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Connect The Chords: Only The Lonely

Posted on: October 26th, 2011 by dville
Welcome to another edition of Connect The Chords!  In this episode we’ll break down Roy Orbison’s 1960 classic Only The Lonely.   Your job is to listen to the song a time or two making note of where in the lyrics the chord changes.
Only The Lonely
 Roy Orbison and Joe Melson

When trying to figure out the chords in a song, first determine the key, in this case F, and write out the cho
rds associated with that key.

Key of F:  I-F Major  ii-G minor  iii-A minor  IV-Bb Major V-C Major (C7)  vi-D minor  vii-E dim
Most pop songs will start on the I which is where the intro to Only The Lonely starts.  You’ll notice I’m also using the numbers of each chord of the scale instead of the letter names which makes it easy to later transpose the song into a different key if we want.  I’ll list the chord progression to each part of the song below.  You simply put the chords in the right spot.
Intro:
I-ii-IV-V7-I
Dum-dum-dum-dumby-doo-wah
Ooh-yay-yay-yay yeah

Oh-oh-oh oh-wah
Only the lonely only the lonely.

Verse 1:
I-ii-V7-IV-I

Only the lonely (dum-dum-dum-dumby-doo-wah)
Know the way I feel tonight (ooh-yay-yay-yay-yeah)
Only the lonely (dum-dum-dum-dumby-doo-wah)
Know this feelin’ ain’t right (dum-dum-dum-dumby-doo-wah)

Bridge:
I-I7-IV-II7-V7
There goes my baby, there goes my heart
They’re gone forever, so far apart
I-IV-V7-I

But only the lonely, know why, I cry
Only the lonely [repeat intro]

Verse 2:
I-ii-V7-IV-I

Only the lonely (dum-dum-dum-dumby-doo-wah)
Know the heartaches I’ve been through (ooh-yay-yay-yay-yeah)
Only the lonely, (dum-dum-dum-dumby-doo-wah)
know I cried and cried for you (dum-dum-dum-dumby-doo-wah)

Bridge:
I-I7-IV-II7-V7

Maybe tomorrow, a new romance
No more sorrow, but that’s the chance

No Chord IV-V7-I

You gotta take, if your lonely heart breaks
Only the lonely (dum-dum-dum-dumby-doo-wah)

This is the way I memorize songs, by numbering the chord sequence, then putting the sequence in my head musically.  Only The Lonely is basically a I-IV-V7 song with some fun variations like the use of the ii and II7.  Enjoy learning it, by ear!
The lyrics to this song are posted for educational purposes only.
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