Read all 6 events for 15 December at diary.QueenSongs.info
Composer: Brian May
Meter: 3/4, 4/4 (Bridge)
Intro (AAAA)| Verse | A | Chorus | | Verse | Chorus | | AA | Bridge | BB | Chorus | Solo (chorus) - Outro solo |
"Sweet Lady" is arrangements-wise the only true hard rock number on the album. For this reason its presence is very important since Queen was supposedly a hard rock band. Still it gets often criticized by the lyrics especially the "...cheese" line. Music-wise there's nothing to be criticized.
The form simplified written is I-ABABCB(B)-O. Many section transitions are executed through instrumental connectors in a relatively irregualar way.
The key is the guitarfriendly E-Major without any hint of modulation. The harmony uses relatively few - six chords: I, IV, V, vi, bVI and bVII.
The instrumental 16 measure intro consists of four variant phrases each using the double-plagal cadence. We have three rhythm guitars in the mix, one of which is joining in m.4. along with the bass and drums. The proper back-beat of the song establishes for the fourth phrase.
| E (sus4) | D(sus4) | A(sus4) | E1... | | I | bVII | IV | 1st | | E (sus4) | D(sus4) | A(sus4) | E1... | | I | bVII | IV | 1st | | E (sus4) | D(sus4) | A(sus4) | E | | I | bVII | IV | 1st | | E (sus4) | D(sus4) | A(sus4) | E | | I | bVII | IV | 1st |
The 20 measure Verse has some phrases of uneven length: 4+4+3+5+3 AA'A"BC where A" is the ending of the A'. Note the last four measure is backed with the main-hook guitar riff but this time the lead vocal phrases don't follow it slavishly.
/------------ 2x---------------\\ | E | A | B A | E | | I | IV | V IV | I | | A | B A | E | | IV | V IV | I | | B | - | C#m | A | E | | V | - | vi | IV | I | | D(sus4) | A(sus4) | E | | bVII | IV | I |
The last instrumental connector in contrast with the previous ones can be derived from the verse's harmony between m.5-12. The two phrases are overlapped resulting in uneven (7) phrase length.
| E | A | B A | | I | IV | V IV | | E | A | B A | A | | I | IV | V IV | IV |
The chorus is 10 measure long and has four phrases: 2+2+2+4, AAAB. The arrangement is added multitrack guitar harmonies with many chromatic motions. The rhythm guitars play mostly pentatonic figures.
/----- 3x-----\\ | E7 | A | | I | IV | | C | A | E | - | | bVI | IV | I | - |
The lead melody is antiphonal arranged between solo and harmony vocals. In the last chorus most of the solo vocals are omiitted.
This bridge is a relatively usual "middle-eight", except it changes the meter to 4/4. The latter helps to create the bridge-esque contrast with the rest of the song along with the harmony that is open at both end. The 3/4 meter returns for the last measure.
| B | D A | E | - | | V |bVII IV | I | - | 3/4 | B | C#m D | A D/A | - | | V | vi bVII| IV bVII| - |
The phrases start with harmonized vocals, and the section closes with in a very Queen-esque bent vocal harmony.
The outro starts as an instrumental chorus. The backbeat is gradually turning to a proto-punk double-time feel. The rythm guitar departures from the original riff from the third phrase on.
/---- 3x ----\\ | E7 | A | | I | IV | | C | A | E | A | | bVI | IV | I | IV |
After the instrumental chorus harmony-wise we have yet another chorus, but this time without the guitar harmonies. The rhythm guitars change to bluesy 5-6-7-6 figures, bass switches to boogee-woogee mode until the end of the song.
/---- 3x ----\\ | E7 | A | | I | IV | | C | A | | bVI | IV |
From here on the harmony is vamping between the tonic and subdominant chords fading gradually out.
/---- 16x ----\\ | E | A | | I | IV |
Beside the lead guitar there are some additional guitars playing repetitive chromatic and triadic (these ones in triplets) and pentatonic motifs.