In Only Seven Days

Composer: John Deacon
Album: Jazz, track 8,
Single (B-side of Don't Stop Me Now): 26 january, 1979
Meter: 8/8 (3/8 + 3/8 + 2/8 compound meter), metric anomalies in Bridge 2.
Key: D Major
Form:

        | Intro | Verse | Verse | Bridge 1 |1| Bridge 2 | 
         | instr. Verse | Verse | Bridge 1 |1'| Outro I-II |

In Only Seven Days is a sweet ballad in a end-of-summer mood. The song nicely backed with nice jazzy chords arranged for piano a buzzy sounding acoustic guitar (probably played by John Deacon himself) and Brian May's guitar harmonies with a sweet, unique sound. IOSD is the only song on the album without any vocal harmonies. The guitar harmonies are mostly just "backing" the song most of the time simply playing the chords in multitrack format. The instrumental third verse is not something we could call a lead guitar solo.
The 3+3+2 compound rhythm shows a curious cross-reference with Brian's ballad "Leaving Home..." on the same side of the album. One must have influenced the other in this respect. While the irregular beat in Bridge 2 is not characteristic for Deacon's songwriting, it is somewhat characteristic for the Jazz album as whole.
Freddie's singing is occassionally spiced with sentimental "flat" notes and ornaments.
The songform has no Chorus, but has two different bridges. The Bridge 2 section has duobled phrases, except this the song is remarkably non-repetitive.
Notable similarities with Spread Your Wings:
- key of D Major, with no modulation (SYW has an enharmonic modulation to b minor)
- the songform of two cycles, where the cycles are built from three different vocal sections where the last section of the cycle is not repeated. We also have instrumental spacer with an acoustic guitar fill in both SYW and IOSD where the song stops for a moment.
- no vocal harmonies,
- no "real" guitar solo,
- occassional use of bVII chord
- "additional" acoustic guitar
- story-telling lyrics
- appeearance of the iv and bVII chords


Walkthrough

Intro
It's a one measure figure repeated on piano in the treble range. The chords are those starting the Verse.

| A D/A | A D/A |
| V  I  | V  I  |


Verse
This section is eight measure long but with a non-square phrasing. The chord progression is full of those jazzy things.

| A/D D | A/D D | A/B Bm7 |
|  V  I |  V  I |  V   vi |

| E7/9  | D5/maj7 G#dim/D |          D5/maj7 :  D - A - C#    E7/9: E - B - D - F#
| ii    |... 

| Bm A7 Am/D | Gmaj7 > 6 | Gmaj7/A  A(6)|
| vi V  v    | IV        |        V     |

The drums start playing steady beats in the second verse, while in the first one Roger just plays sparely some cymbals. Bass also enters on the downbeat of the second verse. Note the second verse is tad faster than the fisrt.
Note the second and fourth Verses a myxolydian scale (ie. A to A in D Major) orchestrated for unisono/octave guitars and piano that substitutes the closing A chord.
The third verse is instrumental. The guitar orchestration (with many multiple recorded tracks) mainly follows the backing chords with occassioal short melodic motifs. Note the guitar harmony with that sweet hawai-esque tone closing the section and opens the next Verse.

Bridge 1 - Spacer
The first phrase of this seven measure section has a chain of fifth bass progression.

| D(7)  | B7    | Em7   | A7    | D     |
| I     |V-of-ii| ii    | V     | I     |

| C9    | D     |
| bVII  | I     |

Note how measure 3-4 repeats the melody of measure 1-2 a third lower.
The second incarnation of Bridge 1 plays the spacer in a repeated form, and completed with piano. The fourth measure of this second Bridge 1 has 4/4 scanning of words against the assymetric beats.

Bridge 2
In contrast with the other two this section starts its melodic phrases with upbeats (A B A) of three eighths that makes the backing beat sound like 3+2+3 during the first double phrase. Each four phrase start with a non-tonic and close on the tonic chord.

/--------- 2x --------\\
| Em7 (9>8)  | Gm  D  |
| ii         | iv  D  |

Note measure 4 is shortened to 5/8. For the rest of the section the backing beat gets somewhat irregular which still sounds natural because it follows the beat of the lyrics. The harmony keeps the repeated form.

 6/8        9/8        4/4   2/4
| Gdim/Bb | Bm7  E7  | A*   | D  |  A* : parallel sixth driven harmony (A > D > Em > F#m)
|         | vi V-of-V| V    | I  |       over pedal bass A 

  4/4          2/4    4/4    4/4 
| Gdim/Bb Bm7 | E7   | A*   | D     |
|          vi |V-of-V| V    | I     |  

More rhythmic anomalies start in measure 4 which is shortened to 5/8. From here the measure lengths:
5/8 > 6/8 > 9/8 > 4/4 > 2/4 > 4/4 > 2/4 where the measure lengthts are combined with pre-downbeat and off-beat accents, the latter in the "A*" measures. Note there are other ways of parsing these phrases to measures.

Outro I-II
The instrumental first subsection of the Outro is a variant of the beginning of the Verse. It closes with a fermata.

| A/D D | A/D D | C *  | Bm7   |   C* : C-G-D-F#
|     I |     I | bVII | vi    |

The song closes with ad-lib jazzy chords played on buzzy acoustic guitar and some lead vocal.This time I spell the chords:
G#-F#-B > E-G#-D > D-G-D-F#-B > G-D-F# > D-A-D-F#

The closing one is the tonic (D).