Hey Jude - Song Analysis

Topics: Harmony, Hey Jude, Chord Pages: 4 (1120 words) Published: May 14, 2013
Hey Jude - Song analysis

“Hey Jude” is a song by the English rock band The Beatles and was written by Paul McCartney. It was first released in August 1968 under The Beatles label ‘Apple Records’. Hey Jude runs for 7mins and 11secs and at the time of release was the longest single to top the British charts. The song is said to have evolved from “hey Jules”, a song that had been written as a ballad to comfort Lennon’s son Julian during his parents’ divorce. McCartney said, "I started with the idea 'Hey Jules,' which was Julian, don't make it bad, take a sad song and make it better. Hey, try and deal with this terrible thing. I knew it was not going to be easy for him. I always feel sorry for kids in divorces ... I had the idea [for the song] by the time I got there. I changed it to 'Jude' because I thought that sounded a bit better."

“Hey Jude” is played in the key of F Major and in a time of 4/4. The genre of the song is Rock, Pop played in ballad style.

The song structure is not your usual pop structure i.e. Verse, chorus, verse, chorus, bridge, chorus, chorus but instead is quite unorthodox in nature for its genre. The song relies more on the subtleness of texture then of the form.

The structure is as follows:

Verse 1
Verse 2
Bridge 1
Verse 3
Bridge 2
Verse 4
Outro jam into fade out.

Verse 1:

Verse 1 as with all the versus follows a simple chord progression using chords I, V, V7, V7sus4 and IV in the key of Fmajor. The vocal never really rests on any unstable tones for too long during the versus, instead only passing on the unstable tones and then quickly resolving back to the diatonic key. The first verse is minimalistic , using only piano with a solo vocal melody line that sets the tone for the song.

Verse 2:

In verse 2 we hear the addition of a tambourine being played on the offbeat and also an acoustic rhythm guitar. There is also backing vocals added in the second half of the verse in the form of simple “ahhhh’s”. It...

References: About.com, 2012, Viewed 02/12/12
Alan W. Pollack, 2000, Viewed 01/12/12
Hook Theory, 2012, Viewed 01/12/12
kimbospoetryofsongblog, 2005. Viewed 01/12/12
Shmoop University, 2012. Viewed 02/12/12
Songfacts.com, 2012. Viewed 03/12/12
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