Notes on "Why Don't We Do It In The Road?" (WDWDIITR)

KEY	D Major

METER	4/4
                 -- 3X --
FORM	Intro -> Refrain (w/complete ending)

GENERAL POINTS OF INTEREST


Style and Form

- This is one of what I call Paul's "bonsai tree" songs; refer back to our study of "Wild Honey Pie" for an introduction to the concept.

- This particular song features minimalistic (albeit vividly colorful) content, stick-figure form, outrageous-giddy attitude, and is sequenced in a context where it provides some kind of comic relief, and pressages a shift in mood back toward serious, loving intimacy for the last couple tracks on side 2.


Melody and Harmony

- A self-consciously "heavy" blues flavor dominates both the tune and the chord choices.


Arrangement

- The backing track of piano, guitar, bass guitar and drum set was almost completely self-produced by the composer. Detailed instrumental variations from section to section are neither as dramatic nor as neatly choreographed as usual, but they are in evidence, nonetheless.

SECTION-BY-SECTION WALKTHROUGH


Intro

- The intro is eight measures long with three successive percussion layers added over the course of the first six, and the stuttering musical question that gives the song its title filling out the last two.


Refrain

- The refrain or chorus section is a stretched out classic blues frame; the tempo is fast, but the harmonic rhythm slowly bides its time.


	|D	|-	|-	|-	|-	|-	|-	|-	|
D:	 I

	|G	|-	|-	|-	|D	|-	|-	|-	|
         V                               I

	|A	|-	|G	|-	|D	|-	|-	|-	|
         V               V               I

- In contrast to "Rocky Raccoon," which finds a way to project a semblance of normal song form in spite of the fact that each section is built on the same blueprint, this song wouldn't dream of trying to disguise its one-track-mind, jam-session gesturing. Of course it's no random accident, either, that this unvaried chorus repeats itself three times, precisely. Figure it yourself, Goldilocks: one or two would be too hot; four or more, too cold; but three times is "just right."

- The song abruptly ends with a loud, lingering cymbal crash on the downbeat of measure 21 of the last refrain. Paul cleverly twists his rhythmic delivery of the song's final line so that the last word falls with underwhelming syncopation on the beat just before the final blow; kind of gives you a bit of whiplash.

SOME FINAL THOUGHTS

- The transcendent naughtiness of this song's message could be said to have been socially redeemed at the time of its initial release by its cute, tongue-in-cheek delivery.

- By today's very different standards, you might argue that the song survives by virtue of its being able to balance the same old equation in *reverse*; i.e. the over-the-top cuteness of delivery is excused by the underlying willingness to be naughty.

Regards,

Alan (awp@world.std.com)

---
"Hey kids, I've got an idea!  Why don't we do the show
 right here! "                                               020898#143
---


                Copyright (c) 1998 by Alan W. Pollack
                          All Rights Reserved
This article may be reproduced, retransmitted, redistributed and otherwise propagated at will, provided that this notice remains intact and in place.
Click here to return.

Click here to return to AWP's index.