Lyrics, Chords, and Tablature for Phil's Music

Phil Keaggy Lyric Archive

Lovingly collected and presented by Phil's good friend Robin Eastburn, the Phil Keaggy Lyric Archive finally makes available the lyrics for nearly every song Phil has written, including some not readily available (you know, that song you heard at a concert that you can't find on CD!). Thank you, Robin!

Phil Keaggy Acoustic Solos and Acoustic Sketches

In October 1995, the long-awaited book of Phil's music for guitarists finally appeared. The work of editor John Schroeter (of Fingerstyle Guitar magazine) and transcribers Dan Libertino, Tom Gammaway, and Linda Cummings, Phil Keaggy Acoustic Solos provides accurate guitar music (in standard notation and tablature) for a dozen of Phil's acoustic guitar instrumentals. The transcribed songs are:

In addition to the music, each song is prefaced by a black-and-white photo of Phil, his comments on the origin of the song, and some playing tips.

Many of the songs appear both on Phil's albums and on his Phil Keaggy Acoustic Guitar Style instructional video, and these performances differ in several places. The transcriptions reflect mixtures of these performances; in some places the transcribers have provided music for both the studio and video performances.

Phil Keaggy Acoustic Solos is published by:

John August Music
3645 Jeannine Dr., Suite 208
Colorado Springs, CO 80917
1-800-66 GUITAR (1-800-664-8482)
Outside the USA: (719) 637-3395
FAX (719) 637-3396
The Phil Keaggy Club will happily take phone and web orders for the book. The price is $18.95; Visa and Mastercard are accepted. If you order the book as a result of your visit here, please let them know you heard about it at Way Back Home.

Phil Keaggy Acoustic Solos is distributed by Mel Bay Publications (1-800-8-MEL-BAY) as book number MB95651.

The Club has also produced a similarly excellent book containing transcriptions of almost every track on Phil's Acoustic Sketches CD.

Phil Keaggy Songbooks

There is currently a folio available with arrangements for piano and medium voice of all the tunes on Phil's recent True Believer recording. It's available for $8.95; you should be able to order it from your favorite Christian bookstore.

Three collections of Keaggy tunes from various albums have been published over the years. The first two are both titled The Phil Keaggy Songbook, although they are completely different books. Unfortunately, both are currently out of print. They contain lyrics, piano music, and guitar chords for many of Phil's vocal songs, and the most recent one also contains a piano arrangement of the instrumental, "The Reunion".

The third book is Phil Keaggy Acoustic Solos, described below.

Tablature Published in Magazines

Of the many articles and interviews with Phil published in the music press, three contain tablature.

Guitar Player magazine published an article on Phil in their May 1986 issue. Authored by Jas Obrecht, the article was simply titled "Phil Keaggy," but had the interesting (and long!) subtitle, "The Leading Christian Fusion-Rocker is a World-Class Guitarist. And Now He Wants The World To Know It." Published at the time Getting Closer was released, it includes tablature for the short electric solo appearing early in "Sounds." This tablature is reproduced in the booklet accompanying the Electric Guitar Style video.

"Phil Keaggy: Out of the Mainstream" (subtitle: "One of the best guitar players you may never have heard") appeared in the May/June 1992 issue of Acoustic Guitar magazine. It contains a portion of the tablature for "Addison's Walk" from Beyond Nature (the same portion that appears in the tablature booklet for the Phil Keaggy Acoustic Guitar Style instructional video).

Phil was the cover artist for issue 4 of Fingerstyle Guitar. This issue includes an illuminating interview with Phil, and full tablature for his performance of "The Castle's Call/Pilgrim's Flight" on his instructional video (studio recordings of these tunes appear on The Master and the Musician). Back issues are available for $10.50 (including a companion audio cassette containing recordings of all of the tablature in the issue, by the original artists) from John August Music (contact info above).

The September/October 1996 issue of Fingerstyle Guitar features an article on Phil's use of the JamMan looping sampler, with tablature to "Rivulets" from Acoustic Sketches. Back issues are available from John August Music (contact info above).

Tablature Published in PKC

PKC, the official newsletter of the Phil Keaggy Club, includes a column titled "Lick of the Quarter" in each of its quarterly issues. Past issues included the following music:

Amateur Transcriptions on the Internet

A few of Phil's fans have attempted to transcribe some of his music for their 'net friends. We have no wish to detract from sales of officially published Keaggy music, and no links to on-line versions of commercially available music will appear here. Phil is an extraordinarily gifted musician, and deserves to be rewarded for his careful stewardship of his God-given talents. We encourage you to purchase his commercially published music, and we hope you don't download music from Way Back Home for recordings you have not purchased.

