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Funny How Love Is | Fine Young Cannibals

Article from One Two Testing, June 1986

Fine Young Cannibals changes chopped

The Fine Young Cannibals, a combo with a neat line in Tamla and Northern Soul influenced numbers, have hardly plumbed the depths of originality to produce this song. They have, however, come up with a song that is the epitome of economical, perfect pop.

The Sixties atmosphere is evoked especially by the use of bongos (a bit of gated reverb should give you a 'Pearl And Dean' effect) and tambourine in the chorus (recorded in a live room — a bathroom will do equally well).

Variations in the verse harmonies have appeared in countless songs, from 'Feelings' to 'Stairway to Heaven', but the chorus harmonies do take rather unexpected turns. They are, you may be interested to know, in the relative major key.

(Related major and minor keys are those major and minor keys which are most similar in terms of the notes they use. Guitarists will know that often an Em or Em7 shape can be substituted for a G shape and vice versa. Thus G major is the relative of E minor. C major is the relative A minor, D of B, F of D, B flat of G.)

Using a relative major or minor key for different sections in a song gives variety but doesn't complicate the structure, which is one of the reasons why 'Funny How Love Is' is simple but not boring.


Key of E minor. 4/4 time - count 1 2 3 4 etc...
Obviously, the fingerpicking style of the acoustic guitar is semi-improvisatory so for the sake of brevity here are the chord shapes used:

(Click image for higher resolution version)

The bottom string is not used as the root of the chords. If you follow the line of the second string you will notice it descends gracefully with each chord.

THE BASS too is improvisatory in style and follows the same descending line, ie it begins each bar playing the same note as the guitar's second string (with two exceptions*) then fills up the rest of the bar with melodic ideas based around the chord.

This is the line for the verse:

(Click image for higher resolution version)

THE SAXOPHONE solo basically plays around the notes of the E minor scale:

(Click image for higher resolution version)

But over chords like F# minor 7 it will use ( ) C# instead of C, and over B7 it will use D# ( ) although using D over B7 will produce a 'bluesy' effect.


THE PIANO comes in for the chorus. The chords are phrased around the middle of the keyboard with clear bass notes. It goes into G major for the chorus.

(Click image for higher resolution version)

When at first you... left etc. "I thought I'd surely... etc."

Repeat but with B minor as the fourth chord

(Click image for higher resolution version)

Then the whole thing repeats once. Bass doubles the piano bass (the notes marked ). The guitar plays the same chords fingerpicked. They are:

(Click image for higher resolution version)

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Publisher: One Two Testing - IPC Magazines Ltd, Northern & Shell Ltd.

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One Two Testing - Jun 1986

Feature by Selma Henson

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