Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafemuddy

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Songs with I and IV chords only?

Eve Goldberg 26 Apr 09 - 12:35 PM
breezy 26 Apr 09 - 12:38 PM
Eve Goldberg 26 Apr 09 - 01:01 PM
The Sandman 26 Apr 09 - 01:11 PM
Eve Goldberg 26 Apr 09 - 01:12 PM
Richard Bridge 26 Apr 09 - 02:25 PM
Uncle Phil 27 Apr 09 - 12:34 AM
Eve Goldberg 27 Apr 09 - 12:54 AM
Gibb Sahib 27 Apr 09 - 01:30 AM
Bugsy 27 Apr 09 - 01:53 AM
Terry McDonald 27 Apr 09 - 03:57 AM
Joybell 27 Apr 09 - 04:35 AM
folktheatre 27 Apr 09 - 05:31 AM
G-Force 27 Apr 09 - 07:37 AM
Bob the Postman 27 Apr 09 - 07:52 AM
Eve Goldberg 27 Apr 09 - 09:35 AM
breezy 27 Apr 09 - 09:58 AM
Gibb Sahib 27 Apr 09 - 10:54 AM
John P 27 Apr 09 - 11:45 AM
TI 28 Apr 09 - 03:58 PM
Eve Goldberg 28 Apr 09 - 08:57 PM
Eve Goldberg 28 Apr 09 - 09:05 PM
Barbara Shaw 28 Apr 09 - 09:32 PM
Eve Goldberg 28 Apr 09 - 09:49 PM
Gibb Sahib 28 Apr 09 - 10:11 PM
Barbara Shaw 28 Apr 09 - 10:20 PM
mkebenn 29 Apr 09 - 07:39 AM
Terry McDonald 29 Apr 09 - 07:49 AM
Musket 29 Apr 09 - 09:45 AM
Stringsinger 29 Apr 09 - 11:46 AM
GUEST,highlandman at work 29 Apr 09 - 05:29 PM
Eve Goldberg 29 Apr 09 - 06:33 PM
Terry McDonald 29 Apr 09 - 06:40 PM
Eve Goldberg 30 Apr 09 - 01:02 AM
PHJim 30 Apr 09 - 01:44 PM
Richard Mellish 30 Apr 09 - 04:22 PM
GUEST 30 Apr 09 - 04:27 PM
GUEST, Sminky 01 May 09 - 08:50 AM
Sir Roger de Beverley 01 May 09 - 08:57 AM
M.Ted 01 May 09 - 10:22 AM
Nick 01 May 09 - 01:36 PM
Nick 01 May 09 - 01:46 PM
PoppaGator 01 May 09 - 04:39 PM
Richard Mellish 01 May 09 - 07:23 PM
Don Firth 01 May 09 - 07:56 PM
M.Ted 01 May 09 - 10:07 PM
Richard Mellish 02 May 09 - 05:26 PM
PHJim 19 May 09 - 11:26 AM
PHJim 19 May 09 - 11:29 AM
PHJim 19 May 09 - 11:39 AM
Terry McDonald 29 Jul 09 - 01:28 PM
Eve Goldberg 29 Jul 09 - 06:30 PM
GUEST,lefthanded guitar 29 Jul 09 - 06:47 PM
PHJim 30 Jul 09 - 01:51 PM
Eve Goldberg 30 Jul 09 - 11:20 PM
GUEST,Yanai Morris 11 Apr 11 - 06:59 AM
Stringsinger 11 Apr 11 - 12:57 PM
GUEST 26 Apr 12 - 02:39 AM
Big Al Whittle 26 Apr 12 - 04:13 AM
Ross 26 Apr 12 - 04:48 AM
GUEST,bzribee 17 Jan 14 - 12:16 AM
Gary T 17 Jan 14 - 12:34 AM
GUEST 17 Jan 14 - 06:08 AM
Phil Cooper 17 Jan 14 - 08:41 AM
GUEST,Stew 17 Jan 14 - 08:46 AM
GUEST,Sarah T 21 Jan 14 - 11:02 PM
GUEST,Joyce 20 Aug 14 - 08:42 AM
Lonesome EJ 21 Aug 14 - 12:45 AM
kendall 21 Aug 14 - 06:24 AM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:









