“Ways and Means,” Final Straw, Snow Patrol

Posted by AJ Harbison at 4:45 pm

As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve been listening to Snow Patrol‘s album Final Straw in my car recently, and one of the songs that has struck me as interesting is “Ways and Means,” which is track nine. The factor of interest is the chord progression in the verses. I’m not sure what key the song is in (I haven’t taken the time to check), but the progression is minor tonic and major tonic, alternating back and forth; or, in Roman numerals: i – I – i – I etc. Those are the only two chords throughout the whole verse, and although it’s a very unorthodox progression, it works very well (especially with the Mixolydian-ish melody line) and makes sense to the ear. I’ve written before about how Snow Patrol sometimes uses a single progression over and over in a song but can still make it interesting and not sound too repetitive; and “Ways and Means” is another good example.

You can listen to “Ways and Means” in its entirety here, courtesy of the latest free online music-playing site I’ve found, http://listen.grooveshark.com.



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