I'm a Sucker for Minor Key Waltzes

I was accidentally listening to Toad The Wet Sprocket - Walk On The Ocean this afternoon, and was reminded that I almost invariably like a minor key waltz. I suspect it’s a driving force behind why I like R.E.M. I’ll try to think of more examples, but would like to hear from you. What are some of your favorites?


Can’t think of any fav minor key waltzes right now, I have a few favorites in minor key though.
U2 - One
R.E.M. - Losing My Religion
Carole King - It’s Too Late
Angie - Rollingstones
RHCP - Californication


I couldn’t think of a minor key waltz so I cheated, I looked up “minor key waltz”, and was bombarded with links to “Waltz in A minor”, Chopin. I like the “Minute waltz” but apparently its in D flat major. This is beautiful though.


Ah ha! After watching a Burt Bacharach documentary last night -
“What The World Needs Now”

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Jeez, I start a conversation then just walk away. I came back with a couple of ones I’ve noticed in that time though. :slight_smile:

I’d have to say that “What The World Needs Now” is a waltz, but probably major key. It’s hard to tell or define sometimes, though. One of my all time favorite songs is a waltz, and I think of it as a minor key, but it definitely has some major chords in it:
Simon & Garfunkel -America

Same with the theme for Schitt’s Creek:

So let’s step back to definitely a waltz (3/4 time, although 6/8 reduces to the same fraction imo), and minor key:
Calexico - Sunken Waltz
Calexico - Sunken Waltz - YouTube

One of the more recognizable Christmas carols (and one of my favorites), Carol of the Bells by Ukranian composer Alexander Koretch:

The aforementioned:
Toad The Wet Sprocket - Walk On The Ocean:

A blues waltz:
Allman Brothers - Dreams

A metal waltz ballad:
Metallica - Nothing Else Matters

A non-ballad:
Jimi Hendrix - Manic Depression

An even less ballad waltz:
A Perfect Circle - Judith

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I checked and you’re right, “What The World Needs Now” originally written in Gmaj according to musicnotes.com. However the first recording by Jackie DeShannon was in Bbmin. I checked the Dionne Warick version, to me it sounds like Dmaj. Simon & Garfunkel - “America” is definetely a 3/4 waltz but I believe the key is Ebmaj. Beautiful song by the way & you’re also right it’s a bit hard to define sometimes. All very good for aural training though, lest I go deaf in old age. All your videos here are going to keep me busy. :smile:

Houston - R.E.M. - 3/4 waltz in Dmin apparently.


@Kelly_A Jimmy Hendrix- Manic Depression is written in a Cmaj key signature, but it does have some # sharps in it. Do you mean waltzes with a minor key signature or waltz with minor key notes? This is challenging but fun. I feel like I’m in a music theory class. :smile: :+1:
manic depression

Edit - Kelly, I think I’m starting to understand what you mean. A sharp # in a key signature of Cmaj is an accidental minor key. Simon & Garfunkel “America” with a signature key of Ebmaj is a relative of Cmin. Have I got that right? :smile:


4/4 in Cmaj, I think. Still, it’s worth a slow and close romantic dance with a partner.

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Possibly one of the earliest minor key waltzes:

It’s the innate lilting sadness of the minor 3/4 time that makes it so beautiful in my humble opinion

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Then there is this of course:

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