The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #156777   Message #3696330
Posted By: Jason Xion Wang
24-Mar-15 - 05:16 AM
Thread Name: Odd chord progression in Tom Paxton song
Subject: Chords Add: Tape from California (Phil Ochs)
A lot of songs end on a V chord. The ones I've been playing lately include: Four Strong Winds by Ian & Sylvia; Dreamland Express by John Denver, I Ain't Marching Anymore by Phil Ochs and All Night Long by Tom Paxton. These are all songs in the key of G that ends on D.

I think Phil Ochs often uses unusual chord progression. I Ain't Marching Anymore ends on a V chord; One Way Ticket Home, which is in the key of D, begins with a II chord (Em) and ends on a VI chord (Bm). Phil's Tape from California, in the key of E, has one of the strangest chord progression I've ever known. It ends on a IV chord (A). It also uses C, D and G chords a lot, but its chord progression is much more complicated than I Don't Want Your Pardon:

Who's that coming down the road?
D               A
A sailor from the sea.
D                   F#m
He looks a lot like me,
             E         G             E
I'd know him anywhere, had to stare.

Feathers on his fingertips,
D               A
A halo 'round his spine.
D                     F#m
He must have lost his mind;
             E         G          C#m
He should be put away, right away.

In the corner of the night,
D                Bm
He handed me his waterpipe;
F#m                     Bm             E
His eyes were searching deep inside my head.
Here's what he said:

"Sorry, I can't stop and talk now -
I'm in kind of a hurry anyhow,
         C          G             A   
But I'll send you a tape from California."

         D            C             D            C
From the mirror of my mantle to the velvet on my bed,
D             C               Am          E
Trapped upon a stolen stage, a Barrymore at desk.
A                   G          A                   G
My rhymes are all repeating, my ballads are growing blind.
G#m                  A          F#m             B7
Words have turned to water, the women turned to wine.

Chords are taken from this page.