Notes On: Things I Used to Know Pt. 2
Let’s wrap this sucker up with a look at the key-changing solo section and the bridge.
The solo barges in unannounced after the 8th measure of Verse 3 with a sudden key change to the parallel minor. Although the F minor chord appears in the 2nd measure, it doesn’t really sound like “home” until the 9th measure, when it follows its dominant. We end on the dominant as well, which serves as the pivot for the transition back to F major in the next section.
Chords: |Ab |Ab |Fm |Fm | F minor: |III |III |i |i | Chords: |Gm7b5 |Gm7b5 |C |C7 | F minor: |ii |ii |V |V7 | Chords: |Fm |Fm |Ab |Ab | F minor: |i |i |III |III | Chords: |Gm7b5 |Gm7b5 |C |C7 | F minor: |ii |ii |V |V |
The bridge begins starkly, with a pizzicato violin melody accompanied by vibraphones. Vocals, guitars, bass, violin, cello, trombone, and trumpet eventually join in as the progression repeats several times. The chords are taken entirely from F major with two exceptions in measures 2 and 7. The F#dim7 chord is used here exactly as it was in the bridge of Life On Mars — as a connector between the F and Gm chords, creating a smooth chromatic bassline. Another use of this same progression that comes to mind is the beginning of the verse in “Till There Was You” from The Music Man, which The Beatles recorded. The Gm7b5, aka “G half-diminished” chord in measure 7 is taken from F minor.
Chords: |F |F#dim7 |Gm7 |C7 | F major: |I |vii/ii |ii |V | Chords: |Dm |Bb |Gm7b5 |C7 | F major: |vi |IV |ii |V |