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The Organizational Structure of Songs

The Structural Components of Songs

The Structures of Songs

Illustrations of the Forms

  • The AABA Form:

    April in Paris

    April in Paris, chestnuts in blossom
    Holiday tables under the trees
    April in Paris, this is a feeling
    No one can ever reprise

    I never knew the charm of spring
    Never met it face to face
    I never knew my heart could sing
    Never missed a warm embrace

    Till April in Paris, whom can I run to?
    What have you done to my heart?

    Repeat

    One more time

    April in Paris, chestnuts in blossom
    April in Paris

    Just one more time

    April in Paris, chestnuts in blossom
    April in Paris

  • The Verse/Chorus Form:

    My Wild Irish Rose

    If you listen I'll sing you a sweet little song
    Of a flower that's now drooped and dead,
    Yet dearer to me, yes than all of its mates,
    Though each holds aloft its proud head.
    Twas given to me by a girl that I know,
    Since we've met, faith I've known no repose.
    She is dearer by far than the world's brightest star,
    And I call her my wild Irish Rose.

    My wild Irish Rose, the sweetest flower that grows.
    You may search everywhere, but none can compare with my wild Irish Rose.
    My wild Irish Rose, the dearest flower that grows,
    And some day for my sake, she may let me take the bloom from my wild Irish Rose.

    They may sing of their roses, which by other names,
    Would smell just as sweetly, they say.
    But I know that my Rose would never consent
    To have that sweet name taken away.
    Her glances are shy when e'er I pass by
    The bower where my true love grows,
    And my one wish has been that some day I may win
    The heart of my wild Irish Rose.

    My wild Irish Rose, the sweetest flower that grows.
    You may search everywhere, but none can compare with my wild Irish Rose.
    My wild Irish Rose, the dearest flower that grows,
    And some day for my sake, she may let me take the bloom from my wild Irish Rose.

  • The Blues Form:

    My mother's dead, my father's acrossed the sea
    My mother's dead, my father's acrossed the sea.
    I ain't got nobody to feel and care for me

    W.C. Handy immortalized Memphis' Beal Street with his blues. He wrote about the politics of Memphis as well as other things. Here are the lyrics to one such blues song concerning Ed Crump the long term political boss of Memphis..

    Mr. Crump won't allow no easy-riders here,
    Mr. Crump won't allow no easy-riders here,
    I don't care what Mr. Crump won't allow,
    I'm gonna barrelhouse anyhow.
    Mr. Crump can go and catch hisself some air.

  • The king of the blues was Riley B. King, popularly known as B.B. King. The B.B. stood for Blues Boy. Here are the lyrics to one of his most popular blues songs, The Thrill Is Gone.

    The thrill is gone, the thrill is gone away
    The thrill is gone Baby, the thrill is gone away
    You know you done me wrong Baby and you'll be sorry someday

    The thrill is gone, it's gone away from me
    The thrill is gone Baby, the thrill is gone away from me
    Although, I'll still live on, but so lonely I'll be

    The thrill is gone, it's gone away for good
    The thrill is gone Baby, it's gone away for good
    Someday I know I'll be open armed Baby
    Just like I know a good man should

    You know I'm free, free now Baby; I'm free from your spell
    Oh I'm free, free, free now; I'm free from your spell
    And now that it's all over, all I can do is wish you well.


    As can be seen in this song there is a great deal of repetition but it is not always exact repetition. But the structure is basically as stated above: A first line stating the situation, a second line repeating the first and then a third line stating the resolution of of the situation.


    Reference:

    Sheila Davis, The Craft of Lyric Writing, Writer's Digest Books, Cincinnati, Ohio, 1985.


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