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Songs in minor key that aren't sad?

GUEST 23 Sep 14 - 05:42 AM
Leadfingers 23 Sep 14 - 06:01 AM
Big Al Whittle 23 Sep 14 - 06:05 AM
Jack Campin 23 Sep 14 - 06:15 AM
Jason Xion Wang 23 Sep 14 - 06:22 AM
Sir Roger de Beverley 23 Sep 14 - 06:42 AM
Jason Xion Wang 23 Sep 14 - 06:46 AM
GUEST,twerp 23 Sep 14 - 07:05 AM
Black belt caterpillar wrestler 23 Sep 14 - 07:16 AM
Tootler 23 Sep 14 - 07:41 AM
GUEST,vectis 23 Sep 14 - 07:43 AM
Brian Peters 23 Sep 14 - 08:00 AM
cooperman 23 Sep 14 - 08:48 AM
GUEST 23 Sep 14 - 11:47 AM
Steve Gardham 23 Sep 14 - 12:33 PM
Big Al Whittle 23 Sep 14 - 12:53 PM
Brian Peters 23 Sep 14 - 12:56 PM
Steve Gardham 23 Sep 14 - 12:58 PM
Tattie Bogle 23 Sep 14 - 01:45 PM
GUEST 23 Sep 14 - 04:01 PM
GUEST 23 Sep 14 - 04:21 PM
Seamus Kennedy 23 Sep 14 - 04:33 PM
Thompson 23 Sep 14 - 05:29 PM
GUEST 23 Sep 14 - 08:15 PM
GUEST,Stim 23 Sep 14 - 08:20 PM
GUEST,gillymor 23 Sep 14 - 08:22 PM
GUEST,list 23 Sep 14 - 09:07 PM
Don Firth 23 Sep 14 - 09:17 PM
GUEST 23 Sep 14 - 09:19 PM
Big Al Whittle 23 Sep 14 - 09:44 PM
Big Al Whittle 23 Sep 14 - 10:17 PM
Rumncoke 24 Sep 14 - 06:03 AM
cptsnapper 24 Sep 14 - 06:24 AM
GUEST,Dave Illingworth 24 Sep 14 - 08:32 AM
dick greenhaus 24 Sep 14 - 09:41 AM
GUEST 24 Sep 14 - 11:15 AM
12-stringer 24 Sep 14 - 02:44 PM
GUEST 24 Sep 14 - 04:42 PM
Joe_F 24 Sep 14 - 09:31 PM
LadyJean 25 Sep 14 - 09:23 PM
Jason Xion Wang 26 Sep 14 - 01:29 AM
Big Al Whittle 26 Sep 14 - 03:44 AM
Big Al Whittle 26 Sep 14 - 03:52 AM
GUEST 01 Oct 14 - 06:25 AM
GUEST,Richard Robinson 01 Oct 14 - 07:28 AM
GUEST,Barbara Shaw 01 Oct 14 - 10:57 AM
kendall 01 Oct 14 - 11:31 AM
GUEST,Sonya 01 Oct 14 - 01:26 PM
Joe_F 01 Oct 14 - 04:31 PM
Betsy 01 Oct 14 - 06:41 PM
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Subject: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Sep 14 - 05:42 AM

Songs in minor key are usually sad. So it's really interesting to think about this question: Can you name any song written in minor key, but not sad at all? Can minor key songs be happy, funny or uplifting - anything but sad?

This may be far from folk, but the first to come to my mind is "Beat It" by Michael Jackson.


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 23 Sep 14 - 06:01 AM

Where To Start ! 'The Single Bollinder' -Canal Rewrite of 'Little Chance' is the first one I thought of


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 23 Sep 14 - 06:05 AM

minor keys are sort of schizo phrenic. play them slowly pianistically and you the house of the rising son sort of sound.

strike the guitar briskly and you get a wonderful 'skirl of the pipies' sort of sound - what shall we do with the drunken sailor, marie's wedding, step it out mary, as i roved out on a may morning,

in jazz you get summertime fairly easily, st james infirmary, swing it!

in rock you get sultans of swing, and del shannons runaway - but you need to be able to play barre chords for that last one.


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 23 Sep 14 - 06:15 AM

Eva's Polka


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: Jason Xion Wang
Date: 23 Sep 14 - 06:22 AM

Speak of the funny ones - two of the funniest songs I've ever known are both written in a minor key: Tom Paxton's Ballad of Lorena Bobbitt and Dave Van Ronk's Luang Prabang...

