Lionel Richie’s Circle of Fifths

Who is Lionel Richie, you ask?  Well my friend, you should be shot.

What is a circle of fifths, you ask?  Okay I’ll explain that one.  A circle of fifths is a chord progression in music where each chord in the sequence is a fifth apart.  As an example a circle of fifths starting on C would read something like this:


Each chord is a fifth apart (5 notes in it’s scale) away from the next, and eventually you wind up back at C, hence the cirle.

Anyway, a friend of mine who teaches music at a highschool said on a recent test (which was written by some group) that he gave his students, it cited Lionel Richie’s “Hello” as the perfect example.  And they are right.  Only this one goes backwards.. D-G-C-F-Bb-E  (although it should be Eb for a pure circle, but it had to also make sense and not sound like crap).

Here is a piano tab of “Hello” for the section in question.  Some of the chords are major, some minor, but it sure as heck is a circle of fifths.

Here is a sound clip of the section in question: Boo wordpress….  See the music video at bottom.

D                     G6         C                           F
I can see it in your eyes, I can see it in your smile
Bb              E                       Am         E7/B     Am/C
You’re all I’ve ever wanted and my arms are open wide
D                              G6           C                             F
Cause you know just what to say and you know just what to do
Bb                     Am/E    E            Am   G6
And I want to tell you so much, I love you.

Just thought this might be interesting to some people.


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