Build Me Up Buttercup chords by The Foundations


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Build Me Up Buttercup | Chords and lyrics

Intro

| C | E7 | F | G |
| C | E7 | F | G | G |
Why do you

Chorus 1

| C | E7 |
build me up (build me up). Buttercup, baby, just to 
| F | G |
let me down (let me down). And mess me around, and then 
| C | E7 |
worst of all (worst of all). You never call baby, when you 
| F | G |
say you will (say you will). But I love you still, I need 
| C | C7 |
you (I need you). More than anyone, darling, 
| F | Fm |
you know that I have from the start.
| C | G | F Em Dm C | G |
So build me up (build me up), Buttercup, don’t break my heart.

Verse 1

| C G | Bb F | C |
“I’ll be over at ten”, you told me time and again but you’re late. 
| F |
I wait around and then (ba-dah-dah).
| C G | Bb F | C |
I went to the door, I can’t take any more it’s not you. 
| F C/E |
You let me down again (Hey, hey, hey).

Bridge 1

| Dm | G Fm |
Baby, baby, I try to find (hey, hey, hey).
| Em | A G |
A little time and I’ll make you happy (hey, hey, hey).
| F | D7 | G |
I’ll be home, I’ll be beside the phone waiting for
| G | G | G |
you ooh ooh, you ooh ooh. Why do you 

Chorus 2

| C | E7 |
build me up (build me up). Buttercup, baby, just to 
| F | G |
let me down (let me down). And mess me around, and then 
| C | E7 |
worst of all (worst of all). You never call baby, when you 
| F | G |
say you will (say you will). But I love you still, I need 
| C | C7 |
you (I need you). More than anyone, darling, 
| F | Fm |
you know that I have from the start.
| C | G | F Em Dm C | G |
So build me up (build me up), Buttercup, don’t break my heart.

Verse 2

| C G | Bb F | C |
To you I’m a toy, but I could be the boy you adore.
| F |
If you’d just let me know (Ba-dah-dah).
| C G | Bb F | C |
Although you’re untrue, I’m attracted to you all the more.
| F C/E |
Why do you treat me so? (Hey, hey, hey).

Bridge 2

| Dm | G Fm |
Baby, baby, I try to find (Hey, hey, hey).
| Em | A G |
A little time and I’ll make you happy (Hey, hey, hey).
| F | D7 | G |
I’ll be home, I’ll be beside the phone waiting for.
| G | G | G |
You ooh ooh, you ooh ooh. Why do you 

Chorus 3

| C | E7 |
build me up (build me up). Buttercup, baby, just to 
| F | G |
let me down (let me down). And mess me around, and then 
| C | E7 |
worst of all (worst of all). You never call baby, when you 
| F | G |
say you will (say you will). But I love you still, I need 
| C | C7 |
you (I need you). More than anyone, darling, 
| F | Fm |
you know that I have from the start.
| C | G | Am | A7 |
So build me up (build me up), Buttercup, don’t break my heart.
| D | D/F# | G | Gm |
I need you (I need you). More than anyone, darling, you know that I have from the start.
| D | A | D |
So build me up (build me up), Buttercup, don’t break my heart.


Build Me Up Buttercup chords and progressions

The intro and chorus do, just like the title, build up as it ascends CE7FG.

The chord progression enthusiast can instantly tell this must be in the key of C, have a mediant major, or IIIx as I like to say, as well as a IV – V movement.

This is followed by another classic movement in the IV – IVm (that’s an F chord and an Fm chord) before we go CG and then quickly descend FEmDmC.

To recap that’s: Build-up, happy becomes sad, descend. Perfectly describing the lyrics: “Build me up, mess me around, don’t break my heart”!

The verse goes outside the key as it makes use of the bVIIx. CGBbFCF. You could also see this as a movement of “up to the V chord”, first in C, then in F.

The pre-chorus or bridge that follow starts with a II chord. DmGFm, EmAG. The Fm being chord IVm again. The A is a VIx chord.

The final build of the bridge before we go to a chorus is FD7G. The D7 is chord IIx, this is often described as a “secondary dominant” or the “dominant’s dominant”. Basically, it pulls more towards G, chord V.

Finally, we go completely nuts during the outro, and this s most likely why few bands have this song on their setlist as it almost always ends in a car crash.

The Foundations were clearly too clever for their own good as they finish the song with this mental progression instead of quickly descending.

| C | G | Am | A7 |
| D | D/F# | G | Gm |
| D | A | D |

What they’ve done is changed the key from C to D. This may work great on record and be really clever, but I’ve lost count of how many bands have fallen off the tracks during this outro!


The Foundations signature song

Build Me Up Buttercup was The Foundations‘ second hit after Baby, Now The Found You. By now they were on their second lead singer and tensions in the band had started to grow, but success kept them together.

Charting at #1 in the U.S, Canada, and Australia, as well as #2 in the U.K, Build Me Up Buttercup was a huge success.

Written by the band’s producer, Tony Macaulay who also write their other hit, it came to represent the band, even keeping them together and reuniting,

You should study Build Me Up buttercup’s chords and lyrics above to see how The Foundations’ signature song was put together.


The Foundations

With two worldwide hits, multi-ethnic The Foundations really were groundbreaking when they came into the limelight in the late 60s.

As a large ensemble that played American-sounding Soul music, they contributed to the cultural bond that was forming between the U.K, and the U.S in the 60s.

Go to The Foundations.


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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