Don't Try Suicide

Composer:  Freddie Mercury
Meter: 4/4, shuffle beat with occassional 3/4 bars.
Key: D-Major, G-Major

       Intro - Verse 1 (AABBB')| Chorus |
             | Verse 2         | Chorus | Bridge |
        | alt. Verse 3 (handclaps)| Solo (Bridge') |
             | Verse 4         | Chorus'| Outro (AAAA) fade out

This song is frequently criticized by its lyrics, and admired for its memorable tunes. The sections are contrasting eachother in terms of arrangement style and key. The economic arranged verses are bluesy, the chorus is catchy rock, the bridge and the solo has great rockabilly feel (> "Crazy Little Thing").
The form consists of four cycles and can be simplified to an AB-ABC-AC-AB pattern. The first half of the verses are all differently melodized. The third verse is completly different one goes with stripped down arrangement.

The song starts with an count-in syncopated at its end as the last "one" falls on the eight before the downbeat.
Following the count-in enter the two bar handclap motif backing of the verses. After two cycles enter the bass which marks the beginning of the verses.

The verses (except the third one) consist of two subsections the first of which is changing almost entirely melody-wise. In the first subsection beside the chromatic bassline there is no chordal backing except a crazy Dm7/A chord dropped in m.2 and m.6. I doesn't sound like a part of the backing harmony. Without alternate tuning or capo this chord (A-C-D-F) cannot be played on guitar. The modal center is definitely D but the modes are mixed. The tunes are in a dorian mode (1-b3-4-5-6-b7) with blue thirds and without the second degree.

/-------------- 2x -------------\\
| B1... |(D1)   | B1... |(D1)   |  
| 6th   | 1st   | 6th   | 1st   |

The beat map:

.1 .2 .3 .4 .1 .2 .3 .4  
    *     *     * *   * : handclaps
x*  x x*  * *           : bass 1st phrase
x*  *  *  * *           : bass 2nd phrase
                  *     : guitar chord

In the second verse the first two melodic phrases roughly follow the bassline the second time an octave higher. An acoustic guitar also doubles the bassline, also in the fourth cycle. In the fourth cycle the crazy guitar chord occurs only once, right before the start of the section.

In the second subsection the bass motif is doubled by piano and unisono vocals the latter antiphonally alternated with single track lead vocal. The handclap motif is completed with hi-hats. The modal center moving down to "A" (b7-1-b3-4-b5). The m.5-6 are 3/4, but the handclaps keep their original beat. For the last measure the returning snare drums are softening the transition to the chorus.

/--------- 2x ----------\\
| A1 G1 A1   |          |

3/4         3/4        4/4 
| A1 G1 A1 | -       | A1 G1 A1 C1 A1 |

In the third cycle the Verse alteres also backing wise, as only the handclaps remain. The modal center is "A" (5-6-1-(2)-b3). Most of the phrases are double-tracked, some fragments are harmonized. We have a tritone harmony in m.9 and a A7 harmony in m.11-12.

The catchy chorus uses six Major chords, the three basic ones and three borrowed ones. The ending is unresolved. The title words are unisono sung the rest of the phrases are sigle tracked.

| D  G | G  A  |
| I IV | IV V  |

| D  G | C   A |
| I IV |bVII V |

| D  G | G  A  |
| I IV | IV V  |

| D  G | Bb  F    | G     | (G)(F)|
| I IV | bVI bIII | IV    |       |
                G:| I     |   bVII| : before the bridge.

In the last chorus is altered using a triple-tag-like subphrasing and the closing is on the tonic this time.

| D  G | Bb  F    | Bb  F   | Bb    | D    | (-)   |
| I IV | bVI bIII | bVI bIII| bVI   | I    |       |

The harmony of the bridge as usual in pop/rock music is centered around the dominant chord. The lead vocal uses some triplets in m2 and m.6. Deacon plays some speedy runs on bass in m6

| C    | -    | G    | -    |
| IV   | -    | I    | -    |

| C    | -    | A7-G#7 | -    |
| IV   | -    | II     | -    |

1 .2 .3 .4 .1 .2 .3 .4 .1
*  * *   * *   * *   *  *

The guitar solo uses the harmonic backing of the bridge altered from m.7:

| A7-G7 | -    | C7-B7 | C7 Dm7 |

It's crazy chromatic harmony thus no functional analysis here.

The outro keeps repeating the two-phrase hook of the verse four time while fading out gradually.