Sunny Afternoon chords by The Kinks


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Sunny Afternoon | Chords + Lyrics (capo 5)


Intro

||: Am Am/G | Am/F# Am/F | E E/D | E7/C E7/B :||

Verse 1

| Am | G | C | G |
The tax man’s taken all my dough, and left me in my stately home,
| E E/D | E7/C E7/B |
lazing on a sunny afternoon.

Verse 2

| Am | G | C | G |
And I can’t sail my yacht, he’s taken everythin’ I’ve got,
| E E/D | E7/C E7/B | Am Am/E | Am (E F# G#) |
all I’ve got’s this sunny afternoon.

Chorus 1

| A | A | D7 | D7 |
Save me, save me, save me from this squeeze.
| G | G7 | C | E7 |
I’ve got a big fat momma tryin’ to break me.
| Am | D7 | Am | D7 G |
And I’d love to live so pleasantly, live this life of luxury,
| C | E7 | Am Am/G | Am/F# Am/F |
lazing on a sunny afternoon.
| E E/D | E7/C E7/B | Am Am/G | Am/F# Am/F | E E/D | E7/C E7/B |
In the summertime, in the summertime, in the summertime.

Verse 3

| Am | G | C | G |
My girlfriend’s run off with my car, and gone back to her ma and pa,
| E E/D | E7/C E7/B |
telling tales of drunkenness and cruelty.

Verse 4

| Am | G | C | G |
Now I’m sitting here, sipping at my ice-cold beer,
| E E/D | E7/C E7/B | Am Am/E | Am (E F# G#) |
lazing on a sunny afternoon.

Chorus 2

| A | A | D7 | D7 |
Help me, help me, help me sail away.
| G | G7 | C | E7 |
Well, give me two good reasons, why I ought to stay.
| Am | D7 | Am | D7 G |
‘Cause I love to live so pleasantly, live this life of luxury,
| C | E7 | Am Am/G | Am/F# Am/F |
lazing on a sunny afternoon.
| E E/D | E7/C E7/B | Am Am/G | Am/F# Am/F | E E/D | E7/C E7/B |
In Summertime, in the summertime, in the summertime.

Chorus 3

| A | A | D7 | D7 |
Save me, save me, save me from this squeeze.
| G | G7 | C | E7 |
I’ve got a big fat momma tryin’ to break me.
| Am | D7 | Am | D7 G |
And I’d love to live so pleasantly, live this life of luxury,
| C | E7 | Am Am/G | Am/F# Am/F |
lazing on a sunny afternoon.
| E E/D | E7/C E7/B | Am Am/G | Am/F# Am/F |
In the summertime, in the summertime.
| E E/D | E7/C E7/B | Am Am/G | Am/F# Am/F |
In the summertime, in the summertime,
| E E/D | E7/C E7/B |
in the summertime.

End

| Am | Am | Am | Am |



Sunny Afternoon | Chords + Lyrics (no capo)


Intro

||: D5 D5/C | D5/B D5/Bb | A5 A5/G | A5/F A5/E :||

Verse 1

| Dm | C | F/C | C |
The tax man’s taken all my dough, and left me in my stately home,
| A5 A5/G | A5/F A5/E |
lazing on a sunny afternoon.

Verse 2

| Dm | C | F/C | C |
And I can’t sail my yacht, he’s taken everythin’ I’ve got,
| A5 A5/G | A5/F A5/E | Dm Dm/A | Dm Dm/A D5/B D5/C# |
all I’ve got’s this sunny afternoon.

Chorus 1

| D | D | G | G7 |
Save me, save me, save me from this squeeze.
| C | C7 | F/C | A A7 |
I’ve got a big fat momma tryin’ to break me.
| Dm | G7 | Dm | G7 C |
And I’d love to live so pleasantly, live this life of luxury,
| F/C | A A7 | D5 D5/C | D5/B D5/Bb |
lazing on a sunny afternoon.
| A5 A5/G | A5/F A5/E | D5 D5/C | D5/B D5/Bb | A5 A5/G | A5/F A5/E |
In the summertime, in the summertime, in the summertime.

Verse 3

| Dm | C | F/C | C |
My girlfriend’s run off with my car, and gone back to her ma and pa,
| A5 A5/G | A5/F A5/E |
telling tales of drunkenness and cruelty.

Verse 4

| Dm | C | F/C | C |
Now I’m sitting here, sipping at my ice-cold beer,
| A5 A5/G | A5/F A5/E | Dm Dm/A | Dm Dm/A D5/B D5/C# |
lazing on a sunny afternoon.

Chorus 2

| D | D | G | G7 |
Help me, help me, help me sail away.
| C | C7 | F/C | A A7 |
Well, give me two good reasons, why I ought to stay.
| Dm | G7 | Dm | G7 C |
‘Cause I love to live so pleasantly, live this life of luxury,
| F/C | A A7 | D5 D5/C | D5/B D5/Bb |
lazing on a sunny afternoon.
| A5 A5/G | A5/F A5/E | D5 D5/C | D5/B D5/Bb | A5 A5/G | A5/F A5/E |
In Summertime, in the summertime, in the summertime.

