Cat Cohen's Anatomy of a Hit a Hit in 2007

Hey There Delilah by Plain White T's

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Plain White T’s uniquely written song of college romance has the intimate personal quality of a love letter.

Song: Hey There Delilah
Artist: Plain White T's
Album: All That We Needed
Songwriter: Tom Higgenson
Producer: Ariel Rechtshaid
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Concept
A charming coming of age love song that unabashedly expresses innocence and determination.

Lyric
A simple direct communication of young romantic desire (if maybe unrequited) full of original imagery and honest sentiment. We Hey there Delilah, what's it like in New York City? I'm a thousand miles away, but girl, tonight you look so pretty Yes you do Times Square can't shine as bright as you, I swear it's true Hey there Delilah, don't you worry about the distance I'm right there if you get lonely give this song another listen Close your eyes Listen to my voice, it's my disguise, I'm by your side Oh it's what you do to me………… A thousand miles seems pretty far but they've got planes and trains and cars I'd walk to you if I had no other way Our friends would all make fun of us and we'll just laugh along because we know That none of them have felt this way Delilah I can promise you that by the time we get through The world will never ever be the same and you're to blame

Groove
An 8th note feel strummed on a solo guitar makes an excellent accompaniment.

Melody
A memorable melody with shape, peaks and valleys. The chorus stands out from the verse in strong contrast. The melody alone caused artists to cover this song.

Harmony
Major diatonic triads strummed on the guitar. The iii chord gives the song a longing feel with a touch of pathos. I iii I iii IV V vi V // I vi I vi // IV V I vi IV V I vi

Structure
The structure is easy to follow even if the hook is unconventional. Sig A B A B C A B Signature verse chorus verse chorus bridge chorus tag

Signature
A simple guitar figure.

Production
The stark vocal-guitar production is amazingly simple and effective.

Performance
Higgenson‘s vocal is expressive, spontaneous and heartfelt. His rich sounding voice has an appealing rasp that highlights its youthful sincerity.

Predicted Longevity
A real breath of fresh air on the jaded pop charts, this well-written song should live for quite a while with its intended audience.

Album Cover: All That We Needed

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