Pat Donohue – Out On The Road To Kingdom Come [chords]

PDF Chords: Pat Donohue – Road to kingdom come


Pat is mostly know as the house guitarist A Prairie Home Companion and most of his song combine witty jokes with wide gourmet of country, blues and folk guitar licks. This song is very different, being a strangely non-moralizing gospel tinged ditty. It only looks like a religious song from the outside, in the same way it only seems like there is some physical altercation going on in the first verse.

In fact, the first verse is saying: we were having discussions and big disagreements about major issues, but it was fun because we could do it in friendship. In the end, we are on this road together. For me, as an atheist, it means ‘death’, the end, nothingness, but for people with a more religious background, this may mean ‘heaven’, the ultimate goal, all. We may differ in what we expect to find behind the Door, but that we are united on our road towards that Door. There is also a bit of Heidegger’s Sein zum Tode.

I will not go deeper into analyzing the lyrics – people don’t understand why you can write a 25 page paper on one poem. I still think there is no better tribute to any poem than demonstrating it takes pages and pages to do what the poet does in a few line.

But here are the chords. If you like this stuff you should also check my post on Blind Connie Williams.

I have transcribed the basic chords, which are dead easy. The diminished chords used as transitions, often to the A are explained by Pat himself in this video.

C.W. Stoneking ‘On A Desert Isle’ chords

This song from C.W. Stoneking‘s last album is maybe one of the strongest songs he’s ever written. Strangely, he tried to write the perfect Hawaiian sunset crooning tune before, and almost succeeded with ‘Jungle Lullaby’ in 2008.

Anyway, here are the mystery chords of ‘On A Desert Isle’: all natural minor chords are replaced by diminished chords. In the intro this is very apparent as he actually plays C – Em – F – Em-Ebm-Dm – G7 – C.

In the first line C – Edim – F  Fdim – C both diminshed chords function as (and can be replaced with simple minor chords Em an Fm). The first (Em) is absolutely natural, and the second is in fact a standard blues and jazz move: making the IV minor (i.e. Fm). Otis Span uses it here (from F to Fm on “we’s allright” and “shoot my baby, etc..). This same progression even made some nineties kids millionaires, it’s so fucking special

  • desert01


  • E dim: I – IIIb – Vb   or E – G – Bb played  312XXX — is indeed not as CW remarks a Gm6 but an Em chord. And can be substituted for a simple Em chord!
  • F dim: F – G# – B played X213XX
  • B dim: X869XX
  • Dm7b5: played X5656X
  • C9/E is the best way to describe the XX233X chord leading into the chorus. C9 by itself would be a great way to go to F, but putting the E note in the bass makes so much sense.

For now, I only transcribed the basic chords for the two sections, not the details, which I will bring in later.