Week 5 Challenge – Four Chords (I-V-vi-IV)

The Challenge this week is to write a song that uses the famous four chords of popular music – I – V- vi and IV! They do not have to be in that order though. These four chords have been played over and over in songs of so many various genres of popular music. Here is a very partial list of some songs that have made use of these progressions, taken from Wikipedia. Notice the many different years and artists that are represented:

Song Title Artist Year Progression
Down[24] Jay Sean feat. Lil Wayne 2009 IV–I–V–vi
Heart Attack[38] Demi Lovato 2013 IV–I–V–vi
What’s My Age Again?[109] Blink-182 1999 IV–I–V–vi; I–V–vi–IV
Drive By[25] Train 2012 IV–I–V–vi; vi–IV–I–V
Home[41] Phillip Phillips 2012 IV–I–V–vi; vi–IV–I–V
Try[103] P!nk 2012 IV–I–V–vi; vi–IV–I–V
With Me[115] Sum 41 2007 IV–I–V–vi; vi–IV–I–V
All Too Well[3] Taylor Swift 2012 I–V–vi–IV
Always on My Mind[4] Brenda Lee 1972 I–V–vi–IV
Another Girl, Another Planet[5] The Only Ones 1978 I–V–vi–IV
Beast of Burden[6] The Rolling Stones 1978 I–V–vi–IV
Bullet[10] Hollywood Undead 2011 I–V–vi–IV
California King Bed[11] Rihanna 2011 I–V–vi–IV
Cruise[15] Florida Georgia Line 2012 I–V–vi–IV
Cryin’[16] Aerosmith 1993 I–V–vi–IV
Dammit[6][17] Blink-182 1997 I–V–vi–IV
Demons[19] Imagine Dragons 2012 I–V–vi–IV
Dirty Little Secret[20] The All-American Rejects 2005 I–V–vi–IV
Feeling This[6][27] Blink-182 2003 I–V–vi–IV
Fuckin’ Perfect[30] P!nk 2010 I–V–vi–IV
Glycerine[32] Bush 1994 I–V–vi–IV
Hair[35] Lady Gaga 2011 I–V–vi–IV
Happy Ending[37] Mika 2007 I–V–vi–IV
If We Ever Meet Again[46] Timbaland feat. Katy Perry 2010 I–V–vi–IV
“Just Ace”[50] Grinspoon 1997 I–V–vi–IV
No One[58] Alicia Keys 2007 I–V–vi–IV
Pork and Beans[70] Weezer 2008 I–V–vi–IV
Summer Paradise Simple Plan 2012 I–V–vi–IV
Someone like You[84] Adele 2011 I–V–vi–IV
Take Me Home, Country Roads[90] John Denver 1971 I–V–vi–IV
The Edge of Glory[92] Lady Gaga 2011 I–V–vi–IV
To Know Him Is to Love Him[100] The Teddy Bears 1958 I–V–vi–IV
Tuesday’s Gone[102] Lynyrd Skynyrd 1973 I–V–vi–IV
Wagon Wheel[105] Old Crow Medicine Show 2004 I–V–vi–IV
Walking Disaster[106] Sum 41 2007 I–V–vi–IV
Walks Like Rihanna[107] The Wanted 2013 I–V–vi–IV
When I Come Around[6][110] Green Day 1993 I–V–vi–IV
What About Now[111] Lonestar 2000 I–V–vi–IV
Wherever You Will Go[112] The Calling 2001 I–V–vi–IV
With or Without You[116] U2 1987 I–V–vi–IV
Bridge of Light[8] P!nk 2011 I–V–vi–IV; vi–IV–I–V
Don’t You Wanna Stay[23] Jason Aldean and Kelly Clarkson 2010 I–V–vi–IV; vi–IV–I–V
For the First Time[28] The Script 2010 I–V–vi–IV; vi–IV–I–V
Four Chords[29] The Axis of Awesome 2011 I–V–vi–IV; vi–IV–I–V
Snow (Hey Oh)[83] Red Hot Chili Peppers 2006 I–V–vi–IV; vi–IV–I–V
The Rock Show[97] Blink-182 2001 I–V–vi–IV; vi–IV–I–V
“Ciaccona”[12] Antonio Bertali 1662 I–V–vi–IV–V
Africa[1] Toto 1983 vi–IV–I–V
Beautiful[7] Akon feat. Colby O’Donis andKardinal Offishall 2009 vi–IV–I–V
Brighter Than the Sun[9] Colbie Caillat 2011 vi–IV–I–V
Come Over[13] Kenny Chesney 2012 vi–IV–I–V
“De Música Ligera”[18] Soda Stereo 1990 vi–IV–I–V
