally so non bluesy is far from routine and makes this number truly ground-breaking in its own quiet way.

Harmony and Melody
The verse section uses only the standard three chords of the 12-bar blues form: I, IV and V (C, F, and G Major respectively). Its melody strictly uses flat thirds and sevenths (notes E- and B-flat) and this makes for similarly traditional-blues cross-relations with the E- and B-naturals of the chords below it. By contrast, the intro/outro heavily uses the iii and vi chords (e and a minor), and its melody strictly employs the diatonic third of E-natural, both of which connote something other than straight-up blues. Yet, the real kicker comes in the refrain where these two modally different worlds of the verse and intro/outro are starkly contrasted directly with each other in alternation.

The melodic line plays off a virtually continual stream of syncopation against the steady four-in-the-bar jazz beat of the accompaniment. The sharp angularity of this is somewhat softened by the effect of Paul's solo vocal being double-tracked from end to end. George's guitar solo makes an uncanny first impression of genuinely smooth improvisation, but hearing the series of broadcast and live performances of this song will convince you that it was, alas, practiced by rote before hand. The use of sizzling cymbals everywhere in the song except the intro and outro is a typical Beatles example of texture used for purposes of formal articulation.

Section By Section Walkthrough
We've seen quite a number of early Beatles songs with 'in medias res' of openings (e.g. “All My Loving” and “She Loves You” among others) but this one is one of the most audacious, with the true identity of the home key not becoming clear until close to the end of the intro. The section is an unusual six measures long. Under more tritely ordinary circumstances it would actually be a full eight measures (try tacking two measures of C Major onto the end of it before starting the verse – in fact this is exactly what happens in the outro) but, again in somewhat of a trademark move of theirs, this intro is elided with (or interrupted by) the beginning of the verse:

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Melody: Chords: C:

CEG|G |e |a iii

|E |e vi

|G |a

|E |d iii

CEG|G |G vi

|E ||C ii V

||(verse) I

Paradoxically, the primary melodic notes outline the C Major home-key triad almost as slavishly as might a bugle call, while in contrast, all the chords up until the G in measure 6 are all minor. Also note how the melodic logic of the triadic outline lets you readily accept those jazzy but otherwise gratuitously dissonant 11th and 13th chords on d and G respectively.

The verse sections are all strict 12-bar blues frames. The one slightly unusual detail is in the re-appearance of the I chord being delayed until the final measure instead of coming back, as is more typical, in m. 11:
m. 1 |C I





m. 5 |F IV


|C I



m. 9 |G V



|C I


In addition to the blue-note cross relations (e.g. the melodic E-flat against the E-natural of the C Major chord in m. 1), there are several appoggiaturas which spice up the otherwise simply chords. Examples include 'D' on the downbeat of m. 2 and 6, the G on the downbeat of m. 5 and 1. The halting of the ensemble for an instant right after the downbeat of m. 10 (as in “I don't care too [BrrrUMP!] much for money”) is crisply executed, and a great example of the sometimes eloquent power of silence; the better to listen to your heart beating.

The refrain is very similar to the intro, but is a more square eight measures long, and parses neatly into four brief 2-measure phrases. The words make a poetic 'ab-ac' pattern that is echoed by the music itself:
Melody: Chords: C: CEG|G |e |a iii |E ||C ||E-flat D|C |vi I CGE|

|G |e iii

|E |a vi

||D ||d

F |G ii

|G ||C V

||(next verse) I

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The stark interjection of those bluesy E-flats in measure three amidst the cheerier E-naturals both earlier and later in the section is perhaps the most distinctive detail of the entire song.

Guitar Solo
This is one of George's great early solos and I'd place it right up there with the one in “Till There Was You” in terms of being understatedly just right for the context. I especially like the momentary lapse into a paraphrase of the tune in measure 9. In between the preceding verse and the beginning of this section is inserted an unnecessary additional measure which serves to better highlight the commencement of the solo as well as to throw you off guard just a bit. This is sort of a reverse variation of the elision gambit.

As mentioned above, this section is identical to the intro except that it includes the additional two measures of C Major that were lopped off at the beginning by the start of the first verse.

Some Final Thoughts
The appearance of any amount of straight-blues in a Beatles original is noteworthy in and of itself. A recurring theme in our studies has been John & Paul's predeliction for bluesy cover material, going back all the way to the Quarrymen era, made ironic by the virtual dearth of such material in their canonical songbook; you'll find that the number of 12 bar Beatles originals can be counted one less than the fingers of two hands. In this light the timing of “Can’t Buy Me Love” shouldn't seem a total surprise, given both that its B-side, “You Can't Do That”, coincidentally happens to also be largely 12-bar in form, and that the next recording released in England would be the Long Tall Sally EP, a four-song collection three quarters of which is covers of 12-bar hits made famous by blues-meisters Richard, Williams, and Perkins. What's much more significant though about “Can’t Buy Me Love”is how, in context of early '64, it points to the future at least as much as “I Want To Hold Your Hand” sums up the past. “Can’t Buy Me Love” contains in its music a fusion of loosely related styles, and in its lyrics, the transmutation from platitude to poetry of a certain commonplace re: love and money; both of which innovations subtly prophecy particularly fertile trends of Beatles experimentalism to come years hence. As with many things in life and love, I've often found it rather awesome and uncanny to look back later and discover just how early were sown the seeds of some great harvest.
“Sorry if we hurt your field, Mister.” 010592#45

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You Can't Do That
Key: Meter: Form: G Major 4/4 Intro – Verse – Verse – Bridge – Verse – Verse (guitar solo) – Bridge – Verse – Outro (with complete ending)

General Points Of Interest
Style and Form
Generally speaking, “You Can't Do That” foreshadows a heavier, harder-rocking sound for the group that would infiltrate an increasingly large portion of their repertoire over the next couple or three albums. Call it the dawn of the Later Early Period. It also bears a close comparison to its companion A-side, “Can’t Buy Me Love”. Both have the same form although the bridge of this one is closer to a true bridge than the refrain-like one we saw last time. Both songs also display a split stylistic personality by utilizing relatively straight blues in the verse but not at all in the bridge. The split in “You Can't Do That” runs even deeper to the extent that the verse itself is not the “pure” 12-bar blues variety seen in “Can’t Buy Me Love”, but rather features other elements thrown into the mix.

Harmony and Melody
The G Major home key would seem like a clue to the new direction in this area, away from the erstwhile favorite choice of E Major on the first two albums, as evidenced by the four songs in G on the A Hard Day's Night album; in addition this one you have “I Should Have Known Better”, “I'll Cry Instead”, and of course, the title cut. The melody of the song is quite jumpy throughout, both in terms of rhythmic syncopations and intervallic leaps. The bluesy verse uses the flat seventh scale degree (F-natural) with a traditional consistency that makes for some bracingly dissonant collisions with the F-sharp contained in the D Major chord (as in "I told you before"), but both flavors of the third (scale) degree are used (B-flat and B-natural) and this lends a colorful bi-modal tang. The single most dissonant moments in the song come from the clash of F-naturals (the flat seventh degree) in the voice part against C Major chords in the accompaniment; viz. two places in every verse – on the word “you” in the phrase “and leave you flat”, and at the very climax, on the word “Oh!” in the phrase “Oh!, you can't do that.” The bridge makes an harmonic break with the I-IV-V blues diet of the verses by introducing additional chords and flirting briefly with a modulation toward the key of the relative minor, e. Unusually, both Major and minor flavors of the B chord appear in this section.

An ostinato figure characterized by vacillation between the Major/minor melodic third appears as a unifying device throughout much of the intro, outro, and verses; at least wherever the G Major chord is sustained for long. The intimate direct-address of the lyrics is galvinizingly enhanced by the single-tracking of John's lead vocal, in which, if you listen for it specifically you'll note, he uses an astonishing number of varied shadings of tone. By the same token, the backing vocal part for Paul and George, with its subtext of “whatever John says goes double for us!”, runs at cross-currents to the direct-address of the lead, even while it reflects and amplifies upon the choppy angularity of the melody and the rhythm track. This is a stylistic trademark that would reappear later in songs like “Help!” and “You're Going To Lose That Girl”. At this early date, the contrast of its effect in “You Can’t Do That” with the softening/smoothing-over effect in “Can’t Buy Me Love”of Paul's being double-tracked with no backing vocal part is instructive.

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By virtue of the earlier mentioned jumpiness. In the last phrase of each verse. and the entry of the bass and percussion delayed until the third measure. Bridge Just as we saw in “Can’t Buy Me Love”. 'one' ) of the next measure helps clarify to your ear what has happened.A ruthless syncopation on the eighth note which precedes the downbeat provides a rhythmic hook for the song. where the downbeat that follows this same 'four-AND' syncopation (on the word “Woah-AHH!”) is left to the imagination. Page 196 . the bridge here again breaks the strict mold of the blues. Verse Harmonically. Contrast this to the raving opening of “When I Get Home”.like zooming into the G chord from the F# below.”) is ultimately motivated by rhythm and chord progression. In an outtake of one of their very early songs. Ringo beats out in even eighth notes the beats of ‘and-four-AND.. there is also no overall arch or other clearly directed shape to the tune. Section By Section Walkthrough Intro The intro is for instruments only.building use of a single chord which happens to continue well into the verse that follows.e. At the very least. Both the suspense. but the content and phrasing belies this a right after the phrase “because I told you before”. The melody is composed straight through with little or no obvious parallelism among the phrases. the Beatles would make the understandably inexperienced mistake of starting such vocals right in the first verse. as well as the inclusion of the unusual choice of cowbell and bongos in the rhythm section. The notion of a layered arrangement is carried forward in the very typical way in which the backing vocals first start in the second verse. rather than melodic contour. Lewisohn reports the debut appearance on this track of what would become George's familiar 12-string guitar sound of the period. the melody in this section eschews all blue notes in favor of a strict diet of the Major third (B-natural) and the Major seventh (F-sharp).’ John sings the syncopated cry of “Oh!” on what I marked as ‘AND'’ but Ringo's playing out the downbeat (i. but it is also picked up by the way the rest of the ensemble enters in measure 3 with a vacuum cleaner. The former move to the V chord (D) in their last measure. but even at that stage. Consequently. In this song.. A small change in harmonic floor-plan differentiates the verses which lead to other verses from those which lead to a bridge. the climax of this section (“because I told you before . the verse is a classic twelve-bar blues frame. they were smart enough (or else had someone of greater wisdom who could advise them) to alter their strategy for the official release. the syncopations are all the more wrenching because of the way that the drums painstakingly mark the spot where they take place.” The 'four-AND' syncopation is pervasive right off the bat. The one exception here is in the way the first four measures subdivide into a little couplet (“I got something to say that might cause you pain/If I catch you talking to that boy again”). and the staggered entry of the instruments anticipate the likes of “Ticket To Ride” and “Day Tripper. We characterized this particular choice of syncopation as “swingingly passionate” way back in the note on “I Should Have Known Better” (which by ironic coincidence turns out to have been recorded the same day as “You Can’t Do That”). My ears also hear an electric piano (or perhaps organ) doubling the ostinato figure in the opening. providing four measures of just the 'I' chord with the ostinato figure as a constant. “Do You Want To Know A Secret”. Not only is it inherent in the ostinato figure. while the latter sustain the old I chord. and this rhythmic figure turns out to appear on other tracks of the A Hard Day’s Night album as well.

rambles off onto a tangent (“And while I'm at it. the “book” would prescribe the V (D) in place of the iii. and the solo closes in the same disjointed mode in which it began. In some spots. but John's growling gesture at the beginning of this one goes beyond mere convention. Guitar Solo The mood of general agitation. only to catch himself and get back forthwith to the immediate obsession of the moment. A certain amount of screaming at the beginning of a solo section is a Beatles tradition going all the way back to “I Saw Her Standing There”. Not only does the section start right off with the B Major chord. it's not meant to be. Some Final Thoughts You'd half expect the less-than-upbeat theme and side-B status of this one to leave it stranded in the backwaters of popularity. but alas. in complete symmetry with the song's opening. It is entered immediately following the end of the last verse with none of the more standard setup via a triple repeat of the last phrase. For just an instant. but that syncopated D# in the tune there is just about the longest sustained note in the entire song. it's difficult to tell whether we're hearing John double-tracked here or just him and George or Paul singing together in unison. as well as the interjections of the backing vocalists. or at best anti-textbook. and can likely be felt in the pit of your stomach long after you might expect to have become used to it from repeated listenings. although here at the end the bass guitar is included.!”). are continued straight into the solo. It consists of only two measures of the familiar ostinato figure scored. but it actually is both a great and favorite song of its period. it almost sounds as though the fragmentary riffs might be ready to coalesce into some kind of longer line. we have an intriguing fake modulation to the key of e minor: |B e: V |e i |a b iv G:ii iii |G VI I | |B e: V |e vi |a iv G:ii |b iii D V | Though tentative and short-lived. now used for italic-like emphasis instead of the antiphonal counterpoint heard in the verses. . the backing voices are also handled different in this section. In the spirit of bridge-ly contrast. the music turns tail just as quickly back to the home key by the somewhat awkward. Additionally.More substantively. root progression of ii-iii-I. Despite this.. This scrambling back to the home key so quickly after such a brief excursion connotes for me the image of someone who in full rant. The lingering on the penultimate F# right at the end is a teasing surprise.. without drums. Outro The outro is both abrupt and brief. another thing. the first of which is harmonically closed off while the second one ends wide open in order to set up the following verse. where choppy chords and tremolo bent notes prevail over any attempt at an outspun melody. around measure 9 of this section just as the chords change to V (D). the move toward e is immediate and impetuous. we have here an eight measure section that subdivides into two roughly parallel phrases equal in length. Page 197 .

“it's a sin” (???).” 011392#46 Page 198 . Our hero.g. But even while it may not be pretty or noble. the other guy may truly be just a platonic friend and the whole thing just some over-reaction borne of terrific insecurity. even if only during a small young lapse into pimply hyperbole. this song rings unnervingly true. you've got to admit you've upset a lot of people. no mention of any preexisting feelings. Either they're “gree-en” with envy at his success. tense.It's tough. and there-in likely lies its popularity. Erich (“The Art of Loving”) Fromm would not have been impressed. “cause you pain” (?). seems rather immaturely preoccupied with what some nameless others (“everybody”) must think of his relative prowess in the lovemaking department. for all we know. and jumping out of its skin with an offbeat attitude and a matching list of colloquial phrases rarely heard if ever. I think that for anyone who has ever experienced the feelings described here. “leave you flat” (??). in a pop song of the time. There's no talk admission here of his feeling hurt by the actual loss of the girl's love. after all. or else they “laugh in (his) face” when he fails. What a shame they cut it from the film! “Well. e.

it too sounds like a change yet again! This is possibly the first time we've seen this trick in a Beatles song. with chords tending to change only once every other measure. Similarly. something I don't believe we've seen before now in a Beatles song. it's not as strictly pentatonic as. and many later songs such as “Good Morning Good Morning”. During the solo section. including two bridges that are separated by two verse sections. and the much later “Birthday. we've seem time and time again in our studies.” Although the harmonic rhythm is quite relaxed throughout most of “I Call Your Name”.I Call Your Name Key: Meter: Form: E Major 4/4 Intro – Verse – Verse (variant) – Bridge – Verse (variant) – Verse (variant) for guitar solo – Bridge – Verse (variant) – Outro (fadeout) General Points Of Interest Style and Form The style of this one is not easily pigeon-holed. By the same token though. “We Can Work It Out”. since the 7th scale degree (D#) is used liberally within the tune. or even jazz. say. the remaining verses. note the E->G#->B-C# hook phrase (on the words "but you're not there. we've seen it before in “PS I Love You”. The length of each verse is quite short and this makes the first pair of them sound almost as though they comprise one longer couplet-like section. one of which is an instrumental. “Yer Blues” and “Happiness Is A Warm Gun”. Harmony The song is in the key of E Major with the exception of the intro section which contains blue hints of the parallel minor of e. “All I've Got To Do”. In order of appearance these are: • • • The V-of-V-of-V (C# Major). restless motion even in absence of a clear modulation of key. somewhat bluesy in flavor. Though only seven different chords are used throughout. "It Won't Be Long"." Overall. By the way. The V-of-V (F# Major). but not at all in form. sound a bit unnaturally truncated. A slight variant of the initial verse is used for all verse sections except the first one. though in the future it would become one of John's own trademarks. the 4th – A) is carefully avoided. The flat-VI (C Major). the backbeat is modified even while the tempo is kept constant.e. all built on the variant. viz. three of them (almost half the budget) are altered or borrowed ones. sometimes jokingly referred to as the “Peggy Sue” chord. The form is full. not occurring naturally in the home key. we observed an analogous harmonic scenario to this one in “Hold Me Tight” although the implementation details there were very different. more like pop. the other non-pentatonic scale degree (i. which on the contrary. the frequent use of the three non-diatonic chords listed above create a sense of continual. than the predominantly harder rock songs which chronologically surround it. Arrangement Page 199 . “Girl”. When the original beat returns after this break. Melody The tune has an underlying pentatonic flavor.

as well as the deceptive way in which the nature of the opening guitar lick (with its G and D naturals) misleads you into thinking the song is going to be more bluesy than it actually is: |F# |B E: V-of-V |E V |B I | V Verse The initial verse consists is eight measures long and it parses into four short phrases equal in length. check out “but just the same” in the last verse. and it too parses into four short phrases of two measures. but in the second half both the choice of chords and the pace at which they change is modified to help articulate a sense of closure: |E I ||C# ||F# V-of-(V-of-V) |A |E V-of-V IV |I || E: The final cadence here is made via the IV chord instead of the more standard V. Paul's shift from bass line work that is primarily root-note oriented to a stepwise walking pattern. John's double-tracked solo is the only vocal part. This is especially noticeable in the second half of the song following the guitar solo. Inexplicably. the synching of the overdub is much looser than usual. Bridge The bridge is another eight-measure section. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. each: Page 200 . we saw it in our look at “Eight Days A Week”. Following the V-of-V with IV connotes a subtle sense of deferred gratification and it would become a long-favored Beatles trademark. but the effect here is enhanced by the fact that the D# is the first occurrence in the melody of a non-pentatonic scale degree. but it also shows up in the canon as late as the title track on Sgt. Harmonically it opens up wide with three dominant seventh chords in a row: |E I ||C# ||F# V-of-(V-of-V) ||B V-of-V |V || E: The appoggiatura in measure 5 of D#->C# sung in the melody over the F# chord below it would be expressive under any circumstance.The change to a jazzy ska beat in the guitar solo is the result of several factors: Ringo's shift from even eighth notes to a more limping dotted rhythm. Verse (variant) The variant starts off very much in parallel with the initial verse. in spite of the fact that the initial verse had ended on V. and of course. and this second verse happens to set up its own expectation of the V with a V-of-V chord in measure 5. George's solo itself. Section By Section Walkthrough Intro The intro provides four measures of instrumental lead-in to the first verse. It is unusual both for its harmonic start away from the home key.

the I-IV chord progression. Perhaps this is bound up in the fact that it was written with the a priori intention of being given away to Billy J. A Final Thought The lyrical theme is angst-ridden to an extent that is consonant on some level with other trends in the rest of the group's music at this point in time and yet the song seems a little detached albeit not insincere.” 012092#47 Page 201 . or maybe I've just been spoiled over the years by the image of the later cover by the Mamas and Pappas. A sense of climax is provided by the manner in which the open ending on V is set up by the flat-VI chord and the fact that the melody of this section peaks out at an ever so slightly higher pitch than do the verses. I'll stand by my opening comment regarding the way in which the whole production of this one is stylistically anomolistic.E: |A IV |- |c# vi |- |F# |V-of-V |C (nat)|B flat VI V || Harmonically. He's bound to be somewhere. “Control yourself or you'll spurt. this section has a roving feeling of being ungrounded in any one specific key from the way in which the I chord of the home key is avoided throughout. Outro The outro is uncannily similar to the one in “Don't Bother Me” including such details as the title hook phrase. Further bridge-like contrast is found here use of an ostinato figure (similar to one heard in the verses of “Hold Me Tight”) in the lead guitar. Either that. and the usage for the first time in the song of the syncopated chord change on “fourAND”.

Yet. and what a strange lineup it is: three covers from the not-so-late 50’s and one original from John's compositional infancy! And these songs are not just old per se. rather than complicate and thereby run the risk of confusing. when you hear this lineup in the confines of the 7-inch/4-song mini-medium you can't help wonder what in blazes the group thought it was doing here. that between the Conquering of America and A Hard Day's work on the film. Now That You Know Who You Are. the one. here in the middle of 1964. as if to say “this is what we used to be like before we made it big!” But something much more interesting than mere nostalgia is going on here as well. it would seem with this EP that they were. wise guy. However. There are at least two other interpretations that can be cast upon the matter. If you want to be cynical about it you might say they were under pressure at the time for new product and simply couldn't do any better.” Furthermore. during this hottest peak of Beatlemania. but they (the covers especially) are very different in words and tone from most of what the group had heretofore delivered. The impact of this was blunted for us in the States by the way these four tracks were split up by Capitol between the Second and Something New LPs. but I'd argue that in terms of vocal rendition and lyrical content. Moonlight” and “Act Naturally. but in context of With The Beatles. the collarless suits and ankle boots. Granted. Cover songs would play a steadily diminishing role in their repertoire from this point onward. this notion of forward development Page 202 . It's as though. they had momentarily shot their wad and it was surely tempting enough to move out old inventory on the assumption that.The Long Tall Sally EP General Points Of Interest What Goes On? With the exception of the much later “Magical Mystery Tour”. this was the only one of the British EPs to contain unique material. what was rapidly evolving as a uniquely indigenous and identifiable sound. which had not yet been released. What Do You Want to Be? If nothing else. we saw a trend toward covering oldies back on With The Beatles. no one would even notice. In this sense. and borrowing/affecting/impersonating musical roles outside of the ones which were recognizably part of their image and sound during the very first wave. I believe the song selection on this EP can be viewed as the result of the Beatles self-consciously exposing their roots.” The fact that they could achieve this by dipping backwards in their repertoire for material they had been playing since the dawn of the 60s only goes to make it the more ironic. at least benign. but bears some analogy to. the likes of “Till There Was You” (as a love song). I suppose that “Money” does come closer to stressing the mold. with the cover songs on this EP they were saying “Surprise! this is what we could be like if we want to be. covers were used in the early official releases to inobtrusively round out and solidify. They had been consistent from the start of the EMI relationship in carefully. But not so fast. trying to push their image beyond the envelope they themselves had established for it by branching out into new sub-genres. it was more substantive than. incrementally building a consistent musical image. and “Roll Over Beethoven” (with its trenchant wit) manage to fit in better amongst the L&M originals there than any of the three cover songs heard on this EP. As mentioned above. with almost perverse delight. but this harnessing of covers for the purpose of extending (not just rounding out!) the stylistic range of the group would continue with the likes of “Mr. the exclusive focus on oldies in this EP is intensified by the very compressed nature of the medium itself. where this whole musical and marketing gambit had culminated to a height virtually unprecedented in all of Western cultural history (and I don't say this lightly!). its impact is diluted by virtue of its being outnumbered. and thrown in there alongside generally more current and/or original material. and the other even a tad sublime.

the Long Tall Sally EP would seem to be a unique event in their recording history. while at the same time uncannily signaling what they later would do with material written entirely by themselves. At first this would appear tentatively and sporadically in the likes of “Yesterday” or “Yellow Submarine. Although I describe these specific cover songs as extending the sound and image of the group. To the extent that songs in this style often base their refrain section on the title hook phrase (again. the manner in which the lyrics of the final section degenerate into simple repetition of the hook phrase. Long Tall Sally Key: G Major Meter: 4/4 Form: Verse – Verse – Break – Verse – Break – Verse – Verse – Outro (with complete ending) Composers: Johnson/Penniman/Blackwell Influential Version: Little Richard (1956) This is a raving rock-n-roll blues number in the 4 + 8 model. The Beatles add some trademark devices to their arrangement of this song. the final ending on a dissonant I7/9 chord. the likes of which had not heretofore appeared on an official recording of the Beatles remains so astonishing by itself that one tends to overlook just how outrageous the words of this song are in context of the Beatles' act. and their near-miss attempts to keep their antics a secret from Aunt Mary are a far cry from the yearnings of teen love which were the virtually exclusive purview of the group's officially recorded output up until this point in time. I was astonished to discover that all three cover songs on this EP were performed at least once by the Beatles on the radio during 1963. where each 12-bar frame starts off with four measures of expository lyrics that is followed by an eight measure refrain like section.and diversification of the group's image via the initially impressionistic mimicry and eventually synthetic absorption of varied styles would come to its ultimate fruition in their original work of the Middle and Later periods. Well You Can Imitate Everyone You Know All three of the cover songs here are obviously in fairly straight 12-bar blues form. and in essentially the same arrangements heard on this EP. compare with “Money”). and the fact that this repetitious section is repeated a second time. compare the structure of this one to “Money”.g. Using the self-same material. though it's noteworthy that they each project a very different emotive/sub-cultural style. the vocal solo of each was given to a different member of the group. Especially dramatic is the shouted opening without intro or warning. for example. Pepper standing right next to the waxworks of themselves from around the time of this EP.” But in the long run it would be directly traceable to the chameleon-like shuffling of funny and diverse styles which so pervades the White Album and Abbey Road. e. I assume that the exclusion of these songs from official release until this relatively late date was not at all inadvertent. The best visual metaphor for this phenomenon is their appearance in costume on the cover of Sgt. and Paul's bass line which is predominantly walking throughout except for the final sections in which it changes the whole feel of the music simply by shifting to Page 203 . you'd half expect the title of this one to be “have some fun tonight”. Indeed. and appropriately. but well into the '63 season as well. his girlfriend Sally. they manage to make both the most unabashed tribute-like gesture to their past. There are other stylistic cliches here as well: the backing of the mini. the strange tale told here about philandering Uncle John. it should be noted that all three of them formed a staple part of the Beatles stage repertoire not only during the salad days of the '59-'62 period. In summary. However.verse-like opening four measures of each section with dramatic block chords that are widely separated by silence. the prominence of the piano and lead guitar parts. Paul's stylized imitation of Little Richard.

in spite of the fact that in all the live or broadcast Beatles performances of this that I checked (both those that precede or followed the official recording by as much as 6 or more months in either direction) feature the original wording restored! All I can figure here is that the reference to a bald headed woman (with or without wig hat) was thought to be just too raunchy or ethnic a reference for the typical middle-class and mainstream Beatles fan of 1964. but not until I listened carefully for the purposes of doing this article did I notice the fact that in the official Beatles version Paul changes the line about “bald headed” Sally to read “long tall”. he's got what sounds like close to a big band behind him. with the title-hook refrain kicking in on the first change to the IV chord. Slow Down Key: C Major Meter: 4/4 Form: Intro – Verse – Verse – Break – Verse (complete ending) Composer: Williams Influential Version: Larry Williams (1958) The form of this song is based on an expanded variation of the classic blues in which every section is twenty-four. His single tracked vocal is more melifluous and less shouted than John's. Specifically. And one last honest open question: I'm interested in a straw poll of whether people understand the song to speak of only one or two different women named Sally. instead of twelve measures long. rather than on-the-run and desperate. the hero of this song sound like the guy in “You Can’t Do That” except that this time he's running scared. the focus of the words themselves is on loverelated angst. a topic quite in the mainstream of the Beatles own repertoire. and his ostinato swings a bit more than it is even. and this gives the whole song a slightly different feeling. but it leisurely unfolds at half the speed. his high notes contain a higher ratio of falsetto to screech than do Paul's. The ostinato is executed in painstakingly even eighth notes that make for a nicely humming backbeat. the tune and lyrics divide the blues frame up into 4 + 8 (actually 8 + 16). evoking a hero that is more cooly calm and self-assured. this. question. Indeed.throbbingly repeated notes. nicely urged along by a pentatonic boogie-like ostinato figure. his vocal performance is more raving-yet-controlled than it is screaming. As with “Long Tall Sally”. Note how the Beatles bother to consolidate and re-order the sections so that the form more closely resembles the rest of their output: Verse (“Tell Aunt Mary”) – Verse (“Long Tall Sally”) – Verse (“Saw Uncle John”) – Break – Break – Verse (“Long Tall Sally”) – Verse (“Saw Uncle John”) – Verse (“Have some fun”) (w/complete ending) I'd heard both the original and the Beatles versions of this song countless times before. Aside from the blackboard jungle undertone which seems to be sort of Larry Williams' trademark. The Beatles arrangement is characterized by lots of piano and lead guitar. this is the most conventional of the three covers on this EP. Williams does it in a different key (D Major). or else perhaps Dick James would have been offended. All this notwithstanding. Lyrics-wise. John's overdubbed vocal diverges pitch-wise from the initial track so that he sounds as though harmonizing with himself in places. The original also follows a very different ordering of verse and break sections as follows. there are interesting differences between this and the original version. Page 204 . and you can make out the words much more clearly. and quite frankly. The infra-structure is identical to the 12-bar model. it's hard to know if this was intentional or not. his backing group sounds much more spare. an honest. Little Richard played it in the lower key of F Major. if stupid.

the form of the original below. According to Lewisohn. The Beatles organize the ordering of the sections slightly differently from Perkin's original version. you're tormenting your eyes wid that rubbish!” 020292#48 Page 205 . the Beatles give only one measure each to the V and IV chords and six measures to the I. In the sung verses.. and even add a verse (“peaches”) which he did not have. Ringo provides a double-tracked solo vocal. and even Richie's own “Don't Pass Me By”. By the same token. this one employs its title/hook phrase only in the verse section which opens and closes the number. Note the Beatles-like staggered entrance of the instruments during the intro. this creates the not unpleasant sensation of an accelerating intensification on the phrase “give me little lovin' etc. he does it in the second verse whereas Larry does it right off in the first section. and just as we saw with the over songs above. At the level of details that almost go without saying. Unlike most of the other 12-bar covers we've looked at. Williams features a saxophone solo while the Beatles feature a guitar.. “Act Naturally”. the fact that the latter song had already been written by some point in '64 (as we learn from a chance remark made during one of the Beeb radio shows) seems like no small coincidence. the piano and lead guitar parts are featured prominently in the mix. Note the common threads of both rock-a-billy style and forlorn lyrics that run through “Honey Don't” (also by Perkins). Williams uses the identical 24-bar chord progression in every section whereas the Beatles use the original model only in the instrumental intro and break. but not our little Richard . and make a subtle but effective modification to the pattern in all the sung sections. “. The third eight-measure phrase in the original gives two measures each to the V and IV chords followed by four measures of the I chord. this song went into the Beatles repertoire as early as '61 at which time the lead vocal was assigned to then-current drummer Pete Best. “What Goes On”. the specific perspective of the “man who's sad and lonely” which it represents is a novel departure from the typical Beatles love songs which had been officially recorded until this point. the rock-a-billy arrangement and patter-song lyrics almost overshadow that fact.. And although John does shamelessly rip off Larry's tongue-tickling “BRRRRR!”. this one also establishes the start of a long term type-casting in the sorts of songs assigned to Ringo. in straight 12-bar blues form.Both versions follow the same ordering of the formal sections. Although the topic here would seem to be love-related. Ironically.. oh no! When you're not thumping them pagan skins. In this light.” that is missing from the original. Matchbox Key: A Major Meter: 4/4 Form: Intro – Verse – Verse – Verse – Break – Verse – Verse – (with complete ending) Composer: Perkins Influential Version: Carl Perkins (1957) Though formalistically speaking. is strongly reminiscent of the Boys' own restructuring of “Long Tall Sally”: Intro – Verse (“sitting here”) – Verse (“old poor boy”) – Break -> Verse (“be your little dog”) – Verse (“sitting here”) – Break – Verse (“sitting here”) (w/complete ending) Class dismissed. with its two breaks that are separated by one or more verses.

on an almost subliminal level. the more interesting connection is the manner in which “A Hard Day's Night” takes one step further the concept. there are many longsustained notes which jut out of the tune on a paradoxically frequent but irregular basis. and on the word "like"). “You Can't Do That” retained the blues form and the chord progression. of a style borne of the fusion between traditional blues elements and those more recognizable as the Beatles own trademarks. the bridge is entirely in the Major mode. “A Hard Day's Night” is a particularly forward-looking song as well.g. In the verse. By contrast. Similarly in the bridge. its rhythmic resources make an especially strong contribution. Page 206 . “Don't Bother Me”. in contrast. contains an unusually large number of different rhythmic values. all three of them share the same long form. the melodic note 'A' clashes as an added-sixth against the C Major chord on the word “tight” (you should pardon the expression. though the bridge presents a short-lived and weakly established excursion to the unusual key of iii (b minor). but its melody already had wavered between the minor and Major 3rd. the choice of chords is familiar. seen in the other two songs. toys around with surprising stop-and-go contrasts of pace and activity.A Hard Day's Night Key: Meter: Form: G Major 4/4 Intro – Verse – Verse – Bridge – Verse – Verse (solo) – Bridge – Verse – Outro (fadeout) General Points Of Interest Style and Form Though much less directly blues-derived than either “Can't Buy Me Love” or “You Can't Do That”. The verse. The song is firmly in the key of G Major. by the way. “A Hard Day's Night” bears close comparison to both of those songs. I'd spell it out further but without music paper it's just too tedious. chord progression and melody. A couple of dissonant clashes between the tune and the chords are continually reiterated. is very similar to what we saw in the melody of “You Can't Do That”. there is also a great deal of forward thrust generated here by the way the music. There's a bona fide trend to be charted here: “Can't Buy Me Love” had a verse section that was close to pure blues in form. the melodic third is clearly Major. and “All My Loving”). all the way from half to sixteenth notes. and a steady stream of syncopations. rather than minor. In “A Hard Day's Night”. but the rest had long since gone the way of Lennon and McCartney. Overall. but with the exception of the closing phrase ("feel alright"). As we'll see during our walkthrough. Melody and Harmony The verse features notable emphasis on the bluesy melodic flat 7th. Although the Beatles had already used the flat-VII chord on few songs that pre-date this one (e. Of course. At the very least. With the obvious exception of the opening/closing sonority. its appearance here is still a notably early example of its employment. but on a subtle level the very casualness with which such dissonance is used adds a characterizing slang flavor to the song's overall musical vocabulary. with two bridges and an instrumental break. PSILY. the words are patter-scanned with one note per syllable. Aside from several innovations in the area of harmony and arrangement.) These all pass you by quickly. only the 12-bar length and AAB phrasing of the blues remains along with some of the minor 3rd melodic flavor. However. in particular. the melodic note 'D' appears first as a 9th against the C Major chord (as on the word 'days' of the opening line) and later as an added-sixth against the F Major chord (as on the syllable “wor” in “working”. behind the generally energetic and syncopated bustle that appears on the surface. All this.

this chord functions as a surrogate 'Dominant' (i. and G Major. This pause. Page 207 . Its appearance in the opening and closing chords. Wake me up from the dead of sleep many years hence and play it for me by itself out of context. Instead of creating a problem. check out take #7 before which John explains to the others how he'll “tap toe” through the long pause that follows the opening chord so the others know when to come in. by the way. you can at least hear the G as a suspended 4th over the D on the bottom. this monolithic approach to percussion here actually adds to the steam-rolling thrust of the song. A. With the minor exception of some added four-in-the-bar beating on a cowbell during the bridges. crisp attack as well. is done up as a duet in parallel thirds on an unusual downward chromatic run. even the mono CD mix of this song has a fake-stereo-like high level of fuzziness to it. Even if you don't know a thing about harmony or musical dictation. F.Arrangement Alas. it begins to feel like a wall of sound. F Major. Joking aside. For those who have ever bemoaned this fact. this intro is precisely two measures long and is played “in tempo”. but also summon with close to total recall just how it shot through my consciousness the very first time I heard it as a mere not-so-pimply adolescent. The first half of the verse's closing phrase.e.e. especially as you experience it at the beginning of the film or the album. i. a gesture that mediates nicely between the alternating solo passages. and merely state that its sonority is akin to a superimposition of the chords of d minor. only the B is missing. it contains the notes D. the roughly executed but clearly recorded early outtakes are a revelation. I've seen better people than myself argue (and in public. C. and G – to my ears. no less) about the exact guitar voicing of this chord and I'll stay out of that question for now (what a cop-out. Section By Section Walkthrough Intro That chord. eh? Its great effect is not only related to the pitch content. When the song is literally announced as in a concert (“and now we're gonna play A Hard Day's Night . As a formal section. Alan!). though it does have the curious property that if you turn it up loud enough.”) the effect simply doesn't work as well.. The wall of sound effect is partly the result of the drumming style being kept unvaried throughout. and ditto for Paul with the bridge. though. John and Paul's vocals employ the familiar double-tracking throughout. as well as the manner in which it is doubled with electric piano in the solo section are among the more instantaneously recognizable sound bites in all of popular music. this is very much the song in which the characteristic sound of George's 12-string guitar would establish itself. Hullaballoo aside. we have wall to wall thumping on drums and cymbals in place of the sort of drum fills and texture changes we're more used to hearing Ringo employ to differentiate formal sections. V) with respect to the chord on G which begins the first verse. A large part of this specific effect is the surprise factor. is the first example here of how suspense and a sense of rising expectation is created by a change of pace. John takes most of the verse as a solo. (bang!). but to the sudden. but their arrangement itself features a novel gambit. and not only do I trust I'll be able to identify it immediately..

we continue to find new examples in the active avoidance of so-called foolish consistency in the creation of small variations: here. the syncopated stress and sustained duration given to the melodic F naturals in measures 3 and 7. the completion of Paul's solo and the return to John's vocal at the end of the first bridge is neatly spliced end-to-end but with virtually no overlap.12 |C IV |D V |G I C IV |G V | The overall harmonic shape is closed and rather static. one surely hears the b -> e -> b chord progression as though it were i .. Bridge The bridge is eight measures long and built out of two phrases equal in length and parallel in melodic shape: |b iii i |e vi iv |b iii i ??) |||G I |e vi |C IV |D V || G: (b: The first phrase presents a half-hearted modulation to the key of b minor. “Oh . it is b minor that sounds like the key to which the modulation has taken place.8 -----------------------------. In “You Can't Do That”. Of course. 5 .I) cadence but for an instant. 1 . A couple of factors work at pleasing cross-currents to the static harmony and melody and help lend some shape and sense of direction to the verse. Note the way in which the bridge opens with a dramatically sustained melodic note (on the word "home" – the longest single duration in the whole song) that is followed by a resumption of a chattier rhythm.i in the key of b.Verse Although the 12-bar blues chord progression is not used here. I call it spontaneous sounding because the effect appears as early as takes 3 and 7.iv . here. all this is all straightened out in the second phrase where G is quickly re-established as the home key via one of our favorite rock cliche chord progressions. As ever. the G chord has been confirmed as the 'I' of the home key several times over by the gentler. the modulation was to e and the B Major chord sounded like its V chord. Page 208 . and the e chord sounds like its iv.. the chords are to be interpreted in the opposite ways. quite similar to “I Want To Hold Your Hand”): mm. whereas in the repeat of the bridge. but well before then. this verse in section is still twelve measures long and built out of three phrases equal in length that form an AAB poetic pattern (actually.g. The appearance of an official V -> I cadence is delayed until the third phrase. and the holding out of the melodic climax until measure 10 where it is embellished by the brief duet of the two singers. The new key is never formally established by any kind of dominant -> tonic (V . Some free associations with “You Can't Do That” are unavoidable.”.4. less formal means of the the IV and flat-VII chords. The heavy emphasis on B and E chords in both bridges is also striking though it should be pointed out that in the each of the two songs. e. John goes out of his way to create a small spontaneous-sounding overlap by coming in a beat or so early moaning the phoneme. The manner in which the first two phrases of the tune seem so firmly centered on the note D provides an additional source of stasis.2X -----------------------------|G C |G |F |G | I IV I flat-VII I G: mm. 9 .

