The number one song on the Billboard Country Radio play chart for the second cosecutive week is “Dibs” by Kelsea Ballerini. It’s a pretty straightforward song with the lyrics so go ahead and listen to it with your students. Here’s my breakdown:
|Intro||0:00 – 0:09||
– Instrumental intro featuring acoustic guitar,
|Verse||A||0:09 – 0:32||“I know everybody wants you, that ain’t no
– Acoustic vibe continues with sparse
accompaniment. Banjo reenters halfway
|Chorus||B||0:32 – 0:54||“If you got a kiss on your lips that you’re…”
– Accompaniment becomes more lush and
prominent as vocals get fuller.
– Male vocal harmony part joins female lead
and a group “eh” punctuates pauses.
|Transition||C||0:54 – 1:05||“I’m callin’ dibs, on your lips…”
– New speech-like vocals come in over same
sparse accompaniment from verse.
|Verse||A||1:05 – 1:26||
“Make everybody Jealous…”
|Chorus||B||1:26 – 1:48||Same as before.|
|Break||D||1:48 – 1:59||Upbeat, restrained electric guitar solo over
|Chorus||B||1:59 – 2:21||Same vocal melody as before.
– Accompaniment begins sparse similar to
– Second half returns to normal.
|Transition||C||2:21 – 2:31||Same as before|
|Transition||C’||2:31 – 2:43||Same lyrics as before, presented in a higher
– Accompaniment mirrors the chorus, not
previous transition sections.
|Coda||2:43 – 3:03||Extension of the transition with similar lyrics.
– Accompaniment style from chorus continues.
There are multiple ways I have students analyze a song like this. If this is their first time listening critically like this, put a blank spreadsheet on the SMART board of white board for them, replaying the sections several times to let them hear what you are pulling apart. Then go back and listen to the whole thing to show them the overall form. Have them fill it in as you go or just watch and participate. This takes me 45 minutes or so.
Once students get the hang of it, let them pick their own song to analyze. It’s how they build skills for their own compositions and analysis, by listening to what others have done.