Well, these two songs actually speaks about losing the same thing, and they're both "sad" to some degree.

Jason


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: Sir Roger de Beverley
Date: 23 Sep 14 - 06:42 AM

I don't think that I would class Step it out Mary as a happy song even if the it is uptempo - they both drown at the end!

R


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: Jason Xion Wang
Date: 23 Sep 14 - 06:46 AM

Speak of "Ievan Polkka"... Tom Paxton's song, "Jennifer's Rabbit", has exactly the same chord progression to it. Actually, the melody to "Jennifer's Rabbit" strongly resembles that of "Ievan Polkka". And that song isn't a sad one, too.

I think Tom Paxton wrote quite a few songs in minor key, like "Bobbitt" and "Lyndon Johnson Told the Nation". There are extremely sad ones, though, like "On the Road from Srebrenica", but most are not. On the contrary, most of Tom's sadder songs are in major key, like "Last Thing on My Mind" and "Can't Help But Wonder".

Speak of "Runaway" - doesn't that song switch to a major key in the middle? (From I'm a-walkin' in the rain... to the chorus) I like the Traveling Wilburys' version.

Jason


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: GUEST,twerp
Date: 23 Sep 14 - 07:05 AM

Gold Watch Blues


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: Black belt caterpillar wrestler
Date: 23 Sep 14 - 07:16 AM

As an aside, I was taught at school that major tunes were considered happy and minor tunes sad, but that historically the reverse had been the general opinion. A bit like pink and blue having changed gender since Victorian times!


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: Tootler
Date: 23 Sep 14 - 07:41 AM

Brig Fair and Lovely Joan both have minor mode melodies.


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: GUEST,vectis
Date: 23 Sep 14 - 07:43 AM

Nelly the milkmaid, even if she does end up with a child.


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: Brian Peters
Date: 23 Sep 14 - 08:00 AM

Re Brigg Fair, it's the same tune as The Murder of Maria Martin - which isn't such a jolly tale. Different traditional songs often share the same tune without regard to the sentiment.


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: cooperman
Date: 23 Sep 14 - 08:48 AM

Well pointed out Brian. I remember first time I played Brigg Fair,I looked at the lyrics and thought, wait a minute...this is actually a happy song!


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Sep 14 - 11:47 AM

That "Eva's Polka" is a real delight.

And listening to recordings of Lovely Joan on YouTube led me to discover this young woman who sings it beautifully - Megan Allen.


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 23 Sep 14 - 12:33 PM

The Ghost of Ann Boleyn! The Ying Tong Song intro.


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 23 Sep 14 - 12:53 PM

paint it black by the stones
the letter by the boxtops and joe cocker


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: Brian Peters
Date: 23 Sep 14 - 12:56 PM

Paint it Black isn't sad??


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 23 Sep 14 - 12:58 PM

Cuckoo's Nest


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 23 Sep 14 - 01:45 PM

That "skirl o' the pipes" sound is usually modal rather than minor. Drunken Piper always gets the dancers going when we play it in our ceilidh band.
And what version of Mairi's Wedding do you know? Unequivocally major when I last played it!


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Sep 14 - 04:01 PM

Most Yiddish songs seem to be in a minor key, including the happy ones, such as "Sha! Shtil!" & "Yidl mitn Fidl".


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Sep 14 - 04:21 PM

Assuming you begin in Am you don't need any barre chords to play "Runaway" but you do need an F chord (which some people play as a barre chord). It's a sad song so it doesn't really answer the original question.


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 23 Sep 14 - 04:33 PM

Star Of The County Down.


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: Thompson
Date: 23 Sep 14 - 05:29 PM

All the girls in France
Take their knickers off to dance…


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Sep 14 - 08:15 PM

Ninna, Nanna


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 23 Sep 14 - 08:20 PM

And this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eDSk4zwjg5A


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: GUEST,gillymor
Date: 23 Sep 14 - 08:22 PM

Shady Grove


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: GUEST,list
Date: 23 Sep 14 - 09:07 PM

Beat It
The Single Bollinder
House of the Rising Sun
St. James Infirmary
Sultans of Swing
Eva's Polka
Ballad of Lorena Bobbitt
Luang Prabang
Step it out Mary
Jennifer's Rabbit
Gold Watch Blues
Brigg Fair
Lovely Joan
Nelly the Milkmaid
The Ghost of Ann Boleyn
Ying Tong Song
Cuckoo's Nest
Sha! Shtil!
Yidl mitn Fidl
Star Of The County Down
Ninna, Nanna
Shady Grove


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: Don Firth
Date: 23 Sep 14 - 09:17 PM

????

