Me and Bobby McGee chords by Janis Joplin


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Me and Bobby McGee | Chords + Lyrics


Intro

| G C/G | G C/G G |

Verse 1

| G | G |
Busted flat in Baton Rouge, waitin’ for a train.
| G | D |
When I’s feelin’ near as faded as my jeans.
| D (Dsus4) | D |
Bobby thumbed a diesel down, just before it rained.
| D | G C/G G |
And rode us all the way into New Orleans.

Bridge 1

| G | G (C/G) |
I pulled my harpoon, out of my dirty red bandana.
| G G7 | C |
I’s playin’ soft while Bobby sang the blues.
| C | G |
Windshield wipers slappin’ time, I’s holdin’ Bobby’s hand in mine.
| D5 | D6 D7 D |
We sang every song that driver knew.

Chorus 1

| C | G |
Freedom is just another word for nothin’ left to lose.
| D | G |
Nothin’, don’t mean nothin’ hon’ if it ain’t free, no-no.
| C | G |
And feelin’ good was easy, Lord, when he sang the blues.
| D | D |
You know feelin’ good was good enough for me, yeah.
| D | G (C/G) |
Good enough for me and my Bobby McGee.

Key change

| A (D/A) |

Verse 2

| A (D/A) | A |
From the Kentucky coal mine to the California sun,
| A | E (E7) |
there Bobby shared the secrets of my soul.
| E (E7) | E (E7) |
Through all kinds of weather, through everything we done.
| E | A (D/A) |
Yeah, Bobby baby, kept me from the cold.

Bridge 2

| A (D/A) | A (D/A) |
One day up near Salinas, Lord, I let him slip away.
| A A7 | D |
He’s lookin’ for that home, and I hope he finds it.
| D | A |
But, I’d trade all of my tomorrows, for one single yesterday.
| E | E |
To be holdin’ Bobby’s body next to mine.

Chorus 2

| D | A |
Freedom is just another word for nothin’ left to lose.
| E | A |
Nothin’, and that’s all that Bobby left me, yeah.
| D | A |
But if feelin’ good was easy, Lord, when he sang the blues.
| E | E |
That feelin’ good was good enough for me, mm-hm.
| E | A |
Good enough for me and my Bobby McGee.

Verse 3 (Breakdown)

| A | A |
La-da-da, la-da-da-da, la-da-da-da-da-da-da.
| A | E |
La-da-da-da-da-da-da-da, Bobby McGee, yeah.
| E | E |
La-da-da-da-da, la-da-da-da-da.
| E | A (D/A) |
La, la-la-la-da-da, Bobby McGee, yeah, oh yeah.

Verse 4

| A (D/A) | A (D/A) |
La-da-da, la-da-da, la, da-da, la, da-da. La-da-da, la-da-da, la-di-da
| A | E (E7) |
Hey now, Bobby now, now Bobby McGee, yeah.
| E | E |
Lord, oh Lord, oh Lord, lo-da-da, na-na-na, na-na-na, na-na-na.
| E (E7) | A |
Hey now, Bobby now, now Bobby McGee, yeah.

Verse 5 (double tempo)

| A | A |
Well, I wanna call him my lover, call him my man.
| A | A |
I said, I call him my lover, did the best I can, come on.
| A | A | E | E |
Hey now, Bobby now, hey now Bobby McGee, yeah.
| E | E | E | E |
Lord, a Lord, a Lord, a Lord, a Lord, a Lord, a Lord, a Lord, oh.
| E | E | A | A |
Hey-hey-hey, Bobby McGee, Lord.

Outro (double tempo honky-tonk)

| A5 (A6) | A5 (A6) | A5 (A6) | A5 (A6) |
| A5 (A6) | A (A6 A7) | E (E7 E6) | E (E7) |
| E (E7 E6) | E (E7) | E (E7 E6) | E (E7) |
| E (E7 E6) | E (E7) | A (A6) | A (A6) |

| A5 (A6) | A5 (A6) | A5 (A6) | A5 (A6) |
Hey!
| A5 (A6) | A (A6 A7) | E (E7 E6) | E (E7) |
Whoa!
| E (E7 E6) | E (E7) | E (E7 E6) | E (E7) |
| E (E7 E6) | E (E7) | A (A6) | A (A6) |

| A5 (A6) | A5 (A6) | A5 (A6) | A5 (A6) |
| A5 (A6) | A (A6 A7) | E (E7 E6) | E (E7) |
| E (E7 E6) | E (E7) | E (E7 E6) | E (E7) |
Lord, a Lord, a Lord, a Lord, a Lord, a Lord, a Lord, a Lord, oh.
| E (E7 E6) | E (E7) | A | A |
Hey-hey-hey, Bobby McGee.



