I am looking at the song “Redemption Song” by Bob Marley and trying to analyze it.
It seems to be in the key of G. The verse has the I IV ii and vi in a 4 bar loop. The third time through the 4 bar loop in the verse it has a V (D no 3rd) instead of the ii (a) which acts as a dominant that leads to the G, the I chord which starts the chorus.
The melody in the chorus is very clearly in G. 3 of the 4 phrases end on G. And the chord function makes it quite obvious that G is home.
But the verse is more ambiguous. The melody doesn’t have many Gs and seems to resolve to A a lot. There is a Bb but I think it is a passing tone and there are also b naturals. Is the verse in A minor? The verse has two large phrases split into two smaller phrases. Both larger phrases seem to resolve on the A minor chord the first time on the 3rd of the chord (c) the second one on the tonic (a) but the second phase ends on the D chord so while the melody resolves it sounds less stable as it is on the V chord of G (D) which wants to bring it to G.
Am I right about the verse being in A minor. Is this a common modulation? Or is it in G or Em?
And one more question; the song ends on the chorus followed by several bars of Am and then am6 causing a lot of tension that wants to resolve. The F# of the Am6 is the leading tone to G and it never resolves. Am I hearing this incorrectly because I have analyses the keys wrong or is it intentionally unresolved because it is a metaphor to leave the song unresolved because the issue at hand is unresolved (meaning slavery and the pain it caused will always be an issue)?