THE NIGHT BEFORE
PMCPP Analysis #23
KEY: D Major
RHYTHM USED: Chunk
Fun story, Paul doesn't even play the Piano on this one, John handled the electric keyboard on this song. Paul still wrote it though and the part has his boring little fingerprints all over it so that's plenty enough for me to include it in our analysis group!
THE PIANO: The part for piano here sounds a lot more complicated than it actually is while listening to the recording, sounding more like a rhythm guitar part than a keyboard part. I've heard the part described as "rollicking", which sounds like one of those words I always make up here. I prefer to call the part "easy as sin" personally.
First of all, remember that there is no bass in this part at all. Everything is in the treble, which I assume is how Paul came up with the concept of the "rollicking" part so easily, he didn't have to play his usual 4-on-the-floor style or a ba-dum style either when he didn't have a bass note going at any point to fuck his rhythm up. This is of course assuming that he actually has rhythm and wasn't just coming up with the keyboard pattern by randomly hitting the keyboard like Micheal J. Fox. (Too soon?)
There's no real exciting leaps in the part, I think the only part where there is actually any difficult jump in the part is in the second measure as it goes from D to F and John takes the part down a 5th to an A instead of up a 3rd to an F. Of course after that he very slowly moves it back up to the D instead of making any big leaps by keeping the A7 chord in the 1st inversion so the C# is in the 'bass' instead of the A and doing the exact same thing with the G chord and a B in the bass. How much you wanna bet that Paul came up with that idea?
In total the part is mostly 3 fingered chords, a 4th note is added occasionally when another note is called for, like the Gm6 chord or that A7 chord. However, some chords like the D7 at the end just do the old Paul gambit of dropping a note and keeping it at 3 notes played. Also in true Paul style, there's so few chords that actually need more than 3 notes in them that it hardly matters.
LAZINESS IN SONGWRITING: The key is a bluesy version of D Major, another example of Paul using any excuse he can to stick a C chord into every song he writes. Every third or fourth chord seems to be a C, the bluesy bVII in this case. He also sticks an F chord for no reason whatsoever into the intro, it doesn't appear anywhere else in the song... until the third to LAST measure in the song. Two appearances by a chord that has nothing to do with the key at the very start and end of the song, what the hell Paul?
The chord structure is your cliche I-something-IV-V, with the something in this case being that C chord instead of a usual vi. That is broken by a small part where Paul decides to stick the vi chord of Bb in along with the vi of D (2 sharps = 2 flats in Pauls mind?) twice and then go right back to the I-bVII-IV-V. The bridge goes from one cliche to another as it goes with a I-IV-vi-VofV-V gambit. There is a minor v chord there at the start as well, which fortunately makes it have a tinge of interest while fitting right into Paul's "remove sharps at all cost" method of songwriting.
WHY PAUL GOT AWAY WITH IT: The song was sandwiched between Help! and You've Got To Hide Your Love Away on the Help album, so people could easily skip it to get to some GOOD songs!
2 years ago