Somebody Stole My Gal

Somebody Stole My Gal is, in my (not) very humble opinion, a great song. It was written by Leon Wood in 1918 – which, according to our staff of certified statisticians, all of whom claim to have passed third grade, was nearly 100 years ago. The other day, though, I started showing it to Maybank. I was calling out the chords at first, so if you want to play or sing along, you may have something of an instructional. I play it in the the key of C, which is an easy key. Like a lot of the ragtime-influenced songs of the era, it does a bit of playing with the circle of fifths. At first it goes from C to G, but then the C descends to A, which I have to admit I can’t explain. But that’s what a lot of these songs do. Then it’s D, then G, and then back to the C. Always going to the next fifth. All major, straight-up chords. The second time around, in the second verse, it tosses in an E chord, which moves to the F chord, the fourth. What? But then it snaps back to the C; then A, D, G, C. Whaaat? It’s great fun to play. I’d heard this song a lot as a kid and never cared much for it. But in the 70’s, when I heard Jim Kweskin and the Jug Band do it, my feet got to tapping. And they’re still tapping! (Which is usually cool, except for in libraries, and maybe some other public places)

4 thoughts on “Somebody Stole My Gal

  1. So neat! I’m reading “Life” Keith Richards autobiography. It’s early, the Stones is just formed and they’re studying the blues greats like crazy. He’s talking about all these chords and tricks the payers used to get their sounds. My fave was T Bone and Chuck Berry played two strings at once.

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