Chorus 3

| D | D | G | G7 |
Save me, save me, save me from this squeeze.
| C | C7 | F/C | A A7 |
I’ve got a big fat momma tryin’ to break me.
| Dm | G7 | Dm | G7 C |
And I’d love to live so pleasantly, live this life of luxury,
| F/C | A A7 | D5 D5/C | D5/B D5/Bb |
lazing on a sunny afternoon.
| A5 A5/G | A5/F A5/E | D5 D5/C | D5/B D5/Bb |
In the summertime, in the summertime.
| A5 A5/G | A5/F A5/E | D5 D5/C | D5/B D5/Bb |
In the summertime, in the summertime,
| A5 A5/G | A5/F A5/E |
in the summertime.

End

| Dm | Dm | Dm | Dm |


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Sunny Afternoon Chords: Learn the progressions


Sunny Afternoon 8 step by step guitar lessons

Sunny Afternoon uses a bass line to create a looped pattern for the intro/chorus tag, these are the chords for when a capo is placed on fret five, thinking in the key of Am.

||: Am (VI) Am/G | Am/F# Am/F | E (IIIx) E/D | E7/C E7/B :||

Above, you can play along with a loop as you view the TAB for how to play this part of Sunny Afternoon. The idea is to over three examples, and vary the concept.

Here’s the same TAB as just an image:

Sunny Afternoon Intro Chorus Tag 3 TAB examples

Playing the same chords in three different ways means you’ll improve your accuracy. Once you can do it, you can blend the three examples.

The verse of Sunny Afternoon uses more conventional chords at first before the descending bass line idea is used over the E chord again, like this.

||: Am (VI) | G (V) | C (I) |
| G (V) | E (IIIx) E/D | E7/C E7/B :||
| Am (VI) Am/E | Am A (VIx) |

The chorus moves to the key of A and has a bVIIx chord (G).

| A (I) | A | D7 (IV) | D7 |
| G (bVIIx) | G7 | C (bIIIx and I) | E7 (IIIx) |
| Am (VI) | D7 | Am | D7 G (V) |

The C (bIIIx) and E7 chords act as a turnaround to get back to Am.

In the course, we first learn to play it using a capo on fret 5 as this works best when playing on just one guitar. This takes five lessons.

The final three steps are spent constructing and playing a 2nd guitar part without a capo in the keys of Dm and D. Learning this will enable you, me, and the singer to play Sunny Afternoon together, like an acoustic trio.

Should you play Sunny Afternoon as the only guitarist in a band, you may want to blend the two versions by playing open-position Dm chords as well as Am-shaped barre chords.

Here’s a link to the complete lesson series: Sunny Afternoon – Guitar Lessons with TAB.



Sunny Afternoon – A single, a compilation album, and a Musical!

Sunny Afternoon was a worldwide hit in 1966, charting in 18 countries. Sales at the time weren’t huge with less than half a million in the U.K., the legacy of the song would become far greater.

Originally released as a single from the forthcoming fourth album Face to Face, it would also be the name of a compilation album released the following year.

In 2014 a musical about The Kinks was named after the song as well. The show started in the Hampstead Theatre in London before it moved to the West End, went on tour, and then finally got cancelled due to COVID in August 2020.

Ray Davis has mentioned how he remembers the day he wrote Sunny Afternoon on piano as he was fed up with the progressive tax he had to pay to the U.K. Labour government under Harold Wilson.

Apparently, he was at home with his 1-year-old daughter, the furniture was green, the walls orange and he was wearing a polo-neck sweater.

Later, he also admitted that during recordings of Suny Afternoon, he was listening to Bob Dylan‘s Maggie’s Farm in particular and the album on which it is found, Bringing It All Back Home (1965) in general.


Sunny Afternoon Chords | Related Pages


Intermediate Acoustic

There are many more Intermediate Acoustic Songs with chords similar to Sunny Afternoon.

Most intermediate acoustic tunes can’t be played using just basic open-position chords. We have to move up the fretboard and play CAGED barre chords as well.

We incorporate bass lines, add licks, extend chords, and play vocal melodies. Most importantly, we’ll invent second guitar parts and play these songs together.


Five similar tunes with chords and lyrics

When you can play Sunny Afternoon's chords, try these five tunes from the songbook.


The Kinks tunes

The Kinks wrote Sunny Afternoon.

Categorized as a British invasion band, along with the other members of the so-called Big Four, The Kinks changed popular music forever.

Among their hits, you find Lola, Sunny Afternoon and You Really Got Me, which fourteen years later would be covered by Van Halen, using a much louder amp.


The Kinks on the web

Listen to The Kinks on Spotify.


Pop & Rock

When you can play Sunny Afternoon, check out these Pop & Rock tunes as well.

Whenever a tune doesn’t fit into a specific genre, it tends to end up here, in the Pop & Rock section.

Learn tunes from Tom Petty, Eagles, Toto, Oasis, Elvis, Clapton, John Mayer, Kings Of Leon, R.E.M., Radiohead, Bruno Mars, and more.


About me | Dan Lundholm

Dan Lundholm wrote this guitar lesson about Sunny Afternoon chords.

This was a guitar lesson about Sunny Afternoon chords, by Dan Lundholm. Discover more about him and learn guitar with Spytunes.

Most importantly, find out why you should learn guitar through playing tunes, not practising scales, and studying theory in isolation.



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