Thursday, February 21, 2008

100. FRANK ZAPPA: Go Cry On Somebody Else's Shoulder

A detailed analysis of the above Frank Zappa composition, including notated musical examples.

Go Cry On Somebody Else's Shoulder


"GO CRY ON SOMEBODY ELSE'S SHOULDER . . . is very greasy. You should not listen to it. You should wear it on your hair."

But we listened to it anyway, despite his warning. We rubbed the record on our heads, but our hair still looked as dorky as ever --

Key of G Major

4/4 and 12/8
Dotted eighth = ca. 116
There are 61 bars

BARFINDER: The word "go" is on the fourth beat of Bar 5; the syllable "some-" from the word "somebody" is on the first beat of Bar 6.

PERCEIVED INSTRUMENTATION: Vocals, electric guitars, electric bass, piano, vibraphone, drums and percussion.

Part 1
Bars 1-4
"A year ago today" ... "but I say"

A greasy declamatory introduction in rubato fashion. Note how the bass starts the 12/8 feel going at the end of Bar 4.

Part 2
Bars 5-20
"Go cry" ... "don't love you anymore"

For your cross-referenced amusement -- FZ tells ya how to play these very chord changes on "Excerpt From The Uncle Frankie Show" from The Old Masters, Box 1. The same track is also on Mystery Disc.

Listen carefully to the doo-wop backup vocals! They don't write music like this anymore! Here is a transcription of those backup vocals, Bars 5-8:

Do you remember our little modulation lesson in "I Ain't Got No Heart"? Well, here's another nifty way to modulate! In Bar 20, having arrived back at the tonic G -- FZ simply adds the 7th, F (in the bass voice), which makes the chord the dominant (V) of C -- voilá -- instant modulation to

Part 3
Bars 21-28
"Yeah girl today" ... "somebody else's door"

C Major! Beautiful ivory tickling and a trickier modulation in Bars 25-28 (C Major/C Minor/A7/D7) takes us back to

Part 4
Bars 29-38
"Go cry" ... "anymore. Oh my darling"

G Major. Part 4 is like Bars 13-20. Again, he modulates to

Part 5
Bars 39-46
"Go ahead and cry" ... "so grand, but"

C Major. Listen to the amazing licks in the vibes at Bar 41! And again the same modulation as in Bars 25-28 back to

Part 6
Bars 47-54
"You cheated me baby" ... "anymore. Bay-ay-bay. Baby"

G Major.

Part 7
Bars 55-61
"I love you so much darling" to end

Note the bass vocal's delightful interplay with the goofy narration!

Next track

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