…Hall & Oates leave us wondering where our third is.
Here’s a song with what I consider to be simple but high-quality non-diatonic chords:
Let’s start with the chorus, because it’s easier:
Because your [C]kiss, your kiss, is on my list Because your [Eb]kiss, your kiss, is on my list Because your [F]kiss is on my list, of the best things in [C]life
This is clearly in C, so it’s I bIII IV I. Something simple I can get behind.
Here’s the verse:
My [Cm]friends wonder why I call you all of the time What can I [Fm]say I [Ab]don't feel the need To [Bb]give such secrets a[C]way
This verse seems to start in C minor and end in C major! I think a while ago I wrote something about songs that exist somewhere in between a major key and its relative minor (like the verses of One Headlight, or Just What I Needed), but the verse of Kiss on My List exists somewhere between a major and its parallel minor!
I guess you could say the verse is in Cm, and ends with a Picardy third. But then there would be a key change, and I’m reluctant to call the transition from verse to chorus a key change. Alternatively, you could say the verse is in C, but the C major chord is jarring enough that I’m reluctant to call it the tonic.
I guess harmony is something that defies strict classification.
One could also consider the bIII, bVI, and bVII chords (my favorite ones) as coming from the parallel minor of a major key, so maybe this isn’t as interesting as I first thought. But actually playing the minor i seems less common.
Unfortunately, the instrumental guitar part later in the song is terrible.