One of my favorite songs from Toots and the Maytals.
Ran through it a few times today, loving that sweet bass line.
Kicks off with a little jazzy intro, V minor. (Or call it a V hexachord made of overlapping minor pentatonics on the V and I…)
Main body of the song: The bass phrases use 1-3-2-1 of the I, IV, and V major chords. Give a 4-count to the space each of those phrases fills, call that a bar. You get a 15-bar cycle. The progression goes like this, one chord per bar:
I I I IV IV V V V I I IV IV I V I
So far this is my favorite way to chunk it out, in three groups of five bars, which seems to really fit the way the Maytals swing it:
(I I I – IV IV) (V V V – I I) (IV IV – I V I)
I guess this beautiful 15-bar rhythm helps to build the tension that’s released in the “sweet and dandy” transition. Ditch the IV and bring the song home with repetitions of an 8- or 16-bar form.
16-bar form begins with an extension of the last turn of the 15-bar cycle:
(I I I – IV IV) (V V V – I I) (IV IV – I V I) + I
which sets up the sweet and dandy refrain:
(V V I I) (V V I I) (V V I I) (V V I I)…
Man I love this song.