Indeed. Outro The outro starts of with their trademark powering-down triple-repeat of the last half-phrase of the final verse.Solo The solo is melodically unconventional yet very bluesy at the same time. Even my neighbor Fred (yes. Although the chordal outlines played gently into the fadeout by the lead guitar have none of the commanding impact of the opening chord. it would have become increasingly. Some Final Thoughts The lyrics are far from epochal or even merely profound. This parallelism by itself provides some unity to the song overall. And in contrast to the historical subtleties of the Long Tall Sally EP. and at the time. but still. The nervous and frequent changes of rhythmic values seen earlier ripen into what borders on the spasmodic at this point. a vacation during which he was protectively sheltered from the deleterious influence of Top-40 AM radio. “They take a turn down a back alley way and the crowd of screaming girls are after them. if not impossibly. In the film it effectively bridges the gap between opening credits and first scene. Beyond a point it doesn't really matter. while by no means nearly as rare. Based on only music and exuberant mood alone if necessary. where the instrumental is abandoned in the final phrase of the section in favor of a refrain-like reprise of the vocals heard in other iterations of the verse. non-I openings. even he now knew the Beatles were onto Something New. we have the sort of semi-solo we first saw back in “From Me To You”. am I the only one who hears the execution of measures 3 and 7 of this solo as sounding "impossibly" fast? Formally. upon hearing our title song. the song “A Hard Day's Night” arguably holds a place within the uppermost echelon of the Beatles catalog. the effect at the end is. you just as easily might be made a little uneasy by his faint air of condescending chauvanism. indeed. in its own way. was virtually unprecedented in a rock song. were themselves still unusual. or if perhaps you had seen them on Ed's show yet their impact somehow missed you (you dour old curmudgeon).” 021792#49 Page 209 . it is very much along what I've described as the indigenous stylistic path of the group. the use of a non-I chord ending is unusual. that when he returned to our shores in the early fall. that Fred) confided to me once in a moment of exquisite vulnerability that although his parents had taken him abroad on holiday during the summer of '64. but it ends off enigmatically on virtually the same chord with which the song began. Even if you had somehow missed them on Ed Sullivan. As touched as you might allow yourself to be by the hero's profession of loving gratitude and affectation of the working class hero. just as suspenseful as the opening. difficult to ignore the Beatles once the likes of this song and its associated film came on the scene. though.

the rest of the song stays very closely rooted to the home key without the slightest hint of a modulation. Section By Section Walkthrough Intro The intro is eight measures long and built out of two parallel phrases equal in length: Page 210 . though as we'll see. Arrangement John solos in the intro. The overall melodic range is relatively wide. but the rest of the song finds Paul in the lead with John singing harmony below him in their inimitably funky style in which they sneak in those open fourths and fifths where you least expect them. this is not at all immediately clear to one's ears as it unfolds in real time. according to Lewisohn. just John and Paul huddled. formal contrast is provided by a bridgelike extension that grows directly out of each of the inner two verses. largely the result of the prominence given to the minor iv chord and the deployment of a pungent 7/9 chord at the climactic point where the verse extension commences. and the harmonic card trick contained in its intro remains one of their most clever and daring ever. Melody and Harmony The melody. closely around the same mike. Instead of a discrete bridge or refrain section. The disguise is so successful that. as well. though outside of the intro which is placed in John's baritone range. Paul's lead remains on the high end of his own spectrum. The contrapunctal aspect of this particular vocal arrangement is somewhat disguised by the rhythmically placid context and the afore-mentioned predominance of step-wise motion in both parts. with the repeated use of the I->ii->iii chord-stream.If I Fell Key: Meter: Form: D Major 4/4 Intro – Verse (original) – Verse + extension – Verse + extension – Verse (original) – Outro (with complete ending) General Points Of Interest Style and Form This one was one of the most soulful songs L&M had yet written at the time of its initial release. you walk away with the impression that the arrangement is more of a chordal setting for three parts in the manner of “Yes It Is”. the latter in spite of the theme of “falling” contained in the lyrics. The motif of step-wise. but the truth is that there is no vocal part here for George. scalar motion is curiously carried forward in the harmony. The intro actually starts off in a different key (D flat Major) from the body of the song. given such a tonally disorienting opening. Not surprisingly. The form is also unusual. moves primarily in step-wise fashion and contains a couple of extended upward runs. The harmony carries with it a strong flavor of jazzy bittersweetness. if anything. though punctuated now and then by a leap or two.

the music makes an harmonic pivot. you're totally lost and out to sea – go ahead and admit it. It's fully developed as a section unto itself with material not heard in the remainder of the song. which I've provisionally labeled as “flat-iii diminished” is more accurately described without any kind of roman numeral as one of those chords that is the incidental result of linear motion of the various parts as they transition between the chords on either side of it: Paul: John: "heart C# A to B | G# you . |e7 |A | D: I ii iii flat-iii ii diminished V mm. Gerswhin or Porter. a kind of circular harmonic openness is another unifying motif of the song in that both sung phrases of this verse. you're no longer so sure about that.D-flat: |e-flat ii |D (natural) flat-II |D-flat I |b-flat vi | |e-flat ii |D (natural) flat-II D: I |e7(natural) ii |A V | Quite unusually for L&M. say. in fact. for a couple measures. 1 .8 -------------------------------. The chord on the fourth beat of measure 3.10 |D I |g iv A V | On a subtle level. we find here an old fashioned kind of intro in the style of. The harmonic shape of this section is another story entirely. this e-flat chord feels much more like a ii in relationship to the D-flat chord of the previous measure..4. The real coup is in the way in which the second time around. For that matter. as well as the connector. using the same D Major chord that had appeared more or less in passing during the first phrase. so does the bridge-like extension below. now as the I of the actual home key of the song. 9 .. only now. and set-off from what follows by a different texture in the instrumental backing track. hardly at all old fashioned and rather both ingenious and clumsy at the same time. It's only after we come back to the e-flat chord in measure 5 that you quite regain your bearings. it's good for your soul. end on the V chord. At the very start you pretty much assume that the opening chord (e-flat minor) is the i chord of the home key but as the music free-falls first through D Major and then continues down to D-flat Major. 5 ." D G-natural Page 211 . examples of the latter include John's four-in-thebar rhythm guitar strumming punctuated on the downbeats by George. and Ringo's delayed entrance until the verse. Verse (original) This verse is ten measures long and breaks down into two parallel four-measure phrases that are followed by a two-measure connector which leads us back to the next verse: mm.2X -----------------------------|D e |f# f-nat.

though after the intervening general lushness of the texture.. e. accompanied as it is by Paul's literally trembling voice the second time around. as well as the similar open 4th at the beginning of measures 9. ambiguous word play so typical of John's best work. what makes this song so potent is the desperate vulnerability it manifests. Some Final Thoughts The lyrics are deceptively simply and full of elliptical. and the non-sequitur of the second repeat of the verse extension ("”cos I couldn't stand the pain”) when it follows the line “she will cry when she learns .. The coda. Verse + extension The first eight measures of this alternate verse section are identical to the original verse.Bass: F# F-nat. but we find a new extension here starting in measure 9 that's an asymmetrical seven measures long: mm. Examples abound – the dangling question (“[would you] help me understand?” – understand what ?). it sounds hauntingly hollow coming as the final word.. E Note the vocal open 5th in the above example. first appearance in the final measures of this section and it too recurs throughout the song. will you. and the small shift by John from B-natural to B-flat (on the words “and I”) in order to ominously change that Major IV to a minor iv. touching echo of the “sad if our new love” phrase. The minor iv makes its quiet. provides the lead guitar with its solitary moment in the limelight. Is this ingenuous realism. described as a state in which people might run and hide and pride be hurt.g. Madam?”030192#50 Page 212 . For me though.. 9 |D7/9 |I . after singing most of this phrase in parallel thirds with Paul. The phrase “sad if our new love” contains an unusual melodic cross-relation between the F-natural (on the word "our") and the F# two words later on “love. the use of “to/too/two” in close proximity to each other. the greatest ambiguity of all here is in the tension between the hero's begging for love's being requited on the one hand. Outro The final verse is essentially identical to the initial one though it leads into a brief coda. the yearning stretch in the vocals required for the D7/9.” But beneath the mere cleverness of it all.. a terse. And then the song gently ends on a surprisingly reverberated single chord. The open 4th in measure 9 is repeated here again. breaks out of the pattern with a slide from E all the way down to A on the downbeat of measure 14. a veritable obsession with the subjunctive “iffy-ness” of love. such a lot of chutzpah.” Also look out for the way that John. while at the same time holding back from freely offering it for fear of being rejected. or likely a bit of both? “You won't interfere with the basic rugged concept of me personality.. V-of-IV |G IV | |g iv |- |D I |A7 V | One's sense of D Major as the home key remains crystal clear but is made quite ironically bittersweet by some of the chord choices and the way they are orchestrated.

but the latter half of it appears as part of the intro as well.e. "on 2-AND". his lone moment in the musical spotlight. And no. Melody and Harmony The melody of the refrain is quite pentatonic and has a shape in which downward gestures predominate. whereas in the second refrain it appears after the first phrase as well (“Just to dance with you. Harmonic gambits are not the only devices to resonate from one song to another on the A Hard Day's Night album.. Page 213 . All this aside. Speaking of consistency. the verse melody is not at all restricted pitch content-wise. Note how from the very second measure. The verse here is always clearly in the Major mode. During the intro and first refrain Ringo nicely punctuates this moment with one of his characteristic fills. In the outro. fairly or not.g.I'm Happy Just To Dance With You Key: Meter: Form: c# minor/E Major 4/4 Intro – Refrain (2nd half) – Verse – Verse – Refrain – Verse – Refrain – Verse – Outro (with complete ending) General Points Of Interest Style and Form A brisk tempo combines here with relatively small section lengths to make this a short song with a paradoxically longish form. A seemingly trivial and reverberated “oh-ooh” backing part for John and Paul in the refrains actually turns out to critically underscore the rhythmic hook of the song. he falls asleep at the switch for this during the second refrain and most of the outro. Major/minor gambits must have fascinated John and Paul during this era judging from the number of roughly contemporaneous songs which use the device. In the first refrain they appear only after the second phrase (“is everything I need”). note how the deployment of the backing voices is carefully staged. the move from the f# chord to the one on G# which recurs over and over again throughout. A Major/minor) appears in “Things We Said Today” and “I'll Be Back”. As I should have pointed out in our last note on “If I Fell”.. the unusual technique seen there of having three chords in a row moving downward in half-step root motion also appears (admittedly in a different context)in “Things We Said Today”.”). This is yet another L&M song in which a Major key (E) and its relative minor (c#) continually alternate as the apparent choice of home key. i. In contrast.. this duality develops into a brief moment of tense conflict before it is ultimately resolved in favor of the Major mode. And a similar trick of alternating a Major key with its parallel minor (e. and its shape is more closely resembles an arch. yet the intro and the refrains always start off in the minor mode. The Major/relative-minor trick appears for example in “Not A Second Time” and “And I Love Her”. this is not an example of what I typically describe as an avoidance of foolish consistency. Unfortunately. his double-tracked lead vocal here was to be. the chord selection itself in this song is quite straightforward though the use of an augmented alteration of V in place of the more normal Major chord is noteworthy. Arrangement Although George's understatedly sardonic performance as a quipster shines throughout A Hard Day's Night. the refrain is not only repeated twice. is always delivered along with a heavy syncopation on the half beat between '2' and '3'.

The only difference is that the first half of the section now contains an opening vocal phrase to balance out what had been heard earlier as just the second half. the first of three of which are based on the same chord progression: -------------. and the fact that even though the tune itself contains some syncopation. Refrain The schematic plan of the refrain is identical to what we saw in the intro. the chord-stream parallel motion inherent in the iii->ii progression adds a jazzy touch that would have been missing had vi been used instead.2X ------------|E g# |f# B | I iii ii V E: |A IV |E I c# vi |A IV B aug. contrast with the intro and refrains is provided here by the key being clearly E Major throughout. Verse The verse is also eight measures long and built out of four two-measure phrases. The first two phrases form a parallel couplet while the last two tend of be heard as one long phrase which balances out the first two: -------------.The instrumental backing track is on the fuzzy side though John's bouncy rhythm guitar work does and Paul's bass line both stand out clearly. Note the ingenuity with which this section begins as a deceptive cadence coming off the B augmented chord in what is the seventh measure of the verse.3X ------------|c# |f# G# ||A i iv V VI E:IV B V |E I B V | c#: The first four measures are entirely instrumental. you're expecting to hear E (I) at this point. that hook rhythm on the chord changes is pretty much avoided here entirely. As it stands. Following the initial establishment of c# minor as the apparent home key and repeated emphasis of this fact. A vi chord (c#) would have been a more likely choice to put in between I and ii at the beginning of this section than the iii chord (g# minor). V |E I (B) (V) | In spite of the formal similarity between this and the other sections. while the latter four present what turns out later to be the second half of the refrain. not c# (vi): Page 214 . Outro The outro is a seven measure section that is elided with the last measure of the final verse. Section By Section Walk Through Intro + Refrain (2nd half) This section is eight measures long and is built out of four two-measure phrases. the song pivots around toward the relative Major in the final couple measures.

The complete ending on an added-sixth chord also seems especially appropriate. Here. By the way. a touch of the bittersweet vi is allowed to linger alongside it. or if you will. To the extent that this chord tends to sound as though it were a superimposition of the I and vi chords together. trademark. Some Final Thoughts It's no surprise that the emphasis on c# minor during the outro is accompanied by a reprise of the back beat heard earlier in the intro. they don't stop there. they pull the deceptive cadence trick twice in a row before playing it straight the third time around. it's only fair that while the Major mode is allowed to ultimately previal.E: |c# vi c#: i |f# iv G# V |A IV VI B V | E: c#: |c# vi i |f# iv G# V |A IV VI B V |E I || But most powerfully. or both. in a novel variation on this gambit. the triple rote repeat (or “petit reprise” as the French call it) of a final phrase during the outro had become a cliche. looking for “mistakes” or recording oddities? Then what the hell is that little squeak or scrape that managed to elude the quick pulling down of the faders right after the final chord? “Why don't we do the show right here?” 030992#51 Page 215 . Somehow it conveys the image of beating something down that refuses to give up. embedded within. In many of their earlier songs.

This set of chords is used in both the refrain and verse sections but the melodic differences spelled out above as well as the use of a walking bass line in only the refrains. and outro. “Tell Me Why” is not one of the more conspicuously forward looking songs on the A Hard Day's Night album. on “two-AND”). Had it only been used for that magic moment in the bridge. The stereo version also has an extra second or two at the very end. b/w “You Can't Do That”. Melody and Harmony The melody of the refrain is in a pentatonically Major mode and is „rhythmically stretched out.e. but even more so in the way that the lone bridge section is saved for very near the end. conventionalized set of chords. whereas the verse emphasizes the bluesy minor third of the scale and is rhythmically chattier and more jumpy. the bracing. just long enough to hear someone running a hand down the neck of a guitar to dampen the remaining reverberation of the final chord. The song contains a much higher than average number of dissonant 7th and 9th chords by virtue of the correspondingly high number of appoggiaturas and "escapes". John's solo vocal sounds single tracked in the verses and the bridge.Tell Me Why Key: Meter: Form: D Major 4/4 Intro – Refrain – Verse – Refrain – Verse – Refrain – Bridge – Refrain – Outro (with complete ending) General Points Of Interest Style and Form Superficially speaking. We haven't been consistently checking mono versus stereo versions of songs over the course of this series. Arrangement This song provides a fine example of how a rhythmic motif may serve as a full-fledged hook. mark this song as one very much if its place in time and context. in the intro. its appearance there would seem somewhat arbitrary. but this one features a couple of particularly noticeable differences. The harmonic diet is pretty much limited to the I-vi-ii-V cliche chord progression. This subtle kind of melodic differentiation between sections is a trait which we've seen in several other songs of the period. two of the best examples of which may be found on both sides of the “Can't Buy Me Love” single. In this case we have. The form is also unusual both in the way it leads off with a refrain. Nonetheless. refrains. and the subliminal way in which the blues are conjured even in absence of the 12-bar form. followed in the next measure by a wrenching syncopation on the eighth note between the second and third beat (i. Falsetto singing also appears as a leitmotif. confrontational tone of the lyric. The very limited. whereas the stereo LP pressing sounds as though the vocal in those sections had been double or even triple tracked. On the mono CD pressing. repeated use of falsetto in the refrains therefore creates a context in which the big moment of the bridge feels better motivated. if not predictable. Page 216 . make those sections sound and feel more different than they really are. and the antiphonal vocal arrangement seem particularly familiar. a triplet drum fill that precedes the downbeat. I wouldn't dream of spoiling the fun of your discovering these on your own. The casual.

in which context we commented on the feeling of inevitably that it conveys following from the fact that most of it lies along the circle of fifths. Notable are the non-I harmonic start as well as the manner in which the rhythmic hook for drums alone starts the whole thing off. Refrain The refrain is twelve measures long. The walking bass contrasts with the stretched out melody and creates an illusion that the chords change more rapidly than they actually do. And of course. Verse The verse is eight measures long and. declamatory tune. which has become quite familiar by this point in the song from the several repetitions of the refrain: |G IV ||A V || |b vi |- |e ii |A V ||D I b |e vi ii A V | Page 217 . it's the bass line that is the more stable agent working at cross-currents to the rather nervous. It also happens to be a tonally open-ended progression with its ending on V. the unifying rhythmic hook always appears at the end of the each six-measure phrase. quadruple rote repeat of the ii -> V chord progression (e7 -> A7) that is arranged around the rhythmic 'hook' described above. each of which is subdivi„ded into a four-measure main phrase followed by a two measure "connector": ---------------------.2X ---------------------* |D |b |e |A ||D b |e A | I vi ? ii V I vi ii V D: We've seen this chord progression earlier in “This Boy”. It consists of two parallel phrases equal in length. this time. and this sense of it is emphasized by the way in which the connector sub-phrase recapitulates the entire progression of the first four measures in harmonic double time. though. the bass line contrasts with the melodic line.Section By Section Walk Through Intro The four measure intro presents an instrumental. similar to the refrain. Bridge The ten-measure bridge consists of two four-measure phrases followed by the two-measure connector. is built out of two parallel phrases equal in length: ---------------------------|D I |b vi 2X -----------------------------|e ii |A V | D: Again.

alas. Outro The four-measure outro is entered as a deceptive cadence coming off the V chord that ends the preceding refrain: |b vi |B-flat flat-VI |A4 -.3 |V |D I | It is entirely instrumental. this one somewhat uniquely incorporates no small measure of the sad. built out of what is. in context of the rest of the song. and a foolishconsistency-avoiding elimination of the syncopation in this repeat of the connector phrase. The longer that this chord is prolonged it begins to ripen to our ears from plain 'I' into a V-of-IV.. no amount of studying the lyrics necessarily pierces the surface ambiguity that surrounds the circumstance in which the song would appear to unfold. Instead of repeating the I-vi-ii-V progression in the final two measures of that refrain. In gesture. because literally every phrase of every other section ends on V. the song accumulates a going-in-circles kind of forward inertia that requires a sort of radical intervention in order to bring things to a halt.” 033192#52 Page 218 . or perhaps even. the two full measures of drumming triplets. To say that we're eavesdropping in real time on an actual moment of truth feels. Some Final Thoughts Although one of the more confrontationally bitter songs of the period.This section is setup via a small modification made to the end of the refrain that immediately precedes it.” In addition to the unique falsetto outburst of the second phrase. I think I'd more readily assume it's the rehearsal-like soliloquy in advance of a Showdown. Here.. after the moment for a face-to-face clearing of the air had. We saw the same effect in “This Boy. we are given instead a plain sustaining of the D chord for the full two measures. this bridge is also made dramatic by the sudden slowing down of the harmonic rhythm. And just as we've seen in some of those other cases. too pat. “If there's anything I can do . desperate frustration seen in some of John's other work. it is reminiscent of the codas to both “Please Please Me” and “It Won't Be Long”. long since passed. and contains a hard syncopation in every measure. In spite of all ranting. merely the muttering under his breath for self-comfort. a novel chord progression. somehow.

and the prominent use of the tambourine. 'D'). was artificially spliced together. the chords of the verse are limited to the bluesy set of I-IV-V. Arrangement John's solo is the only vocal part heard on this track. This formalistic oddity can be found on the American film album (from United Artists) as well as the mono pressing of Something New. the chordal obligatto part for the lead guitar. proper. Similarly.” In order to lengthen it out to match the timing of the film scene. The double tracking is quite noticeably better synched here than usual. but I believe these are heard more as transitional neighbor tones filling in between the I chords on either side.I'll Cry Instead Key: Meter: Form: G Major 4/4 Intro – Verse – Verse – Bridge – Verse – Bridge – Verse (with complete ending) General Points Of Interest Style and Form The “official” version. except for two measures worth of vamping on the I chord (i. albeit short-lived modulation to the key of V (i. found on the British A Hard Day's Night album. Note the way they all 'zoom' into the opening G Major chord from the note below. Melody and Harmony As we've seen in many other songs on the A Hard Day's Night album. rather than as a discrete change of chord root. instead. and even in there. the melody of this one is heavily bluesy but only in the verses. and the extent to which this effect recurs throughout.e. Section By Section Walk Through Intro There's not much of an intro to speak of here. Strange as it sounds. while the bridge features a full-blown.e. with the first verse repeated at the end. and the extent to which this lends a characterizing flavor to it. G). The overall instrumental sound is rather countryish by virtue of the strumming style of the rhythm guitar. the song simply comes to a complete halt at the end of the final verse.e. An small unusual twist here is the lack of an outro. C) on the off beat. is a standard two-bridge model with neither an instrumental solo section nor double verse in between the two bridge sections. look carefully at the tune and observe the continual alternation of b natural and b flat. the use of the blue minor third and seventh is not consistent. leading me to half suspect that it might have been artificially done. the song was planned at one point to be used in The Film as the musical accompaniment to the running and jumping scene. Verse Page 219 . The guitar part hints at a shift to the IV chord (i. instead of “Can't Buy Me Love. even though I don't believe that the Beatles had yet discovered the special effect of ADT at this point. an alternate version.

accompanied as it is with thoughts of self-pity and revenge. just as this happens. a moment which contains the fastest stretch of harmonic rhythm in the entire song.” Most notable. it is a move which is more ambiguous than sure-footed. in contrast to the few other bitter songs of this still relatively early period (e.. this jumpy kind of tonal shifting around neatly reflects some of the unease of the lyrics. are extremely characteristic of both this song and the Beatles semi-bluesy style of this period in general. There are no descriptions or allusions here to any past pleasures. one does not regain a clear sense of key again in this section until near the end when the new key of D Major is firmly established by its own ii-V-I progression. Together with the specific choice of words that starts off these verse (“and when I do you better . only pain.g. In truth.” 042192#53 Page 220 . this musical effect has a way of connecting them to the preceding bridges and making them feel as if they tie off some kind of business left unfinished back in the bridge. but the momentary speed-up in the final phrase helps create a sense of formal closure to the section. is the complete focus in this song on the forlorn aftermath of the breakup. The penultimate phrase of each of the two verses which follow a bridge section feature the dramatic touch of the other guitars dropping out to make way for a long walking bass solo plus tambourine. The melodic phrase heard over the C chord in measure 9 ('d->f->d->c-> b-flat->c' as in “if I could see you now”) – with it's flat 7th and 3rd.The verse is sixteen measures long with four phrases all of equal length: G: |G I |||||G ||D V ||| |C IV |- |- |- ||G I |D V |G I |- || The harmonic rhythm is almost plodding. “Well. “You Can't Do That” and “Tell Me Why”).. Bridge The bridge is eight measures long with two phrases of equal length: |b iii vi ||A V |||D I ||e ii |A D V V I | G: D: The pivot modulation from G to D is somewhat ingenuously awkward. Some Final Thoughts It's tempting to describe this one as a less mature.”). son. Indeed. we just as quickly scamper right back to the home key in the final measure of the section. And yet. The move to the b minor chord does not by itself signal the start of a key change. less self-aware warm-up for the later “You've Got To Hide Yourself Away. as well as the way in which the f and d run roughshod over the C chord below it. you stick to that story. and although the move from there down to A tells you something is afoot. whys or wherefores.

as well. the form of the song is also unusual.” Melody and Harmony The parallel Major/minor gambit is based on the keys of A. barely six different chords are used within the entire song to exploit such a complex tonal situation. The most unusual item found here is the key scheme. double tracked for most of the bridge (sounds like they rather fussily omit the second track for the climactic “I love her more” phrase of that section).. Compare this.When I Get Home Key: Meter: Form: A Major/a minor/C Major 4/4 Refrain – Verse – Refrain – Verse – Refrain – Bridge – Verse – Refrain – Outro (with complete ending) General Points Of Interest Style and Form We wind up here completing our study of the Beatles third album with this relatively less popular but nonetheless characteristically novel and interesting number. or perhaps is it more the reflection of an inner ambivalence within the hero himself about wanting to effect such a return? I similarly wonder what in blazes he possibly means by the line “I'll love her more till I walk out that door again. After all. For my own tastes.” – Just going to work or out on errands the next day after his planned return. perhaps a fadeout would have worked better. a Beatles trademark running as far back as “Love Me Do. in which your sense of where the home key is is kept continually in flux. “Things We Said Today” and “I'll Be Back”) has already been discussed in this series. Page 221 . this contrast only goes to heighten a sense of irony and intruigue about the song.g. by the way. or is this some off-handed allusion to the inevitability of repeated philandering ? Such wonderfully elliptical ambiguity! But getting back to the music. though some of the fancier drum work (such as fills which bridge the gap between the ends of refrains and the beginning of verses) stands out nicely. The melodic style here is essentially declamatory with short phrases of 3-6 notes repeated frequently repeated for rhetorical effect. “And I Love Her” and “I'm Happy Just To Dance With You”) or parallel Major/minor shifts (e.” Arrangement The instrumental backing contains a fuzzy/boomy texture heard on several other tracks from the same album. with the refrain starting out in A Major but ending in a minor. but also containing a bridge. and accompanied for emphasis by the others in the refrain. The relatively large number of songs on the A Hard Day’s Night album which make conspicuous use of either relative Major/minor shifts (e. But “When I Get Home” is the only example we've seen in which both gambits are used in the same song. Secondarily.g. The relative Major/minor gambit is based on the relationship between the appearance of a minor just mentioned and C Major which dominates the verses as well as the bridge. starting off with a refrain. with “Tell Me Why.. just why the forceful delivery ? Is the hero simply worried that he'll be somehow prevented by woman#2 from returning "home". I'd suggest that this changeability is so strongly a subliminal hook element of the song that the final ending on C sounds a tad abrupt and forced. The vocal arrangement features John single tracked in the verses. Surprisingly. I believe that some listeners find in this song a tense agitation in the refrain and a fierce determination in the verse that are irritatingly out of proportion to the situation implied by the lyrics.

the initial twomeasure melodic phrase is repeated three times before blossoming out a bit the final time around: |------------. This effect is further heightened by surprising series of harmonic moves in the last couple measures. followed immediately by the G Major chord which punningly pivots as a dominant V chord over to the key of C Major. The tone of this verse is hard-edged and determined. the tune in this section is shot through with little chromatic scale riffs. but also. d7 in the first inversion. Section By Section Walk Through Refrain The refrain is eight measures long and is structured out of two parallel phrases of two measures each that are balanced out by a single phrase of four measures: A: |A I |- |- |- | |D9 IV |G flat-VII |a i |G flat-VII C: V | The melodic use of G naturals in the A Major context of the first two phrases lends a bluesy touch. though I believe it could (and should) be more academically (and correctly) analyzed as the "ii 6/5". I'll leave the second chord of the verse simply labeled as IV.3X --------------| |C I |F IV |G V || C: Instead of containing bluesy hints. first the arrival of a minor in a place where you expect it to be Major. Verse The verse is eight measures long and structured in a manner similar to the refrain.” Page 222 . this section strangely begins right off at a point of climax. giving us listeners the feeling of having walked in on something already well in progress. In terms of dramatic structure. by virtue of its rhetorical repetitiousness and harmonically open ending on V. a special effect which only goes to make the syncopation feel all the more gut-wrenching.e. followed by the F natural over the G chord in the next measures. to build momentously toward that next section. unusually followed by no demarcation of where the downbeat of the next measure actually is. the opening of this section must be one of the earliest examples in the Beatles oeuvre to feature wordless phonemes so prominently. In common with the refrain though is the melodic emphasis on the F natural over the G chord near the end here. and it is effectively designed to not only contrast with the comparative turbulence of the refrain. while the melody contains a D natural against it.e. i. Note too.The refrain contains a rhythmic hook to be found in the recurring hard syncopations on the final eighth note of the measure (i. The last phrase is especially tangy by vritue of the melodic E over the D chord in measure 5. see our much earlier note on “No Reply. For further discussion of this type of chord. Lyrically. how the uneventful harmonic rhythmic of the first half of this section contrasts with what happens in the remainder of it. This time. on “four-AND”). Listen carefully and note how Paul plays a double stopped fifth (F-C) in the bass.

if not entirely avoided.”043092#54 Page 223 . like the verses. as well as a couple of semi or pseudo acoustic numbers (e. Either way. But of course. it is particularly notable how many different moods. Some Final Thoughts In considering the thirteen tracks on the A Hard Day's Night album as a whole and in comparison with the group's work which preceded this collection. in additional to the obligatory rockers. the subtle appearance of such a dissonant and foreign tone in this context lends a connotation of something uneasily left unresolved which somehow surely seems to fit in with the spirit of what has preceded. starting from the D Major chord. In measure 7. rather than ending. which may or may not have been deliberate. Outro The outro of this song is in the form of a 'petit-reprise'-like extension of the final refrain. In particular. there are also the examples of increasingly sophisticated word play and imagery. a number of interesting trends and other observations come to mind. There also seems to be much less of the free-verse uneven phrasing here than before. “Things We Said Today” and “I'll Be Back”) which anticipate the folk rock style heard later on Rubber Soul.g. And with exception of the Major/minor gambits mentioned above or the intro to “If I Fell”. as well as the several ways in which the spirit and flavor of the blues are conjured with only very little if any direct reference. John Lennon. Just as importantly. Note how the final measure of the refrain which immediately precedes this bridge is modified to sustain the a minor chord. the only un-square section to be found in the entire song. “I've only one thing to say to you. of course.Bridge This bridge is ten measures long. an A Major chord is substituted for the expected a minor. we also have the likes of a ballad such as “And I Love Her”. just on the verge of a peaking. this time. In the absence of cover songs for the first time. a number of earlier trademarks of the group seem conspicuously downplayed. First off. and can be broken down into a series of five short two-measure phrases which coalesce into an uneven grouping of 2 + 3: C: |C I |a vi |C I |a vi | |F9 IV |G V |F IV |G V |a vi |G V | The tone of this section is closer in spirit to the verses than the refrains. for the final surprising ending on C! As the final C chord reverberates and fades away. I detect a curious resonance of the note F#. except. which nicely motivates a repeat of the second of the second half of the refrain. there also seems to be less than their typical level of experimenting with unusual chord progressions. though the internal shape of the bridge is more arch-like with an internal climax somewhere near the middle of the section (on those melodic octave leaps to the F9 chords). and instrumental textures are included in the mix. tempos. they would seem to have traded in their sinewy two-part vocal counterpoint for more in the way of solo lead vocals that get punctuated by antiphonal touches of three part singing. there are the undeniable signs here of stylistic development as well.

Beyond the solo section itself. and V sufficing for the verses. the licks which appear during the intro and in between the two phrases of each verse create the impression of the guitar always lurking there in the background. Arrangement The guitar feedback at the very opening is much celebrated for its serendipitous. and the static harmonic rhythm in the opening phrase. the chorus joins John for the second half of the section. The verse sports a number of other kinds of trademarks -. The alternation found here in the penultimate phrase of the verses between “I'm” and “She's” might be described. Note how in the verse. The vocal arrangement has John double tracked on lead with continually intermittent support from Paul and George.e. and the iii chord being thrown in for the bridges.the melodic noodling on just a couple or three notes in a narrow range. On top of all else. The consistent placement of John's singing of the tune on the below the other two lines adds a characteristic tang. one of which is for solo guitar. experimental origin. IV. Note especially the unusual series of three verse sections in the middle. and the harmonic diet is limited to only four chords. The only harmonic feature here that is even slightly unusual is the use of iii to bridge the gap between I and IV. the chorus loudly reinforces the first half of each phrase. the bluesy flat sevenths found in the early part of the section followed by the flat third only near the end of it. iii more often than not is generally followed by vi.I Feel Fine Key: Meter: Form: G Major 4/4 Intro – Verse – Verse – Bridge – Verse – Verse (Guitar Solo) – Verse – Bridge – Verse – Outro (fadeout) General Points Of Interest Style and Form The form of this song is unusually bulky as a result of the individual sections themselves being rather short. the particular style of the drumming lends an offbeat. as almost equally nostalgic as it is characteristic. see below. It's worth emphasizing though that this effect is not random noise. The lead guitar is prominently featured on the backing track to an extent that its recurring presence provides a secondary hook of sorts. the specific choice of note plucked was far from random. only to retreat for the remainder of it to a sotto-voce “ooh-ing” support role. whereas the gambit is reversed in the bridge – there. Furthermore. Melody and Harmony The entire song stays firmly rooted in the home key of G Major. with the bluesy triumverate of I. at this stage of their career. but rather a clever isolation of the naturally occurring harmonic resonance one octave above the original note that was plucked. slightly 'Latin' flavor to the overall production. Page 224 . i.

out of tempo. Bridge The bridge is eight measures long and built out of two repeats of what is essentially the same four-measure phrase.2X -------------|G |b |C |D | I iii IV V Page 225 . the overall dramatic shape of the section remains arch-like and closed: |G I |- |- |- |D V |- | |D V |C IV |G I |- | The ensemble singing is ever so slightly ragged. coordinated cut-off at the phrase endings. This intro is also a good example of the Beatles trademark layered opening. With the exception of the third verse. This effect is immediately followed by a strange small noise. one hears the opening note retrospectively as having implied an A Major chord (Vof-V) in relationship to the D Major (V) which follows it. Verse The verse is ten measures long. is delayed until the end of measure 6. In spite of the asymmetry. They may have had some specific duration for this in mind. but the listener's impression of it is as though it were performed ad libitum. a section of eight measures in length that is later quoted again almost verbatim in the second half of the guitar solo section: G: |D V |- |C IV |- --. and then comes the intro proper. The V-IV-I progression itself helps set the quasi-bluesy tone of the song from the start. and breaks down into two phrases of 6 and 4 measures respectively as a matter of the rhetorical inner subphrasing of the lyrics and melody.Section By Section Walk Through Intro The intro starts off with the feedback sequence mentioned above. In contrast to the verse. especially the drums. the shape of this section is open ended and leads nicely back around to the verse which follows it: --------------. they seem rather incapable of making a clean.4X --|G | I Once the music gets rolling. an effect created primarily by the manner in which entry of the other instruments.

Outro The outro starts off as another one of those petit reprises of the last phrase of the final verse. as well as to make an associative allusion back to the intro. to which a final solo part was later overdubbed (you can check this on your bootlegs).Verse (Guitar Solo) Though clearly based upon the verse. or self-doubt. as well as moans. the length of this section is adjusted slightly. whoops. John vocally introduces this section with a moan. Perhaps the single most exceptional gesture in this particular number is to be found in its unaccustomed display (for John) of such effusive romantic euphoria. “Congratulate me.” 050792#55 Page 226 . Some Final Thoughts Viewed in perspective of the Beatles stylistic development over the long run. accompanied by guitar riffing reminiscent of the intro. boys. This is followed by a vamping into the fadeout over the sustained I chord. but it sets up a subtle point of reference that resonates nicely when the same effect returns in the outro. to add a tad more dramatic emphasis to the second half (note the re-entry of those drums!). anxiety. but reference to the bootleg of un-retouched and unedited take 9 (misleadingly identified on all boots as “take 7” – you heard this here first!). in this case. This is an infinitesimal gesture perhaps. The original backing track already had some solo guitar work on it. betrays the extent to which this horsing around went on during real time in the studio. I'm engaged. this song very much builds directly on the innovations and new trademarks of the A Hard Day’s Night album. and the intersection of the two parts in a few instances makes for a surreal effect. The solo part itself mimics the pitch content and rhetoric of the tune. and handclaps. a winding back to the V-IV-I phrase yet again. completely uncomplicated for a change by even the slightest second thoughts. The latter are barely audible on the finished release.

and the instrumental break and outro sections even sport a true-blue 12-bar form. the older Mr. This particular one is extremely truncated in length to an extreme that one tends to hear what is actually the beginning of the next verse as though it were a continuation of the bridge itself. The overdubbed piano. In fact. As we've seen in other songs from this period. a note that is barely within his comfort zone. with its dramatic initial upward jump of a minor sixth. humanizing factor to the proceedings. all the way to the key of E! With the exception of the two brief bridge sections. and it was also his first foray into this genre with an original effort. And – for “Unplugged”. the chord selection is strictly I-IV-V. As I commented back in my note on the Long Tall Sally EP. Even the verses turn out to be in a subtly disguised expanded variation on the standard 12-bar framework. Melody and Harmony The melodic hook of the song is to be found in the quite distinctive melodic lick which opens the verse. “She's A Woman” was Paul's most outrageous vocal performance since his earlier rendition of “Long Tall Sally”. the underlying gesture of this stylistic masquerading would have far-reaching repercussions for the Beatles in mid-to-late career. The tune and the chord choices are bluesy in flavor. the entry of the percussion (both drums and “chocalho” – sounds like maracas to me) are delayed until the second half of the intro. though the bridge does manage in its terse way to provide some respite. Darling. At the time of its initial release. it was clearly on the composer's own short list of Beatles songs he's proud to still play in public. only to return for the duration in the next section with a part that is primarily chordal but which also features the hook phrase of the tune in mockingbird Page 227 .) The opening jump takes Paul all the way up to high 'A'. It also contains a tangy implied cross-relation between the opening C# (on the word “my”) and the later C natural (on the first syllable of the word “presents”.” This song would be just about the Beatles most blues-like number to date on compositional grounds. In terms of Paul's own contribution. Paul's evident strain in trying to reach the mark indirectly adds an earthy. Not only was it a staple of the Beatles stage repertoire for the season of '65. Arrangement In trademark fashion. and the craggy manner in which it works its way back down the other side of the arch. Furthermore. sits out the first verse. alone?). but as recently as the “Unplugged Special” of last year. we can trace a relatively direct line between our current song and the likes of “Get Back” and “Oh. the bridge provides the only respite here from the blues.She's A Woman Key: Meter: Form: A Major 4/4 Intro – Verse – Verse – Bridge – Verse – Break (guitar solo) – Bridge – Verse – Outro (fadeout) General Points Of Interest Style and Form This one was one of Paulie's big personal triumphs. the predominant range of the tune (the fancy technical word for this is “the tessitura”) is on the high side. the style of drumming is modified for the bridges and outro. McCartney saw it as prudent to transpose the whole thing down a full fourth. which doubles the guitar on those offbeat chords in the intro (or is it actually some tricky double tracking of the guitar. as well as those of performance style.

Macca sings solo throughout. and these too are repeated to hypnotic effect. The only other contrasting melodic material comes in little phrases that move stepwise around a single note. louder. as well they should. the intro is eight measures in length: |E V ||D IV ||A I ||1*2* 3 4 |. The first verse is slightly different from all the rest. Page 228 . though for one precarious instant in the verse which follows the first bridge. he employs an uncommon (for him) amount of improvised variation on the basic tune. in a more pure blues number. ongoing interplay established between the bass line and the piano. Section By Section Walk Through Intro The available outtakes of this song with their inevitable count-ins show us that the music was conceived as being in a very rapid 4/4 meter. Once the piano enters. “Slow Down”).E | V A: The outtakes also show that the unaccompanied chords played on the offbeat were sufficiently clever to trip up the group virtually every time. that familiar structure here unfolds at half the normal pace (compare.2X -------------|A |D A |A || I IV I |D IV |- |- |- |A I |D IV A I |A |- | |E V |- |D IV |- |A I |D IV A I |A |- | An hypnotic mantra-like effect is created by the four-fold reiteration of the distinctive hook phrase over the course of this section. From one verse to the next. though he is rather loosely double tracked for the bridges. compare the latter effect with the handling of the lead guitar lick in "She Said She Said. measures of just the plain A (I) chord: --------------. the listener. it seems that whenever the hook phrase occurs. off base a bit no matter how many times you've ever heard it. just like the intro. Even the flawless official version maintains the power to throw you. the piano repeats the D-A chord change in measure 4 of that phrase even though the bass line appears to hold to the sustained A chord pattern established in the first verse. and more extroverted as the song progresses. with the Larry Williams cover. These little twists seem to get steadily freer." There is some nice. with its lack of a piano part and its ending on a syncopated V chord. By this rule of thumb therefore. Verse The verse is twenty-four measures long and though its formal outline is very similar to that of the standard 12-bar blues frame. and its resemblance is also further obscured by the recurrence of the D Major (IV) chord in the midst of what would antiphony with the singer. the ensemble between the two of them sounds almost ready to fall apart. by the way.

the stylized handling of the blues. and provides a terrific example of the way in which different chords used under identical melodic conditions change the feeling of the melody in each case: |c# iii |f# vi |c# iii |D IV E V | Appropriate bridge-like contrast is provided by several factors – the non bluesy melody for a change. if not quite compositionally compete with each other in any explicit. Paul's got one leading edge here with a small yet stylistically prophetic bit of wordplay -. the new couple of chords. but far from consumates. nonetheless. It is built out of a repetition of the same twomeasure melodic phrase. to be found in “What You're Doing”.” Indeed.the manner in which he rhymes "jealous" with "well as" seems just a tad too coincidentally similar to those rhymes of "doin'" with "blue an'" and "runnin'" with "fun in". the flip sides of singles seem to have been a frequent and fertile place for this to happen. this time including Paul's own vocal part based on the title phrase. as well as the manner in which it manages to sound spontaneously improvised even while it incorporates pieces of the opening hook phrase. technical way. the result of which might be two very different songs which. Some Final Thoughts I've suggested on a number of occasions the seemingly far-fetched possibility that there may have been times when John and Paul would. and “It Won't Be Long” versus “All My Loving. and add a footnote about how that chord suggests.” In this case. Break (Guitar Solo) In the guitar solo section. and especially the V-IV-I intro in which the ensemble doesn't quite start until the I chord. Note both the strange stereo mixing of the solo. and the brevity of the section itself. and even “Strawberry Fields Forever” versus “Penny Lane. betray a similar lyrical thesis or technical structure at a level below the surface. she's your symbol. recorded more or less during the same group of sessions as “She's A Woman.” What a guy! “You'll have to love her. then change my label to "V-of-ii". I am particularly struck by the euphoric subtext of the words. subliminally work out some similar musical problem in parallel with each other. Outro The outro features a break out into the 12-bar improvisatory style seen earlier in the solo section.” We saw it more recently with “You Can't Do That” and “Can't Buy Me Love. a potential modulation to the key of b minor that is left hanging in mid-air. After having discussed in our Note on “I Feel Fine” the relative propensity of the iii chord to be followed by vi versus IV. we ironically find in this next song an object lesson in which iii is alternately followed by each of those targets.” I predict we'll see it yet again when we get to “Rain” versus “Paperback Writer”. I suggest we have this same phenomenon here between “I Feel Fine” and “She's A Woman.” 051892#56 Page 229 . I first suggested this way back in connection with “She Said She Said” versus “Good Day Sunshine”. the music abandons all disguise and once and for all offers us a classic 12-bar blues frame. I have a reasonable doubt regarding whether that chord on f# is a Major or minor triad. if the former. the bridge is a scant four measures in length.Bridge As mentioned already.

the bass line is walking. The lead guitar provides its own wash of bent-note chords during the verses. This effect sounds as if it were mixed more prominently and played with an increased amount of bending during the final verse. The harmony is also modal by virtue of the heavy use of the flat-VII chord throughout. The continual juxtaposition of the flat-VII (F Major) to the V chord (D Major) in this song makes for a tangy cross relation between the F natural of the one chord with the F# of the other. Apart from the semi-acoustic arrangement. For the refrains. Arrangement The details of the arrangement seem more carefully organized than usual toward maximizing contrast between the verses and refrains. and this time it is used more sparingly though with greater abandon. John sings a single tracked solo. yet another aspect of the song which suggests the folk style. Page 230 . I'll grant you that virtually no composer plans out such consistency in any kind of pre-meditated fashion. a touch which pleasantly resonates with the analogous bent notes in the lead vocal and the harmonica solo.. The rhythm guitar provides a background wash containing a high level of noise from the pick being strummed across strings. we have a form which (with the exception of the break and outro) presents a ballad-like straight alternation of verse and refrain. John is double tracked and joined by Paul's harmonizing above him. and the percussion is quietly restrained. The harmonic diet is otherwise straightforward and limited. with the Major 3rd (B) and flattened 7th (F) consistently emphasized in the verses. pride comes be-fore a fall. The most unusual formal touch here is the instrumental break section that is a hybrid half-verse plus refrain.. The lyrics are different for each verse and imply a kind of narrative that is told in 2nd person direct address. the bass line is in a predominantly four-in-thebar oompah pattern.I'm A Loser Key: Meter: Form: G Major 4/4 Intro – Verse – Refrain – Verse – Refrain – Solo Break (half Verse + Refrain) – Verse – Refrain – Outro (fadeout) General Points Of Interest Style and Form For a rock song. and the whole thing is strictly in G Major with not even the least hint of modulation or other gambit.. We'll come across even more details supportive of this thesis as we do our walkthrough below. and ends on a cliche moral note (“. In the verses. but it still fascinates me to observe how the creative mind does seem to subconciously impose such order.”). There is a small number of chords involved overall. The naturally ocurring Major 7th (F#) occurs only in the refrain section along with the 6th degree of the scale (E) which is emphasized there after having been witheld entirely during the verses. this one contains a stronger blend of folk elements than almost anything else the Beatles had done to-date. the ad-lib intro and recapitulation of the break that occurs in the outro are both also noteworthy.. However. Melody and Harmony The melody is closer to the Mixolydian mode than it is bluesy. and the percussion gets noisier and more sizzling. John's harmonica makes its first appearance here since “I Should Have Known Better”.

Section By Section Walk Through Intro This is one of those relatively rare Beatles intros that is played ad-lib and out of tempo. the melodic phrasing creates two eight-bar couplets: G: ----------------------------. the tune seems to go out of its way to force freely dissonant notes against the underlying chords. In several places.4X -----------------------------|G |D |F |G | I V flat-VII I The tune is roughly arch-shaped with unusual and slightly awkward leaps that take John all the way down to a low G that is difficult for him to reach.” Refrain The bridge is eight measures long and is built out of two four-measure phrases that are melodically parallel even though they are placed on top of different chord progressions. here. it turns out to be a truncated version of the refrain section: G: |A Tempo ----> ------.2X -----|a |D ||F |ii V flat-VII D V | Most other songs with this kind of intro would find the complete ensemble coming in right at. making for a disingenuously "primitive" impression. note especially the G's in the second half of the first couplet which clash over both the D and F chords – on the words “should” and “never” – reminiscent of something we saw back in “I'll Cry Instead. they wait it out until the very last beats of the entire section. Verse The verse is sixteen measures long.2X ------------|a7 |D |G ii V I |e vi | |a ii |F D | flat-VII V Page 231 . Although it is harmonically built out of a fourfold repetition of the same fourmeasure chord progression (yet another folksy touch). By the same token. the only place in the entire song where the harmonic rhythm quickens beyond one chord change per measure: --------------. or just before the "A Tempo" downbeat. Formally. John makes the most of a bent-note D->C appoggiatura which occurs toward the end of each verse. Note the subtle effect of the last measure of this section. for example on the word “known” in the first verse.

Out of eight L&M originals. thereby providing motivation for the section which follows. while the refrain by itself would not work well as a break section if you are forced to choose between placing it immediately following a sung refrain. For the first time in this one. but it seems to me that a lot of what is in that later song can already be seen emerging right here in “I'm A Loser”. so to speak. The percussion reaches its sizzling peak during this break. Run these options in your head and think it over. the focus is completely on self-blame almost to the excessive extreme of maudlin self-pity. or following a verse in place of a sung refrain.The verse had been harmonically static and closed in shape. “Baby's In Black”). This strategy may be argued as necessary to the extent that the entire verse by itself would make a poor basis for a break because of its static structure. The only problem is that it sounds as though a small but critical fractional part of a beat is missing.”052892#57 Page 232 . Ringo inserts an elaborate fill (the only one in the entire song!) in between the first two phrases of this outro. a fact you almost don't realize till the smoke slowly clears. It's an elegant and dramatically convincing touch though. and this refrain. but likewise with none of the previously familiar emphasis at all on bitter accusations. she'll only reject me in the end. “I'm A Loser”. and I'll be frustrated. all the way to desperate confrontation at the other ( “No Reply”. over the course of the first phrase of the next verse. The tendency we observed in the verse toward free dissonance between melody and harmony is continued here as well. even the choice of key and chords is awfully similar. Break (Harmonica and Guitar Solo) This break is sixteen measures long and is pieced together from the first eight measures of the verse plus a complete refrain. it was not originally planned this way. makes a nice contrast in the way that it starts away from the I chord and ends up on the V chord. It's become glibly fashionable to trace a certain kind of turning point in John's compositional development to the writing of “You've Got To Hide Your Love Away” . If it were not for Paul's continual difficulty in finding an acceptable counterpoint solution for those last couple bars. as we learn from the early studio outtakes. Some Final Thoughts One of the obvious stylistic trends often noted about the Beatles For Sale album is its much larger quotient than usual of unhappy love songs. only “Eight Days A Week” and “Every Little Thing” strike the familiar Beatles chord of romantic euphoria. even without any kind of modulatory tendency. it's possible if not likely that he would have sung the whole way through. Again we find still more melodic dissonance against the harmony in both harmonica and guitar parts. This effect tends to accentuate one's sense of Dylan's influence on the proceedings. both in terms of this general context as well as in the larger one of John's other regretful or bitter songs written to this point of his career. the most striking example being at the beginning of the second phrase – E over the G chord and D over the e chord on the two syllables of “loser” respectively. though. “No. the end result making you feel like you've tripped over something in the dark when you hear it. “I Don't Want To Spoil The Party”. “What You're Doing”). The other six range across a fairly broad though equally conventional spectrum of from sad-to-bitter regret at one end ( “I'll Follow The Sun”. is somewhat unique. Paul drops out of his supporting vocal role for the last half-phrase of this section leaving John's solo exposed again. Outro The outro provides a virtually note-for-note recap of the break section albeit one faded out in mid-course.