Subject: Songs with I and IV chords only?
From: Eve Goldberg
Date: 26 Apr 09 - 12:35 PM

Hi all,

Today I started wondering how many songs I know that ONLY use the I and IV chords (eg, a song in the key of C that only uses C and F or a song in the key of G that only uses G and C)

The only one I could think of was "Things in Life" by Don Stover.

Can anyone think of others?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs with I and IV chords only?
From: breezy
Date: 26 Apr 09 - 12:38 PM

is there a reason , if not get on and learn the v one


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs with I and IV chords only?
From: Eve Goldberg
Date: 26 Apr 09 - 01:01 PM

Well, yes, there are a few good reasons, breezy.

1) There is beauty in simplicity
2) I'm curious
3) Is there any reason why a song with more chords is superior?
4) It can be a good teaching tool for someone who is just learning


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs with I and IV chords only?
From: The Sandman
Date: 26 Apr 09 - 01:11 PM

I can think of more songs with chords 1 and 5 only.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs with I and IV chords only?
From: Eve Goldberg
Date: 26 Apr 09 - 01:12 PM

Yeah, me too! That's why I asked the question.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs with I and IV chords only?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 26 Apr 09 - 02:25 PM

Agreed. The glorious Tolpuddle Man can be done with E and B only, although in fact I use Eperfect and B9.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs with I and IV chords only?
From: Uncle Phil
Date: 27 Apr 09 - 12:34 AM

It's interesting that it's so hard to think of I-IV songs. The only one that I play with just I-IV is Annabel, written by Toronto's Kat Goldman. It's on her The Great Disappearing Act CD and is covered on the Duhks' CD Your Daughters and Your Sons. No traditional songs spring to mind.
- Phil


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs with I and IV chords only?
From: Eve Goldberg
Date: 27 Apr 09 - 12:54 AM

Hey Phil,

"Annabelle" is a beautiful song -- great suggestion.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs with I and IV chords only?
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 27 Apr 09 - 01:30 AM

I know many songs with only those chords :) -- the disclaimer is that I don't know how, if at all, you'd like to limit it by genre! In any case, I am thinking of soul and r 'n' b songs. In particular, in the years around 1968-1971, in the Jamaican music industry, there were tons of 'em.

One example you might know is the reggae song "Liquidator," which was lifted by the soul group the Staple Singers for their hit "I'll Take You There."
Incidentally, this is the typical progression for songs in the so-called "skinhead" sub-genre of reggae music.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs with I and IV chords only?
From: Bugsy
Date: 27 Apr 09 - 01:53 AM

"Turquoise" & "To sing for you" both by Donovan.

Cheers

Bugsy


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs with I and IV chords only?
From: Terry McDonald
Date: 27 Apr 09 - 03:57 AM

Martin Simpson's version of the Cruel Brother although it does have a relative minor (no pun intended).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs with I and IV chords only?
From: Joybell
Date: 27 Apr 09 - 04:35 AM

"Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gum Tree"
Sometimes called just "Kookaburra".
Cheers, Joy


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs with I and IV chords only?
From: folktheatre
Date: 27 Apr 09 - 05:31 AM

You could just sing "Amen"!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs with I and IV chords only?
From: G-Force
Date: 27 Apr 09 - 07:37 AM

'Like a Possum' by Lou Reed manages to spin those 2 chords out for about 18 minutes.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs with I and IV chords only?
From: Bob the Postman
Date: 27 Apr 09 - 07:52 AM

"Billy Taylor", also with a little optional help from the relative minor.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs with I and IV chords only?
From: Eve Goldberg
Date: 27 Apr 09 - 09:35 AM

Thanks for all the ideas, keep 'em coming!

