Arthur’s Theme chords by Christopher Cross


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Arthur’s Theme | Chords + Lyrics


Intro

| Dm7 G | C Fmaj13 |
| Bb E7 | Asus4 A Asus2 A |

Verse 1

| Dm7 G | C Fmaj13 |
Once in your life you find her, someone that turns your heart around,
| Bb E7 | Asus4 A 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 | Asus4 A Asus2 A |
wondering to yourself, “Hey, what have I found?”

Chorus 1

| Dmaj7 (Dmaj7#11) | Asus2 A |
When you get caught between the moon and New York City.
| (Bsus2) Bm Bsus2 | Asus2 C#m7 |
I know it’s crazy, but it’s true.
| Dmaj7 (Dmaj7#11) | C#m7 F#7 |
If you get caught between the moon and New York City.
| Bm (Bsus2) | Bm (Bsus2) | Asus2 A |
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 | Asus4 A 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 | Asus4 A Asus2 A |
laughing about the way they want him to be.

Chorus 2

| Dmaj7 (Dmaj7#11) | Asus2 A |
When you get caught between the moon and New York City.
| (Bsus2) Bm Bsus2 | Asus2 C#m7 |
I know it’s crazy, but it’s true.
| Dmaj7 (Dmaj7#11) | C#m7 F#7 |
If you get caught between the moon and New York City.
| Bm (Bsus2) | Bm (Bsus2) | Asus2 A |
The best that you can do, the best that you can do, is fall in love.

Solo

||: Dm7 G | C Fmaj13 |
| Bb E7 | Asus4 A Asus2 A :||

Chorus 3

| Dmaj7 Dmaj7#11 Dmaj7 | A |
When you get caught between the moon and New York City.
| (Bsus2) Bm Bsus2 | Asus2 C#m7 |
I know it’s crazy, but it’s true.
| Dmaj7 (Dmaj7#11) | C#m7 F#7 |
If you get caught between the moon and New York City.
| Bm (Bsus2) | Bm (Bsus2) |
The best that you can do, the best that you can do, is fall in love.

Chorus 4

| Dmaj7 Dmaj7#11 Dmaj7 | A |
When you get caught between the moon and New York City.
| (Bsus2) Bm Bsus2 | Asus2 C#m7 |
I know it’s crazy, but it’s true.
| Dmaj7 (Dmaj7#11) | C#m7 F#7 |
If you get caught between the moon and New York City.
| Bm (Bsus2) | Bm (Bsus2) | Asus2 A |
The best that you can do, the best that you can do, is fall in love.



Arthur’s Theme Chords: Learn the progressions!


Arthur's Theme Guitar Lesson with TAB T

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

Starting on the II chord of C major, we move II – V – I – IV. Translated to the chords of C major this reads:

| Dm7 (II) G (V) | C (I) Fmaj13 (IV) |

Playing this on just one guitar, imitating that piano part took me a while to work out, here’s what I came up with for these first four chords.

Arthur's Theme chords and TAB, verse first four chords.

Next, 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 a #4th.

This final E chord is what takes us to that A major chord. 

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 repeat the verse and go back to Dm, the cycle is complete. Here are all of Artur’s Theme’s verse chords (members get TAB!):

||: Dm7 (II) G (V) | C (I) Fmaj13 (IV) |
| Bb (bVIIx) E7 (IIIx) | Asus4 (VI) A Asus2 A :||

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, Fly Me To The Moon by Frank Sinatra, 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 chorus chords stay in the key of A and go to chord IV. We know this as the chord is a Dmaj7#11, only chord IV has a #11.

Here is the full chorus progression:

| Dmaj7 (IV) (Dmaj7#11) | A (I) |
| (Bsus2) (II) Bm Bsus2 |1. Asus2 C#m7 (III) :||2. Asus2 A |

Members get TAB for this section as well, here’s a link to the complete lesson (members only): Arthur’s Theme – Guitar lesson with TAB.

Become a member today and get unlimited access to all step-by-step guitar coursesTAB for the songbook, the Self-Eliminating Practice Routine, and the eBook Spytunes Method.

Co-written with Burt Bacharach for a film!

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

Writing Arthur’s Theme’s chords 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, Carole Bayer Sager, and Peter Allen.

Written for the movie Arthur which starred Dudley Moore and Liza Minelli. The song manages the almost impossible when it captures the emotion of the entire film.

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

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



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About me

About Me Dan Lundholm T

This article was written by Dan Lundholm, Spytunes guitar guru. Discover more about him and how learning guitar with Spytunes has evolved.

Most importantly, find out why you should learn guitar through playing tunes, not practising scales, and studying theory in isolation.


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