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True Love Ways Chords
A Timeless Guitar Classic

true love ways chords

If you're a passionate guitarist in that sweet spot of middle age, somewhere between 35 and 65, chances are you have a deep appreciation for the musical magic of Buddy Holly. And if you're planning to dive into the world of 50s music, learning from this True Love Ways chords on your guitar is like opening a treasure chest of nostalgia and timeless melodies.

On this page I'll take you on a journey through the history, meaning, and significance of "True Love Ways" in Buddy Holly's legendary career. I'll also explore its cultural impact, the artists who have paid homage to this classic, and where you can find official audio, video, and my cover and acoustic lesson version below. There is also a free pdf chords sheet you can download and free lyrics to the song posted on this page.

So, tune your guitar and get ready to discover the heartwarming allure of "True Love Ways."

The History of "True Love Ways"

true love ways buddy holly

Before we dive into the chords and melodies, let's explore the history behind this iconic song. "True Love Ways" was penned by Buddy Holly and his wife, Maria Elena Holly, in 1958. It was a declaration of their deep love and commitment to each other.

It was recorded with the Dick Jacobs Orchestra in 1958, which was four months before Buddy was killed in the Iowa plane crash. The Buddy Holly True Love Ways release date  as a single wasn't until May of 1960, first in the UK. The single did reach #25 in the UK but did not chart in the US when it was released a month later in June 1960.  In 1988 the song was released once more in the UK and peaked at #65.

Buddy Holly recorded the song in his apartment in New York City just months before his tragic passing in 1959. The recording captures the raw essence of his musical talent and the intimacy of the moment.

The song can be found on the Buddy Holly True Love Ways album called "The Buddy Holly Story Vol 2".

Peter & Gordon had a big hit with their version in 1965 where it peaked at #2 in the UK and #14 in the US as well as a top 10 in several other countries. Cliff Richard also had a top 10 with his version in 1983. But only country star Mickey Gilley had a #1 hit with this song on the country charts in the US in 1980.

Mrs Holly said that Buddy wrote the song for her as a wedding gift. The melody follows a gospel song called I'll Be All Right which you can find on youtube if you search for "ill be all right gospel song". You can hear a bit of the framework from this song used somewhat in True Love Ways. That gospel song was played at Buddy Holly's funeral.  

Unravelling The Meaning of the Lyrics

buddy holly songwriting

"True Love Ways" is a masterpiece of simplicity and heartfelt emotion. Its lyrics are a testament to enduring love and unwavering devotion. Lines like "Just you know why / Why you and I / Will by and by / Know true love ways" evoke a sense of deep connection and timeless romance.

The sentiments expressed in the song include "easy chords" and "soft and relaxing vibe." The gentle, soothing orchestration and beautiful harmonies create an atmosphere of pure musical bliss.
The Significance in Buddy Holly's Career

"True Love Ways" marked a pivotal moment in Buddy Holly's career. It showcased his evolving musical maturity and songwriting prowess. The song's departure from his earlier rock 'n' roll hits demonstrated his versatility as an artist.

The heartfelt sincerity of "True Love Ways" also revealed a more intimate side of Buddy Holly, endearing him to fans and solidifying his status as an icon of 50s music.

Buddy Holly True Love Ways Lyrics

Just you know why - why you and I
Will bye and bye
Know true love ways

Sometimes we'll sigh - sometimes we'll cry
And we'll know why - just you and I
Know true love ways

Throughout the days - our true love ways
Will bring us joys to share with those who really care

Sometimes we'll sigh - sometimes we'll cry
And we'll know why - just you and I
Know true love ways

Throughout the days - our true love ways
Will bring us joys to share with those who really care

Sometimes we'll sigh - sometimes we'll cry
And we'll know why - just you and I
Know true love ways

Download the free Buddy Holly True Love Ways chords and lyrics sheet below.

