Wednesday, June 29, 2011

George Harrison - "If You Believe" (1979)

Wanted to point out a metric irregularity in this song. The chorus is a total of twelve bars long, consisting of one six-bar phrase that repeats. While the song is otherwise in four-four time, the third bar of this phrase is six beats long. The whole chorus looks like this:

Measures 1 and 2 - I chord
Measure 3 - I7 chord (3 beats)/IV chord (3 beats)
Measure 4 - IV chord
Measure 5 - iv chord (minor)
Measure 6 - V chord
Measures 7 and 8 - I chord
Measure 9 - I7 chord (3 beats)/IV chord (3 beats)
Measure 10 - IV chord
Measure 11 - iv chord (minor)
Measure 12 - V chord

The melody and cadence of the words both scan over this chord structure in a very fluid way in spite of both the metric irregularity and the seemingly consequent decision not to attempt to create rhymes with the words.

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