I’ve been looking at the link between lyrical sadness and musical simplicity.
It was in studying Paul William’s Rainbow connection. It’s a hopeful lyric, just like it’s movie opening, inspiring, character defining brother ‘Somewhere over the Rainbow’. Rainbow connection is in A major with the relative minor, subdominant and dominant chords forming the basis of the song, the painting of the picture and the drawing in the listener. Followed by the ‘call to hopefulness’ “Someday we’ll find it” section which brings in an exotic sounding F#. If this song were a sad song, D would work better for me, because it’s lazier.
The F# is untouchable, just like a rainbow
The D is grounded, just like misery.
Octave jump at the start of Somewhere over the Rainbow. The melody starts on the ground, and it’s like throwing something as fast and as high as you can, then it defies gravity and floats around there for a little while. I think Pat Pattison pointed out the prosody in this song, when I attended one of his courses. Pat definitely talked about ‘Yesterday’ by Paul McCartney in this same context. Might do another blog on that sometime.
Sad songs don’t do exotic chords for me. I don’t have the emotional energy to complicate. What you know is what you know. Maybe there’s more room for complication in anxiety, but I don’t think I’ve written any sad ‘anxious’ songs. I just go for good ol sad 🙂
Here’s my video and my performance of the song. Thanks for watching/reading.