ABC-Jackson 5

“ABC” by the Jackson 5 is a fantastic, never-fail dance hit. The arrangement is deceivingly complicated.
Aside from the harmonies by the Jackson brothers, the piano, bass, guitar and drums all seem to be
playing in different rhythms.  There are several spots where the normal 4/4 rhythm is replaced by a 3/4 for a single bar, making it awkward to perform,  For example, try counting 1-2-3-4 during the chorus. On the last bar of the second time through, there is a single bar of 3/4 before it returns to the 2nd verse. It’s amazing — and so interesting —  that it doesn’t upset the dance-ability of the song. The middle percussion section feels like it was taken out of context from another song. But as soon as you get used to that rhythm, the A-B-C chorus returns. And watch out for that single 3/4 bar before each time the chorus repeats,

The lyrics are delightfully clever as well. I must admit that until we started playing it in the band, I never correctly heard the lyric “Spell ‘me’ and ‘you,’ add the two!
I also never heard “Without the roots of love everyday girl, education ain’t complete.” 

Check out the lyrics, and sing along.
You went to school to learn girl, things you never, never knew before
Like  “I” before “E” except after “C.”
And why 2 plus 2 makes 4
I’m gonna teach you (teach you, teach you)
All about lovin’ (all about love)
Sit yourself down, take a seat.
All you gotta do is repeat after me:

A B C. Easy as 1 2 3
Simple as Do re mi, A B C 1 2 3  baby you and me girl

A B C. Easy as 1 2 3
Simple as Do re mi, A B C 1 2 3  baby you and me girl
Reading, writing, ‘rithmetic are the branches of the learning tree
(But listen) Without the roots of love everyday girl, education ain’t complete
T-T-Teacher’s gonna show you (show you, show you)
How to get an A (na na na na na)
Spell “me” and “you,” add the two
Listen to me, baby, that’s all you got to do…

Jackson 5

From a historical perspective, it’s intriguing to know that when “ABC was released in February, 1970, it knocked The Beatles “Let It Be” off the #1 spot on the Billboard Top Ten list!

Please leave a comment to let me know what you think.

 

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