On the Virtues of a Generous Bridge

Too often in the world of pop, if the writer comes up with a catchy chorus, the writer’s job is done.  Verses are melodically dull and Hallmarky, and bridges are non-existent.

All the more wondrous, then, are these songs, where the bridge isn’t mere contrast to make the chorus sound fresh again, but is a miniature song of its own.  That’s why I call such bridges generous: the song might easily have moved on to the last verse and chorus, but instead something rare and unnecessarily beautiful occurred. It makes me want to do likewise.

The Beatles – No Reply (“If I were you …”)

The Eagles – New Kid in Town (“There’s so many things …”) I know, it’s always open season on The Eagles, but the way that bridge gets back to the last verse is a minor miracle.

Johnny Nash – I Can See Clearly Now (“Look all around, there’s nothing but blue skies …”) Oh, and check out the FREAKIN’ BREATH CONTROL. Go, Johnny.

Crowded House – Better Be Home Soon (“Don’t say no, don’t say nothing’s wrong …”)

I’m sure there are others, beyond my ken.

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