30 Days of Song: Day 22

2011/03/23

Day 22-a song all about love

“Anything For You” Gloria Estefan.

I love torch songs. This is the torchiest.


Even (or, perhaps, especially) en español:

What sets this song above others is that its very structure reflects the singer’s longing.

The traditional pop song structure is something like this:

  • intro
  • verse
  • chorus/hook
  • verse
  • chorus/hook
  • bridge
  • chorus/hook
  • vamp or fadeout on repeated chorus/hook.

But this song doesn’t follow this structure at all. It dosen’t even have a real chorus or hook.

Instead, it consists of one basic 4-line verse, each starting quietly with a line containing the song’s title, then shifting to a higher key and the lyrics to a faster tempo and meter for a few lines before resetting to another “Anything for you.”

Again, there’s nothing like a chorus or hook in the whole song. Instead, various lines are repeated in diverse places in the song (for example, Estefan sings “you’ll never see me cryin'” twice) even though no verse is actually ever repeated, as the woman alternates between declarations of independence and longing cries for her lost love.

Each verse’s quiet “anything for you” line represents her attempts to re-center herself emotionally, but the mere statement of the phrase causes those emotions to build and then boil over in the verses’ increasingly lengthy and impassioned second halves.

By the time the vocals give way to a lengthy instrumental vamp and the horns come in, you’re either mad with the dude for leaving this lady out in the cold like this or mad with her for not just moving on already.

Great, great song.

 

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