Sample Genealogy

My first example is of a song containing a direct audio sample of another song. Thanks to, I was able to find this quite quickly. The two songs that I chose were All You Need is Love, by the Beatles, and Greensleeves, a traditional folk melody. Believe it or not, Greensleeves is sampled within All You Need is Love, which I, personally, would never have heard on my own, without the help of It appears in the background of the song, about three minutes and fifteen seconds into the song (note: you will need to open Spotify to listen to All You Need is Love). As it occurs, other short ditties are played by assorted instruments, producing a pleasurable cacophony as the chorus to the song loops and eventually fades. The melody to Greensleeves is really the only actual “melody” that is occurring in the background of the song; everything else seems to be random and sporadic. About fifteen seconds later, it, too fades from the song, as other instruments quickly replace it. Here is the link to, where I found both of these:

The second set of songs that I chose were Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’, by Michael Jackson and Don’t Stop the Music by Rihanna. I chose these two because they represent an example in which one song directly quotes another. In Don’t Stop the Music, Rihanna directly samples the well-known chant section from Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’ (“ma-ma-se, ma-ma-sa, ma-ma-coo-sa”). There is no hiding that it is exactly the same riff. They even share the same key and tempo. However, if you’d like to see it for yourself, here is the link to Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’:, and here is the link to Don’t Stop the Music: The sections in question begin at 4:43 and 1:03, respectively. By 1:21 of the latter, the riff has completely faded in and can be clearly heard, and it can also be heard isolated (and without any annoying annotations) beginning at 2:53, and finally, at 3:55.


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