We Three Kings of Orient Are


What do all the following (very varied) songs have in common?

Sweet Child O'Mine Guns N Roses BLOGoZON No.11
We Three Kings of Orient Are Christmas Carol BLOGoZON No.66
Because of You Kelly Clarkson
God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen Christmas Carol BLOGoZON No.67
Nothing Else Matters Metallica

The answer is that they are all written in the key of E minor and use HARMONIC MINOR FIFTH CHORD SUBSTITUTIONS.

The next table shows the 3 and 4 note chords generated by harmonising the E natural minor scale with the appropriate scalic thirds:-

E natural minor harmony table

A similar table can also be generated for the E harmonic minor scale as follows:-.

E harmonic minor harmony table

All of the songs replace the E natural minor scale generated Bm7 chord with the E harmonic minor scale's equivalent B7 chord.

Kelly Clarkson's version of Because of You is extra clever because it uses the Bm7 chord in the verse chord sequence, then uses the B7 from the harmonic minor (to hook the listener) in the chorus chord sequence.

In the usual ballad manner it also recycles the chorus chord sequence for the outro but ups it by a tone(step) to the key of F# minor - all this requires a capo at fret 1 to match the key of the recording.

With songs like these using this particular maggot on their fishing hooks it sounds like a very good idea to incorporate something similar into your own songwriting.


We Three Kings of Orient Are

Guitar Pro 6 icon

Guitar at nut
Guitar at 12
Rhythm guitar
Rhythm guitar slashes
Bass guitar




  • Guitar at nut
  • Guitar at fret 12
  • Rhythm guitar
  • Rhythm guitar slashes
  • Bass guitar

Guitar at nut

Guitar at fret 12

Rhytm guitar

Rhythm guitar in slashes

Bass guitar


Lanza cover

Myrhh is mine, it's bitter perfume breathes a life of gathering gloom....Zon Brookes

Roscoe guitar body


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