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How to Play “Walking in Memphis” by Marc Cohn on Piano

“Walking in Memphis” is a pop-rock song by American singer-songwriter Marc Cohn, released in 1991 as the first single from his self-titled debut album. The song was inspired by Cohn’s visit to Memphis, Tennessee, where he experienced the city’s musical and cultural heritage. The song features a piano-driven melody and gospel-style backing vocals, and it has been covered by many artists, such as Cher, Lonestar, and Rascal Flatts. In this article, we will show you how to play “Walking in Memphis” by Marc Cohn on piano, with the chords, sheet music, and lyrics.

Chords

To play “Walking in Memphis” by Marc Cohn on piano, you will need to know six basic chords: C, F, G, Am, Dm, and Em. These are all triads, meaning that they consist of three notes each. Here are the chord symbols and the notes for each chord:

[Verse 1]
F   G     C          Am
Put on my blue suede shoes,
    F       G      C     Am
And I board-ed the plane. 
        F       G           C         Am
Touched down in the land of the Delta Blues, 
F                G           C     Am
In the middle of the pouring rain.
F   G     C   Am    F        G    C       Am
W.__C. Handy, won't you look down over me, 
F          G       C            Am
Yeah I got a first class ticket. 
           F         G       C
But I'm as blue as a boy can be. 
 
 
[Chorus 1]
         Am         F       G  C
Then I'm walking in Memphis, 
Am              F        G           C
Walking with my feet ten feet off of Beale. 
Am             F    G  C
Walking in Mem—phis, 
Am              F        G           G7sus4 C/G
But do I really feel the way I feel? 
 
 
[Verse 2]
G7sus4              C/G
Saw the ghost of El—vis, 
G7sus4       C/G
On Union Ave—nue.
                G7sus4                C/G
Followed him up to the gates of Grace—land, 
       G7sus4                         C/G
Then I watched him walk right through. 
       F2                  G7sus4  C
Now se—curity they did not see him, 
Am        F2      G7sus4 C
They just hovered 'round his tomb. 
Am            F2            G7sus4
But there's a pretty little thing, 
     C       Am
Wait—ing for the King. 
F           N.C.
Down in the Jungle Room,
 
 
[Chorus 2]
C                         F    G C
When I was walking in Mem—phis, 
Am                    F        G           C
I was Walking with my feet ten feet off of Beale. 
Am             F    G C
Walking in Mem—phis 
Am              F        G          C7sus4
But do I really feel the way I feel? 
 
 
[Instrumental]
|C7sus4 C7|
|C7sus4 C7|
 
 
[Bridge]
            C7sus4         C7     C7sus4 C7
They've got catfish on the table 
            C7sus4        C7    C7sus4 C7
They've got gospel in the air 
                     E7         F7
And Reverend Green__ be glad to see you 
         F#dim7        G7     C/G G7
When you haven't got a prayer 
N.C.                               F    G C
But boy you've got a prayer in Mem—phis 
 
 
[Verse 3]
F           G     C     Am
Now, Muriel plays piano 
      F         G         C    Am
Every Friday at the Holly-wood 
F        G                  C   Am
And they brought me down to see her 
F                 G    C     Am
And they asked me if I would
F2   G7sus4 C       Am7
Do a little num-ber 
      F         G      C     Am7
And I sang with all my might
               F2          G     C         Am7
And she said, "Tell me are you a Christian child?" 
            F2  N.C.      C
And I said,"Ma'am I am to-night"
 
 
[Chorus 3]
Am             F   G C
Walking in Mem—phis,  (Walking in Memphis) 
Am                    F        G           C
I was walking with my feet ten feet off of Beale.  (Walk, walk, walk)  
Am             F    G C
Walking in Mem—phis,   (Walking in Memphis)  
Am              F        C   Dm C
But do I really feel the way I  feel?  (Walk, walk, walk) 
Am             F    G C
Walking in Mem—phis,   (Walking in Memphis)   
Am                    F        G           C
I was Walking with my feet ten feet off of Beale. (Walk, walk, walk)   
Am              F        G      Csus4
But do I really feel the way I  feel? 
 