I'd be curious about those soul and r & b songs, Gibb Sahib.

folktheatre, doesn't "Amen" have a V chord at the end?

I'll have to look up some of the other songs...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs with I and IV chords only?
From: breezy
Date: 27 Apr 09 - 09:58 AM

Hey Eve

make it even simpler

Play the root note only

Then you could play 3 bottom notes of the I IV and V chords

Start with the 5th String A = I

4th string D = IV

6th String   E   = V


use a capo to go up to the 4th fret to find your singing range, pitch , key

Then Go open again [sans capo]
         
4th String = I
         
         3rd   = IV

         5th   = V


then capo again up to 5th

all the best




Tuesday 12th May Cellarfolk
[for catters near the south coast]


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs with I and IV chords only?
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 27 Apr 09 - 10:54 AM

Hi Eve, some specific songs are:

"Train to Skaville" - The Ethiopians (1967)
"Feel Like Jumping" - Marcia Griffiths (1968)
"54-46 That's my Number" - The Maytals (1968)
"Long Shot" - The Pioneers (1968) & "Long Shot Kick de Bucket" (1969)
"Do the Reggay" - The Maytals (*first song to use the word "reggay" (reggae) in the lyrics, 1968)
"Wet Dream" - Max Romeo (1969)
"Liquidator" - Harry J Allstars (1969) ... and its variation, eg. "What Am I to Do" by Tony Scott
"Everything Crash" - The Ethiopians (1968) / "Bigger Boss" - Ansel Collins
"Pharoah House Crash" - Prince Buster
"Fire Corner" / "Shoo Be Doo" - Clancy Eccles/King Stitt (1969)
"Skinhead Moonstop" - Symarip
"Dark End of the Street" (cover of Percy Sledge) / "How Long" - Pat Kelly

In minor:
"Java" - Augustus Pablo (1972)
? "Skylarking" - Horace Andy
? "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" - Black Uhuru (1981)

These are all from Jamaica.

Gibb


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs with I and IV chords only?
From: John P
Date: 27 Apr 09 - 11:45 AM

"Spooky"
The that goes "in the cool of the evening, when everything is getting kind of spooky"

"What's the Buzz" from Jesus Christ Superstar.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs with I and IV chords only?
From: TI
Date: 28 Apr 09 - 03:58 PM

Off topic to be sure, but is the name of the song mentioned above Annabel or Annabelle. Google returns more than one song by that name. Thanks.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs with I and IV chords only?
From: Eve Goldberg
Date: 28 Apr 09 - 08:57 PM

On the Duhk's album "Your Daughters and Your Sons," the song is spelled "Annabel."

They actually have it featured on the music page of their website here.

(Look under the album "Your Daughters and Your Sons" on the right side of the page for "Annabel" and click on the "play" button underneath)

Listening back again, I can hear they play it with some suspended/minor chords. But you can play it with just the I and IV chords.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs with I and IV chords only?
From: Eve Goldberg
Date: 28 Apr 09 - 09:05 PM

Gibb,

Thanks for that extensive list. Now that I've listened to a few of the songs I know I've heard tons of songs with similar grooves -- interesting how the I-IV thing is much more prevalent in reggae than North American country or blues music.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs with I and IV chords only?
From: Barbara Shaw
Date: 28 Apr 09 - 09:32 PM

Twilight is Stealing


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs with I and IV chords only?
From: Eve Goldberg
Date: 28 Apr 09 - 09:49 PM

Barbara,

Can you give more info on "Twilight is Stealing?" I found a few different possibilities, but none of them seemed like I-IV songs.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs with I and IV chords only?
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 28 Apr 09 - 10:11 PM

Hi Eve,

interesting how the I-IV thing is much more prevalent in reggae than North American country or blues music.

