Billie Jean chords



You can learn how to play Billie Jean by Michael Jackson!

As one of, if not the, most recognizable Michael Jackson tunes we have the legendary Billie Jean.

This is the song Michael introduced the moonwalk to during the 25th anniversary of Motown on May the 16th 1983, a moment that is said to have changed modern dance history.

The live TV show was watched by 47 million people, collectively having their minds blown.

Michael has had a lot of great moments during his incomparable career, however, this must surely have been the night where the King Of Pop went from super famous to immortal.


Billie Jean chords and lyrics


||: F#m G#m | A G#m :||

| F#m G#m | A G#m |
She was more like a beauty queen from a movie scene.
| F#m G#m | A G#m | Bm |
I said don’t mind, but what do you mean, I am the one,
| Bm | F#m G#m | A G#m | Bm |
who will dance on the floor in the round, she said I am the one,
| Bm | F#m G#m | A G#m |
who will dance on the floor in the round.

| F#m G#m | A G#m |
She told me her name was Billie Jean, as she caused a scene.
| F#m G#m | A G#m | Bm |
Then every head turned with eyes that dreamed of being the one.
| Bm | F#m G#m | A G#m |
Who will dance on the floor in the round.

| D | F#m |
People always told me, be careful of what you do.
| D | F#m |
And don’t go around breaking young girls’ hearts.
| D | F#m |
And mother always told me, be careful of who you love.
| D | C# |
And be careful of what you do ’cause the lie becomes the truth, hey, hey.

| F#m G#m | A G#m | F#m G#m | A G#m | B5 |
Billie Jean is not my lover. She’s just a girl who claims that I am the one.
| B5 | F#m G#m | A G#m | B5 | B5 | F#m G#m | A G#m |
But the kid is not my son. She says I am the one, but the kid is not my son.

| F#m G#m | A G#m |
For forty days and forty nights, the law was on her side.
| F#m G#m | A G#m | Bm |
But who can stand when she’s in demand, her schemes and plans.
| Bm | F#m G#m | A G#m | Bm |
‘Cause we danced on the floor in the round. So take my strong advice,
| Bm | F#m G#m | A G#m |
just remember to always think twice (do think twice, do think twice, ah-oh).

| F#m G#m | A G#m |
She told my baby we’d danced ’til three, then she looked at me.
| F#m G#m | A G#m | Bm |
Then showed a photo my baby cried his eyes were like mine (oh, no).
| Bm | F#m G#m | A G#m |
‘Cause we danced on the floor in the round, baby.

| D | F#m |
People always told me, be careful of what you do.
| D | F#m |
And don’t go around breaking young girls’ hearts (don’t break no hearts).
| D | F#m |
She came and stood right by me, just the smell of sweet perfume.
| D | C# |
This happened much too soon, she called me to her room.

| F#m G#m | A G#m | F#m G#m | A G#m | B5 |
Billie Jean is not my lover, she’s just a girl who claims that I am the one.
| B5 | F#m G#m | A G#m |
But the kid is not my son.
| F#m G#m | A G#m | F#m G#m | A G#m | B5 |
Billie Jean is not my lover, she’s just a girl who claims that I am the one.
| B5 | F#m G#m | A G#m | B5 |
But the kid is not my son. She says I am the one,
| B5 | F#m G#m | A G#m |
but the kid is not my son.

||: F#m G#m | A G#m :|| x4

| B5 | B5 | F#m G#m | A G#m |
She says I am the one, but the kid is not my son.
| F#m G#m | A G#m | F#m G#m | A G#m | B5 |
Billie Jean is not my lover, she’s just a girl who claims that I am the one.
| B5 | F#m G#m | A G#m | B5 |
But the kid is not my son. She says I am the one,
| B5 | F#m G#m | A G#m |
but the kid is not my son. She says I am the one. 

||: F#m G#m | A G#m :||
You know what you did (she says he is my son).
Breaking my heart babe, she says I am the one.
||: Billie Jean is not my lover :|| x6


Billie Jean chord progression

Bing at home in F#m, Billie Jean is initially in Dorian as this is definitely chord II. We can say this for certain as only in one place in the diatonic key do we find two minor chords a tone apart.

We can also say this as in only one place do we find a minor chord and a major chord, a semitone apart. Since Billie Jean goes F#mG#mA, there is no doubt – it has to be F# Dorian

When the Bm chord appears later down the verse, this throws a spanner in the works as it’s either a modal interchange from F# Dorian to F# Aeolian or a temporary Vm, very unusual. You’d have to go as far as (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman to find one of those!

For the bridge, we start on chord bVIIx, or have we temporarily gone to F# Aeolian again, making that D chord IV?

The bridge pivots between D and F#m before it lastly goes to a C#, in the key of F#m, this is a IIIx.

This C# pulls more strongly back to F#m. I call this a IIIx, traditionalists call in the mediant major.

In many hits, we use chord progression loops like this. They’re all super common if seen in isolation, but as Billie Jean has demonstrated, they don’t always belong to the same key/mode.

What you’ve seen here in Billie Jean is what is called a modal interchange. In order to make a modal interchange work in a pop song, each progression needs to be common or it starts to sound like jazz.

My top 10 chord progression list is a great place to start, should you want to get better at recognizing these movements.


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