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.
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. G Any day now, Am Any day now, Bm Am G I shall be released
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.
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.