Monday, August 02, 2010

Imelda May "Big Bad Handsome Man" Chords & Lyrics

This is my first attempt at interpreting one of the divine Imelda Mary Higham's great songs, but in response to a request on Facebook I decided to give it a go.

For those not familiar with the whole Imelda May phenomenon, Imelda and her band, from Dublin, have re-introduced Rockabilly to Irish music listeners who have become increasingly starved of any music with a whiff of rock'n'roll to it.

Her second album "Love Tattoo" and her subsequent tour of the album made Irish music fans really sit up and listen! Imelda won the award for Best Female at the 2009 Meteor Awards, and has also performed at the 2010 Grammy awards with Jeff Beck. Just a matter of time before the rest of Europe and the US catch up with her alternately smooth and raucous jazzy vocal style.

"Big Bad Handsome Man" was the second single released from "Love Tattoo" ( check out the brilliant first single - "Johnny got a Boom-Boom" ! )

Although my transcription is a basic chords and lyrics version, it is ( I hope! ) a very playable one. The song was in the key of B flat minor - not one to encourage the early learner - so I transcribed it down a semitone to A minor, which means the only chords you need are Am and E ( just put a capo on the 1st fret to bring it back to the original key ).

The trickiest part is getting the rhythm right. I'm afraid that I'm not an expert in formal rhythm structures, but it's a kind of "Cha-cha, cha" strum on each chord, as indicated in the transcription below. There is also a nice jazzy chord to end the song which I haven't quite figured out yet. I indicated it as Cmaj7, as there seems to be both a C and a B note, but I'm pretty sure that's not right - corrections welcome!

Ok, so I have added this to my Rock songs guitar chords page at the link below, I hope you'll have lots of fun with it. And do check out "Love Tattoo" if you already haven't, and if you get the chance to catch Imelda and the band live, don't miss it!!

Guitar chords and lyrics to "Big Bad Handsome Man" by Imelda May

Play along with the video above, or on Youtube at Imelda May "Big Bad Handsome Man" on YouTube

Go to CDUniverse to browse Imelda May albums and singles: Imelda May music at CD Universe

If you're looking to improve your guitar playing, check out my list of cool and useful guitarist resources on my Online Guitarist Resources page

Enjoy your music!

P.J. Murphy
webmaster: PJ's Guitar Chords & Lyrics -

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