While Steve and I were writing the book, we started a sort of game that I’ll call Identify The Song Parts. It works like this: One of us would ask something like, “Is the ‘We can work it out’ part of ‘We Can Work It Out’ a chorus or a refrain?” And then the other one would take a stab at it.
Steve asked the “We Can Work It Out” one, thinking the phrase functions as a refrain (i.e. a line repeated at the end or beginning of each verse, such as “The Times They Are a-Changin’ ” or “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?”), but because it’s sung twice, it also could be considered a short chorus.
I countered by asking what is the chorus of “Paperback Writer”? Is it the overlapping, multi-vocal “Paperback writer” part that opens the song and recurs later, or is it “’Cause I wanna be a paperback writer/Paperback writer!” Does the phrase “Paperback writer” serve as a chorus and a refrain?
What do you think? Which are the choruses and refrains? And which other song parts confound you?
This will not be the last time we play Identify the Song Parts.