[Smt-talk] Pieces contrary to the minor/major = sad/non-sad stereotype

Reed,Smith Alexander alexreed at ufl.edu
Thu Oct 1 16:41:02 PDT 2009

Dear All:

When introducing the idea of relative major and minor keys to my 
first-year theory students, I like to play them "There is a Light 
that Never Goes Out" by The Smiths.  The verses, in minor, have 
lyrics like,

"Take me out tonight because I want to see people who are young 
and alive... I never want to go home"

and then the chorus kicks up to the relative major with the 
unforgettable lyric:

"And if a double decker bus crashes into us
To die by your side is such a heavenly way to die
And if a ten ton truck kills the both of us
To die by your side, well the pleasure, the privilege is mine"

It's certainly a macabre little ditty, and it definitely shows the 
songwriters' awareness of (and their play with) the major/minor 

S. Alexander Reed, Ph.D.
The University of Florida

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