Is This The World We Created

Comoser: Freddie Mercury and Brian May
Album: Works, 9th track
Single (B-side of It's A Hard Life): 16 july, 1984
Meter: 4/4
Key: Db Major, bb-minor, (discussed as being in D/b)

Intro | Verse | Chorus |
      | Verse | Chorus |

This song was a product of a last-minute session of the Works album, and it took the place of "There Must Be More To Life Than This", maybe because it was a too close neighbour of "...We Created" in terms of lyrical message.
This is the first song on which May and Mercury share the songwriting credit. A classic Brian trademark is the pedal point that we can find in the intro figure, the other three were not keen in that kind of harmony. Except the intro motif we don't know what motifs and tunes came from Brian and what from Freddie.
While the accompaniment has even rhythm, the lead vocal has more rhythmic freedom and it has many dotted notes on the level of eighths as well.
  The holy grail of the collectors would be the lost tape of the piano accompaniment. Now this is the only studio song of Queen that is accompanied with only acoustic guitar, a twelve string tuned down by a halfstep. The picking style alternates (and occassioanly combines) fingerpicking and strumming. Several motifs from the lead tunes show up nicely in the fingerpicked guitarpart. The song became a part of the band's "unplugged" block on the last tours.
The songform is the ballad modell, a rare example in Queen's songbook in this clear and also short form. Note how the Intro takes the chord progression from the end of a later section (or vica versa). Queen examples of this: Scandal, I Want To Break Free single version.
Due the simple form and arrangement the analysis going to be one of the shortest piece in the series.


The intro starts with a simple one measure figure that exposes the tonic chord and closes with a fermata.


| D   |
| I   |

The "body" of the intro consists of four measures dominated by the pedal point on D that I will transcribe below as bass. The phrase has a closed harmonic shape:

  D  C#     C    B    A#    (A)   : chromatic line
| D  A/D | Am/D G/D | A#   | D    |
| I  V   | v    IV  | bVI  | I    |

Beside the pedal point we have a chromatic descending line in measure 2-4 driving the harmony from the tonic down to bVI. The descending line alternated with the pedal point creates an oscillating tune. Note the overlapping echo-like motifs in measure 4, the second of these is the tune of the title phrase.
The last measure slows down but it is full 4/4 long.

Length: 9 measures, phrasing: AA'B (2+2+(2+2+1)). The song modulates from D to its relative minor key, b.

/----- 2x -----\\
| Bm   | A  G6 |
| i    |VII VI |

| Gsus2 D/F# | Em(sus4)| F#   | G    | Em   |
| VI    III  | iv      | V    | VI   | iv   |

The accompaniment rests for a moment in measure 8, but stays in tempo when the arpeggio introduces the next Chorus.
The melodic phrases start after the downbeat and have a descending shape. The last melodic phrase (m7-8) starts only on a downbeat, and has off-beat accents. Note the absence of the tonic chord in the last phrase.
Second Verse closes with natural harmonics (Em).

It is eight measure long. The harmony of the first phrase and the first half of the repeated intro sequence has the pedal point on D.

| D  (A/D)| A/D G/D |
| I       |  V  IV  |

| Bm  sus2| F#m  A  |
| vi      | iii  V  |

the last phrase is the same with the Intro sequence added lead vocal.

In contrast with the Verses the melodic phrases of the lead vocal start with upbeats throughout the section. The range of the lead vocal opens toward the higher range and peaks on B in measure 5-6.