[Smt-talk] Joni Mitchell's "Amelia"

Chris Bonds chbonds1 at willy.wsc.edu
Tue Jun 17 10:01:54 PDT 2014

I've been reading the comments about songs that modulate 3 or more 
times. It reminds me that Joni Mitchell's "Amelia" has always puzzled 
me. It seems to vacillate between two keys, although I have decided that 
if I had to say what key it is in, it would be F. The problem is that 
each new stanza begins on a G chord, which sounds like a tonic, at least 
momentarily (since the next chord is B flat). Also, there are some 
chords that aren't clearly defined, due either to being incomplete, 
transient, or obscured by non-chord tones and absence of bass.

I'd be interested if anyone else has had a similar experience with this 
song, which I think is one of her best.

Christopher Bonds
Wayne State College, Emeritus

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