Page 233 . but in spite of the 3/4 time signature. the folksy almost hillbilly vocal arrangement. to my ears. Although the bridge adds in the vi and V-of-V for variety. and “You're Going To Lose That Girl”. check out the end of the refrain and the opening of the bridge. with its refrain. The fact that the preceding list is entirely built out of songs that conspicuously belong to John would seem noteworthy. “When I Get Home”. Stylistically. and guitar solo sections.Baby's In Black Key: Meter: Form: A Major 4/4 Intro – Refrain – Verse – Refrain – Verse – Bridge – Refrain – Refrain (guitar solo) – Bridge – Refrain – Verse – Refrain (with complete ending) General Points Of Interest Style and Form Formalistically. the song has an unusual mishmash of elements – the bluesy tune and choice of chords. “I Call Your Name” and “Eight Days A Week”. there are several places in which they subtly branch out into a more typically Lennon/McCartney kind of counterpoint. they make a temporarily radical change to the backing for the final verse before resuming the original texture for the closing refrain. This relative lack of textural variety here increases the tension and intensity of the mood. bridge. Melody and Harmony The melodic mode is almost entirely Major with the exception of some intermittment use of the bluesy minor third in the refrain. an effect which would be repeated with equal success in “Help!”. though in a wise attempt to avoid monotony and provide a bit of contrast. Examples uncovered thus far in our studies include “It Won't Be Long”. The one notable harmonic detail is the familiar Beatles trademark of directly following V-of-V with IV instead of V. Note though how in spite of the predominance of parallel thirds in the two voice parts. Very few chords are used throughout and the song remains firmly rooted in the initial home key. the rapid tempo and agitated mood of the piece seem out of character with that romantic dance form. Early and contemporary examples of this are to be found in “She Loves You”. The instrumental texture is similarly consistent throughout. The refrain and verse sections limit themselves to the familiar I-IV-V chords. neither is such a form unprecedented. its still all simple stuff. this is among the more verbose and complicated songs we've looked at. While The Beatles didn't go in for this sort of thing very often. Arrangement There's an unusual unrelieved end-to-end vocal duet with John on bottom and Paul on top. a strange musical cross between Scottish bagpipes and an Indian tamboura. John described it as a waltz (check his spoken lead into the song at the Paris concerts in January '65). not to mention the exotic touch in the final verse where those drone-like open fifths in the bass parts conjure.

what can I do”) and provides a means of unification from the way it is repeated at the end of every refrain except for the second one. The chords are the familiar I-IV-V of the blues form though the progression pattern is far from the traditional one of that form.Section By Section Walk Through Intro The intro is a scant four measures long and creates the effect of your having walked in on the middle of the song. just as it was coming out of a refrain section: A: |A I |E V |A I |- | The guitar hook heard right at the beginning anticipates a key phrase of the tune (“Oh. Refrain The refrain is twelve measures long and is built out of three phrases equal in length: A: |A I |- |E V |- ||D IV |- |E V |- || |A I |D IV |A I |- | The melodic shape is an inverted arch. The fourth refrain. The harmonic shape is closed. presents the guitar hook in a different range than elsewhere. and I have a hard time deciding weather this is avoidance of foolish consistency or just sloppy playing. Verse The verse is an unusual fourteen measures long and built out of three phrases whose number of measures create an asymmetrical pattern of 4+4+6: |A I |- |- |- | |A |(V-of-IV) |D IV |- | |D |- |A I |E V |A I |- | Page 234 . by the way.

it has always seemed easy enough to simply interpret the mourning described in the lyric as figurative. but it also reiterates a constricted high point on the pitch 'E' almost to the point of monotony. The overall melodic range is cleverly managed. e. Some Final Thoughts To the extent that the common wisdom seems to obsess on the “downbeat” mood of the Beatles For Sale album. note the “and/but” word collision in the final verse. “made. The frequently repeated refrain contains the unique low point of the tune. This one is even picked up by the compilers of the lyrical concordance.” However. even for the Boys. I believe that if you listen carefully. For those who are keeping score of such things. “Things We Said Today. rather than literal. It's an unusual example of this technique. all in all. a worthy contrast with the surrounding sections.Again. it also sounds like their is another collision (this time on “he/she”) immediately following. but is also peppered through with bent notes and free dissonances against the underlying chords.. but these sections even more so emphasize the same harping on 'E' heard in the refrains.. I suppose that its the implicitly lugubrious nature of the words to “Baby's In Black” that may have contributed more so to this phenomenon than any one other song.dear” instead of “Oh. I've never been swayed too much by that. “How do you like your girlfriends to dress?” 061692#59 Page 235 . no matter how gamey the words may be. dear”. though the strategy of the chords not changing on the phrase boundaries creates a subtle sense of freedom. “Oh dear what can the matter be?”. The climactic peak of the song (on the pitch 'A') is held back and dramatically released right at the start of the bridge. where it makes a striking elision with the start of the next refrain. For one thing. though this one sounds as though it is perhaps a residue from an earlier guide vocal track that they were trying to mix out. Bridge The bridge is eight measures long and would appear on the surface to be made up of two phrases equal in length: |f# ii |- |B |V-of-V |D |IV |E |V ||A I Actually.g. The verse sections open the high end up as far as 'G'. the second phrase carries all the way through into the beginning of the ninth measure. the harmonic shape of the section is closed. George really lets go here with a solo whose only obvious connection to the original refrain melody is to be found in the lilting cadence of its rhythmic pattern. in place of the predominantly stepwise melodic arch performed by the singers. we get a guitar part that is not only full of long jumps. I still find it difficult to get hung about a song that sounds so similar in a way to the traditional folk ditty. And when all else fails. Personally. Guitar Solo For a guy who made such a specialty of the well-practiced kind of solo that is the most understated delicate paraphrase of the tune. because even the words here are elided at the point where the two sections intersect. Otherwise.

but also for the extremely large pitch range traversed by its expressive arch shape. Chromatic line cliches that are concealed within an inner voice of the texture play a role here reminiscent of what we've seen in both the earlier “Hold Me Tight” and the later “You Won't See Me. Page 236 . I've been pointing out repeated examples of the Beatles' tendency toward blending elements of the Blues style into a pop-rock context.I'll Follow The Sun Key: Meter: Form: C Major 4/4 Intro – Verse – Verse – Bridge – Verse – Verse (half guitar solo) – Bridge – Verse (with complete ending) General Points Of Interest Style and Form Form-wise. Arrangement The instrumental backing is most characterized by the finger-picking acoustic guitar part. This is nicely balanced out by a longer upward run in the verse. John plays an uncannily subtle supporting vocal role. Note the unusual lack of any percussion part. not only because it contains an unusual series of upward leaps of a fourth. one of which is a (partial) instrumental solo. he's actually in there singing along almost the whole way.” The more obvious example here is found in John's descending vocal counterpoint during the bridge. the manner in which the chords progress during the verse does challenge your clear perception of the home key. but with folk elements instead of the Blues. The folksy first impression created by the primarily acoustic arrangement and performance style is belied by chord progressions and a tune that are distinctly non-folk-like. There's even some slight harmonic awkwardness to the verse as though Paul were self-consciously striving for something new. Along with some of the other songs on the Beatles For Sale album. though you hardly even notice it! For example. off practicing timpani for the other cuts? Although it is Paul undeniably in the vocal spotlight. this is one of the more straightforward ones we've seen in a while: a familiar two-bridge model where two verses. Ever since we crossed the approximate frontier of the A Hard Day's Night album. The bridge features similar by-play between the two of them. The verse melody is a standout. this particular one is a fine example of the Boys playing the same trick. in spite of the presence of electric instruments on the bass and lead guitar parts. separate the bridges. John doubles Paul in unsion for the first half of the verse only to drop out leaving Paul exposed solo in the second half. Melody and Harmony A relatively small number of chords is used throughout. but the latter is quite a bit better concealed to the extent that it is merely implied by the schematic voice leading of the underlying harmony rather than being explicitly called out. Although the song is ultimately seen to reside entirely and firmly within its home key of C Major. Where was Ringo.

this section begins away from the home key (on V) but converges eventually toward one though not before throwing us a few curve balls -. and the appearance of iii in the so-called 6/4 inversion with B in the bass line. the deferred resolution of the first V-of-V. it melodically consists of one long phrase: inner line: D chords: C: V |G E-flat |Fb7 IV I E-natural F# |C |D V-of-V | G |C I e iii |D G V-of-V V |C I G V |F IV C I | Harmonically.i. Bridge The bridge is also eight measures long though its two four-measure phrases are nicely parallel in structure: Page 237 . the "gratuitous" dominant 7th on F (after all. The speeding up of the harmonic rhythm in the second half of he section also helps. Though it metrically scans into two phrases of four measures each. Verse The verse is eight measures long. A slight modification is made to the two verses which precede the bridge sections: the C chord is sustained through measure 7 and is converted into a dominant 7th (V-of-IV) during measure 8. this intro turns out to be nothing more than an anticipation of the ending of the verse section. the same couple of measures provide the defacto outro at the end. it doesn't resolve to B-flat). I believe that in the context of this strange progression.e.Section By Section Walk Through Intro The intro is a mere two measures long and serves to establish the home key as well as the background guitar figuration: |C I G V |F IV C I | As the song unfolds. the embedded line cliche plays a significant role in holding the whole thing together by providing a clear (albeit concealed) thread of continuity. and indeed.

1960. The most intriguing thing about the older version is how un-snugly the melody sits atop the chords. only to close right back on the ii chord. The downward line cliche provides us with one of the first minor iv chords we've seen in a while. the key there is G. For example. that even the official version of the song retains a certain "charming awkwardness" about it the only makes me wonder all the more: was the song somehow jinxed in a way that prevented Paul from fixing it up completely. but the music varies quite a bit at the detailed level. while our album version is in C. no less! Some Final Thoughts An astonishingly almost-but-not-quite version of this song has been preserved for us on a mysterious rehearsal tape attributed to the Quarrymen of spring.A-natural |d ii A-flat |f iv G |C I |C7 V-of-IV | |d ii |f iv |C C |d ii | As with the verse.” 062992#60 Page 238 . and in a “Paul song”. perhaps? “He can't walk out on us. and the bridge sections there each conclude with a brief guitar lick that is totally absent in our version. Paul must have been conscious of this problem to the extent that he changed so much of the harmonic content for it. or is at least *some* of this so-called awkwardness part of the intended effect here. this section also starts out away from the home key. eventually converges toward it. as we've noted. as is required to properly motivate the verse which follows with its own opening on V. In reworking it for the official version. The form presented there is essentially the same as the official version. The thing is.

There's a lot of noisily strummed acoustic guitar in the middle range (compare with “I'm A Loser”). The melodic use of the inflected flat-seventh (G natural) in conjunction with the naturally ocurring Major third (C#) makes the basic tune more Mixolydian-modal than bluesy. a sufficient number of novel details betray the extent to which the group had compositionally progressed beyond the likes of “She Loves You” and “I Want To Hold Your Hand”: in addition to the unusual form we have modally inflected harmony. V and iv. count 'em. Beyond the solo section. IV. Page 239 . we have some kind of hybrid in which the refrain sections (three. Aside from I. nor a folk-like strict alternation of verses and refrains. with its avoidance of a melodic 7th degree of any kind. not only in this song. being neither a one. three) are alternated with double verses. as well. the single-versed guitar section breaks up what would have otherwise been a foolishly consistent pattern. Through our studies of the Beatles output we've become used to seeing fairly regularized harmonic rhythms.or two-bridge pop model. Instead. the only chord choice here that is even slightly exotic is the heavy play given to flat-VII. The instrumental texture is unusual. we find an unusual and sophisticated example of an irregular harmonic rhythm used to underscore syncopation in the tune. the arrangement makes a paradoxical impression of weightiness that is simultaneously balanced out by transparency. but also on “Eight Days A Week” and “I Don't Want To Spoil The Party”. and a heavy bass line that is fortified (at least in part) by doubling in the low octaves of the piano and some punctuation by timpani drums. In contrast to the last several songs we've looked at. If anything. sounds even a bit pentatonic. the refrain. In this song though. And overall. there is very little role here for the lead guitar other than some almost subliminal punctuating (there's that word again) chords during the refrain. this one is in a relatively germane and generic early Beatles pop/rock style. We'll have more to say on this as we encounter specific examples in our walkthrough. Nevertheless. the likes of which didn't show up much on A Hard Day's Night. Arrangement John has a double-tracked solo for the verses but is joined by Paul in the refrains for a stretch of their trademark open-fifth vocal harmony.Every Little Thing Key: Meter: Form: A Major 4/4 Intro – Verse – Verse – Refrain – Verse – Verse – Refrain – Verse (guitar solo) – Refrain – Outro (fadeout) General Points Of Interest Style and Form The form of this one is a tad subtle. I know. right down to the usage of funky vocal counterpoint in the refrain. yeah. and a carefully layered instrumental backing with its piano-reinforced bass line and punctuating touches of timpani. Melody and Harmony The harmonic budget is frugal to an extreme that's rather typical of John. but which re-appears again on the Beatles For Sale album. of all things.

the fact that this intro begins on what is actually the second beat of the measure without any provision having been made to give you a clue where the first beat of it was. Rhetorically. The guitar solo section carefully follows the shape of this verse section with the first half being a close paraphrase of the main tune. solo section.2X ------------------------------ Page 240 . a sense of resolution to the opening couplet stemming from the way in which it rounds out the melodic arch of the section. while the final phrase provides an harmonic scenario which. to be extremely rare in the music of the early Beatles. What this scenario consists of is a slow but prominent melodic "turn" (that's actually a technical term in this context) around the note A. though straight out of the textbooks for Harmony 101. the first two phrases are roughly parallel to each other. that although the sung melody of the verse clearly places an A on the downbeat of measure 2 of this section moving to B on the second beat. Refrain The refrain is eight measures long. and in measure 6 we find the E major chord placed in the 6/3 (or "first") inversion because of the incidental melodic motion of the bass line. Even then. the A in the bass line functions merely as a passing note between the B and G# on either side of it while the b minor chord above is sustained. with the third phrase providing. Section By Section Walk Through Intro Once you're used to the song. tends to throw you off your sense of meter until the first verse actually begins. is nevertheless seen in a song-by-song examination of their output. Note. I'll bet. being built as a repeat of the same four-measure phrase: ----------------------------. you come to recognize this two-measure intro as the opening of the verse section as played by solo guitar. not merely because it is a relatively early example of the group's incorporating an exotic instrument in one of their songs per se. no matter how many times you've heard the song! Verse The verse is six measures in length and is built out of three short phrases of two measures each. but also because the instrument in question is being played by a member of the group.Ringo's brief stint on the timpani is somewhat history making. In measure 5. and outro). I'd dare say that this kind of construction is as characteristic of John's style as the slow melodic triplet to be found in measure 5: bassline: rhythm: | chords: |A A: I | |1 |D IV 2 E V 3 4 | | |A I | D C# | |1 2 3 4 | |G D | flat-VII IV bassline: |B |b vi A |G# |E V A A I | | Another source of contrast between the first pair of phrases versus the final one is the way in which the first two phrases share the syncopated harmonic rhythm in common. the latter remains true. it places B on the downbeat creating a characteristic added-sixth sound above the D chord below. in all sections where the lead guitar solos (as in the intro. by the way. and the latter half being an improvised extension of the single slow triplet that had appeared in the vocal verses.

which after a relatively lowkey presence in the verses. attention paid to such small d-e-t-a-i-l-s is one of the things by which These Boys were distinguished. people tell me I'm lucky”. This antiphonal pattern is repeated into the fadeout. By the same token. the second verse with its reference to “the first time I was lonely without her” provides a superb example of John's uncanny ability to embed a surprise twist. The vocal parts turn the E Major chord in this outro into a tangy E9. but also the more sublime. or reverse inference. this time upward. Still two details in the first pair of verses catch my ear. he could have just as easily expressed the same idea in the positive sense of his remembering the first time he was thrilled to be with her. “When I'm walking beside her. the E on the downbeat is dissonant against the G chord below (yet another added-sixth sonority!) but it quickly resolves downward to the consonant D. and this not only the more clever and elliptical. which resonates with earlier examples of John's preoccupation with factoring in the opinions of un-named others when it comes to his taking the measure of his sense of self-satisfaction or self-worth when it comes to affairs of the heart. But as it stands. In measure 2. Some Final Thoughts The words to this song are lovely in one sense but honestly a bit pedestrian at the same time. or place a surprisingly deeper poetic spin than you'd expect onto an otherwise commonplace string of words.e.” 070892#61 Page 241 . “You'll have to love her. Don't forget. The first one is the opening couplet. Conversely. about those chord-chopping lead guitar accents. to the consonant E. We have a fairly traditional kind of textural contrast provided here by the drums. And there's also a vestigial occurrence here of the word “yeah” in the form of an expostulation. the first two measures of the verse played by the lead guitar). to an extreme that I'm afraid my own fumbling words could never adequately describe. but this time it is answered by the singers who set the title phrase of the lyrics to a new melodic phrase that is sung in parallel thirds. the D on the downbeat of measure 4 is dissonant against the A chord but it resolves. signal the outburst of sizzling cymbals in the refrain by a neat little fanfare-fill at the beginning of the section. Though a slower and more subtle effect than what we saw in the verse.melody: | |A I E F# A F# |E DD |G flat-VII | |- D D D |D E |A I D E | | Counterbalancing melodic appoggiaturas are used here. he manages to score an ultimately positive point via an apparently negative. either. Outro The outro recapitulates the same idea heard earlier in the intro (i. the sustaining of the G chord through measures 2 and 3 in this refrain provides another example in the same song of syncopated harmonic rhythm. In this specific example.

Arrangement As we've seen in several other folksy songs on the Beatles For Sale album. though the inclusion of the D# in the tune in order to maneuver around the V-of-vi chord does stretch the envelope a bit. including five out of the seven naturally occurring triads (I. Conceptually it's another kind of hybrid. The repeat pattern of the form with its use of a bridge instead of a refrain. note especially the juicy open 5th on the word “love.I Don't Want To Spoil The Party Key: Meter: Form: G Major 4/4 Intro – Verse – Verse – Bridge – Verse – Verse (guitar solo) – Bridge – Verse – Outro (with complete ending) General Points Of Interest Style and Form The instrumental and vocal arrangement create a folksy. In the bridge it is definitely Paul on top and John on the bottom for a stretch of their trademarked stridently bracing harmonies. or else it's John down there over-dubbed with himself. you could almost declare it as “purely” in the Major mode. but virtually everything else about it including the lyrics suggests the pop/rock Beatles style. Melody and Harmony An unusually large number of chords are used. In fact. V. as well as the chord choices and melodic style. where it ostensibly provides a lead role. and vi). Even in the intro. Even though the lead guitar is mixed quite forward and “dry” for its solo section and the outro. ii. its presence is so low key the rest of the time that you almost don't notice it's there. in spite of all acoustic guitar and vocal harmony mannerisms on the surface of the piece. with the earlier folksy texture returning for the final phrase. the instrumental texture is dominated by the acoustic rhythm guitar part. In the first half of the verse John sings the top part with either Paul unusually singing the counter-melody on the bottom for a change. IV. suggest the urban pop style more so than they do C&W. it is inexplicably mixed down behind the rhythm part. For a change. plus flat-VII and two secondary dominants (V-of-V and V-of-vi). The third phrase of the verse features Paul and George switching to a very un-folksy backing vocal of “oooohs” behind John's solo. even countrified facade for this song. the melody contains no touches of any quaint modalism.” Section By Section Walk Through Intro The intro is eight measures long and with simple chords quickly establishes the home key and sets the stylistic tone for the rest of what will follow: G: |G I |- |D7 V |- |- |- |G I |- | Page 242 .

yet remarkably closer to the abstract outline of it if you bother to compare the two of them side by side. Bridge The bridge is twelve measures long and is built out of a repetition of the same unusual six-measure phrase: |G I |- |e vi |A |C V-of-V IV |D V | Page 243 . less melodically continuous. The manner in which the flat-VII is deployed here is slightly unusual. superficially much choppier. or else used in frequent alternation with V. the V9 chord you might have sooner expected in its place. and more dissonant than the sung tune. by the way. Here. The first pair of phrases form a roughly parallel couplet. The solo work is reminiscent of the music heard in the rest of the song though when you look at it more closely you discover an extremely unusual example here where the material for the intro is in fact not heard again in the body of the song. we're set up to expect such a clear domination by the V chord that the sudden and belated appearance of flat-VII so near the end of the verse section catches us a bit by surprise. We're more used to seeing it used predominantly in place of V. the freely dissonant 7th made by the E in the melody over this F chord.The rhythm and lead guitar take the prominent role in this section with the entrance of the bass and drums carefully held back until the very end of it. Note. There is something ironic about the composition of the guitar solo. the contrasting and climactic third phrase provides both the melodic peak as well as an increase in the pace of the harmonic rhythm. say. and the section is finally capped by a repeat of the opening phrase: |G I |- |- |- | |G |- |D V |- | |e vi |B |a V-of-vi ii |D V | |G I |F7 |G flat-VII I | | The third phrase tends to cleave in two with the B Major chord (V-of-vi) particularly feeling left hanging as a sort of harmonic non-sequitur. for a change. and makes for what I react to as a lazy. shoulder-shrugging impression in contrast to. The melodic D# which sits above that same B chord similarly makes for an indirect cross-relational clash with the D natural that is implicit in the D Major chord at the end of the phrase. Verse The verse is sixteen measures long and built out of four phrases equal in length to form an 'AABA' structure that is nicely underscored by the handling of the vocal arrangement.

the second syllable of the word “dis-a-ppear”). makes a more dramatic. The extent to which the Beatles were capable of transcending the nominal bounds of the cliche is effectively brought home by comparing our current song with one of the more popular examples in this model done by another roughly contemporaneous artist. Some Final Thoughts The party that should have been a blast but which turned out to be a supremely hurtful confrontation with romantic disappointment or betrayal is one of the archetypal scenarios of the top-40 pop-song genre. but the way it stands with the sudden drawing out of the melodic rhythm.” 071592#62 Page 244 . What John gives us. Beatles For Sale features enough close-together examples of this device to make you feel as though this must have been a “new toy” kind of thing for them at the time. In contrast to the verse which is closed in harmonic shape (in spite of the adventurous third phrase). in contrast. this section is open-ended in order to better motivate the return of the verse which follows it.” The other song spells out a kiss-and-tell tale of woe in almost embarrassing detail. The interesting thing about such ambiguity is that it not only is more poetic by nature. This is yet another one of the songs on this album to feature the "classic" Beatles gambit of "V-of-V moves to V by way of IV". “It's all your fault. whereas the bridge here stretches it up to A (on the word “be” in the phrase “I'll be glad. is much more internally ruminative. And this latter point has implications that are marketing related as well as merely aesthetic. The crux of the matter can be summed up as a case of “less is more. with its concomitant cross relation. but also opens up the likelihood of the song which contains it to strike resonant chords in the hearts and experience base of the largest possible number of individual listeners. The verse had topped out on G (i. We also have another good example here where the bridge provides not only a change of pace from the verses but also the unique melodic peak for the song overall. sparse. and at the other extreme. The truth might lie anywhere along a broad spectrum of possibilities that includes at one extreme the open betrayal by a significant other. getting invites to gambling clubs. The two sections nicely function like symmetrical bookends to the rest. and ambiguous. He's probably in the middle of an orgy by now.e.This six-measure phrase could have been coerced into a more standard (not to say rushed) four-measure model by a doubling up of the harmonic rhythm starting in measure 3. rhetorical effect. go ahead and flame me for even thinking about mentioning this one in the same article. Just one example to get you thinking about it and then I'll take my own advice about less/more and get the heck out of here: it's impossible to tell for sure from just the lyrics alone what kind of relationship existed between the protagonist and his beloved prior to “the party”.”) Outro The outro is primarily a recap of the same material heard in the intro though this time it is scored for the entire ensemble. comparable to their apparent fixation with Major/minor combinations on the A Hard Day's Night album. I'm thinking of the one about “my party” and “I'll Cry If I Want To” – yes. the case of a secret admirer merely disappointed over a lost opportunity to gaze from afar.

Paul's solo is double tracked throughout. this device was something that Paul would come back to with increased fascination in “Drive My Car”. such as “Hey Jude” and “Let It Be” where the dissonance is handled much more carefully. The hard thumping is reminiscent of the timpani drums used in “Every Little Thing”. Page 245 . it also contains an uncommon number of appoggiaturas. F natural). though its worth noting that the gambit had already been tried by them once before in the much earlier “P. An average number of chords (five. generally. the extreme amount of it found in this song is noteworthy.What You're Doing Key: Meter: Form: D Major 4/4 Intro – Verse – Verse – Bridge – Verse – Verse (guitar solo) – Bridge – Verse – Outro (fadeout) General Points Of Interest Style and Form The form of this song is a quite standard two-bridge model. In the second instance. The second half of the intro offers up an ostinato figure that bears partial resemblance to the tune. though its execution there by George is a bit timid and awkward sounding in places. The chord progressions of both verse and bridge sections give some prominence to the characteristic feeling of alternating between vi and IV (i. I Love You”. only thud. count 'em. and specifically in the way that the last four notes of it echo the hook phrase “what you're doin'”. the backing voices supply an “oohing” background wash to the soloist in the second half of the verse. The backing voices though alternate between two functions. Interestingly. Note how in the refrain of that later song. if not entirely novel and unique.e. non-resolving) sevenths and ninths. Although the overall instrumental texture bears an uncanny resemblance to that of “Every Little Thing”. though I believe in this song we are listening to the standard bass drum that comes along with the kit. the first words of the first two lines of each verse. S. they are used to punctuate. almost quaintly so. it is one of the main ingredients that make you relate to the song as jazzy in contrast to Paul's more hymn-like songs. b minor and G Major). the extreme emphasis on vi and IV momentarily blurs your clear sense of what is the home key. in terms of its syncopated nature. to my humble ears. the arrangement does contain a number of features which. have no pitch. The other passing resemblance here to “Every Little Thing” is found in the the heavyon-those-lower-octaves use of the piano. While some amount of dissonance is the life's blood of most musical styles. 5) are used though this limited diet is rather spiced up by the high quotient of melodic dissonance turning many of the plain triads into added-sixths and free (i. exclamation-style. we've not seen in our studies for a while.e. Timpani are tuned to a specific pitch and the drums on this track. and free dissonances. the heavily syncopated tune makes emphatic use of the bluesy minor third scale degree (i. This ostinato provides some overall unity to the song from the way it is deployed as a backing obbligato within the verses. suspensions. nondominant. On an almost subliminal level. Melody and Harmony Though clearly in the key of D Major. In the first instance. Arrangement The solo use of drums here in the intro is a first for The Boys.e. This trick anticipates what is likely the Beatles most famous use of the technique in “Help!”.

the A->G appoggiatura in the second measure (on the word “doing”). Section By Section Walk Through Intro The intro is longish and layered. the all important V chord is held back all the way until the end of the bridge! An exceedingly subtle though important difference between the ostinato and the main tune is that the former starts off with a syncopation from the "four-AND" beat of the previous measure. and the second of includes the rest of the ensemble joining with a dual. Looking ahead. and the G on the downbeat of measure 5 against the b minor chord. suggests an anticipation of some of what would later appear in “Day Tripper”.. I'd propose that the layered handling of the intro and outro here. Verse The verse is a standard eight measures which in turn breaks up into two four-measure phrases. it is noteworthy how only one other chord (vi) in addition to these two is used until the bridge section. on the downbeat.statement of the ostinato figure: ostinato:D chords: |D D: I > > .F# BAF#E .Since we're already doing more than the usual amount of free-associating between this and other songs.ostinato --|D |G | I V Examples of dissonance here include the following: the F-natural in the melody against F# in the D Major chord every time the hook phrase appears (as on the word “you're”). its eight measures split into two four-measure sections. with a two-measure repeat of the ostinato figure that begins overlapping with the last measure of the eight-measure verse: |D I |G IV |D I |G IV | |b vi |G IV |- --. Bridge The bridge is eight measures long and is to be parsed into three phrases which make an AAB pattern of 2 + 2 + 4 measures: Page 246 .ED EF# . whereas the latter starts. not to mention the ostinato figure. bang.|G |D IV I |G IV | The identity of the home key is established entirely by the I and IV chords. indeed. the first of which is for solo drums that mark out a repeated drum-majorette kind of fanfare. The verse sections which are followed directly by another verse instead of a bridge are nine measures long.

but implicitly ad infinitum into the fadeout. accompanied this time in mid phrase by the bass guitar. and this section contrasts sharply with that. One example. followed by four measures of the drum fanfare. There is an interesting dramatic effect to be observed in these two measures as well. This sort of gesture had been common in outros on the first two albums. “And don't you take that tone with me. The triple-repeat is followed by a reprise of the intro. We first start off with Paul's making an old fashioned triple petit-reprise of the final couple measures of the verse. this section opens away from the I chord and ends wide open on the V chord by way of a broad set up from V-of-V. and the overlap of the two gestures makes an uncanny effect. repeated here not just twice as above. and that in the last two measures where F# on the downbeat of measure 7 creates an added-sixth. young man!” 072292#63 Page 247 . One thing is sure in any event. I'm evenly divided on the question of whether the abandonment of this pattern for the third verse (“lying” rhymed with “crying”) was a purposeful avoidance of foolish consistency. though. followed by the 4-3 (D->C#) appoggiatura on the downbeat of measure 8. The quotient of melodic dissonance remains the same here as seen in the verse. is worth pointing out. To save space. or something more in the realm of careless oversight or being fresh out of clever rhyming pairs.|G IV |b vi |G IV |b vi | |E |V-of-V |A V |- | The verse was harmonically closed in shape. but the most recent time we'd seen one like this before now was back on “I'm Happy Just To Dance With You”. Outro The outro is longer and more complex in organization than usual. Some Final Thoughts Paul's decision to rhyme “blue and” with “doing” and “fun in” with “running” recycles a clever idea seen earlier in “She's A Woman”. the rhythm backing takes the opportunity to use the last beat of the last measure as an energetic springboard into the next verse. The sustaining of the A Major chord for two measures coupled with the descending melodic melisma on the word “me” is an essentially relaxing or winding-down kind of gesture. The first half of the bridge is heard almost as though there had been a modulation to the relative minor key (b minor) in which case your ear interprets the chords b and G chords as i and VI respectively. ultimately followed by a recap of the ostinato figure. kind of like your being pulled in two directions at once. more or less: first a single statement of the ostinato. I'll leave the finding of more examples as the proverbial exercise for the canonical reader.In sharp contrast to this.

Music in the Blues form remains this time around the most conspicuous item that the group would order out for. I hope) described as a difficiency of fast jumping music among the eight originals. but I believe that the caricatures are much less outrageous this time around. Notably. Five out of these six covers were originally recorded by their composers! This was not at all the case earlier on. the appearance of “I'll Follow The Sun” must have eliminated the "need" for them to include a tender/soppy cover along the lines of “Till There Was You” or “A Taste Of Honey. If anything. Stylistically. yet again. The folksier stuff resonates with the several original songs on the album that have acoustic arrangements. perhaps a side. this set of six songs is evenly weighted between straight rock. This time.The Cover Songs Appearing On The Beatles For Sale Album General Points Of Interest It's Still The Same Some things would appear to never change: • • • We have here yet another album of 14 songs. the original key choices and section orderings are closely followed for most of the songs in this bunch.effect of the relative haste with which this album is known to have been put together. based on the group's firmly established preference by this point in time for recording their own original material as much as possible. By the same token. in spite of an earlier trend toward liberal reworking noted on With The Beatles and Long Tall Sally.” For a change. • • • Rock and Roll Music Key: A Major Meter: 4/4 Form: Intro – Refrain/Verse (four times) – Outro (complete ending) Composer: Chuck Berry Influential Version: Chuck Berry (1957) Page 248 . There's a temptation to draw a connection between here and the Long Tall Sally EP. But You Have Changed Nevertheless. rock'a'billy and pop/novelty. and the rockier stuff makes up a bit for what could be (fairly. but Buddy and Carl as well. no Girl Groups are represented in this group of covers. The tendency charted earlier on With The Beatles and Long Tall Sally of their dipping back into the procrustean layers of their pre-fame repertoire is continued further here. we not only have the familiar Berry and Penniman. this group of covers is different in some respects from the ones we've seen in the past: • The Beatles stay more slavishly close to the originals this time around than they had before. you might describe this as an "oldies" / "tribute" collection of songs. and I'm tempted to suggest that this was a conscious part of the “tribute” element. 8 of which are Beatles originals and 6 of which are covers.

the formal schema used in both refrain and verse are more flexible here than the rigid 12-bar formula we're so used to finding in Berry's other songs. the first half of the first one is quite different (and eight measures longer than) the all the rest. The verse is only eight measures long and harmonically opens and closes on the V chord. Moonlight Key: F# Major (yep.g. and “Sweet Little Sixteen”. Along with “Twist and Shout”. lugubrious Hammond organ. though a petit-repriselike repetition of the final half-phrase (“if you wanna dance with me”) rounds the section out to an unusual fourteen measures. Note too how Chuck cues himself with a I chord at the beginning. While the harmonic material of this song is limited entirely to the familiar I-IV-V of the blues. The refrain comes close to the 8+4 sub-species of the 12-bar form. the two versions differ in a matter of some details. and if you bother to check. the second of which is always introduced by a rising scale played solo by the bass guitar. Mr. and the overall result is that the poetic scanning of the phrases sound less foursquare than they actually are. and there is some variation in the scanning of the words (e. Page 249 . whereas the Beatles sensibly change this to V. I find myself a bit "surprised" to rediscover how much more melodic and laid back the original sounds in comparison. Chuck played it in the lower key of E (or is it E-flat – the CD re-issue from MCA is mastered at what sounds like off-speed). The relatively long verses all sub-divide into two halves. "*PI*an*O* versus "pi*AN*o"). • • The harmonic rhythm is very slow and contains many cases where the same chord is sustained for 2 or 4 measures or even longer. The Beatles version follows the formal outline of the original. Goode”.Within this batch of six covers. “Johnny B. granted not original with them. that’s right!) Meter: 4/4 Form: Intro – Verse (initial) – Verse (variant) – Verse (half solo. half vocal) – Verse (variant) – Outro (fadeout) Composer: Johnson Influential Version: Dr. The half instrumental solo and half vocal division of the middle section is a favorite. it is one of a very small number of non-original songs which might be described nonetheless as one of the group's emblematic "anthems". Some examples -The first section is based on a subtly different form from the rest of them. It turns out that this song was not at all an “oldie” at the time the Beatles picked up on it and they didn't even keep it in their repertoire for all that long! Seems like this is the Beatles cover which everyone loves to hate. but both the arrangement and John's vocal peformance suggest a harder-driven interpretation of the song rather than a stylized impersonation. Once having gotten used to the Beatles version as the default. still hanging in there at the bitter end of their touring days. Beyond this. For example. and generally queasy blend of dooh-whop and Latin musical styles. device of the Beatles seen in such places as “From Me To You” and “A Hard Day's Night”. Curiously though. this was clearly the “longest running” number. But get beyond this if you can and discover a number of compositional details which are more reminiscent of the Beatles' own style than you'd ever expect from the surface. this particular Chuck song appears to have not been on the playlist of the Quarrymen era in spite of the fact that they were already playing back then the likes of “Roll Over Beethoven”. it must be something about the selfconsciously campy vocal. Feelgood (1962) Judging from the introductory vocal scream you'd be tempted to suppose that John had a hankering to play the good Doctor that was as long-lived as Paul's desire to be Little Richard.

The harmonic content is an ostinato/mantra-like endless repetition of the I-IV-V chord progression. Independent of Paul's Penniman fixation. Words Of Love Key: A Major Meter: 4/4 Form: Intro . plus they add hand claps and Ringo's banging on a packing case to the Page 250 . measures long. as well as much of the guitar work. changing measure 12 to the V chord (instead of sustaining the I chord from measure 11). in which every section is in straight 12bar (8+4 or AAB) blues form.Verse – Verse – Verse (solo) – Verse – Verse – Verse – Verse (fadeout) Composer: Lieber/Stoller .Hey. Hey. Hey Key: G Major Meter: 4/4 Form: Intro . Medley: Kansas City . actually two of them spliced together. But Little Richard saves the instrumental section (played on his version by a saxophone instead of guitar) until after the first “hey hey” section has been sung. As is the case concerning John versus Chuck. Both versions are performed in the same key though. given the extent to which the group can be said to have been influenced and inspired by the nice fellow from Lubbock. Though recorded originally as two separate songs. Little Richard himself had already popularized the medley performed here by the Beatles. Granted. Buddy's original is a tad more Latin in its backbeat. isn't it.Penniman Influential Version: Little Richard (1959) Here we have the inevitable song. The Beatles make a small but persuasive chord change at the end of the first verse. unless the half-step difference was just sufficient to keep John from cracking on the high notes.Verse – Verse – Verse (solo) – Verse – Verse – Outro (fadeout) Composer: Holly Influential Version: Buddy Holly (1957) Strange. is identical in both versions. but the choice of key. The form is monotonous in the manner of Chuck's blues numbers though the sections here are all eight. starting as early as the infamous Quarrymen acetate of “That'll Be The Day”. it's easy to imagine that the antiphonal backing vocals of the second half would have been something to attract the Beatles toward this number. I can't honestly figure what would have influenced the Boys to do it in the very unusual key of F# Major. For all its apparent simplicity. all the better to motivate the next section. the original version turns out to be less extremely inflected than the Beatles cover of it. the original having been in G. especially considering the relatively large number of his tunes that had been in their early repertoire. we find here that Paul's vocal sounds a bit strained and affected compared to the original. One of the strangest variances is in the choice of key. I'd assume they must have fingered it in an easier key like E or F and used some capos. Along the same lines. very strange considering the large number of other cover songs with fadeouts on the original version changed to a complete ending by the Beatles. Hey.As with “Rock and Roll Music”. this turns out to be one of the more re-worked items in this set of six cover songs. Paul reverses the lyrics to the first two verses. the Beatles do greatly emphasize their own open-fifth style of vocal counterpoint in the arrangement. we find that the original contains a complete ending instead of the Beatles' fadeout. that this is the only one of his tunes to have become part of the official Beatles songbook. perhaps an oversight more than anything else. and the two-fold instrumental solo section is an unusual touch. Still. instead of twelve.

but the 12-bar verses incorporate a rather Buddy-esque use of the flat-VI chord. the repeat and alternation pattern sections of this one is relatively cranked out seeingly at random. Personally. I always find John's rendition (as heard on a pair of Beeb radio appearances) the more knowing and trenchant. Clearly. likely in order to give George a solo vocal with which to fill the gap between “Roll Over Beethoven” and “If I Needed Someone. Those who are primarily familiar with the Beatles version will likely be surprised by the extent to which it matches the original. Compared to the tidiness of the typical Beatles original composition. you can even argue that Carl's penchant for surprising.percussion section.Verse – Refrain – Verse – Refrain – Verse (solo) – Refrain – Verse – Refrain – Verse (solo) – Refrain – Outro (complete ending) Composer: Perkins Influential Version: Carl Perkins (1956) Forget about Buddy and Berry. this one is a bit unusual. he scores – together with Larry Williams. Surprisingly. especially John. of all people – the highest number of songs by a single artist to have been covered by the Beatles on their official releases! Once you recover from your initial shocked surprise. Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby Key: Meter: Form: E Major 4/4 Intro .Verse – Verse – Verse (solo) – Verse – Verse – Verse (solo) – Verse – Verse – Outro (complete ending) Composer: Perkins Influential Version: Carl Perkins (1958) Yet another Perkins song. But still. From a different perspective.” the poor guy. For a fellow like Perkins whose output otherwise focuses around 12-bar formats. rather than an outright imitation. form. Perkin's original vocal delivery though is unique and would not easily imitated. Granted. it remains essentially a sentimental and nostalgic Tribute To Buddy. basic arrangement including the solo guitar work. our Boys had some kind of Carl Perkins fixation. the ever-fastidious Fab Four had taken the trouble to reorganize the song for increased tightness. but it stayed there as the default Ringo song on stage. Note especially the multiple solos and their asymmetrical placement. dropped out of the repertoire during '63 only to return for '64 and '65. This specific song didn't come into the act until as late as '62. and the guitar solo sections are actually a clever 8-bar contraction of the verses in which the eighth measure moves to V instead of sustaining the flat-VI from the previous measure. it's worthwhile acknowledging the extent to which Perkins' “rock'a'billy” style rounds out the repertoire of a group that at the time was in transition toward Rubber Soul by way of Beatles For Sale. for a while. Honey Don't Key: Meter: Form: E Major 4/4 Intro . Page 251 . the refrains here are in the straight blues form. enigmatic lyrical turns of phrase (“sometimes you say you will when you won't”/”got that sand all over your feet”) would also intrigue the Beatles. Faced with a similar gameplan back in “Matchbox”. right down to the same key. especially by Ringo.

muddy sounding instrumental backing that makes Perkins' original look primitive and homespun in comparison. was it nostalgia or desperation? The earliest included song of the six. The data below covers only the six songs under discussion in this article. The Beatles opt for a thick. The persistence of two-to-three of these songs in the continually shrinking list of songs the Beatles would play live as the group ground toward their last couple seasons as a touring band is striking in light of the expected trend toward original material. Some Final Thoughts Going In And Out of Style The following chart. Moonlight”. and likely indicative of their scrambling to fill out the album. volunteers ? :-) '57-'59 Every Honey Kansas Mister Rock Words ====== #songs '60 '61 X X '62 X X X X X X ====== 6 '63 '64 X X X X ====== 4 '65 X X '66 || || || || || || #years 4 4 3 2 7 4 X X X ====== 3 X ====== 1 X X ====== 2 X X ====== 4 X ====== 3 X ====== 1 Some observations: Our six songs entered and exited their repertoire on a staggered basis over the course of their entire stage career. will you still feed me?” 080592#64 Page 252 . the 4+8 inner structure of each frame obviates the need for a separate refrain since the longer second half of each section provides its functional equivalent. but I'd suggest the same technique *should* be applied to their entire catalog. with all six appearing only in the '62 season. derived from data published in Lewisohn's "Live" book. Even stranger. is the inclusion on the album of two songs which were not part of the live lineup any more as of '64. provides some insight into the historical layering of the Beatles cover repertoire. though two of them paradoxically were returned to the lineup in '64. The choice of key and form though match up with the original. was also the first one to be dropped out. all of these songs were adopted by the Beatles at least a year or more later than the original appeared. “Rock and Roll Music” was fated to be the longest running! “Will you still need me. In contrast to “Honey Don't”. indeed. this time every section is in the classic 12-bar blues mold. “Words Of Love”. And quite appropriately. With the exception of “Mr. Three of these six covers were dropped out during the busy '63 season. Indeed. It's also interesting too to see how the four cover songs current during '64 are evenly divided among the foursome in terms of who is the lead vocalist.This one sports the familiar Perkins signature of a lengthy form with unusual repeat patterns and multiple sections for instrumental solo.

in August.Becoming Artists (1965 – 1966) In the middle of the sixties rock musicians began to see themselves as artists. In July they released the single Paperback Writer / Rain. which appeared in April. released in August. released in July. the album Revolver followed step. treating their music as an artistic expression of their emotions and a serious reflection of their feelings. December saw the album Rubber Soul and the single Day Tripper / We Can Work It Out. Page 253 . The Beatles started late in 1966. One month later. This tendency became stronger in their summer single Help! / I'm Down. and the sound tracks on on the album with the same name. The Beatles stood at the front of this movement. The Beatles already departed from their image as teenage stars with their first single of the year 1965 Ticket To Ride / Yes It Is. As Pollack shows in his analyses the development of the group in these years is ruled by a growing independency from their musical roots.

folk or whatnot. The form of the song also contains a number of formalistically distinctive earmarks: the apparently adlib/slow intro. from G only up to E above it. But more so than the variety of chords per se. six out the seven which appear naturally ("diatonically") in the home key (I through vi)."s). destroyed or are otherwise waiting to be unearthed by the perseveringly enterprising. plus flat-III. only. the break uses a chromatic scale fragment which both rises and falls. Seemingly by way of contrast. and a couple of secondary dominants (i. Furthermore. rock.. ambivalent dissatisfaction which underlies so many of his lyrics. “You Like Me Too Much” contains ample substance which attest to its belonging to George.e. This chromatic idea also makes unifying appearances at the end of the bridge. George demonstrates a predilection for root movements that are stepwise or by thirds. Arrangement The choice of home key and the prominent role of the piano suggest at least a superficial connection between this song and the subject of our previous study. he had to wait until this one for a second chance. and the subtle manner in which verse and bridge ellide with each other in terms of both music and words. is dominated by clearly teliological chord progressions that start from (and/or move steadily toward) such harmonically conspicuous goals as the tonic (I) or dominant (V). progressions which lie along the circle of fifths and involve root movement of a fifth upward or downward also typically predominate. It's up to the biographers to find out if this was the only other thing he had written since then. He also likes to defer bringing things to a sense of climax or resolution. so-called "V-of. it is in their unusual sequencing that George's particular style is distinguished. “Tell Me What You See”. Amazingly. The more typical pop song.You Like Me Too Much Key: Meter: Form: G Major 4/4 Intro – Verse – Verse – Bridge – Verse – Break (solo) – Bridge – Verse – Outro (with complete ending) General Points Of Interest Style and Form George had been granted his first solo shot as a songwriter with “Don't Bother Me” way back on With The Beatles. A larger than average number of chords are used here. these two songs were recorded at back-to-back sessions. The verse especially has a circular repetitiveness reminiscent of the kind of rut you can wear in a carpet from too much fretful nervous pacing. the deployment of both a bridge and break. as well as in the intro and outro. we'll note a tendency for him to step away from it yet one more time. As a result. a falling scale fragment permeates the tune as a leitmotif in both verse and bridge. And indeed. a musical technique and effect which uncannily matches and reflects the strong subtext of vague. whether influenced by blues.. In contrast. In spite of its superficial resemblance’s to the Lennon & McCartney songs which surround it in context. Melody and Harmony The entirety of the melody lies within a narrowly constricted range of only six notes. Page 254 . especially in its chord progressions and the attitude of its lyrics. or if perhaps there is a plethora of “lost” Harrisongs that have been either suppressed. and even once he finally reaches the brink of such a payoff.