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Sep 14 - 09:19 PM

A lot of Trinidadian Calypsos are in minor keys, and they're always very happy songs.

And Misirlou, an internationally known and once wildly popular Arabic-flavored Greek love song.


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 23 Sep 14 - 09:44 PM

spancil hill


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 23 Sep 14 - 10:17 PM

or if you want to try something tricky

the rocky road to dublin
the galway races

you'll find them on Dubliners albums


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: Rumncoke
Date: 24 Sep 14 - 06:03 AM

I might be able to help if I knew what a minor key was, but you might as well ask me what colour the music is as what key it is in.

I have tried to understand music theory but it just never 'clicked'.


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: cptsnapper
Date: 24 Sep 14 - 06:24 AM

Nature Boy


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: GUEST,Dave Illingworth
Date: 24 Sep 14 - 08:32 AM

Donald where's your troosers.


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 24 Sep 14 - 09:41 AM

Leather Wing Bat


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Sep 14 - 11:15 AM

The Lark in the Morning.


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: 12-stringer
Date: 24 Sep 14 - 02:44 PM

When It's Chittlin' Cookin' Time in Cheatham County

Nellie Coming Home from the Wake


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Sep 14 - 04:42 PM

Searching for Lambs


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: Joe_F
Date: 24 Sep 14 - 09:31 PM

Something seems to have happened to a lot of people's cookies, including mine. The mention of Yiddish songs was by me.


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: LadyJean
Date: 25 Sep 14 - 09:23 PM

Ca' the Yeowes Frae The Knowes"

The Fairy's Love Song (That Mi Skiddle in Gaelic>)

"Babylon is Fallen"


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: Jason Xion Wang
Date: 26 Sep 14 - 01:29 AM

I think one of the problems is how to define "a song in minor key".

Take the aforementioned "Eva's Polka" for example, the chords to its first verse are "Am - Em - Am - G - Em - Am", and the second verse "C - G - Em - Am - C - G - Em - Am".

So, does it become "a song in major key" if you put the second verse before the first verse? I don't think this is plausible.

Any idea?

Jason


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 26 Sep 14 - 03:44 AM

i don't know the piece, but if the second verse resolves itself on a minor chord, i would say it was. but i take your point.


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 26 Sep 14 - 03:52 AM

yeh that's a minor


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4om1rQKPijI

very nice too!


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Oct 14 - 06:25 AM

Eagles and Horses by John Denver is a real delight, too.


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: GUEST,Richard Robinson
Date: 01 Oct 14 - 07:28 AM

God rest ye merry, Gentlemen


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: GUEST,Barbara Shaw
Date: 01 Oct 14 - 10:57 AM

Hey ho, nobody home.


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: kendall
Date: 01 Oct 14 - 11:31 AM

Lather & shave. Joe Hickerson used to sing this one.


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: GUEST,Sonya
Date: 01 Oct 14 - 01:26 PM

Perhaps
I Will Survive
Dance me to the End of Time


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: Joe_F
Date: 01 Oct 14 - 04:31 PM

Come to think, many Israeli songs (in Hebrew) are in a minor key as well, including happy ones (e.g., Finjan).


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: Betsy
Date: 01 Oct 14 - 06:41 PM

Good question .....someone more eloquent than I, may be able to express it more succinctly , but surely the whole of English-speaking countries, Europe, Scandinavia and Russia heve evolved and developed musical tastes using the Minor as a serious / sad tone - especially classical music.
Incidentally , Big Al says on 23 Sep 14 - 06:05 AM Mhairis's Wedding is Minor - Sorry Al I'm not having THAT - deffo a Major.
Anyway , back to the thread - I would think many of Jake Thackaray's songs would be in the Minor key , and I sing a Benny Hill humourous song in the Minor, and on occasions when I'm in good company (and tiddly) The Kinks' "Lazing on a Sunday afternoon " .
In my formative years, Kenny Ball also played Midnight in Moscow which I thought was sensational.
I suppose McColl gets in the picture with "The very first time I saw you face".
BTW - As I have read most of the above Posts, IMHO "Step it out Mary" is an extemely emotive song, which I adore, but has no place in this thread. When the subject boy and girl drown themselves at the end of the song - I'd say THAT'S fairly sad and doesn't meet the Thread's criteria
That's enough brain-storming from me for now.

Cheers

Betsy


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