I remember hearing this growing up, and assuming it was about a homeless person or tramp or some such – but I recently read that it was probably about John Lennon himself, and the emptiness that he was feeling – sobering stuff.
When I came out to write with him the next day, he was kipping on the couch, very bleary-eyed. It was really an anti-John song. He told me later, he didn’t tell me then, he said he’d written it about himself, feeling like he wasn’t going anywhere. I think it was actually about the state of his marriage. It was in a period where he was a bit dissatisfied with what was going on; however, it led to a very good song. He treated it as a third-person song, but he was clever enough to say, ‘Isn’t he a bit like you and me?’ – ‘Me’ being the final word.
Paul McCartney Many Years From Now, Barry Miles
Anyhow, it’s a cracker of a song if you have a penchant for melancholic pop (like me)…
You’ll need three major chords (G, C and D), and three minor chords (Am, Bm and Cm) – and the Bm and Cm chords could be a stretch if you’ve not encountered them before – but be adventurous! You can also change the C’s to Cadd9 and the D’s to Dadd4 for a little extra sparkle…
If you’re like me then the words ‘Mamma Mia’ conjure up images of Queen and Bohemian Rhapsody, rather than musical theatre and Scandi-Pop – but I can dip my toes in the world of well-crafted pop music that is Abba. I taught myself this song just to include in fireside sing-a-longs – but then realised that it’s really an excellently written slice of pop music.
To play the verse you’ll only really need three chords, (C, F and G in this case) – but then the chorus goes through all the minor chords in our key as well (Am, Em, and Dm) along with some brief snippets of Bb, borrowed from the subdominant key – add to this the augmented chords in the intro, and the tasty lead guitar licks scattered around, and you’ve got an interesting song for players of all levels.