We archive here music for complete songs, as well as shorter contributions containing song excerpts, individual licks, stylistic lessons, and corrections to published transcriptions. These are listed in two separate categories below; if you are looking for help with a particular tune, be sure to check both categories.

Each entry is in one of two document formats:

Whew! Sorry for that technical digression. It all sounds a lot more complicated than it really is. And now, on to the music...


"Above All Things" (PDF score by Tom Loredo)
This Celtic anthem celebrating marriage appears on Phil's 1998 release, Phil Keaggy. This transcription reflects how Phil plays this song live as a solo piece. It is in dropped D tuning.

"The Apprentice" (PDF score by Tom Loredo)
An instrumental tune from the Music To Paint By series of CDs. This transcription is of the acoustic guitar part; on the recording Phil adds and improvised lead part on electric guitar. This song is performed with the 6th string dropped to C and the 2nd dropped to A (CADGAE tuning).

Lead line from "Arrow" (Text-tab by Phil Rose)
The first half of the lead line from this electric (and electrifying!) instrumental from 220.

"As the Ruin Falls" (scanned notes: page 1, page 2; flute parts in PDF; by Tom Loredo)
Phil set the poem of this title by C. S. Lewis to music for his Love Broke Thru album; the poem records some of Lewis's thoughts on his wife's fatal illness. The transcription here consists of rough handwritten notes describing Phil's solo performance of the tune (with the opening flute part done on guitar), along with a transcription of parts for a single flute at the beginning and end of the tune (these parts combine lines from the two flutes played on the recording). Note that the guitar is tuned down a full step (two frets); "Wild Horse" (also on this album) is in the same tuning and uses some similar hammer-on techniques.

"Be In Time" (Text chord chart with tab intro, by Jacob Michael)
Phil's musical setting of a poem found in the daily devotional, A Continual Burnt Offering by H. Ironside. This song appears on Way Back Home.

"A Child (In Everyone's Heart)" (Text chord chart with tab excerpts by Jacob Michael)
This "Beatle-esque" vocal tune begins Phil's Ph'lip Side recording.

"And On That Day" (Text chord chart by Sherry Crann)
From the recording True Believer, cowritten with Phil's Glass Harp bandmate John Sferra.

"Castle's Call/Pilgrim's Flight" (Text-tab by Michael Roderick)
As performed on Phil's Acoustic Guitar Style video; a different transcription than what was published in Fingerstyle Guitar magazine.

"Deep Calls Unto Deep" (Text-tab by Gerardo Hernandez and Mike Chapman)
This is Gerardo's transcription of Phil's live version of this pensive instrumental from The Master and the Musician.

"Del's Bells" (Text-tab by Phil Rose)
An instrumental tune featuring slapped harmonics and runs with large intervals executed with right-hand tapping and pull-offs, from Acoustic Sketches.

"Evensong" (PDF score by Tom Loredo)
This brief acoustic instrumental appears in a medley on The Master And The Musician, where it is played with two guitars and light accompaniment by other instruments. This transcription reflects how Phil plays this song live as a solo piece. He sometimes follows it with a vocal song, "As The Days Are Going By", set to the same melody. The song is in a somewhat classical style, and has a peaceful but yearning feel to it.

"Father-Daughter Harmony" (Text-tab by Jacob Michael)
From the CD re-release of Way Back Home.

"Find Me In These Fields" (Text-tab by Phil Rose)
The title track from Find Me In These Fields.

"Full Circle" (Text-tab by Phil Rose)
Tab for the accompaniment to Phil's acoustic version of this song; the original electric version is on Town to Town. This song was first recorded on Nedra Ross's album of the same name, with Phil contributing guitar.

"God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen" (PDF score by Tom Loredo)
Phil arranged this traditional carol for the 1990 Myrhh Records compilation, Our Christmas; Kim Hill joins him on vocals for the recorded version. This transcription reflects how Phil performs the piece solo (the recorded version has two acoustic guitars).

"Happy" (Text-tab by Jacob Michael)
The nearly-instrumental opening track from Play Thru Me.

"Here and Now" (PDF score by Tom Loredo)
This lovely wedding song first appeared on the original 1986 release of Way Back Home; a slightly modified version appears on the 1994 release of the same name. This transcription contains only the guitar part, as performed on the original release. The vocal part is not transcribed, not only out of laziness, but also to make sure that you buy the recording before you take advantage of the free tab!

"It Could've Been Me" (Text-tab by Mark Soileu)
This song appeared on the re-release of Way Back Home, though it dates back to about the time of the original release (mid 80s). It's Phil's setting of a lyric by Sheila Walsh, who toured with him in the mid 80s. Phil has noted that the accompaniment was inspired by the music of Bruce Cockburn.

