I guess one of the advantages of having your own blog is that you can be totally biased, irrational and just plain opinionated and you can get away with it. So I think This Boy is a great song, but I understand if you disagree!
It is a totally stock doo-wop song that ticks all the boxes of a very simple genre. So why do I like it?
Logic, harmony & a strong bridge
Lyrically the ‘This Boy/That Boy’ device is nice and (unusually for the Beatles) the internal logic of the lyrics actually holds up all the way through the song.
The three-part vocal harmony makes the chord progressions sound far clever than they really are. Often someone is singing a major 7th over a straight major or minor chord. Nice.
The bridge. For once rather than being the weak link in an otherwise good song (e.g. Do You Want To Know A Secret, P.S. I Love You) it’s absolutely the high point. The tune rises with each new chord creating a feeling of rising tension which finds it’s release with the band stopping and Lennon’s impassioned “cry – i – i – i” leading perfectly back into a subdued verse (a dynamic shift which they achieved via editing).
So that’s it. It’s a dumb little song but it moves me. Isn’t that what it’s all about?
And that wraps up chapter 2. Next we’re going to shake things up a little bit. Stay tuned.