Rescue Me chords by Fontella Bass


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Rescue Me | Chords + Lyrics

Intro (0:00)

||: A | D :|| D C#m Bm A | E |

Verse 1 (0:16)

| A | D |
Rescue me, take me in your arms.
| G | Em |
Rescue me, I want your tender charm,
| A | D |
’cause I’m a lonely and I’m blue,
| G | Em |
I need you and your love too, come on and rescue me.

Chorus 1 (0:32)

||: A | D :||
Come on baby and rescue me.
Come on baby and rescue me.
’Cause I need you, by my side,
| D C#m Bm A | E |
can’t you see that I’m lonely?

Verse 2 (0:47)

| A | D |
Rescue me, come on and take my heart,
| G | Em |
take your love and conquer every part,
| A | D |
’cause I’m a lonely and I’m blue,
| G | Em |
I need you and your love too.

Chorus 2 (1:03)

||: A | D :||
Come on and rescue me,
come on baby and rescue me.
Come on baby and rescue me,
’cause I need you, by my side,
| D C#m Bm A | E |
Can’t you see that I’m lonely?

Instrumental (1:19)

||: A | D :|| D C#m Bm A | E |

Verse 3 (1:35)

| A | D |
Rescue me, oh take me in your arms.
| G | Em |
Rescue me, I want your tender charm,
| A | D |
’cause I’m lonely and I’m blue,
| G | Em |
I need you and your love too.

Chorus 3 (1:50)

||: A | D :||
Come on and rescue me, come on baby.
Take me baby (take me baby).
Hold me baby (hold me baby).
Love me baby (love me baby).
Can’t you see that I need you baby,
| D C#m Bm A | E |
can’t you see that I’m lonely.

Chorus 4 (2:06)

||: A | D :||
Rescue me, come on and take my hand,
c’mon baby and be my man,
’cause I love you, ’cause I want you,
| D C#m Bm A | E |
can’t you see that I’m lonely.

Outro (2:22)

||: A | D :||
Mmm-hmm (mmm-hmm),
mmm-hmm (mmm-hmm).
Take me baby (take me baby).
Love me baby (love me baby).
Need me baby (need me baby).
Mmm-hmm (mmm-hmm), mmm-hmm,
| D C#m Bm A | E |
Can’t you see that I’m lonely.

End (2:38)

||: A | D :||
Rescue me, rescue me.
Mmm-hmm, mmm-hmm.
Mmm-hmm, mmm-hmm.
| D C#m Bm A | E | A |
Can’t you see that I’m lonely.


You can learn how to play Rescue Me!

Rescue Me is a single by Fontella Bass.

Released on the traditional blues label Chess in 1965, it was a clear attempt from the record label to cross over from blues to “white radio” and rival what Berry Gordy was doing with Motown.

This would prove to be Fontella’s biggest hit, going all the way to #1. She does claim she wrote it, although the record label disagree and refused to pay her.

It ended up taking her 28 years to get paid for the song that defined her career.

The chords for Rescue Me are great as an introduction to playing improvised rhythm guitar parts all over the neck.

By moving freely, you can adjust your part to what the band is doing as well as create movement in your rhythm part.

Below, you get the first lesson from the course, working on how to play Rescue Me’s chorus, enjoy!


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Rescue Me | Chorus chords and exercises

The chorus of Rescue Me mainly moves between the two chords A and D. To develop a good guitar part for it, you must first ensure you can play these two chords anywhere on the neck.

The best way to achieve this is to use the so-called CAGED system. By connecting the chord shapes to an actual song, we can create exercises, learn the song and take one step closer to being able to improvise rhythm guitar parts.


In example 1, the first chord shape can be seen as either an open A or a G-shaped A. When playing a fraction of a chord like this, the two shapes overlap.

The D chord could be seen as either an open D or a C-shaped D. Again, the two shapes overlap.

