Song Analysis: Perkiomen

Title: PerkiomenScreen Shot 2015-05-06 at 7.17.33 pm

Artist: Hall & Oats

Album: Past Time Behind

Release Details: Released in 1977 by Master Dance Tones

Genre: Pop/folk/rock

Tempo: 105bpm

Key: G

Structure: This song appears as though it’s going to follow the typical pop song structure until it reaches the bridge straight after the 2nd verse. After the bridge it continues to a 2nd chorus and then a 3rd verse. A simple pop song structure will usually have a bridge straight after a chorus and then the chorus twice more after the bridge is completed. Another curious aspect of this song is that the chorus is essentially 11 bars and 3 beats long. The end of the chorus slows down and the 4th beat of the 12th bar is replaced by the 1st beat of the 1st bar of the next segment of song (whether it be a verse or the bridge). The song structure is as follows:

Intro – 4 bars

Verse 1 – 16 bars

Chorus 1 – 11.3 bars

Verse 2 – 8 bars

Bridge – 8 bars

Chorus 2 – 11.3

Verse 3 – 8 bars

Intro – 4 bars

Instrumentation:

Mandolin – Main feature, positioned centre. Introduced between 3rd and 4th beats of 1st bar. Plays 2 part riff then plays 1st part of same riff before leading into verse where it stops.

Keys 1 – Second main feature, positioned centre. Plays same, 2 part riff twice with slightly different ending to 2nd riff leading into verse.

Keys 2 – positioned centre but underneath everything else. Plays same chord 8 times per bar at even intervals.

Percussive tap – panned right, hits every 2nd and 4th beat. Reverb applied.

Kick – hits 1st beat of bars 1 to 3 and double hit for 4th bar.

Verse 1 – 16 bars

Lyrics:          

Perkiomen, somewhat cloudy
Indian water slipping down a mountain stream
You know what I mean

Painted lady touch the water
Forest standing, sentry over mossy wall
She comes when you call

Instrumentation:

Introduction of main vocal

Keys 1 – plays slightly alternate and shorter verse 4 times per bar for 1st and 3rd bars of next 16 bars. Remains centre but is subdued by introduction of bass.

Keys 2 – essentially does the same thing but changes chords throughout verse.

Bass – compliments Keys 1 (plays a similar riff) but occasionally drowns it out.

Mandolin – Introduced at start of 9th bar. Plays same riff as intro for bars 9 to 12 then changes for bars 13 to 16.

Drums – kick same as intro then tom roll into bars 9 to 16 accompanied by introduction of snares and high hat.

Acoustic guitar – panned right. Plays simple up-down strumming pattern with chords to match Keys 2.

Chorus 1 – 11.3 bars

Lyrics:

Outside, you’ve got me slipping like a honey slide
I’ll take a ride with a willow weeping
Tears of strength into the stream
And the waterfall is a tense of all

Instrumentation:

Main vocal is joined by a backing vocal for ‘Outside, you’ve got me slipping like a honey slide. I’ll take a ride’. Backing vocal then disappears.

Keys 1 – seem to disappear.

Keys 2 – remain essentially the same.

Bass – Remains but obviously plays different tune.

Mandolin – can just be heard strumming chords.

Drums – Cymbals introduced.

Acoustic Guitar – seems to disappear.

Verse 2 – 8 bars

Lyrics:

Perkiomen, somewhat cloudy
Indian water slipping down a mountain stream
You know what I mean, ooh woo

Instrumentation:

Backing vocals are reintroduced for ‘Perkiomen, somewhat cloudy. Indian water slipping down a mountain stream’. Backing vocal then disappears.

Otherwise, identical to Verse 1 with slightly alternate Mandolin melody.

Bridge – 8 bars

Instrumentation:

Identical to Verses 1 & 2 with different chords and melody played by mandolin, bass, acoustic guitar and Keys 2.

Chorus 2

Lyrics:

Outside, you’ve got me slipping like a honey slide
I’ll take a ride with a willow weeping
Tears leading to the stream
And the waterfall is a tense of all

Instrumentation:

Identical to Chorus 1 except including backing vocal.

Verse 3

Lyrics:

Perkiomen, somewhat cloudy
Indian water slipping down a mountain stream
You know what I mean, I feel Perkiomen

Instrumentation:

Main vocal accompanied by 2 different backing vocals for lines ‘Perkiomen, somewhat cloudy. Indian water slipping down a mountain stream’.

Otherwise identical to Verse 1 with roll out of toms and final cymbal hit and final chord strikes by bass, keys 1 & 2.

References

Daryl Hall & John Oates Perkiomen: Overview. (n. d.). Retrieved from http://www.allmusic.com/song/perkiomen-mt0010308126

Perkiomen chords. (n. d.). Retrieved from http://www.ultimate-tabs.com/daryl-hall-and-john-oates/perkiomen-chords

Perkiomen Lyrics. (n. d.). Retrieved from http://www.metrolyrics.com/perkiomen-lyrics-hall-oates.html

Past Times Behind [Image] (n. d.). Retrieved from http://www.musicstack.com/album/daryl+hall/past+times+behind

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