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Does Beatles - Help have a chorus?
Old 9th March 2019
  #1
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jupiter8's Avatar
 

Does Beatles - Help have a chorus?

All of a sudden it struck me, this song doesn't really have a chorus, does it? To me it's more like verse, bridge, breakdown, verse.


Old 9th March 2019
  #2
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Rhodesplaya's Avatar
 

The same goes for several Beatles tunes, and even more for the generation of composers who came before them (and who influenced Lennon/McCartney a lot). It's the tradition of an "A section" and a "B section", instead of a very clear "verse" and "chorus". Think all the jazz standards of the 30s and 40s, for example.

"Hey Jude, don't make it bad..." is an A section.
"And anytime you feel the pain..." is a B section.
"Na-na-na-na..." is an ending/vamp.

No chorus.
Old 10th March 2019
  #3
Gear Addict
 

The intro is a variation of the chorus.

"When I was younger so much younger than today..." is the verse

The chorus is the part that starts with "Help me if you can I'm feeling down" and ends with "won't you please, please help me". You know, the part that repeats 3 times with the same lyrics and says the title of the song multiple times.

There's no bridge. It's a pretty simple structure. Intro, V1, C1, V2, C2, V3, C3
Old 12th March 2019
  #4
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The song starts right off with the chorus. “Help, I need somebody, help, not just anybody, help,
you know I need someone..help!”

Yes there IS a bridge..”help me if you can I’m f
feeling down...and I do appreciate you’re being
‘round...help me get my feet back on the
ground..won’t you please please help me.”

The firsr verse starts thus..”when I was younger
so much younger than today..I never needed
anybody’s help in any way...”
Old 12th March 2019
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Polich View Post
The song starts right off with the chorus. “Help, I need somebody, help, not just anybody, help,
you know I need someone..help!”
This by definition can't be a chorus. It never repeats. It's a variation on the chorus though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Polich View Post
Yes there IS a bridge..”help me if you can I’m f
feeling down...and I do appreciate you’re being
‘round...help me get my feet back on the
ground..won’t you please please help me.”
That's the chorus. It repeats three times. And each chorus repeats the song title three times. Well the first two do, the last one repeats it five times.
Old 13th March 2019
  #6
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Owen L T's Avatar
As others have alluded to, it's kind of a grey area in some of their songs as to whether something constitutes a "chorus" or simply a "B section", but you're not imagining it - many of the Beatles' songs do not have an unambiguous "chorus" in the modern pop sense of the word. A fair number use what can now be considered a more old-fashioned "refrain" in their songs. Won't attempt to quantify "many" and "fair number" any more scientifically, but let's just say it's been the subject of considerable discussion:

Hey Hey Hey Hey: The Beatles' Use Of Choruses
Old 13th March 2019
  #7
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The Alan Pollack analysis of Help calls the chorus a refrain but I have to disagree with that. To me a refrain is a short phrase at the end of a verse. Something like "The Times They Are A-changin" Help has a full fledged chorus section that's 16 bars long.

I don't understand how you wouldn't consider it a chorus, other than some subjective judgement that it's not catchy enough or something?
Old 30th March 2019
  #8
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kafka's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by xamatsni View Post
The Alan Pollack analysis of Help calls the chorus a refrain but I have to disagree with that. To me a refrain is a short phrase at the end of a verse. Something like "The Times They Are A-changin" Help has a full fledged chorus section that's 16 bars long.

I don't understand how you wouldn't consider it a chorus, other than some subjective judgement that it's not catchy enough or something?
I've never heard a great distinction on the difference between a chorus and a refrain. The clearest definition of a chorus, which is a repeated section sung by a group, excludes a vast quantity of examples that I think most would consider to be a chorus. I imagine few songwriters really dwell on the distinction.
Old 2nd April 2019
  #9
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These guys wrote from a 50's reference - as I do sometimes and back then the format wasn't always verse/chorus.

There was AAA, AABA, ABAB, AABCAB even ABCD.

(Funnily enough this is how Genesis named their song ABACAB)

It's a very different approach and usually entails careful placement of the title line.

Every songwriter should have at least a couple of classy AABA in their repertoire, my fav traditional format is ABAB - like "looking back over my shoulder" by Mike and the Mechanics.
Old 3rd April 2019
  #10
Another way of looking at it is that it's ALL chorus.

From the perspective of fans and listeners any section of the song is a sing along.

From the perspective of a writer, you wish your chorus was half as good as their verse/b-section/outro etc.
Old 3rd April 2019
  #11
Gear Maniac
 

Yes Gideon, the question maybe is ,does help have a verse or just a series of choruses?
Old 5th April 2019
  #12
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Help clearly has a verse with a ton of lyrical exposition and varied melodic movement and a chorus that's simpler and more insistent both lyrically and melodically. The intro is like a compressed version of the chorus. A preamble of sorts.
Old 5th April 2019
  #13
Gear Maniac
 

Yes, "Help!" has a chorus:

Help me if you can, I'm feeling down
And I do appreciate you being 'round
Help me get my feet back on the ground
Won't you please, please help me?


It repeats 3 times. It's a chorus (not a refrain) no matter what anyone else believes -- it's a complete section of a song that is repeated before or after the verses or bridge.

