Recently the band Fall Out Boy released their hit single “Centuries” which is currently atop the charts. This hit song’s chord progression is similar to many other popular songs chord progression and is simple to play! Of course the way Fall Out Boy uses the chord progression for “Centuries” is part of the reason why it’s a hit but that same chord progression can be analyzed and even beginning song writers can use it to write their own hit song!
Fall Out Boy Centuries Chord Progression is the same throughout the entire song. They aren’t the first band to do this and they won’t be the last! It can sometimes be boring but depending on variations in rhythm, chord forms, song form, harmonies, lyrics, instrumentation, the simplest chord progression can sound truly unique. Below you will see the sheet music with song form and chord progression but I will also write it here for an easy analysis.
Fall Out Boy Centuries Chord Progression: Em – G – C – Am – D
If we look at Fall Out Boy Centuries chord progression, the chords can be broken down into categories based on their function which is described in my blog on writing chord progressions. Em has tonic function along with G. C also has a tonic function. This is because they are the i, III, and VI chords respectively. Am has predominant function because it comes before a chord that has a dominant function. In this song D which is the VII has the dominant function. So the progression moves from tonic, tonic, tonic, to predominant, and then to dominant. If the chord progression were to go travel backwards starting on D and ending on Em, then you have a regression which doesn’t make for good songwriting. For more help on understanding the above concept then you should read my blog on writing a song in a minor key a couple of times.
Fall Out Boy Centuries Chord Progression
Click below for a larger PDF version.
Fall Out Boy Centuries Song Form
Fall Out Boy’s Centuries Song form is typical of many songs. It is one of the reasons why it’s a hit because it’s simple. Simplicity goes a long way when it comes to song form and all other aspects in music like chord progression and melody. The easier the song is to play or the tune is to sing, the easier it is for beginning performers to play it. Everyone enjoys playing songs by musicians they look up to. It’s one of the many ways they learn! I wrote out the detailed song form on the sheet above but it’s easier to see it by itself right here.
Again, there are thousands of hit songs that have this same song form but that’s because that’s what works! Fall Out Boy made it their own with their song Centuries because the way they used rhythm, melodies, and harmonies. Lyrics also play an important role as well.