Tag Archives: Common People

I Said, ‘I’ll See What I can Do’

The best singers and songwriters cram a world of subtle meaning into tiny words like do. How?

Listen to the Pulp song Common People. Near the beginning, you’ll hear Jarvis Cocker sing: Well, what else could I do? / I said, “I’ll see what I can do.” Repetition and exact rhyme of simple words can sound amateurish and boring. Jarvis wrote the song. Why repeat do here? Choice or necessity? Does it work?

How does Jarvis invest each do with a different feeling when he sings? What’s the effect?

If English isn’t your first language and you’re struggling to hear a difference between the two do’s, let’s backtrack a moment: listen to the two o‘s in Common. Can you hear the difference between them?

Continue reading I Said, ‘I’ll See What I can Do’

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