Also interesting, it was only a big thing during those few years of the late 60s, mainly. My suspicion is that this vamp was a fad originally borrowed from some U.S. soul records, although exactly which ones were the influence I cannot say. Though it would be too tough to prove, I also suspect that the 'Amen' sounds of church hymns had some bearing on this preference.

Often it boils down to just one or two musicians who had an experience or inclination, and it can't be generalized to say "Jamaican music" or "Jamaican musicians" did such-n-such. I am fascinated by the idea of what individuals may have contributed to ~folk~ music and what we often presume to be the product of a community.

Gibb

P.S. Irrelevant, but...in the couple years preceding that era in Jamaican music, recording musicians were obsessed with alternating between I and ii chords.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs with I and IV chords only?
From: Barbara Shaw
Date: 28 Apr 09 - 10:20 PM

This song was discussed in a thread quite awhile ago: Twilight is Stealing / Falling. In fact, I use it to teach beginner bass, doing it in the key of A, because it only has.....

Woops! Just noticed that it is I/V rather than I/IV. Sorry about that.

How about "Little Black Train" (Rev J.M. Gates, 1926).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs with I and IV chords only?
From: mkebenn
Date: 29 Apr 09 - 07:39 AM

Prob'ly the most commercially succesfull one, the Trio's "Tom Dooly", oh crap, that's I/V also, I'll leave now. Mike


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs with I and IV chords only?
From: Terry McDonald
Date: 29 Apr 09 - 07:49 AM

Dylan's Girl from the North Country is another one where the dominant can be ignored, but is heavily dependant on a minor chord. (Bm if playing it in G)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs with I and IV chords only?
From: Musket
Date: 29 Apr 09 - 09:45 AM

Most songs can be I and IV if you pull it off with your voice, (which I can't sadly.)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs with I and IV chords only?
From: Stringsinger
Date: 29 Apr 09 - 11:46 AM

Many songs can be played with just these two chords.

The chain gang chant "Long John" for example.
Also, you could just use these two chords on "This Little Light Of Mine".
"I'm Gonna' Sit at the Welcome Table". Other spirituals come to mind.

I minor to IV major (highlighting a "Dorian" mode) can be used on "Follow the Drinking
Gourd"....you could ignore the V minor or bVII chord here.

There are many songs that could just use these two chords by-passing the V chord.

Not sure how interesting they would be harmonically, though.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs with I and IV chords only?
From: GUEST,highlandman at work
Date: 29 Apr 09 - 05:29 PM

In most Western music and all its derivatives there is a very strong tendency for progressions to work toward an ultimate V -> I cadence.
From mulling over the examples given, I think that for a song to work with only I and IV there has to be some kind of a "groove" or repeating symmetrical pattern so it doesn't sound subconsciously like a mistake.
Interesting, though, "What's the Buzz" from JCS (actually I7/IV7) alternates two different grooves with the same two chords: the chorus which is basically one chord change per measure and the verse which is one chord change per two measures. That, and the de-emphasizing of the 7ths in the verses, gives a distinct contrast between chorus and verse, further highlighted by the "why should you want to know" break.
Hard to accomplish contrast when using only two chords!
-Glenn


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs with I and IV chords only?
From: Eve Goldberg
Date: 29 Apr 09 - 06:33 PM

Hi Glenn,

I was thinking the same thing about the V-->I endings. There are lots of songs that MOSTLY have I and IV chords, but usually at the end there is a V in there somewhere. That's how I hear "I'm Gonna Sit at the Welcome Table" and "This Little Light of Mine," even "Girl From the North Country"-- I don't feel like they really work without the V-I ending.

Having said that, there are obviously some songs that really, truly ARE songs with just the I and IV chords -- not many, but they are out there, and I like having a little list in my back pocket.

