Assignments

Monthly Assignment Feb. 5 2019

For Feb. 5

Write a song with a lyrical intro that does not repeat in the song.

This type of intro isn’t a chord progression or the first words of the first verse. A lyrical intro sets the tone of what’s to come with lines that generally feel almost separate from the song, usually ending with a pregnant pause suggesting something important is coming if you just … don’t … touch … that … radio … knob.

Lyrical intros were used frequently in the 1930s and ‘40s, The Beatles revisited the technique some 50 years ago and other artists have used it to create iconic moments at the start of some very successful songs.

“Praise The Lord And Pass The Ammunition” by Frank Loesser. Performed by The Merry Macs.

The martial spoken word intro pulled Americans into this patriotic song published in 1942, soon after America was pulled into World War II.

 

“Do You Want to Know a Secret” by Lennon-McCartney. Performed by The Beatles.

Written primarily by Lennon, this song’s lyrical intro was lifted word-for-word from “Wishing Well,” a song from Disney’s animated movie “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.” Harrison sings, Disney didn’t sue.

“If I Fell” by Lennon-McCartney. Performed by The Beatles.

The lyrical intro sets the tone for this Lennon song without repeating musically or lyrically within the song. Recorded for the film “A Hard Day’s Night.”

 

“Here, There and Everywhere” by Lennon-McCartney. Performed by The Beatles.

McCartney added the lyrical intro later, after workshopping the song to producer George Martin and the other band members. He now says that structurally it’s his favorite among his Beatles songs.

 

“Honey Pie” by Lennon-McCartney. Performed by The Beatles.

As late as the White Album, McCartney was showing his affinity for songs written in styles from the American songbook. In the second line of the lyrical intro, he even added the scratchy hiss of an old record.

 

“Falling In and Out of Love / Aime” by Craig Fuller. Performed by Pure Prairie League.

This country-rock band from the ‘70s and ‘80s combined two songs — the first borrows some lyrics from the second — to create an iconic lyrical intro that stands the test of time.

 

“Let’s Go Crazy” by Prince.

The heavy slap-back delay on the four lines of Prince’s eulogy to “this thing called life” makes this lyrical intro memorable and unique.

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