 
[Instrumental]
|F  G  C Am|
|F  G  C Am|
 
 
[Outro]
F   G     C          Am
Put on my blue suede shoes,
      F    G            C Am
And I boarded the plane. 
        F       G           C         Am
Touched down in the land of the Delta Blues, 
F                    G       C    Am
In the middle of the pouring rain.
        F       G           C         Am
Touched down in the land of the Delta Blues, 
       F                  G   F
In the middle of the pour—ing rain.
 
 
[Coda]
|   G  C Am|
|F  G  C Am|
|F  G  C Am|
|F  G  C   |

You can also use some variations of these chords to add some color to your playing. For example, you can play Cmaj7 (C E G B) instead of C, Fmaj7 (F A C E) instead of F, Gsus4 (G C D) instead of G, Am7 (A C E G) instead of Am, Dm7 (D F A C) instead of Dm, and Em7 (E G B D) instead of Em. These variations add some extra notes that create a major seventh or a suspended sound, which can make the chords sound more rich and expressive.

Sheet Music

The sheet music for “Walking in Memphis” by Marc Cohn is available online for free or for purchase from various sources. You can find the sheet music for the song on Bing by searching for “walking in memphis sheet music”. Here are some links to some of the sources:

  • [Musicnotes]: This website offers the sheet music for “Walking in Memphis” by Marc Cohn in various formats and transpositions. You can view the first page for free or buy the full version for $5.50.
  • [Sheet Music Plus]: This website offers the sheet music for “Walking in Memphis” by Marc Cohn in PDF format. You can preview the first page for free or buy the full version for $3.99.
  • [Musescore]: This website offers the sheet music for “Walking in Memphis” by Marc Cohn in Musescore format. You can view and play the sheet music online for free or download it to your device.

Lyrics

Now that you know the chords and the sheet music, you can play along with the lyrics of “Walking in Memphis” by Marc Cohn. Here are the lyrics with the chords above them:

Verse 1: C F Put on my blue suede shoes G C And I boarded the plane C F Touched down in the land of the Delta Blues G C In the middle of the pouring rain C F W.C. Handy – won’t you look down over me G C Yeah I got a first class ticket F G But I’m as blue as a boy can be

Chorus: C F Then I’m walking in Memphis G C Walking with my feet ten feet off of Beale C F Walking in Memphis G C But do I really feel the way I feel

Verse 2: C F Saw the ghost of Elvis on Union Avenue G C Followed him up to the gates of Graceland F G Then I watched him walk right through C F Now security they did not see him G C They just hovered ’round his tomb F G But there’s a pretty little thing waiting for the King Am G Down in the Jungle Room

(Repeat Chorus)

Bridge: F G They’ve got catfish on the table F G They’ve got gospel in the air Am Em And Reverend Green be glad to see you F G When you haven’t got a prayer F G But boy you’ve got a prayer in Memphis

Verse 3: C F Now Muriel plays piano every Friday at the Hollywood G C And they brought me down to see her F G And they asked me if I would C F Do a little number and I sang with all my might G C And she said “Tell me are you a Christian child?” F G And I said “Ma’am I am tonight”

(Repeat Chorus)

Outro: C F Put on my blue suede shoes G C And I boarded the plane C F Touched down in the land of the Delta Blues G C In the middle of the pouring rain F G In the middle of the pouring rain C F In the middle of the pouring rain

Conclusion

“Walking in Memphis” by Marc Cohn is a classic song that pays tribute to the musical and cultural legacy of Memphis, Tennessee. The song is easy to play on piano, with only six basic chords and a catchy melody. The song is also a great example of how to use imagery and storytelling to create a memorable and emotional tune. If you want to learn more songs by Marc Cohn, you can check out some of his other hits, such as “Silver Thunderbird”, “True Companion”, and “One Safe Place”. You can also search for more piano lessons and tutorials on Bing. Happy playing!

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