I still haven't gotten my head around the whole modes thing. I think I need to find a music theory course at my local community college or somewhere. There is only so much I can teach myself.
For example, I pretty much get the whole 1-4-5 thing and can usually hear it when I listen to songs. But I sometimes get thrown off when I hear a song such as the Eagles' version of "Seven Bridges Road". The progression in the verses is: D - C - G with resolution back to D (1-b7-4). So the song is in D, but it obviously doesn't follow the 1-4-5 pattern.
One could argue that it's in G, which would follow the 1-4-5, but my ear recognizes that the D is the "home" chord. (Would that be what you'd call the tonic?)
Your explanations help. Thanks again.
PS: Apologies to the OP for threadjacking.
***EDIT: This conversation seemed familar, and it turns out that it was:
"Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid." - Despair, Inc.