Song: Not Given Lightly

Artist: Chris Knox

Songwriter: Chris Knox

Album: Seizure

Release date: 1989

Genre: Pop

Key: B Major

Chords in Key:















Not Given Lightly is written for vocals, guitar, bass, percussion and drums. It is in six eight meter. The guitar parts build throughout the song, adding layers and complexity to the strumming pattern, giving a relatively simple song a feeling of continuously evolving over time, like a song-long crescendo.

Intro/ Verse

The song begins with percussion, finger clicks and a drum machine, all emphasising the six eight feel of the song. The guitar enters playing palm muted chords in a quaver pattern. After this pattern has repeated twice, the vocals enter and the guitar strum opens up more, adding an accent on every fourth quaver beat of the bar. This is elaborated on further through the verse, adding a slow downwards strum through beats 1-3 of each bar, giving an arpeggio-like effect which is carried into the chorus. A careful listen also reveals several guitars being layered into the sound as the verse progresses. The verse chord progression ends on the dominant, creating an authentic cadence each time the progression repeats. 


The chorus adds backing vocals and harmonies which have a lot of reverb, to give an ethereal quality. The chord pattern descends backwards through the B Major scale, but with the mixture chord. In the second chorus, the guitar strum becomes more vigorous, using dynamics to vary elements in the song to keep the song from becoming repetitive.

Post Chorus

The post chorus feels like it modulates to the key of C# Minor, however it plays an E chord, the natural subdominant in B Major, meaning it has not changed key, or could be interpreted as using C# Dorian.



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