Thanks everyone for your suggestions!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs with I and IV chords only?
From: Terry McDonald
Date: 29 Apr 09 - 06:40 PM

I hear Girl from the North Country as being:

G - Bm - Am7 - G
G - Bm - Am7 - G
G - G - C - G
G - Bm - Am7 - G

But maybe I've slightly changed the melody to suit what I play?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs with I and IV chords only?
From: Eve Goldberg
Date: 30 Apr 09 - 01:02 AM

Well, I got curious, so I looked into it a little bit more, and it appears that Dylan has recorded Girl From the North Country with a few different chord variations.

This page here gives a pretty comprehensive rundown of the different recordings and the chords used. Looks like sometimes he uses the V-I ending and sometimes he doesn't. So I guess it's what you're used to hearing!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs with I and IV chords only?
From: PHJim
Date: 30 Apr 09 - 01:44 PM

Thanks for that Eve. My friend Al and I tried playing that at a house concert in response to a request and it seems that he learned it from the Bob Dylan & Johnny Cash version and I learned it from the Freewheeling version. It was a train wreck for the first verse, then I just followed him.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs with I and IV chords only?
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 30 Apr 09 - 04:22 PM

Hmm! I question the assumption behind this thread. Art songs and pop songs are written with chords, but folk songs fundamentally have only melodies, and it's up to the person providing the accompaniment (if any!) whether to use chords at all (rather than, for instance, unison, a single line harmony or a drone) and if so which chords.

That said, if a tune seems to work well with I and IV but not V, that does say something about the structure of the tune and possibly the mode. This might apply to some of those tunes that seem to imply a particular tonic but end somewhere else (just speculating, without an example in mind).

Richard


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs with I and IV chords only?
From: GUEST
Date: 30 Apr 09 - 04:27 PM

"To sing for you" by Donovan includes a V chord (G). And the fingerpicked "Freewheelin'" version of Girl/North Country begins by going from G to a 3-finger C (sixth string is picked open) position on the third fret. Don't think that is an actual chord, but I watched him play it and that's how I learned it. And the V chord is a D9. As to the original question, I don't know any songs that use just the I and IV chords.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs with I and IV chords only?
From: GUEST, Sminky
Date: 01 May 09 - 08:50 AM

"It Don't Bother Me" by Bert Jansch.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs with I and IV chords only?
From: Sir Roger de Beverley
Date: 01 May 09 - 08:57 AM

I use "Still Got the Fever" by Ian McNabb. It is great for mixed sessions where the players have lots of space to noodle around and there is a really good chorus that the singers can get into.

Also it is great for new players (and even old ones like me) because it only uses G and C.

Roger


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs with I and IV chords only?
From: M.Ted
Date: 01 May 09 - 10:22 AM

Just Richard Mellish said "Art songs and pop songs are written with chords, but folk songs fundamentally have only melodies" which may be true for folk music from certain places,
but there are lots of different musical traditions that are feature a repeating rhythmic chord pattern and feature a soloist or vocalist improvising melody and lyrics above that. Blues is an example, as are island forms like bomba and plena, salsa, montuno, reggae and it's predecessors, soca, calypso, as well as Latin forms like samba.

There are, of course, a lot of different chord patterns, not just I-IV, the La Bamba progression being probably the best known--An interesting thing to make note of is that, because the progressions repeat, they actually have no separate ending, or resolution, and no beginning, or introduction, so they allow the performer a lot of latitude in phrasing.

Another thing is that, though I-IV is pretty straightforward, the I7-IV7 can actually be considered II7-V7 instead. That is to say, you'd be playing a circle of fourths D7-G7 that implies the key of C, and never actually resolving back to the C.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs with I and IV chords only?
From: Nick
Date: 01 May 09 - 01:36 PM

Evangeline on Dreaming Sea - Karen Matheson written by James Grant comes very close. I'm just listening to it (on Youtube) and it is nearly all I and IV to my ears (though it could be a debateable VIm in one bit) and I don't think ever gets to the V.