Me and Bobby McGee Chords: Learn the progressions


Me and Bobby McGee Analysis + TAB T

As a chord enthusiast, I find Me and Bobby McGee‘s chords intriguing. Also, the arrangement is very unusual!

After a short intro in the key of G, we get versebridgechorus, all with a different take on the I – IV – V concept.

  • The verse is IVI over 8 bars
  • The bridge is IIVIV over 8 bars
  • The chorus is IVIVI over 10 bars

This is followed by doing it all again but in the key of A. After this, we play two more verses, still in the key of A.

If you’re playing this on one acoustic guitar, you should probably end it after this as what follows will only work if you’ve got a band!

For the last third or so of this tune, we play another verse in double tempo (16 bars), followed by solos (now using honky-tonk comping), still with the verse progression in double time.

The best thing to do is play along with Janis’ recording, then once it becomes a band version, start it over again.

To make it feel nice as you play with Janis, you’ll need to tune up a bit. When using my online guitar tuner, set the Hz to 446.

Members get over 50 bars of TAB detailing exactly how to play the intro, verse, bridge, and chorus in the key of G, then also in the key of A.

The difficult part is not to change the chords, but once we’re in A, the rhythm/strumming pattern changes completely.

Here’s a sample of the TAB you’ll get as a member, this is the intro.

Me and Bobby McGee chords and TAB Intro

Here’s a link to the complete lesson (members only): Me and Bobby McGee – Guitar Lesson with TAB.

Become a member today and get unlimited access to all step-by-step guitar courses, TAB for the songbook, the Self-Eliminating Practice Routine, and the eBook Spytunes Method.

Me and Bobby McGee – A country/folk standard!

There’s an amazing amount of artists that have covered Me and Bobby McGee. The original version by Kris Kristoffersson is recognized but by no means the most celebrated.

I reckon Janis Joplin‘s version (which is what I’ve displayed with chords and lyrics above) is THE one to know, but I’m sure many would disagree. For example, The Highwaymen’s version is huge.

This supergroup had Kris as a member but also Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, and Waylon Jennings. Willie and Johnny would go on to keep the tune as a part of their live set.

Also worth mentioning is Dolly Parton‘s version, and so are Roger Miller‘s and Kenny Rogers’s. Even Jerry Lee Lewis‘s boogie-woogie version is worth checking out.

I’ve included all these versions in the playlist above. Do check them all out as when someone calls it on a gig, who knows what version they think is the one?

This is a dilemma with tunes that are so popular they’ve become a standard!



Me and Bobby McGee Chords | Related Pages


Beginner Acoustic

There are many more Beginner Acoustic Songs with chords like Me and Bobby McGee.

This collection of beginner acoustic tunes will teach you how to arrange for one acoustic guitar, as well as how to create a supporting part.

Playing songs will help you with switching between open-position chords and give you the context you need to understand how music works theoretically.


Five similar tunes with chords and lyrics

When you can play Me and Bobby McGee's chords, try these five tunes from the songbook.

Janis Joplin

Janis Joplin covered Me and Bobby McGee.

Janis Joplin’s short career of just 4 years started in 1967 with the band Big Brother & The Holding Company.

Her best tunes include Move Over, Piece Of My Heart, Summertime, Mercedes Benz, To Love Somebody, and Me and Bobby McGee.



Janis Joplin on the web

Listen to Janis Joplin on Spotify.

Country & Folk

Whe you can play Me and Bobby McGee, check these Country and Folk tunes as well.

In the primarily acoustic genres of Country & Folk, you must acquire what matters the most: A repertoire. Nothing else will give you the gig.

Learn tunes by Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, Simon & Garfunkel, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, America, Don McLean, and many more.


About me

Dan Lundholm wrote this article about Me and Bobby McGee's chords.

This article on Me and Bobby McGee’s chords was written by Dan Lundholm. Discover more about him and learning guitar with Spytunes.

Most importantly, find out why you should learn guitar through playing tunes, not practising scales, and studying theory in isolation.


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