The AAA Song Form
Learn the definition and structure of the AAA song form
The AAA song form form, also known as the strophic form or the one part song form, is a very old song form suited best to storytelling and sing a long songs. If you are into country music or folk music then chances are you have heard this song form already.
In this section you will learn:
- Why this song form is so commonly used for storytelling type songs
- What the main characteristics of this song form are
- Examples of songs which use this old song form
The AAA Song Form Explained
This AAA song form is recognized as being the oldest song form in existence. This means it has survived for a very long time. So it must be doing something right!
Today, songwriters don't use it as much as in the past but it's still not uncommon to hear a folk or country artist do a song in this style.
Because this song form is suited so well to storytelling. And we all know country and folk artists love to tell a good story.
You see the AAA stands for verse-verse-verse. There can actually be any number of verses; the point is that there is no chorus and no bridge.
Rather than being in the chorus, like with the popular verse/chorus form, the title of the song is usually said at the beginning or end of each verse, or even both.
Also, it is a popular feature of this form to include a refrain, where the same line is repeated, at the end of each verse. This helps to tie the song together.
Writing songs in this style makes the verses feel complete on their own, rather than something that builds towards the chorus as seen in other song forms. This makes it a popular writing style for "storytelling songs," which is why it was especially popular with folk and country artists during the 1960s.
Some good examples of songs written in the AAA form are:
- "Bridge Over Troubled Water" by Simon and Garfunkel
- "Scarborough Fair" by Simon and Garfunkel
- "Blowin' in the Wind" by Bob Dylan
- "The Times They Are A Changin" by Bob Dylan
- "Gentle On My Mind" by Glen Campbell
- "By The Time I Get To Phoenix" by Glen Campbell
- "Maggie May" by Rod Stewart
- "I Walk the Line" by Johnny Cash
- "Amazing Grace" (Traditional)
- "Old MacDonald" (Traditional)
- "Mary Had a Little Lamb" (Traditional)