As an aside it has one of those bits that always makes me smile when, to me, things are just 'right'. At 2:08 on the video there is just a lovely bit of warm harmony singing that just does it for me. At about 2:15 there is a little look on Jerry Douglas's face that suggests I'm not the only one who likes that bit.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs with I and IV chords only?
From: Nick
Date: 01 May 09 - 01:46 PM

Not a folk song but Lesley Duncan's Love Song which was on Elton John's Tumbleweed Connection album only has variants of Im and variants of IV.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs with I and IV chords only?
From: PoppaGator
Date: 01 May 09 - 04:39 PM

"...a 3-finger C (sixth string is picked open) position on the third fret...."

Depending upon which strings are muted/silent, and depending upon one's degree of musical education, that could be nothing more exotic than a D chord (plus a "drone" G note) or an E-minor-9th.

I use that inversion quite often when playing in G; for my money, it's just a slightly-discolored "D." That is, the "V" chord in the key of G.

There may be some truth to the argument that SOME folksongs are pure melodies without chords. However, for many people in the modern world, listeners as well as musicians, some sort of harmonic framework is almost always implied as a matter of instinct.

And, where there are any chord changes at all ~ anywhere except in a round or a John Lee Hooker-style boogie ~ the other chord besides the "I," or one of several additional chords, almost HAS to be a "V," which provides a very basic sound/feeling of "resolution." I would argue that this is the case for both major and minor keys

Some of the songs proposed above as examples of "I and IV only" songs are quite clearly NOT such two-chord songs to my ear. I don't recognize all the itiles that people have mentioned, but among the songs that I do know, very nearly ALL of them go to the V, even if only once at the end of each verse/repitition, and even if most of the composition alternates from I to IV.

If traditional songs can be though not to "have" chords at all, the corrollary would be that there could not possibly be wrong chords ~ that assignment of harmonies is entirely arbitrary. I do not think this is true.

Songs can absolutely be played poorly, using inappropriate chords that fail to make any kind of harmonic sense. We've all heard such playing ~ hell, we've all committed such playing while trying to come up with suitable arrangements. Those who know better, of course, refrain from public performance until having discovered, if not "the" correct chord progression, at least "a" plausible set of chords that works with a melody.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs with I and IV chords only?
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 01 May 09 - 07:23 PM

I stand corrected by M.Ted on my statement that folk songs fundamentally have only melodies. I was essentially referring to the traditions of the British Isles and the continuations of those traditions elsewhere, which account for a lot of the discussions here on Mudcat. But I should have said so. Most of the examples cited above seem to be either from other traditions or what I would regard as composed songs. But this thread isn't the place to branch off into another "what is folk" discussion.

Richard


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs with I and IV chords only?
From: Don Firth
Date: 01 May 09 - 07:56 PM

Whether a song is traditionally sung with an accompaniment or not, all melodies imply chords and can be put to an accompaniment or arranged for musical ensemble (see Vaughan Williams, Delius, others).

The melody dictates the chords, keeping in mind, of course, that there are often choice points where either of two or more chords may appear to be perfectly correct. At these points, the context will usually determine which one to use.

The change from IV to I is called the "plagal cadence" or sometimes the "church cadence," as in the "Amen" at the end of a hymn. The change from V to I, or especially V7 to I, is called the "authentic cadence." It's stronger, and implies a necessity to return to the Tonic (the I chord). The interval of a diminished 5th in the V7 chord is dissonant, and it demands resolution. This is why a V7 is sometimes called the "drop the other shoe" chord.

Don Firth


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs with I and IV chords only?
From: M.Ted
Date: 01 May 09 - 10:07 PM

Just to take Don's point a bit farther, most of western composed melodies, at least up through the beginning of the 20th century, are based on the chordal movement from tonic to dominant and back--or through the circle of fourths, which really is a movement from dominant to tonic through a series of different keys. And many folk melodies are derived from the composed melodies of an earlier time.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs with I and IV chords only?
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 02 May 09 - 05:26 PM

M.Ted points out that "many folk melodies are derived from the composed melodies of an earlier time".