"I Will Sing" (PDF score by Tom Loredo)
This evocative ballad in open-E6 tuning closes Phil's first solo album, What A Day, released in 1973. The tuning and a motif from this song later appeared in the instrumental, "Fragile Forest," on Beyond Nature.

"In Every Need" (Text chord chart by Tom Loredo)
Phil's musical setting of the texts of two poems found in the daily devotional, A Continual Burnt Offering by H. Ironside. This song appears on Way Back Home.

"In Your Keep" (PDF chord chart by Tom Loredo)
This lovely, contemplative ballad appeared on the second release of Ph'lip Side (where it replaced "Send Out Your Light"). There is also a plain text file listing only the lyrics and chord names, but you really want to see the fingerings....

"John the Revelator" (Text-tab by Jacob Michael)
Phil's take on a blues classic, from the Revelator, Crimson and Blue, and Blue albums.

"Let Everything Else Go" (PDF score by Tom Loredo)
A concert favorite, this gorgeous ballad has been recorded by Phil twice; in a band setting on Town To Town, and later in an acoustic setting on Way Back Home. This transcription is closest to the latter version, but also draws on several live performances, illustrating how Phil embellishes the arrangement in a solo acoustic setting.

"Life Love and You" (Text-tab by Jacob Michael)
From Town to Town, in Open-G tuning.

"Love Broke Thru" (Text-tab by Phil Rose)
This is a transcription of Phil's solo acoustic version of the title track from Love Broke Thru, based on a performance from the 80s.

"Love Divine" (Text chord chart by Jacob Michael)
A fun song from Crimson and Blue, remeniscent of Lennon and McCartney's "All My Lovin'."

"Maker of the Universe" (Text chord chart by John Bowes, Ken Billing, and Brian O'Sullivan; Text-tab by Jacob Michael)
Phil's stately and poignant setting of the text of a poem by F. W. Pitt as printed in the devotional, A Continual Burnt Offering. This text file provides the chords as they would sound with a guitar in standard tuning; Phil plays the piece tuned a full step down. The file also provides tab for the intro in the tuning Phil uses.

"The Marionette" (PDF score by Tom Loredo)
This song appears as an instrumental on Acoustic Sketches, but is actually musical accompaniment Phil improvised under Calvin Miller's reading of a story by the same name. The performance notes include remarks on the origin of the song by Phil's road manager Andy Asmus and by Phil himself. A version with Miller's reading appeared on Backroom Trax Volume Five.

"Morning Light" (PDF chord chart by Tom Loredo)
The acoustic guitar part for Phil's rousing, joyful closing song on the Play Thru Me album. I could never quite figure this one out, until I saw Phil play it and realized he recorded the acoustic guitar part in dropped-D tuning tuned down one full step!

"Noah's Song" (Text-tab in standard tuning by Jacob Michael; PDF score in standard tuning by Tom Loredo; Text-tab in DADGBD by Brian O'Sullivan)
Phil recorded this exuberant acoustic song expressing Noah's joy at the end of the flood on his Way Back Home recording. Brian provides tablature for a simplified version of Phil's accompaniment using double-dropped-D tuning (capo 2). Jacob provides a version in standard tuning (as Phil uses), in a text file. The PDF file has a full score of Phil's solo version, and includes an alternate coda Phil occassionally uses in live solo performances.

"Once I Prayed" (PDF score by Brian Wachtel)
This haunting introspective ballad appears on Way Back Home; the lyrics are from the daily devotional, A Continual Burnt Offering. This score provides the melody and both guitar parts in standard notation.

"Peace" (PDF chord chart by Tom Loredo)
Phil recorded this appropriately peaceful ballad for Volume 5 of the Backroom Trax series of home demos available through the Keaggy Club. It's a poem written by his sister, Geri, that he set to music. This is the lyric with chord diagrams giving my guess as to the fingerings Phil is using. Hopefully you'll be able to work out the fingerpicked parts from it. The diamonds and squares in the diagrams indicated notes added to the original chord (first add the diamond notes, then the squares).

"Salvation Army Band" (Text-tab by Jacob Michael)
From the True Believer album; Jacob's version is based on Phil's solo acoustic concert version.

"She's a Dancer" (Text chord chart tab snippets, by Jacob Michael)
Phil's sweet tribute to his dancing daughters, from the 1994 re-release of Way Back Home.

"Shouts Of Joy" (Text chord chart with tab intro by Jacob Michael)
The opening song from Crimson and Blue, with lyrics by Ray Repp.

