Killing Me Softly With His Song chords by Roberta Flack


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Killing Me Softly With His Song | Chords + Lyrics


Intro chorus

| Fm7 | Bbm7 |
Strumming my pain with his fingers,
| Eb7 | Abmaj7 |
singing my life with his words.
| Fm7 | Bb/D |
Killing me softly with his song,
| Eb | Db |
killing me softly, with his song.
| Abmaj7 | Db |
Telling my whole life, with his words,
| Gbmaj7#11 | Gbmaj7#11 | F | F |
killing me softly, with his song.

Instrumental 1

||: Bb7sus4 :|| x8

Verse 1

| Bbm7 | Eb7 |
I heard he sang a good song,
| Abmaj7 | Dbmaj7 |
I heard he had a style.
| Bbm7 | Eb7 | Fm7 | Fm7 |
And so I came to see him to listen for a while.
| Bbm7 | Eb7 |
And there he was this young boy,
| Abmaj7 | C7 |
a stranger to my eyes.

Chorus 1

| Fm7 | Bbm7 |
Strumming my pain with his fingers,
| Eb7 | Abmaj7 |
singing my life with his words.
| Fm7 | Bb/D |
Killing me softly with his song,
| Eb | Db |
killing me softly, with his song.
| Abmaj7 | Db |
Telling my whole life with his words,
| Gbmaj7#11 | Gbmaj7#11 | F | F |
killing me softly, with his song.

Verse 2

| Bb7sus4 | Eb |
I felt all flushed with fever,
| Abmaj7 | Dbmaj7 |
embarrassed by the crowd.
| Bbm7 | Eb7 | Fm7 | Fm7 |
I felt he found my letters and read each one out loud.
| Bbm7 | Eb7 |
I prayed that he would finish,
| Abmaj7 | C7 |
but he just kept right on.

Chorus 2

| Fm7 | Bbm7 |
Strumming my pain with his fingers,
| Eb7 | Abmaj7 |
singing my life with his words.
| Fm7 | Bb/D |
Killing me softly with his song,
| Eb | Db |
killing me softly, with his song.
| Abmaj7 | Db |
Telling my whole life with his words,
| Gbmaj7#11 | Gbmaj7#11 | F | F |
killing me softly, with his song.

Verse 3

| Bbm7 | Eb7 |
He sang as if he knew me,
| Abmaj7 | Dbmaj7 |
in all my dark despair.
| Bbm7 | Eb7 | Fm7 | Fm7 |
And then he looked right through me as if I wasn’t there.
| Bbm7 | Eb7 |
And he just kept on singing,
| Abmaj7 | C7 |
singing clear and strong.

Chorus 3

| Fm7 | Bbm7 |
Strumming my pain with his fingers,
| Eb7 | Abmaj7 |
singing my life with his words.
| Fm7 | Bb/D |
Killing me softly with his song,
| Eb | Db |
killing me softly, with his song.
| Abmaj7 | Db |
Telling my whole life with his words,
| Gbmaj7#11 | Gbmaj7#11 | F | F |
killing me softly, with his song.

Instrumental 2 (as chorus)

| Fm7 | Bbm7 | Eb7 | Abmaj7 |
Oh, oh, oh…
| Fm7 | Bb/D | Eb | Db |
La la la la la la, oh, oh, oh…
| Abmaj7 | Db | Gbmaj7#11 | Gbmaj7#11 | F | F |
La, ah ah, laa. ah, ah, ah…

Chorus 4

| Fm7 | Bbm7 |
Strumming my pain with his fingers,
| Eb7 | Abmaj7 |
singing my life with his words.
| Fm7 | Bb/D |
Killing me softly with his song,
| Eb | Db |
killing me softly, with his song.
| Abmaj7 | Db |
Telling my whole life, with his words,
| Gbmaj7#11 | Gbmaj7#11 | F | N.C |
killing me softly, with his song.

Chorus 5

| Fm7 | Bbm7 |
Strumming my pain with his fingers,
| Eb7 | Abmaj7 |
singing my life with his words.
| Fm7 | Bb/D |
Killing me softly with his song,
| Eb | Db |
killing me softly with his song.
| Abmaj7 | Db |
Telling my whole life with his words,
| Gbmaj7#11 | Gbmaj7#11 | F | F |
killing me softly with his song.


Killing Me Softly With His Song | Chords + Lyrics (Fugees key)


Intro chorus

| Em7 | Am7 |
Strumming my pain with his fingers,
| D7 | Gmaj7 |
singing my life with his words.
| Em7 | A |
Killing me softly with this song,
| D | C |
killing me softly, with this song.
| Gmaj7 | C |
Telling my whole life with his words,
| Fmaj7#11 | Fmaj7#11 | E | E |
killing me softly, with his song.

Instrumental 1

||: A7sus4 :|| x8
(Ah!) Yo (yeah, yeah).
This is Wyclef, Refugee Camp (L-Boogie up in here).
Pra’zrel, (Pra’zrel up in here! Ha! Ha!).
Lil’ Base sits up there on the base (refugees up in here).
While I’m on this, I got my girl L (ah, ah).
One time (one time), one time (one time).
Hey yo, L, you know you got the lyrics (do doo do).

Verse 1

| Am7 | D7 |
I heard he sang a good song,
| Gmaj7 | Cmaj7 |
I heard he had a style.
| Am7 | D7 | Em7 | Em7 |
And so I came to see him and listened for a while.
| Am7 | D7 |
And there he was this young boy,
| Gmaj7 | B7 |
stranger to my eye.

