I was listening to a classic rock station just now, and they played Heart’s “Magic Man.” I remember hearing this song many times when it came out– my mom and her boyfriend played the vinyl LP every day for weeks. I never noticed before today, though, how tightly crafted it was. The verse and chorus repeat only once each, with slightly different lyrics and very different meanings each time. In the first chorus, the person quoted is the self-proclaimed Magic Man himself, inviting her to “come on home, girl”; the second time, it is the mother pleading with her to “come on home, girl.” I don’t know what it’s called when songwriters change the meaning behind the same lyrics, but I think it can be brilliant (my favorite example is Tim McGraw’s “Don’t Take the Girl”).
What really impressed me just now was how short “Magic Man” is. Coming out of my car radio, where so many songs are composed mostly of choruses repeated ad nauseum, this tight little composition put the rest to shame.