Songs with 3 beats

Posted: 5th November 2008 by Jacky Yong in Movies and TV Shows
Tags: , ,

Ever heard one of those catchy tunes that got stuck in your head for no apparent reason? I don’t know about you, but a lot of these songs that got stuck in my head are three-beat songs. What are three-beat songs? They are songs with, well, 3 beats in them!

So what’s so different about a 3-beat song? You know waltz? It’s something like that. I don’t know what’s the fuss about a 3-beat song, but I read somewhere that they are supposed to have soothing qualities. That’s because our own body rhythm are 3-beat. Our heart is beating at a 3-beat. So you will sleep better listening to them. I don’t know if there is a scientific truth in them, but I sure think that these songs are cool.

Most old songs has this peculiar arrangement, for reasons unknown. This is most noticeable in nursery rhymes, children songs and festival songs. Think of the famous Christmas song that goes “We wish you a Merry Christmas, we wish you a Merry Christmas, we wish you a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year”. Yeap, that song. Some of the older songs that I can think of are:

  • Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be)
  • Rock-a-bye baby
  • Happy Birthday to you
  • (How Much Is) That Doggie in the Window?
  • My Bonnie

These children songs are used to make a child go to sleep. Again, this emphasizes the soothing qualities of these songs. They kinda make you woozy and you can easily fall into slumber with them. I know, I have a lot of baby songs in my collection now.

3-beat songs are not necessarily related to old songs. Some newer contemporary songs uses 3 beats. They are rare, but I get a kick finding out that they are a 3 beat. So I list them here, in no particular order:

  • Bryan Adams – Have you really loved a woman (flamenco themed song)
  • Jacky Cheung 张学友 – 昨天今天明天 , the first part.
  • When I Need You – the original version came in 1977 by Leo Sayer
  • Debbie Boone – You Light Up My Life, also in 1977
  • If You Don’t Know Me By Now
  • Edelweiss, song from “The Sound of Music”
  • Yuki Hsu 徐怀钰 and Richie Ren 任贤齐 – 水晶, the sweetest 3-beat duet that I know of
  • Jacky Cheung 张学友 – 暗恋你 (Strictly speaking these are songs with 6 beats, with a Shoo-be-do-wa kinda rhythm, but the basic of a 6-beat song is 3 beats right)
  • Jacky Cheung 张学友 – 一颗不变心 (This is also a 6 beat Shoo-be-do-wa kinda song)
  • Jacky Cheung 张学友 – 明日世界终结时
  • Jacky Cheung 张学友 – 我哭了 (A relatively obscure song from the 2nd track in the 过敏世界 album in 1995)
  • Jacky Cheung 张学友 – 什么是恋爱 (A relatively obscure song from the 8th track in the 不老的传说 album)
  • Jacky Cheung 张学友 – 春风秋雨 (Another obscure song from the first track of the 饿狼传说 album back in 1994)
  • Eason Chan 陳奕迅 – 阿牛 (song from as recent as 2005)
  • Fish 梁靜茹 – 好夜晚Good Night

If you notice, a lot of Jacky’s songs are 3 beats. I am a big fan of Jacky Cheung, I have listened to most of his songs. To be fair, I am sure that there are more from other artists. Perhaps you may like to add more that are not in the list?

  1. [...] with 3 beats unknown wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptBryan Adams – Have you really loved a [...]

  2. Jia Jack says:

    I managed to think of another song…
    “On top of old smokey”
    its also another old folk song…