Diamonds on the soles of her shoes - Coggle Diagram
Diamonds on the soles of her shoes
Ladysmith begins by singing ‘A-wa, A-wa’ and some Zulu lines which translate as ‘it’s not usual’ but in our days we see these things happen; they are women, they can take care of themselves’.
The entire intro is sung in isicathamiya -
A Zulu style with rich unaccompanied harmonies [cathama means ‘walk softly’]
Structure of the whole piece
Intro - 0.00 - Ladysmith Black Mambazo singing in unaccompanied chordal harmony. Paul Simon joins at 0:15, introducing the song; seven repetitions of ‘diamonds on the soles of her shoes’.
Instrumental lead to verse 1 - 0.58 - Change of tempo and key; band enters
Verse 1 - 1.20 - Narrative, sung by Paul Simon, while Ladysmith Black Mambazo dancing
Instrumental Break - 2.17 - Repetitive chord progressions in band accompanying trumpet, tenor sax and alto sax
Instrumental lead to Verse 2 - 2.29 - As before
Verse 2 - 2.51 - Narrative, sung by Paul Simon, while Ladysmith Black Mambazo dance
Chorus - 3.25 - ‘Ooh’ on high notes sung by Simon, accompanied by dancing.
Instrumental Break - 3.48 - As before
Outro - 4.18 Short vocal section followed by repetitive ‘ta-na-na-na-na’ by Simon and Ladysmith Black Mambazo. All instruments except djembe drum stop. Music fades at the end
Chorus - 1.54 - ‘Ooh’ on high notes sung by Simon, accompanied by dancing.
The tonality of ‘Diamonds’ is mistakenly major throughout.
Starts in E major - 0:00-0:58 then switches to F major
Strange modulation of one semitone - 4 sharps to 1 flat
Male solo vocal
Bass (the fish)
male group vocals
Uses mostly primary chords
Starts in E major - E major (I), A major (IV) and B major (V)
F major after a pause - F major (I), Bb major (IV) and C major (V)
Harmonic rhythm becomes faster at 0:58
Mostly homophonic texture
Isicathamyia - starts in close, unaccompanied harmony
A capella introduction
Becomes melody and accompaniment when Paul Simon sings over them
Tempo - moderato but at 0:58 is marked 'slightly faster'
Metre - 4/4 but 2/4 for one bar at 0:15
Lots of syncopation
Intro starts with an anacrusis of 4 quavers
Mostly aspeech rhythm
The intro is sung mezzo piano, sounding almost as if heard from a distance.
There is a rise in the dynamics level (mezzo forte) from 0.58 at the change of key and tempo.
There is no change in dynamic level from the verse to the chorus
Thierer is another increase in dynamics from 2.18 for the instrumental break, to fote,
The pattern is repeated for the second verse and chorus
The outro drops down to mezzo piano again
There is a sudden drop in dynamics for the fade at the end
Articulation - legato throughout