You Tonight

I’ve done some research on what aspects of music make a song popular. I’ve become convinced that one aspect is the structure of the melodic line, specifically that it needs to advance stepwise as in a scale. Jumps greater than whole steps make the song more complicated, while repeating the same notes make a song more simple.

I intended to compose a number of songs based on this idea, and the one that embodies the theory best is the one called ‘You Tonight’

You Tonight
Original demo

This song originated as a 2AM brainstorm that took maybe 30 minutes to write. It then had a life as a song recorded by Mark and Christina, and I modified it for Michael and Zoe’s wedding (where I was, unfortunately, too drunk to sing it well).

Then, the tv show American Idol had a songwriting contest, and I overhauled the song as an entry, making the structure more of a standard AABAB pop structure.

Anyway, it didn’t get picked, but it’s the nicest version yet.

C e d F C e d F
Talking over coffee at the end of the show, yesterday’s perfume still smells in our clothes,

G a b d C
Looking back at times that never were but maybe might have been

F e d C d a G C
If I remember only one thing from my life, I want it to be sitting here with you tonight

C e d F C e d F
Tell each other stories of the day that we met, paint each other pictures that we thought we’d forget

G a b d C
Side-by-side tomorrow’s coming faster so I’m glad you’re here.

F e d C d a G C
If I remember only one thing from my life, I want it to be sitting here with you tonight

G C F G C d
Remember all the times we walked out alone Standing shoulder-deep and chilled to the bone

C a G C a G C a G C a G
That’s the way we were, That’s the way we were close my eyes and I see, I see the way we were

C e d F C e d F
But yesterday is far away, at least so it seems. The hour is getting early, nearly quarter to three

G a b d C
One-by-one we’re left alone again, just you and me.

F e d C d a G C
If I remember only one thing from my life, I want it to be sitting here with you tonight

G C F G C d
Remember all the dreams that seemed far away, but now look at us together today

C a G C a G C a G C a G
Now I say good-night, it’s time to say good-night, morning’s come, tomorrow’s here, it’s time to say good-night

F e d C d a G C
If I remember only one thing from my life, I want it to be sitting here with you tonight

G C F G C d
Remember all the dreams that seemed far away, but now look at us together today

C a G C a G C a G C a7 F
Now I say good-night, it’s time to say good-night, morning’s come, tomorrow’s here, it’s time to say good-night