Guitar lesson for
Me and Bobby McGee
by Janis Joplin • Lesson #114
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Timestamps for this lesson:
- 0:00 Playthrough (partial)
- 0:57 Greeting
- 1:38 Chords needed
- 4:49 Strumming pattern
- 6:07 Changing keys from G to A
- 9:33 Playthrough (complete)
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
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
G Busted flap in Baton Rouge, waiting for a train G D7 When I was feelin’ near as faded as my jeans D7 Bobby thumbed a diesel down just before it rained D7 G C/G G That rode us all the way to New Orleans G 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 D7 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 D7 You know feeling good was good enough for me... D7 G ...Good enough for me and my Bobby McGee A From the Kentucky coal mines to the California sun A E7 Yeah, Bobby shared the secrets of my soul E7 Through all kinds of weather to everything we’ve done E7 A Yeah Bobby, baby, kept me from the cold A 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 E7 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 E7 And feeling good was good enough for me... hmmm... E7 A ...Good enough for me and my Bobby McGee
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