"Annie Waits" is one of many Ben Folds songs that uses an easily distinguished chord progression throughout the entire song. The introduction is a piano playing I-I-V-V-IV-I-I-I in a medium paced, rockish syncopated rhythm. This progression is played twice before Folds begins to sing the verse, starting with a pickup sol, going to mi. "And so," sol-mi, is how each verse phrase starts with each verse having two main phrases. The main melodic theme in the verse is sol-mi-re-fa-mi-re-fa-mi-re-fa-mi and may be heard at least six times throughout the song. The percussion comes in on the second phrase of the first verse, playing a simple rock beat. The bass guitar comes in at the very end of the first verse and goes for the steady dotted quarter, eighth, half note rhythm staying on the same note for a few phrases and then doing some fancier things. At certain points you can hear the bass doing a more drawn out I-V-IV-I. The second verse is the same as the first other than lyrical differences, but the third verse creates a new melodic theme. The rest of the song practically repeats the first three verses and the chorus is "Annie Waits for the last time which occurs at the end of the first verse and in between the third verse and the repeating of the first,second, and third verses.
This song, along with most Ben Fold's song, is amazing because of it's simplicity. The piano, bass, and percussion parts are all very simple but when put together they create a rocking sound. Another cool part about this song is the noticeable chord progression that keeps repeating through the song, making it easy to sing along to or play. I most enjoy listening to Ben Folds because it's nice to hear how rock music can very easily be played on the piano with very simple chords and the addition of more syncopated rhythms.