Guitar lesson for

Manhattan Island Serenade

by Vincent Neil Emerson  •  Lesson #320

Editor’s notes

Hey friends! Here’s the lyrics, chords, and chord progressions for the song “Manhattan Island Serenade” – originally by Leon Russell (1972), but also covered by Vincent Neil Emerson (2020). I haven’t made a video lesson yet, but here’s an audio recording of me playing the verse and chorus:

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Lyrics and chords

INTRO
  Em

VERSE
  Em                           Am            B7                      Em   (Em /D)
  ...Sitting on a highway in a broken van... thinking of you--- again
  C                                       G
  ...Guess I'll have to hitch hike to the station
  C                              G     B7
  ...With every step I see your face

  Em                       Am            B7                          Em   (Em /D)
  ...Like a mirror looking back at me... saying you're the only one
  C                             G
  ...Making me feel I could survive
  C                     G    B7
  ...Am so glad to be alive

CHORUS
      G             D/F#                   Em             Em  (Em /D)
      ...Nowhere to run, there's not a guitar to play
      C               B7                 Am              C
      ...Messed up inside and it's been raining all day
      G            B7    Em  (Em /D)     C             D           G    (G  D/F#)  Em
      ...Since you ran away................. Manhattan Island Serenade

  Em                            Am           B7                     Em    (Em /D)
  ...Sitting on a highway in a broken van... thinking of you again
  C                                         G
  ...Guess I'll have to hitchhike down the highway
  C                              G    B7
  ...With every step I see your face

  Em                       Am            B7                         Em    (Em /D)
  ...Like a mirror looking back at me... saying you're the only one
  C                             G
  ...Making me feel I could survive
  C                  G    B7
  ...So glad to be alive

      G             D/F#                   Em               (Em D)
      ...Nowhere to run, there's not a guitar to play
      C               B7                 Am               C
      ...Messed up inside and it's been raining all-- day
      G            B7    Em   (Em /D)    C             D           G     G
      ...Since you ran away................. Manhattan Island Serenade
      G            B7    Em   (Em /D)    C             D           G [let final chord ring]
      ...Since you ran away................. Manhattan Island Serenade

Chord progressions

INTRO

| Em . . . | x4

VERSE (play twice)

| Em . . . | Am . . . | B7 . . . | Em .  .  /D |
| C  . . . | G  . . . | C  . . . | G  .  B7  . |

CHORUS

| G . D/F# . | Em . . /D | C . B7 . | Am . C . |
| G . D/F# . | Em . . /D | C . D  . | G  . . . |

Listen to Vincent Neil Emerson’s version

Check it out here:

You also might want to check out Leon Russell’s original version, to see how it compares:

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