No posts this week as I've been so busy doing gigs with students and posting series on how David Allen's GTD (Getting Things Done) personal management system can help you with songwriting. Oh and songwriting of course.
Here's something to get your heads round while I get my head round Something. Dominic Pedler, author of brilliant Songwriting Secrets of the Beatles (which I'll be trying to read in the half term holidays) penned a brilliant article on the truck drivers key change. Where is it? On a web site solely devoted to suddenly upward key changes. It's niche world out there.
One interesting observation is how sparingly the Beatles used it - four times in 186 songs. Whereas Whitney Houston seems to use at least one in every song she records... here's a sample
A blatant truck driver's modulation as the penultimate chorus in A major is repeated, verbatim, a whole step up, in the key of B.
If you look at in isolation, then yes, your honour, guilty as charged. Look at the song as a whole, however, and you'll see that it is not a truck driver's shift at all, but an inspired twist which creates structural unity in one of Macca's finest compositions.
Up until this closing gambit, what we have is a chorus in a key a whole step below that of the verse. It's a brilliant twin-key scheme that serves famously to delineate McCartney's detailed observations in the verse key of B, with the euphoric sing-along celebrations in the chorus key of A...faced with the problem of how to end this type of structure Macca opts for a truck driver's shift into second gear – but notice that, ingeniously, his target is not some contrived new harmony, rather the tonic that originally started the song!
Read the rest of the article here