Friday, 4 February 2011

12:17 Come Together (pt 3) - The Melody

Come Together boasts some brilliant nonsense lyrics and a simple but effective vocal melody - pretty much the whole verse uses just 3 notes C, D & F (the b7, Root & b3).

Not only is the song carried by the unique lyrics (just like many Dylan songs) but the unusual phrasing also prevents it getting tiresome. Almost every line in the song stays off the first beat (we'll call that Ticket 39). And that's not all. Each line really starts on the 4th beat, immediately after the preceding line. We get two syllables, then a rest before the remainder of the line

So the lines that read

Here come old flat top
He come grooving up slowly
He got joojoo eyeball
He one holy roller...

sound like

Here come old flat top, he come
Grooving up slowly, he got
Joojoo eyeball, he one
Holy roller...

As well as being interesting just because it's odd, it makes you anticipate what the next line may be.


The Blues or not the blues, that is the question...

The use of the b7 (C natural) and especially the b3 (F natural) gives the impression that they're using Ticket 22 (bluesify your melody) but the guitar part never plays the maj 3rd (F#). So like Rain & Love You To they are conning you into hearing notes that aren't there.

We do get an F# in the chorus on togethER RIGHT now over a Bm chord, which gives us a fantastic contrast between the two sections (Ticket 5). Ringo also helps out by avoiding the snare drum in the verse but using it in the chorus.

Come together, right now is also the highest point of the song pitchwise. Another example of putting your key lyric on the highest point of the melody (Ticket 27).

And McCartney (for once) is pitching his harmony vocals below Lennon.

Next time - more on the arrangement & structure.


  1. This is a little off-topic, but I USUALLY don't go for nonsense lyrics. I can't help but like them here--I'll have to take a closer look and figure out why.

  2. There are so many things about this song that just blow me away. Like you say Matt, the lyrics are really nonsensical but fantastic at the same time.

    It's a little like the whole tutti frutti scream and that - nonsense, but means so much at the same time.

    I've always been fascinated by the song, and I love playing it. Macca's bassline is so influential. Even Flea said that it was an influence on his bass playing on Give It Away. Not a direct rip off but, Matt used to suggest it as a means of songwriting in class at West Notts.

  3. Oh, and the phrasing reminds me very much of "We Real Cool."

  4. @Marv - I'd never realised the link with Give It Away but it's definitely there.

    @ Old Nick - We Real Cool? Who's that by?