“One Love” by Bob Marley is in four-four time with a four measure introduction. It has a very popular piano part that might start with the I chord but it is something like mi-mi-re-re-mi-re-do-ti-do-ti-mi-re-do. Each note is played with the major third and the bass is doing some do-re-fa action. The beginning of the song is played by keyboard, bass, rhythm guitar, and percussion. The lyrics come in singing the same melody that was used in the introduction. This melody is actually the chorus of the song and is four measures long but the singers (Marley and his background ladies) repeat the chorus and adds an extra line before Marley starts in on the verse. The verse is a little like mi-sol-la-sol and so on. Like in many Marley songs the chord progression is fairly slow and simple. The verse alternates between two chords and the verse does a little I-IV-V-I action. The chorus sings again, twice as always and another verse, same as the last comes in. In the verses, Marley sings one line, and then his backup vocalists do some nice echo sort of deals. The verses are slightly odd because they seem to be seven measures long, but I could be wrong. After the chorus sings the final time this song FADES out.
I was trying to pick out some of the chord progressions on Marley tunes a few days ago and that was when I realized that the chords really don’t change much. The other parts are just slightly deceiving so they must be doing a lot of tonal movement. This song is very cool because “One Love” is not at all the love you might think of right off the bat. The rest of the song is about war, and the chorus is more of a stark contrast to this, but it’s not a happy song as it seems to be.