The NFL Rocks (a little less) on NBC

…and how the Sunday Night Football music failed to move the chains this year.

From: Dan

To: Ian

Ian, I’m sure you know this, because I know you totally give a crap about football… but for ~3 years the “Sunday Night Football” theme has been a cover of “I Hate Myself for Loving You”, with Faith Hill singing about football. Chords the same as the original, just up a half-step. I IV V in the verse (the same cool three-bar phrase as in the original), I IV V I in the chorus.

[F]                                          
Hey jack it's a fact the show's back in town,
[Bb] 
Cowboys and the Jets slugging pound for pound
    [C]                                         
The stadium's rocking, let's crank up the sound
[no fourth bar in the phrase, like the original, which is cool]

This year Faith Hill was replaced with Carrie Underwood, and for reasons I don’t understand, they changed the chords to always be a four-bar phrase by having her say “yeah” a little extra, then they changed the chords to I IV vi bVII. I’m writing the chords here in F for comparison, although this year it’s in F#.

[F]                                           
Hey jack it's a fact the show's back in town, 
    [Bb]
the Giants and and the Boys are about to throw down
    [Dm]
The stadium's rocking, time to crank up the sound
[Eb]  [Bb]
Oooh, yea, totally unnecessary fourth bar, yeah-e-yeah
2012
2013

The change to the chorus was only slightly less disastrous, because there was no interesting three-bar phrase to remove. But they still changed the chords the same way...

          [F]                               
I've been waiting all day for Sunday night, 
[Bb]
Get on your feet for a star-spangled fight
[C]                                                        
More than a game, it's every fan's right, that's why we're 
[F]
Waiting all day for Sunday Night
          [F]                               
I've been waiting all day for Sunday night, 
[Bb]
get on your feet for a star-spangled fight
[Dm]
More than a game, it's every fan's right, that's why we're
[Eb]                [Bb]
Waiting all day for Sunday Night

Ian, I'm curious how you feel about this, since I know you like this song, and I know you like bVII's, but there's a right answer here, and it doesn't involve saying that the bVII is enough to carry the 2013 version. If you have anything positive to say about the 2013 version, first make sure you listen to the modified pre-chorus:

    [Ab]            [Bb]
The NFL's best have come to play
[Ab]                         [Bb]
Coast to coast, there's just one thing left to
[C]
Say-y-ay-y-ay
    [Gm]            [Bb]
The NFL's best have come to play
[Gm]                         [Bb]
Coast to coast, there's just one thing left to
[C]
Say-y-ay-y-ay

And then there's this:


From: Ian

To: Dan

You're right, the 2012 version is clearly better. But I wouldn't blame the bVII. I'd say the fault lies with the awful vi chord. Try to imagine it as I IV V bVII, it doesn't seem like it would be that bad.

2 thoughts on “The NFL Rocks (a little less) on NBC

  1. Nate

    That vi chord in the verse is almost laughable. It doesn’t fit well with blues. Why on earth did they change it?

    Reply
  2. dmorris Post author

    I agree… I also find it fascinating that the popular response was one of “we liked Faith Hill’s performance a little better” [the 2012 version], but I wonder how much of that was really the fact that the chords are different, and IMO the instrumentation is a little less rock-and-roll. Default behavior is to attribute this to the change in singers; I find it fascinating how much subtle changes in instrumentation can affect the typical listener’s perception of the vocal performance.

    Reply

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