Da-dadah-dadah-dadah-da-dah-dah-dah-DAH! DAAAAAAAAAAAHH!
September 4, 2016 8:05 PM   Subscribe

So, so, so many songs end with the same repeated, seemingly intentionally hammy flourish. What is this called? Where did it come from? What's the story there? Example: 2:38 in to this Dropkick Murphys song, though I could have used a virtually infinite number of others.
posted by DirtyOldTown to Media & Arts (7 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
blues turnaround
posted by noloveforned at 8:56 PM on September 4, 2016 [6 favorites]

I think that, in this context, we are talking about a coda (literally "tail") or outro rather than a turnaround (which is used before pivoting back for another verse) - although if you listen to the examples in noloveforned's link you will find they are pretty much the same. The difference is that that a coda is more likely to slow down the tempo and add in elements such as repeated cymbals and piano trills to give the audience a really clear idea that we are... coming... to... an... end.

The use of a standard, hammy ending serves much the same purpose as Shakespeare was aiming for with a rhyming couplet after pages of blank verse - it wakes up the dancers, the guy on lights, and the people working at the bar - hell and maybe some of the musicians - and telegraphs them that the end has arrived.
posted by rongorongo at 10:53 PM on September 4, 2016

And the last note, where all the instruments play really loud, is called The Big Chord.
posted by Bruce H. at 11:58 PM on September 4, 2016

Per the first two comments, there are examples of this in all kinds of genres of music. For example:

shave and a haircut
Hawaiian vamp
posted by Brittanie at 12:50 AM on September 5, 2016

I think it's related to The Minsky Pickup, one of several vaudeville-era musical tropes used to begin or end a song (or usually a song fragment). The ascending ones are useful for leading into a song or starting in the middle of something, and the descending ones are used for a big (or just obvious) finish. Other than Minsky (the one used by the singing telegram girl in Clue), they don't really have names, but are sometimes called "vaudeville fanfare number x".
posted by sportbucket at 7:19 AM on September 5, 2016

No, it's the Blues Turnaround.
posted by humboldt32 at 8:51 AM on September 5, 2016 [4 favorites]

Correction: it's totally the blues turnaround.

Sorry everyone, I should have waited to actually listen to the video in question before answering.

I prostrate myself in shame.
posted by sportbucket at 8:59 AM on September 5, 2016 [1 favorite]

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