Lisa and Kevin React to “Wish You the Best” (Lewis Capaldi)

Lisa Witt, Kevin Castro  /  Theory  /  UPDATED May 1, 2023

Sometimes, stuff at my job makes me cry…

This time, the team showed me the most touching music video that’s been popping off on YouTube: Lewis Capaldi’s “Wish You the Best.” The video was released on April 14 and already has nearly five million views.

It’s a beautiful piano-driven tune, but the most beautiful part?

The dog and the human 🐶

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The Theory Behind “Wish You the Best”

Before we start crying, let’s discuss the theory in this song because there are several things that make it the hit that it is.

Altering a Classic Progression

First up is the classic I-V-vi-IV pop progression. This is one of the most popular progressions ever and it’s so successful because it works! Lewis Capaldi slightly alters it to I-V-vi-I-IV-IV in “Wish You the Best.”

But wait…he does something even more interesting to this base progression. Lewis ends the chorus with some tasty tension by altering that IV chord into a minor iv chord. So we go from this:

E♭maj – B♭maj – Cm7 – E♭maj/B♭ – A♭sus2 – A♭sus2

to this:

E♭maj – B♭maj – Cm7 – E♭maj/B♭ – A♭sus2 – A♭m/C♭

Lewis Capaldi even puts that minor third (C♭) in the bass to make sure we hear it!

The Signature Motif

Lewis seems to really like rocking between the notes. In this song, he alternates between a rocking perfect 4th and major 3rd. “Someone You Loved” has similar vibes, except we rock a major 6th interval in that song instead.

Pssst: you can learn how to play “Someone You Loved” here!

Dramatic Bridge

Finally, Lewis Capaldi does something really cool in the bridge. It’s a chromatic walk-up and it goes like this:

B♭maj – Bdim – Cm

The Bdim is used as a passing diminished chord and that diminished sound adds so much drama, tension, and intensity to the song!

Now that we understand how Lewis Capaldi wrote this song, let’s enjoy the music video!

Greyfriars Bobby

The music video is based on the story of Greyfriars Bobby, a terrier who was famous for guarding his owner’s grave for 14 years (!).

Greyfriars Bobby was either a Skye Terrier or Dandie Dinmont Terrier (we’re not sure). He was born in 1855 and died in 1872. His owner was John Gray, a night watchman.

Bobby stood guard over Gray’s grave after he died and was admired in his hometown of Edinburgh, Scotland for his loyalty. When a new bylaw ordered all dogs to be licensed, the Lord Provost (similar to the mayor) of Edinburgh paid for Bobby’s license himself and gave him a collar with the inscription “Greyfriars Bobby from the Lord Provost 1867 licensed.” 

Today, a statue of Greyfriars Bobby stands between Candlemaker Row and the George IV Bridge in Edinburgh. You can also find his resting place in Greyfriars Kirkyard, the same cemetery where his owner was buried.

Black and white print of a small scruffy terrier.
A print believed to be of Greyfriars Bobby.

Winnie the Skye Terrier

Lewis Capaldi’s music video stars Winnie, a five-year-old Cairn Terrier from Worcester. Her owners are Dawn Innet and Molly Davison. Winnie co-stars alongside veteran actor David Bradley. A scene where Winnie had to carry an envelope took 10 days of training!

Before we spoil the video too much, we’ll let you watch it for yourself. Bring tissues!

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Lisa Witt has been teaching piano for more than 20 years and in that time has helped hundreds of students learn to play the songs they love. Lisa received classical piano training through the Royal Conservatory of Music, but she has since embraced popular music and playing by ear in order to accompany herself and others. Learn more about Lisa.

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