Songs based on Pachelbel's Canon

  • See the YouTube Playlist.
  • Spiritualized - Ladies and Gentlemen we are Floating in Space
  • Green Day - Basket Case
  • Vitamin C - Graduation Friends Forever
  • Dennis Lambert & Brian Potter - One Tin Soldier
  • Belle & Sebastian - Get Me Away From Here, I'm Dying
  • My Chemical Romance - The Black Parade
  • Blues Traveler - Hook
  • Goldfinger - Superman
  • The Polyphonic Spree - Light And Day / Reach for the Sun
  • Coolio - C U When U Get There
  • Joe Jackson - Hometown
  • Tupac - Life Goes On
  • Therapy Sisters - Pachelbel's Tantrum
  • The Farm - All Together Now
  • First Class - Beach Baby
  • Mary-Kate and Ashley - Imagine
  • Relient K - Operation
  • Happa-tai - Yatta
  • Delerium - Paris
  • Aphrodite's Child - Rain and Tears
  • Lutricia McNeal - Rise
  • [several artists, including Paliament] - Oh Lord, Why Lord?
  • Menelik - Je Me Souviens
  • Libera - Sanctus
  • Arianne - Komm, Susser Tod
  • Bob James - In the Garden
  • Brian Eno - Fullness of Wind
  • Akon - Don't Matter
  • Pet Shop Boys - Go West
  • Eternity - Wonderful World
  • Eternity - Love
  • Eternity - You Smile
  • Sweetbox - Life is Cool
  • Emiri Miyamoto - Break
  • Bond - Lullaby
  • Alain Barriere - Tout s'en va déjà
  • Oscar Benton - I Believe In Love
  • All Angels - Salve Regina
  • El Bosco - Nirvana
  • Fahrenheit - Xin Li You Shu
  • Redsox - Sweet Dream
  • Sarah Connor - Love Is Color Blind
  • Philip Wesley - Ode to a composer
  • Die Firma - Die Eine
  • 2 Brothers On The 4th Floor - There is a key
  • 2 Brothers On The 4th Floor - Christmas Time
  • Theresia - Moonlight
  • Valensia - Bruxelles
  • Arthur - Pipo
  • DJ Angel - Flowrish
  • Claire Hamill - Someday We Will All Be Together
  • Karnak - Juvenar
  • Leftover Crack - Crack City Rockers
  • twenty47 - Get A Life, Again
  • Byul - Like a Star
  • Terry FU - Two Different Worlds
  • Luca Zeta - Over The Clouds
  • M2M - The Day You Went Away
  • N-Dubz ft. Bodyrox - We Dance On
  • Nicki Minaj - Girls Fall Like Dominoes
  • Shane Filan - Beautiful in White
  • Ashram - Last Kiss
Author Comments: 

Some say the Penguin's 'Earth Angel' and Kylie Minogue's 'I Should Be So Lucky' fit here, but I disagree. If you know of others, let me know.

Added 3 songs.

I was just thinking about this today: how many songs appear to have been influenced by classical pieces. So this is a great list.

Two songs I could add for evaluation would be

"Un Monde Sans Danger" by Julien Lamassone (it's the theme song for the Cartoon Network series Code: Lyoko)
"Sugar" by Sonicate (it can be downloaded for free on their website:

Thanks. "Sugar" wasn't close enough for me, but I'll try to get my hands on "Un Monde Sans Danger."

I can think of a couple I've heard recently with the same progressions,
oasis- don't look back in anger
the strokes- ask me anything

words that I remember are: "All I need is love... all I'm looking for is love".
Probably based on Pachelbel's D Major

2 Brothers On The 4th Floor - Fairytales
Scatman John - Scatman's World

How about Let It Be Me, by the Everly Brothers?

Matisyahu- One Day : the guitar picking in the background has a similar chord progression

You know, Mary-Kate and Ashley did a song called Imagine based on Pachelbel's Canon. It's on their album Brother for Sale. It's so sad and pathetic that I know that :(

Cool. I'll have to see if I can find it to see if I agree. It wasn't just based on John Lennon's Imagine, was it?

No, it's Pachelbel's Canon... they have like a kid's choir behind them...

Wow... why did you just reply now? Were you gone for a long time?

Anyway, thanks for the tip!

At the risk of sounding stupid, I have never heard of Pachelbel's Canon before... is it a piece of traditional, religious or classic music and from which country/culture ?

It's quite a reasonable question.

If you've never been to a wedding or a cellist then you may not be familiar with Johann "Yo quiero" Pachelbel. He was a 17th century composer but that didn't stop him from being pronounced dead in 1706. In the 21st century he is only mispronounced as his name is truly: yo'-hawn "hai'-wei tu hel" pac-hel'-buhl. Born in Germany, he was a virtuoso pianist who was often caught playing on his organ. His best known compositions are "Canon in D," "Musket in A-flat" and "Gigue in D-major." Pachelbel was fairly influential (the Bachs were thinking inside him) in the use of fugues, toccatas, fantasias and chaconne-ille-neals. Nowadays "Canon in D" is often played too slowly. Don't worry. It's shorter than it sounds. It is also Yo-Yo "Duncan" Ma's idea of the ninth circle of hell.

In all seriousness: It can be a beautiful piece to listen to if musicians don't perform it in drag. I prefer traditional (ie non-accordion) instrumentation and using a pizzicato section. If you're curious (and that's perfectly natural) you can listen to a version I like, something by George "Mr. Solstice" Winston, a hilarious recital, an amazing rend-ition and if you want to read/listen to a score (even if you can't read music! Be warned, you do need a thug in.)

I'm partial to Yngwie Malmsteen's rendition. And if you're looking for a shred-tastic version of 'Somewhere Over the Rainbow' (who isn't?), you must hear Chris Impellitteri's cover. For speed metal dual-solo medleys of classical music favorites, try 'Speed Metal Symphony' and 'Concerto' by Cacophony. And of course I cannot leave out Steve Vai's playing of Beethoven's 5th. Long live neoclassical metal!

I share your taste for neoclassical metal. But I should point out that the rendition of Beethoven's 5th that you probably have in mind is not Steve Vai's. See here:

vai. c o m .messageboard/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=2559

(I added spaces to the URL after receiving the following annoying error message: "Your submission has triggered the spam filter and will not be accepted.")

He was never a virtuoso pianist; he was an organist. Read this for more accurate information.

I do love George Winton's arrangement of the Canon and in fact it is the best one for the piano.
(Compare to David Lanz's "Variations on a Theme from Pachelbel's Canon in D Major", which i feel is the runner up)
so wats so hilarious about it? i seriously need to know...

and another thing .. wats up with the "Mr Solstice" and "Duncan"?

Thanks for the info and the links, having heard it I can now see the point, this Canon in D dur is definitely a timeless piece of music... strangely I don't recall having heard it before, maybe it didn't have as much an impact in french-speaking european countries as in other parts of the world...

Hi. It's great to find this list - thank you! In my experience, 'I Should Be So Lucky' doesn't fit, even though Pete Waterman himself says it does (, and 'Earth Angel' certainly doesn't, so I agree with you there. Anyway, I have several to add to your list:

Bananarama - Love In The First Degree
Village People - Go West (well-known cover version by Pet Shop Boys)
Wheatus - Teenage Dirtbag (section towards the end of each verse)
Tim Rice & Andrew Lloyd Webber - Joseph's Coat (during each verse; from the musical Joseph And His Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat)

I'll have to disagree with you on 'Teenage Dirtbag' and track down the others. Thanks for your interest, I personally get quite a kick out of this little list. :-)

Two more:

'Streets of London' by Ralph McTell
'I've Never Been To Me' by Charlene

I'll have to try to find those so I can see whether or not I agree. Thanks so much!

