Guitar lesson for

Me and Bobby McGee

by Janis Joplin  β€’  Lesson #114

Video lesson

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Timestamps for this lesson:

Chords needed

Note, the Janis Joplin version of this song changes key halfway through the song (from G to A). Chords for both keys are shown below.

E –––3––––1––––0––––2–––– ––3––    E –––0––––0––––2––––0––––
B –––0––––0––––1––––1–––– ––1––    B –––2––––2––––3––––3––––
G –––0––––0––––0––––2–––– ––0––    G –––2––––0––––2––––1––––
D –––0––––0––––2––––0–––– ––2––    D –––2––––2––––0––––2––––
A –––2––––2––––3––––––––– ––x––    A –––0––––0–––––––––2––––
E –––3––––3–––––––––––––– ––3––    E ––––––––––––––––––0––––
     G    G7   C    D7     C/G           A    A7   D    E7   

Strumming pattern

Here’s the strum pattern I use for this song. On the first down strum I’ll emphasize the bassiest string of the chord (or, if not the single bass-most string, the bassiest 2-3 strings).

1  +  2  +  3  +  4  +  
D     D        U  D  U

Lyrics w/ Chords

Busted flap in Baton Rouge, waiting for a train
           G                           D7
When I was feelin’ near as faded as my jeans
Bobby thumbed a diesel down just before it rained
     D7                         G    C/G  G
That rode us all the way to New Orleans

I pulled my harpoon out of my dirty red bandana
      G                  G7             C
I was playing soft while Bobby sang the blues, yeah
C                                  G
Windshield wipers flappin' time, I... was holding Bobby’s hand in mine
We sang every song that driver knew

C                               G
Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose
    D7                                        G      G7
And nothing, I mean nothing, hon, if it ain’t free
    C                            G
And feeling good when was easy, lord, when he sang the blues
You know feeling good was good enough for me...
   D7                                G
...Good enough for me and my Bobby McGee

From the Kentucky coal mines to the California sun
      A                              E7
Yeah, Bobby shared the secrets of my soul
Through all kinds of weather to everything we’ve done
     E7                            A
Yeah Bobby, baby, kept me from the cold

One day up near Salinas, lord, I let him slip away
     A                A7                 D
He’s looking for that home and I hope he finds it
        D                              A
But I’d trade all my tomorrows for one single yesterday
To be holdin’ Bobby’s body next to mine

D                               A
Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose
    E7                                  A    A7
And nothing, that’s all that Bobby left me
    D                                 A
And feeling good when was easy, lord, when he sang the blues
And feeling good was good enough for me... hmmm...
   E7                                A
...Good enough for me and my Bobby McGee

Good luck!

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