Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Laura Nyro - "Wedding Bell Blues" (1967)

There seems to be a casualness to how this song defies verse/chorus distinctions, as though it's just standard practice. It starts with what we might call the refrain of "Bill/I love you so/I always will," but it's not a refrain that stands by itself.* There's either liaison to the next section ("I look at you and see the passion eyes of May") or it's all one. What you might call this section is the question.

Really, it's all just verse, but if there's something like a chorus in the song, then this is it. The next section ("Oh, I was on your side Bill") is another verse segment. Up through this part, everything has been metrically square, in groups of four bars, but when you get to the "Kisses and love won't carry me" part, she cuts it off after two and makes liaison to the second long verse by ending on the first word of the refrain. The slight metrical disorientation contributes to the sense of falling heard in the melody, which subsequently settles once again into metrical squares.

The whole song consists of nothing but three of these go-arounds plus a coda.

 * This is particularly obvious in the second go-around, where the refrain is followed by a line starting with the word "and" - "And in your voice I hear a choir of carousels."

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