I've had a hard time tracking those down. If you'd like to send them to me, I'd be much oblidged, and then I could evaluate whether or not I'll add them to this list!

Hi. Sorry for my delay in responding. You can listen to Streets Of London here:

I've been following this list since you started it and I'm just noticing "One Tin Soldier" is credited to Joni Mitchell. It's really by a band called Coven.

Thanks for making me look into this. According to AMG, "The hit single, 'One Tin Soldier,' is a Dennis Lambert/Brian Potter tune first recorded by Original Caste, the Canadian band that got some activity with the song in 1969, hitting the Top 35 in the U.S. in February of 1970, and disbanding around the time Coven's remake got into this film soundtrack and onto the charts some 20 months later in October of 1971 (bubbling under the Top 25)."

Yeah, that's one of the more blatant ripoffs I've heard. Please tell me what song and artist it is so I can ad it to the list!

Lutricia McNeal - Rise


My, you're good at this! Every one of them is a perfect example. What are the artist and track names for these last three you've linked to?

I'm sorry.

A nice fellow named Dennis who is putting together a mix CD of songs based on Pachelbel's ubiquitous Canon in D e-mailed me with the following additions, which I won't add to the list until I can hear and verify them:

Arianne - Komm, Susser Tod
Fastball - Out of My Head
The Unlovables - The Mike Herrera Song
Blink 182 - Dammit
Delirium - Paris
Hellogoodbye - Bonnie Taylor Shakedown

Thanks. I have seen that list. Some of them were already on my list, some of them I don't think fit, some of them are straight covers, and some I haven't yet heard.

Thanks, that qualifies! Who is the artist and what is the song title, in English?

A Korean group "MC Mong & People Crew"
An English title of song was decided.
"In me"

You forgot about the a more direct interpretation of the Canon in D in "Christmas Canon" by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra...

From the author comments: "This does not include straight or near-straight 'covers' of the song..." Trans-Siberian Orchestra's interpretation of the tune is a "cover", I think.

Thanks again for your contributions, _h_. I've decided to stop updating this list, unless I find I'm missing a massive worldwide hit or something.

Check the Numbers: Rumors of Classical Music's Demise Are Dead Wrong
Dream Musician: download music layers from original masters of pop music; bring on the mashups!

Musiclens is a very interesting new approach to finding music based on volume, tempo, etc. Unfortunately, I can't get it to make suggestions that make any sense.

Don't know if you've seen this, but here's a video of a guy ranting about the song and how it's everywhere.

Hahahahaha! Thanks.

I found another one, sorta: Dragostea Din Tei, by OZONE. It fits when I play Pachelbel on the guitar (with a capo on the 3rd fret) as I listen to the song. I dunno if it's close enough for you, but try to check it out.


Note that I only took a year of high school level theory so the only way that I was able to detect songs with this progression was to whistle the bass part (don't dis my whistling though -- I spent far too much time honing my technique and intonation).

Anyway, from a quick glance at my .jp soundtrack playlist, I found two titles, one of which was mentioned previously:

-Hirano Aya - God Knows
-Arianne - Komm, Susser Tod

The latter I am almost certain about. The former not so much. Both songs should easily be found by searching the titles on youtube.

That is all.

The Arianne song definitely is. The Hirano Aya, I don't think so.


Scatman's World is another one.

I'm looking for song and lyric

words that I remember are: "All I need is love... all I'm looking is love".
Probably based on Pachelbel's D Major

How has pachelbels canon been adapted/used in the green day song? I have project I need to do about pachelbel

Here's a few:

No Woman No Cry by Bob Marley
Life Goes On by Tupac Shakur
The Final Fantasy theme song from the video game series
Tonight, Tonight by Smashing Pumpkins
Aerials by System Of A Down
Let It Be by The Beatles
Dying In Your Arms by Trivium
Say It Aint So by Weezer
Santeria by Sublime
Fallen Leaves by Billy Talent
Damnit by Blink 182
Where Is My Mind by The Pixies
Every Breath You Take by The Police

All of these are extremely close to Cannon if not the same thing.

