Observations of Dirty Old Town by the Pogues
Here we take a look under the hood at some of the interesting dynamics contained within this classic Irish tune…
The introduction is set in the key of D, using the following progression:
D, G. Em, Bm. The progression degrees are I, IV, II, VI
The beginning vocals “I met my love…” transition us to the key of G – the body of the song – with the following supporting progression:
G, C, D, Em. A progression of I, IV, V, VI
The song then changes into the key of C for the solo section
F, G Am A progression of I, IV, V, VI
The relationship of the key changes themselves are observed as D -> G -> C -> G
As a transition observation, the key changes follow this order: D to G; G to C; C to G.
D -> G = I, IV G -> C = I, IV C -> G = I, V
This resides within the I, IV, V – the classic major progression of countless songs.
The Circle of Fifths illustrates the close relationship the chord degrees and key changes have with eachother.
We also see that each family of chords within the keys reside very close to one another on the circle and occupy a little of the other’s space.
As well, the relative minor for each key is also included in the chords (VI).
This relative minor element serves as the catalyst for each key change.
The change to G of from Bm grabs your attention in an agreeable way as we leave the key of D.
From VI to I
The change to C of from Em grabs your attention in an agreeable way as we leave the key of G.
From VI to I
And the change to G from Am grabs your attention in an agreeable way as we leave the key of C.
From VII to I