Parallel Universe: Hey Jude, The Darker, Sadder Minor Key Version

In recent weeks, a spate of digitally key-shifted tunes have hit the online airwaves. Various artists have converted tracks like R.E.M.’s “Losing My Religion” and the Eurythmics’ “Sweet Dreams” from their native minor keys to major keys, creating cheerier, poppier versions from the original recordings that are both bemusing and beguiling. It’s sort of like the concept of the “uncanny valley” but for the ear and, overall, marks an interesting moment in remix culture. Then it went too far…

When Ukrainian recording experimentalist Oleg Berg (a.ka MajorVsMinor ) bucked the “happifying” trend of going minor to major and digitally transposed The Beatles’ beloved “Hey Jude” from major to minor,  he might’ve simultaneously broken the Seventh Seal and provided the soundtrack to Armageddon.  Once a bittersweet ballad of interpersonal encouragement ending with  an epic and rousing chorus, in Berg’s hands, “Hey Jude”  becomes wholly darker – a bewildering dirge, a minor key monstrosity that, as my pal Orion put it, “was like a vision into a world where all my favorite songs sucked and the joy had been sucked out of life.” It is indeed, a portal into a bizarro dimension, a parallel universe that we were probably not meant to see. Listen at your own risk…


To help restore your faith, pasted below is a flowchart of the lyrics to “Hey Jude” created by Seatlle-based LoveAllThis.

Hey Jude Flow Chart

More experiments here: