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If you do enough geeking on lyrics (which is pretty much the point of The Lyric Project), I think you would discover that virtually every song ever written could be classified as a protest song, a love song or a narrative. Sure there are exceptions but, the vast majority will fall into one of this three categories.

Obvious factors in determining how classify the tune are genre and year released. These factors greatly influence the writer because they define the musical environment, political climate and pop culture that existed when the tune was penned.

So …. If I said “Here’s a true soul classic from 1972”, which classification would you guess it will fall under?

This is our fork in the road
Love’s last episode
There’s nowhere to go, oh no
You made your choice
Now it’s up to me
To bow out gracefully
Though you hold the key, but baby

Whenever you call me, I’ll be there
Whenever you want me, I’ll be there
Whenever you need me, I’ll be there
I’ll be around

I knew just what to say
Now I found out today
That all the words had slipped away, but I know
There’s always a chance
A tiny spark will remain, yeah
And sparks turn into flames
And love can burn once again, but I know you know

Whenever you call me, I’ll be there
Whenever you want me, I’ll be there
Whenever you need me, I’ll be there
I’ll be around, yeah

Whenever you call me, I’ll be there
Whenever you want me, I’ll be there
Even if I have to crawl, I’ll be there
I’ll be around

Just call me on the phone, I’ll be there
I’ll never leave you alone, I’ll be there
Just call out your name, I know I know you know
I’ll be around

I’ll be standing in a coffin, I’ll be there
I’ll be a-rippin’ it up, I’ll be there
I’ll be calling out your name to let you know
I’ll be around

I’ll Be There – The Spinners (Phil Hurtt)

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