“Dock of the Bay” is in the bright key of G major, a tonality that is somewhat at odds with its weary lyrics. The verse kicks off on the I chord, G. One of the most memorable aspects of the song is the second chord, the III (B). In a major key, the iii chord is minor, but in the case of “Dock of the Bay,” where it is stated as major, it seems to almost jump into your ears.
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