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June 21, 2011 / John Sieger

I Can Never Say No

Click: I Can Never Say No

In a game of hide your influences, I am the big loser today. The chord progression to this song may be the most direct tribute to The Band and The Beatles I have ever put together. The first part of the verse is all Robbie Robertson, who was schooled by Garth Hudson in all things harmonic. One condition Hudson’s parents demanded before he could tour with Ronnie Hawkins and The Hawks, was that he would give all of them music lessons. I think it paid off. The thing I love to steal from these guys is called a 6/4 chord in music theory. All it means is that the D chord that starts the song, doesn’t not have a D note at the very bottom, but an A. It’s a stately unbalanced chord that demands resolution or movement or something. It’s what jazzers call a tension chord, very high maintenance. At the end of the verse there is a series of chords starting on the relative minor that The Beatles used so often they should have had a trademark on them. I like to steal from the best. The lyrics I have no excuse for, but I must say, what sounds like a double negative really isn’t. I’m positive.

© 2011 John Sieger


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