When its F-natural is melodically sustained against the following D Major chord (with its concomitant F#) we have a small clash which just might be the most bluesy moment of the entire song. with a second harmonizing vocal line (either Paul or George overdubbed) added for the title hook line and continuing through most of the bridge. Section By Section Walk Through Intro The intro only seems to be slow and out of tempo as an artifact of there being no percussion backbeat behind it. The piano also freely embellishes many of the chords with added 6ths and 7ths.g. Furthermore. lending a slightly jazzy flavor to the backing. but thankfully. you'll discover the tempi of the two is quite close. the former one is not repeated elsewhere. on the final “you” in each verse). If you compare it carefully with the outro. both starting and ending away from tonic. with just a small amount of rubato applied to the intro. the harmonic shape of the section is “open” on both ends. A lugubrious touch of reverb is applied in this short passage to one of the keyboard parts and some tremolo to the other one.2X -------------|a ||C |G || ii IV I |b iii |- |D V |- ||G I |C IV |D V |- || In spite of the plentiful supply of 'I' chords in this verse. We start off with a drawn-out six measure phrase in which the home key is clearly defined before the song moves on to deal with less direct chord progressions: G: |G I |- |B-flat |D flat-III V |G I |- | The use of flat-III right off the bat is unusual enough. the setup of IV via ii and the setup of V via iii are examples of the kind of weak or indirect chord progressions that I described above as creating a sense of avoidance of harmonic closure. The latter effect returns in both the break and outro. The harmonization is primarily in parallel thirds though a Beatlesque open fourth occasionally is snuck in (e. Page 255 . The first two phrases form a couplet followed by a bridge-like third phrase which leads to the closing title hook: -------------.The Steinway-reinforced electric piano part provides the song with a rhythmic hook by virtue of its relentless. Verse The verse is sixteen measures long and contains four phrases equal in length. in which the virtually identical phrase is recapitulated with backbeat. George is vocally double tracked in unison for start of each verse. syncopated accenting of the eighth note in between the second and third beats (on “two-AND”).

though any potential side-effect of monotony caused by this is balanced out by the striking manner in which the opening of the section broadens out rhythmically. In addition. this eight-measure section sounds much less four-square than it would appear to be on paper: |e iii |- |A V-of-V |- | |b ii |A V-of-V |E A V-of-V-of-V V-of-V |A D V | The melody of this section fails to break the range barriers of the verse. As a result of all the above. by yet one more petit-reprise of the ubiquitous title hook phrase. Some Final Thoughts The lyrics to this song seem to send a mixed message. the large number of secondary dominants and some syncopation in the last couple measures create a semi-modulatory feeling of being less than securely grounded.. The opening bridge line ("I really do") follows seamlessly from the verse ending (“you like me too much and I like you”). so to speak. note how the continuation with the next verse (starting on ii) winds up. being even more open-ended than the verse on both sides. I mean. Similarly. or would those reiterated accusations and the recounting of your past misdeeds tend to undermine his claim in your light blue eyes? On the one hand. You could parse it as an almost but not quite complete pivot modulation to the key of D except that the end of the section sounds so clearly like big windup on the V chord. the piano and lead guitar parts trade copycat chromatic scale riffs during the instrumental portion. Even so. Break The break is a very clever combination play of a 12-bar instrumental blues frame with the four-measure sung title hook phrase grafted on at the end. the ending of the bridge (“If you leave me”) moves just as smoothly into the next verse (“I will follow you . leaving the resolution of this V chord deferred until later. then again. At cross-currents to the underlying blues form.”).Bridge The demarcation of this bridge as a section distinct from the verses which adjoin it is significantly blurred by the flow of the lyrics.. we could debate all night the question of whether this kind of Harrisonian ambiguity is the result of artful design or unintended-yet-unavoidable awkwardness. if you were on the receiving end of them. One other source of contrast in this bridge is the temporary addition of a tambourine to the backing track. From there on. true to form. Outro The outro in introduced. helps support this sense of formal elision. The harmony here. But. I'm reminded in this regard of Page 256 . it's all a rehash of the intro except that this time it's accompanied by the steady support of yer droombeat. would you be convinced in your core that George really “likes” you as unshakably as he professes.

“Oh. responded that the difference between confusion of mind and complexity of mind or emotion is often merely the thinnest of gray hairs.” 110292#68 Page 257 . you can come off it with us.a former boss who. when confronted over a bare-faced self-contradiction he had just made.

The G chord that opens the bridge with an F natural in the melody actually functions as a V-of-IV. C. and that's fine. Arrangement The prominent solo part for electric piano as well as the several exotic percussion instruments which substitute during most of the proceedings for the usual full drum kit provide quite a bit of novelty to the backing track. being limited to the major chords of G. compare this with the earlier example of “Thank You Girl”. I Love You”. Melody and Harmony The song is clearly and unrelievedly in the key of G Major. Harmonic rhythm is more varied in the service of formal articulation and this somewhat makes up for the small number of chords.e. the larger than usual number of cross-references and associations with other Beatles mentioned below indeed seems to reflect this. the operative phrase in this regard being “we will never be apart if I'm part of you. or just Paul over-dubbed with himself. The harmonic diet is very plain. The vocal arrangement features two voices throughout.Tell Me What You See Key: Meter: Form: G Major 4/4 Intro – Verse – Verse – Bridge – Verse – Bridge – Verse – Outro (with complete ending) General Points Of Interest Style and Form In context of some of the more innovative songs of the Help!/Beatles VI era. Page 258 . Even more unusual is the way that a mini-solo is worked into the second half of the bridge itself. I'm sure there is at least one of my readers who has been in love with this one since the first time s/he heard it. it's still a chord rooted on G. the form is yet again the familiar one of two-bridges-but-no-solo. this one contains an extremely mild dose it. but regardless of how you parse it. I. this device takes on an almost programmatic significance. Several by now well-established Beatles trademark devices and novel touches are apparent here at the detailed level. though the two parts alternate frequently between phrases sung in harmony and those sung at the unison or octave. the overall mood and technique here are relatively simple and straightforward.” I definitely hear John in there for at least parts of the song. To the extent that the words communicate the kind of desire for loving union that will never accept 'no' for an answer in spite of all distance and other obstacles. I did say it's nice. Just remember. yet the verse section here is unusual in that its second half sounds a bit like refrain. this one is part of a small group of songs that might be described as nice but non-blockbuster. but compared to examples like “A Hard Day's Night” or “Ticket To Ride”. but in some places.. didn't I? On the surface. IV. Nonetheless. and V). I have a hard time determining whether its the Two of Them. This texture also turns the song into the most strongly Latin-flavored of any Beatles original since the days of “Ask Me Why” and “P. A recurring emphasis on the flat 7th scale degree (F natural) at the beginning of each bridge lends some touch of the blues.S. and D (i.

The music starts a small instant before the downbeat and this subtle gesture has a way of pulling you into the song as if by the hand. into four phrases that are equal in length. it gets rather obsessively stuck around the 5th scale degree (D) and curiously contains no appearance of the 7th scale degree (F#). The opening line of the verse (and much else) is scanned so as to place virtually all rhythmic emphasis off the beat. Compare this to “I'll Cry Instead” and “The Night Before”. The vocal arrangement features two-part harmony in first two measures of the first couplet (with John on the tune) but the remainder of this section has them singing in unison. on one level. and leads to a second phrase that is entirely instrumental: |G ||C || |G |D |G |- | Page 259 .Section By Section Walk Through Intro With just two measures of vamping on the I chord (G). Verse The verse is sixteen measures long. This nicely cuts across the underlying smooth and steady backbeat. featuring the title phrase declaimed as though it were a kind of categorical imperative. Bridge The bridge is an even eight measures but its structure is unusual. the first being verse-like and the second sounding more like a refrain. In terms of shape. the predominant mood and texture is quickly established. with its suddenly slower harmonic rhythm and hook-phrase ending: G: |G I C IV |D V G I |G I C IV |G I | |G I C IV |D V G I |C IV D V |G I | |C IV |G I |C IV |G I | |C IV |G V |C IV D V |G I | The tune is distinguished by its opening with a dramatic upward leap of an octave and its abundance of appoggiaturas. This phrase is rounded out by a fanfare-like riff on the electric piano (featuring a slow triplet. no less). Though it parses neatly. so to speak. Only three of the four measures in the first phrase are sung. the structure here is more accurately described as two eight-measure couplets.

you can come off it with us. and later folksy elements. The turning here toward their erstwhile favored Latin beat is at first glance a mildly shocking surprise. during much of '64 they could be seen as branching out into unaccustomed styles and cross-blends. a sixth this time instead of an octave. but even a restless determination to keep trying new things and not repeat themselves overmuch. A unifying connection with the music of the verses is found in the continued high quotient of appoggiaturas and that leap upward at the end of the piano solo. or even an anachronism. but the gesture still resonates with the tune's opening. Granted. Some Final Thoughts That the group had a longstanding sweet tooth for the Latin flavor in their cover repertoire can be traced along a trajectory that runs from “Besame Mucho” through “Mister Moonlight” with several other examples coming in between. But you wouldn't necessarily say the same thing about their repertoire of original songs. In perspective of what was first yet to come from them over the next several years.” 100592#67 Page 260 . Outro The outro is a compressed variation of the bridge in which only the first phrase is presented as modified so as to lead directly to a complete ending. The surprise touch of humming without words here at the end had been used to equally satisfying effect by John way back in “All I've Got To Do. especially during the year or so that preceded our current number. leading me to suspect that someone must have been caught asleep at the sliding fader switch. but the marked trends we've noted are in the direction of first bluesy.Other sources of bridge-ly contrast here are the dramatically still slower harmonic rhythm and the sudden appearance for the first time in the song of the complete drum kit.” A peculiar loud amount of hiss can be heard right at the end on the right channel. “Oh. you might say this also shows not only a flexible versatility. On another level though. you might call this otherwise simple song yet another clue to the one of several new directions.

check out our studies of “Not A Second Time”. Behind the standard two-bridge-no-solo form. The remaining three-quarters of the verse is pure Lennon/McCartney with its twice-surprising deployment of flat-VII and the last-minute deceptive cadence to the relative minor key. “Yes It Is” is arguably the more fully developed and mature of the two songs. Bootlegs of the unmixed final take 14 belie the cream-finished haziness of the officially released product and betray just how dry and close-up the vocal parts were originally recorded. and its level of compositional sophistication begs some intriguing questions about the working mode of the group and the involvement of George Martin as a coach. conjuring a feeling as if one chord has melted into the one that follows it. an unusually high note for John. but the principle is the same. is extraordinary. was something for which the Boys had a real penchant. The roster of chords appearing in the song is relatively standard but both the ordering of their progressions. in a song that is otherwise clearly in a Major key. I wonder if they somehow had some a subliminal association of the gambit itself with the world of 4 sharps! Back in “This Boy” we had already commented on their use of an harmonic technique that had been popular in the late-Romantic/Impressionistic periods of so-called classical music. “I'm Happy Just To Dance With You” and “Yes It Is” are in the same key. “Yes It Is” is not quite as extreme an example as these others. the one in which the resolution of 9/11/13th chords is delayed until the point at which the root of the chord has already changed. for all their similarities. as well as the voice leading transitions between some of them. Arrangement The three part vocal arrangement of the verse is dense and dissonant. hovering around the relative minor chord to such an extent that the identity of the actual home key becomes a tad or more ambiguous. an harmonic palette more rich. The bridge opens this range way the heck up to G#. and a mood more sharply characterized than the earlier song. Page 261 . Melody and Harmony The verse melody is constrained to an almost entirely pentatonic range of six notes.g. from E up to C#. The same technique is brought forward in the current song to the point where some of the higher-order dissonant chords are found to never quite resolve. e. In the bridge we have John's double tracked solo in the first half with George and Paul coming back in to give him appropriately moaning support for the big climax. and “I'm Happy Just To Dance With You”. To the extent that “And I Love Her”. The bridge section offers a short-lived but real modulation for a change. Yet. Only the bridge section and the first phrase of the verse are made up of chord progressions that approximate cliche patterns of the period.Yes It Is Key: Meter: Form: E Major 4/4 Intro – Verse – Verse – Bridge – Verse – Bridge – Verse – Outro (with complete ending) General Points Of Interest Style and Form Comparisons of this song to “This Boy” are inevitable and ubiquitous. and in spite of its B-side status. This latter gambit of. “Yes It Is” features lyrics that are more clever. “And I Love Her”. something we haven't seen all that often in our studies.

In the first case it is used as a surprise surrogate for the ii chord heard in the corresponding context of the previous phrase.. and quite evocative of the bittersweet message of the song's lyrics. Verse The first verse is an unusual fifteen measures long. which nicely sets up the modulation to that key just in time for the bridge. George's tone pedal guitar adds an ethereal touch that is as novel as it is complementary to the vocal texture. You might go as far as to describe this as the rhythmic analogue to the dissonant harmonic elements described above.. use a rhetorical repetition of the closing hook phrase to extend this section out to a more typical sixteen measures. but also the V of the key of A.The rhythmic scanning of the words contains a large amount of syncopation and two-against-three cross rhythms which cut across the evenly lilting triplet rhythms of the backing track. otherwise. each of which is four measures long. Page 262 . As we did back on “Don't Bother Me”. The flat-VII chord is used in two different and unusual ways in the second and third phrases respectively. This allows the sustained E Major chord at that point to be punningly leveraged as not only the plain I. The resolution of of this same chord to vi (the relative minor of the home key) in the third phrase is even more unusual. both of which are followed by a bridge section. I propose that this song be parsed as though its measure lengths were half as long as the 4-in-the-bar count-in heard in the outtakes would imply. the phrase lengths come out looking absurdly short. this intro sets forth the basic backbeat and instrumental arrangement for the entire song. The piece begins with a guitar pickup of low B natural “on FOUR”. It starts off with a couplet of two phrases. This is balanced out by a closing phrase of six measures plus one last measure of plain breathing space before the next verse begins: E: |E I |A IV |f# ii |B V | |E I |A IV |D flat-VII |B V | |E I6 3** |- |A IV |D flat-VII | ** first inversion w/G# in bass |verse #2 & 3 . || A:V |c# vi |E I |- The second and third verses. Section By Section Walk Through Intro Given just two measures of the 'I' chord.

Outro The full ending is crafted out of a last-minute variation on the sixteen-measure form of the verse. The modulation that is first hinted at by the E7 chord at the end of the second verse is not fully consummated until the third measure of this bridge. the latter following on the heels of a verse which had no such sense of dramatic shape. and the clear.e. Bridge The bridge is ten measures in length and it follows a similar plan to that of the verse. the continued use of D#'s in the melody of this further serves to blunt one's sense of a modulation having taken place in so many words. the effect is ironically enhanced by the fact that the voices actually drop out for measure 8. Page 263 . The reappearance of the c# minor chord right at the start of what is the quickening toward climax touches one as being somehow ominously appropriate. a 4 + 6 subdivision of the 10 measures: A: |b ii |E V |A I |f# vi | |b ii |E V |c# iii E: vi |E I | |F# V-of-V |B V | Formal contrast is provided in this section by the change of vocal arrangement. with the second of its somewhat parallel phrases being elongated.Some quick examples of the free dissonances created by the lead vocal against the underlying chords: an A9 in measure 2.close things up in the freely dissonant mode that characterized most of what preceded. In fact. or perhaps I should say chords. i. a large-scale opening up of the melodic range. The riff of pedal guitar notes which float away after the last chord has already been sounded -. an f#11 in measure 3. I believe one senses a feeling of exquisite yearning in the implied resolution of the note D-natural upward to D# over the barline between measures 7 and 8. leaving this D-D# literally implied rather than spelled out. and a D added sixth (called a 13th by some) in measure 7.D# . the two final reprises of the hook phrase now being harmonized as follows: |E I |- |G# |A V-of-vi IV |E I | The appearance of G# Major at this turn half-surprisingly hints that a belated modulation to the relative minor key of c# might yet actually take place.G# C# -. a temporary cutback in the level of dissonance.B . but it even more surprisingly resolves deceptively to IV and from there to the final I chord. obvious build to a climax.

some of which go beyond cleverness to hint at emotional content with almost subconscious indirection. for example: a vague reference to something spoken offline from the song proper (“remember what I said tonight”). John had already dealt with this theme as early as the song “Misery”. John is nothing if not consistent in the style of his wordplay. and “but it's my pride”).Some Final Thoughts Over the long run. Granted. Here in “Yes It Is” we're now talking about "the things we planned. and many others as well. and just plain small talk cliches thrown in for good measure (the title phrase. and “it's true. We have. but you can intuit that a more permanent and serious attachment was at stake in our later song from a subtle shift in emphasis. ironic because of the manner in which the tyrannical. A number of equally familiar verbal pirouettes reappear here. I'm sure”." “Can you take me back where I came from?” 090892#66 Page 264 . but also the “this/that” motif of “This Boy”. debilitating power of such memory is contrasted with the simple. a hint that the hurt of love lost is exacerbated by a feeling of public humiliation (“everybody knows. The red/blue pun which runs through the current song has as its precedents not only the black/blue obvious example of “Baby's In Black”. mundane objects and sensations of life which are capable of triggering such hot flashes.”) Most potent of all is the ironic place of honor given in the song to the persistence of memory. Back in “Misery” the tears were shed over the memory of “all the little things we've done”.

and harmonic dissonance. The form is an ordinary two-bridge model with only one verse in the middle and no instrumental section. No other more exotic chords show up nor is there any hint of modulation. For example. respectively. especially in its exploitation of texture. Arrangement The ostinato figure played by the solo 12-string guitar at the outset provides a great deal of unity to the song. as long as there is something of sufficient interest to divert your attention in the middle. As we've seen in other ostinato-driven songs of the Beatles. if the figure is apparent at both the beginning and end of a section. In the dissonance department. This relatively bland harmonic diet is spiced up by the liberal use of free melodic dissonance and a certain suspense factor created by the exceedingly slow harmonic rhythm. “Ticket To Ride” brings with it a measure of tight toughness that is most welcome to those wondering wither this erstwhile sharp edge of the group's attitude and style had fled following the A Hard Day's Night album. rhythm. both the flat 7th and minor 3rd scale degrees do bear some melodic emphasis in the verse and bridge. but it does have a wrenchingly syncopated rhythm which carries all the through to the characteristic backbeat of the intro and first two verses: rhythmic emphasis ostinato > > > 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & A E C#A B > > E > Page 265 . Five of the seven chords that naturally occur in the home key as well as the flat-VII chord are used. you will subconsciously assume that the figure has continued all the while. but the bare interval is also found within the opening ostinato figure as well as in the repetitious vocal line which takes the song out at the end. these recurring. Melody and Harmony Although the tune does not make a primarily bluesy impression. motorized little figures seem to create the illusion of being there in the backing track more of the time than is actually so. Major ninths and seconds appear as though a leitmotif. The special kicks here are to be found in the arrangement. Not only is there an unusual number of 9th chords in the song. even though if you double check carefully you'll find that this is not so! The ostinato used here's not as distinctively melodic as the ostinati in either “What You're Doing” or “Day Tripper”.Ticket To Ride Key: Meter: Form: A Major 4/4 Intro – Verse – Verse – Bridge – Verse – Bridge – Verse – Outro (fadeout) General Points Of Interest Style and Form After the folksy originals and nostalgic covers of the Beatles For Sale album.

then to the flat-VII. The ensemble joins the solo guitar with a slow dramatic drumroll just before the downbeat of measure 3: |A |- |- |- | The parallel between this and “You Can't Do That” or “Day Tripper” is noteworthy. on the second syllable of the word "away". built out of four phrases equal in length. does it continue throughout. is that a small touch of organ or harmonium used as a wash behind the solo guitar opening ? If so. solo and single-tracked. does it drop out quickly once the rest of the ensemble gets going ? Verse The verse sixteen measures long. just buried in the mix ? or perhaps. and ultimately to the V. with the first half providing an eight-measure expository section that harmonically opens up to the V chord. It kind of reminds of the feeling one has in a chess game where you think you've been check-mated. which under the circumstances is the most comfortingly "functional" of the three choices. alone. and the second eight measures providing a refrain-like ending which veers back toward the I: |A I |||||A ||b ii |E V | A: |f# vi |D IV |f# vi |G ||f# flat-VII vi |E V |A I |- | The tune has an unusually high amount of rhythmic syncopation against the underlying beat (on "four-AND") as well as melodic dissonance against the underlying chords. First off. none of which is consonant with the chord below it. John then sings the third phrase double tracked with Paul joining him for a final touch of counterpoint at the end of the fourth phrase. The three-way alternating pivot off the vi (f#) chord is one of the more novel harmonic gambits we've ever seen the Beatles pull.As a foil to all this. I'll leave the majority of such details as an exercise for the reader though two examples here are noteworthy. The accentuation here by the drumming of the syncopated rhythm inherent in the guitar ostinato is especially gripping and literally pulls you into the music. the tambourine is relegated to simply marking off the 2nd and 4th beats of virtually every measure in every verse. the melodic sustaining of the pitch E over the b chord in measure 7. on considering your several brute-force logical Page 266 . Say. The section more logically splits right down the middle. The first half of the first phrase is sung by John. Paul joins him above on funky counterpoint for the remainder of this phrase into the first half of the next one. with John singing the pitches F#-E-C# on the stretched out word “ri-i-de”. but in a half-panic. with three alternating textures used in the verse. and then leaves John exposed solo at the phrase's end. Section By Section Walk Through Intro The intro consists of a four-fold presentation of the ostinato figure over the I chord. The vocal arrangement is fussier than we've seen in a while. first to the IV. Even better is the the climactic event over the G Major chord in measure 12.

partly hidden touch of the blues (I'm also very partial to the little rapid-fire 16th note run with which John ends the phrase): Paul: John: B G B G A E G D A E A EDC# Bridge The bridge is eight measures long and built out of a parallel-style repeat of the same four-measure phrase: |D IV ||V |E | Bridge-ly contrast is provided by virtually every compositional parameter: • • • the vocal arrangement shifts to straight-away parallel thirds except for a couple of stray eighth notes in which John is left exposed solo for a split second (check out the second syllable of the word "goodbye. even though it features no kind of modulation.alternatives. and he prefaces the third line with an “Oh” (or is it an “aw”?). Ringo provides an evenly beaten sixteenth note pattern as a fill between the second and third lines of the third verse in place of the plain roll he uses elsewhere in the song. open fourths. shifts away from wrenching syncopation to a pattern of relatively even-handed eighth notes in which the off-beat (on 2 and 4) pattern. One particular variant feature rises above the status of mere detail to assume structural. In the final verse he plays in this spot no roll nor fill. The F# that marks the apex of this new figure makes for yet another added ninth chord here.") the rhythm section. John adds the word “yeah” to the end of the second line (in addition the one that repeatedly appears at the end of the first line). Its melodic and rhythmic gesture are reminiscent. of the opening lick. Here. we already noted that the Page 267 . Verse Variants This song has a higher than average number of small twists applied to the arrangement of its later verse sections. including the tambourine. first heard from the tambourine in verses. the latter variation being repeated in the fourth verse as well. Also note how John's initial stress on G natural here adds a subtle. The hard syncopations mentioned above which so pungently characterize this song are actually found to be very much subdued starting right after the second verse. does manage to stay entirely away from the I chord. you eventually discover with some relief that there is still at least one legal move available to you with which to continue the game.ninth flavor we've described as inherent in the opening ostinato figure. in the third verse. but Paul's initial stress on the pitch B provides a development of the added. the harmony. now prevails in the drums. and perhaps subtextual significance. the section ending firmly on the way back towards it. A new guitar riff is used at the very end of the section to lead back into the next verse. Granted. The vocal counterpoint at the beginning of the second phrase not only features their trademark parallel. As spontaneous as these details sound to us. but only a single whack “on FOUR!”. I rather suspect that at least some of them were planned quite in advance. albeit not slavishly so.

this one looks at least as far ahead as “Day Tripper”.bridge itself dispenses with the syncopation as a matter of contrast. Also here at the very end. I'm thinking more of style. This could hardly have been accidental and I find myself pondering its motivation – did they discover that the wrenching rhythm when carried all the way through was simply too much of a good thing.. splits out for an instant to include one last example of a Major second sonority. “I ride this train regularly. Some Final Thoughts “Ticket To Ride” was recorded after more than a two-month hiatus (11/27 to 2/15) in the Beatles attendance at Abbey Road. the practice of perfecting the rhythm and backing track first before adding everything else on later as overdubs. though his perspective is entirely on the recording process changes that kicked in at this point in time. This time. and it appeared as the A-side of a single several months before the film was released. or is there some subtle poetry embedded in this change drumming? Outro The question of what manner of poetry may be conveyed by a change of beat is further sharpened by what happens in this outro where the syncopation is loosened even further than it was for the bridge. One gets used to the song's having been tucked away on the Help! album as the last song on “side 1”. Ringo's drumming sticks with the more evenly played eighth note patterns introduced in the bridge instead of returning to the wrenchingly syncopated pattern. which is otherwise double-tracked in unison. Once you get the chronology straight in your mind. it was the first song recorded after the Beatles For Sale album was released. accelerating release of all tension. though whatever compositional innovations are to be found in this song are not without their own irony to the extent that they represent at least as much a return to erstwhile values as much as they do a forward evolution. in spite of the fact that the guitar ostinato (from which his syncopated patterns were derived in the first place) does continue to make its own appearance. i. Lewisohn himself comments on this. this. But look ahead – in both of the final verses. it's hard to listen to the song without feeling as though you've crossed a frontier. the final vocal lick. free-wheeling. Yeah. John would later use a similar effect at the end of “She Said She Said”. followed as it was by the anomalistic Beatles For Sale album. the effect is one of a sudden. but it equally so picks right up where “A Hard Days Night” left off.e. twice a week!” 082592#65 Page 268 . but in truth.

It also provides contrast with the rest of the bouncy texture that is otherwise used throughout and lends a certain amount of higher-level periodic rhythm to the overall composition. a semiimprovisatory rave-up in which the exact words don't quite matter as much as the angry or naughty tone they set.I'm Down Key: Meter: Form: G Major 4/4 Verse – Verse – Break (guitar solo) – Verse – Verse – Verse – Break (organ solo) – Refrain (fadeout) General Points Of Interest Style and Form Tucked away on the lonesome B-side of the “Help!” single was this spicy little surprise. there's still an impressive amount of carefully staged and choreographed variety applied to both the arrangement and the blues form here. someone (John?) doubles him on the second word in a sustained mock baritone voice. repeatedly. but indicative nonetheless of the type of care the Boys would take in sweating the details. Even though the tone of the song is very similar to those Berry and Penniman numbers in which every section is based literally on the same chord progression and phrase lengths. You might even say that this quality of sounding as though it's being made up on the spot as they go along is an essential part of the aesthetic. it turns out that a couple of slightly different forms are used here in alternation. Melody and Harmony The song is extremely bluesy in both departments. it's even a bit self-consciously regressive. even for a quick one-off. We had heard Paul screaming several times before. Every time Paul sings the title phrase. On the basis of the raw material alone it's tempting to assume that they threw this song together in less than a single afternoon. and in context of where the Beatles were "at" as of the time of its release. It's raucous. The musical style is derived from one of the archetypal cliche R&B idioms of the 50's. The backing vocals sound more like the Stones (circa “Between The Buttons” or earlier) than the Beatles. at least not in an L&M original. and the chords are strictly limited to I-IV-V. but never quite as primally this. while two other singers (one of which is definitely George and the other might even be Paul overdubbed) provide a mockingbird like commentary in response (“I'm really down/ down on the ground”). rough-shod. Page 269 . This effect provides a bookend-like symmetry to the verse itself. Arrangement The first and last phrase of each verse feature sudden syncopated accents that are followed by dramatic momentary rests in the backbeat. The tune is shot through with flat 3rds and 7ths. Nothing earth shaking per se. That said.

The first phrase of this break carries through the dramatic pause concept heard in the verse sections. its rapid-fire triplets now punctuated by some wild off-beat glissandi and even more of Paul's screaming than heard before. imagine what the section would sound like with measures 9 and 10 excised: G: |G I |- |- |- | |C IV |- |G I |- |C IV |- | |D V G I |- |D V G I |- | A couple of Beatle-esque verse variants worth mentioning: Paulie starts off the song in the first verse entirely solo without even so much as a single bass note or drumbeat to help clarify to the listener the location of either key or downbeat. In this break the dramatic pauses in the first phrase are dispensed with making the section feel quite a bit looser than the previous break. The second break features the organ itself in the foreground. If you don't believe me. Page 270 .Section By Section Walk Through Verse The verse is a fourteen measure long distortion of what would otherwise be a straight 12-bar frame of the 4 + 8 model if only the middle phrase were not extended by a third repetition of the title phrase. no matter how many times you've heard the song. In the second measure of the third verse he anticipates the syncopated downbeat with a little chromatic riff of F-> F# -> G. it's an effect which retains the power to startle. an effect which nicely sets up the jam-session feeling which prevails for the remainder of the proceedings. or is that actually George on lead guitar ? Break Both breaks are genuine 12-bar frames though they differ on a choice of chord in one measure (the first break sustains the D chord through measure 10): |G I |- |- |- | |C IV |- |G V |- | |D V |C IV |G I |- | The first break features the lead guitar in foreground against a backing of fast organ triplets that is punctuated by Paul's screaming.

” But that's Our Kid for you. From one repeat to the next. but it never did stop us from saying rude things. baby” and “I'm down. or else they were perhaps there all along and only now mixed a bit more forward.. the mood gets successively wilder and less structured with the final round degenerating into the likes of “baby. down. 1965 at the same session as “I've Just Seen A Face” and “Yesterday”. “Get him out of here!” 110992#69 Page 271 . down . the latter strung out nicely at cross-rhythm to the underlying beat. down. Some Final Thoughts As Lewisohn points out (and well he should). the lads would frequently gather round the juke box to listen to this one strictly for a giggle.”. We couldn't quite turn the sound down on him. Given that our current subject was 2nd in the batting order that day. Memories of my own reactions to hearing “I'm Down” for the first time way back in the counselor's lounge at camp in the summer of '65 are quite different. in spite of the reverent popularity accorded to the A-side of the same single. down. Of course such historic perspective and appreciative revisionism is a wonderful but curious thing. There. The only differences among the three refrains are in the improvised scat singing and improvised lyrics heard in each section. it was indeed a day on which Paul's prowess in the versatility department was fated to be displayed with astonishing prowess. Some kind of congas.Refrain The thrice-repeated refrain section is yet again a 12-bar frame in the same flavor as the second break diagrammed out above. “I'm Down” was recorded on June 14. maybe I'm still amazed that. bongos. he was ready after all that earlier shouting to come back in to tackle Ol' “Scrambled Eggs. with only a 90 minute break for dinner and a smoke. or other kind of slapped drums sound as though either added new at this stage of the song. baby. down.. Whether by coincidence or by design.

and 4 is contrasted with a switch to the major 3rd (F#) near the end of phrase 3. V. They use the standard long form here. while similar to the hocket. although I tend to associate the use of this chord especially with John. which happens to share a certain amount of similarity with this song at the level of its subject matter. we also find here the flat-III. In addition to the I. What appears at first as a garden variety call-andresponse pattern actually turns out to be a single thread vocal line shared. The vocal arrangement of the verse is of particular interest. flat-VII. “Help!” and “You're Going To Lose That Girl” use a device that is. Chromatic shifting between two flavors of a note appears here under a number of guises. Other deployments of the same basic idea are found in the alternation between B natural and B flat implied by the chord change between b minor and g minor in phrase 3 of the verse. this just may be the first place that The Beatles would use flat-VII in between I and IV.The Night Before Key: Meter: Form: D Major 4/4 Intro – Verse – Verse – Bridge – Verse – Verse (half solo) – Bridge – Verse – Outro (with complete ending) General Points Of Interest Style and Form With its strong bluesy foreground that is so nicely balanced out by the predominantly pop style that underlies it. “From Me To You” and “A Hard Days Night” come to mind as archetypal examples. the most recent example we had seen was back in Paul's “I'll Follow The Sun”. Melody and Harmony The song utilizes a relatively large number of chords (eight!). but there are many others as well. this song provides about as good an example as you'll find of the Beatles predilection on the threshold of midcareer for a synthesis of their erstwhile desire to play genuine 12-bar blues with an even greater passion to transcend that it. by the way just how juicy a cross-relation that heavy use of F natural makes against the D Major chords in the accompaniment. with its two bridges that are separated by two verse sections.2. “hocket”-like. minor iv. more in the realm of a gloss or commentary on the main line rather than a sharing of it. Page 272 . In addition. fully half of which are foreign in one way or another to the home key. one of their favorites. The song also features the first example we've seen in quite a while of the minor iv used in a Major key. between the doubletracked soloist (Paul) and the backers. the second one of which is partly for instrumental solo. Note. Arrangement Paul's vocal lead is double tracked throughout and he repeatedly throws in a little Gershwinesque grace note in the final phrase of the verse (on the word "did") that reminds me of something John did in “I'm A Loser”. Ironically. The first and most prominent example is in the opening phrases of the verse where the melodic prominence given to the bluesy minor 3rd (F natural) in phrase 1. there is an almost subliminally unifying effect created by the recurring use of chromatic shifts and scale fragments. and vi which are diatonically indigenous. and V-of-V. anticipatory shades of Paul's later “You Won't See Me”. as well as the melodic noodling around D/C# and E/D# at the beginning of the bridge. Last time we had seen anything quite like this was “Please Please Me”. IV. In terms of chord progressions.

The first two phrases open up widely to the V chord.Paul's C# -> D anticipation of the first downbeat. As is typical. Page 273 .2X ------------------------------|D |C |G |A | I flat-VII IV V |b vi |g iv |b vi |g iv | |D I |G IV |D I ||- | | G | IV | verses which are followed by another verse:|F |flat-III The narrative and poetic structure is abetted by the harmonic scheme. rather than providing any kind of resolution. how in those verses that are followed by another verse the harmonic ending is modified so that a motivation for a return to I at the beginning of the next verse is motivated by a forced move away from I at the last moment. it would sound just like the intro. thereby providing motivation for the verse which follows: D: |D I |- |F |flat-III |G IV |- |A V |- | Two nice rhythmic details to listen out for -. the final phrase puts everything right with its return to I. Verse The verse is a standard sixteen measures long and is made up of four equal phrases that form a poetic pattern of "aabc": -----------------------------. and the manner in which the individually syncopated parts combine during in the last couple measures to make for a compound rhythm that is very close to even eighth notes. The third phrase. though. I'd dare say that if you could find yourself a bootleg of just the backing track for it. Section By Section Walk Through Intro This is one of those songs where the instrumental texture is relatively unvaried throughout.The prominent appearance of the electric piano here yet again would seem to suggest that its sound was something the group had somewhat faddishly latched onto during the late spring of '65. Note. This section is one long eight-measure phrase with a slow harmonic rhythm and a chord progression that neatly opens out to V. further heightens the suspense and even adds a touch of anxiety by its staying away from I and introducing the ominous sounding minor iv chord.

but it pivots right back around to set up a return to the home key with its big finish on the V chord. you'll note how the verse rather butts its head. With the exception of the intro.guitar riff |F |D |flat-III I || || The return of the solo guitar for a final fanfare lick lends a classic touch of unity. The song makes a slight. so to speak. The phrase endings of this bridge provide a notably rare and brief breath-catching respite. Although the lead and backing vocalists share the melodic spotlight in the first two phrases. To the extent that both ii and iv denote a subdominant function though. only to dramatically desist entirely for the final phrase. the tip-off being in the way that both phrases of it are repeated identically. George. There's a more half-hearted “yeah” that precedes the second bridge. where the backers falling away from the lead subtly suggests a kind of sighing accompaniment.A faintly stuffy. which for all we know. short-lived modulation toward the key of G. also makes for a dramatic effect. The half-section's worth of guitar solo is doubled at the octave and definitely sounds more worked out and painfully practiced than it does improvised. up against a ceiling of G. It's as if they were trying to achieve in music the same kind of obtuse non-sequitor which peppers their onstage verbal antics. The melodic climax of the entire song occurs at the very end of this section on the high note 'A'. pedagogical observation about first minor iv chord in phrase 3: it could alternately be parsed as ii6/b5 because of the e in the melody. just might be another one of those infamous anomalies. The interjectory nature of the solo and the dissonant manner in which its melodic content rides roughshod over the chords below it sound perversely out of style with the rest of the song. introduces his solo section with an enthusiastic “Yes!”. and anticipates what is essentially the very same gesture that would appear much later in “Penny Lane”! Page 274 . set up on a silver platter by V-of-V. the harmonic rhythm of this song is relatively fast throughout. This creates a special effect at the beginning of the second phrase. they interestingly overlap at the “seams” of their respective parts. This is felt as especially dramatic in context of the constricted melodic range of the song overall. the difference between the two labels is somewhat moot. Outro The complete ending consists of a simple petit reprise of the final phrase that is easily built out of an extension to the end of the verse: |D I |G IV |D I |reprise|. a subtle change of the percussion pattern is used here to help the bridge sound more set-off from the surrounding verses. Bridge The bridge is eight measures long and built out of two equal phrase: |A V |D |G V-of-IV IV |- ||b vi |E |A V-of-V V |- | As is a well-established convention. likely feeling finally unbound after keeping such a low profile in the first half of the song. The manner in which the backers continue on in the third phrase entirely as part of the background wash.

speaks of the girl in third person and. and in their desire for an impossible turning back of the clock by a mere 24 hours.Some Final Thoughts At a high level. And yet. this song thematically belongs to one of the archetypal sub-genres of the two-minute pop song: the one in which the protagonist. acknowledges what a good thing he had in retrospect and expresses the fond hope and prayer for a reconciliation. with grim resignation. to better accept his fate. to see the earth disintegrated. the common denominator between the two is in their focus on the past. in spite of all other differences in musical style. The other song. “I will be pleased. Granted. in contrast. one written pretty much around the same time. this one bears a surprising amount of comparison with one very specific other song of Paul's songs. post-breakup. At a closer level of detail. this one is written in direct address to the girl and openly begs for another chance. the hero there seems. In this sense. the two songs are closely enough related that I could almost imagine their two titles reversed or comingled: “Last Night” and “The Day Before”.” 112392#70 Page 275 . men. in spite of an expressed longing for a reversal of the situation.

you can't deny how striking is the de facto evidence of this effect. see below. look out for it at the very end of the second phrase. and his reliance in the verse on IV -> I and the even more indirect stepwise choice of ii -> I to establish the sense of home key. In the second half of this bridge we also find a very nonfolksy chromatic shifting amongst D natural -> D# -> D natural that is reminiscent to the trick we saw Paul play just last time out in “The Night Before. several of which leave dissonant. in a couple of instances where the vocal phrases end up on an unresolved dissonance. The choice of form is the shorter two-bridge model where the bridges are separated by only one section.” Melody and Harmony A relatively large number of chords is used (seven!). non-harmonic tones hanging at vocal phrase endings. As we'll see below. George's proclivity for blurring somewhat the division between verse and bridge sections by the phrasing of the lyrics shows up again here though in not as pronounced a form as the one observed in “You Like Me Too Much. George's taste for weakly transitive chord progressions is reflected here in both the holding back of the V chord for as late as the bridge. this time from George. these guitar fills actually are necessary to tie up what would otherwise be a disconcerting loose end. such as “Carry That Weight” where you can hear him right through the heavy mix. Those mockingbird pedal tone fills at the phrase endings become a leitmotif for the song. Whether or not you're willing to accept this notion as operable on even a subconscious level. Page 276 . The verse derives a folksy modalism from the manner in which its melody is restricted to a pentatonic scale (A-B-C#-E-F#) with the solitary exception of one note that is a flat-seventh (G natural).” Arrangement The backing track has a nicely balanced. George uses an effective trick of his mates in keeping the melodic pitch content and style of the verse and bridge sections distinctively different. This tune is also made distinctive by its large number of appoggiaturas. so does the non-pentatonic fourth scale degree suddenly make a featured appearance in the tune of that backwash of “ahhhs” in second half of verse and bridge.I Need You Key: Meter: Form: A Major 4/4 Intro – Verse – Verse – Bridge – Verse – Bridge – Verse – Outro (with complete ending) General Points Of Interest Style and Form We have another intriguing stylistic mix here. Ringo didn't “do” backing vocals) providing an instrumental. not strictly speaking part of the scale for the home key. The pop-rock core is augmented by a folksy undercurrent that manifests itself most strongly in the haunting pseudo-modality of the tune. Just as the V chord is held back until the bridge. airy texture of acoustic rhythm guitar mixed with a part for electric pedal tone guitar in which the latter instrument sounds almost like a keyboard. though there is nothing more exotic in this entire bundle than a V-of-V. The vocal track is pure Middle Period Beatles almost as though it were a recipe-pattern done up “by the numbers”: the composer double-tracked on the lead and the two others (with very rare exception.

