Pachelbel - Canon in D



or "Sometimes it seems as though 50% of all pop songs have borrowed from Mr Pachelbel"


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Pachelbel's Canon


There are numerous pop songs that are supposed to be based on this piece. I suppose the reason is that the Canon is based on a repeating sequence of bass notes and corresponding chord progression. Pachelbel added 3 parts for strings above the base line (repeated 27 times!), varying these parts each time, with the second instrument imitating the entry of the first and so on. On this site I have mentioned Rain and Tears (1968- Aphrodite's Child), All Together Now (1990 - The Farm), C U when U Get There (1997 - Coolio) and Welcome to The Black Parade (2006 - My Chemical Romance) as being derived from the Canon.  But many other songs could be said to use the same chord progression. It is very common in pop music. I would not claim, however, that all these have consciously decided to use the Canon. For example, the folk song Streets of London by Ralph McTell happens to use these same chords. Pete Waterman, in an interview, claimed that he based Kylie Minogue's I should be so lucky on the same piece. This is stretching things a bit too far, I think. In fact his former colleagues, Stock and Aitken, in a subsequent interview claimed that Waterman was talking nonsense.

Here is an amusing video from YouTube which demonstrates how many songs might just be related to the Canon in D. I must say that some of them are stretching the similarity a little too far.



Here is a list of assorted songs that could possibly be based on the Canon - I leave it to you to make your own minds up, dear readers. I will add more if you care to send me the titles and artists.

  • Los Pop Tops' "Oh Lord, Why Lord" (1968)

  • "One Tin Soldier", originally written by Dennis Lambert and Brian Potter, and first performed by Original Caste (1969), though it didn't get really popular until Coven covered it (1971).

  • Jun Togawa's "Mushi no Onna" (1984)

  • Blues Traveler's "Hook" (1994)

  • The Future Sound of London's "Domain" (1994)

  • Spiritualized's "Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space" (1997)

  • Catch 22's "On & On & On" (1998)

  • Vitamin C's "Graduation (Friends Forever)" (2000)

  • Snapcase's "ID/Hindsight" (2002)

  • Dragonforce's "Valley of the Damned" (2003)

  • Zox's "Canon" (2003)

  • Aerosmith's "Cryin'" (1993)

  • Green Day's "Basket Case" (1994)

  • Oasis' "Don't Look Back in Anger" (1996)

List kindly provided by Kolin Chasm