Elvis Costello – Good Year for the Roses (Chords)

Elvis Costello – Good Year for the Roses (Chords)

When I was thinking of a song to sum up 2016 the title of this one immediately popped into my head. It was first a hit for George Jones but I’ve written up is Elvis Costello’s cover.

The version above uses a capo at the second fret to make things easier. But if you have no fear of the E chord you can play it this way:

Good Year for the Roses (No Capo Chords)

If you want to play along with the George Jones version just capo two frets higher. There’s only one other difference at that comes in the strumming.

Suggested Strumming

For the main strum you can use this good old standby:

d – d u – u d u

Intro: Main strum four times.

Verses: In the first two lines do the main strum twice on G. Then d – d u on G again and d – d u on C before returning to the main strum on G twice. Here’s how that sounds:

Verse Strum

On the second two lines do the main strum twice for each chord.


For the first two lines use the main strum once for the first two chords and twice for the last.

The third line is the same but inserts a 2/4 bar of d-d- on the second C chord. And the last line ends with a series of d-d- strums on the G-C-G-D. The last two lines sound like this:

Chorus Strum

The George Jones version doesn’t have that bar of 2/4. The first half of the bar is d-d- on C and the second is d-d- on G.

Twiddly Bits

Here’s a little lick based on the lap steel riff:


Here’s how that sounds:

Intro riff

If you’re playing without a capo you can take advantage of the open strings and play it like this:



Buy the George Jones version.
Buy the Elvis Costello version
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