Georgia On My Mind chords



You can learn how to play Georgia On My Mind by Ray Charles!

Ray Charles’s signature song, Georgia On My Mind, is a masterpiece in chord movements and extensions. It wasn’t actually written by Ray, but by two men called Hoagy Carmichael and Stuart Gorrell in 1930.

Ray released his version in 1960, which went to #1. The state of Georgia made this version the official state song in 1979. In 2003, Rolling Stone Magazine named it the #44th greatest song of all time.

Only comparable to At Last and A Change Is Gonna Come for the string intros, Georgia just keeps going with the crazy chords, it definitely wasn’t easy to work all of them out!

Let’s take a look at all the chords and lyrics, you may need a coffee to help you get through this one!


Georgia On My Mind chords and lyrics


| G D6sus2/F# | Em11 Eb | Dbm7b5 D11 | C/G D13 |

| G | B7/F# B7 |
Georgia, Georgia.
| Em  Dm69 | C C#dim7 |
The whole day through (the whole day through).
| G/D D/F# Em | A7 D7 D7b9 | F9b5 F9 E7b9 | A7 D7b9 |
Just an old sweet song, keeps Georgia, on my mind (Georgia on my mind)

| G | B7/F# B7 |
I said Georgia, Georgia.
| Em Dm69 | Cmaj7 C#dim7 |
A song of you (a song of you).
| G/D D/F# Em7 | A7 D7 | G C7 | G Asus2 B7 |
Comes as sweet and clear, as moonlight through the pines.

| Em C6/E | Em6 C6/E |
Other arms reach out to me,
| Em Cmaj13/E | Em7 A7 |
other eyes smile tenderly.
| Em7 Cmaj13/E | Em7 D6 C#dim7 Dmaj7 |
Still, in peaceful dreams, I see,
| Bm7 A#7 | A7 D13 |
the road leads back to you.

| G Gsus4 G6 | B7/F# B7 |
I said Georgia, oh Georgia.
| Em Dm69 | Cmaj7 C#dim7 |
No peace I find (peace I find).
| G/D D/F# E7 | A9 D9 | G C7 | G G6 C13 |
Just an old sweet song, keeps Georgia on my mind (Georgia on my mind).

| Em C6/E | Em6 C6/E |
Other arms reach out to me,
| Em Cmaj13/E | Em7 A7 |
other eyes smile tenderly.
| Em7 Cmaj13/E | Em7 D6 C#dim7 Dmaj7 |
Still, in peaceful dreams, I see,
| Bm7 A#7 | A7 D13 |
the road leads back to you.

| G Gsus4 G6 | B7/F# B7 |
Woah, Georgia, Georgia.
| Em7 Dm69 | Cmaj7 C#dim7 |
No peace, no peace I find.
| G/D D/F# Em7 | A7 D7 | F7 | E7 
Just an old, sweet song, keeps Georgia on my mind (Georgia on my mind).
| A7 A7/B C C#dim7 | D7 Em7 F7 F#dim7 | G/B B7 C C#dim7 | D7 G#7 G7 | G6 |
I said just an old sweet song, keeps Georgia on my mind.


Georgia On My Mind chord progression

There are essentially two sections to Georgia On My Mind. Let’s call them A and B. The A section goes like this:

| G | B7/F# B7 | Em Dm69 | C C#dim7 |
| G/D D/F# Em | A7 D7 D7b9 | F9b5 F9 E7b9 | A7 D7b9 |

The last two bars are then varied like this, in order to point to the B section.

| G C7 | G Asus2 B7 |

The key is G, so a simplified roman numeral explanation would be this:

| I | IIIx | VI Vm | IV #IVdim7 |
| I V VI | IIx V | bVIIx VIx | IIx V |

The variation at the end is:

| I IV | I II IIIx |

As the verses go by, Ray does vary the chords, see the chords and lyrics above to see the full picture.

Let’s look at the B section.

| Em C6/E | Em6 C6/E |
| Em Cmaj13/E | Em7 A7 |
| Em7 Cmaj13/E | Em7 D6 C#dim7 Dmaj7 |
| Bm7 A#7 | A7 D13 |

What we have here is the VI chord, with its 5th moving up chromatically, this gives us all sorts of crazy chord names like C6/E and Em6.

On the second line, we vary this with Em7A7, which is VI – IIx, but feels like a II – V.

On the third line, we play four chords in a bar, only keyboard players look at that and go, yes this makes sense!

The final line is a nice turnaround, starting on chord III, then using a tritone substitution to achieve a chromatic descending line.

Lastly, the final line of the song speaks for itself, I had to go and lie down after working out all those chords!

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