Romeo and Juliet is a song I have been playing on my National for many years, but I never tried to play the wonderful ending of recent live versions where the piano leads through a rather unusual chord sequence. Yesterday I played around with the piano a bit and had a look at this.
After the last verse Romeo and Juliet features a two-chord sequence over which Knopfler plays solo: Bb (or Bbmaj7) and C.
When the drum stops, this sequnce (Bb – C ) is repeated two more times. Next comes a sequence of five chords, the piano is the dominating instrument here:
Bb – Am – G – F (9) – E
Note that Romeo and Juliet is in the key of F, so you would expect a sequence that leads to an F chord. This one however completely ignores the key – the G and especially that last E do not belong here in any way. Thus it functions as a surprising change in the mood of the sound, highlighting the carefully constructed composition. Wonderful.
To hear what I am talking about, check the following youtube video, starting from 8:55 :