Islands In the Stream chords by Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers


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Islands In the Stream | Chords + Lyrics


Intro

||: C | F/A C :||

Verse 1

| C | C |
Baby, when I met you there was peace unknown.
| C | C | F |
I set out to get you with a fine toothcomb, I was soft inside.
| F | C | F/A C |
There was something going on.

Verse 2

| C | C |
You do something to me that I can’t explain.
| C | C | F |
Hold me closer and I feel no pain, every beat of my heart.
| F | C | C |
We got something going on.

Bridge 1

| Fmaj7 | Fmaj7 |
Tender love is blind, it requires a dedication.
| Fm | Fm |
All this love we feel needs no conversation.
| C | C |
We ride it together, ah ha.
| C | C |
Making love with each other, ah ha.

Chorus 1

| C | F |
Islands in the stream, that is what we are.
| Dm | Dm |
No one in between, how can we be wrong?
| C | F |
Sail away with me to another world.
| C | C |
And we rely on each other, ah ha.
| Dm | C | C |
From one lover to another, ah ha.

Verse 3 (key change)

| G# | G# |
I can’t live without you if the love was gone.
| G# | G# | C# |
Everything is nothing if you got no one, and you did walk in the night.
| C# | G# | C#/F G# |
Slowly losing sight of the real thing.

Verse 4

| G# | G# |
But that won’t happen to us and we got no doubt.
| G# | G# | C# |
Too deep in love and we got no way out and the message is clear.
| C# | G# | G# |
This could be the year for the real thing.

Bridge 2

| C#maj7 | C#maj7 |
No more will you cry. Baby, I will hurt you never.
| C#m | C#m |
We start and end as one in love forever.
| G# | G# |
We can ride it together, ah ha.
| G# | G# |
Making love with each other, ah ha.

Chorus 2

| G# | C# |
Islands in the stream, that is what we are.
| A#m | A#m |
No one in between, how can we be wrong?
| G# | C# |
Sail away with me, to another world.
| G# | G# |
And we rely on each other, ah ha.
| A#m | G# |
From one lover to another, ah ha.

Instrumental 1

| C# | E | G# | C#/F G# |
Sail away.
| C# | E | G# | G# |
Oh, come sail away with me.

Chorus 3

| G# | C# |
Islands in the stream, that is what we are.
| A#m | A#m |
No one in between, how can we be wrong?
| G# | C# |
Sail away with me, to another world.
| G# | G# |
And we rely on each other, ah ha.
| A#m | G# | G# |
From one lover to another, ah ha.

Chorus 4

| G# | C# |
Islands in the stream, that is what we are.
| A#m | A#m |
No one in between, how can we be wrong?
| G# | C# |
Sail away with me, to another world.
| G# | G# |
And we rely on each other, ah ha.
| A#m | G# | G# |
From one lover to another, ah ha.

Outro

| G# | C# |
Islands in the stream, that is what we are.
| A#m | A#m | to fade
No one in between…



Islands In the Stream Chords: Learn the progressions!


Islands In The Stream Analysis + TAB T

The chords are super simple, starting out with a CF/A riff for the intro. The verse maintains this simple approach by using triads and sticking to the I and IV chords, like this:

| C (I) | C | C | C |
| F (IV) | F | C | F/A (IV/3) C |

Before the bridge, we don’t play that F/A chord, we just stay on the C chord.

The bridge starts with an Fmaj7 chord, notice how this sounds incredibly adventurous as up until then, the chords have been so basic.

When this Fmaj7 is next turned into a IVm chord, it feels so sad and great at the same time, here’s the full bridge progression, so simple, but so effective!

| Fmaj7 (IV) | Fmaj7 | Fm (IVm) | Fm |
| C (I) | C | C | C |

Finally, the chorus includes the II chord as well, like this:

| C (I) | F (IV) | Dm (II) | Dm |
| C | F | C | C |
| Dm | C | C |

That’s an 11-bar chorus, very unusual, I can only think of Folsom Prison Blues that does this as well.

