Paul McCartney: “Some people wanna fill the world with silly love songs. And what's wrong with that, I'd like to know?”
“Plenty”, says Jeff Charreaux in this guest post for Beatles Songwriting Academy. He's been digging around the iTunes charts with some interesting results....
The Beatles Aren't Loved for Their Love Songs
Here are the ten most purchased Beatles songs from iTunes in the U.S.
1. Here Comes the Sun
2. Come Together
3. Let it Be
4. In My Life
7. With a Little Help from My Friends
9. Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds
10. Dear Prudence
Of the ten, only two are love songs. The most downloaded track in the UK, Hey Jude, didn't make the American top ten, but it isn't really a love song either.
K.A. Parker was a staff songwriter at Motown. She says that about 80-90% of the hit songs on the radio have always been love songs, of which there are seven distinct types. The other types are character songs like Mr. Bojangles, message songs like Imagine, songs about music like Listen to the Music, and mental picture songs that are more poetic than literal. She used to teach mainly singer/songwriters to write better lyrics. Now, she teaches the Eleven Types of lyric writing at the Academy of New Musical Theatre.
Here are K.A. Parker's Seven Love Song Types (roughly):
2. Tell Her How You Feel
5. Honeymoon is Over
6. Regret and Loss
7. Looking Back, Healed
You might say the top iTunes downloads don't represent true Beatles fans who already own the CDs and didn't need them to be on iTunes to have their favourites on their iPods. Yet, the most popular love song, at number six on the list, was Something - Frank Sinatra's "favourite Lennon & McCartney song" and at number eight, the one that started off as "Scrambled Eggs." So, what's the takeaway for songwriters?
If you are a Beatlesque band, all your songs should not be love songs because that is not what people want to hear.
Jeff Charreaux is the principal songwriter in Ultraviolet Eye. Their new CD entitled WAKE UP & DREAM consists entirely of Coming of Age songs inspired by the oeuvre of Ethan Hawke.
More Guest Posts!
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