Indeed, but often with changes. While the broadside press played a major part in the transmission of words, tunes were mostly (I say mostly, not exclusively) transmitted by ear.

A person singing without accompaniment is not constrained by implied chords or implied harmonies, or indeed by the original mode. The resulting modified tune might still fit the original chord sequence or it might not. It might "imply" a new sequence of chords to someone accustomed to thinking in such terms (such as Cecil Sharp when he made his piano arrangements) but that implication is in the mind of the arranger, influenced by their musical upbringing, not in the mind of the singer from whom the melody was collected.

You can fit a sequence of chords to a pentatonic melody, but only very rudimentary ones unless you introduce additional notes that are not part of the scale.

Richard


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs with I and IV chords only?
From: PHJim
Date: 19 May 09 - 11:26 AM

We were jammming last night and I just realised that Trouble On My Mind has only the I and IV chord:

Once I had an old banjo,
Head was strung with twine.
Only tune I could play was
Trouble On My Mind, boys,
Trouble On My Mind.

Trouble, trouble,
Trouble On My Mind,
Only tune I could play was
Trouble On My Mind, boys
Trouble On My Mind.

I went down to Lynchberg town
To buy me a bottle of wine.
They tied me to the whipping post
And give me ninety-nine, boys,
Give me ninety-nine

I went back to Lynchberg Town
To buy me a bottle of gin.
They tied me to the whipping post
And give me hell again, boys,
Give me hell again.

Raining, hailing,
Falling from the skies.
My true love's gone back on me,
Surely I will die, boys,
Surely I will die.

Once I had an old banjo,
Head was strung with twine.
Only tune I could play was
Trouble On My Mind, boys,
Trouble On My Mind.

I learned it from a Michael Cooney recording that I borrowed from a friend about twenty years ago and have since returned. I think it was called Singer Of Old Songs.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs with I and IV chords only?
From: PHJim
Date: 19 May 09 - 11:29 AM

Sorry, the verse that says:

Trouble, trouble,
Trouble On My Mind,
Only tune I could play was
Trouble On My Mind, boys
Trouble On My Mind.

should be:

Trouble, trouble,
Trouble On My Mind,
If trouble don't kill me boys
I'll live a long, long time, boys
Live a long, long time.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs with I and IV chords only?
From: PHJim
Date: 19 May 09 - 11:39 AM

I just found an earlier thread with some other lyrics suggested by Art Theime:
http://www.mudcat.org/Detail.CFM?messages__Message_ID=45891


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs with I and IV chords only?
From: Terry McDonald
Date: 29 Jul 09 - 01:28 PM

'Rosie Anderson' - just been playing and singing it and suddenly realised there's no dominant in it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs with I and IV chords only?
From: Eve Goldberg
Date: 29 Jul 09 - 06:30 PM

And I just recently realized that "Green Green Rocky Road" only uses the I and IV chords.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs with I and IV chords only?
From: GUEST,lefthanded guitar
Date: 29 Jul 09 - 06:47 PM

Joshua Gone Barbados, a haunting song about political corruption, has two chords. First learned it from a Tom Rush album, but not sure who the writer is.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs with I and IV chords only?
From: PHJim
Date: 30 Jul 09 - 01:51 PM

I think Joshua Gone... was written by Eric Von Schmidt.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs with I and IV chords only?
From: Eve Goldberg
Date: 30 Jul 09 - 11:20 PM

Here's a link to a thread about Joshua Gone Barbados.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs with I and IV chords only?
From: GUEST,Yanai Morris
Date: 11 Apr 11 - 06:59 AM

My favourite I IV song is "Heroin" by The Velvet Underground. It amazed me how interesting the song was with just the 2 chords repeating for the whole entire song. The tempo changes is the one of the things that gives the song its power.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs with I and IV chords only?
From: Stringsinger
Date: 11 Apr 11 - 12:57 PM