"Silent Night (Live)" (PDF tab by Tom Loredo)
This basic transcription sketches Phil's chord melody for "Silent Night" as released on the 2019 Keaggy Garage release, A Christmas Gift- Volume 2- Stocking Stuffers (that track is an excerpt of Phil's contribution to Sing! An Irish Christmas – Live at the Grand Ole Opry House, where Phil's instrumental performance is followed by choral singing of this treasured carol).

"Son Of Man" (Text chord chart by Jacob Michael)
A song from True Believer.

"Tennessee Morning" (Text-tab by Jacob Michael)
This joyful tune is the lone acoustic number on Phil's 220 recording. Originally titled "Joy in the Morning," this song is a musical sequel to "When Night Falls" from Beyond Nature; Phil often weaves the two pieces together in his solo concert appearances.

"Warm As Tears" (Text-tab by Peter Yang)
This lovely instrumental appears on Beyond Nature, where it segues into "A Place of Springs."

"Way Back Home" (Text-tab by Jacob Michael)
The title track from the album that this whole web site draws its name from!

"Wedding in the Country Manor" (Text-tab by Peter Yang)
An instrumental from Phil's best-selling album, The Master and the Musician, originally composed for the wedding of some friends of Phil's.

"What A Day" (Text-tab by Dave Kitabjian)
The title track from Phil's first solo album.

"Wild Horse" (Text chord chart by Michael Roderick)
From Love Broke Thru, this acoustic-based tune is performed tuned down a full step, with liberal use of hammer-on chords.

Licks, Lessons, Excerpts, and Corrections to Published Tab

Phil's Use of Half-Diminished 7th (or Minor 7 Flat 5) Chords (Text chord chart by Dave Kitabjian)
Dave reviews Phil's use of this evocative chord form in a variety of songs.

Three Early Licks (Text-tab by Phil Rose)
Two brief licks dating from Glass Harp days and the early 80s, and a pentatonic lick used in the acoustic version of "Let Everything Else Go" from Way Back Home.

An Arpeggiated Progression (Text-tab by Phil Rose)
A progression played with arpeggios, starting with and E2 chord, similar to one Phil would jam over with bandmates in the early 80s.

Killer Chords in "In the Light of Common Day" and "Intro to Strong Tower" (Text fingerboard diagrams Dave Kitabjian)
Dave provides bits of tab supplementing the material in the Acoustic Solos book indicating possible fingerings for difficult chords in these two pieces.

Fingering a Phrase from "County Down" (Text-tab by Brian O'Sullivan)
Brian shares an alternate phrasing for two bars of "County Down," originally transcribed in Acoustic Solos.

Intro to "Doin' Nothin'" (Text-tab by Jacob Michael)
The introductory riff to this musical commentary on the mass media from Crimson and Blue.

Executing Ostinato Hammer-Ons in "Fare Thee Well" (Text-tab by Mike Chapman)
Mike explains some details for executing the ostinato hammer-ons (the repeating part on high strings) that weren't notated in Acoustic Solos.

Corrections to "The 50th" (Text-tab by Mike Chapman)
Some corrections to the transcription in the Acoustic Sketches book.

Blues Riffs from "Jam in the Pocket" (Text-tab by Jacob Michael)
A few Keaggy signature blues riffs from "Jam in the Pocket" on Acoustic Sketches.

Corrections to "Jam in the Pocket" (Text-tab by Jacob Michael)
Some fixes to the transcription in the Acoustic Sketches book.

Excerpt from "Metamorphosis" (Text-tab by Brian O'Sullivan)
Brian shares an excerpt from this, the first track on Acoustic Sketches, complementing the excerpt that appeared in the PKC newsletter. He transcribed this in eager anticipation of the release of the Acoustic Sketches tab book, and hopes it whets folks' appetite for the book. If you're as eager as he is about it, contact him at for some more excerpts from "Legacy."

Intro to "Perpescuity" (Text-tab by Jacob Michael)
This tune is on the Keaggy-King-Dente trio album, Invention.

Corrections to "Paka" (Text-tab by Mike Chapman)
Some fixes to the transcription in the Acoustic Sketches book.

Intro to "Quite Suddenly" (PDF score by Tom Loredo)
Just the first few bars to this lovely ballad from Phil Keaggy; but that may be the hardest part so hopefully it will get you started! Phil got the lyrics from the daily devotional, A Continual Burnt Offering.

Acoustic Intro to "When the Wild Winds Blow" (Text-tab by Jacob Michael; Text-tab by Micahel Roderick)
The very cool tapped intro to this song from Find Me In These Fields.

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