Staying Alive chords



You can learn how to play Staying Alive by Bee Gees!

At #99 on the 500 Greatest Songs Of All Time list, we find Stayin’ Alive by the Bee Gees. This Disco classic is without a doubt one of the band’s biggest hits and a must on the Disco band setlist.

Released on the hugely influential Saturday Night Fever soundtrack, the song was released when the entire world was going Disco crazy and all bands had one simple purpose – to make the crowd dance!

In 1977 Bee Gees were so big they had six consecutive #1 singles, something only The Beatles had achieved previously.

The other 5 songs were How Deep Is Your Love, Night Fever, Too Much Heaven, Tragedy, and Love You Inside Out.

But it’s Stayin’ Alive that became the band’s signature song, let’s take a look at the chords and lyrics to see how they put this one together. I’ll take the progression apart below.


Stayin’ Alive chords and lyrics


| Fm7 | Fm7 | Bb7 | Bb7 | Fm7 | Fm7 |

||: Fm7 | Eb Fm :||
Well, you can tell by the way I use my walk, I’m a woman’s man, no time to talk.
Music loud and women warm,  I’ve been kicked around since I was born.

||: Bb | Bb :||
And now it’s alright, it’s okay and you may look the other way.
And we can try to understand the New York Times’ effect on man.

| Fm7 | Fm7 |
Whether you’re a brother or whether you’re a mother you’re stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive.
| Fm7 | Fm7 |
Feel the city breakin’ and everybody shakin’ and we’re stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive.
| Fm7 Gm7/F Fm7/Eb Cm7 | Fm7 |
Ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive.
| Fm7 Gm7/F Fm7/Eb Cm7 | Fm | (F7sus4) | (Fm) | Cm7 |
Ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin’ alive. Oh, when you walk.

| Fm7 | Fm7 |

||: Fm7 | Eb Fm :||
Well now, I get low and I get high and if I can’t get either, I really try. 
Got the wings of Heaven on my shoes, I’m a dancin’ man and I just can’t lose. 

||: Bb | Bb :||
You know it’s alright, it’s okay, I’ll live to see another day.
And we can try to understand, the New York Times’ effect on man.

| Fm7 | Fm7 |
Whether you’re a brother or whether you’re a mother you’re stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive.
| Fm7 | Fm7 |
Feel the city breakin’ and everybody shakin’ and we’re stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive.
| Fm7 Gm7/F Fm7/Eb Cm7 | Fm7 |
Ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive (oh).
| Fm7 Gm7/F Fm7/Eb Cm7 | Fm | (F7sus4) | (Fm) | Cm7 |
Ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin’ alive (oh).

| Fm7 | Fm7 |

||: Bb | Bb | Bbadd9 Bb Bb7 Bb6 | Fm7 | Fm7 :||
Life goin’ nowhere, somebody help me, somebody help me, yeah.
Life goin’ nowhere, somebody help me, yeah. I’m stayin’ alive.

||: Fm7 | Eb Fm :||
Well, you can tell by the way I use my walk, I’m a woman’s man, no time to talk.
Music loud and women warm, I’ve been kicked around since I was born.

||: Bb | Bb :||
And now it’s all right, it’s okay and you may look the other way.
And we can try to understand the New York Times’ effect on man.

| Fm7 | Fm7 |
Whether you’re a brother or whether you’re a mother you’re stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive.
| Fm7 | Fm7 |
Feel the city breakin’ and everybody shakin’ and we’re stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive.
| Fm7 Gm7/F Fm7/Eb Cm7 | Fm7 |
Ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive.
| Fm7 Gm7/F Fm7/Eb Cm7 | Fm | (F7sus4) | (Fm) | Cm7 |
Ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin’ alive (hey).

| Fm7 | Fm7 |

| Bb | Bb | Bbadd9 Bb Bb7 Bb6 | Fm7 | Fm7 |
Life goin’ nowhere, somebody help me, somebody help me, yeah.
| Bb | Bb | Fm7 | Fm7 | Fm7 | Fm7 |
Life goin’ nowhere, somebody help me, yeah. I’m stayin’ alive.
| Bb | Bb | Bbadd9 Bb Bb7 Bb6 | Fm7 | Fm7 |
Life goin’ nowhere, somebody help me, somebody help me, yeah (ah, ah, ah).
| Bb | Bb | Fm7 | Fm7 | Fm7 | Fm7 |
Life goin’ nowhere, somebody help me, yeah. I’m stayin’ alive.
| Bb | Bb | Bbadd9 Bb Bb7 Bb6 | Fm7 | Fm7 |
Life goin’ nowhere, somebody help me, somebody help me, yeah (ah, ah, ah, ay).
| Bb | Bb | Fm7 | Fm7 | Fm7 | Fm7 |
Life goin’ nowhere, somebody help me, yeah. I’m stayin’ alive.
| Bb | Bb | Bbadd9 Bb Bb7 Bb6 | Fm7 | Fm7 |
Life goin’ nowhere, somebody help me, somebody help me, yeah (oh).
| Bb | Bb | Fm7 | Fm7 | Fm7 | Fm7 |
Life goin’ nowhere, somebody help me, yeah, I’m stayin’ alive.


Stayin’ Alive chord progression

Mainly going between a II – V, the classic dance shoes progression! We mainly vary this with different extensions.

During the intro, the II is an Fm7 and the V is a Bb7.

In the verse, we move from Fm7 – Eb – Fm. Eb being chord I but since this clearly doesn’t feel like home but Fm does, we could say Stayin’ Alive is in Dorian.

The Chorus is a feast of Fm7. Only varied with Fm7 Gm7/FFm7/EbCm7Fm7 at the end, followed by a longer Fm7 on the final line. This time, you just hold the chord and let the drums take over.

Should you want to put chords in here, you could follow the vocals using FmF7sus4Fm. Finish off on a Cm7.

After the chorus we have a bridge or perhaps a chorus tag that goes “Life goin’ nowhere, somebody help me…” Here we start on chord IV a Bb.

The string line could be described as Bbadd9BbBb7Bb6. Putting details like that into your guitar parts makes all the difference.

I’d like to salute the Bee Gees for the chord structure of this final part where we get 5 bars + 6 bars, genius!

| Bb | Bb | Bbadd9 Bb Bb7 Bb6 | Fm7 | Fm7 |
| Bb | Bb | Fm7 | Fm7 | Fm7 | Fm7 |

I also like how the lyrics are particularly brutal throughout but as it’s sung in falsetto, it somehow feels OK!

Chords are important but should always be seen in relation to lyrics and performance in order to get the complete picture. Just like with any language, it’s how you use it that defines the meaning.


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