Verse The verse is an unusual fourteen measures in length made up of four phrases which create a classic aa'bc pattern. Without the D->C# resolution offered by the second half of the guitar turn which follows. The last phrase is half the length of the other three and this asymmetry lends a subtle feeling of poetic. you have C#->B and A->G respectively sung against an A Major chord. overlapping in each case with the last two notes of the vocal line in each case. yourself. then you'll likely relate to the poetic effect created by these dissonant. you'd be left hanging in each of these cases as though waiting for a shoe to drop. but in it are quickly introduced both the basic instrumental texture of the entire song as well as the melodic two-part turn 'round C# (C# -> B. free-verse to the whole: A: ----------------------------. D -> C#) which recurs as a motif in all the verse sections which follow. In the first and second phrases. Bridge The bridge is nine measures long and its two unequal phrases present an elongated free verse effect that is the exact opposite to the similar truncated effect seen in the verse: |D IV |E V |A I || |D IV |E V |B V-of-V |E V |- | Page 277 .Section By Section Walk Through Intro The intro is a mere two measures worth of vamping on the I chord. tentative phrase endings. If you've ever been nearly so depressed.2X -----------------------------|A |D |A || I IV I |f# vi |c# iii |f# vi |b ii | |A I |- | The pedal tone guitar turn around C# heard in the intro (or a slight variation on it) reappears at the end of the three of the four phrases of this verse. In the first two of these phrases the vocal line binds off unusually with an appoggiatura that creates an unresolved dissonance against the chord below it. Try imagining this scenario out in your mind. to the point that you no longer have the energy or motivation to quite finish your sentences before they trail off a few words or so before their proper ending.

but the omission of the latter chord is very much in keeping in this instance with the rest of the song. he had appeared pretty crashed out way back in “Don't Bother Me”. note the use in this section of both V and V-of-V. the resolution to which. Granted. the coda is built out of the I-vi-IV cliche minus the expected V chord. but with the net result of his being unable to speak directly to his erstwhile love. “You want to stop being so scornful. on the other hand. he not only seemed sufficiently recovered to address The Girl directly.” 120792#71 Page 278 . terminal desperation. Here. but he even swaggered a bit before her with his gentle chiding. Outro The eight-measure coda is developed as an extension to the final verse. In “You Like Me Too Much”. and it kicks in right where the truncated fourth phrase of the verse section is usually to be found: |A I |- |f# vi |- |D IV |- |A I |- | Harmonically. We're actually much more used to the opposite effect: of the home key having been established to an almost monotnous fault over the course of the first couple of verses. is provided ultimately by the now familiar D -> C# of the guitar part. And ever true to the by-the-numbers recipe for contrasting bridge sections you'll note the addition of a cowbell to the percussion track for just this section. it's twisting your face. or anyone else for that matter. he would raise the emotional ante from mere negativity all the way to disdain and ridicule. and the bridge providing contrast by making a brief excursion away from it. And in the likes of “Think For Yourself” would come just around the next corner.To the extent that this bridge section provides any contrast to the surrounding verses it is because the home key is established here with more forceful clarity than anywhere else in the song. “I Need You” scores uniquely for its bittersweetly mixed tone of plaintive. The effect is especially striking where the ending on C# creates a Major 7th dissonance against the D Major chord. as always. Viewed from this perspective. Some Final Thoughts We find George at his absolutely most vulnerable in this song. The vocal line at this late stage of the song turns around and plays the same mockingbird game as did the pedal tone guitar earlier on. the vocal line repeats three times the same exact melodic phrase of three notes (A -> B -> C#) over each chord change.

does have a unique the power to. Page 279 . V. The verses rely entirely on I. you find here a song that is a veritable cross-section of the tricks and trademarks of the Beatles to this point of their career. George supplies notable guitar fills. say.” The effect is especially noticeable where the music returns to A Major at the end of the bridge. it really was only the melody and not the chords too performed in the minor mode. the frequency and raucousness of which both increase over the course of the song. We also find in this song yet another example of John's cross-influence on Paul. Although the song is hardly a 12-bar blues ditty in terms of chords. the melodical stress on the flat 3rd (C natural) and flat 7th (G natural) scale degrees projects bluesy feel overall. Once you parse this phrase as part of the verse proper. the latter being one of this songs principal and unmistakable connections with “You're Going To Lose That Girl”. the form suddenly reveals itself as one of the standard forms. and the flat-VII deployed simply as a neighboring chord between two instances of I. The emphasis on the melodic flat 3rd is sufficiently stronger than average here to create a Major/minor ambiguity regarding the mode of the home key that is somewhat reminiscent of “I'll Be Back. it had thrown us off guard quite a bit. and only one verse intervening. both Beatles trademarks. IV. The last time we had seen this effect. features an unusual (in context of the Beatles) full-blown modulation to the key of C Major whose relationship to the home key is that of “relative Major of the parallel minor”. The use of such a pseudo-refrain. “Paperback Writer” and “Rain”. once they've been pointed out to you. The form sounds subtly more unusual than it actually is because of the extremely refrain-like final phrase of the verse section. with two-verses. the parallels between “Another Girl” and “You're Going To Lose That Girl” are as striking as they are surprising. though. Though the influence in this case is not as obvious on the surface of things as it is in the case of. if not outright confuse. though. especially when it also appears as the song's introductory section.Another Girl Key: Meter: Form: A Major 4/4 Intro – Verse – Verse – Bridge – Verse – Bridge – Verse – Outro General Points Of Interest Style and Form If you make the effort to get beyond the pedestrian lyrics and the by-today's-standards embarrassing visual background given this song in the Help! film (Paul out on a beach holding a woman sideways and “playing” her like some kind of anthropomorphic bass guitar – or do I misremember it?). and makes you wonder in retrospect if. what do the chord books say there? Is the first chord A Major or minor? Arrangement Paul is double tracked on the lead vocal with the familiar italicizing effect of the backing voices joining him on the recurring title phrase. in the verses. way back in this series “You’re Going To Lose That Girl” and “It Won't Be Long”. Melody and Harmony The melody makes prominent thematic use of downward chromatic scale fragments and a certain amount of noodling around the same few notes in a constricted pitch range. two-bridges. tune. or phrasing. The bridge. make a formalistically fluid impression.

directed extension of the 'refrain': |C I |G V |C I |G V |C |E I a:III |A |E | V V I (surprise!) Page 280 . Bridge This eight-measure section sounds as though entered as an elided. A side effect of this peculiarity is that the phrase tends to suggest an elision or overlap with the beginning of whatever follows it whenever it appears: A: |A I |D IV |A I |D IV |Verse --> |A . at the very least. I Verse The sixteen measure verse has a phrasing pattern of AABC and sounds almost like a non-traditional 12-bar form plus short refrain: ------------------------------. it ends on the downbeat of the fifth measure.. yet another affinity with John's “You're Going To Lose That Girl” and “It Won’t Be Long”. It's a phrase whose length comes out to be closer to five than four measures.. albeit subliminal effect.2X -----------------------------|A |G |A |D | I flat-VII I IV |D IV |- |- |E V | |A I |D IV |A I |D IV | The IV chord which gets sustained through four measures that *don't* exactly coincide with where the phrase divisions lie provides a good example of how harmonic rhythm can be used to strong.Section By Section Walk Through Intro The song opens vocally with absolutely no instrumental cue. The intro turns out to anticipate the final phrase of the verse section.

the bridge provides melodic contrast with the verses in the way that the erstwhile noodling within a small range is replaced here by an extended arch shape which supplies at its zenith the unique melodic high point of the piece.” 122292#72 Page 281 . You may want to quibble with Paul from time to time over whether or not you think he exerts a sufficiently discriminating filter on the supply of new ideas and directions which pop into his head. forcing you. the latter not being resolved until two measures into the bridge. Outro The outro is a simple extension of the verse ending with the the title phrase repeated a canonical three times. as a listener to hear the final D chord in the preceding verse punning itself as both IV in the home key as well as V-of-V in the new key. As is so often the case. But in terms his facility in the developing of such ideas and his seemingly casual and second-nature mastery of technique. Some Final Thoughts This song may be far from what you'd call one of Paul's career highlights but you've got to admire his craftsmanship here even if the material itself is less than entirely distinguished. you can only be amazed. The pivot in this case relies on tricking you into expecting a return to a minor with the A Major chord then coming as a surprise twist.The music briefly modulates to the key of C Major before it pivots back to A. maybe. The pivot into the modulation is interesting. “Give 'em a pull. The trailing guitar lick at the very end is a novel touch that helps unify the song overall from the way in which it carries forward both the motif of the ubiquitous guitar fills and the blusey undercurrent.

And yet.” Section By Section Walk Through Intro This fully instrumental introduction is unusually long and musically involved. And the whole thing is lead off by an extraordinary intro that is not so easily pigeonholed. Melodically we find several trademarks yet again: the noodling around within a tight pitch range during the verses. even more forcefully. The triple refrain as an outro is reminiscent of the R&B rave up. Page 282 . The strict alternation of verse/refrain in the second half is rather folksy. this song manifests a button-busting sense of energy that is timeless and most compelling. On the one hand. “cut time”.a.I've Just Seen A Face Key: Meter: Form: A Major 4/4 (2/2.e. the use of (what sound like to me as) jazzy wire brushes in place of the usual wood sticks for the drum kit. may be more accurate) Intro – Verse – Verse – Refrain – Verse – Refrain – Verse (solo) – Refrain – Verse – Refrain – Refrain – Refrain – Outro (with complete ending) General Points Of Interest Style and Form Aside from the delightfully unplugged arrangement. The two verses in a row near the beginning are pure pop/rock. not to mention overdubbed maracas (in the refrains and guitar solo) create subliminal free associations with other styles. he provides his own contrapuntal backing part in the same nasally affected C&W voice used to back Ringo in “Act Naturally. The slow triplet pulse creates a deceptive sense of tempo. The form is reasonably clear in some sense. it features an oscillating motif in slow triplets that never shows up again for the remainder of the piece. the more intimately for us to feel the slight quiver in his voice.k. During the refrains. anticipating what would show up later. But this is entirely an illusion. And yet. D->C#->B AG#->A). When the verse finally kicks in with its four-square beat that is sustained for the remainder of the song you have a gear-shifting feeling of acceleration as though the tempo had changed. I'll spot you “face” and “place” in the opening phrase. the long scalar bass line whose full octave span stretches out over the complete length of the intro has embedded within its ending the ubiquitous “La-da-da da'n'da” hook phrase (i. The tune is also shot through with Paul's much favored appoggiaturas. but it's also unusually complicated and would appear to have absorbed the influence of several styles. and the bluesy V-IV-I in the refrains. and a greater than ever amount of attention paid to compositional detail. but you've got to find the rest of them on by yourself – have you no natural resources of yer own? Arrangement The instrumental texture is most strongly characterized by the folksy sound of several crisply recorded acoustic guitars. Paul is closely single-tracked for a change on the lead vocal. Melody and Harmony Only four chords are used but this very limited number of them are cleverly deployed so as to alternately suggest two different styles: the pop/rock cliche of I-vi-IV-V in the verses. a. with the headroom freed up somewhat during the refrain.

Even though the bass line line starts off. that the chord progression used is distinctly pop: |A I |- |- |- ||f# vi |- |- |- || |D IV |- |E V |A I || Page 283 .9/6/4|. not just the first song. the first chord is f# and until you reach the end of this section the sense of harmonic grounding is quite suspended. Harmonically. and its harmonic rhythm is mostly slow throughout. Note. In any event. and the handling of the E chord in measures 9 and 10 with an appoggiatura instead of the the root note in the bass: top-most line: chords: bassline: A G# A Major: vi |F# |f# |F# |A ||- |C# ||- |F# ||- | | E | top-most line: chords: bassline: |D IV |D |D |- |E |F# ||. consists of three phrases. The intro has an unusual ten-measure length and is built out of three phrases. this feeling of speed is one that is particularly effective in the song's album-opening context of the American Rubber Soul line-up where you feel drawn straight into the entire LP by it. unaccompanied. the song opens subtly away from the home key but quickly converges upon it. with the pitch of the home key. I've included in the schematic below a precis of both the bass line and top voice along with the usual harmonic information. The illusion of acceleration is abetted by the “We Can Work It Out.7 ||C# | | |- | top-most line: chords: bassline: |B V |verse ---> |E |D |C# |E 6/4 |. though not quite as intense as. In the latter department note the unusual sonority created in measures 6 and 7 by the “non-harmonic” passing tones.susp |A G# |A I |A Verse The verse is blues-influenced to the extent that its form is twelve measures long. though. the opening of “Help!” In order to better elucidate the truly fine detail of this intro. the last one of which is foreshortened and thus hastens the arrival of the first verse. similar to.” If you count the measures in “two half” time instead of the twice-as-fast 4/4 you'll more easily grasp the extent to which the underlying tempo is constant.

we have a snippet of the last part of the intro which adds a bookend formal symmetry and allows the song to be ultimately summarized by its “La-da-da da'n'da” hook phrase. But even that final strummed guitar chord seems to resonate with what I had described as the 'bon mot' ending of the solo section. In the final result though. In measures 3-5 the tune marches down the scale in parallel 10ths with the bass. but note how the same basic idea idea in measures 7-9 makes for parallel 5ths! Refrain The refrain is eight measures long and parses into a couplet of two short phrases that are balanced out by one longer one ('AAB'): |E V |- |D IV |- |A I |D IV |A I |- | The chord progression and the unique appearance within the song of a melodic minor 3rd (on the first syllable of the word 'calling') give this section a slightly more bluesy feel than the rest of what surrounds it. The bass line motif of the intro is continued here albeit abbreviated in length. folk. The last refrain runs out into a little instrumental reprise that is redolent with associations to what we had heard earlier on in the song. then you're likely to find Paul's patter-song-like syllabic delivery of the words of this song. but it works quite nicely. Solo The solo is an almost slavish replicate of the tune. Page 284 . if resonance has any thing to do with why you find this song enduring. when romantically enthused (you should only be so lucky!). though they sound different simply because of the chord change. We're used to seeing this trick used on the scale of a “petit reprise” of a phrase no longer than two to four measures in length. blues. let's say. but one that is cleverly transformed in character by the Countrified. maybe even truly inspired. The repeat here of an entire eight bar chorus is rather unprecedented. rhythmically flat rendering of it. but rather in those not so easily verbalized ones of your own experience. especially as it is followed by that 'bon mot' flourish one octave up right at the end. rock. getting all inarticulate and muckle-mouthed about it in the bargain.The first two phrases are virtually identically. rather apropos. There's an unusual and shameless bit of stumbling word painting in the final repeat where Paul throws in that extra “oh!” and sounds literally as though falling. Primarily. tends to start talking rapidly. and still other styles for quite a while. up to and including his momentary retreats into scat phonemes. Still. Some Final Thoughts By this point they had been freely borrowing and blending various stylistic elements of pop. Outro The use of a triple repeat to signal the approaching end of a song is quite a well-worn Beatles trademark. If you are. of the type who. tune-wise. not to mention the unfolding lyrics. this otherwise sweetly simple “folk rock” song really pushes the envelope in terms of the sheer number of diverse styles juggled simultaneously as well as the effortlessly seamless manner in which they are fused. I'll bet it's not so much in scholarly terms of style. The slight departure from the tune in the final three measures (the guitar melodically harmonizing a 3rd below where the tune itself should be) is a most welcome variations.

”010593#73 Page 285 .“I want all the world to see we've met.

and harmonic root movement of a tritone. The form is structurally both short and simple. augmented triads. and in the refrain on the word “hard”. or the main vocal line. tone. but the hazy finish applied to the final mix works at cross-currents to that.It's Only Love Key: Meter: Form: C Major 4/4 Intro – Verse – Refrain – Verse – Refrain . The vocals feature John all the way. Melody and Harmony Chromatic scale motion. in the verse. The double tracking here sounds more out of synch and less evenly balanced than usual. making me wonder if one of the two vocals is actually the vestige of a “guide vocal” left over from an early take of the backing track. In spite of the relatively small number of chords that are utilized throughout. on the words “(be)side-you”. The lead part consists heavily of choppy chords applied to the syncopated off-beats and short melodic fills between the phrases. and tonality of the entire song: Page 286 . single tracked solo in verse. Section By Section Walk Through Intro We have a four-measure intro which economically establishes the instrumental texture. The acoustic and electric guitars remain well isolated from each other on the two stereo tracks in spite of all haze. and doubled up in the refrain. whether it's the descending guitar lick of the intro/outro. the song deploys the mildly unusual flat-VII (B flat) in two entirely different contexts. the result of a change in the angle of approach. has an influence on both melody and harmony in this song. creating here side effects as diverse as cross-relations. the formal boundary between what I've labeled as Verse and Refrain is rather blurred you might argue that the meat of the song be even more compactly described as a repetition of a single larger Verse + Refrain “combo” section. so to speak. always one of John's favorite hot buttons. as we'll see.Outro General Points Of Interest Style and Form The combination of textural soft-focus with a Moderato tempo is a bit of a departure for John though the elliptical emotional stance of the lyrics is right up his alley. Arrangement The overall sound of the piece is one that is difficult to pigeonhole. as we'll see. it's the same old chord but with a different meaning. The melodic hooks of the song feature a sighing 6->5 appoggiatura. You would expect the prominence of the guitar parts and relative absence of percussion to project a Byrds-ey folk rock image. To the extent that.

(as well as the outro and part of the refrain) place an almost hook-like emphasis on the I->vi progression. as much as they would describe it more simply as the transitory harmonic by-product of linear motion between the two surrounding chords. The first two phrases open out to V. Verse Very much like what we saw last time in “I've Just Seen A Face”. not just a plain vanilla kind of V. Some of it is logically motivated and clearly resolved. e. but that intensified augmented flavor of it. The effect of this is somewhat softened by the linear logic of the bass line itself and the placement of the iii chord in so-called second inversion. the verse here is a twelve measure section whose 'AAB' phrasing pattern matches that of the blues even though such a connection is supported by neither the harmony nor the style: ------------------------------.g. and note how the overall feel of it is still the same. Page 287 .g. just the C Major chord sustained all the way through the entire first measure. some of it is entirely gratuitous. and the transient augmented chord caused by chromatic motion. try imagining the phrase without any e minor chord in it. rather evocative of the vague basal uneasiness described in the lyrics. this time upward for a change. Again..2X -----------------------------chords: |C e |B-flat F |G |G augmented | b'line: |C B |B-flat F . The usage of flat-VII sounds here like the "IV-of-IV" variant most familiar to Beatles fans in context of the second half of “Hey Jude. The ending of the section with our much favored I-vi progression is so open ended in feeling that the dividing line between the verse and refrain is much less clearly articulated than usual.. Some analysts might even argue in favor of not analyzing our e minor chord here as 'iii' with a Roman numeral per se. I iii6/4 flat-VII IV V 4 -> 3 #5 |F IV |G V 6 |C I -> 5 |a vi | The downward chromatic bass line at the start forces a strange root progression of I->iii->flat-VII. And this only goes to heighten the sense of musical frustration and backing off that is inherent in the deferred gratification of moving onward from V to IV. e. try playing the same progression with the iii chord in root position and see how much more strange it sounds. Yet. which is an old Beatles trademark starting back as far as “Misery” and running heavily through the “A side” of With The Beatles.C: --------------. the added sixths implied by the vocal part over the F and G chords in the last phrase (on the words “so” and “to/it”). the 4-3 suspension implied by the lead guitar part in measure 3.2X -------------|C |a | I vi The intro.” A constant low-level of harmonic dissonance abounds.

melissma ---------| | -. The move to B flat. while not at all unsatisfying *does* work as a surprise. I seem to remember a possibly apocryphal tale that a certain Mr. The first phrase leads into the second one exactly the same way it itself had been set up by the verse ending. As a device.2nd time: intro ----| The resonating reverb and tremolo applied to the final chord is striking. “She'll only reject me in the end and I'll be froostrated. This use of flat-VII as a subdominant is something we saw for the first time way back in “All My Loving”. with the whole thing is capped by the intro redux: ------. Zimmerman has claimed to have been clued in to the fact that Our Own Sweet Boys had begun to “take Tea” by the opening line of this very song. you might describe it as similar in structure and effect to the gambit in which V-of-V is followed by IV. Indeed. The second phrase leads back toward the following verse with its ending on V: |B-flat flat-VII |G V I |C vi |a | 6 |B-flat flat-VII |G V IV -> 5 |F V |G | With the the verse ending on the vi chord (a minor).Refrain The refrain is eight measures long and built out of two roughly parallel phrases that are equal in length. Can one of the biographic fiends of this group shed some light on this one? “I get high . now. but a tambourine is added for this section to provide some contrast in the instrumental backing.” 011993#74 Page 288 . and this one provides yet another fine example. Outro The outro is so smoothly handled that you'd never notice where the seams of it are unless you stopped to analyze it per se. We've noted elsewhere (e.”. try this out and see how well it actually works. It starts off with a single petit reprise of last half-phrase of the refrain that is stretched out for an extra three of measures by John's falsetto melissma. what more can I say about it? Some Final Thoughts The lyrics of this song are deceptively simple in their outlook and message. really. No surprise.. and furthermore sets up a cross-relation when the next chord after it is V (G).g. of all places. back in our study of ) John's talent for plumbing the poetic depths that are inherent in the bourgeois cliches of the vernacular. then why the exquisite pleasure pain over why it's “so hard”? Right!? On a different plane. which also turns out to be a much favored harmonic trick of the Beatles. if it's “only love”..2X ----|F |G |C |a |C |a |C || IV V I vi I vi I |--. by the way.reprise ---|---. you'd much sooner expect the first chord of this refrain to be either IV (F) or ii (d).

Ultimately. the form here is the shorter two bridge model.” Interestingly. and the semantic meaning of the progression is changed by the difference in home key between the two songs. Paul had used a similar harmonic trick (actually the same basic idea but in reverse) in his very similar earlier offering of “And I Love Her. some standard tricks still apply. very dangerously close to being too much so. The overall home key is F Major but the music demonstrates a curious tendency to repeatedly veer off toward the relative minor key of d. As is often the case with the over-exposed war horses of any artsy genre. Arrangement The instrumental backing consists entirely of acoustic guitar and a string quartet (2 violins. Melody and Harmony The melodic phrases are consistently arch shaped and shot through with sentimentally expressive appoggiaturas. the order of the two chords is reversed here. the layered effect of holding back on the bowed strings until the second verse. nevertheless. for a change) you'll find this song to actually lie along the same compositional and moody lines of the other hymn or anthem-like ballads which so vividly characterize some of Paul's highest achievements. To my ears (especially when isolating the right channel with acoustic guitar.” By funny coincidence. This device subtly sets a mood for the song in which all attempts at putting on a positive face are betrayed by pervasive melancholy. there's some good reason why it became so over-exposed in the first place. no less say something new and insightful about it. whether or not you like this song. and cello). (hint) It's a fine piece of work with something going for it in virtually every department: the unique arrangement. Just for the record. And the tempo is uncharacteristically slow. we find here the same harmonic cross-relation between G and B-flat chords as we saw last time in “It's Only Love. non-four-square scanning of the words that saves it. even some asymmetrical phrasing and a couple of offbeat chord progressions.” Granted. one should not be fooled by whatever unique and interesting factors surround the song's history and production into thinking of it as more unique and different than it is. especially in the post-Pepper period. and the manner in which the quartet never plays the same section exactly the same way more than once. By the same token. Paul is single tracked virtually all the way through except for a short patch of double tracking to reinforce the high notes at the end of the first bridge. It's an uncanny parallel. to wit. with the two elements mixed 100% apart from each other onto separate stereo channels and the vocal split down the middle. Regarding the latter effect.Yesterday Key: Meter: Form: F Major 4/4 Intro – Verse – Verse – Bridge – Verse – Bridge – Verse . viola. shades of “beneath this mask I am wearing a frown. an attractive tune. note for example the ominous Page 289 . I believe it's the free-verse. but we'll try. Even without the usual electric guitars and drums. it sounds like there was some intermittent reverb applied to the vocal track.Outro General Points Of Interest Style and Form This song is so well established in the pop-cultural subconscious that it's difficult to relate to it objectively. Especially if you can step around the self-pitying lyrics for a moment (Paul possibly taking a lesson from George.

the opening F chord at this stage of the game still not at all clear to you. Of course there are extremely juicy appoggiaturas on the first syllable of the opening word as as well as the words "far". and the title cut of Sgt. with the first measure being a wind-up extension of the previous phrase: Page 290 . even in retrospect. the latter. This progression was always very popular with both Lennon and McCartney. a terrific anticipation of the similar effect created for the second half of “Hey Jude. the bass line of this one is played with special emphasis. the effect of the cross-relation is somewhat blunted by the tracing. The chord progression in which V-of-V is followed by IV. The arrival on the d minor chord in the third measure is. but we're used to finding it in the faster and harder driving likes of “She Loves You”. whether in those slappingly hard-picked notes on the low strings of the guitar or reinforced by the cello.interjection by the viola (or cello ?) in the second bridge. ambiguous note.” As with those other hymns of Paul's. In the current instance. as the chord of the home key. ii-of-vi A V-of-vi |d vi IV |B-flat V C | |F I |d vi G |B-flat V-of-V IV F I | As mentioned above. the bridge is eight measures long and built out of two four-measure phrases. the music harmonically retreats off to relative minor key of d even before the Major home key of F has been properly established. Verse The verse is an unusual seven measure in length and divides up into three phrases which form a 3+2+2 poetic meter: F: |F I |e dim. and "here". indeed. but it sure as hell doesn't sound that way! It sounds much more to our ears as each phrase of the bridge begins on what I've notated as the second measure below. Pepper. minus the third scale degree whose presence would otherwise make explicit whether we're dealing with a Major or minor key. Section By Section Walk Through Intro The intro consists of just two measures of guitar vamping on an open-fifth drone-like scoring of the I chord. and the sustained high note in the first violin during the final verse. a Barber Shop Harmony-like descending chromatic line which also happens to be intrinsic to this chord progression. the first instant in the song in which you feel a sense of being harmonically grounded. with its concommitant cross-relation and implied ethos of deferred gratification makes a somewhat surprising appearance here at the end of the verse. This seemingly small detail starts the proceedings off on a suspenseful. in one of the inner voices of the backing. Bridge On paper. “Eight Days A Week”.

.” 020193#75 > Francois Pachet writes: > I was very surprised to see that you do not mention a detail that. In the second bridge. “She'll only reject me in the end and I'll be frustrated. it's no wonder a salient point or two worth making sometimes is overlooked. there is an ironic tension drawn between the schmaltzy content of what is played by the quartet and the restrained. yet again. There's virtually no end of the level of detail to which one might go with the style of analysis used in the Notes. Partly in order to keep my own pace moving.--------------------------------. But more importantly. For just this last time. and thereby “ruin it”. with the best of intentions. The cross-current set off by this effect adds an engaging level of depth to the performance. I read somewhere that this > was actually an explicit request of McCartney to the arranger (G. and partly in consideration of the fact that there are some who likely find the Notes already too long. it provides an antidote in advance for any possibly perceived surfeit of sentiment. The end of the second bridge features a lovely melodic variation. as far > as I am concerned. the Beatles had well established their flair for creating stylistic hybrids from surprisingly diverse elements. Outro The outro contains just a single reprise of the final phrase scored as yet another hum job. doubly ironic because of the extent to which the chords used in this section overlap so heavily with those of the verse. Martin ?) > The corresponding cello line is awkward. in the middle of the bridge. yet this one is more than just another crossover. A |d B-flat |g C |F | ii-of-vi V-of-vi vi VI ii V I The phrase endings of this section are the only place in the song where the home key is clearly established by a clean Dominant-Tonic (i...2X ------------------------------|e dim. The starting off in this bridge. a key point that has so often been overlooked by those who. with a backing in the mode of The 101 Strings. In this case. the descending chromatic inner line is used to accompany the vocal line minus the supporting bass line below it. In the first iteration of this section Paul sustains the high F (on the syllable “day .e. spare nature of the medium in which it is played. from the harmonic perspective of the relative minor key makes these phrase endings in F sound almost as much like the end result of a modulation away from the home key rather than the a true return to it. embodies my overall perception of "Yesterday" : > There is a very strange (and interesting) seventh (E flat in the key of F) > played by the cello. seek to cover the song. By the time this song appeared. and I would like to hear your > opinion about it.. Page 291 . Note too the stepwise descending bass line which spans measures 2-3 of each phrase in this section. Some Final Thoughts The scoring for string quartet and acoustic guitar is truly inspired. Paul now includes that subordinate phrase as part of the main line.”) with one of the strings playing a descending counter-melody (F-CB-flat-A) against him. V-I) cadence.

On an entirely different note. it provides a subtle. though. This both breaks up what otherwise might have become the monotonous flowing of the rest of the music and. even surprising touch of the blues. there is a deft moment near the end of the verse where the harmonic rhythm is uniquely syncopated. In any event.In this case. that E-flat in the cello is the only occurence in the entire song of the flat 7th melodic degree and. but there are other elements as well: For example. I thought I actually had made passing reference to the “ominous intrusion” of that E flat in the cello part. Similarly. aside from the cross-relation it creates with the B flat chord that follows it. lends an isolated. non-verbal hook for the piece. conjures a folksy Dorian modal tone a la “Parsley. the use of classical and pop elements figures most heavily in the mix. let's use the opportunity here to backtrack and add a couple of footnotes to the original post: • As a stylistic hybrid. I'd even go so far as to suggest that the manner in which the melodic note A is pitted against the ii-of-vi chord at the start of the bridge is somewhat jazzy. etc. showing up so late. • Page 292 .” with the d minor chord that precedes it. the G Major chord used in the verse. to the extent that it appears in every verse as well as the outro.

And. Song By Song Walkthrough Act Naturally Key: G Major Meter: 4/4 Form: Intro . IV. but that's another story altogether. the Beatles version matches the original in many other respects including same key. the gesture that the group had already made in the direction of folk rock. same basic arrangement right down to the tapping. “Act Naturally” appears to have been added to their set list specifically in '65. Page 293 . It also fits perfectly within the already well established pattern of handing off novelty songs to Ringo. but “Bad Boy” reappearing only for its use on the American Beatles VI album. The two Larry Williams songs provide a double shot of plain old hard rock-and-roll the likes of which the Beatles own originals on these albums had already grown beyond in sophistication of vocabulary and ethos.'62. as well. V. with “Dizzy Miss Lizzy” resurrected for the '65 season.Verse – Bridge – Verse – Break (intro) – Verse . the most significant of which affects the form: the music used by the Beatles for Intro/Outro/and Break appears in the original only for the break and even there it is used in abbreviated form.'64. The three songs in the current group still do play some role in stylistically rounding out the collections of which they are a part. but it was also something on which they thankfully would never have to rely upon again. of course. with the exception. the use of cover songs by The Beatles as “filler” was wearing out its welcome by this point. The two Williams numbers had been a part of the pre-Beatles repertoire as early as the period of '60 . for those more or less exclusively acquainted with the Beatles version. it would be an overstatement to describe them as the musical equivalent of styrofoam peanuts. due in large part to Ringo's unvarnished vocal which sounds astonishingly similar in treatment to the Buck Owens original. the latter held back for strategic deployment at the end of the bridge. Beyond the lead vocal.The Cover Songs Appearing On The Help! and Beatles VI Albums General Points Of Interest The End Of The Line For us listeners. the different scanning of the words by Owens sounds somehow “wrong” at first.Bridge – Verse – Outro (with complete ending) Composer: Russell/Morrison Influential Version: Buck Owens (1963) This Rockabilly entry goes much further down the “coontryish” path than any Beatles original had to-date but it works in context. At the detailed level. “Act Naturally” both resonates with. The arrangement is characterized by a recurrent obbligato for the low strings of the guitar (w/low E tuned down to D!) and the tapping of drumsticks. and V-of-V. There are some differences. The music is built on a sturdy and frugal set of chords limited to just I. and extends. the original uses a boogie-like arpeggio bass line for the bridge while the Beatles stay with the oompah figuration used in the verse. Paul continues the backing vocal into the final verse whereas the original omits it. of their arrangement of the “traditional” “Maggie Mae” for Let It Be. and the backing vocal part for the bridges. They then disappeared from it during the major concertizing heydays of '63 .

not to say judgmental. Dizzy Miss Lizzy Key: A Major Meter: 4/4 Form: Intro . and the vocal arrangement features the relentlessly kitschy. Note. of course!) sounds as though backed by an ensemble the size of a small stage band. also covered by Our Own Sweet Boys on the Long Tall Sally EP. John is double-tracked throughout this time and seems to be busting out all together with various “oohs” and “ows” which are not very much in evidence on the original. Page 294 . and the inevitable rhythmic shaking of a tambourine. suddenly heavily syncopated phrase reverts to the strict 4 measures instead of being doubled up to eight. The original (by the composer. Williams and it bears some direct comparison with his “Slow Down”. himself. see the earlier Notes on “Long Tall Sally”.Bad Boy Key: C Major Meter: 4/4 Form: Intro . Indeed. With “Slow Down” we found a bloated. adding a second instrumental break section and a final repeat of the fever" verse. dominated by the sounds of piano and saxophone. equally nice lead guitar work that mimics the original surprisingly closely by George. Here in “Bad Boy” the variation is a bit more interesting: a 20-measure form in which the final. this is compositionally a very typical song of Mr. by the way. To be sure. as if somehow the humor contained therein might be found incomprehensible on the other side of the pond. Williams sings it in the slightly lower key of B-flat. recitation of “he's a bad boy!” between every single line of the lead vocal. Here. The form matches the original. twice-as-slow 24-bar variant on the 12-bar blues form. the distinctive feature is the bluesy lead guitar ostinato figure used as solo material in the intro and Break and as an obbligato in all the verses. perhaps he was getting mixed up between this song and the previous one. Granted. no Beatles album to this point would be complete without at least one example of this kind. But I'm just a tad skeptical that we could have possibly had some kind of monopoly on this relatively benign strain of juvenile delinquency. the original of which does have the lead singer thus expostulating. The reverb that seems to have been gratuitously added to the CD remix of this track is among the more infamous “recording anomolies” of the Beatles annals. the amusingly disruptive behavior described in this song as somehow traceable to an unhealthy preoccupation with rock-and-roll is admittedly as American as almost any song by the Coasters. It turns out that the Beatles tamper with the form of the original. but as you might expect differences abound at the detailed level.Verse – Verse – Verse (solo) – Verse – Verse – Verse (with complete ending) Composer: Williams Influential Version: Larry Williams (1958) This Williams song is of the genre in which every single section is in the strict 12-bar format.Verse – Verse – Break – Verse (with complete ending) Composer: Williams Influential Version: Larry Williams (1959) The common wisdom on this as a cover choice by the Beatles is that it was aimed in particular at The American Audience. how the Break section is a strict 12-bar frame! The Beatles version features a nice single-tracked vocal by John.

to resort to raspy shouting in order to hit the mark. the original again has more of a stage band sound than the less-is-gutsier sound of the Beatles. “Have you no natural resources of your own ?” 020892#76 Page 295 . but I'd dare say that on some level they sound a bit more parodistic and less interpretive than intended. Alas.Though a boogie-woogie piano part figures prominently in both versions. and this foible would seem to be as common to Paul's evocations of Richard Penniman as it was to John's of not only Williams. in performing the works of a black artist. Williams performs yet again in B-flat and he inconsistently sustains the I chord in measure 12 of some of the frames instead of always shifting to V as the Beatles do. but also Berry and even Robinson. I have to call them as I see them. the Beatles of the mid '60s would seem from our politically correct vantage point to have labored under the unnecessary. The lead vocal of the both Williams originals has a restrained and melifluous quality that will no likely come as a surprise to those familiar with only the Beatles covers. This is not to say that such Beatles covers are entirely without either merit or success. even misguided presentiment that it was a virtue for a white singer.

the top vocal line with its dissonantly rough-shod. a limited chordal repertoire. In true ballad the refrain lyrics are unvarying while the words of the four verses are all different. “Drive My Car” also has a few unique aspects to it.Drive My Car Key: Meter: Form: D Major 4/4 Intro . and the “beep-beep” coda starts with a long wind up ahead of the downbeat. To my ears. maybe!? Rhythmically. you never stop for an instant to question the “obvious” identity of 'D' as the home key. I'd be the first one to acknowledge how the melodic emphasis on D in the guitar solo suddenly for the first time in the song allows you to possibly entertain that D->G chord progression as I-IV! Page 296 . insistent hammering away on the note 'G' goes a long way toward making the repeated D -> G progression of the verse sound ambiguously as much like V->I of G than a I->IV of D. Melody and Harmony The high level of tonal ambiguity in the song is made ironic by the otherwise frugal harmonic budget. However. The form is the flat one of the folk ballad in which four pairs of verse and refrain are presented in a row with the only relief coming in the way of a guitar solo for one of the verse sections. while not quite unique or ground breaking per se. the result of the tune in that case clearly supporting the key of D starting right off in the first measure. at root. on one level. This is one of those cases where a paper-based analysis of the situation can actually mislead you away from what you hear and respond to when listening in real-time. many of their respective appearances are spiced up by 7/11 and Major/minor embellishments. “and maybe I'll love you.Verse – Refrain – Verse – Refrain – Verse (solo) – Refrain – Verse – Refrain – Outro (fadeout) General Points Of Interest Style and Form Recorded in mid-October '65. and the slow triplets of “We Can Work It Out” strongly resonate here. but strictly speaking.” WHADAYMEAN. This makes for an interesting comparison with “What You're Doing”. b. where the identical chord progression contains no such ambiguity. the verses always start after the downbeat. I especially like the tag line. these kinds of bluesy/jazzy touches only serve to enliven what remains. As much as I'm arguing that the song creates a plausible optical/aural illusion that the home key at times might actually be G. If you want another example of just how easily a melody can change your perception of home key in the very same chord progression. A (with also the occasional suggestion of a minor). “Drive My Car” bears some uncanny associations with both sides of a certain “double-A” single of our acquaintance that was coincidentally worked on in the studio during the same week. the particular use of harmony here makes your clear sense of the home key an extremely elusive proposition much of the time. the refrain starts right on the downbeat. the rap-like declamation of the lyrics and anti-melody of “Day Tripper” (not to mention the lubricious “driving” metaphor). Granted. and e. And most unusual of all. seem to make it appear like and open-and-shut case of the home key being D Major. G. are notably Lennonesque in the way they weave such a suggestively droll tale from scraps of small talk that are pieced together so that it's not immediately obvious who said what to whom. The opening on a D chord and the large amount of space given in the song to the chord progression of D -> G -> A would. The lyrics. By the same token. you actually need look no further than our current song. Chords rooted on only five different root notes chords are used in the whole song: D. The vocal parts are exceedingly dissonant.

. Fill ------. ironically for the same reason – the continuation of the 4/4 backbeat kind of rubs your nose in the rhythmic dissonance created by those slow triplets. The lead guitar appears in the intro. unless you care to zone-in on it per se.Cymbals! Several details drive you crazy when you try to aurally parse the above: • • • The first note of the guitar sounds like it's on the downbeat. center of gravity. The percussion section weighs in with parts for tambourine and cowbell whose interplay with the regular drum kit is more intricate than you'd ever perceive on more than a subliminal level.. but don't ever forget that it was designed on purpose to keep you from ever groking it without extreme effort: & |1 guitar: bass: drums: A |C | & D | 2 C & A 3 F A & C 4 C D & > D D |1 || & > D | 2 C & - 3 C & - 4 D & - Verse . Paul and John opt for one of their favorite deluxe positions here: McCartney. as well as the last three notes of the second measure along with the drum fill all fall ON the beat but you've been sufficiently thrown off the trail by that point. For the record. shouting on top. George joins along with the Two Of Them for the beep-beeps. You can also pick up a whiff of the lead guitar during the last verse but I believe what you're hearing there is the vestigial bleed through of an earlier run-through or overdub. Paul consistently embellishes the root notes of the chords with a 3-5-3-1 triadic figure which free-associates with the top melody of the refrain. muffled below. Arrangement Vocally. and more. In addition to the G pedal already mentioned.. The use of sizzling cymbal crashes to punctuate several nodal points of the song is also nicely euphoric. less because in this song we have part of the ensemble still marking the ongoing 4/4 meter. while John gets to sing lots of 4-3 appoggiaturas over the G chord. Paul's part is shot through with flat-7 Fnaturals. my erstwhile music theory students used to tease me mercilessly as the Master of Analogy) you might describe the home key of “Drive My Car” as having a perilously high. Section By Section Walk Through Intro This intro has to rank as two measures-worth of the Beatles most rhythmically disorienting music ever. The bass guitar work contains an exceptional amount of motivic working out.In the terminology of high school physics (I warn you. it looks like this. D .. and outro with an intensity that practically upstages the lead vocal for both lyricism and dissonance. and Lennon. It starts with an eighth note pickup before the downbeat but the melodic contour of the syncopated guitar part combined with the offbeat entrance of the bass guitar make it virtually impossible for you to find the meter. The (electric) piano's triplets are simultaneously both more and less disruptive than the same gesture in “We Can Work It Out”. the bent high note of the lead guitar in the first measure. and thereby inherently unstable. Ironically. Page 297 . The bass line and guitar syncopation ties over the downbeat to the second measure. solo.

Before the key of G is ever allowed to formally establish itself.• • It becomes clearer if you prepare with the exercise of. Page 298 . The chord I've labeled as “a minor” in the 7th measure has such a prominently dissonant F natural in the vocal part that it's hard to tell if their is actually a E natural buried somewhere in the mix. including the one with the guitar solo. The final chord. and they provide a kind of compact summary of the song's overall profile of dissonance. at least “on paper. which of the two chords you hear as the one of the home key. ending a fat V chord that nicely motivates the next verse. though. are reminiscent of the intro.” if you say the home key is D. sounds like a possible pivot modulation to the key of G for the start of the refrain. The guitar solo follows the phrasing model provided by the sung verses. Ask yourself as you listen. In any event. it winds up sounding in retrospect during this verse as much like the V of G than the I of D. the use of C and F naturals in the lead guitar line are meant to sound bluesy. The harmonic shape of this section is closed. The final two measures. You tend to associate this type of tonal mobility more with bridge sections than refrains. Verse The verse is eight measures long and features four highly syncopated short phrases equal in length: D: --------------.3X -------------|D |G |a |I IV ii D I | G: V Even though the D chord has been the only harmonic event of the intro. Whether it is to be understood as the I of D or the V of G is ambiguous at this stage of the song. with particular attention to the second measure's "and-TWOTHREE-FOUR. Refrain The refrain is also eight measures and it follows the same AAAB phrasing pattern seen in the verse. without listening to the recording. drilling the correct rhythm of the guitar part into your head. The ongoing steady motor-rhythm of the drum part is nicely interrupted for a bit of rhythmic by-play with the melody line in the final two measures each verse section. with their voice-like slides." The harmonic envelope for this intro is a D Major chord. the music pivots right back to the original home key. The F natural is hammeringly sustained in the tune all the way through the following chord where is makes for a Major/minor dissonance with the D chord. largely the result of Paul's melodic emphasis on the pitch G. note too how both sections are left harmonically wide open: G: --------------.2X -------------|b |G | iii I |b iii |e D: A vi ii |D V G I |A IV V | The target of the modulation to G setup at the end of the verse is deceptively deferred until the second measure of the refrain.

yeah. embellished this time by drum fills. this time on the A chord. The harmony of this section is entirely D->G->A and sounds very much as though the home key were now. cymbal crashes.” 022401#77. indeed. up to and including: the gratuitous 7ths on the b and G chords. The refrains that are followed by the guitar solo and outro are trailed by the little beep-beep codetta which contains yet another Major/minor clash.1 Page 299 . “He blew his mind out in a car. an F natural over the e chord. Some Final Thoughts “Drive My Car” is one of the Beatles harder-rocking bluesy numbers. both Beatles trademark/cliches is notable. yeah). Given the extent to which the early-to-mid-career legendary fame of the group was founded on their success as a rock group (yeah. and lead guitar licks.The level of melodic dissonance heard earlier is continued here. it's somewhat ironically surprising in retrospect to contemplate just how relatively small a portion of their total output consists of songs quite as red hot as this one. D Major. The use here of falsetto singing and onomatopoeia words. ranking way up there with the perhaps more celebrated “A Hard Day's Night” and “Ticket To Ride” for its hyper-thrust and equally sharp edge. and (just as in the verse) the Major/minor conflict of F natural in the melody with the F# in the D chord. Outro The outro consists of the beep-beep motif iterated five full times into the fadeout like a post-hypnotic suggestion.

the large amount of unvaried repetition and static harmony of this piece might have resulted in a moribund. The Beatles leverage it all in favor of and unity and focus. the prevailing downward spiral. buddy? In any event.Verse – Bridge – Verse – Verse (Instrumental Solo) – Bridge – Verse – Outro (with complete ending) General Points Of Interest Style and Form This understated and characteristically oblique song of John's is also admirably economical in terms of both form and content. with everything but the bridges being derived from the same hook motif. boring mess.Norwegian Wood Key: Meter: Form: E Major 3/4 (6/8) Verse (Instrumental Intro) . The modal use of the melodic flat 7th (D natural) adds some additional spice. most lilting and very un-waltz-like. The much commented-upon use of a sitar was surely ground breaking enough at the time per se. The hook phrase stretches out leisurely over eight measures that are bound to an “harmonic envelope” on the I chord (E). is the extent to which the psychedelic buzzing of that exotic instrument is so uncannily complemented here by the high level of percussive noise achieved by using a hard pick on the otherwise standard 12-string guitar. make a for a lovely and sophisticated textbook example of one of the archetypal melodic paradigms. The initially simple gesture of a downward scale that turns around its upper neighbor tone is further developed twice-over by a pattern in which the overall downward progression is marked by a two-jumps-down/one-jump-up kind of subfigure in which the jumps are increasingly wider. given the novelty-numbing distance of time. indeed. as distinct from the arch (do pardon the clunky analogue used here in place of a true music staff): | |B | | | | | | | |C# | | B | | A | |G# | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |F# | | | | | | | | | A | G#| | | | |E | | |D | | | | | | | | | A | | | | | | | | | C#| | |B |- | | | | | | | | | | The melodic contour of the above essentially lays out an octave descent with a mix of linear and disjunct motion.e. i. In lesser hands. We could likely argue all night about whether or not one hears equally implicit chord changes during this hook. Melody and Harmony The extent to which they must have known in their souls that they had an especially fine hook going for them in this song is likely borne out by the way in which it is used repeatedly throughout to almost hypnotic effect. It is also another one of the very few Beatles songs in a ternary meter. this drone-like element Page 300 . but we've got better things to do all night than that. This so-called hook would. this time. right. What I am particularly struck by.

a tamboura-like buzzing drone sound from the sitar that kicks in during the verse following the first bridge. the melodic gesture of those otherwise contrasting sections still remains prevailingly downward. but interestingly. if you stop to think about it. is worked out to a finer level of detail than at first meets the eye or ear. the guitar stepping back into a role of rhythmic support. John sings the wry lead vocal fully exposed in single track with Paul taking the top part for the bridges. for solo acoustic guitar followed by the entrance of the sitar (which then carries the melody) and bass guitar. quite typically for the Beatles. Verse All the verses follow the pattern set up in the intro with John carrying the tune. Arrangement The instrumental backing is acoustic in flavor. is ironically mixed back. the way in which melodicversus-rhythmic interest is traded back and forth between guitar and sitar even to the point where they double each other in several places. Section By Section Walk Through Intro The intro is sixteen measures long and consists of a verse-like two-fold presentation of the hook phrase. anticipates here in “a John song” what would soon become very much a specifically Harrisonian trademark. the first. Examples of this are the staggered opening. the slowness of the harmonic rhythm helps maintain the measured mood established earlier: |e i |- |- |- |A IV |- |- |- | |e i |- |- |- |f# ii |- |B V |- | The use of the Major IV chord in context of a minor key lends an antique. and. verse #1 and the first half of the final verse).g. which although it is actually the melodic line of that section. In context of the Beatles we're much more used to seeing the reverse trick Page 301 .in the harmony combines with the sound of the Indian sitar to create a stylistic sound which. and the clinking of finger cymbals which starts in the second bridge and follows through the final verse and the coda. and the sitar occasionally providing a mockingbird reprise of the hook's ending as a rejoinder (e. The bridge strays briefly into the parallel minor (shades of “I'll Be Back” and other earlier Beatles tunes) and provides some welcome harmonic movement. modal touch that resonates with the melodic flat 7th used in the verse hook. Bridge The bridge is also sixteen measures long and though we finally feel the release of some harmonic movement.

