We're not having a poll this week, but let us know in the comments which of these you prefer. I think you could argue that there are 3 or 4 key changes in that song—or at least changes of mode—since the verse is in minor and the chorus as it sounds to me, anyway is in the relative major. Stokes: Living on a Prayer is actually a very cool song, harmonically. Not quite as common as I-IV-V-I, but common enough that you have no reason, on first hearing the song, to hear the verse any other way.
Prayer in G Major Sheet Music by Mike Garson
You can think of that as a key change, but I find it much more interesting to think of the song as having been in G major all along… you just have to retroactively hear the opening loop as a IV-V-vi deceptive cadence. The idea that prayers are real enough to live on? This kind of heavyhanded one-to-one symbolism is maybe a little juvenile, but it seems to work so well here!
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The key change becomes even more interesting. The opening progression arrived at an E minor chord, but we recontextualized that as vi of G major, right?
Note that if you keep hearing it in G major, the move to a minor one chord is, like, the most depressing thing ever. Good thing that's not how we hear it, right? Wrather: Right, exactly—I was using the evidence in a similar way as Jordan. My interpretation is like the inverse of his: The song is in minor almost all the way through, reflecting the hardships of the life Johnny and Tina live, with a phrase or two in major when it represents their hopes.
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Wrather : Sorry, I was unclear. I think the verse is in minor and the chorus is in the relative major, both before and after the modulation.
The Lord's Prayer- G maj - Teddy Nasr Music
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