Don’t Call It Love


“Don’t Call It Love” – 1981

Music: Tom Snow

Lyric: Dean Pitchford

Song History: First cut by Kim Carnes on her Bette Davis Eyes album (1981), the tune became a chart-topper for Dolly Parton in 1986 and was named the BMI Country Song of the Year… much to my surprise.

Author’s Note: “Don’t Call It Love” was written melody first, lyric second. Using an old school Roland 808 Drum Box (actual drum machines with real samples hadn’t quite yet hit the market) I programmed a  simple beat at a leisurely tempo (leisure being one of my favorite things) and started playing along,  getting a piano feel. After a couple of days hunting and pecking I had the music: melody, harmonic progression and structure. Dean supplied the lyric. “Don’t Call It Love” has one of my favorite bridges, harmonically.  I remember thinking it would please my former  harmony professor at Berklee. Ironically, it became the most played BMI country song that year despite its “out of town” chord changes. Thank you, Dolly Parton.

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