Some Final Thoughts The preliminary though fully worked-out Take 1 version of this song has been widely available on Beatlegs ever since Ultra Rare Trax. In fact. Two repeats would have been more consistent with the established pattern of the rest of the song.” Outro The outro provides one repeat of the hook. hence the motivation for transposing the song upward. The solo section in the middle contains only one iteration of the hook phrase. I think John sounds vocally out of breath on the low notes in this outtake. The sitar playing is rather clunky sounding but it holds all the instrumentally melodic interest. and it also throws in a corny “that's all folks” little riff at the very end. I dare say the more substantive changes may be traceable to a better-judgment consideration of the aesthetic principle that “less (not to mention a lighter. volume 3. Still. appeared on vinyl. It makes for a number of provoking comparisons with the official version (mixed down from Take 4): • Take 1 was apparently performed in the lower key of D. • • • • • • • • Lewisohn seems to judge the official remake as the “heavier” of the two treatments. but I'd be happy to argue him back the opposite way.” “I showed ya!” 031893#78 Page 302 . I'll have to grant that this observation may be an artifact of an offspeed bootleg copy. relegating the guitar to a role of entirely rhythmic support. but is in many respects more fussily detailed than it.of the minor iv chord in a Major key. Finger cymbals are used throughout. While some of the differences in the later version (all of 1 week on the calendar!) may be explained by their simply having the song that much better under their fingers. John double tracks the end of every phrase in every verse. with maracas and a tambourine added for the bridge. perhaps too much so: The tempo may be close in speed but the whole feel of the beat is more lumberingly deliberate. even a bit mechanical. faster touch) is more. though in light of the recent debate in this newsgroup regarding the speed of the Decca tapes. the only other time we have seen this Major IV/minor key gambit used in a Beatles song was way back in George's “Don't Bother Me. The phrases “biding my time/drinking her wine” are reversed. but specifically breaking the rule at this point is what good art and composition are all about. The sitar provides a mockingbird rejoinder in the bridges instead of the verses. The arrangement of Take 1 is not only different per se from the official version.

within less than a year or so of its release. Arrangement The instrumental texture is thick with the sound of electric guitars in a way that is rather anticipatory if not actually influenced by The Byrds or even The Wilburys. the pseudo pentatonic nature of the bridge. and the prominent role given to the flat 6th scale degree (C natural) in the backing vocals. However. The flat 6th also bears some influence on the harmony. The a cappella opening itself is unprecedented. this switch nicely supports the change in the lyrics at the point from speaking in the third person to a direct address of the title's typological anti-hero. the last time we had seen it used was in (no coincidence) a song by the same composer called “I Feel Fine. making it one of their more ambitious though relatively uncelebrated forays into three-part singing. the appearance of one of John's much favored minor iv chords in the context of a Major key. In all our studies to date I don't believe we've yet seen another example with a third repeat of the bridge. the other point of harmonic interest here is found in the unusual iii -> IV progression. most of them being simple choices to boot. and in spite of the electric arrangement and pop-ish choice of chords. Aside from the topical relevance of its lyrical theme. an ingenuously simple tune and non.” (And I do). Page 303 . one's interest in the tune is piqued on a more subtle level by a combination of the large number of appoggiaturas.Nowhere Man Key: Meter: Form: E Major 4/4 Verse – Verse – Bridge – Verse (Guitar Solo) – Verse – Bridge – Verse – Bridge – Verse – Outro (with complete ending) General Points Of Interest Style and Form “Nowhere Man” remains a pioneering landmark example of what. as it were. Also note how the chorale-like style of the verses is modified in the bridges to a solo-plus-two-backersdoing-“la-las” (reminiscent of “You Won't See Me”). It is the vocals however which truly stand out in this arrangement. In the current song. would be labeled as the “folk rock” sub-genre. the melodic material of the song is straight away in the Major mode.syncopated beat help create a subtle fusion of styles. (though I wonder if I'm the only one who finds that when instruments come in at the fifth measure the singers sound retrospectively as though they had been slightly off key). Melody and Harmony Superficially. forcing. Paul provides an almost hyperactively arpeggiated marching bass line. uncannily. The form of this song is unusually long with its three bridges and a double verse in between the first two of them. And Ringo's drum work remains uncharacteristically undifferentiated throughout. A relatively small number of chords are used throughout. Aside from the minor iv chord already mentioned.

Bridge The bridge is also eight measures in length and breaks down into a phrasing pattern similar to the verse. The guitar solo verse further develops the characteristics of this little riff and concludes with a surprising gesture in which a sudden deep descent all the way down to the low. the last one of which is equal in length to the sum of the first two: E: ----. the start of this section away from I with a big finish on V that sets up the verse which follows.2X -------------tune: |B C# |E F# G# B |B chords: |g# |A |g# iii IV iii IV |A B |E D# C# B | | tune: |C# B G# chords: |- B V ||B | | Appropriate bridge-like contrast is provided by a number of factors. even a bit simpleminded by comparison. Also worth considering is that the octave run in “Norwegian Wood” is based on the 5th scale degree whereas in our current song it is based on the tonic 1st degree of the scale. there is a part of me that might want to parse the chord in that measure as a ii6/5 instead of IV with an added 6th.#2 ---. This riff also happens to traverse a downward octave (one based on the 5th scale degree) and its rhythmic syncopation and fanfare like arpeggiation nicely contrasts with the tune and at the same time resonates with the bass line. and even the longer third phrase is merely an extension of the material heard in the first two: ------------. harmonic high E. Because of the F# in the melody on the downbeat of measure 5. Page 304 . the manner in which the octave is filled out here is both melodically and rhythmically much plainer than the other song.#3 ------------|E |A |a |E || I IV iv I The melody of this verse makes for an ironic contrast with the hook phrase of “Norwegian Wood” that we looked at so closely last time. except that the first two short phrases here are identical. Although both tunes share the downward traversal of an octave as their common backbone. open E string is capped off by a ringing.Section By Section Walk Through Verse The verse is only eight measures long and is made up of three phrases.#1 ----|E |B |A I V IV -----.-------------. The melodic shape of this section is arch-like for a change. I would suggest that it is this certain blandness in the tune itself which allows our hook-thirsty attention to be diverted to the little guitar riff which trails every verse section. It's moot to the extent that both such chords function synonymously as subdominants. and harmonically.

oy! Such phenomena as the cover of his “Mr. the bass line of the first bridge is played differently than the other two. it's worth recalling..“Nowhere Man” remains a pioneering landmark example of what. I've already received a couple of letters in response pointing out that I've been discovered with my chronological pants down. The guitar hook. at the risk of sounding like it's a case of damning with faint praise. Whoops! I should've known better . no question. Flame away. Paul vocally upstages the others in this coda. in truth I should alter the stance of my Note to acknowledge that while “Nowhere Man” remains an unusual stylistic venture for the Beatles per se.The sustaining of the A chord through measure 7 provides a subtly slow syncopation to the harmonic rhythm. A comparatively large amount of dissonance between melody and chords is created in this bridge by a tendency in the tune to dwell on melodic notes which more properly belong to the chord that either precedes or follows the current one. > within less than a year or so of its release. crying out loudly with the melodic flat 6th placed high in his range. but both other bridges make a clear case for A. still strikes me as a bit forced and awkward. whereas no such suspension actually exists! Outro The outro contains a Beatles-trademark triple repeat of the verse's final phrase. Dylan's electric-set-induced fiasco at the Newport Folk Festival. as might be expected. that the mere fact of The Beatles essaying something this outspoken at this juncture of their career was historically remarkable. “Jeremy Hillary Boob.D. To my ears. was during the summer of '65.. creating some confusion as to whether the chord in measures 6 .7 is actually A or f#.” Page 305 . Ph. is. This melodic effect is so pronounced that it combines with the already mentioned syncopation in the harmonic rhythm to create the illusion of a dissonant 4-3 suspension in the backing voices at the end of this section. Some Final Thoughts Even if the lyrics here aren't quite the likes of Dylan (or even Barry McGuire). still unabashedly worth the entire price of admission. The title epithet. If necessary. For myself. Tambourine Man” by The Byrds were to follow very shortly if they did not actually appear in parallel with the release of “Bringing It All Back Home. by all means. by itself it did not so much define the folk rock style of its time as much as stylize it. I'd be quite prepared for that eventuality. would be labeled > as the "folk rock" sub-genre. though. there is a slightly uncomfortable preachiness about these lyrics that one tends to associate more with George than John. anyway!! “Oh.” 033093#79 I wrote: >. or anywhere else for that matter. you can give it to me. Even one of the more clever tag lines – “isn't he a bit like you and me” – which in theory ought to have blunted some of the exhortatory tone with it's well-needed dose of self-inclusive deprecation.” Therefore. straight on the shoulder. indeed. so to speak. I'm doubly embarrassed to admit that I was one of his early fans that was rather disappointed in him at the time. is given the absolutely last word.

e. especially in the verse.Refrain – Verse – Refrain – Verse – Refrain – Refrain –Outro (Refrain + petit reprise with complete ending) General Points Of Interest Style and Form This song is extremely ambitious in its chord choices and progressions. does not carry the true bass part of the song. Earlier we've seen both John and Paul play around with parallel Major/minor gambits for effect. demand our attention. is uncannily resonant with the attitude and mood of the lyrics. and is shot through with flat 3rds. and restlessly wandering. George here carries the idea to a novel extreme. while we've seen plenty of Lennon and McCartney songs with openings away from the I chord. the opening progression of this song's verse is unusually indirect. not G Major. Melody and Harmony Though one can make a decent argument for the song's being ultimately in the key of G Major on the basis of predominant evidence. but rather selectively doubles the more conventional electric bass part one octave above. folksy formal outline make it a curious stylistic hybrid. – the minor v (d minor). flat 7ths. This full set of melodic characteristics is captured within the tag line of the refrain and refracted into a myriad of variations in the syncopated fills of the fuzz tone: |think for your-self 'cause|I won't be there with|you ----|G B-flat G B-flat G |F D D F G |B-flat G Arrangement The instrumental arrangement is most vividly characterized by the sound of a so-called fuzz tone bass on the right stereo track (R) which. as well. The latter is manifest in the frequent use of the bluesy bi-modal I chord (G with a B natural in an inner voice and Bflat in the melody) and a number of chords that properly belong only to g minor. creating a dissonant and unsettling (though not unpleasant) result that is neither quite really Major nor minor. most notably in “Things We Said Today” and “I'll Be Back. The subtle pattern of by-play between tambourine and maracas is modified back and forth between verse and refrain in a way that by this point of their career was a veritable Beatles trademark if not cliche. Again. In context of a pop/rock music genre in which the average song verse begins on I (or else begins on something like V and then moves quickly towards I). At the same time. an effect which. there is an exceeding amount of exposure given in it to the parallel minor mode of g.Think For Yourself Key: Meter: Form: G Major/minor 4/4 Intro – Verse . its bluesy melodic motifs and flat. and flat-VI (E-flat). truth be told. and appoggiaturas. all of which add a level of spice to the underlying harmonies. though.g. Beyond mere chord choices the progressions here. The melody is has a “Day Tripper”-like rhetorical rhythm about it. George's usage here is to rather freely blend the Major and minor modes. in retrospect. as well as the rhythmic antiphonal counterpoint between its main vocal thread and supporting bass line. If you take the effort focus in on this track in your listening you'll note an exquisite effect resulting from the way in which they Page 306 . flat-III (B-flat).” The game plan in both their cases. was to shift between the modes as a matter of contrast.

but it does manage to quickly introduce a number of overall characteristics of the song: the fuzz tone texture. then certainly so by the time they recur in both verse and refrain. George sings the lead vocal (automatically?) double-tracked throughout with each of the tracks isolated to one of the two respective stereo channels – check this out! In the verses he's joined by Paul and John for three-part harmony in block chords on the even-numbered lines of the quatrain. Verse The verse is twelve measures long but unusually built out of two parallel phrases of six measures each: G: |a ii |d v |B-flat flat-III |C IV |G I |- | |a ii |d v |B-flat flat-III |C IV |G V ii |a | The establishment of the home key is delayed and roundabout. Those slow triplets which more typically connote repetitive emphasis (think about the penultimate refrain in Buddy Holly's “That'll Be The Day” – one of the UR slow triplets in all pop music) here tend to suggest a bit of emotionally overwrought stumbling. if not quite right off the bat in the intro.go on their merry four-in-the-bar way in blissfully independent rhythmic dissonance against the slow triplets played out by the rest of the arrangement. The only harmonic difference in the second phrase happens in the last measure but it Page 307 . In the refrain he gets to sing solo on only the first line. Section By Section Walk Through Intro At first blush the intro seems like an almost inconsequential two measures worth of vamping on the I chord. the indeterminate Major/minor gender of the home key (the fuzz tone includes a B-flat in its riff but the underlying backing sounds Major). and the slow triplets: beats: bass: |G G: I |1 G 2 G 3 G 4 |G - |1 G 2 3 4 -tripletG G G# |a 1 The chromatic upshifting here from G to 'a' turns out retrospectively to anticipate what is the end of the refrain which loops always like a Moebius strip into the next verse. By the end of the first phrase that you finally do have a sense of arrival in G Major but until much before then it's a little like drifting (perhaps “thrashing” is more apropos) all over the map. being joined by Paul (who is mixed very far back) singing rather free counterpoint for the remainder of the section.

triplet- Refrain The refrain is eight measures in length. it shows up as an artifact of Paul's dramatic bass line flourish in measure 4 which starts on G. the 4-3 (C->B) on the G Major chord in measures 5 & 11.| |C ||G ||E-flat |D |G || IV I flat-VI V I The formal “seam” at either end of this refrain is rather smoothed over by the way in which the music flows into and out of the section.. is continued right through here. |Think |Phrase #1 ---. A favorite detail: the bass line's slow triplet in the second half of measure 2 comprises a downward scale fragment (E->D->C->B-flat) that uncannily resonates with the similar downward scale fragment in the tune from measure 1..|Phrase #2 ---. The E-flat chord in measure 6 of this section is in the so-called second inversion ('aka' the 6/4 position). you'll note how the same game plan seen in the verses. of interjectory vocal phrases traded off against syncopated bass licks (many of which contain slow triplets).. Outro The structure of this outro is an extended variation on the Beatles much favored gambit of using a three-time repeat to signal that It's Getting Very Near The End. the minor mode is also more strongly felt here than earlier on. and though it harmonically parses into two four-measure phrases. The harmonic rhythm of this section is noticeably slower here than in the verse. the tune in this section gives unrelieved stress to B-flat. In fact I believe the G chords in this section should be labeled as Major/minor. jumps up a third to B flat and then successively hops its way down a full octave below.. In this case we have two iterations of the complete refrain Page 308 . Here. the chords and the tune. More specifically.|Phrase #3 -------------------. ..seriously erodes whatever harmonic “gratification” you may have experienced with the arrival on I this second time around. And a detail within a detail: the bass line in that same measure launches its scale fragment with a 9-8 appoggiatura just at the precise moment that the tune resolves its own 6-5 leaning tone. A not unreasonable amount of bridge-like contrast still does manage to assert itself. a rare occurrence in context of the Beatles output. While I believe the backing parts are playing G Major chords underneath it all. partly in the arrangement. and|Go .. and the 9-8 (B->A) on the a minor chord in measure 12. The juicy appoggiaturas in this verse are the 6-5 (B->A) over the d minor chord in measures 2 & 8. the tune parses it into three phrases all of which are roughly parallel (compare with the bridge of “Nowhere Man” where a similar melodic plan is more directly supported by the harmony): |"Do .. Key your ears on the inter-relationship among the bass line. but even more so in the harmony. | Tune: |B A A | Chord: |d minor | Bass: |D E D C |B-flat . forcing the measure to continue its dissonant ways just as the tune would seem to have finally resolved itself: Words: |word or two ..

.” 042593#80 Page 309 . observing from the sidelines his more prolific mates at work. drinking their wine. biding his time. quite subtly and unavoidably making it his own in some measure just the same.followed by a petit-reprise of the last phrase in which the harmony is modified for the sake of making a better final cadence as well as to give to a fuzz tone riff the very last word: |E-flat flat-VI V |D IV |C I |G || Methinks Paul makes a bass line mistake right at the start of the second full iteration of the refrain. for all of the unmistakable Harrisonian fingerprints one finds imprinted all over “Think For Yourself” (the restless and pungent harmonies in particular). And it's uncanny that on the British (and theoretically canonical) lineup of Rubber Soul it should follow on the heels of “Nowhere Man. this song is surely the one in which Georgie really hits his stride. Some Final Thoughts Talk about your preachy attitude. I wonder about the extent to which our song here supports the notion that George's oft-stated inner conflict between his own identity and that of his Beatles persona is nowhere more apparent than in his own music of this period. “You ought to stop being so scornful. The metaphorical vision comes to mind of George. the influence of Lennon and McCartney (as seen in certain cliches of the arrangement ) is equally hard to miss. Indeed.. Ironically one might argue that whatever personal conflict may have been engendered by this stylistic crossblend it is ultimately a source of aesthetic strength and success.” I myself am somewhat divided in my feeling of whether such a sequencing actually helps or hurts our song. ever the quiet one. and in the meanwhile. but I'll bet he figured if he kept going that no one would ever notice it.. in fact. Your own mileage may vary. On a much more serious note. but think about how differently you react to this song when it follows “You Won't See Me”.

for purposes of contrast. the same progression (C -> F) is very much at home in the parallel minor key of d! Arrangement For study's sake. by the way. and d) allowing that break to spill over into the verse section which follows it. or refrain) to place upon each of the formal sections. There are a few relatively unique formal touches here as well: a) what I've been referring to lately as the “flat folksy” form (with its rote sequencing of sectional pairs). If you stop to think about it. The verses are truly blue with their I-IV-V chord set. The bridges. History of Orchestration buffs will recognize this kind of thing as a stock-in-trade technique of the late Romantic composers – check out the Page 310 . Even more interesting though is the extent to which. though the melody stays with the bluesy emphasis on the flat 3rd and 7th scale degrees. shift to a more modal style in which. bridge. on some MacLuhan-esque level. The comparison to “Little Child” . you must listen at least once to the left and right channels of this song by themselves. the harmony sneaks the rock-ish flatVII chord into the lineup.Bridge – Verse – Bridge – Verse – Bridge – Verse – Bridge (instrumental) – Verse (partial instrumental) – Outro (Bridge) (fadeout) General Points Of Interest Style and Form “The Word” quite intriguingly (if also a bit obviously) anticipates the later and more ambitious “All You Need Is Love”. We've seen the Beatles use the flat-VII chord in several different ways in our past studies but I don't think we've yet seen to-date the specific semantic use found in this song. a part of the song's message. 12-bar form. However. you can't fully disguise the extent to which it is based at root on very simple musical material. and the melodic stress on the flat 3rd (F natural) which creates a Major/minor conflict against the harmony. c) holding back of the instrumental break until quite late in the song. b) dissonant deployment of a static ostinato in the bridge. in both songs. Paul's bass line is arranged in a layered way. Here it is used as though it were the “V of flatIII” which is only unusual to the extent that the home key here is Major. a kind of Middle Period analog to “Little Child”. as impressively dressed up as it is in virtuostically raucous production values. turns out to be more apt than you'd think at first blush – no snickering back there. I've often heard people complain about the artificiality of the stereo effects on the Rubber Soul album but I dare say that in this song (and least “Think For Yourself” and possibly others we'll yet come to) these effects reflect a striving to creatively exploit the medium and are. one has a hard time deciding what kind of labels (chosen from the routine list of verse. No OOPsing is needed this type to forge your own pseudo-Beatleg outtakes. If nothing else the two songs share a nod to the pure 12-bar blues form and a correspondingly shouting R&B vocal style. Melody and Harmony In this department the song bears a rather typical split personality.The Word Key: Meter: Form: D Major 4/4 Verse . The riff-like version of it on the right channel has only its syncopated accents reinforced by a second simpler bass part on the left channel. and we'll have what to say about that in the final comments.

opening pages of Mahler's 2nd Symphony for a nifty example) – and I believe it is even in such small details of this sort that one witnesses the guiding hand of George Martin. ||- | (X)Say the|word . and even the 'Y' phrase syncopatedly reiterates the same downward gesture in the form of 32-21. As I said.. As in “Think For Yourself”.. |D |I | (Y)It's|so fine .10) is underscored by juicy appoggiaturas and an arpeggiated bass line. it seems clear that no matter what kind of hurry they may have been in at times (in this case.. a dissonant use of the harmonium faintly reminiscent of “12 Bar Original” (recorded just the week before!)... |G |IV (X)Have you|heard .. 9 .. John and Paul sing a raunchy (in the nice sense of the word) duet for the verses. The V->IV segment of the frame (mm. these verse vocals sound as though (artificially?) double tracked with each one of the two tracks isolated to a separate stereo channel.. preceded by a two-beat piano pickup. and a linear trend over the course of the song for the vocals to increase in terms of falsetto and feigned hoarse screaming. This effect. the overall material may be simple here but by this stage of their career. plus the harmonium solo miked loud enough to the point of distortion. racing to complete an album so that it could be in the stores in time for the all important Xmas rush) they had an autonomically embedded commitment to a certain pretty damned high level of craft and intensity. On the performance (as opposed to the strictly recording) side of the production we find some of the nicest drum fills this side of “She Said She Said”. |D |I | The tune is built out of short repetitive phrases in a pattern of XX-XX-YX... The same recurring lyrics in the last four measures of each verse lend the section a refrain.. The 'X' phrase runs up and back down a little 123-321 pattern.. combined with John's hoarse single-tracked bridge vocal that is isolated off to the right channel for a change. |D |I (X)Say the|word . Section By Section Walk Through Intro We get two measures of vamping on the Major/minor I chord. Bridge The bridge is a short four measures and provides a break from the 12-bar pattern: Page 311 . possibly the first piano parts this side of the Help! quality. Verse The verse is a standard 12-bar blues frame: (X)"Say the|word . gives the recording a surreal if not psychedelic stereo picture that you can feel in your head even without listening via earphones. |A |G V IV (X)It's the|word .

.(X)"Say|the word .. |G |IV (X)Say the|word . along the lines of an XXX-Y pattern in which the ubiquitous title phrase is declaimed with the insistence of a categorical imperative: harmonium ------------. Over the D chord. pervades every measure of this section. obscuring the formal division that occurs there. Over the C chord we start off with a nice 9-8 appoggiatura but are left with an implied added 6th. In context of the flat cyclical form. When the voices then enter in what is actually now measure 3 of the next section it strikes you at first as though it were the first measure of a new kind of section. While the right channel presents the descending chromatic Page 312 . enhances the sense of bridgely contrast. but parse it out – it is measure 3 of the next verse! The remaining 10 measures of this last 12-bar frame are based on material similar to that of the other verses but the phrase lengths and pattern are a bit different. you may find yourself starting to perceive what I'm here calling the bridge as the actual verse. A four-in-the-bar ostinato pattern of D-C-A-C. Outro The form of the song's back end (starting with the instrumental bridge) is deceptively simple..” speaking of Marx and Lennon). repetitious lyrics and their various associations with the likes of “12 Bar Original” and even the much later “Dig It”. The harmonium “solo” (actually a single chord sustained to the point of pleasure pain) is extended into the first two measures of the following 12-bar verse. the arch shape of the melody in this section. underscored by a fuzztone guitar. shadowing in some respect the contour of the bass line. To the extent that you can talk yourself into hearing what I've called the verse as a refrain. The final four measure phrase diagrammed above is the one place in the song where the vocal parts can be identified as clearly not automatically double tracked.. the ending here is suggestive of a jam-like session that could go on all night (“if it weren't so hard on my suspenders. |D |||I | (X)Say the|word . the C natural creates a freely dissonant (non-functional) 7th chord. neither verse nor bridge. rave-up style.. Note how the consonant versus dissonant status of each note of the ostinato changes with respect to each chord in the series. In contrast.|D I |C |F flat-VII flat III (V-of-flat-III) |G IV | In addition to the implicit change of mode already discussed.. |D |I | (Y)Say the|word -----------------------. the G chord makes for the most dissonant basis – with the first ostinato note a member of the chord but the other two notes making for a freely dissonant 9/11 chord. The F chord provides the most consonant support with the first two ostinato notes making a 6-5 appoggiatura.lo-ove |A |G |D |V IV I | The unusually rapid fadeout occurs as the ensemble moves on to a repetition of the instrumental bridge.

Some Final Thoughts Far beyond the direct parallels with “All You Need Is Love”. “In the beginning I misunderstood”. then by all means at least do “give the word a chance.” 050493#81 Page 313 . the voices on the left channel sustain the same notes for two measures. But. not just the ideas. and “I'm here to show everybody the light” we are promised that if only you will do this mysteriously simple thing (“say/spread the word”) then magically “you'll be free” and even better. a better world order. Moving from the sublime to the ridiculous. with an almost messianic zeal that inspired many while it made some others equally uncomfortable. “They can't buy you happiness. but some of the very turns of phrase expressed here resonate with later efforts of John's. “be like me.” Indeed. but based on the assertions that now “I've got it”. the lyrics of this song foreshadow to an unexpected and astonishing degree John's eventual emergence as someone attempting through his art. influence. to suggest. me lad's.line with which we're all familiar as the predominant part. we are told. of course.” And if you're at all in doubt. if not outright instigate. not unlike the earlier harmonium part. “The Word” also contains the subliminal message that you can learn from books (both the good and bad ones). serious fans of The Film will immediately recognize that this one idea is the result of Ringo. my son.

” The only cover in this key is (surprise!). these nominally melodic tokens of the blues style here sound exotically modal and minor.” Paul's lead vocal. “Hold Me Tight. is repeated here but on a much more subtle level. first heard in the intro. not to mention the single-word title.Michele Key: Meter: Form: F minor/Major 4/4 Intro – Verse – Verse . the technical parallels between the two (the shifty handling of the Major/minor modes. and its second half shows up as both the intro and first part of the outro. this one in equal part Art Song and neo-schmaltzy foxtrot. Melody and Harmony The parallels between “Michelle” and “Yesterday” start right off with the choice of home key. Paul provides us in “Michelle” with yet another tender. but the lengthy bridge is repeated three full times.Bridge – Verse – Bridge – Verse (instrumental) – Bridge – Verse – Outro (Bridge + Verse (instrumental)) (fadeout) General Points Of Interest Style and Form Encouraged as he must have been by the raging success of “Yesterday”. a technique which blends with the backing Page 314 . Granted. as we'll see. though on this track. as much as the solo part that is scored in the baritone range of the lead electric guitar subliminally conjures a non-Beatles Uptown pop style. Arrangement The instrumental backing is provided by a combined acoustic and electric grouping of the sort that typifies the more-folksy/less.” Does something tell you that Paul's the common denominator here? Each verse starts off with an F Major chord but for all intents and purposes the song's center of gravity is much closer to f minor. but in absence of a more 12-bar-oriented harmonic context. In this respect. though in this case. The only other Beatles original in their official songbook up to this point in time that's in the key of F other than these two is.g. A larger than average number of chords are used. a jumpy melody. the same paradox we saw in “Yesterday”. single-tracked as demanded by the intimacy of the song's lyrical theme. The melody is shot through with flat 3rds and 7ths. is supported virtually throughout by the harmonized cooing of George and John. the verses are very short.rocky sound of the Rubber Soul album. e. plaintive ballad. The form is on the generous side. and equally prowling harmonies) are ironical and instructive. At the same time “Michelle” surprisingly bears some comparison with the likes of George's “Think For Yourself”. We have seen relatively few diminished seventh chords in our studies of the Beatles' songs to-date. as can be seen from the chord choices throughout and the way in which the bridge so unabashedly embraces the minor mode. the vii(dim)-of-V is given extensive airtime that brings an exotic influence on the melody in its wake. compare this with the piano solo of “Not A Second Time. though some of them are more reasonably explained as the prolongation of linear movement of a bass line or inner voice. The affinities between these two songs are both deep and numerous. of an exceedingly romantic song being scored for an ensemble not usually associated with that genre. The recurrent riff for double-tracked acoustic guitar. is a unique reminder that it is The Beatles after all. “Till There Was You. they are cleverly arranged and recorded to sound more like a pop-music studio band than anything else. And while the notion of direct influence in this case may be debatable. the melodic augmented second found in the phrase “go together well” – F->A-flat->B-natural->A-flat-G.

we get a bass note of F that is at least an octave lower than anything yet heard in the song. It's really one long phrase in terms of its melodic arch though it can be decomposed into a series of rhetorically short phrases of uneven length. and which is yet another cliche trademark of the underlying pop style being chased here. I think it's most “correct” (i. The essential harmonic game plan of this little section is a simple I->V progression. I've seen both the terms prolongation and harmonic envelope applied to it. and is in fact. At the very beginning of measure 3. as at the beginning and end of the bridge. the slower mode creates a very different experience. an uncanny detail in common with the opening of “Yesterday”. yet another similarity with “Yesterday”: |F I |b-flat iv7 |E-flat |B diminished 7 VII (added 6th) vii-of-V | |C V B dim |C vii-of-V V | Page 315 . on the other hand.e. you'd never even think to parse it any other way. and I believe this simple event also helps keep your ear attuned to the idea of the f chord sustained on some level from the beginning of the phrase to this point. Section By Section Walk Through Intro The four-measure intro becomes a kind of hook for the song by virtue of its reappearance in the bridge and the outro. The V chord when it finally appears is in the form of a bare open fifth. Verse The verse is only six measures but is formally doubled up only at the beginning of the song. run the exercise of playing this same progression with the scale four times as fast as it appears in the song. The trick of dropping out the backing voices to suddenly expose Paul. matches up most closely with your own experience of it as a listener) to parse the first two and a half measures as simply an f minor chord with the scale moving against it rather than try to assign a different roman numeral to each new vertical combination: melody: inner line:|F chords: f: i |C E |f ||E-flat ||C Bb Ab D |D-flat |b-flat iv 6/5 V *** *** *** *** |C |C |C | | | can be alternately parsed as *** vi4/3 (D flat) by virtue of the F in the bass If it were not for the leisurely pace at which the scale unfolds. pure Beatles. Granted. is. but the descending chromatic scale of the first three measures spices things up considerably. considered a special effect. in context of the textbooks.track to the point of absorption by it.

The switch over to placing B natural in the bass line in place of D for the last two iterations of this diminished seventh chord has a neat elegant feel to it. Paul had played a similar trick back in “Yesterday” with the relative minor key. and it is indeed a delight to observe the way that Paul handles the latter detail a bit different in each repetition of this section -. frustrated abandonment of all bilingual pretense is matched effectively by the release of carefully saved up high notes. Paul finishes up with a unique melodic flip upward that is both modal and interrogatory in tone. always catches me slightly by surprise and evokes for me a sense of the persistence of romantic optimism against all odds. The second half of it provides an unusually drawn out transition back to the next verse. The slow triplets in the tune at this point combined with the 9-8 appoggiatura on the downbeat of the second measure make the pleasure of this climax all the more exquisite. The progression from iv->VII threatens to follow 'round the minor key circle of fifths. through repetition. Similarly. Solo Section The otherwise routine solo verse of this song is unusually entwined with the bridges on either side of it. Outro Page 316 . The manner in which the optimistic clean opening in the Major key so quickly turns minor ("spring time turning to autumn". but the pattern is quickly broken with the dip down to the diminished seventh chord that eventually sets up the cadence on V. and composed of two subsections – six measures of new music coupled with what we've already seen as the intro: |f i |- |A-flat V-of-VI |D-flat VI | |C V |f i |----> Intro The melodic and emotional climax of this song comes right at the beginning of this bridge where the protagonist's sudden. In the preceding bridge. and in the third bout betraying a bit of worn-out but insistent hoarseness. The first half of the bridge with its unambiguous embrace of f minor stands in contrast to the mixed-mode bittersweetness of the verse. Indeed.The melodic action in this verse has a much higher than average number of non-linear jumps in it. another subtle hook element of the song. and he sustains out the end of this little phrase well into the second or third measure of the solo. no matter how many times I have heard this song. the guitar solo finishes up with a relatively long rush up the scale in fast triplets that overlaps neatly with Paul's vocal pickup to the next bridge. to paraphrase a different bard) becomes. but the use of the parallel minor here is more piquant. especially for McCartney. ten measures in length. the F Major chord at the beginning of each successive verse.adding a spasmodic trill up to a high A-flat the second time around. Bridge The bridge is among the more interestingly (attractively?) built ones that we've seen. surrounded as it is on each side by the minor mode. These tend to follow the chord outlines and serve to draw one's attention to the harmonic movement that belies the tune.

” Or perhaps I even allow my privately romantic verbal. very nearly at. I have no such problems for example with “Drive My Car. one that is both more similar in style to that of the verse itself. the bounds of poetic license. an unlikely shade of “The Word”. Some Final Thoughts The Anglo-Franco lyrics are admittedly a clever touch. heck. still. no less an email correspondence? “Encore de champagne ?” 052093#82 Page 317 . if not over. into the fadeout. and this is repeated one more time. and I don't say that lightly – turning the intro/bridge-second-half into a “coda” by supplying it with a different tune for a change. but the premise implied by them strikes this curmudgeon as cute-but-contrived. as is described in this song. Perhaps I'm being arbitrary here. then this moment here is its crux. with someone with whom they cannot hold a decent conversation. fixations get the better of me betimes. But I ask you – how can anyone be as desperately in love. dare I say oral. and befitting of closure in terms of its melodic shape.”) with one of Paul's compositional master strokes. The song is finally allowed to power down with a verbatim reprise of the instrumental solo section. etc.The outro begins (“and I will say the only. If the start of the bridge marks the song's climax.

while John and Paul's backing vocals are equally far to the right. The melody essentially noodles around stepwise within a five note range. The mode is almost purely Major. one of which (the rejoinder to Ringo in the second verse) smacks of horseplay.Refrain – Verse – Refrain (solo) – Verse – Refrain – Outro (with complete ending) General Points Of Interest Style and Form This almost parodistic homage to the same C&W style the Beatles had earlier covered in the likes of “Act Naturally” is a typical Ringo vehicle if ever there was one. while the others sound more like an unaccustomed and accidental exposure of Ringo's singing or humming to himself to help keep his place during the portions of the song where he wouldn't be singing lead. Section By Section Walk Through Intro The intro consists of a 3-beat pickup plus four simple bars which establish. The form is a folksy strict alternation of refrains and verses. the home key and the overall instrumental style and texture for the song: E: |E I |B V |E I || Page 318 . The harmony is essentially limited to the set of I-IV-V chords. as in the final phrase of the refrain (on the words “in your mind”).What Goes On? Key: Meter: Form: E Major 4/4 Intro – Refrain – Verse . though the verses feature a subdued “oohing” that is surprisingly. Arrangement Ringo's single-tracked lead is mixed in stereo to the far left. therefore. Speaking of which. rather suggestive of today's direct to digital sound quality. the key is the ever popular choice for the Beatles of E Major. Melody and Harmony The basic materials are relatively simple all around. in good introductory form.” The lead guitar part is recorded with an almost surreal clarity for its time. The backing parts for the refrain are quite idiomatically twangy for the context. and the tempo is fast – fast enough that 2/2 might be a more accurate designation of the meter than the 4/4 that I have chosen. for the context. though some interest is added by the big play made out of the 4-3 suspension on V (found at the climax of each refrain) and the use of the minor iv in the verses. the recording of this song is well known for its unusually large number of so-called anomalies. reminiscent of what we just saw in “Michelle. right down to the scenario of sad-and-lonely betrayal described in the lyrics. It's a shame. though with an occasional hint of the bluesy minor 3rd. that the riff playing on this track is not up to the standard of the recorded sonics.

there are a couple of helpfully counter-balancing factors in this section: the harmonic rhythm picks up a bit here. and is built out of four phrases in an A/A/B/C poetic pattern: .2X -----------------------------|E |||||E ||A ||| I IV E: 4-------------->3 |B |V |E I |- | Ironically. Furthermore. Try this experiment: eliminate the repeat of those eight bars and try what's left of the refrain as a 12-bar form and see how much better it flows. this five-phrase structure is one of the few non-routine features of this otherwise routine little song. I dare suggest) that. the opposite seems perversely true: i. unfortunately. yet it's a device whose handling here is a bit too clever by half. the ultra simplicity of the chord progression. further exaggerated by the slow pace of the harmonic rhythm. Nevertheless. all five phrases are on the short side with long breathing spaces of close to two full measures following on each of them. The asymmetry and extra length inherent in a five-line stanza requires a special compensatory effort to prevent it from coming off as stilted. the almost unrecoverable low point of the section is the moment in which you realize (even if you're not a musicologist your mind does register this subconciously. oh no!. For me.e. they're actually gonna repeat all of the first eight measures all over again instead of moving onward. making for a poetic pattern of AB/AB/C: ------------------------------.Refrain The refrain is 20 measures long and is unusually made up of five phrases equal in length. only makes the first problem worse. The 4-3 suspension over the V chord in the last phrase adds a well needed dose of last-minute intensification.2X -----------------------------tune: |B B B G# |A G# F# E |E ||a I iv |F# F# |F# G# |A | | |A A |a iv A A |B V |G# F# E |E I F# |G# || |B V |- | The harmonic syncopation of sustaining the a minor chord over the phrase boundary of measures 8 and 9 is another source of the kind of drag I've cited against the refrain. Verse The verse is an asymmetrical fourteen measures long. a gesture that inhibits both connectivity between successive phrases as well as momentum from building over the series of them. but it's awfully belated. In this case. and winds up at the root of what I consider to be a close to fatal lack of forward drive. and the foreshortened final Page 319 .

What I do find difficult to completely fathom is how. Hey.”060693#83 Page 320 . as a listener. if the group dynamic portrayed in “A Hard Day's Night” is anywhere close to true. I suppose. and a bit of a letdown. I'd assume they were trying to be clever by singing all the way through the first phrase of this section and then leaving the lead guitar to continue on by himself. Furthermore. ending finally with one last chord that's allowed to reverberate almost until it dies out on its own.phrase (only two measures) lends a mild effect of acceleration. they had the self-restraint to reject “12-Bar Original” (ironically recorded at the same session) yet let this one through even though it is in some respects only marginally better. in which case the slow harmonic rhythm and overall weak harmonic teliology of the section don't help at all get me re-oriented. sound here like disjointed non-sequitors rather than a solo with a beginning. I suppose if you want to be mean. Lewisohn's discovery that the song originally dates as far back as the Pre-Beatles/Quarrymen days makes some excuse for it. the style and content of the guitar riffs. you can look to the unique attribution of this song (L&M& Starkey) and blame it all on Ringo. Of course. Some Final Thoughts If you grew up in the States. this gesture backfires by throwing off the listener's sense of the section's structure. to help him keep count of the number of measures before the end. i. It's not that “What Goes On?” is entirely without either merit or charm. Solo Refrain Section The underlying flaws of the vocal refrains are further exacerbated in this solo. for all the hurry against a deadline which underlined the production of the album. and instead of hearing “It's Only Love” (an expectation which dies very hard for those who have their pubescent experiences permanently downloaded like a TSR) you get this potboiler. then this selection was self-effacingly tucked away near the back end of the “Yesterday and Today” album in between what had been the two 'A' sides of the “We Can Work It Out/Day Tripper” single. run the experiment in your head of allowing the 'C' phrase to be rounded out to a more usual full four measures and not how badly it schleps. Beatles tracks to this point in time tend to generally exhibit a rapid fadeout of the last chord imposed during the final production mixdown. and end. I suppose that in this case the group itself might have done precisely that. you flip over the record. but sure doesn't make the song itself any better. “I recognize the psychological pattern. I assume. blame Ritchie. Even in this song where the reverb is allowed to go on for a second or two longer than average you can hear where the faders are applied if you listen.e. which sound fine when used as they are during the rest of the song as obligato fills between sung phrase. But on the CD. middle. are left drifting without a clear sense of formal context. I have trouble hearing the beginning of the solo itself as the second phrase of the refrain. but for my money. the 4-3 play on the V chord helps things end up on a decent footing but there's a good 8 measures or so before then where you. as opposed to the first phrase of a new section. the song is not so much a bad one as much as it appears weak in context of what its authors were capable of on a fairly regular basis by this point of their career. so to speak. as in the original British lineup. Again. The F#'s and G#'s against the a minor chord are especially pungent. The melody provides a modicum of added interest in this section in the form of some appoggiaturas. Outro The coda this time finds the group vamping on the I chord for an additional four measures. You can hear Ringo clearly repeating the phrase “in your mind” throughout this outro.

Key: Meter: Form: A-flat Major (strange, huh!?) 4/4 Verse – Refrain – Verse - Refrain – Bridge – Refrain – Verse – Refrain – Verse (instrumental) – Refrain (fadeout)

General Points Of Interest
Style and Form
This predominantly acoustic, stylized folk ballad embodies many of the trends, themes, and techniques that characterize the overall image of Rubber Soul. It often does seem unfairly lost in the shadow cast by certain bigger hits on the album. Yet, even though it may be neither as trenchant as “Norwegian Wood” nor as sublime as “In My Life”, “Girl” does contain much to be admired; particularly in its intense yet oblique baring of the author's heart it lies directly along a vector from the earlier “You've Got Hide Your Love Away”. Considering that the Beatles didn't go in for full-fledged modulations all that much in their songs, this one is quite notable for the way in which it keeps changing key throughout. In particular, it makes use of the technique of alternating between a minor key and its relative Major towards ends that are both expressive and structural. Paul would appear to have as much a soft spot as John for this gambit over the long run. Off the top of my head we've seen it most before in “Not a Second Time” , “And I Love Her” , and “Yesterday.” The form is of interest for its inclusion of both a refrain and a bridge, as well as its placement of the instrumental solo so near to the very end; the latter, yet another connection with “You've Got Hide Your Love Away”.

Melody and Harmony
The choice of chords is straightforward throughout. This allows one to more undistractedly focus in on the systematic changes of key which, as stated, are the arena of harmonic interest in the song. The melody is similarly uncomplicated though a nice exotic touch is to be found in the augmented seconds (as in “girl who came to stay”) made possible by the so-called “harmonic minor” scale.

