(Sittin’ On) the Dock of the Bay chords



You can learn how to play (Sittin’ On) the Dock of the Bay by Otis Redding!

Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay was written by Otis Redding and Stax house band guitarist Steve Cropper.

Steve was a member of Booker T and The M.G’s, and Otis was signed to Stax as a singer and songwriter.

Having been recorded just three days before Otis died in a plane crash on December the 10th, 1967, it would become the first single to top the charts in the U.S posthumously in January 1968.

In the U.K, (Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay, reached #3.

The laid-back feel, lyrics with some kind of deeper hidden meaning, and an interesting chord progression all contribute to (Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay’s success. Let’s take a look at all the chords.


(Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay chords and lyrics


||: G | G :||

| G | B7 | C | A |
Sittin’ in the mornin’ sun, I’ll be sittin’ when the evenin’ comes.
| G | B7 | C | A |
Watching the ships roll in. Then I watch ’em roll away again, yeah.

| G | E |
I’m sittin’ on the dock of the bay.
| G | E |
Watchin’ the tide roll away, ooh.
| G | A | G | E |
I’m just sittin’ on the dock of the bay, wastin’ time.

| G | B7 | C | A |
I left my home in Georgia, headed for the Frisco Bay.
| G | B7 | C | A |
‘Cause I’ve had nothin’ to live for. It look like nothin’s gonna come my way.

| G | E |
So I’m just gon’ sit on the dock of the bay.
| G | E |
Watchin’ the tide roll away, ooh.

| G | A | G | E |
I’m sittin’ on the dock of the bay, wastin’ time.

||: G D | C :||
Look like nothin’s gonna change.
Everything still remains the same.
I can’t do what ten people tell me to do.
| F | D |
So I guess I’ll remain the same, yes.

| G | B7 | C | A |
Sittin’ here restin’ my bones and this loneliness won’t leave me alone, listen.
| G | B7 | C | A |
Two thousand miles, I roam. Just to make this dock my home.

| G | E |
Now I’m just gon’ sit at the dock of the bay.
| G | E |
Watchin’ the tide roll away, ooh yeah.

| G | A | G | E |
Sittin’ on the dock of the bay, Wastin’ time.

Whistle

||: G | G | G | E :||


(Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay chord progression

The chords Dock Of The Bay employ are not diatonic. We are in the key of G, but we wander outside constantly.

The verse moves GB7CA. Only G and C are diatonic. B and A should have been minor.

The chorus continues the rule-breaking by moving G – E, rather than Em. We also get another A chord.

The M8, which is usually the section that breaks away from the rest of the song is actually diatonic as it goes I – V – IV, or GDC.

At the end of this section, we break the rules again as we get an F chord (bVIIx).

Finally, we have one more twist. During the outro, we move from G to E again, but instead of playing the chords for one bar each, we play G for three bars, and E for just one bar.


Booker T. & The M.G.’s

Led by piano and organ player Booker T. Jones, the Stax Records house band played behind numerous legendary artists.

Hits include Green Onions, Born Under A Bad Sign, (Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay, Ain’t No Sunshine, Soul Man, Hold On I’m Coming, Knock On Wood, and Respect.

Go to Booker T. & The M,G.’s – Biography.


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If you start with learning all these songs, there’s a good chance you won’t have to learn many more when a gig with a new band appears.

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