Don’t Forget Me[21] Red Hot Chili Peppers 2002 vi–IV–I–V
Don’t Trust Me[22] 3OH!3 2008 vi–IV–I–V
Electrical Storm[26] U2 2002 vi–IV–I–V
Give Me Everything[31] Pitbull feat. Ne-yo, Afrojack, andNayer 2011 vi–IV–I–V
Good Life[33] OneRepublic 2010 vi–IV–I–V
Great Romances Of The 20th Century[34] Taking Back Sunday 2002 vi–IV–I–V
Hall of Fame[36] The Script feat. will.i.am 2012 vi–IV–I–V
Hello[39] Adele 2015 vi–IV–I–V
Hey Brother[40] Avicii 2013 vi–IV–I–V
Hot n Cold[42] Katy Perry 2008 vi–IV–I–V
I Just Had Sex[43] The Lonely Island feat. Akon 2011 vi–IV–I–V
I Was Here[44] Beyoncé 2011 vi–IV–I–V
If I Were a Boy[45] Beyoncé 2008 vi–IV–I–V
In This River[48] Black Label Society 2005 vi–IV–I–V
International Love[49] Pitbull feat. Chris Brown 2011 vi–IV–I–V
Just a Dream[51] Nelly 2010 vi–IV–I–V
Kaze wa Fuiteiru[52] AKB48 2011 vi–IV–I–V
Little Talks[53] Of Monsters and Men 2011 vi–IV–I–V
Love Me[54] Justin Bieber 2009 vi–IV–I–V
Love the Way You Lie[55] Eminem feat. Rihanna 2010 vi–IV–I–V
Marilyn Monroe[56] Nicki Minaj 2012 vi–IV–I–V
“Não Me Toca”[57] Anselmo Ralph 2012 vi–IV–I–V
Nobody’s Perfect[59] Miley Cyrus 2007 vi–IV–I–V
Not Afraid[60] Eminem 2010 vi–IV–I–V
Numb[61] Linkin Park 2003 vi–IV–I–V
On the Floor[62] Jennifer Lopez feat. Pitbull 2011 vi–IV–I–V
One of Us[63][64] Joan Osborne 1995 vi–IV–I–V
Otherside[65] Red Hot Chili Peppers 2000 vi–IV–I–V
Paradise[66] Coldplay 2011 vi–IV–I–V
Peace of Mind[67] Boston 1977 vi–IV–I–V
Pieces[68] Sum 41 2005 vi–IV–I–V
Poker Face[69] Lady Gaga 2008 vi–IV–I–V
Ready or Not[71] Bridgit Mendler 2012 vi–IV–I–V
Replay[72] Iyaz 2009 vi–IV–I–V
Rise[73] McClain Sisters 2012 vi–IV–I–V
Save Tonight[74] Eagle Eye Cherry 1997 vi–IV–I–V
Say Something[75] A Great Big World 2013 vi–IV–I–V
Science & Faith[76] The Script 2011 vi–IV–I–V
Self Esteem[77][78] The Offspring 1994 vi–IV–I–V
Silverflame[80] Dizzy Mizz Lizzy 1994 vi–IV–I–V
Six Degrees of Separation[81] The Script 2012 vi–IV–I–V
Skyscraper[82] Demi Lovato 2011 vi–IV–I–V
So Small[85] Carrie Underwood 2007 vi–IV–I–V
Soul To Squeeze[86] Red Hot Chili Peppers 1993 vi–IV–I–V
Sparks Fly[87] Taylor Swift 2011 vi–IV–I–V
Stand[88] Rascal Flatts 2007 vi–IV–I–V
Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)[89] Kelly Clarkson 2012 vi–IV–I–V
Tears of the Dragon[91] Bruce Dickinson 1994 vi–IV–I–V
The Kids Aren’t Alright[95] The Offspring 1999 vi–IV–I–V
“Think Twice”[98] Eve 6 2003 vi–IV–I–V
This Is Me[99] Demi Lovato and Joe Jonas 2008 vi–IV–I–V
Too Cool[101] Meaghan Jette Martin 2008 vi–IV–I–V
U + Ur Hand[104] P!nk 2006 vi–IV–I–V
We Found Love[108] Rihanna feat. Calvin Harris 2011 vi–IV–I–V
Whistle[113] Flo Rida 2012 vi–IV–I–V
Who You Are[114] Jessie J 2011 vi–IV–I–V
You’re Not Sorry[117] Taylor Swift 2008 vi–IV–I–V
Zombie[118] The Cranberries 1994 vi–IV–I–V
Confusion and Frustration in Modern Times[14] Sum 41 2007 vi–IV–I–V; I–V–vi–IV
The Light Behind Your Eyes[96] My Chemical Romance 2012 vi–I–IV–V
The Hell Song[93] Sum 41 2002 vi–I–V–IV
“The Hero”[94] (Opening theme ofOne-Punch Man) JAM Project 2015 vi–I–V–IV
All I Ever Wanted[2] Basshunter 2008 vi–V–I–IV
Shake It[79] Metro Station 2008 V–vi–IV–I