The strumming acoustic guitar work oom-pah bass line of the backing track are, in large part, the sources of the overall folksy flavor of the track. John's single track lead vocal has a quivering sincerity that is intensified by the placement of the tune so high in his range, and the rhythmic fexibility given to his scanning of the words against the underlying meter. Lewisohn describes it as “sultry”; I relate to it more as “extremely direct presence”. In the refrain the backing voices provide a classically Beatles-like italicizing of title word. In the bridge they provide a uniquely “naughty” scat singing backwash. With the exception of two significant momentary lapses the backing rhythm is carried by a rocking or lilting of implied fast triplets. The lapses occur in the bridge and final verse where a shift to exactingly even eighth note motion signals a mood change; the even motion connoting a “no mincing of words” kind of rise above the more relaxed and resigned feeling of the triplets. This use of surface rhythm as a combination leitmotif and articulative/associative device is a mark of extreme compositional sophistication. Layering the arrangement a bit had always been a favorite trick of theirs, but here it's carried a step more subtle. What sounds like either a mandolin or acoustic 12-string adds a counter-melody to the lead vocal in the second verse. This idea is further developed in the final (and completely instrumental) verse section by the

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addition of a second counter-melody (this one sounding very much like a finger picked sitar!) played in counterpoint to the one that had already been heard the previous time around. The choice to recapitulate the no mincing rhythm in this verse, so late in the song and the only instrumental section of it to boot, is an uncanny and unifying stroke.

Section By Section Walk Through
The song opens completely “in medias res” (recall your High School studies of Greek tragedy!) without any intro, fanfare, or even an instrumental cue for the start note. In the Beatles oeuvre this is relatively rare, but when it happens it's always treat – look back, for example, at “She Loves You” , “It Won't Be Long”, “All My Loving” , “Can't Buy Me Love”, and “You're Going To Lose That Girl.” The verse is eight measures long and is built out of two parallel phrases; the melodies of which are identical but with a small different twist in the chord progressions:

|c c minor: i


|c i

|f iv

|E-flat VI V



|c i


|c i

|f iv

|c i


This section is entirely in the minor mode with a i-to-i closed shape, though the first phrase does end with a rather prophetic deceptive/fake pass at the relative Major.

The refrain is brief and most bittersweet; just four measures built out of two short parallel phrases. Harmonically, I have some doubt as to what is intended as the second chord of the first measure. My gut and “mind's ear” tells me that the overall progression of this section is the R&R classic cliche of I-vi-IV-V (E-flat, c minor, A-flat, and B-flat respectively); indeed, there's at least one book in which I've seen this stated this with apparent confidence. What complicates life for me is Paul's downward scale-wise bass line: if D is the bass line note played against the second chord, it strikes me as more dissonant against a c minor chord than what is heard on this recording; below I opt for a g minor chord (in the 6/4 'second inversion', no less) with a 4-3 appoggiatura in the tune. Try it on for size and call me in the morning if it doesn't seem to fit:

------------------------------ 2X ----------------------------chord: |E-flat g |A-flat B-flat bass: |E-flat D |C B-flat | E-flat: I iii6/4 |IV6/3 V | f minor:IV


The lyrics consist of the title word plus a pitch-less phoneme that is, with great calculation, executed indeterminately somewhere in between a hiss of frustration on the one hand, and on the other side, a sigh of deepest regret that is co-mingled with a moan of jealous, unquenchable desire. The key change in this section to

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the supposedly more cheerful Major mode works at ironic cross-currents to those ambiguously blue-mood phonemes.

The bridge is structured similarly to the verse, being eight measures long and built out of two parallel phrases that have identical melodies with a slightly varied harmonization for the second one:

|f f minor: i

|C V

|f i

|C V


|f i

|C V

|f i

|A-flat III E-flat: IV


The mood intensifies here in every way that you could measure it. There's a modulation to f minor. The tune shifts over to a rantingly rhetorical hammering style; not to mention the even eighth note rhythm and the “tit-tit” backing vocals. The words too intensify. The attitude earlier in the song had been more on the side of sadness than anger, but starting here and continuing into the final sung verse a streak of bitter and not entirely becoming pique and anger exposes itself. How true to form it is, as well, for John's hurt to be revealed as critically linked on some level to humiliation in public by the words and deeds of his beloved.

Some Final Thoughts
The most intriguing aspect of this song is how it manages to forge an ultimately coherent statement out of what on the surface would seem to be a tangle of internally contradictory and changeable, confused sentiments. There's a restless emotional shifting of mood and perspective as we move from one section to the next as the song unfolds; this is reinforced on the purely musically plane by the extent to which the key and melodic style changes every time to match. It is as though coherence is dynamically established here as a kind of tense truce drawn for the moment between the negative anxiety and hurt of the verses and bridge articulated explicitly by words, and the ineffable certainty of desire of the refrains, left entirely implicit and embedded between the phonemes.
“She'll only reject me in the end...” 062493#84

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I'm Looking Through You
Key: Meter: Form: A-flat Major (strange, huh !?) 4/4 Intro – Verse – Verse – Bridge – Verse – Bridge – Verse– Outro (fadeout)

General Points Of Interest
Style and Form
We've got yet another fine example here of the Beatles' own unique folk/rock style; this one jazzed up a bit by a faintest touch of the blues. Kinetic energy abounds from more than just the beat. For one thing, Paul scans the lyrics in a manner that is inconsistently off-center from the otherwise four-square phrasing of the music; an effect more pleasing than it would sound from my verbal description of it. But even more so, the phraseology of both verse and bridge features a rhetoric suggestive of cumulatively established momentum. The image comes to mind of “run & jump, now return to the starting point you so you may run & jump again, only this time much farther.” Resonance between the latter strictly musical phenomenon and any correlative emotional or passionate experience of yours are guaranteed to raise a smile. The form, for a change, is the very standard model with two bridge and only one verse intervening.

Melody and Harmony
A-flat Major is an unusual key choice for the Beatles. It works out nicely in terms of the track sequencing on the album; making a smooth inbound transition from the 3-flat key signature of “Girl”, and setting up a pace-setting outbound shift of a half-step upward to the A (natural) Major key of “In My Life.” Nevertheless, I'd be surprised if Paul originally conceived of the song in this key, and rather suspect that it was composed in the easier key of G and adjusted upward, perhaps by capo, in the studio. Paul's typically generous application of expressive melodic appoggiaturas helps liven up an otherwise straightforward set of chord choices. Just the same, the tune remains essentially within the diatonically pure realm of the Major mode. The only exceptions are the bluesy minor 3rds used at the climax of each verse, and the equally bluesy minor 7ths which appear in the little riffs that trail those climaxes. The chord progressions are also relatively simple yet the song does feature the same sophisticated tendency of the predominant Major key to wilt downward into the relative minor that we've seen in before “Yesterday” and elsewhere. “4->3” suspensions appear in both the verse and bridge and this provides a source of subliminal unity within the song. The suspension in the bridge is quite dramatic, coinciding with the big build up at the end of the section (“... disappearing over night”). The verse suspensions are tucked away more quietly and unfold more quickly at the end of each of the first two phrases.

Paul's lead vocal is double tracked the whole way through except for the outro, where the switch over to single tracking adds a surprising last minute sense of increased intimacy and immediacy. John joins in for a relatively limited spot of backing on third phrase of each verse. The instrumental texture is dominated by the sound of acoustic guitar and electric bass. In place of the usual drum kit, percussion sounds in this song are limited to thigh slaps (or are they all hand claps?) and a tambourine. As is so typical of the Beatles, the tambourine part is more carefully planned out in a pattern than you might ever notice unless you pay careful attention to it as a listener; i.e. it is shaken on the offbeats of the trailing ends of the

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verses, and during the bridges and outro. It is never played during the four sung phrases of the verses except for one stray shake in the midst of the third verse; surely that must be a mistake. Lewisohn et al acknowledge perplexity over Ringo's being credited on the album jacket with playing organ on this track as though there were no such evidence of it to be heard. Nonsense -- the bluesy riffs which trail each verse are clearly punctuated (one-two) by chords played on an organ in the first two beats of the measure. The electric lead guitar in this song seems to play the role of a shy lurker, commenting on the main action in a rather tentative, interjectory way; it doesn't even play a single note until the midst of the second verse! I am intrigued by the question of whether those fills at the end of each verse involve the guitar at all or whether the licks as well as the punctuating chords are provided on the organ by Ringo. There is a “recording anomaly” I've not yet seen on anyone else’s list in the double tracking of the first bridge, at the phrase “love has a nasty etc.” – a nasty splice is what it sounds like to me.

Section By Section Walk Through
The instrumental intro features a staggered entrance of the players:

|A-flat A-flat: I6/4

------ 3X ------|E-flat |A-flat D-flat V I IV


The opening I-V chord progression has the I chord in the so-called second, or '6/4' inversion. This particular usage, the textbooks teach us, cause the listener to parse the first chord not so much as a "I" chord per se, but more so as dual-appoggiatura embellishment of the V chord to which it is adjoined. In slightly plainer terms, this means you tend to hear this opening less as a full-fledged I-to-V root progression, and more so as a V chord with simultaneous 6->5 and 4->3 suspensions placed upon it. Given the combination of the latter effect with the relatively widespread airplay given to 4->3 suspensions within the rest of the song I wonder if, indeed, the infamous “false start” on the American edition of the Rubber Soul album was really a mistake or something done intentionally, in order to, right at the outset, call attention to itself.

This verse provides a rare analytical conundrum; indeed, where is the downbeat of each phrase located ? There are at least two ways of parsing it, either one of which has pros and cons. I've opted, after much vacillation on the matter, to present it below as though the downbeat is just before the first word of each line:

(rest)I'm Looking|through etc. ... ------------------------------ 2X -----------------------------|A-flat D-flat |b-flat |f |E-flat A-flat: I IV ii7 vi V4 ----> 3


|f vi

|b-flat ii6---->5


|A-flat D-flat IV V



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|A-flat I IV

D-flat ii7

|b-flat |D-flat IV (w/flat 7!!) I IV


D-flat |

----- 2X ------|A-flat D-flat | I IV

The above analytical perspective clearly outlines the poetical/metric structure of the section as AABA+ a vamping connector in the manner of the intro, and it places the starting point of each phrase on expectable harmonic footings. One side effect of this view (if you really do hear it this way!) is the kind of meta-syncopation implied toward the second measure of each phrase, the nature of which is awkward albeit interesting. Another is the equally interesting/awkward elision of the the last sung phrase with the connector. Alternatively, you can parse what I've called the first measure of each phrase as a pickup, shifting the beginning of each phrase one measure forward from how it is parsed above. This view eliminates the metasyncopation problem of the first view but it throws the starting points of all phrases on unusual chord choices and makes the elision of the last sung phrase feel even more awkward. The harmonic rhythm here is unusually flexible compared to what we've seen of the Beatles in this department over the long run. In addition, the deceptive cadence toward vi (the relative minor!) at the start of the third phrase is treat and a fine example of monotony-avoidance. Every time the progression of I-IV-ii appears, Paul provides the same bass lick which makes nice downward counterpoint to the melodic rise which it accompanies. Once you know it's there it provides both a subliminal hook to the song as well as something to look forward to; analogous to some habitual move your lover makes, of which, you somehow (somehow never grow tired):

words: tune: bassline:

(rest) |A-flat |A-flat I


I'm looking |through you | D-flat F |A-flat F | D-flat C |B-flat | D-flat |b-flat IV ii


The 'A' phrase of the tune has a pleasing arch shape which would chafe eventually were it not for the master stroke with which it finally breaks through the glass ceiling in the final phrase; break on through to the other side, so to speak.

The bridge in this case provides typical contrast, if for no other reason, by virtue of its straightforward phraseology of 4+4, AA':
|D-flat IV |I |A-flat ||

|D-flat IV


|E-flat V4 -------------3


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Other sources of contrast include the off-center harmonic emphasis on IV, the slower steadier harmonic rhythm, and the Really Big Climax on V.

The outro is built atop the same I-IV vamping heard in both the intro and trailing connector of the verse. Here it repeats forever into the sunset with Macca now single tracked and getting a tad silly with the words.

Some Final Thoughts
To our great fortune Take 1 of “I'm Looking Through You” is widely available on bootleg. We've got reason to expect it to appear some day in official release should the ill-fated Sessions album ever see the legitimate light of day, though even then, the unblended, unedited, and un-faded version of this outtake which appeared on the likes of Ultra Rare Trax will forever remain the one to seek out. As we saw with the Take 1 outtake of “Norgweigan Wood”, this early version is instructive to the extent to which it both resembles and differs from the so-called Official Release. You can tell right off that this is no rough or tentative demo rehearsal from the fussy care with which the arrangement is worked out, not to mention the precious phoneme-level sound bites captured on the start/stop rough edge of the source tape of Paul giving last minute directives to his mates. Amazingly, for all its differences, the first take is amazingly similar to the official version in its vocal arrangement. But what of those other differences? Superficially speaking, the tempo is slower, and the folksy feeling is made even stronger by virtue of not only more hand claps and thigh slaps, but also (of all things) the inclusion of maracas! More substantively speaking, the first version features something which, in comparison with the most effective bridge of the official version, falls a bit flat on its face: a 12-bar frame for the interjectory lead guitar which otherwise does not appear anywhere else in the first take, coupled to a reprise of the last half of the verse. I'll close with the following two observations which fall along the spectrum somewhere in between the truly minute and the big-picture variations: a) The first take does not feature the descending bass riff in the verses; but b) it is, by the way, in the key of G!
“You wear L'air Du Temps ...*” 072593#85 * a pint at Christophers to whomever figures out the connection to Our Song of this very vague filmic reference ! :-)

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In My Life
Key: Meter: Form: A Major 4/4 Intro – Verse – Bridge – half intro – Verse – Bridge – Verse (instrumental) – Bridge – Outro (with complete ending)

General Points Of Interest
Style and Form
In spite of the Baroque keyboard solo of the original, or the schmaltzy- cum-folksy arrangement cooked up by Joshua Rifkin for Judy Collins' cover if it, the style of this song remains tantalizingly indeterminate. The form contains a folk ballad-like rote alternation of sections, though the use of a bridge rather than a refrain, coupled with the inconsistent deployment of the motif heard in the intro as a 'spacer' between sections, blurs most of whatever specifically folk-style associations you might otherwise derive from the it (the form) per se. Above all, the song creates a delicate and delicious balance between heart baring intimacy of the first order and a vaguely subordinate and reticent unease. The closest I can pinpoint the latter is to something not quite straightforward about some of the chord progressions and the way in which the tune runs roughshod over them. In the final result, this unease is something that, as a long term listener, I feel more strongly than I can discern with any precision. But if I am at all on the right track, it is as though whatever confidence is shared within the confines of this song is done so at no small cause of pain, as though it were happening compulsively on some level, in spite of the author's will.

Melody and Harmony
The rising interval of a sixth provides a melodically hopeful and pervasive subtext to the song, appearing as it does in all sections: e.g. the very start of the intro, and the very end of both the verse and the bridge. The tune remains almost rigidly pentatonic until the bridge where the 4th scale degree (D) is introduced for the first time in the tune on the word “lovers”. The 7th scale degree (G#) appears nowhere in the song, melodically, other than as the last note of the introductory guitar riff. The melody incurs an unusually large amount of free dissonance against the chords of the accompaniment from its large number of appoggiaturas, “escapes”, and gratuitous 7ths and 9ths. The pervasiveness of this melodic style lends a puzzling attitudinal touch of I'm-so-tired laziness or enervation, at least, that runs at crosscurrents to the otherwise earnest theme of the song. The choice of chords for the song is relatively simple though the verse features John's much favored minor iv chord motivated by the chromatic descent of an implied inner voice. The bridge features some increased complication in the choice of chords and their progression. Outside of the so-called “spacer” motif, the harmony of this song strongly avoids the type of clear key definition and closure one associates with straightforward V->I cadences. Note how the V chord doesn't even show up in the bridge, and its one appearance in the verse is followed "deceptively" (that's a technical term, son) by vi. I pick up on this as yet another source of curious indirectness and reticence.

The stereo image places the basic backing texture of electric guitar, electric bass, and percussion off toward the left, with the voices and, later, the piano off to the right. John sings the lead double tracked with Paul providing a Beatles-trademarked duet of free counterpoint on the odd numbered phrases, with John left by himself for the even numbered ones. As much as I always prefer John in

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single track mode (and feel that this song, above many others, would particularly lend itself to such an immediate delivery), the transition between the duet and a single tracked solo would likely have been too stark. As is not at all unusual in other arrangements of theirs from this period, it is the percussion section which helps articulate the form. For the intro and verses, the drumming features an understated syncopated pattern that is punctuated by quickly damped cymbals. For the bridges, the beat shifts to something close to four in the bar, and the dry damped sound of the verses is traded in for the bright ringing sounds of a tambourine and drum sticks tapping lightly on cymbals' edge. George Martin's much celebrated solo on electric piano was played for the recording an octave lower, and half as slow as it sounds on the finished track. I would bet that the motivation for this was as much to distort the attack/decay timbre of the instrument to make it sound more like a harpsichord as it was to help project a sensation of almost un-natural speed in the performance; the solo turns out to be not that difficult to perform in tempo – even the running scale at the end.

Section By Section Walk Through
The four-measure intro establishes the home key while introducing the melodic upward sixth and setting a measured pace by virtue of its slow harmonic rhythm:


--------------- 2X -------------|A |E | I V

The two-measure motif from which this intro is built recurs throughout the song as a unifying device; repeated here in the intro, a single reprise just before the second verse, and in extended repetition for the outro. The “AA” inner form of intro itself presages the parallel kind of structure that is to be found in both the verses and bridges which follow below.

The verse is eight measures long and is structured as an 'AA' couplet based on the following four-measure phrase:


------------------------------ 2X ----------------------------|A E |f# A7 |D d |A | I V vi V-of-IV IV iv I

Melodic dissonance abounds: in the first measure there's the B->A/ 9->8 appoggiatura on the downbeat (on the word “pla-ces”) and the escape from the neighbor tone C# (on the first syllable of “remember”); measure 2 starts with a "free" seventh on its downbeat (on the second syllable of “remember”); and measure 3 starts off with a B>A/6->5 embellished appoggiatura (on the drawn out word “life”). There is an unusual syncopated boomy noise in the second half of the measure 2, right after the A7 chord is reached. I imagine that it's either the result of a collision between an A played by the bass with a G-natural played just below the A on a low string of the rhythm guitar; or else it may be one of those strange double stops of Paul's.


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The bridge is also eight measures long and is structured as a pseudo AA' couplet:
|f# vi |D |G IV flat-VII (or V-of-flat VII) |A I |

|f# vi

|B V-of-V

|d iv

|A I


The melody of the two phrases may almost be the same, save for the exceedingly subtle change in the the rhythmic execution of the upward “flip of a sixth” at the end, but the harmony of the second phrase is very different. Granted, both phrases make a similar harmonic gesture, starting away from the home key yet converging back toward it via different routes that are comparably indirect. Rather it is in the specific chord choices and progressions that each phrase asserts something unique. In the first phrase the appearance of flat-VII comes as an especial surprise against the backdrop of the pentatonic verse. The second phrase provides a triple whammy: the thwarting of V-of-V when it is not followed by V (a favorite Beatles device of long standing), the F#/F-natural cross-relation created by the minor iv chord, and the straight-faced irony that the tune is essentially the same between the two phrases. Still more melodic dissonance abounds. In particular, we have the C#->B appoggiatura on the downbeat of measures 2 and 5. In the former case (on the word “moments”) this creates a 7->6 double dissonance (!!), and in the late (on the word “living”) we have more of a garden variety 9->8 resolution.

The outro is creatively structured as one iteration of the intro/spacer phrase + a last petit reprise of the last phrase of the bridge + one last iteration of the spacer, this time modified to provide the complete ending. The extended nature of this outro, especially in its poignant use of the minor iv chord is strangely anticipatory in a subdued way of the likes of the much later “Happiness Is A Warm Etc.”

Some Final Thoughts
I have it on good authority that I'm not alone in my personal experience of, having heard it for the first time as an romantically earnest if yet adenoidally awkward teen, walking around for many years thereafter “searching” (cross-referance to “Anna”) for the significant other to whom I could in all sincerity and good conscience dedicate this song. And by “dedicate” I don't necessarily mean having Scott Muni or Bruce Morrow blab it all over the AM air waves; a discreet email will do just nicely, thank you. What is it, I wonder, that makes such a song so ultra special if not sacred to the collective consciousness? People often talk about the elliptical nature of John's text as they mine for potentially relevant autobiographical underpinnings. But, again, I wonder if there isn't something just a bit circular or at least reflexive about this mining for meaning. Is it possible that the vague references and ellipses of this song, beyond their being pregnant per se with whatever embedded or hidden meaning, also serve equally to invite and encourage the listener to respond personally, and autobiographically, indeed?
“You'll have to love her. She's your symbol.” 082293#86

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Key: Meter: Form: f# minor 4/4 Verse/Refrain (two times) – Bridge – Verse/Refrain – Bridge – Verse/Refrain – Verse (with complete ending)

General Points Of Interest
Style and Form
There's a higher than average level of formalistic interest in this song: it opens right in the midst of the action with an off-the-beat vocal pickup; there's no intro, not even an instrumental downbeat to give the singer his cue. For that matter, there's no formal outro here either; the song kind of just rhetorically grinds to a halt. Furthermore, the main expository component of this song is curiously half-verse/half-refrain in style. It's almost tempting to parse the section as two discrete sections in their own right but that would lead to a rather over-busy reading of the form which I don't believe is supported by your experience of listening to it. What's particularly fascinating is that not only have we seen both of the above formal features in other earlier songs of the Beatles, but in a couple of cases we've seen both features within the same song; to wit – “I Want To Hold Your Hand”, “It Won't Be Long” and “You're Going To Lose That Girl.” And if the strong John Connection doesn't yet strike you, consider the following punch list of songs which feature the verse/refrain concept, albeit without a midst-of-action opening – “Please Please Me”, “From Me To You”, and “Ticket To Ride.” Granted, you can likely find me similar examples which are not all exclusively by John; Paul's “All My Loving” comes immediately to mind, for example. Nevertheless I believe the correlation I've cited bears some weight. The music itself is highly syncopated to the max, the effect of which is emphasized by the non-four-square phrasing of the verse section and the almost constantly offbeat harmonic rhythm. At the other extreme, the particular choice of form lays out the lyrics in an almost slavishly symmetrical mosaic pattern of ABCACBA.

Melody and Harmony
The tune, in all sections of this song, is peppered through with fanfare-like triadic outlines and other long jumps. The harmonic gameplan features the same kind of minor/relative Major key alternation that we saw, most recently, in “Girl.” Although the lyrics of this song superficially make for an almost mirror image of the story told in “It Won't Be Long” the rapid key vacillations of “Wait”, taken in combination with a chance comment (“if your heart breaks ... turn me away”) hint here of a last-minute twinge of self-protective anxiety that is totally absent from the earlier song.

Although there is something somehow 'unfinished' about the strangely thin instrumental texture of this song, they appear to have still sweated the patterned deployment of percussion sounds with their usual fastidiousness. Look, for example, at the first three phrases of the verse: phrase #1 features a syncopated tambourine, phrase #2 adds a pair of maracas in even 8th notes, and phrase #3 (introduced by a nice drum roll) finally brings in the full drum kit and the tambourine switching now to even 8th notes in sympathy, as it were, with the maracas. John performs the lead verse vocal single tracked, though Paul harmonizes with him in not-quite parallel thirds for most of the section except for the pickups to the first couple phrases. Paul then gets to do the bridge in double-tracked solo.

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Section By Section Walk Through
This compound section is an unusual fourteen measures long and breaks up into a six-measure “Verse” (parsed 3+3) and an eight measure “Refrain” (parsed 4+4):
pulse |1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & |1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & |1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & | composite rhythm|> > > > > |> > > > > |> > > > > --------------------- 2X ------------------------tambourine | > > > | > > > | > > > | inner-voice |E D# |D-nat.C# | | chords |f#7 B6/4 |b6/4 f# |C# f# f#: |i V I |


----- 3X -----|A D |A A: I IV

C# |f# f#:III V I

| i

The schematic diagram of the chords and phrasing that I usually provide is embellished, above, to call your attention to two details of the arrangement: • The opening phrase features a typically JL-like descending line cliche which in theoretical terms argues against putting 'roman numerals' on the 2nd and 3rd chords. To the extent that the note f# is a sustained pedal tone throughout the entire progression of the first four chords, one tends to hear the harmonic action of this phrase as a stretched out move from i to V. The same phrase also features a composite rhythm that is syncopated in a cutsey yet seductive, belly-dancer sort of way; yet another John Lennon trademark of sorts, to the extent that the one used here is so reminiscent of a similar touch in the likes of “All I've Got To Do” and “Ticket to Ride.”

The verse is firmly within the key of f# minor. The refrain starts off with an equally firm, even abrupt, modulation to the relative Major key of A before neatly pivoting back to the home key of f#.

The bridge is formally simpler than the verse/refrain section, and is built out of two rather parallel phrases that differ from each other in terms of instrumentation (note the increased prominence of the guitar strumming in the second phrase) and the chord choice of the last measure:


|b ii

|E V

|A I

|f# vi


|b ii

|E V f#


|C#4 ->3 V


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The harmonic strategy of this bridge, starting with an ambiguous sense of home key and converging back to f# by way of a climax on its V chord, stands in contrast to the more expository verse and refrain. And speaking of tonal ambiguity, do you hear the opening of the section as a modulation to the key of A (in which case the b minor chord sounds like ii and the f# minor chord sounds like vi)? Or, do you hear the entire section as being in the key of f# (in which case the E Major chord sounds like the V of III)? The question itself is actually more interesting than either answer to it.

The song closes up with a final repeat of the verse which, in its last phrase, suddenly downshifts into dramatic, emphatic slow motion. At the last moment all the percussion instruments used earlier are brought out (along with the jewelry), as it were, for a bow and a rattle, with the absolutely last word going to an arpeggio in the tone pedal guitar; this one, in the downward direction for a change.

Some Final Thoughts
“Wait” has the dubious distinction of having been the song that was left over from the Help! album, later to be dredged up in a panic to fill out Rubber Soul when the looming pre-Xmas deadline threatened to catch the Beatles with a shortfall of new material. But do you really think it sticks out in context as something picked up off the cutting room floor? Or do we eventually fall victim to the so-called common or collective wisdom about such things? While this song is far from being in the top tier of Rubber Soul, I dare say that it's an exaggeration to say that it sounds grossly out of place there, either. And if you accept this observation for what it's worth, then it's only a small increment of will before you start to question the notion, become so deeply rooted over the years, that Help! and Rubber Soul exist somehow on opposite sides of some great musical divide. It's really closer to something like distinct yet neighboring distinct upon a continuum.
“It's been a long time.” 101893#87

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If I Needed Someone
Key: Meter: Form: A Major 4/4 Intro – Verse – Verse – Bridge – Verse – Verse (instrumental) – Verse – Bridge – Verse – Outro (with complete ending)

General Points Of Interest
Style and Form
“If I Needed Someone” is not anywhere nearly as ambitious or original as the likes of “Don't Bother Me” and “Think For Yourself”. And yet, just beneath the surface production values that otherwise allow the song to fit in so compatibly among the L&M originals which surround it (the title of a certain ancient Beatleg, Homogenized Beatles comes to mind), are to be found all the telltale touches which mark the song as one by George; in particular, the modal harmony, the cramped stepwise tune, and the wistful appoggiaturas. The form adds an unusual twist to the classic two-bridge model, with three consecutive verses separating the bridges, the middle one of which is a kind of instrumental break.

Melody and Harmony
In our previous looks at other Harrisongs I've often noted George's pronounced taste for wandering chord progressions that are less goal orientated than the average. The harmony of this one is actually quite a bit more teliological than usual for George, but we do find here, in the verse, an early example of “sustained pedal” harmony; a device which, before much longer, would become George's predominant style trait as he entered what you might call his unabashedly Indian Period. And yet, as obvious it may seem for us to associate this device of pedal harmony with the static, nonharmonic drone-based basis of Indian classical music, I also wonder if there is not a heretofore overlooked and much more direct connection between the device and the early-to-mid musical style of the Beatles! In particular, I'm thinking of the number of songs by John which conspicuously start off with at least 4 bars or more of the I chord; off the top of the head, try “Ticket To Ride” and “Day Tripper”, but above all don't forget “Tomorrow Never Knows” and “Rain”. Overall, I'd describe the home key as flavor of A Major that is modally inflected by the heavy use in the verses of the flat-VII chord superimposed over that pedal harmony of the I chord. The bridge provides a very clear and decided modulation to the unusual key choice of ii (i.e. b minor). The melody of the verse is in straight Mixolydian mode; that's the scale with the Major 3rd and the flat 7th -think of it as the white note scale starting on G. By way of contrast, the bridge tune is in an equally straightforward minor mode. Though somewhat disguised by the three part harmony of the verses, the melody of this song, throughout, lives within an extremely constricted range, with mostly stepwise motion, and a great deal of circular repetition; you may find it interesting to compare with “You Like Me Too Much.” Pitchwise, the verse tune is centered around A, and uses only four more notes – G, B, C#, and D. The bridge tune rounds this out by adding F# and A# (of all things) to the mix. Also, the G# that you'd normally expect to find in the key of A Major makes its first appearance in the harmony of the bridge.

The hypnotically fuzzy solo guitar sound used at the very beginning of the song rather pervades the entirety of it; sometimes doubling the main vocal line, and also reiterating the opening hook in between the buttons.

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George starts off the first verse with a double tracked vocal solo, but Paul and John quickly join him on the title/hook-phrase in a bit of three-part block-move triadic harmony uncannily reminiscent of “Think For Yourself”, right down to the subtle detail of your being able to hear John somehow raspily loudest of all. George's double- tracked solo part returns for the bridges, but all the rest of the verses, other than that first one, are sung entirely in 3-parts. There's a really nice detail that I was originally going to map out but decided to leave it as an exercise for the listener -- note how the phrases of 3-part harmony start off in parallel 5/3 chords, but then shift at the melodic apex to the 6/3 inversion. Finicky changes in the percussion part are yet again used to help punctuate formal contrast. The tambourine is struck on beats 2 and 4 of each measure of the verses, but in the bridges it is shaken in fast-moving even eighth notes. In the last phrase of almost every verse section (including the instrumental) Ringo provides an eighth-note figure on the bass drum that leads into a cymbal crash coinciding with the word “Someone.” Do you suppose his leaving this out during the final verse was out of a desire to avoid what I call foolish consistency, or the result of his being asleep at the switch ?

Section By Section Walk Through
The song opens with an archetypically Beatlesque layered design, the likes of which makes the fact that this one was recorded on the same day as “Day Tripper” seem like more than a coincidence; for that matter, both songs make uncommonly heavy use of an ostinato figure, as well. Entrances are leisurely staggered over the course of the intro and first two verses, starting with just solo guitar, followed by the rest of the instruments, then George, and finally, the backing vocals; the latter, singing only on the hook phrase at first, and then later, for the entire verse. The four-measure intro is built out of two repetitions of a two-bar solo guitar ostinato lick that cleverly anticipates the tune which is about to follow without necessarily giving it away, so to speak. Think, for example, about the similarities between the two of pitch content and range, the gentle but unceasing offbeat syncopation, and the implied superimposition of the G chord over the home key chord A.

The verse is a typical eight measures long, though it parses into an extremely atypical three-phrase pattern, of 2+3+3:

|phrase#1-------|phrase#2---------------|phrase#3---------------| |A I ||||A/G ||A || flat-VII susp. I b: flat VII


There is virtually no harmonic motion in this section; the sense of home key arising more out of the insistence of the drone-like bass note than from chord 'progression' per se. The section that I've labeled as an instrumental break might be more properly called a “verse without words”, given that its texture is built out of wall-to-wall 3-part vocal harmonies and a guitar solo variation on the opening ostinato figure that is almost buried in the mix.

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whether such a mixed message be art or artifice.Bridge The bridge is also eight measures in length but is built more simply out of two even phrases: |e b: |F# iv |V |b |e i |F# iv |b |E V i A:ii V | The harmony of this section features an almost textbook-perfect pivot modulation to the key of b minor. and followed by that memorable final chord with the guitars playing plain open fifths instead of the complete triad. who can really tell for sure? “I don't really know. In particular. you get a clear opportunity to observe how the mind reinterprets the b minor chord in measure 7 retrospectively as the ii of of A once you've heard the E Major chord that follows it. like. but it sounded distinguished. Of course. on the way back to the home key at the end of the section. I'll leave most of the appoggiaturas in this song for you to find for yourself. in this instance truncated to just two measures worth of vamping on the I chord. this is the only place in the song where the E Major chord. modified to incoroporate the exact original ostinato figure instead of a copycat variation of it. The home key of A Major is established by traditional V->I means rather belatedly as this section moves into the following verse. Some Final Thoughts But what's 'e trying to say ? It seems to me that the lyric is saturated by a conditional plan. with its concommitant use of G# (as opposed to the G natural of the flat-VII chord). In fact. thank you. save the piquant 9->8 job in measures 4 of this section (on the phrase “been like this”) because it is so quintessentially George-like.and promise-making to an extreme that seriously belies the protagonist's claim of being too much in love" right (yes) now. appears. Outro The outro is a partial reprise of the instrumental middle break. didn't it?” 111093#88 Page 336 .

especially for supposedly good clean fun. and otherwise eschews the flat 7th in favor the of the “naturally occurring” Major one. and tambourine. It's a shame since musically at least. and even a touch of the folksy (if you'll note the use of the acoustic rhythm guitar) so characteristic of the middle-period Boys. and “Not A Second Time. “It Won't Be Long”. a 12-bar blues frame for the instrumental break. three guitars (one each: acoustic. lightly exercised drum kit. John sounds double tracked with each of his vocals split to a different channel. exposed as he is at the high end of his comfort zone. The vocal parts are fussily both arranged and recorded. the I-vi gesture adds more than local color to the chord progressions. it's not really such a bad song. even if it's not top-draw Beatles music circa late '65. and an overall repeat pattern that doesn't quite match any of our more typical one or two bridge models. and bass). whereas the tune makes passing use of the flat 3rd. though. I'm talking about just I-vi. has apologized or made excuses for this song somewhere along the line. Even the tune. The form is distinguished by a primary section that combines elements of both Verse and Refrain (compare this with “Wait” ). You'd think that this one must be one of the more obvious last-minute fillers hastily thrown together before the Rubber Soul drop-deadline. Page 337 . The style is that hard-to-categorize mix of blues (dig that lead guitar riff). pop-rock (the old cliche I-vi chord progression). to the extent that in spite of a clear home key of D Major. electric. you're surprised to find out that it was one of the first tracks recorded for the new album! Furthermore. Personally. I can vouch that even way back at the time of its initial release. compare this with “Baby's In Black. John sings the verse sections single tracked and close to trembling. we now live in a time where we've been sensitized and dismayed by a rising tide of ubiquitous domestic violence to the point where the words of this song seem in plain bad taste. Melody and Harmony The I-vi cliche (and here. especially John's. all the verse sections veer straight off toward a cadence in the relative minor key of b. all the way up to F# and G. The opening guitar riff makes prominent use of both flat 3rd and 7th degrees.” In the refrains. the song has a rather skewed harmonic center of gravity. Arrangement The final mix has an almost Wilburys-like richness that is ironic considering the relatively spare forces at play. whether in “From Me To You”. people thought that the Jealous-Guy-Posturing heard here was at least a tad over-stated. including John himself.Run For Your Life Key: Meter: Form: D Major 4/4 Intro – Verse/Refrain – Verse/Refrain – Break (instrumental) – Verse/Refrain – Verse/Refrain – Outro (fadeout) General Points Of Interest Style and Form Everybody. When you go to check Lewisohn's recording diary. suggests the key of b much more so than 'D'. per se. The lead guitar sets a bluesy tone right off the bat that is picked up only partially by the vocalists. and not the case where it continues to IV-V) was a veritable staple of the early Beatles vocabulary.” With the exception of this song and the somewhat older “It's Only Love” the device would seem to more or less disappear during the middle period. “All I've Got To Do”. in fact. In this specific instance. taken without any of the chords to provide you with any external hints.

Break This instrumental break is in true-blue 12-bar form. The vamping acoustic guitar leads off. and tambourine. no less!) instead. and the refrain is in a 2+2+4 BBB' pattern: D: -------------. It's a ready/set/surprise kind of setup. The modulation to b minor is. yet another layered opening. of course. as well as the contrasting alternation between V-of-V and ii (with its concomitant G#/G-natural cross-relation) is a favorite Beatles device going way back.2X --------------|D ||b || I vi |b vi |E |b |E |b |e F# V-of-V vi V-of-V vi ii b: iv V |b i |- | The inner form of the refrain is nicely supported by the harmony. arriving) in a context where V is actually deferred for quite a while. though the way the part is accented. bass guitar. It's a trick to which The Boys would resort from time to time. with a rising chromatic bass line lick taking the music straight back home to D.” Verse/Refrain This compound section is sixteen measures in length. we had seen this same device in a song of a rather different color. itself. Most recently. The verse is in a 4+4 AA pattern. with the backing vocals added for the refrain. still. quite short-lived. “In My Life”. Paired repetitions of the opening guitar riff recur throughout the song (with the exception of immediately before and after the break) as a kind of connective tissue between sections. Note how they sort of trail off at the end of each section (right after the hard “D” in “end-AHH”) leaving John exposed (well almost) yet again. joined next by the lead guitar. The only deviation here from the absolutely classic mold is the repeat of the V chord in measures 9 and 10 instead of having V move to IV. and then it veers off sharply to the key of b minor. by the way. The acoustic guitar starts off just before the first downbeat. it's not entirely clear where the beat is until the other's join in. is the only place that V appears in the entire song! Page 338 . the similarity between our example of it here with “Eight Days A Week” is particularly striking. compare this with the very opening of “Drive My Car. The intro itself is six measures long and based on just one chord. followed by the lead vocal and drum kit at the start of the first verse. The vi chord moves twice in a row to V-of-V (E Major). This. only to fool you the third time around by going to ii (e minor. in the the 6/3 inversion. The repetition of V-of-V (which raises your expectation of the V. Section By Section Walk Through Intro The song provides. seemingly on those occasions when they couldn't think of anything else.and he his joined by George and Paul for a spot of harmonizing.

Even so. it's a detail hard to not ponder once you've noticed it. or the second side's worth of George Martin instrumental fantasies? Even better. I'm not sure if one could easily prove which factor (the choice of covers. if the Rubber Soul album itself were any indication one way or the other. Granted. Indeed. Some Final Thoughts One of my private pet compositional hunches about the Beatles is that they preferred the complete ending over the fadeout more strongly than the average band of their period. of the guitar hook alternating with John's scat singing of fragments of what sound like variations on the chromatic riff. Most interesting of all is that all four of the albums with the complete endings close with a cover song! The two fadeouts are “I'll Be Back” on “A Hard Days Night” and our song.the complete-versus-fadeout status of songs which close Beatles albums. The rising chromatic bass lick is conspicuously not heard as we come out of the break because we're already in the home key of D at this point and there's no need to transition back from b minor in this instance. Plotting this idea much beyond Rubber Soul gets into some tricky areas. it remains a gut feeling for me. does “Tomorrow Never Knows” feature a complete ending or a fadeout. (Please Please Me through Rubber Soul). For example. If you look at the canonical British lineup of the first 6 albums. even better than better. seemingly ad-infinitum. you'll discover the score as 4 to 2 in favor of complete endings for the final tracks. what about “A Day In The Life”? Let's stay with my simplifying assumption about the first six albums for now. with respect to Revolver. Even if it were intentional. but after the rising chromatic riff and the vamping lead hook we proceed to get a repeat. There's a much more easily calculable statistic related to the above that's intriguing to consider -. the EP ended w/ “Blue Jay Way” (complete). Outro The outro begins as though they were cycling back still one more time for another verse. does the Yellow Submarine album end with “All You Need Is Love”. this might be a complete coincidence devoid of any forethought. but the expanded album ends w/ “All You Need is Love” (fadeout). Unfortunately I don't have at my fingertips the actuarially global statistics needed to prove such a point. ladies. “Get out while you can. how to parse Magical Mystery Tour.” 112893#89 Page 339 . here. of the choice of a complete ending) was the cause versus the effect in this circumstance. Similarly.The guitar solo grows so smoothly out of the recurring rifflet you've heard throughout that you barely notice that the song has gone off on a bit of a formalistic tangent at this point. its 50/50 showing in this department would seem equivocal.

In the case of “Paperback Writer”. Post-processed special effects. Each of these songs reflects so clearly its respective composer. the Beatles could delightfully take you by surprise with a novel chord progression. in addition to the modified tape speed. released in June (two months ahead of the album) were recorded just a couple weeks into the new sessions. journalistic slice of life on the sleazy side. and heavily over-dubbed vocal harmony on both cuts. The release of “Penny Lane” b/w “Strawberry Fields Forever” as an antecedent to the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band LP is the other major single of theirs to have this level of potent prescience in terms of an album in progress. The other important angle to a study of this pair of songs is the extreme to which they bear comparison and contrast with each other. At other times. where they had tried anything like this. there are similarities galore which reflect not only cross-influence. you must see the photograph of Paul's manuscript for the lyrics. there are those yin-yang/John-versus-Paul points of contrast between the two songs. Perspective on the respective subject matter – Paul's essay is a gritty. and the two songs on this single. and recording technique of both “Paperback Writer” and “Rain” make them as qualitatively different from what we heard on the album which preceded them as they presage the album which was yet to follow. as George notes on the tape. both songs have a noticeably denser. Wall-of-sound texture – Even without the special effects. p. most notably in connection with “All My Loving/ It Won't Be Long” and “She Said She Said/ Good Day Sunshine. We've explored this notion several times before in this series. but in this case they seem to be transfixed by an aesthetic of stasis. “both were chock full of all the Revolver technical advancements: limiters. musical style. And then again. and the fact that take 1 of the backing track breaks down because. Drone-like harmony – Neither song is literally built on a pedal point. punchier texture than virtually anything else done by the group up until this point. listen to how fast the “1-2-3-etc. They went straight to work on what was to become the Revolver album in early April '66. though both of them use very few chords. 74). Subject matter – Neither is a love song. “Nowhere Man” was the only other time. ADT. and what's particularly delicious about some of these is that they are embedded within factors that would otherwise seem at a superficial level to be common denominators rather than points of departure: Tempo – This pair of songs constitute what might be among the fastest and slowest ever songs done by the Beatles to-date. to date. After the just-in-time for Xmas release of Rubber Soul the Beatles took a four month break from the studio. In the case of “Rain”. a subtle element of competitive looking over each other's shoulders. not only written • • • • • Page 340 .” count-in is on the pair of bootlegs that are in the public domain (I use the latter term loosely :-)). jangle boxes. compressors. Indeed. and yet at the same time. “Paperback Writer” has the tape echo at the end of the alternate verse sections. largely the result of the standout drumming.” More specifically.referential third-person focus as the book is described. and “Rain”. it keeps getting faster. even though the backing track for “Rain” was recorded at a faster tempo and higher key. includes the much talked about played-backwards vocal in its outro. and slowed down during the mixing phase to playback differently. basswork. The subject matter.” So what are the similarities in this case? • • Key – both songs “sound” in the key of G.Paperback Writer and Rain Introduction This double-A single marks one of the most significant nodal points in the compositional and recording development of the Beatles. but I suspect. Leslie speakers.As Lewisohn puts it (Recording Sessions. John's ultra-slow harmonic rhythm and his scanning of the words (see the bullet on Prosody) manage to project an almost catatonically measured pace in spite of all furious activity in the textural foreground. starting off in the first person and cleverly shifting 'round to a self. but from this point forward. and contain sustained passages over the I chord that lend a static feeling to the harmony overall. this tendency to comment on things social or experiential would become increasingly pronounced.

to the almost deadly four-square delivery heard in a song like "Yellow Submarine". in contrast. to me.e. ii. and/or counter-intuitively fighting against the beat. is performed in style in which the words seem to be intoxicatingly. let us move on.” Talk about vague references or hard trivia questions. turns in an elliptical tirade in the third person about what “they” do when the metaphorical rain comes. on the other hand. and the open-fifth dronelike harmonies of its refrain sections. and the harmony includes I. though it is harmonically much more clearly in the Major mode (check out the I-IV-V chord vocabulary). And on that note. evidence of a to-date uncharted. In contrast. no 'A's or 'F's). inscrutable on the surface but pregnant with deeply embedded meaning. to our closer look at each of these songs in turn. Prosody of the verbal delivery – “Prosody” is a technical term describing the manner in which words are rhythmically declaimed together with accompanying music. For example. manages to convey a modal feel by virtue of its pseudo-pentatonic melody (note how the lead vocal contains no 2nd or 7th scale degree – i. To the extent that it would become a very Lennonesque trademark as well from this point on is. and IV but *not* V. “Rain”. who's 'e. Modality of the home key – “Paperback Writer” is quite Mixolydian. say. overlooked subtle point of Dylan's influence on the Beatles. if you check the bootleg take 1 you can actually hear them playing V in the intro and refrain sections but in the final mix it's deftly mixed out! "Rain". The Master (if not outright inventor) of this technique circa 1966 was Bob Dylan. eh? John.• • out literally in the form of a letter (opening – Dear Sir [or Madam]). finally. “Paperback Writer” provides as good an example as you'll ever find of syllables pleasurably ricocheting off an underlying beat. but signed by one “Ian Iachimoe. true to his own form. the tune places great emphasis on the melodic flat 7th. Page 341 .

the sense of home key is left to establish itself via the relatively weak plagal cadence of the IV chord. Though they were an trademark of the Early Beatles sound.Paperback Writer Key: Meter: Form: G Major 4/4 Intro – Verse – Verse – Refrain (intro) – Verse – Verse – Refrain (intro) – Outro (fadeout) General Points Of Interest Style and Form This song is definitely in the top tier of Beatles' hardest rocking cuts. Harmony is used quite frugally to static effect. the unedited studio tape must have on it some amount of pre-take cueing of the starting pitch for the singers.” in a nervously tentative stage whisper. In addition to the fast tempo and gutsy backing track. manifest insistence of the I chord.. and on many other Revolver cuts as well. Arrangement The vocal parts are worked out and varied to an unusual extent. Alas. or even “talkin' blues”. and a kind of drone-like. the melodic flat 7th of the Mixolydian mode and the 12-measure verse lengths add a touch of the Blues. it does manage to fill out the full octave in a rather clever way. For that matter. whenever you have a song that starts off with a vocal pickup. The fancy vocal parts are just about upstaged by the much discussed Motown-like punchy bass part and the syncopated lead guitar riff. Melody and Harmony The tune has the bouncing rhythm and limited melodic contour of a patter song. and yet at other times in chorus (the hook line at the end of each verse). the doubling up of the verses. though just the same. and the recurrence of that unusual intro as a sort of refrain section. sometimes in accompaniment (Frere Jacques). Take 2 of this song provides a perfect proof of this. The form is made curious by virtue of the a capella opening (see “Nowhere Man”). sometimes antiphonally (the intro). they kind of disappear for the most part during Rubber Soul. George and John's backing vocals play off of Paul's double-tracked lead vocal. To the extent that the V chord is suppressed from appearing throughout. the vocal parts don't sound quite as well rehearsed as they are ambitious. yet make a welcome return on both sides of this single.. After repeated close listenings to the recording you can't help notice the often ragged ensemble cutoffs at phrase endings or entrances. Section By Section Walk Through Intro The intro is eight measures long: Page 342 . I've commented elsewhere about how. you can't overlook Ringo's between-the-sections drum fills here. just before the actual count-in singing the word “Paperback . where you can here them.

