One chords by Harry Nilsson


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One | Chords + Lyrics (no capo)


Intro

||: Cm | Cm :||

Verse 1

| Cm | Cm7 | Cm6 | Cmb6 |
One is the loneliest number that you’ll ever do.
| Cm | Cm7 | Cm6 | Cmb6 |
Two can be as bad as one, it’s the loneliest number since the number one.

Instrumental

| Cm | Cm7 | Cm6 | Cmb6 |

Verse 2

||: Cm | Cm7 | Cm6 | Cmb6 :||
“No” is the saddest experience you’ll ever know.
Yes, it’s the saddest experience you’ll ever know.
Because one is the loneliest number that you’ll ever do.
One is the loneliest number that you’ll ever know.

Bridge 1

| Cm | Cm7 | Eb | Ebmaj7 | Eb7 | Ebadd9 Eb |
It’s just no good anymore since you went away.
| Ab | Abm | Cm | Cm7 | Cm6 | Cmb6 |
Now I spend my time just making rhymes of yesterday.

Verse 3

||: Cm | Cm7 | Cm6 | Cmb6 :||
Because one is the loneliest number, that you’ll ever do.
One is the loneliest number, that you’ll ever know.
One is the loneliest number, one is the loneliest number.
One is the loneliest number that you’ll ever do.
One is the loneliest number much, much worse than two.
One is the number divided by two.

Outro

||: Cm | Cm7 | Cm6 | Cmb6 :||
One.
One is the loneliest number.


One | Chords + Lyrics (capo 3)


Intro

||: Am | Am :||

Verse 1

| Am | Am7 | Am6 | Amb6 |
One is the loneliest number that you’ll ever do.
| Am | Am7 | Am6 | Amb6 |
Two can be as bad as one, it’s the loneliest number since the number one.

Instrumental

| Am | Am7/G | Am/F# | Am/F |

Verse 2

||: Am | Am7/G | Am/F# | Am/F :||
“No” is the saddest experience you’ll ever know.
Yes, it’s the saddest experience you’ll ever know.
Because one is the loneliest number that you’ll ever do.
One is the loneliest number that you’ll ever know.

Bridge 1

| Am | Am7/G | C | Cmaj7 | C7 | Cadd9 C |
It’s just no good anymore since you went away.
| F | Fm | Am | Am7/G | Am/F# | Am/F |
Now I spend my time just making rhymes of yesterday.

Verse 3

||: Am | Am7/G | Am/F# | Am/F :||
Because one is the loneliest number, that you’ll ever do.
One is the loneliest number, that you’ll ever know.
One is the loneliest number, one is the loneliest number.
One is the loneliest number that you’ll ever do.
One is the loneliest number much, much worse than two.
One is the number divided by two.

Outro

||: Am | Am7 | Am6 | Amb6 :||
One.
One is the loneliest number.


One, chords and progressions (lesson preview)

One Harry Nilsson Analysis + TAB T

The chords of Harry Nilsson’s One present a great opportunity to understand more about harmony.

Played in a band with a bass player, you don’t need a capo, you can just think of One’s chords as if in the key of Cm and play the descending extensions like this throughout:

||: Cm | Cm7 | Cm6 | Cmb6 :||

A modal interchange is going on here as no mode can have both a 6th and b6, so we are temporarily switching from Aeolian to Dorian.

Do compare this chord progression to Sunny Afternoon and Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.

The bridge temporarily resolves to chord I before it starts manipulating the extensions here as well, like this:

| Cm | Cm7 | Eb | Ebmaj7 | Eb7 | Ebadd9 Eb |
| Ab | Abm | Cm | Cm7 | Cm6 | Cmb6 |

Eb is chord I, Ab is IV, Abm is IVm, ironically, the saddest or perhaps even the loneliest chord.

On the acoustic guitar, playing this tune on our own (capo 3), we can’t just play the extensions as I’ve just described above, or at least not for long, but we can start off like that, meaning you’ll play this:

||: Am | Am7 | Am6 | Amb6 :||

Soon, this won’t feel like enough of a part. What we want to do is move that descending concept down into the bass as that’s what the bass player plays, like this:

||: Am | Am7/G | Am/F# | Am/F :||

Make sure you can see how the extensions and bass line are in fact the same notes. We could have changed the chords to spell this instead:

||: Am | Am7/G | F#m7b5 | Fmaj7 :||

Make sure you can see how this is again the same thing!

The bridge, thinking in the key of Am becomes this:

| Am | Am7/G | C | Cmaj7 | C7 | Cadd9 C |
| F | Fm | Am | Am7/G | Am/F# | Am/F |

It’s probably easier for you to see how C is chord I, F is IV and IVm, is the loneliest chord you’ll ever see in this key.

Members get TAB for how to play all this, both in a band (Cm) and as the loneliest acoustic guitarist (key of Am with a capo on fret 3).

Here’s the TAB for how to play One’s chords in Cm.

One (Harry Nilsson) chords and TAB Cm

And here’s how this looks in the key of Am (place a capo on fret 3).

One (Harry Nilsson) chords and TAB Am idea 1

Members first play these two parts before we start developing this into three further ideas as well as one way to play the bridge.

Blend those together and you’ll have a great arrangement to play One on just an acoustic guitar.

Here’s a link to the complete lesson (members only): One (Harry Nilsson) 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.

One was Harry Nilsson’s only big hit that he wrote, the rest were covers!

Known as The Beatles‘ favourite American songwriter, it is perhaps ironic how his biggest hits were covers. I’m mainly thinking of Everybody’s Talkin’ and Without You.

The supersad One is definitely not a party starter but instead a tune you could learn for an audition or maybe a credible cover for an album.

To me, there are a lot of great harmonic lessons here (detailed above) but also the production which feels so organic and real, I can listen to this on repeat all day.

The bass is panned to one side and the strings interplay with the vocal in a fantastic way. The electric piano being panned to the opposite side of the bass works so well.

Played on just one guitar, you can vary your part all the way through to mimic the way the arrangement is constantly changing making it a great tune to gig, unfortunately, it’s perhaps a bit too sad for that world…


One chords | Related pages


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Harry Nilsson

Harry Nilsson tunes T

Known as the 5th Beatle, Harry Nilsson was a singer-songwriter from New York who moved to L.A. to pursue a recording career.

Harry is best known for the tunes EVerybody’s Talkin’, Coconut, One, Without You, and Spaceman.


Harry Nilsson on the web

Listen to Harry Nilsson on Spotify.

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