These were almost all chords for Islands In the Stream, after the first chorus, when Dolly takes over, we modulate up a tritone, to the key of G# and do it all again, like this:

Verse

| G# | G# | G# | G# |
| C# | C# | G# |1. C#/F G# :||2. G# |

Bridge

| C#maj7 | C#maj7 | C#m | C#m |
| G# | G# | G# | G# |

Chorus

| G# | C# | A#m | A#m |
| G# | C# | G# | G# |
| A#m | G# |

This takes us to the only new section for Islands In the Stream, an instrumental over 8 bars using these, slightly crazy chords:

| C# | E | G# | C#/F G# |
| C# | E | G# | G# |

That E chord can be seen as a bVIx, or a modal interchange, hinting that C# (Lydian) was a C#m (Aeolian).

As we next play choruses until fade, there’s that extra bar at the end again, making it an 11-bar chorus, like this:

||: G# | C# | A#m | A#m |
| G# | C# | G# | G# |
| A#m | G# | G# :||

Islands In The Stream is to me the perfect example of what it takes to be a professional guitarist, you must resist the temptation to overplay!

Members get TAB for how to stay on the straight and narrow for all sections, including the key change and incorporating that horn riff in the instrumental section.

Here’s an example, this is the intro, where we fatten up the first chord by joining in with the keyboard but still playing the guitar stab.

Islands In The Stream chords and TAB intro

Here’s a link to the complete lesson (members only): Islands In The Stream – 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.


Islands In The Stream was supposed to be in a Motown style!

Written by the Bee Gees but performed by Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton, Islands In the Stream was a smash hit back in 1983, claiming the #1 spot in many countries, selling over 4 million copies.

Originally written in a Motown style, intended for Diana Ross, the boys of the Bee Gees had to rework it into a country duet when that plan came to a halt.

A very strange version was recorded much later by the writers themselves in 2001. Released on the album Their Greatest Hits: The Album.

A few years earlier, in 1997, Bee Gees did a show called One Night Only, a reunion gig in Las Vegas. This version is not at all like the studio version, it’s more straight-ahead and sounds a bit like The Police’s Every Breath You Take.

There are also plenty of cover versions out there, for example by The Shires. I’ve included them all in the playlist at the top of this page.

After listening to them all, you’ll probably agree with me that you can’t beat Kenny and Dolly!



Islands In the Stream Chords | Related Pages


Five similar tunes with chords and lyrics

When you can play Islands In the Stream chords, try these five tunes from the songbook.

Bee Gees

Bee Gees tunes

Starting out in 1955 as the Rattlesnakes, Bee Gees would go on to become the Disco Kings and write Barbra Streisand’s best-selling album.

Their best tunes include Massachusetts, How Deep Is Your Love, Stayin’ Alive, Night Fever, Tragedy, Words, Jive Talkin’, and You Should Be Dancing.


Bee Gees on the web

Listen to Bee Gees on Spotify.


Dolly Parton

With 44 top-ten country albums and 110 chartered singles, Dolly Parton is the most famous country singer in the world.

Hits include I Will Always Love You, Jolene, 9 To 5, and almost 4 decades after her first release, Creepin’ In with Norah Jones.


Dolly Parton on the web

Listen to Dolly Parton on Spotify.

Kenny Rogers

Kenny Rogers tunes

Starting out already in the 50s, Kenny Rogers became one of the most beloved country storytellers, by mainly singing covers.

His best tunes include The Gambler, Islands In The Stream, Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In), and She Rides Wild Horses.


Kenny Rogers on the web

Listen to Kenny Rogers on Spotify.

Country & Folk

Country and Folk tunes

In the primarily acoustic genres of Country & Folk, you must acquire what matters the most: A repertoire. Nothing else will give you the gig.

Learn tunes by Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, Simon & Garfunkel, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, America, Don McLean, and many more.


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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