That list doesn’t even include the 50s progression ( I-vi-IV-V). Here are some more:

Song Name Artist Year Progression
Baby, I’m an Anarchist! Against Me! 2002 I–vi–IV–V
All I Have to Do Is Dream Everly Brothers 1960 I–vi–IV–V
“Baby Baby Baby” Aretha Franklin 1967 I–vi–ii–V
Beyond the Sea[1] Jack Lawrence and Charles Trenet 1946 I–vi–IV–V
Blue Moon The Marcels 1961 I–vi–IV–V
Bristol Stomp The Dovells 1961 I–vi–IV–V
Chain Gang[2] Sam Cooke 1960 I–vi–IV–V
Crocodile Rock[3] Elton John 1972 I–vi–IV–V
“Da Doo”, “Dentist” Little Shop of Horrors (musical)Original Broadway Cast 1982 I–vi–IV–V
Donna[4] Ritchie Valens 1958 I–vi–IV–V
Don’t Dream It’s Over[5] Crowded House 1986 IV–V–I–vi
Duke of Earl[6] Gene Chandler 1962 I–vi–IV–V
D’yer Mak’er Led Zeppelin 1973 I–vi–IV–V
Earth Angel[4][7] The Penguins 1954 I–vi–IV–V
Enola Gay Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark 1980 I–vi–IV–V
Eternal Flame[8] The Bangles 1989 I–vi–IV–V
Every Breath You Take The Police 1983 I–vi–IV–V
Eyes on Me Faye Wong 1999 I–vi–IV–V
Flightless Bird, American Mouth Iron & Wine 2007 I–vi–IV–V
Friday[9] Rebecca Black 2011 I–vi–IV–V
Give a Little Love[10] Bay City Rollers 1975 I–vi–IV–V
Happiness Is a Warm Gun[6][11] The Beatles 1968 I–vi–IV–V
Heart and Soul[12] Larry Clinton feat. Bea Wain 1938 I–vi–IV–V
In the Aeroplane Over the Sea Neutral Milk Hotel 1998 I–vi–IV–V
In The Shape Of A Heart Jackson Browne 1986 I–vi–IV–V
Jesus of Suburbia[13][14] Green Day 2005 I–vi–IV–V
Lollipop[15] Ronald & Ruby 1958 I–vi–IV–V
Lovable[16][17] Sam Cooke 1956 I–vi–IV–V
“Mama I’m A Big Girl Now” Hairspray (musical) Original Broadway Cast 2002 I–vi–IV–V
Mandy Barry Manilow 1974 I–vi–IV–V
Oliver’s Army[18] Elvis Costello 1979 I–vi–IV–V
Pretty Little Angel Eyes Curtis Lee 1961 I–vi–IV–V
Stand by Me[19][20] Ben E. King 1961 I–vi–IV–V
Telephone Line Electric Light Orchestra 1976 I–vi–IV–V
The Man Comes Around Johnny Cash 2002 I–vi–IV–V
There Is a Light That Never Goes Out The Smiths 1992 I–vi–IV–V
This Magic Moment[21] The Drifters 1960 I–vi–IV–V
Those Magic Changes[22] Sha Na Na 1978 I–vi–IV–V
Mr. Bass Man Johnny Cymbal 1961 I–vi–IV–V
True Blue[23] Madonna 1986 I–vi–IV–V
We Go Together[24] John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John 1972 I–vi–IV–V
You Are Not Alone[25] Michael Jackson 1995 I–vi–ii–V
“I’m Not Edward Cullen” Hank Green 2009 I–vi–IV–V
Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now Starship 1987 I–vi–IV–V
“No Hay Pedo” Banda Los Recoditos 2014 I–vi–IV–V
“Brave as a Noun” Andrew Jackson Jihad 2007 I–vi–IV–V
Joey Concrete Blonde 1990 I–vi–IV–V
Last Kiss[26] Wayne Cochran 1961 I–vi–IV–V
Dear Future Husband Meghan Trainor 2015 I–vi–IV–V
Dance with Me Tonight Olly Murs 2011 I–vi–IV–V
The Thin Ice Pink Floyd 1979 I–vi–IV–V
Marvin Gaye Charlie Puth 2015 I–vi–IV–V
Beautiful Girls Sean Kingston 2007 I–vi–IV–V
“Close Your Eyes” Meghan Trainor 2014 I–vi–IV–V
“Döner Skins” Landser 1997 I–vi–IV–V
“I Love You Too Much” The Book of Life (soundtrack) 2014 I-vi-IV-V
Why Do Fools Fall in Love Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers 1956 I–vi–IV–V
For Your Precious Love[27] Jerry Butler 1958 I–vi–IV–V
Please Mr. Postman The Marvelettes 1961 I–vi–IV–V
“Oh True Love” Everly Brothers 1960 I–vi–IV–V
All I Want for Christmas Is You Mariah Carey 1994 I–vi–IV–V

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