Tenement Funster

Composer: Roger Taylor
Meter: 4/4
Key: e-minor, B-major with dorian inflection

 Intro | Verse 1 | Verse 2 | Chorus | Solo | Verse 3 | Chorus |

The most interesting thing about this song is how the three Verses and the Chorus section all have different melodies upon a very similar chord progression. Only the Solo section has different harmonies. The phrasing is uneven (uneven number of measures) in many of the sections. Except the varying Verses, the form of the song is simple and almost identical to that of Modern Times RnR. The final chord of the song is sustained to the intro of the next song (Flick Of The Wrist).


The folk-ballad-like guitar arpeggios are a familiar Rogeresque motif, which appears in two more of his later songs: Human Body and Rock It. Intro chords:

| Em  | Am  |
| i   | iv  |

Verse 1
Differently from later Verses, there are two measures less at the beginning of this section, unless we add the intro. Another difference in the framework is that the harmonic rhythm is slower during last measures (from the C chord on) compared to later Verses.

| Em  | Am  | Em  | G   | G7     |
| i   | iv  | i   | III | V-of-VI|

| C   | Cm7 | D   |Dmaj7| D7  | -   |
| VI  | vi  | VII | -   | -   | -   |

Verse 2

The framework is similar to the first Verse, but the melody is different except maybe the first two measures. Moreover the harmonic rhythm is doubled in the last three mesures. The arrangement is completed with bass, drums, and piano, and the arpeggiated chords are replaced with strummed ones.

| Em  | Am  | Em  | Am  |

| Em  | G   | C Cm| D maj7| D7  |

(functions above)

The chords are similar to the ones of the Verses, but the arrangement is different: very Rogeresque power-chord riffs (see Modern Times RnR) in the first four measures and backing vocals. In the fourth measure enters piano. The last measure is halved.

| Em  | Am  | Em  | Am  |
| Em  | G   | C Cm| D|

(functions above)

Second Chorus features delayed guitar fills, and has different ending (two measures instead of the last half measure).

This is the only section (ten measures) with totally different chord progression. The new tonic is B, but strangely the piano plays minor thirds for it. The solo guitar plays major thirds, and the piano switches to a B-major chord in the eighth measure. The last chord (D#) introduces the Em chord, similarly as G introduced G#m in the second measure. The B chord (V of i) could also be a possible choice for this role, but the D# is definitely a more Roger-like solution.

| Em  | G   | G#m | Bm  | G#m | Bm  |
| i   | III |...
          B:  vi  | i   | vi  | i  |

| G#m | B   | D#  | -   || Em
| vi  | I   | V-of-vi   ||

Verse 3
The melody is a bit similar to Verse 2. We can find two-part guitar harmonies in the second measure and two-part vocal harmonies in the fourth measure. They are different but actually imitate each other (even the vibratos are similar). More harmonies (three-part) appear in the last four measures.

| Em  | Am  | Em  | Am  |
| Em  | G   | C Cm| D*  | D*  | D*  | D*  |

(functions above, D* = D > Dmaj7 > D7 )