Guitar lesson for

Please Come Home for Christmas

by The Eagles  •  Lesson #199

Video lesson

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Editor’s notes

I’ve had a blast learning this classic holiday tune, “Please Come Home for Christmas”. Originally recorded by Charles Brown (1960) and then notably covered by The Eagles (1978), this is not only a great song - but one that’s darn fun to play on guitar. There’s quite a few chords needed, but it’s really the D#-diminished and E-augmented that add some really special flavor to the main chord progression. In this lesson, I’ll teach the song with a heavy focus on the first verse (learn that, and you’ll be 80% of the way there). I hope you enjoy!

Backing track

You can currently find the backing track here. Note, this is only the first verse - looping over and over. The idea is to let you practice your chords, strumming, etc - with a steady background track to have on for reference.


Lyrics with chords

VERSE #1
                  A          Amaj7               A7          A7
    Bells will be ringing........... the sad sad news
                  D          D                   D#°         D#°
    ...Oh, what a Christmas............ to have the blues
                  A          D                   A      E    F#m
    ....My baby's gone.............. I  have  no friends
                  B7         B7                  E           E+
    ...To wish me greetings................ once again

VERSE #2:
                   A        Amaj7           A7
    Choirs will be singing......... "Silent Night"
              D                               D#°
    Christmas carols................ by candlelight
                         A          D                       A     (E)   F#m
    Please come home for Christmas.... please come home for Christmas
               B7        E7                A       A7
    If not for Christmas.... by New Year's night

BRIDGE
                      D                   Dm
        Friends and relations... send salutations
        A               E+            A7     A7
        Sure---- as the stars shine above
                    D                              Dm                             
        But this is Christmas... yes, Christmas my dear
                    B7                           E       E+
        The time of year to be with the ones you love

VERSE #3:
                 A        Amaj7                     A7
    So won't you tell me......... you'll never more roam
                  D                            D#°
    Christmas and New Year's.... will find you home
                          A       C#7               F#m    E
    There will be no more sorrow...... no grief and pain
    D       D#°     A     F#m    B7  E7    A       E+
    ....And I'll be happy.... happy, once again

SOLO:

    | A           | Amaj7       | A7          | A7          |
    | D           | D           | D#°         | D#°         |

ENDING:
                          A       C#7               F#m   (E)
    There will be no more sorrow...... no grief and pain
    D       D#°     A     F#m    B7  E7    A       D     A (let ring)
    ....And I'll be happy.... happy, once again

How to play the chords

Here’s how to play the chords you’ll need. There are a lot, but take it slow and don’t give up!

E ––0––––0––––0–– ––2–––1–––2––– ––0–––0–––0–– –––2––––4––––2–––
B ––2––––2––––2–– ––3–––3–––1––– ––0–––3–––1–– –––2––––6––––0–––
G ––2––––1––––0–– ––2–––2–––2––– ––1–––1–––1–– –––2––––4––––2–––
D ––2––––2––––2–– ––0–––0–––1––– ––2–––2–––2–– –––4––––6––––1–––
A ––0––––0––––0–– –––––––––––––– ––2–––2–––––– –––4––––4––––2–––
E ––––––––––––––– –––––––––––––– ––0–––0–––––– –––2–––––––––––––
    A  Amaj7  A7    D   Dm  D#°    E   E7  E+    F#m  C#7   B7

Time signature

Understand that this song has 6 counts per each measure. I’ll explain more about this later (within strumming section), but it’s important to understand when looking at the chord progression - and understanding how long you stay on each chord.

Chord progressions

Verse #1:

"Bells will be ringing..."

| A           | Amaj7       | A7          | A7          |
| D           | D           | D#°         | D#°         |
| A           | D           | A     E     | F#m         |
| B7          | B7          | E           | E+          |

Verse #2: (same as first, except final line is different):

"Choirs will be ringing..."

| A           | Amaj7       | A7          | A7          |
| D           | D           | D#°         | D#°         |
| A           | D           | A     E     | F#m         |
| B7          | E7          | A           | A7          |

Bridge:

"Friend and relations..."

| D           | D           | Dm           | Dm           |
| A           | E+          | A7           | A7           |
| D           | D           | Dm           | Dm           |
| B7          | B7          | E            | E+           |

Verse #3:

"So won't you tell me..."

| A           | Amaj7       | A7          | A7          |
| D           | D           | D#°         | D#°         |
| A           | C#7         | F#m   (E)   | D     D#°   |
| A     F#m   | B7    E7    | A           | E+          |

Verse #4:

Solo:

| A           | Amaj7       | A7          | A7          |
| D           | D           | D#°         | D#°         |

"There'll be no more sorrow..."

| A           | C#7         | F#m   (E)   | D     D#°   |
| A     F#m   | B7    E7    | A           | D           | A

                                ...let final "A" chord ring

Strumming

If you want to keep things as simple as possible, try doing a single down strum on the 1 and 4 counts (or, only the 1 count). I recommend doing this, with the song or backing track on in the background, to get a feel for the pulse of the song.

1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5 + 6 +
D           D

Next, start moving your strumming hand regularly within the rhythm of the 6 counts per each measure. The important thing, though, is to place accent on the 1 and 4 counts (all other strums can be light, delicate brushes upon each string).

1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5 + 6 +
D   D   D   D   D   D
>           >

You can then bring in up-strums. One way is to add a “down-up-down-up” after each heavy “down” that happens on the 1 and 4 count.

1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5 + 6 +
D   D U D U D   D U D U
>           >

Finally, here’s one example of one additional way you can add some variety to the strum. I demonstrate this in the video lesson - it isn’t easy, but is just one example of how you can make a strumming pattern your own.

1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5 + 6 +
D     U D   D   D U D U
>           >

Good luck!

Thanks for reading! I hope this helped you. Questions? Comments? Requests? Let me know!

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