Chorus 1

| Em7 | Am7 |
Strumming my pain with his fingers (one time, time),
| D7 | Gmaj7 |
singing my life with his words (two times, times).
| Em7 | A |
Killing me softly with this song,
| D | C |
killing me softly, with this song.
| Gmaj7 | C |
Telling my whole life with his words,
| Fmaj7#11 | Fmaj7#11 | E | E |
killing me softly, with his song.

Verse 2

| Am7 | D7 |
I felt all flushed with fever,
| Gmaj7 | Cmaj7 |
embarrassed by the crowd.
| Am7 | D7 | Em7 | Em7 |
I felt he found my letters and read each one out loud.
| Am7 | D7 |
I prayed that he would finish,
| Gmaj7 | B7 |
but he just kept right on.

Chorus 2

| Em7 | Am7 |
Strumming my pain with his fingers (one time, one time),
| D7 | Gmaj7 |
singing my life with his words (two times, two times).
| Em7 | A |
Killing me softly with his song,
| D | C |
killing me softly, with his song.
| Gmaj7 | C |
Telling my whole life with his words,
| Fmaj7#11 | Fmaj7#11 | E | E |
killing me softly, with his song.

Instrumental 2 (as chorus)

| Em7 | Am7 | D7 | Gmaj7 |
Oh, oh, oh…
| Em7 | A | D | C |
La la la la la la, oh, oh, oh…
| Gmaj7 | C | Fmaj7#11 | Fmaj7#11 | E | E |
La, ah ah, laa. Ah, ah, ah…

Chorus 3

| Em7 | Am7 |
Strumming my pain with his fingers,
| D7 | Gmaj7 |
singing my life with his words.
| Em7 | A |
Killing me softly, with this song,
| D | C |
killing me softly, with this song.
| Gmaj7 | C |
Telling my whole life with his words,
| Fmaj7#11 | Fmaj7#11 | E | E |
killing me softly, with his song.


Killing Me Softly With His Song chords and progressions (lesson preview)

Killing Me Softly With His Song Analysis + TAB T

The chords for Killing Me Softly With His Song are pretty simple, they just appear intimidating at first.

Let’s look at each section and see if we can understand it.

The chorus, which is also the intro starts in the key of Ab, moving using the cycle of 4th, VI – II – V – I, like this:

| Fm7 | Bbm7 | Eb7 | Abmaj7 |

Next, we have a variation in a IIx chord with its 3rd in the bass, the full line is VI – IIx/3 – V – IV, like this:

| Fm7 | Bb/D | Eb | Db |

On the third line, we go off-piste. The Abmaj7Db is I – IV, but the Gbmaj7#11 must be Lydian as this is the only mode with a #4, making the Db chord I, Gb IV, we’re temporarily changing the key to Db.

The final F is a IIIx (of Db) as it sits just below what must be a IV chord. Here’s the last line of the chorus.

| Abmaj7 | Db | Gbmaj7#11 | Gbmaj7#11 | F | F |

The verse starts with another minor chord from the key of Ab, a II (Bbm7) instead of the chorus which was VI (Fm7). The first line again uses the cycle of 4th, just with a different starting point: II – V – I – IV, like this:

| Bbm7 | Eb7 | Abmaj7 | Dbmaj7 |

On the second time, we go to VI instead of I – IV, like this:

| Bbm7 | Eb | Fm7 | Fm7 |

The final line is II – V – I – IIIx (IIIx will lead to VI, the chorus), like this:

| Bbm7 | Eb7 | Abmaj7 | C7 |

Perhaps it’s easier to see all this using the key the Fugees are in, Am. I recommend you play in both along with the original recordings at the top of this page.

The main difference between the two versions in terms of chords is that when the chorus first goes “killing me softly with his song” we don’t use the 3rd in the bass.

Here’s Roberta Flack’s chords for the first half of the chorus:

| Fm7 | Bbm7 |
Strumming my pain with his fingers,
| Eb7 | Abmaj7 |
singing my life with his words.
| Fm7 | Bb/D |
Killing me softly with his song.

And here’s Fugees chords:

| Em7 | Am7 |
Strumming my pain with his fingers,
| D7 | Gmaj7 |
singing my life with his words.
| Em7 | A |
Killing me softly with this song.

As an exercise, play the chords of the chorus in as many areas of the neck as you can, just one strum per chord, for example like this:

Killing Me Softly chords and TAB chorus exercise 1

Members get two more examples like this for the chorus and three for the verse.

Here’s a link to the complete lesson with TAB for every section (members only): Killing Me Softly With His Song, 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.

Killing Me Softly – Notable cover versions

Killing Me Softly is a Jazz Standard, you won’t find a gigging jazz musician that doesn’t know it.

The most important version is Roberta Flack‘s version (1973 with Donny Hathaway on BV’s) but do look into Frank Sinatra as well as Perry Como who changed the title to Killing Me Softly With Her Song.

There are also acoustic versions by Michael Jackson and Lori Lieberman worth a listen, I’ve included all these and more (Jessie J, Citizen Queen, Cynthia Erivo, Nancy Sinatra, and Anne Murray) in the playlist at the top of this page.

Lori Lieberman was actually the first to release it in 1972, she also wrote the lyrics which are inspired by Don McLean (American Pie, Vincent).

However, most famously, Fugees did their Hip Hop version in 1996. Their version was so big it broke the record for the most played song in a single week, selling close to 10 million copies worldwide.

In the charts, the Fugees version reached #1 in more than twenty countries providing a nice payout for Lori’s retirement.

If you study Killing Me Softly’s chords and lyrics above, you’ll notice how Fugees cut a verse out and only changed the bass note of one chord.


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