The greatest “bridge” ever in a pop-song

Almost every song you hear on the radio follows this pattern:

verse-chorus

verse-chorus

bridge

verse-chorus

The “bridge” is the one part of the song that doesn’t repeat.

I love a good bridge in a rock song. It takes the listener to some place new, maybe a different key or different instruments. It sets up the song for a  raucous return to the verse-chorus combo at the end.

My favorite bridge ever written is the one in “Our Lips are Sealed” by the Go-Gos.

The song was originally a slow ballad written by guitarist Jane Wiedlin and her then-lover about their clandestine affair in 1981. The lyrics are allegedly instructions he sent her in a letter to not address rumors swirling about their relationship…

…pay no mind to what they say

…doesn’t matter any way

…our lips are sealed

This of course went on to be a top-20 hit and one of the best pop songs of all time, according to Rolling Stone. So this guy’s whole plan to keep his nookie with Jane under wraps kind of backfired. But I digress, because I want to tell you why I love the bridge of the song so much.

When the bridge hits around 1:29 bassist Kathy Valentine jumps up an octave and plays a simple, beautiful melody that just kind of hangs there, while drummer Gina Shock plays a more driving beat on her hi-hat and Jane plunks out perky, reverb-soaked rhythm guitar. Then Jane sings “hush my darling don’t you cry” so angelically that you understand why the woman became an ordained minister.

All-told, this is a 32-second piece of music. I want to loop it and fall asleep to it. Thanks Jane & company.

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2 Responses to “The greatest “bridge” ever in a pop-song”

  1. Darin Says:

    My all time favorite bridge has to be from Wang Chung’s Every Body Have Fun Tonight. What makes it work so well is that it comes straight out of left field, and is stylistically so different from the rest of the song. Just thought I’d let you know.

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