In take 1. but somehow was mixed way down but not quite out. deftly. a modest anticipation of what would surface much later in the likes of “Because.” In the second half we suddenly are faced with almost the entire instrumental backing ensemble executing a double-barreled iteration of a really knockout ostinato riff for lead guitar and bass drum. in spite of its being in the same fast tempo as what follows it. • The bass/guitar riff strikes with tremendous power when it is heard for the first time. the bass line gives a pedal tone-like stress to the note G throughout the first eight measures. one that I'd say is easily way up in there the same class with the one from “Day Tripper” in terms of both its distinctive melodic contour and craggy syncopations that extend over one and a half of the ostinato's two-measure length. every time the phrase is repeated. The preceding a capella section. Page 343 .G: |Acapella vocals----------------||Guitar riff-------------------| |C |G |a |||G |||| I V ii I The first half is set for pseudo-acapella voices in a pattern of cascading antiphony that is something off the beaten path for these guys. you start noticing how on the final version it's there as well. from its four-square and slow rhythmic pattern. The harmony of the a capella section sounds on the finished recording as I've diagrammed it above: just I. The bass drumming that backs the lead guitar riff is so sharp that when the bass guitar finally enters at the tail end of this intro with a pickup to the intro you think for a second that maybe you're hearing an overdubbed second bass part. indeed. Verse The twelve measure length of this verse is phrased (AAB) like a blues frame even though the harmony doesn't fit the classic pattern: -------------. conveys. Darn clever how this tapping track is so neatly mixed out of the final version. not only through the entire first half of the intro but in every other 'refrain' where the a capella vocal section is repeated. The outtakes reveal two subtle points about this intro: • The finished recording is mixed to sound as though the intro were performed “ad libitum”. and ii. to provide sotto voce support for the singers at the vocal overdub stage) which shows that they originally intended to have a V chord in the fourth measure. I assume. there must be some pretty fast fingers on those faders. Once you know it's there in the outtake. but the outtakes prove that it is very much done in tempo.2X -------------|G |C |G G: I IV6/4 I |- | |C IV |- |G I |- | The C chord in measures 2 and 6 is elusive. Take 2 contains both a count-in and a metronomic tapping out of the beat on what sounds like a cymbal. IV. but it's not so. The large number of overdubs makes it sound as though many more than just three people were singing. placing the C chord in the extremely weak 6/4 (aka 'second') inversion. you can clearly hear a skeletal backing track (placed there. a sense of pent-up potential energy that is mercifully unleashed when the riff kicks in. For starters. though.

In the second of the two verses. the melody stresses the note D during measures 2 and 6. creating a sense of the C and G chords being superimposed over one another.” Here. During the guitar riff half of the refrain that precedes this outro we find an example of the small rough edges they obviously thought weren't worth sanding off because no one would ever notice them.Secondarily. and that the special effect consists of distortion being applied to what they had sung in real time. Surprisingly. In the intro the “answerer” had rhythmically imitated the “caller. virtually a note-for-note reprise of the intro. they step their vocals up a notch in pitch. Outro The outro is based on a variation of the antiphonal vocal of the intro. we hear a throat being cleared and someone (I believe it's George) making sure he has the right pitch he'll need to sing at the start of the outro. The second verse of each pair ends with that startling and unprecedented tape echo effect in measure 12. This new pattern is repeated completely four times into a fadeout with all sound failing just after the start of the fifth iteration. no less! Page 344 . You'd think that the singers held their notes all the way through the end of the measure. The recurring sudden change of pace between this section and the frantic bustle of the surrounding lends to the song an overall a wrenching subtext. in each case. George and John have a bit of fun in the second pair of verses. In this case. thereby creating a subtle feeling at that point of intensification. sneaking in a counter-melody backing part based on the nursery tune “Frere Jacques”. Refrain This is. meaning that the measure's worth of echo was deftly spliced on as an extension of the original vocal. take 2 demonstrates that the vocalists actually had cut off sharply at the end of measure 11. the answering part is modified to a more rejoinder-like snappy double time. in falsetto.

The backers starts in the second verse. in a higher key than G). thus altering not only the pitch but the 'textural' sound of the ensemble. The vocals (at least John's lead) were manipulated in the opposite direction (though Lewisohn inadvertently tries to confuse us on this point). The harmonic budget is frugal to the extreme of creating. on all four Page 345 . at times florid tune. even though the 'letter' of the musical text does not support this notion! Arrangement Both vocal and instrumental tracks on this song were subjected to speed changes in between original recording and mix-down for mastering. John's double-tracked lead vocal is accompanied by George and Paul in the verses. John and Paul had stumbled onto a novel use of spicy little trills and langorously stretched out melismas that. the style of the song very much connotes the style of classical Indian music by virtue of the droning harmony and the. Melody and Harmony As far back as “Love Me Do” (amazingly). implicitly.” Here. the psychedelic. and by John Himself in the refrains. surreal quality that surrounds the whole of it.Rain Key: Meter: Form: G Major 4/4 Intro – Verse – Verse – Refrain – Verse – Refrain – Verse – Outro (fadeout) General Points Of Interest Style and Form For all of its musical and technical innovation. and this detail accounts for. Lewisohn tells us that the backing track was performed in fast tempo (and. You'd expect the use of I-IV-V throughout this song to create a much more non-modally inflected sense of G Major as the home key than was the case in “Paperback Writer”. John sang for the recording in a slower tempo and lower key. so that it could be slowed down on playback to what we have on the final recording. along with sung open and parallel fifths. even on this relatively 'progressive' track. as much as any other factor. what I can only assume is. Ringo has a veritable field day on the drums and cymbals throughout. from the high G down to middle C. while the refrain deals with the upper end of the octave. is truly one of the more subtle trademarks of their early “sound. with the approximate two halves of the melodic octave each isolated to its own respective section of the song. they take the time to bother with one of their so typically fussy tambourine parts. though. it's a bit ironic to note how standard is the form and harmonic content of this song. to contemplate how the even more widespread use in “Rain” of superimposed chords and the ornamentalized melody manage to over-ride the sense of clear Major mode and suggest something Modally tangy in flavor. Also. in other words. the verse stays carefully within low G up to E. where they either echo and comment on what the lead sings or else they "emboss" what he sings by harmonizing right along with him. but also with an eerily hyperactive vibrato in his throat. an intentionally static effect. so that on faster playback his 'Mickey Mouse' vocal not only presents him uncharacteristically beyond his normal upper range. Though no sitars or other ethnic world music instruments are used here. It's intriguing. what is essentially the identical technique is pushed beyond the routine envelope to create an entirely new and exotically foreign effect. Aside from ornamentation. the tune is structurally organized in a very Indian manner.

and is built out of a repetition of the same (again. Measures 6-7 feature an implied superimposition of G over the C chord similar to that seen in “Paperback Writer” Near the beginning of the third verse (~1:20 into the track) there is what sounds like a faintly sounded cueing beep.MiddlePeriod to very different effect than it had been back in the days of “Love Me Do”. whether they are sounded entirely by the bass guitar.2X ---------------------|G ||C ||G || I IV 6/4 I Page 346 . Section By Section Walk Through Intro We have here as attention-grabbing an opening in its own way as is the a capella vocal opening of “Paperback Writer” in the intro.. Verse The verse is an asymmetrically phrased nine measures in length. followed by four measures of the drone-like guitar vamping on the I chord (equally reminiscent of both tamboura and pipes) that pervades the piece. It's hard to unravel what was the respective cause and effect of it. it is used here in the (shall we call it) Late. and shaken on every eighth note of the measure in verses three and four. non four-square) six-measure phrase: --------------------. or is this some kind of subtle clue that this song actually dates from the Twickenham Get Back sessions of 1/69 ? (JUST KIDDING!) Refrain The refrain is twelve measures. and the like. or are a composite of bass and lead guitar is not easy to ascertain given the level of distortion applied to the finished track. the thing that sounds like “at the tone the time is . Was this supposed to be a half-hearted anticipation of the similar effect near the mid-point of “Tomorrow Never Knows” (you know. and yet. Toward the end of the second verse there's quite a blooper. I Love You”.S. parsed as 5 (actually 3+2) + 4: G: |G I |C IV D V |G I |C IV D V |G I | |C IV |- |G I |- | Uneven phrase lengths are another good example of an offbeat compositional technique that had been a manifest part of the Beatles arsenal from the very beginning. The lower reaches of the arrangement definitely sounds as though there are some kind of open fifths at play. a ra-ta-tat half-measure's fanfare of solo snare drums. but it sounds like between John's behind-the-beat delivery of the words and a hesitating screw up of the bass part by Paul right where the chord is supposed to change back to G in measure 8.”). on alternate even-numbered beats in the first pair of verses and the refrains. I suspect that this was unplanned but kept in the final version anyway because of its serendipitously appropriate off-kilter effect in context. “P. they manage to add a dizzying excess pair of beats or so and still keep going.

for the life of me. . it somehow didn't turn out to be so record-breaking on the charts. the illusion of speed change is spun in the opposite direction by the way in which you feel an acceleration when the bouncier beat resumes in the final two measures. also it is superimposed over open fifth G Major drone in the lower parts. on Brighton Beach Avenue (under the 'El'. and this new song by the Beatles was our soundtrack that late spring afternoon .. tuning in the radically new upscale FM rock station (Scott Muni on WNEW. will you listen to that!”. or transcribe the trailing vocal part and sing it yourself in reverse. vividly! Within two months. The only suspicious thought I have concerns the sustained sung note 'C' which occurs fairly well into the fadeout.This section conveys a sense of ecstatic slowing down even though the tempo here is the same as it was for the verses. no fooling) and hearing for Page 347 . by the standards of mere mortals. at the time. dubbed over the backing track by playing a tape of his earlier vocal in reverse. At the end of this section. and exactly three measures long. sitting with a group of extended friends at a couple of tables pushed together. no clicks. If you have any doubt about the technique used here. and which. more strange effect than usual. historically significant) trailing vocal of John's. Wha' happened!? Were these two songs. the single did just fine in terms of chart position and copies sold. A warning though – unbridled soppy nostalgia runs rampant in the next couple paragraphs. Some Final Thoughts As ground-breaking as this single was. The time warp effect is pushed still one step further in the second refrain by the addition of slow triplets to the bass line in the first four measures. I remember coming home from my stint as music counselor at a “sleepaway” camp. This time. The first time I heard “Paperback Writer” was from a jukebox in the Seagull Coffee Shop. If you count along carefully you discover though that the entire thing is quite in tempo. This effect is created by the change of beat for the first four measures from its erstwhile bounce to something more plodding and regular. perhaps a bit too original. yet I do remember the music. and not far from the boardwalk). Looked at from the opposite perspective. and indeed. What follows at this point is the unprecedented (and in retrospect. that is recycled here to a different. no sudden change of ambience. all of us wallowing in the euphoria of a terminal case of High School Senior-itis. or could it have been the opposite – were we all becoming a bit blase where the Beatles were concerned? I can only speak for myself. it still does seem like the Boys sure wanted to take along a lot of their same old clothing for the big trip. especially by the standards of '66 technology. things changed radically. Funny how I can't remember a thing about the contents of that conversation. No pops. but I know they're mine. Outro The outro commences with what seems at first like an ad-libitum general pause and a short passage for drums and bass guitar. The actual splicing and mixing in of this special effect was done very smoothly. We have the same elusive kind of C6/4 chord in this refrain as we saw in “Paperback Writer”. Yet again one more example of a technique we've seen in so many earlier Beatles songs. It's strange how after all these years I can still remember pausing for a moment to acknowledge it with a head nodding “oh well. etc. I'll be the first one to admit my own experiences may not be typical. I cannot find the counterpart of in the original “forward” vocal. you might say that while a song like “Rain” makes you know we're not in Kansas any longer.. flipping on the newfangled “stereo” receiver I had been given as a graduation present by my parents. You may want to turn back now. it didn't come close to some of the really big hits. But by the standards of Beatlemania. but then also quickly diving back into the conversation that had been interrupted. Don't get me wrong. you can either spin your turntable backwards. combined with the suddenly with the slower harmonic rhythm of the section and the yawningly stretched out vocals.

“When you're not thumping them pagan skins. But at this. no one was blase about it any more. or in the least. “Yellow Submarine” b/w “Eleanor Rigby”. you're tormenting your eyes with that rubbish.” 122293#91 Page 348 . By this time. all excess reminiscence aside.the first time the Boys' really new double-A side. I'm getting way ahead of our story.

e. George's lead vocal is double-tracked as is his wont. folksy “I've Just Seen A Face” would seem to be notably if only slightly at odds with this trend.Taxman Key: Meter: Form: D Major 4/4 Intro – Verse/Refrain (two times) – Bridge – Verse (guitar solo)/Refrain – Verse/Refrain (two times) – Outro (fadeout) General Points Of Interest Style and Form They seemed to always open their albums with something hard-driving. the intensity of the music increases and the texture thickens over the course of the song. Ringo gets yet another chance to show his stuff. Perhaps the best previous example of this gambit that that we've seen to-date is “You Won't See Me. John and Paul provide a varied backing vocal.e. and in the harmony. bent notes and all. and G) plus one belated appearance of flat-III (i. The tune is otherwise pentatonic (C.” Paul provides yet another effective bass line ostinato figure. could indicate either Mixolydian or Dorian.G. and reinforcing with a 3-part “Taxman!” the one-two guitar chops in the guitar solo and final verse. the song is still an album-opening change of pace in terms of its exotic flavor in the music and absence of love interest in the lyrics. after all. even it is fast. C natural. which depending on which of the two you think dominates. and IV (i. loud. and though his offering surely grooves with adequate oomph to match its and wide-ranging solo. F) strategically deployed to signal the nearing of the end.e. The choice of mode is difficult to judge (given a choice between Mixolydian and Dorian) because the 3rd scale degree is avoided entirely in the tune. On a different plane. you'd think they were running to catch a bus. I half wonder if the campy count-in is meant as a direct self-parody of “I Saw Her Standing There” or not. D. and relatively up-tempo. and makes an even more impressive “debut” on lead guitar with his rapid. adding a rejoinder to the lead in the penultimate verse. Indeed. embossing the lead in each refrain. just the “Hey Jude” trio of I. modal inflections.E. The form is relatively flat. C. Melody and Harmony The song contains a great deal of modal flavor from the extent to which both the tune and the chord choices place stress on the flat 7th degree. which in most respects is hard driving.A) and mantra-like in the way it obsessively noodles around with a limited number of motifs and within a limited range. we are frequently given the tangy Major/minor I chord. in the joints between formal sections. as usual. In other words. Page 349 . The harmony contains relatively few chords. with many iterations of the same Verse/Refrain “combination” section and a bridge that is musically not much different from the rest of the song. flat-VII. i. the ever-popular American line-up for Rubber Soul which opens with the gentle.D. there's no V chord! Arrangement The underlying beat. “Taxman” turns out to be George's one-time-only shot at the first track position. is made a bit awkwardly ambling or lurching by virtue of sharp syncopations and uneven section lengths.

Bridge The bridge is nine measures long and parses out as an “AA” couplet of parallel phrases. the effect of which is made whacky by the tone of what sounds like George's artificially slowed-down speaking voice. Etc. The tone is set right off in the first verse with those D Major/minor guitar chords sharply executed on 1-2. The melodic contour and rhythmic pattern of this figure make for an interesting comparison with the ostinati of “Day Tripper” and “Paperback Writer. the third verse adds more cowbell plus those “Ha. seemingly random fast-backward tape noises. the underlying effect of which is artfully lopsided: Verse: --------------.Section By Section Walk Through Intro The track opens up with a phony spliced-in “count-off”. such as it is. the duration of the figure is one measure only and it's melodic contour.” Though hard syncopations feature prominently all three of them. Those obligatto-filled spaces at the end of the “AA” phrases are where the ever increasing intensity over the course of the song. but it is asymmetrically balanced off by a five-measure phrase which subdivides into 3 measures of refrain plus the same two measures of vamping from the outro. the figures of the earlier two songs spread out over two full measures and have an arch-like melodic shape. and in the final verse we get “Taxman!” in 3-part bold-italic harmony sung at the top of their lungs. is manifested. the rhetorical obligatto-filled space at the end of each “AA” phrase. Even the flat-VII-to.” backing vocals in falsetto.IV harmony of the 'B' phrase manages to sound like a paraphrase of the traditional V-to-IV cliche of the 12-bar frame. In our current song. overall. Listen closely and you can hear Paul calling out the real count-off (especially by the time he reaches “four!”) . Verse/Refrain The thirteen-measure verse starts off straightforwardly enough with an eight measure (4+4. we are given two measures worth of instrumental vamping on the bass line ostinato that pervades the song. When the music starts. and the fact the this count off is not in the same tempo as the music which follows. AA) couplet. the flat 3rds in the rhythm guitar chords and flat 7ths in the tune. ha.2X -------------|D |||| D I Refrain: |C ||G flat-VII |D IV |I | A strong hint of the 12-bar blues manages to assert itself in this verse in spite of the asymmetry by virtue is the 'AAB' form. the sound of a guitar's stray noodling in the background. Mr. it lends the song a feeling of being tense and tightly wound. and reinforced by sizzling cymbal slashes. mentioned above. an effect first introduced at the very beginning of the guitar solo and that returns at the start of the intro. the second verse adds tambourine first and later cowbell to the percussion backing. the second one of which is elongated an extra measure for rhetorical emphasis: Page 350 . is much more like a saw tooth than an arch.

this solo has always sounded to my ears almost as though it were Clapton's own handiwork. Barry. pointing out the extent to which this solo was motivically linked to the bass line though without the usual vocal cues you almost don't notice that aspect even though the one-two cymbal slashes *do* fall out in measures 3 and 7 as they usually do. more or less doubling the bass line ostinato an octave or two higher. It's a subtle but definitely calculated contribution to the effect of ongoing increased intensity over the course of the song. note how he stays on as a more ongoing presence for the rest of the piece.. only sped up to the frantically comical pace of the Keystone Cops." Paul's guitar solo is hot stuff..tmc. Once the lead guitarist finishes his solo. Guitar Solo The guitar solo fills the verse segment of "just another" Verse/Refrain section. and a melodic shape which traverses several octaves and ends with a breathtaking upward flourish. with the vocal ensemble harmonizing on the first portion of each phrase. IV I flat-III Page 351 . and then allowing the lead to finish the phrase while the backers sustain the last syncopated word of the first half-phrase. used to say this solo had all the earmarks of being improvised an inveterate bass player.|D |I |- |C | flat-VII |D |I |- |C |flat-VII | The lead and backing vocals create a special effect in this section. Outro The final refrain is modified in chord choice and extended an additional measure in length in order to provide the kind of implicit deceleration that typically signals the end is near: |Refrain: chords: |C |bassline: .. flat-VII |G |D |F |F |- |D |Outro: |.E D C|D . On the other hand.. exotic modal touches. fast triplets. You can trace an affinity of the Boys for this kind of half-to-two-thirds instrumental at least as far back as ` "From Me To You. my erstwhile sysops guy back at mirror.| .

The bass line provides an unusual. heck. we head into the fadeout with a more or less literal reprise of the guitar solo. It's actually aged more gracefully over the years than many another “political” song from the 60’s or any other period. modal. it's a shame the technology couldn't have supported a three-sided single. Must be something about the perennial inevitability of the subject matter. though. Once the D chord is reached. In this respect. droning. add “Eleanor Rigby”. that the Beatles suddenly could find No Time For Love. “So Wilson said to Dubrovniev. and you'd have either the makings of an EP or a quartet for bridge. Here we have George's turn at the wordy. 010594#92 Page 352 . Cheap joke. small twist of “counterpoint” in the way it helps fill out the sustained two measures on the surprising F Major chord. to paraphrase a popular Peanuts video (of all things). system at the local post office one recent Ides of April.A. huh? In “Taxman's” original historical context of PW and R. we gotta swing”". 'come on. Some Final Thoughts What goes around comes around. no joke or exaggeration – I heard it played over the P. technologically whimsical (yet topically serious) Song Type. you'd think. boy.

boxy form on the other. that's the one with the minor 3rd but Major 6th and 7th. syncopated. you find the song to be characterized overall by a gesture resembling an anxious sigh (like a sharp. and those that are used make for relatively weak and modally “plagal” establishment of the home key. the non-vibrato fingering. Against a “warp” of mechanical and strident chords (the effect of which is heightened by their being played in short. except for brief flashes of solo playing. The harmonic resources are quite spare. sudden intake of breath expelled in enervating slow motion) that applies not only to foreground rhythm. choppy downbows “near the frog” of the bow. section by section. and it's a relatively uncommon choice for the Beatles. including harmonic rhythm. Although the music here is highly syncopated. such as Crossover. and the close miking) is woven a continuously varied and syncopated series of melodic counter-figures in either the cello or violin. George Martin credits the influence upon him of Bernard Hermann's score for the film. the Major IV chord (a nice modal touch in context of a minor key) is implied as a passing chord over the e drone. trace it. and I dare say that the real irony of this song is to be confronted in the extreme to which the otherwise analytically separable elements within its blend are so well synthesized. “Farenheit 451”. You can look at from at least two angles and try to pull it apart with great clinical precision. Pigeon-hole terms. or Hybrid. the Verismo lyrics and grainy. The “story” is typical of Paul with its two characters who seem to be unrelated to each other when introduced respectively in the first two verses. I can't help but sense the influence of John upon Paul's particular choices of detailed imagery and idiosyncratic turns of phrase. On the other hand. and the more familiar bluesy. as though this were some kind of novel by Dos Passos. tintype backing arrangement for strings on the one side. instead of the jumpy kind of high-stepping effect you'd expect. “Penny Lane”. with a very small number of chords actually used. the writing is in essentially four parts where. though I also detect an affinity here for the same composer's infamous “Psycho” overture. we have no more than VI (C) and iv (a). somehow don't seem to do it justice.Eleanor Rigby Key: Meter: Form: e minor 4/4 Intro – Verse/Refrain (two times) – Bridge (Intro) – Verse/Refrain – Outro (with complete ending) General Points Of Interest Style and Form As one of the most “serious” pieces of the entire Beatles cannon. only to be brought into ironic proximity of each other in the final scene. yourself! Page 353 . this song straight-facedly vaporized several commonly supposed limitations of what the 2-minute AM-radio pop/rock musical genre might be capable of including within its purview and power of expression. each is doubled for strength. phrasing. Melody and Harmony The melody here is in the Dorian mode. but several other parameters as well. Think of it as an amalgam whose elements can no longer be so easily separated ever again once combined. Though eight players are used. over the long run. Aside from the large dronelike air play given to the e-minor i chord. Fusion. and even the contours of the tune itself. But the truth here is even more elusive than usual. or Paul's not much later song. Arrangement The backing arrangement for small string ensemble is well crafted by someone who clearly understood the string quartet idiom.

you might find this intriguing to compare with “Yesterday”: ------------------. but it remains.. would argue that there is more harmony “implied” in measures 2-3 here than what I've labeled. and the remainder is all a matter of linear motion against a background. -. resulting from the way in which the music starts right off at what you surmise to be a peak of tension but which only goes to increase still further a bit before winding itself down. IMHO.they'd point out the 7th added to the i. but what really makes it noteworthy is the internal parsing of that 5 into a “1 + 3 + 1” pattern. There are some theory teachers who. “Anxiety”. from the extent to which the respective peaks and unwindings of the voice-versus-accompaniment pull out of synch with each other.And if you do. and the way that the cello's emphatic arrival on the low E in the middle of the same measure is delayed a couple beats *behind* the chord change. and Paul doubling himself for the refrain. distinguished by the manner in which it asserts what I earlier characterized as the gesture of an anxious sigh. one of the great non-I openings. how the vocal part has peaked and is already winding down far ahead of the chord change in measure 3. and Outro sections. and the IV6/4.2X ------------------|e |||C |e | i VI i Expressive appoggiaturas abound.2X -------------|C ||e || e: VI i . but it is made unusual by its harmonic content: Page 354 . notice the exquisite “softening” effect created by the sometimes retreat into eight notes in the warp. “Sighing”. with John joining him briefly in the Intro. Bridge.. The structure of the Refrain sub-component is more straightforward. i. note. Paul's single-tracked solo is the backbone of the vocal arrangement. Verse/Refrain The Verse component of this section features offbeat phrasing that tensely contrasts with the underlying marchbeat of the accompaniment. The five-measure length is unusual enough. the rest of which you're on your own to locate. with its 2-times-4 (“AA”) phraseology (viz.. erring in the direction of trying so assign Roman Numerals to every vertical slice of notes. for example. The stereo mix contains an anomaly at the start of the first verse where the changeover from double-tracked Paul to solo is made abruptly right before the final syllable of the opening “El-ea-nor”.e. instead of the very stark quarter notes. the Intro!!). the spiciest of which is the the one that creates an added-sixth to the C chord (on the word “been”). the structurally significant chords here are just the ones I've labeled above. indeed. combined with the harmonic rhythm that returns to the i chord on the second half of the final measure.. : --------------. Section By Section Walk Through Intro The 2-times-4 (“AA”) phraseology and arch-like shape of the tune in this intro are standard enough .

Outro Superimposed over what is essentially Paul and the string players' one last repeat of the refrain couplet we are treated to John's tag line from the intro. Again.--------------. and in perfect counterpoint. as if to underscore this truth. dubbed in here almost sotto-voce. but I'd dare say that Martin's contribution goes far beyond mere orchestration. not been realized. just remember that even sex can be alternatively described in equally unappealing clinical terminology. but the second one stretches way up to “G”. try singing that inner line along with the recording. a rote repetition of the intro. sighing gesture -. I believe.2X -------------inner voice |D |C# |C-nat. no? Where does the inspiration for something like this song come from. we have the lead violin mimicking in snappy syncopation the tail of that second refrain every time this section comes around. But even those who might agree with this perspective will still acknowledge the extent to which the inner voice here connotes that saddened. The violin's mockingbird repeat of the second refrain line is rhythmically stretched out this time in even quarter notes to help safely guide the music into the complete ending. and is truly an integral part of the message of the original. Note how the second iteration of the refrain phrase is melodically just a tad so-satisfyingly more extravagant than the first one. All this going to demonstrate yet another one of the Great Compositional Principles -. In that spirit. here. Bridge This is. not only don't shoot your whole wad the first time around. and music. but whatever you save for the next time must be especially exciting. a very John-like example of harmony under the influence of the compositional cliche sometimes referred to as the downward chromatic scale fragment in an inner voice. just a droning i chord. These couple of details elevate what is otherwise a formalistically simple ending into something elegant and sophisticatedly unified. Could any one individual or group other than the Beatles have pulled off this kind of stylistic fusion with as much commanding respect and success? The many other classically-influenced entries by other groups from • • Page 355 . Also note how even this second iteration of the refrain phrase does not upstage the ultimate peak of this song which is still to be found in intro/break phrase (up to “A”) – ultimate peaks being yet another one of those archetypal principles of life. I close this Note with three of this kind of question for you to consider as homework: • How much of the compositional credit should George Martin get for this song? Granted. love. the first one tops out on “E”. |B implied harmony |e |(A) |C |e i7 IV VI i | | We have. and whatever happened to the cute Beatle who wrote it? I personally encounter in this song a level or dimension of further potential growth that has. one can make a theoretical argument that the harmony here is. structurally. alas. “Eleanor Rigby” could survive an arrangement for other forces than string octet. Some Final Thoughts I had a professor who used to say that sometimes a good hard question (an “eisener kashe”) was better than a hundred simple answers.if you don't believe me.

” 021394#93 Page 356 . “Classical Gas”. putting aside for the moment the undeniable special quality.this period (I'm thinking here of a broad spectrum roughly marked out by the likes of “Walk Away Renee”. And I wonder. whether perhaps one critical element in its ability to succeed is the fact that it comes to us with the imprimatur of The Beatles. per se. and “MacArthur Park”) remain curiosities at best. of “Eleanor Rigby”. “As it is you took the wrong turning and what happened're a lonely old man from Liverpool.

well-established penchant for layered arrangements. in opposite directions. the speeding up of John's vocal on playback makes him sound tremulous and eerie. the latter effect being further intensified by the manner in which the automatic-double-tracking is split out onto the two stereo channels for only some of the phrases. Their echoing of the last line of each verse and “oodle-i-doo” falsetto harmonies of the refrain have something of an Andrews Sisters/1940’s Page 357 . this one has a larger number of chords in it than we've seen in quite a while. no doubt a side effect of the extent to which the original tapes of both the backing track and vocals were manipulated on playback.” Arrangement What must have started out on the source tape as a backing track of relatively straightforward instrumentation was slowed down a bit to add that certain grainy/chunkiness on playback.I'm Only Sleeping Key: Meter: Form: e flat minor 4/4 Verse/Refrain (two times) – Bridge – Verse (half guitar solo)/Refrain – Bridge – Verse/Refrain – Outro (fadeout) General Points Of Interest Style and Form This song is mastered in the extremely unlikely key of e flat minor. We have an interesting formalistic elision here in the way that the bridge melds so seamlessly with the verse that follows it that the next verse at first sounds like the ending the bridge rather than the start of something else.” I half-wonder if the placement of this track directly following the e-minor tonality of “Eleanor Rigby” was done intentionally to highlight the half-step downward in key. try sight-reading. though the background story regarding how George carefully practiced his guitar bits so that they would sound fine when mastered backwards after being played forwards is. rather quaint. though none of them are particularly exotic choices. The most curious harmonic feature of the song is the use of a chord stream (i. Melody and Harmony The tune features a patter-song-like hammering away on the tonic note of the scale. Compared to the several drone-like songs we've looked at most recently. step-wise root movement of chords) in the refrain. by the way. and in retrospect. by our own contemporary standards of digital control. bears intriguing comparison with “She's A Woman”. no less – an effect familiar to us from “Rain. “Do You Want to Know a Secret”. I'm going to discuss it below in terms of e minor.e. the likes of which we haven't seen since the very early days of “Ask Me Why”. The backing vocals add their own little touch of surrealism to the proceedings. and “P. simply in order maintain some semblance of orthographic legibility. the sections of the WTC written in e-flat (or even better. True to their.” The backwards-mastered guitar licks are a special effect that have nicely weathered the march of time losing none of their popularity nor their ability to transfix. But at any rate. do check it out. of all things. If you don't think it makes a difference. Similarly. d#) minor. the bridge. per se. The brief bridge section features a couple of bent notes which lend a touch of the blues. compare this with “The Word. by now. seems like only a fragment of something. though the verse still manages to lazily spread out over the span of a full octave. the application of the reversed guitar bits first starts in the second verse.S. I Love You. some time. This example.

Refrain The chord stream of this refrain. The first one ends on V. we have a 1-measure's worth of tune that chases its tail several times within a narrow range before petering out entirely before the end of the fifth measure: |G III |a iv |b v |a iv | |C7 VI | ||e i |- | The refrains that precede each of the two bridges are extended by an additional two measures of a time-stopping vamp on the i chord. we have the verse with the guitar solo filling out only the five measures of the A' section. In the always relevant department of Foolish Consistency Avoidance.2X!!------|G C |III VI a iv | Both phrases are harmonically open but in different ways. the following the guitar solo) includes some Page 358 . Or put it this way – try and imagine hearing the song without them! Section By Section Walk Through Verse The verse is a surprisingly odd nine measures in length. The second one rhetorically adds that one extra measure. Only Paul's bluesy counterpoint in the bridge sounds a bit more familiar in context of the Beatles. and its internal phrasing is remote from anything in the nature of a balanced binary form. is a prime source of what gives this song its overall jazzy feeling. in spite of its obvious AA' phrasing: |e i |a iv |G III C IV |G III B V | e: |e i |a iv ---.e. thus begging for something different from what was heard previously. well. and then ends on VI --> iv. but if you know this song and like it. near the end of the short bridge. Granted. and similarly. The second one of these extended refrains (i. Actually. The section is a somewhat unusual length of six measures. I'd bet you've noticed them even if you haven't done so consciously. nicely begging a reprise.kind of unsettling resonance. thus providing a subtle effect of unification: at the end of the verse. Rather. he fills out the space between the C and a chord with a melodic B. the “real” aesthetic lesson being taught in this instance is not so much one about non-consistency. these are exceedingly small touches. Paul uses walking-bass passing notes in two critical places here. he fills out the space between the a and F chords with a G. not to mention the prominence of that juicy C Major 7th. as much as it is a one regarding the Conservation of Special Effects.

combined with that lead-guitar that is distorted on playback. though nothing approaching the finality of a complete modulation is in the offing. followed by a strange foghorn-like electronic sound during the e minor vamp. where one or more cultural readymade is exploited for its very hackneyed recognizability is an achievement of a slightly different nature. Its opening measures convey intimations of a shift toward the key of G (the so-called Relative Major of e minor). what turns out to be the first phrase of the next verse as though it were the second phrase of this bridge: e: a: |d vii iv |E V |a i |F VI | As with the refrain. the manner in which the home key of e is confirmed at section's end is also done without clear or complete cadence. The formal elision between this bridge and following verse is somewhat disguised the way that this modulation fools you into hearing the first two measures of the next verse as still being in a minor. At the end of the final refrain. at first. this one is rather unusual in both form and substance. The refrain is harmonically quite elliptical. Even if you add in what I call the two.measure vamp at the end of the refrains into this section.muted. in this context. and gesture as a focus on the bedazzling and disorienting overall effect to be achieved by the incongruous combination of familiar yet disparate stylistic cliches that are not usually found under the same roof. we have a strange montage of the boozy/jazzy ride-beat. the cooing backing vocals. chord. where previously we have had the C Major 7th/e minor bass arpeggio. just stops. per se. leaving the backwards lead guitar to “noodle” all alone into a fadeout. But the kind of gesture we're dealing with here. with the pivot back to e first coming near the end of the first phrase. the patter song tune. I believe there is no escape from hearing. Bridge No matter how you parse this section. and form. Some Final Thoughts This song belongs to a special category of Beatles songs in which content plays a secondary role to gesture. I define content. this time toward the key of a minor. plus the overlay upon one or more of these elements of surreal special recording studio effects. For that matter. Page 359 . In this particular instance. we have yet another tentative harmonic foray. even awkwardly. it somehow seems to fall out as incomplete or fragmentary. That the Beatles were great innovators of new styles synthesized from among the elements of disparate influences is widely celebrated. errant talking in the background. this time the backing abruptly. as the relative level of special care and quality lavished on the basic musical elements of tune. as follows: |e iv |a i |G C VII |G B III VII e: III | V a: Outro As an "outro".

” 032094#94 Page 360 . if only you look back with an eye toward discerning them. It wasn't only the in the music.The amazing thing is to ponder not only how much this peculiar type of parody would flower in the PostPepper-Period. all along. but the extent to which you'll note how its roots were embedded deep. either! What better example of a surreal montage made of found pop-culturalobjects can you think of in the realm of album cover art than the pseudo-photographic black-and-white job done by Klaus Voorman for our Revolver? “Give me a bottle of milk and some tranquilizers.

the externals are pleasing and psychedelically seductive enough and all that. in spite of the fact that the sitar part features the minor 3rd quite prominently. for a number of reasons. The Major/minor modality of the home key is left ambiguous by the open-fifth quality of the drone. to buy what we nowadays call “world music” recordings. But it was hot while it lasted. and division of the scale into two regions. in “Love You To”. the so-called Classical Music of India. It's a chutzpah for the Westerner to expect to confront this stuff without sincere and patient preparation. rhythm and instrumentation. tickets to rug concerts.” Here. this song proves to be quite authentic. the extent to which detailed elaboration over a drone conjures a so-very-different mood of quiet contemplation of the word without-and-within. the riffs both recurrent and tending to appear in either one half of the scale or the other. Hell. and even authentic instruments. at the Stones' “Paint it Black. Sure. “Love You To” was so novel when it first appeared that it was “cool” practically by default. Melody and Harmony The ragas from which the melodic material of Indian music is drawn go conceptually beyond the simpler concept of scale or mode to include characteristic riffs. droney harmony. Even the form. And in the melodic department. were running out. had already been exploited by not just the Beatles but other groups. by the time Revolver was released. The harmony is simply a drone with occasional implied oscillations toward the flat-VII chord. George in particular. just the week before had never seen a sitar or heard of Ravi Shankar. and influence of. the mode is (to lapse into Western terminology) quite Dorian. as well. but it demanded both difficult cognitive study as well as an aesthetic soulful stretch. No one should have been surprised. for most folks. alas. an even more short-lived fad and greater source of retrospective disappointment than Nehru suits. melody. and.Love You To Key: Meter: Form: c minor (“Dorian” mode) 4/4 Intro – Verse/Refrain – Sitar Solo – Verse/Refrain – Outro (fadeout) General Points Of Interest Style and Form One of the most curious side-bars on the history of music in the late 60s has to be the apparently sudden flashpoint of interest in. how many of us at the time even had a clue what to make of it. for example. look. we find a genuinely Indian-styled usage of mode. or to what it could or should be compared? The song's openly Indian flavor of goes far beyond the superficialities of an added sitar and some static. Indian music. but is also reflective of a different world outlook – think about the extent to which harmony in Western music implies “teliogical movement or progress”. which. Eventually (if not in very short order) this was. overnight. and the melodic focus on freely improvised detail-within-a-subtle-framework calls for a trained ear. I did a year of graduate study of this music (back in '72-73) and worked hard in order to learning how to appreciate it. The music is not only built out of unfamiliar techniques. At the time it seemed like many people who. and a song like our “Love You To” can hardly be talked about without some consideration of the historical context. by contrast. Page 361 . is a not so easily-acquired taste for Western ears as it may appear on the surface. but the lack of harmonic movement can quickly bore. After all. which otherwise maintains a neo-classical boxy rock form preserves the Indian convention of an out-of-tempo improvised slow intro. The Beatles. were prime catalysts of this faddish phenomenon.

Unless you tap it out carefully. the lower half of the C-dorian scale is exposed by way of a motif which goes: C->D->E flat-> D->C->B flat (slow slide)->C. we'll chalk up two measures of four-in-the-bar vamping to the end of this section. Goodness. which up through the first six measures almost plods along in equal quarter note values. “Eleanor Rigby. 16 beats” (i.. by try counting in fours out loud and see what happens :-) • Page 362 . the tentative noodling.. the “a tempo” main song. .” it hardly seems to matter. following that C->F#->G red herring of a start. but what can you do. he should have sufficient musical awareness of what is actually played on the tape to question this. too.Arrangement Though there may be more involvement of the Beatles themselves on this track than. Ringo adds a tambourine in the second verse. Damn it.. Notice. and it might actually be John or Paul adding that fuzztone-like electronic embellishment of the flat-VII chord. drawn-out exploration of the basic melodic motifs of what is to follow that is stylistically genuine and effective. the opening scale glissandos. Indeed. The first of the two-measure lead-in to the refrain is in 3/4 time! The identical hook phrase appears a couple measures within the refrain where it fills a regular 4/4 bar. indeed. with occasional 3-beat measures thrown in among the otherwise. However. does it? Yes. one beat ahead of the sitar hook. C -> G. the intro is easily parsed into a number of subsections: Two repeats of the eleven note downward C major scale. he blithely asserts. Though performed in a manner that suggests completely free improvisation. an octave+half below Fragmentary attempts at establishing a tune. followed by a two-measure lead-in to the refrain. Lewisohn himself recants this blooper in Chronicles. Even if Lewisohn did hear this on the studio tape. Frankly.” Two comments about this song in Lewisohn's Recording Session cry out for rebuttal. and that lone F#. literally. no matter how exotic an impression they may make. straight four in the bar). Paul supposedly contributed a backing vocal but that was mixed out of the final track. you might never notice that the melissma ends on the weak 4th beat of measure eight. are unfortunately out of place. The C-dorian motif evolves but shortly breaks off and segues into . breaks into neatly syncopated melissma (e. on the word “me”) that temporarily weakens your sense of where the downbeat is located.. how the drop out of the drum part in measures 7 and 8 serves to heighten the effect.g. but that's about it.e. ahem. proper. His other mistake has to do with his unchallenging quote of one of the studio musicians as having been asked by George to play the rhythm track in “Ravi Shankar style. In the first place. that it just might be George playing the ornate solo part. so you'd almost never notice this irregularity in the lead in. Section By Section Walk Through Intro This intro features a slow. there is no way I can imagine that George at the time of this recording could have had one tenth of the chops required for this performance. though. from the fact that no studio sitar player appears credited on the album. preechoes of “The Inner Light.. of which. The verse itself parses into an AAA' pattern which fills 2+2+4 bars. I don't think so. 4/4 texture. two subtle details belie what would otherwise be a simple enough structure for your mind to grok: • The melody. say. Verse This section is ten measures long and breaks up into eight measures of verse. you only need to tap (or try to tap) your foot along with this number to note just how tricky the meter is. The overall effect of the arrangement is one of George having imported a group of real-thing studio musicians directly from Bombay.

7-against-4) groupings over the steady underlying beat. heard earlier on. though in relation to the tonic note. I predict a remarkable paradox will emerge: The genuinely Indian stuff is so pungently inflected that it's nigh impossible Page 363 . The fourth of the six measures is in 3/4 time. Indeed. The sitar solo is both melodically and rhythmically ornate.g. “Within You Without You” and “The Inner Light. and over the long run. George was smart enough to rely on well-trained studio help to lend an air of authenticity to the proceedings.g.”) as well as attempts at Indian. it is centered on the high-centerof-gravity 5th degree of the scale. 2.”) As we eventually examine all those songs in this series. One's attempt to get to the bottom of this is made still more difficult by the teasing way in which the sitar line is rhythmically declaimed in “irrational” (e. this one-beat-short measure is filled by the same sitar hook. The total number of beats don't match either. The fatal negativity of the typically Harrisonian lyrics – the classical Indian tradition is lyrically drenched in Song-of-Song-like allegories of religious yearning and ecstasy cast in imagery that is at once both transcendentally mysterious and exquisitely sensual and erotic. Part of me suspects that the solo section is supposed to be modeled on the same metric pattern. I dare imagine that George himself must have felt at some point that he had steered himself into a cul-de-sac.