Stuck In The Middle With You chords by Stealers Wheel


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Stuck In The Middle With You | Chords and lyrics

Intro

||: D C/D G/D | C/D G/D C/D G/D :||
||: D | D :||

Verse 1

| D | D |
Well, I don’t know why I came here tonight.
| D | D |
I’ve got the feeling that something ain’t right.
| G | G |
I’m so scared in case I fall off my chair,
| D | D |
and I’m wondering how I’ll get down the stairs.
| A | C G |
Clowns to the left of me, Jokers to the right,
| D | D |
here I am stuck in the middle with you.

Verse 2

| D | D |
Yes, I’m stuck in the middle with you.
| D | D |
And I’m wondering what it is I should do.
| G | G |
It’s so hard to keep this smile from my face,
| D | D |
losing control, yeah I’m all over the place.
| A | C G |
Clowns to the left of me, Jokers to the right,
| D | D |
here I am stuck in the middle with you.

Bridge 1

| G | G | D | D |
When you started off with nothing and you’re proud that you’re a self-made man.
| G | G |
And your friends they all come crawling, slap you on the back, and say:
| D | D | A | A |
Please, please.

Instrumental 1

||: D | D :||

Verse 3

| D | D |
Trying to make some sense of it all.
| D | D |
But I can see it makes no sense at all.
| G | G |
Is it cool to go to sleep on the floor?
| D | D |
‘Cause I don’t think that I can take anymore.
| A | C G |
Clowns to the left of me, Jokers to the right,
| D | D |
here I am stuck in the middle with you.

Solo

| D | D | D | D |
| G | G | D | D |
| A | C G | D | D |

Bridge 2

| G | G | D | D |
When you started off with nothing and you’re proud that you’re a self-made man.
| G | G |
And your friends they all come crawling, slap you on the back, and say:
| D | D | A | A |
Please, please.

Instrumental 2

||: D | D :||

Verse 4

| D | D |
Well, I don’t know why I came here tonight.
| D | D |
I’ve got the feeling that something ain’t right
| G | G |
I’m so scared in case I fall off my chair,
| D | D |
and I’m wondering how I’ll get down the stairs.
| A | C G |
Clowns to the left of me, Jokers to the right,
| D | D |
here I am stuck in the middle with you.

Outro

||: D | D :||
Yes, I’m stuck in the middle with you.
Stuck in the middle with you.
Here I am, stuck in the middle with you.


Stuck In The Middle With You chords and progressions

The intro has a guitar riff playing slash chords panned to the right. Whenever I play this in new bands, other members look confused, as usually it’s just ignored.

Here are the chords for the rarely played intro.

||: D C/D G/D | C/D G/D C/D G/D :||

As the band comes in, the main guitar starts strumming a different rhythm to the intro guitar, now just playing a D chord.

When the verse kicks in we move almost like a blues, just one odd chord in there, the bVIIx which appears in the turnaround.

| D | D | D | D |
| G | G | D | D |
| A | C G | D | D |

As you can see, this is a 12-bar blues, with the only difference being after the V chord (the A) we go to a C chord, which is the bVIIx.

There is also a bridge, which starts on the IV chord, as most bridges do!

| G | G | D | D |
| G | G | D | D | A | A |

So what is the secret behind Stuck In The Middle With You? I put it down to two main things. First, the meaning of the lyrics, and second, the one unexpected chord.

  1. DHM. Nile Rodgers claims that all great songs have a deeper hidden meaning. In this song, it’s the lyrics that seem really obscure, but once you get it you feel like you’re in on the joke. The DHM is: Stoned artist sleeps on the floor, friends come begging for money, everybody wants to be your friend now that you’re famous and you’re getting paranoid because you’re stoned.
  2. Familiarity with a twist. A 12-bar blues and a bridge starting on chord IV are familiarity personified. The bVIIx chord is the twist.

Stuck In The Middle With You is a parody of Record Label parties

Originally written as a parody of record label parties in a voice imitating Bob Dylan’s style, Stuck In The Middle wasn’t intended by the band to be a hit, more a funny in-joke about a stoned artist trying to cope with fame.

Scottish folk rockers Stealers Wheel formed in 1972, recorded their debut album the same year in Apple Studio (The Beatles studio) and released Stuck In The Middle as the third single the following year.

Stuck In The Middle With You would become their only hit. Stealers Wheel split in 1975, after releasing a further two albums with little commercial success.

The song had reasonable chart success, and it did sell a million copies but many songs have.

However, not many songs have had the same lasting legacy as Stuck In The Middle With You.

Found in popular culture in movies, most famously in Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs but more importantly, it is still played regularly on the radio and by working bands every weekend for decades.

Personally, I believe it’s the bar bands that have kept playing this that is the biggest reason for its continued popularity.

So why is that? Study the chords and lyrics and then analyze the chord progression to find out what the appeal is.


Stuck In The Middle With You | Related pages


Song Book

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To help you on this journey, I’ve gathered tunes I play with acoustic duos, Jazz trios, Indie/Rock/Party bands as well as large Soul/Motown ensembles.

Go to Song Book.


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