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I Shall Be Released by Bob Dylan

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The Chord Progression

The chord progression for “I Shall Be Released” is quite different than most songs. It doesn’t use the IV or V chord at all. The progression of I, ii, iii, ii, I is repeated throughout the song. The song in the key of A, so the chord progression sounds as A, Bm, C#m, Bm, A.

To play it just like the original recording you’ll play in the key of G with a capo on the 2nd fret. The use of the capo transposes it so that it sounds in the key of A.

Verse 1

G                            Am
They say everything can be replaced
Bm        Am               G   
Yet every distance is not near
G                   Am
So I remember every face
Bm       Am             G   
Of every man who put me here.


G                   Am
I see my light come shining
Bm       Am            G
From the west unto the east.
Any day now,
Any day now,
Bm Am         G
I   shall be released

Verse 2

A                           Bm
They say every man needs protection.
C#m            Bm       A   E7
They say every man must fall.
A                      Bm
Yet I swear I see my reflection,
C#m          Bm             A   E7
Somewhere so high above the wall.

Verse 3

A                                Bm
Well yonder stands a man in this lonely crowd,
C#m       Bm               A   E7
A man who swears he not to blame.
A                           Bm
All day long I hear him cry shouting loud,
C#m         Bm             A   E7
Calling out that he's been framed.