Monday, October 11, 2010

R. Dean Taylor - "Gotta See Jane" (1968)

Rhythmically, there's so much emphasis on beats one and three in this song that it's easily perceived as being in cut time. The drums that enter on the second verse play a backbeat rhythm, though; and analyzing this in terms of a quicker four-four beat is actually helpful in seeing how it's put together.

The long verse structure starts with a couple of four-line sets of lyrics, both sets lasting for six bars. The first two lines of each set, one measure each, have one-syllable rhyming words falling on beats two and four. The third line of each set, however, holds off on the rhyming word until the first beat of the fourth measure. The fourth line also holds off on its rhyming word, this time until the second beat of its subsequent measure (the fifth). The section then comes to an end with a rest through the remainder of measures five and six.

The second part of the verse, similarly, has two short sets of lyrics. These sets start off with three lines delivered in the same manner as line three in the preceding sections, lasting for one measure each with the last rhyming word occurring on the downbeat of the subsequent measure. Unusually, these three lines all rhyme with one another and are followed by a non-rhyming line. As with the preceding section, this non-rhyming line is followed by a rest that extends through the fifth and sixth measures. The lack of a rhyme leaves the section open-ended, however, so Taylor completes it with an additional two-measure, two-line rhyme. This makes for an unusual six-plus-two measure phrase length overall.

All of this takes about thirty-eight seconds! The full song structure involves two of these verses, a bridge, and then the verse structure heard again with an instrumental section of strings heard instead of vocals over the first half. Apart from the vamps at the beginning and end, that's only four sections total: AABA.

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