Rescue Me chords and TAB, chorus example 1.
Rescue Me TAB | Chorus example 1

When playing a part in a song it’s important to keep the number of strings to a minimum. Experiment with playing only two strings from the chord shapes, rather than three as the TAB show in these examples.

In example 2, the shapes are more clear. The A chord is a G shape, and the D chord is definitely a C shape.

Rescue Me chords and TAB, chorus example 2.
Rescue Me TAB | Chorus example 2

As you can see in the first two exercises, the chords are played on the beat using a staccato approach. Cut the chord off early so it doesn’t ring into the next strum. Do this by letting go of the strings on the fretboard, effectively muting with your fretting hand.

The strumming hands’ pendulum movement should be at 16th note pace and must never be interrupted. This way, adding the extra 16th note is easy.

Ensure all rhythms are played ‘snappy’. The length of the rest after the chord is as important for the groove as the placement of the actual rhythm.

In example 3, we play the E-shaped A, followed by the A-shaped D chord.

Rescue Me chords and TAB, chorus example 3.
Rescue Me TAB | Chorus example 3

This is possibly what you’ll end up playing the most when you play the full song.

In example 4, the shapes used are, just like in the first example, debatable. The A chord is using a D-shape, or is it the top part of a C-shape? The answer is, they overlap. The D chord is a G-shape.

Rescue Me chords and TAB, chorus example 4.
Rescue Me TAB | Chorus example 4

Finally, in example 5 we play a C-shaped A chord and an E-shaped D chord. This final example uses great chord shapes for this song. By moving up the neck and playing higher notes, we increase the intensity.

One idea could be to play these shapes toward the end of the song.

Rescue Me chords and TAB, chorus example 5.
Rescue Me TAB | Chorus example 5

In the course, we next use a similar approach as we learn the verse. We will play in all areas of the neck using the chords A and D as we just did here, just adding a G and an Em chord.

By the end of the 8 steps, when you play with the live band backing track, you’ll be able to play fractions of all Rescue Me’s CAGED chords in an improvised way.

For the complete experience, sign up here.

Rescue Me’s chords and progressions

The intro starts with a bass line, and when we join in, we do so by playing between A and D, just like the chorus. This is followed by a series of chords that sets us up for a verse, and later on, to repeat choruses.

||: A | D :|| D C#m Bm A | E |

The verse chord progression of Rescue Me may appear simple at first glance, but there is actually a very clever key change in there. We start in A with chords I and IV, then go to the key of G and play I – VI.

||: A | D | G | Em :||

The chorus repeats in the same way as the intro did. Start with I – V, then play the descending chord progression of IV – III – II – V.

||: A | D :|| D C#m Bm A | E |


Rescue Me | Related pages


Rescue Me – 8 guitar lessons

Rescue Me, 8 guitar lessons in the course.

In this first series of lessons for the intermediate electric course, we learn how to play Rescue Me by Fontella Bass, at the same time as we learn the CAGED system.

Practice along with the band as we step by step work our way to playing the complete song.

Go to Rescue Me – 8 guitar lessons.


Intermediate Electric Songs

When you can play Rescue Me's chords, discover more intermediate electric songs.

Learn all these Motown/Soul songs and you will have gained yourself a repertoire so you can jam or even join a working band.

Study these songs in-depth and you will map out the fretboard, master the CAGED system and learn how to design a rhythm guitar part that works in a band.

Go to Intermediate Electric Songs.


Rescue Me – 5 similar tunes

When you can play Rescue Me's chords, try these five tunes from the song book.

Fontella Bass

Find out more about Fontella Bass, the woman who wrote Rescue Me's chords.

Fontella Bass spent a large amount of her life chasing a royalty check she never received for her million-selling smash hit Rescue Me.

It took her 28 years until she got paid, but it wasn’t in royalties for writing the song.

Go to Fontella Bass.


Fontella Bass on the web

Listen to Fontella Bass on Spotify.