Royals

by Lorde • Lesson #5 • Nov 12, 2013

Editor’s Notes

Here’s an acoustic guitar lesson teaching the song Royals, from Lorde’s 2013 debut album. I’ll break down the song and explain how you only need 3 chords to play the entire thing. As always, I hope you find this helpful!

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Chords w/ lyrics

VERSE
                      D
    I've never seen a diamond in the flesh
            (C)                           (G)
    I cut my teeth on wedding rings in the movies
                D
    And I'm not proud of my address
                  (C)                (G)
    In the torn up town, no post code envy

PRE-CHORUS
                               D
        But every song's like, gold teeth, Grey Goose, trippin' in the bathroom
        Blood stains, ball gowns, trashin' the hotel room
        C                              G
        We don't care... we're driving Cadillacs in our dreams

                              D
        But everybody's like, Cristal, Maybach, diamonds on your timepiece
        Jet planes, islands, tigers on a gold leash
        C                         G
        We don't care...we aren't caught up in your love affair

CHORUS
                               D
            And we'll never be royals (royals)
            It don't run in our blood
                         C
            That kind of luxe just ain't for us
                       G
            We crave a different kind of buzz

                           D
            Let me be your ruler (ruler)
            You can call me Queen Bee
                           C
            And baby, I'll rule... (I'll rule, I'll rule, I'll rule...)
            G
            ...Let me live that fantasy

    My friends and I, we've cracked the code
    We count our dollars on the train to the party
    And everyone who knows us knows
    That we're fine with this, we didn't come from money

        But every song's like, gold teeth, Grey Goose, trippin' in the bathroom
        Blood stains, ball gowns, trashin' the hotel room
        We don't care... we're driving Cadillacs in our dreams

        But everybody's like, Cristal, Maybach, diamonds on your timepiece
        Jet planes, islands, tigers on a gold leash
        We don't care...we aren't caught up in your love affair

            And we'll never be royals (royals)
            It don't run in our blood
            That kind of luxe just ain't for us
            We crave a different kind of buzz

            Let me be your ruler (ruler)
            You can call me Queen Bee
            And baby I'll rule... (I'll rule, I'll rule, I'll rule...)
            Let me live that fantasy

BRIDGE
                D                    C  
                ...Ohhh, ohhh.... oooooo....
                We're bigger than we ever dreamed
                G
                ...And I'm in love with being queen

                D                    C
                ...Ohhh, ohhh.... oooooo....
                Life is great without a care
                          G
                We aren't caught up in your love affair

            And we'll never be royals (royals)
            It don't run in our blood
            That kind of luxe just ain't for us
            We crave a different kind of buzz

            Let me be your ruler (ruler)
            You can call me Queen Bee
            And baby I'll rule... (I'll rule, I'll rule, I'll rule...)
            Let me live that fantasy

Notes and tabs

Guitar Chords Used

This song uses three chords: D, C, and G. They’re played in the same exact progression the entire time – with the exception of the verse, which can alternatively be played using only the D chord. Below, I show a few different ways you might approach playing the D-C-G chords – these different positions might help you mix it up a bit to add variety. Ultimately, do what works for you – you can be quite flexible with this song, as the vocals carry the bulk of the weight.

e-|---2---0---3---   ---2----3----3---   ---10----8-----3---
B-|---3---1---0---   ---3----3----3---   ---10----8-----3---
G-|---2---0---0---   ---2----0----0---   ---11----9-----4---
D-|---0---2---0---   ---0----2----0---   ---12----10----5---
A-|-------3---2---   --------3----2---   ---12----10----5---
E-|-----------3---   -------------3---   ---10----8-----3---
      D   C   G         D    C9   G         D     C     G

Switching Chords During the Verse?

On a guitar, you can get away with playing the verse using only the D chord (as shown here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CaknWuU_L4Y). Alternatively, you could employ the D-C-G progression that is used in the rest of the song (as shown here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=knacaQWg24A). If you look in the lyrics section above, you’ll see I added these C and G chords within the verse inside parentheses – just so you know where the switches occur. Do what works for you, and have fun with it! There is no “wrong” way to play it, provided that you’re making it work for your performance & entertainment needs.

Chord progressions

VERSE, v1
"I've never seen a diamond in the flesh..."
| D . . . | . . . . | . . . . | . . . . | (repeat)

VERSE, v2
"I've never seen a diamond in the flesh..."
| D . . . | . . . . | C . . . | G . . . | (repeat)

PRE-CHORUS
"But every song's like gold teeth, Grey Goose..."
| D . . . | . . . . | C . . . | G . . . | (repeat)

CHORUS
"And we'll never be royals..."
| D . . . | . . . . | C . . . | G . . . | (repeat)

BRIDGE
"Ohhh, We're bigger than we ever dreamed..."
| D . . . | . . . . | C . . . | G . . . | (repeat)

Good luck!

Thanks for reading! I hope this helped you.

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