#1
Hey there,

i've been trying to understand the chord progression(s) in the song "William It Was Really Nothing" by The Smiths. Johnny Marr (The Smith's guitarist) is known for a bit unorthodox and interesting progressions.

The song goes approximately like this:

First Part:
Gmaj7 - Dmaj7 - F#m7 - Bm
Gmaj7 - Dmaj7 - F#m7 - Bm
Gmaj7 - Dmaj7 - F#m7 - Bm
Gmaj7 - D - F#m7

Bridge 1:
Gmaj7 - F#m7
B6 - A6
D - E
B6 - A6
D - E

Bridge 2:
C - G - D - F#m7 - G - F#m7

Chorus:
G - D - G - A - Bm - Bmaug7
G - D - G - A - Bm - Bmaug7 - Bm7 - Emaj9

Repeat Bridge 2

Repeat Chorus


So, i'm having some trouble understanding this progression (bare in mind i'm a theory noob). Here you can listen the song: William It Was Really Nothing - YouTube. And here's the UG Tab for it: William It Was Really Nothing

My thoughts about it so far:

For the most part, i think the song resolves to "D". In the first part, i feel there's a ii7 - vi - IV7 - I7 (F#m7-Bm-Gmaj7-Dmaj7) in there.

Now, the Bridge 1 confuses me quite a bit, because i feel the B6 and A6 chords come out of nowhere. I'm not even sure what the tonal center is in this part. Because of the D and the E there, it kinda feels like a key change to A. I also observe that A6 has three notes in common with Dmaj7 and has the exact same notes as F#m7. Maybe it's not really an A6 in this context, but an open chord variation of the same F#m7 (Marr generally prefers open chords).

Then comes the Bridge 2, which in my opinion feels again like a key change, i think it pulls the song back to D. Although if this were true, the presence of the C confuses me again quite a bit.

And then comes the chorus, whose tonal center i definitely think is D, G being the IV, A the V and Bm is the vi. The Bm-Bmaug7-Bm7-Emaj9 sequence goes down chromatically and ends in the Emaj9 which in my opinion feels like it was substituted for the "normally" resolving D.

Any thoughts/corrections/additions on this?

Cheers,
C.