Formal structure of  "A Hard Day's Night"
Intro (coda) 0:00-0:04*
Verse 1 0:04-0:24*
Verse 2 0:24-0:45
Middle 8 0:45-0:59
Verse 3 0:59-1:20
End of verse 1:33-1:40*
Middle 8 1:40-1:54
Verse 4 1:54-2:15
Coda (intro) 2:15-2:33*
Comments: "A Hard Day's Night" is the first Beatles song to use a particular verse structure that I suspect will become common as I continue analyzing. The verses may be divided into four parts. In the case of the opening verse:
"It's been a hard day's night, and I've been working like a dog"
"It's been a hard day's night, I should be sleeping like a log"
"But when I get home to you, I find the things that you do"
"Will make me feel alright."
The only thing different between the first and second quarter of the verse is the lyrics - everything else (guitar chords, bassline, drum beats, duration) are completely identical. Then with the third quarter of the verse, things change slightly. McCartney adds his high vocal harmony, the phrase length is halved (4 measures to 2), and the chords are different, all of which contributes to an increased level of energy. The fourth quarter then returns to the patterns of the first half except for the fact that, like the third quarter, it too is 2 bars long instead of 4, and the melody sits lower in Lennon's vocal range (G to D instead of B to F). This pattern returns with every verse - and will return in future songs (although I cannot recall any off the top of my head).
It is quite common for the solo section to take the place of a verse. In "A Hard Day's Night", however, it only lasts for the first half of a verse. The second half of the verse, then, immediately follows the solo. "A Hard Day's Night" is the first Beatles release to do so. Just like the verse pattern discussed above, I have a feeling this solo/verse pattern will reappear in many future Beatles tracks (although I cannot recall any off hand).
The other aspect worth mentioning is the association of the intro and coda, which share harmonic similarities (though they are not identical) but are otherwise independent from the rest of the song - just like in "Thank You Girl" (analyzed on 12/9), with the exception that "A Hard Day's Night" omits the transition that also uses that same musical material.
This blog is a workshop for developing my analyses of The Beatles' music.