Cultural Impact and Enduring Appeal

Over the decades, "True Love Ways" has left an indelible mark on popular culture. Its timeless quality continues to resonate with audiences of all ages. The song has been featured in films, television shows, and commercials, reaffirming its enduring appeal.

The sentiments associated with "True Love Ways" extend beyond the music itself. The song represents a nostalgic journey back to an era when love songs were simple, genuine, and capable of touching the deepest corners of our hearts.

Buddy Holly True Love Ways Chords, Demo & Tips

  • Drop D Tuning - No
  • Capo - 3rd fret
  • Rhythm - down down down up down down and repeat
  • Picking - yes
  • Chords - G, Bm, C, Em, D, Am7, Cm, Adim, D#, F, A#, D7

Chords & Lyrics


If you're ready to embark on your guitar journey with "True Love Ways," you're in for a treat. You can find official audio and video versions of the song on platforms like YouTube, Spotify, and Apple Music. These resources allow you to listen, learn, and immerse yourself in the magic of Buddy Holly's music.

For aspiring guitarists, there are numerous tutorials available online to help you master the chords and strumming patterns of "True Love Ways." You can find my version below.

I'm playing this one with a capo on the third fret but it still keeps me in the original key of A#. Depending on your vocal range, a capo here allows you to take this original key down several frets if required.

There are a few chords in this one including G, Bm, C, D7, Em, A7, Am7, Adim, Ab, F and an A+. For the rhythm in this song I'm simply using a down up down up down and repeating, so you have a double down stroke before you can chords in the verses and there are a few sections where I'm playing all down-strokes.

For the lead break in this one as you'll see I'm just blending in some of the melody line with the rhythm. Just a few hammer-on's where they will fit in. This is covered in the full lesson tutorial.

I'd suggest trying to sing this song in this original key if possible, but if it's too high, just capo down. This is no point in listing alternate chords as this song has 12 chords in it. Just capo down one fret at a time or capo off altogether if required. Whatever works best for your vocal range is the best plan.

Artists Who've Covered the Song

Buddy Holly's legacy lives on through the artists who have paid homage to his music. Many musicians, from various genres, have covered "True Love Ways." Their renditions capture the essence of the song while adding their unique interpretations.

Some notable artists who have covered the song include:

the beatles honor buddy holly

The Beatles:

The Beatles recorded a cover of "True Love Ways" as a tribute to Buddy Holly.

It was featured on their 1994 album "Live at the BBC" and showcases their appreciation for Holly's music.

cliff richard hornor buddy holly

Cliff Richard:

British pop singer Cliff Richard recorded a version of "True Love Ways" in 1981, which became a hit in the UK.

His rendition captures the romantic essence of the song and pays tribute to Buddy Holly's musical legacy.

elvis costello honors buddy holly

Elvis Costello:

Elvis Costello, a renowned British singer-songwriter, has covered "True Love Ways" in live performances.

His interpretation pays homage to Buddy Holly's original while adding his unique vocal style.

There is also a True Love Ways Peter And Gordon version for those who were not aware of their cover. As well there is an Everly Brothers True Love Ways version.

Buddy Holly True Love Ways Album

Here are the tracks found on this album:

1."Raining In My Hear

2."Early in the Morning

3."Peggy Sue

4."Maybe Baby


6."Rave On!

Side 2

1."That'll Be the Day


3."Think It Over

4."Oh, Boy!

5."It's So Easy!

6."It Doesn't Matter Anymore

In Conclusion

As you delve into the world of 50s music and Buddy Holly's enchanting melodies, "True Love Ways" will be your faithful companion. Its easy chords, soft and relaxing vibe, beautiful harmonies, and soothing orchestration make it a timeless gem that's meant to be shared and cherished.

So, pick up your guitar, let the music flow, and discover the magic of "True Love Ways." Buddy Holly's legacy lives on through this enchanting song, and now, it's a part of your musical journey too. Enjoy the nostalgia, the romance, and the sheer joy of making music.

Thanks for stopping by this True Love Ways chords page and I hope the info here was useful and helpful.

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