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!
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 The Light Of Common Day (Beyond Nature)
- County Down (Beyond Nature)
- Addison's Walk (Beyond Nature)
- Fare Thee Well (Beyond Nature)
- Brother Jack (Beyond Nature)
- When Night Falls (Beyond Nature)
- Fragile Forrest (Beyond Nature)
- The Wind And The Wheat (The Wind And The Wheat)
- The Mission (The Wind And The Wheat)
- Acoustic Introduction to Strong Tower (Not So Long Ago)
(Find Me In These Fields)
- The Reunion (The Wind And The Wheat)
- I Love You Lord (The Wind And The Wheat)
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
Phil Keaggy Acoustic Solos is published by:
John August Music
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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).
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:
- Winter 95/96: Two licks from "Pilgrim's Flight"
- Spring 96: "Great Intros", including the opening licks to the following tunes:
- Tell Me How You Feel
- Like An Island
- Stone Eyes
- Be In My Heart
- Summer 96: "Evensong" (Dan Libertino's tab for the first pass through the
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
Each entry is in one of two document formats:
- Text files are just that---plain text that
you can read with any text editor or word processor, and print on any printer.
You must view and print these using a monospace font for them to appear
correctly (the Courier, Monaco, and OCR fonts are popular choices that
are included with most operating systems). Text files
have ".txt" or ".tab" suffixes and contain one
of two types of material:
- Chord charts providing chord names (and possibly fingerings)
for songs, with lyrics, and sometimes with a bit of tab for intros or
a lick or two;
- Tablature ("ASCII-Tab") notating the guitar part with a
6-string tablature staff and plain text characters.
- PDF files---the "Portable Document Format" that can
be viewed and printed
on all major platforms using the free Acrobat Reader software from
Adobe. These files can provide
sophisticated graphical capability, comparable in quality to commercially
published music. They contain one
of two types of material:
These files have a
".pdf" suffix in their name. Please make sure you are using
the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat Reader before
reporting problems viewing or printing these files. The latest version
is Version 4.
- Chord charts providing chord names with fingerboard diagrams
for songs, with lyrics;
- Scores providing music for the guitar part in both standard notation
and tablature. Some of these have detailed performance notes with pointers on
how to accomplish tricky passages.
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
- "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
- "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
- "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
- "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.
- "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
- "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
- 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
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.
Back to Way Back Home...
Tom Loredo /