It feels like some people here can't wrap their heads around the fact that the chorus isn't repeated at the end with a fade out. Nothing in musical structure makes that a rule, it's just that it's most commonly done that way.
Old 6th April 2019
  #14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cpl. Punishment View Post
It feels like some people here can't wrap their heads around the fact that the chorus isn't repeated at the end with a fade out. Nothing in musical structure makes that a rule, it's just that it's most commonly done that way.
And the balance between deviating from the common practice or sticking to it is part of what makes them so good. Innovative, creative and playful, but classic at the same time.
Old 19th April 2019
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kafka View Post
I've never heard a great distinction on the difference between a chorus and a refrain.
It is rather fuzzy and there are no pat or universal definitions. I always felt choruses were a type of refrain with a chorus shorter and repeated more, whereas a refrain is its own stanza (in most printed lyrics I've seen it is referred to as the refrain at least), but I have seen it defined the other way around too, with chorus being the whole stanza. But both have that "hook" or primary melody line(s). For ex. Queen's "We Will Rock You" or Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love" those lines I would consider a chorus. And generally less common. Most songs have a refrain, such as James Taylor's "Fire and Rain" or Don McLean's "American Pie." Another trend it seems to me is fewer of either at all, something which has generally been more common in folk music.
Old 20th April 2019
  #16
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Herr Weiss's Avatar
 

Can't take it no more; thanks to Google.

Old 20th April 2019
  #17
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bitman's Avatar
I marvel at the early beatles the way they manufactured cheery bouncy pop songs as if at their tender age they knew what they were doing.
Without the help of any of todays guards that maybe put around boy bands, autotune notwithstanding. No just some barely adequate gear and them. I didn't think much of it when I was young but they were older so I figured older people could to anything. Maybe they didn't know 4 kids from liverpool shouldn't be doing Shea stadium without a huge support system. The had George Martin, sure but he was into classical. They would get up there and just execute flawlessly. Today we would cry lip sync!
Old 20th April 2019
  #18
Quote:
Originally Posted by xamatsni View Post
The Alan Pollack analysis of Help calls the chorus a refrain but I have to disagree with that. To me a refrain is a short phrase at the end of a verse. Something like "The Times They Are A-changin" Help has a full fledged chorus section that's 16 bars long.

I don't understand how you wouldn't consider it a chorus, other than some subjective judgement that it's not catchy enough or something?
Thank you for mentioning the Alan W. Pollack write-ups on individual Beatles songs. I came across some of it back in the mid 1990s and decided I'd need to study it all at some point in the future, since it explored moderately sophisticated pop writing using largely quite familiar and (to me) accessible examples.

But then I lost track of it. Couldn't find what I'd printed out. Couldn't find the files I'd saved, or the URLs I bookmarked. Couldn't remember Pollack's name.

And now I have it again. THANK YOU.

Alan W. Pollack's Notes on ... Series
Old 20th April 2019
  #19
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Herr Weiss's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
Thank you for mentioning the Alan W. Pollack write-ups on individual Beatles songs. I came across some of it back in the mid 1990s and decided I'd need to study it all at some point in the future, since it explored moderately sophisticated pop writing using largely quite familiar and (to me) accessible examples.

But then I lost track of it. Couldn't find what I'd printed out. Couldn't find the files I'd saved, or the URLs I bookmarked. Couldn't remember Pollack's name.

And now I have it again. THANK YOU.

Alan W. Pollack's Notes on ... Series
You should've asked me OR just GOOGLE
"Beatles Songs Analysis".
Old 20th April 2019
  #20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Herr Weiss View Post
You should've asked me OR just GOOGLE
"Beatles Songs Analysis".
Hmmm... Google, huh?
Old 20th April 2019
  #21
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clump's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Herr Weiss View Post
You should've asked me OR just GOOGLE
"Beatles Songs Analysis".
When I was younger, so much younger than today, I never dreamt of GOOGLE as a verb.

Now I find I changed my mind, I GOOGLE all the time.
Old 20th April 2019
  #22
I google so much I had to use Google to double check to make sure that a verb formed from a proper name is not normally capitalized. (Unless, of course, you need to SHOUT to get the attention of an old guy. Like me.
Old 21st April 2019
  #23
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Yeah, I was wondering when Google became an acronym. Figured it was some millennial thing. You crazy kids!

And I almost never say "google" to mean "internet search" strictly out of Google hatred.
Old 21st April 2019
  #24
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clump's Avatar
 

In the UK, when I was a child, the verb 'to HOOVER' was used (and still quite often is) instead of 'to vacuum'.....'Hoover' being a household appliance brand, is this also the case in the US?

Huge deviation from topic here, sorry.
Old 21st April 2019
  #25
Quote:
Originally Posted by clump View Post
In the UK, when I was a child, the verb 'to HOOVER' was used (and still quite often is) instead of 'to vacuum'.....'Hoover' being a household appliance brand, is this also the case in the US?
Always Hoover, never Dyson. Still Hoover, even though we now use a Dyson.
Old 21st April 2019
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clump View Post
In the UK, when I was a child, the verb 'to HOOVER' was used (and still quite often is) instead of 'to vacuum'.....'Hoover' being a household appliance brand, is this also the case in the US?

Huge deviation from topic here, sorry.
No...but we used to "Xerox" something (which meant to fax it) or hand someone a Kleenex (regardless of what brand of tissue it was).
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