Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Riding Around In The Breeze

Messrs Harrison, Dylan, Petty, Lynne, Keltner (and a sad, empty chair) singing "End of the line" on a train. Life is good. (Link to YT.)

Isn't there's something very warm, satisfying (and even uplifting) about the major key melody and the ease with which the singers sing their parts?

There are a couple of interesting contradictions in the song. Even though the song is in a major key, Roy Orbison's vocal lines make it sound like it is a minor key song, thus introducing a melodic tension. You are never quite sure if it is a "happy" song or a "sad" song. Lyrically too, the song's themes of hopefulness, acceptance, resignation and contentment (all in a three-minute pop song with three chords!) stand in contrast with some of the lines which are gently defiant and project a non-conformist attitude. When was the last time you heard a pop song which says "It don't matter if you are by my side/I'm satisfied"?


Lekhni said...

I've never heard of any song that says "I'm satisfied" - you are supposed to be either terribly unhappy or delirious :)

km said...

yeah, most of pop music, starting from Mr. Jagger, is about being NOT satisfied.

Jay said...

The nicest moment in pop music history: Harrison's last line in "Dirty World" :)