For You Blue
Composer(s) : Harrison
Chords/Tabs: For You Blue
Notes on "For You Blue" (FYB)
KEY D Major
FORM Intro -> Verse -> Verse ->
Break (Instrumental) -> Break (Instrumental) ->
Verse -> Verse -> Outro (w/complete ending)
GENERAL POINTS OF INTEREST
Style and Form
- "For You Blue" (FYB) qualifies as possibly the most uncomplicated and
straightforward song on the _Let It Be_ album. It's one of the very
few original Beatles songs in which every section is a strict 12-bar
blues frame. And the official version features a relatively tight
performance of a snappy instrumental arrangement for just the Beatles
four that resonates nicely with the unusually unmuddied romantic euphoria
of the lyrics. "Ah, very good that, George."
Melody and Harmony
- The tune is heavily inflected with the blue 3rd and 7th degress,
and it covers a broad range (from f natural to the 'A' a tenth above)
in jumpy style. The characteristic motif of the rising leap of a sixth
(on the words, "love you" in the first phrase ) is followed through by
sixth-spanning triadic leaps in the remaining two phrases.
- The chords, of course, are I, IV, V, plus a cameo appearance in the
intro from V-of-V.
- George is on acoustic guitar, John on slide, Paul on piano, and
Ringo (what else would you expect?) on drums. The setup appears
downright cozy judging from the clip of this song that appears in
- The intro is 6 measures long with plus a 3-beat pickup to the first
|D |G6/3 |E7 |A7 |- |
D: I IV V-of-V V
- The intro is played by George solo. The other instruments all join
him for the start of the first verse.
- The progression of IV to V-to-V is a novel way of exposing what is
otherwise a familiar Beatles cross relation. Hint -- L&M more often
would reverse the order of the two chords; e.g. EDAW
- The body of the song consists of 6 12-bar blues frames. George opts
for the particular variant of this form in which the IV chord breaks
up what is usually an harmonically monotonous first phrase, and V
appears in the final measure all the better to motivate the arrival
of the next section:
|D |G |D |- |
D: I IV I
|G |- |D |- |
|A |G |D |A |
V IV I V
- The penultimate measure of this section incorporates a classic,
chromatically rising bassline line cliche of: D - F# - G - G# - A.
- The back-to-back break sections divide up roughly to feature the slide
guitar and piano, in that order. The slide solo recalls the jumpiness
of the tune without repeating it by rote. The piano solo starts off with
chopping chords in a descending blues scale, but then degenerates into
a less clearly differentiated rhythmic pattern.
- The complete ending is simply tacked on to the end of the final verse.
SOME FINAL THOUGHTS
- Of course there is no recording from the Get Back period that wasn't
tampered with at least slightly in its official release. This one
has John's FBI/pot-smking introductory comment flown in from elsewhere,
and a lead vocal that was overdubbed way the hell later, in January 1970!
- Nor is there any song from the period which did not go through some
alteration and variation in the course of the sessions. Noteworthy
among the FYB outtakes:
- No two runthroughs ever repeat the same apparently spontaneous spoken
commentary heard over the break sessions. The version on the _Get Back_
album even features a verbal silence during the breaks that almost smacks
of a kind of reverence; at least compared with "Go, Johnny Go" and "Mr.
- A couple of examples survive where the music breaks down either during
or immediately following the intro; e.g. "Quiet please!!"
- The otherwise complete alternate on the _Anthology_ sports only
one 12 bar's worth of break.
- A very early and rough performance of the song survives from the
Twickenham sessions, with a different intro, and a condensed form
of Verse -> Break -> Verse -> Break -> Verse. Following the final
chord, the microphones capture John's teasingly simple question to
George, "pretty short, isn't it?"
"Yes, he's filled his head with notions seemingly." 090599#176
Copyright (c) 1999 by Alan W. Pollack
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