Buffalo Springfield - For What It's Worth (Monterey 1967)

Can be done with I and IV.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs with I and IV chords only?
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Apr 12 - 02:39 AM

Just My Imagination


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs with I and IV chords only?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 26 Apr 12 - 04:13 AM

think divergently

start with the F
then play the c

then you can play the I and V songs in the key of F

weird stuff if you can do the barre F, why wouldn't you be able to do the G7?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs with I and IV chords only?
From: Ross
Date: 26 Apr 12 - 04:48 AM

With God On Our Side by Dylan can be done with two chords

Great lyrics - I heard it when I was 7 - cover version by Manfred Mann and it captured my landscape of the sixties

War & the wild west; and should it be questionerd


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs with I and IV chords only?
From: GUEST,bzribee
Date: 17 Jan 14 - 12:16 AM

A reason I looked for this list of songs is related to what Big Aj Whittle said two posts above--I teach beginners and use I, V chords for guitar--there are TONS of songs to get started with. But when I started to teach ukulele, I prefer to teach the C chord first and the F chord second. Since there are so few I IV songs, I either have the students tap the uke in place of the V chord, or I flip to the key of F and we play all the same I, V songs but using F, C. then I teach the G7 and we're back to another gazillion songs....

Thanks for the thread. It's basically reinforced that I stay in F 'til students are comfortable. And I can't use "Trouble, Trouble on my Mind" with little kids. I"m going to learn it, though.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs with I and IV chords only?
From: Gary T
Date: 17 Jan 14 - 12:34 AM

Wild Mountain Thyme (Go Lassie Go) uses only I and IV chords.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs with I and IV chords only?
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Jan 14 - 06:08 AM

Wild Mountain Thyme uses only I and IV chords

Apart from the minor II and III, of course...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs with I and IV chords only?
From: Phil Cooper
Date: 17 Jan 14 - 08:41 AM

Guy Davis' song Hooking Bull at the Landing is a two chord I and IV song. As Eve said way at the top, the number of chords has nothing to do with how good a song is. I know a few songs where you can get away with one chord. To quote the late Lou Reed, one chord is fine, two is all right, three, you're venturing into jazz.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs with I and IV chords only?
From: GUEST,Stew
Date: 17 Jan 14 - 08:46 AM

Angeline Baker


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs with I and IV chords only?
From: GUEST,Sarah T
Date: 21 Jan 14 - 11:02 PM

Hi all, long-time Mudcat reader but very rarely post anything. I read this thread last week and then tonight while playing bedtime songs for my mother I realized I had a I/IV song -- California Joe, as recorded by Jim Ringer. In the key of G, G and C are all you need. The song is in the DT and there are multiple threads about it.
--Sarah


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs with I and IV chords only?
From: GUEST,Joyce
Date: 20 Aug 14 - 08:42 AM

I teach Intro with a focus on 2 - chord cadence songs and am looking for I-IV-I progression songs also. Simplified version of Imagine uses C - F repeatedly, but begs for the G7 - C at the end. So, I simply point out that the main progression is the IV I cadence until the final and stronger resolution of V7 - I.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs with I and IV chords only?
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 21 Aug 14 - 12:45 AM

Going Up on the Mountain 1/4 generally G/C


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Songs with I and IV chords only?
From: kendall
Date: 21 Aug 14 - 06:24 AM

One of the first songs I learned was: "The convict and the rose." two chords.Within my prison cell so dreary, alone I sit with weary heart, I'm thinking 'bout my lonely darlin', from her for ever I must part...

And there's "Colin man." 1, 2, 3, 4, Colin man he come, 1, 2, 3, 4, Colin man he come, 1, 2, 3, 4, Colin man he come and his watch and chain hit the belly bum bum bum.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 16 August 1:52 PM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.