2 more you can add to the list

Don't Matter by Akon
Go West by The Pet Shop Boys

Nocturnal Rites - Ring of Steel

Lol, is Eternity a Pachelbel cover band? :)

Alain Barriere - Tout s'en va deja

Oscar Benton - I Believe In Love

All Angels - Salve Regina

El bosco - Nirvana

Fahrenheit - Xin Li You Shu

Sarah Connor - Love Is Color Blind

Philip Wesley - Ode to a composer

2 Brothers On The 4th Floor - There is a key
2 Brothers On The 4th Floor - Christmas Time

You are the _h_ in Jesus H. Christ.

Suzanne Ciani & Yu Chyi - Turning

DJ Angel - Flowrish (DJ Angel & DJ Chucky Remix)

Fleetwood Mac - Eyes of the World

Claire Hamill - Someday We Will All Be Together

Karnak - Juvenar

Leftöver Crack - Crack City Rockers

twenty4-7 - Get A Life~Again~

Byul - Like a Star-BiKiNi

Terry FU - Two Different Worlds

Luca Zeta - Over The Clouds

How about The Black Parade by My Chemical Romance? A Pachelbel if ever I heard one...

Thanks again, guys!

You could also add "The Day You Went Away" by M2M, the chorus is definately Cannon...

I am fairly certain that "Make It Shine" from the Nick TV show "Victorious" is also based on this.

It does four bars from it anyway, yeah...

That is fucked. I've been playing some chords that I think sound good and it is identical to Pachelbel's Canon. It is I-V-vi-iii-IV-I-IV-I, ie: E, B, C#m7, G#m7, A, E, A, (G#m7/F#m7/)E. However, it's just a chord progression that sounds good, why do you think it is based on Pachelbel's Cannon? btw I wrote a song for you with those chords: Luke's Song.

Ohhhhh my... :)

There are more by Green Day, specifically:

Worry Rock

Deadbeat Holiday

One Of My Lies

aerosmith cryin

Emiko Shiratori - This Song for You

Pat seymour & Monique - I had a dream

Helmut Lotti & Lisa del Bo - Love Is Live

Precise Hero - Words for you

You also forgot "Girls fall like dominoes" Nicki Minaj :)

Nice to see you around. It would be awesome if you found the time to put together some more comprehensive movie lists, particularly an all time one on the order of your albums one. You really are one of my all-time favorite listologists : )

...uhh ohh, I can see it now: "Listologists and Their Film/Album Equivalents"...

Nahh, I would never do that, would I?

Alas, I would have to re-watch too many films! Thanks for the compliment, though.

There's a Lindsay Buckingham/Fleetwood Mac song that escapes me, also "Don't Pull Your Love" by Hamilton, Joe Frank and Reynolds.

I have to say - I don't agree with any of the songs that have chord IV as the fourth chord (instead of iii) and then repeat (e.g. Nikki Minaj) I just think that I - V - vi - IV is just a really common chord progression rather than having anyhing particularly to do with Pachelbel's piece.

Google "Jolly Ol' St Pachelbel and The Magic Dragon ".
"Jolly Old St Nicholas" AND "Puff the Magic Dragon" both go perfectly with Pachelbel's Canon, even at the same time.

Fastball "Out of My Head" - the chord progressions of Fastball are IMHO their strongest feature

This is a song from a very famous Hungarian band:

Edda - Érzés

there is no doubt, what could you do :) :)

A famous Estonian band at the moment :)

great list

and they say its not canon

Got another one for you. Orchestral Manoevers In The Dark, (OMD) Walking on the Milky Way.

It may be hard to hear, but it's definitely in chorus for Sign by FLOW.

Just playing around with Let It Be Me by the Everly Brothers, same 1 V vi iii IV I IV V progression. Actually for all the times people use it for weddings it would be a great transition.