Arthur’s Theme chords by Christopher Cross


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Arthur’s Theme chords and lyrics

Intro

| Dm7 G7 | C Fmaj13 |
| Bb E7 | Aadd4 Asus2 A |

Verse 1

| Dm7 G | C Fmaj13 |
Once in your life you find her, someone that turns your heart around,
| Bb E7 | Aadd4 Asus2 A |
and next thing you know you’re closing down the town.
| Dm7 G | C Fmaj13 |
Wake up and it’s still with you, even though you left her way across town,
| Bb E7 | Aadd4 Asus2 A |
wondering to yourself, “Hey, what have I found?”

Chorus 1

| Dmaj7 Dma7#11 Dmaj7 | A |
When you get caught between the moon and New York City.
| Bsus2 Bm Bsus2 Bm | Asus2 C#m |
I know it’s crazy, but it’s true.
| Dmaj7 Dma7#11 Dmaj7 | A C#7sus4 C#m |
If you get caught between the moon and New York City.
| Bm Bm11 Bm | Bm Bm11 Bm Bsus2 | Aadd9 |
The best that you can do, the best that you can do, is fall in love.

Verse 2

| Dm7 G | C Fmaj13 |
Arthur, he does as he pleases, all of his life, he’s mastered choice.
| Bb E7 | Aadd4 Asus2 A |
Deep in his heart, he’s just, he’s just a boy.
| Dm7 G | C Fmaj13 |
Living his life one day at a time and showing himself a really good time,
| Bb E7 | Aadd4 Asus2 A |
laughing about the way they want him to be.
| Dmaj7 Dma7#11 Dmaj7 | A |

Chorus 2

When you get caught between the moon and New York City.
| Bsus2 Bm Bsus2 Bm | Asus2 C#m |
I know it’s crazy, but it’s true.
| Dmaj7 Dma7#11 Dmaj7 | A C#7sus4 C#m |
If you get caught between the moon and New York City.
| Bm Bm11 Bm | Bm Bm11 Bm Bsus2 | Aadd9 |
The best that you can do, the best that you can do, is fall in love.

Solo

| Dm7 G7 | C Fmaj13 |
| Bb E7 | Aadd4 Asus2 A |
| Dm7 G7 | C Fmaj13 |
| Bb E7 | Aadd4 Asus2 A |

Chorus 3

| Dmaj7 Dma7#11 Dmaj7 | A |
When you get caught between the moon and New York City.
| Bsus2 Bm Bsus2 Bm | Asus2 C#m |
I know it’s crazy, but it’s true.
| Dmaj7 Dma7#11 Dmaj7 | A C#7sus4 C#m |
If you get caught between the moon and New York City.
| Bm Bm11 Bm | Bm Bm11 Bm Bsus2 |
The best that you can do, the best that you can do, is fall in love.

Chorus 4

| Dmaj7 Dma7#11 Dmaj7 | A |
When you get caught between the moon and New York City.
| Bsus2 Bm Bsus2 Bm | Asus2 C#m |
I know it’s crazy, but it’s true.
| Dmaj7 Dma7#11 Dmaj7 | A C#7sus4 C#m |
If you get caught between the moon and New York City.
| Bm Bm11 Bm | Bm Bm11 Bm Bsus2 | Aadd9 |
The best that you can do, the best that you can do, is fall in love.


Arthur’s Theme chords and progressions

The genius chord progression of Arthur’s Theme takes you from C major to A major, using the cycle of 4th. here’s how it’s done:

By starting on the II chord of C major we move II – V – I – IV. Translated to the chords from C major this reads DmGCF.

At this point in the progression, we move outside the key as the cycle continues to a Bb (chord bVIIx), followed by an E (chord IIIx). Even this last move from Bb to E is a 4th, although this is a #4th.

This final E chord is now a transitional chord that takes us to A major. Since we have had such a long cycle of 4th it doesn’t feel like we are at home here, on the contrary, the A feels as if it wants to move on up yet another 4th.

When we go back to Dm, the cycle is complete and the verse progression can start again.

That’s one seriously long series of up a 4th movements!

On my top 10 chord progression list, we find this movement at #10 as a VI – II, at #4 as a II – V, and at #1 as a I – IV. We just love hearing that “up a 4th” movement and Arthur’s Theme is one of the best examples of it.

Other songs that use this concept are I Will Survive by Gloria Gaynor, Parisienne Walkways, and Still Got The Blues by Gary Moore.

Perhaps most famously, we find this continuous up a 4th movement in the jazz standard Autumn Leaves.


Arthur’s Theme uses Lydian

The chorus starts on the IV chord (Lydian) of A major, a Dmaj7. This gives us yet another push, a 4th up, which allows the chorus to really take off.

During the chorus, we also see a III chord which has been modified into a 7sus4. This means the chord is neither major nor minor and the mystery remains of where we are in the key.

As the chorus ends on an A, we are perfectly set up to move back to the II chord of C major again.

Writing a chord progression like the one in Arthur’s Theme requires you to have some serious knowledge about key signatures and modes. It is perhaps no surprise that the man behind this is not just Christopher Cross alone, but also Burt Bacharach.


Sax solos on the guitar

Arthur’s Theme (The Best That You Can Do) is a song written by Christopher Cross, whose music was once labeled under the slightly awkwardly named genre of Yacht Rock.

Beneath the huge and very expensive-sounding production of the original recording, hides the simple chord progression idea of moving up a 4th from every chord.

The video lesson contains an electric guitar solo. This was originally played on saxophone. Learning solos played on instruments other than the guitar is a great idea as you’ll learn new ways to phrase.

Another song with an epic saxophone solo that we learned in the electric guitar course is the legendary Respect by Aretha Franklin.


Co-written with Burt Bacharach

Christopher Cross wrote Arthur’s Theme (The Best That You Can Do) for the motion picture Arthur which starred Dudley Moore and Liza Minelli.

The song manages the almost impossible when it captures the emotion of the entire film. Arthur’s Theme was co-written with Burt Bacharach, Carole Bayer Sager, and Peter Allen.

Christopher Cross managed to collect the “Big Four” at the Grammy Awards when he won 5 Awards for his debut album Cristopher Cross in 1981, including Best Record, Song, Album, and New Artist.

Only Norah Jones has managed this as a solo artist since.


Arthurs Theme | Related pages


Burt Bacharach

One of the most important composers of the last century, Burt Bacharach’s songs have been recorded by over 1000 artists.

Unforgettable hits include Close To You, Walk On By, Arthur’s Theme, That’s What Friends Are For, What The World Needs Now, and I Say A Little Prayer.

Go to Burt Bacharach.


Christopher Cross

Christopher Cross wrote Arthur’s Theme (The Best That You Can Do) for the motion picture Arthur which starred Dudley Moore and Liza Minelli.

Managing the almost impossible, the song tells the story of the film in less than four minutes.

Go to Christopher Cross.


Discontinued

Over the years, Spytunes have recorded many songs, some of these used to be in eBooks and courses but for one reason or another have been discontinued.

Since they have video guitar lessons, I’ve kept these and added chords and lyrics.

Go to Discontinued.


Song Book

As a guitarist, a repertoire is the greatest asset you can acquire. It is your ticket to playing with other musicians.

To help you on this journey, I’ve gathered tunes I play with acoustic duos, Jazz trios, Indie/Rock/Party bands as well as large Soul/Motown ensembles.

Go to Song Book.


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Studying great songs is the best way for a musician to develop, we believe displaying chords and lyrics falls under “fair use in education”.

If you are the copyright holder and do not wish to be represented in this way, or want to comment on anything in these lessons, do reach out.

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