Big Chief Battleaxe (Main Theme)
Don’t Sweetheart Me
Exactly Like You
I Can't Escape
I'm a Yankee Doodle Dandy
I’m Looking Over A Four-Leaf Clover
Lulu's Back in Town [in half-bars]
Mandy, Make Up Your Mind
New Orleans Shuffle
Oh, You Beautiful Doll
Red Hot Mamma
Ory’s Creole Trombone [main theme]
Walking My Baby Back Home
Working Man Blues [2nd theme]
You Made Me Love You
What happens is that the tune starts on the Tonic Chord and then follows this with the commonest chord progression of all - known to musicians as II - V - I. So a tune beginning on the chord of C major, for example, would progress on to D major (the chord of the second note of the scale), followed by the chord of G7 (the dominant seventh - the fifth note of the scale) before returning to C major. A very satisfying 8-bar musical phrase can be built on two bars each of these four chords.
The chord sequence was most common in the early Twentieth Century. Famous tunes using it were Oh, You Beautiful Doll of 1911 (with music by Nat D. Ayer), The Darktown Strutters Ball (written by Shelton Brooks in 1917), and Button Up Your Overcoat (1928, with music by Ray Henderson).
Exactly Like You, Destination Moon, Don’t Sweetheart Me, Con Conrad's 1940 hit Ma, He's Making Eyes At Me, Memories (the Robert Van Alstyne tune), On Treasure Island, and Somebody Else Is Taking My Place, Peg o' My Heart, Jersey Bounce, I Can't Escape, and Congratulations are eleven more tunes you may know: they are all in the Four-Leaf pattern. The Progression is sometimes used in 16-bar tunes, too: an example is Red Hot Mama of 1924.
And another tune in which the entire structure of the first, second and final eights is built on the pattern is that great Chris Yacich classic from 1935 I Like Bananas Because They Have No Bones.
I am keeping things as simple as I can. I know that if we were to see the original piano sheet music of these songs, we would often find the use of four different chords in one bar, for example. What I am giving is the general sweep of the changing harmonies.
In connection with the FOUR-LEAF pattern, for example, some tunes begin with one bar on the tonic and then have one bar on the VI7th before moving on to the 'II'. My correspondent Allen Robnett has kindly emphasised this point and indicated some of the tunes to which this applies. He writes:
I think the following songs are improved by (and some demand) the pattern I VI7 II7 V7 I: