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Key (concert):

G Major

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Words and chords

The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time (Rolling Stone)



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The Beatles: I want to hold your hand - - (Table view)

Other recordings of I want to hold your hand:

Progressions

  • III Chord Major mediant - V-of-vi
  • From Alan W. Pollack's "Notes on "I Want To Hold Your Hand" " :

    The list of chords used is not particularly unusual in itself, though the way they leave the V-of-vi chord (B Major) repeatedly unresolved in the verse sections is rather creative. The subtle leaning toward the relative minor key is reminiscent to some extent of what we saw recently in "Not A Second Time"; and as I mentioned there in connection with "A Day In The Life", the same choice of key here yet again seems beyond mere coincidence.

    (...)

    The first two phrases each veer straight toward the key of the relative minor, e, via a deceptive cadence, finishing off on the V of e. In the first instance, this V-of-vi is left dangling like a non-sequitor when the next phrase starts off all over again from I (G) as though nothing had happened. Furthermore, this juxtaposition of the G and B Major chords creates a tastily wavering cross-relation between the notes d# and d natural, somewhat analogous to what we saw regarding the relation between the chords on I and flat-III in "Hold Me Tight." In the second instance, the B chord is itself resolved deceptively by the move to IV (C) at the beginning of the final phrase.

    (...)

    As we've seen in other songs, the outro here is developed as an outgrowth of the final verse. Measure 12 is modified the last time around so that instead of going home to the I chord (G), it moves quite deceptively to the V-of-vi (B), which neatly motivates a "petit-reprise" (no joke -- a legitimate 'technical' term in the parlance of the French Baroque!) of the IV-V-I title phrase. Note, by the way, the incorporation of the intro-like lead-guitar riff into that deceptive cadence.

    Special chords

    Modulation

    Minor - related Major VIb-VIIb-III / IV-V7-I

    From Alan W. Pollack's "Notes on "I Want To Hold Your Hand" " :

    There is also the relatively rare occurence of a full-blown pivot modulation to the key of IV (C Major) in the bridges.

    (...)

    Harmonically, we have a textbook pivot modulation to the key of C. Additional textural contrast with the surrounding verses is achieved by a change in drumming. I also happen to especially like, in the measure immediately preceding the bridge, the way the guitar plays a couple of choppy chords on the off-beats in direct antiphony with the bass.

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    Further references:

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