Verse Pre-chorus Chorus Bridge // Verse Bridge Chorus Middle Eight (Middle Eight???)

Working with an Irish songwriter, very new to the U.S., some friends ran into a vocabulary problem, while learning each other’s songs (genre-wise, we’re talking Rock/Pop).

Here in the U.S. you got the
[li]Verse[/li][li]Pre-chorus (this is the little bit before the chorus that has a different progression than the verse)*[/li][li]Chorus (The sing-alongy part, we also say “Refrain” and use the two terms interchangably)[/li][li]Bridge (The part that stands in for a verse but is a different progression)[/li][/ul]

The Irish songwriter would say
[li]Verse[/li][li]Bridge (The part we called the Pre-chorus)[/li][li]Chorus (The sing-alongy part)[/li][li]The Middle Eight (The part we called the Bridge)[/li][/ul]
Anyone else experience this in any trans-oceanic musical collaborations?
Does the Irish songwriter’s vocabulary match what would be used in England?
What about Australia and New Zealand?
*I personally have always resisted the term “Pre-chorus”, I just think of it as being part of the verse but I found that when you’re paying for rehearsal space by the hour it saves time to just use the terms that are expected by the people learning the songs.

Well, I’m a (southern) 'Merkin, and I use bridge and middle eight like the Irish fella. However, that’s more of a formal usage. When actually hammering out a new song with my bandmates, I usually just say something like “that part that goes da-da-da-da-dum”…

Aussie, former sound engineer, here. I have only ever heard the Irish construct. I have never heard of pre-chorus before.

I’ll just point out that she’s a woman, I know that she wouldn’t like for there to be a Thread going on in which she’s referred to as a “fella”.

That said, where’d you learn “middle eight”? She succeeded in confusing a group of musicians that included folks from several different parts of the U.S., including the South (I, myself lived in New Orleans for several years).

Surprising and cool that you know “middle eight”!
don’t ask, thanks for sharing the Aussie usage!

Another American here - the phrase “pre-chorus,” AFAIK, has no basis in actual music language, although it may be a handy word for those that understand it. I either use the Bridge/Middle 8 or will just call what you have referred as a “verse + pre-chorus” as a “verse” (if you think about it, they usually are grouped together as a single unit; the fact that they have different chord progressions doesn’t detract from them being a single musical piece) and the Middle 8 as the Bridge. I haven’t thought about when I go for one or the other - most music pros I communicate with know what I mean…


I always feel silly using the term, somehow it gets the song learned quicker though.

Let’s be very clear here bienville - there is a HUGE difference between “official” music language and what I use when I am talking to my band-mates. Omigod, the infantile crap we use to get our points across… :cool:

“You know, the dweedly-dweedly part”

“Okay, so I do two of the Big Ones, the 3 small?”

“Okay, so the Grand Cycle Riff is three times leading in, but 4 times during the bridge?”

“but is the bum-chaka part before or after the Ahhhhhh part?”

boggles the mind.

There’s a song that a particular guitarist that I use can never remember until I tell him:

“It’s the one you think you play slide on but you don’t.”

In many of the books about the Beatles that I’ve read, there are references to the ‘middle eight.’ I’ve heard McCartney say it in interviews, as well. The first time I came across that term (I think in a Lennon interview) I had no earthly idea what part of the song was being talking about. {grin}

When I’m working with bandmates here in the U.S., we use ‘bridge’ (which I prefer, because it’s not always eight, dammit!). We also use much of the same ‘band shortcut nonsense’ mentioned by WordMan and bienville (I thought we were the only ones who said “the dweedly-dweedly part!” :wink: )

Sorry about calling the woman a fella… :frowning:

I don’t really know where I picked up middle eight…It probably doesn’t help that I was into mostly English bands when I was first learning to play…The Clash, The Jam, The Buzzcocks, Elvis Costello, etc. It’s possible that I picked up that term reading about one of those bands or something, or like Misnomer, reading about the Beatles. And though I’m southern, I didn’t grow up playing country or anything…so I’m probably not a “true” indicator of the regional use of this term.

I’ve been writing songs for 35 years and have played with hundreds of musicians and composers, and the first time I ever saw the phrase “pre-chorus” was today, in this thread! I also use “middle eight” interchangably with “bridge” - although if I’m with people who know the reference, we call it the “badge”, in honor of George Harrison and Eric Clapton.