Walk On The Wild Side chords and lyrics

by Lou Reed

Walk On The Wild Side was written by Lou Reed and produced by David Bowie and Mick Ronson. The song was recorded at Trident Studios in London, July 1972, and released 8th November, 1972 from the album Transformer.

Music: Key of C Major in 4/4 time at ~ 104 bpm (♩)
Chords: C, F, F6, D
Lou Reed

Walk On The Wild Side by Lou Reed

Intro: 4/4
   |   C   |  F6  |   C   |  F6  |   C   |  F6  |   C   |  F6  | 

    C                              F6
1. Hol-ly came from Mi-am-i  F. L. A. 
     C                                 F6
   Hitch-hiked her way ac-ross the U.S.A.
      C                  D
   Plucked her eye-brows on the way
      F                     D  
   Shaved her legs and then he was a she___She says
    C                              F6       
   Hey Babe___ Take a walk on the wild side    
         C                               F6      
   Said Hey Honey___ Take a walk on the wild side

  |     C    |    F6    |     C    |    F6    |

    C                          F6
2. Can-dy came from out on the is-land
   C                                       F6
   In the back-room she was ev'-ry-bo-dy's dar-lin'
    C             D
   But she ne-ver lost her head
   F                   D
   E-ven when she was giv-in’ head___ She says
    C                              F6      
   Hey Babe___ Take a walk on the wild side    
         C                              F6
   Said Hey Babe___ Take a walk on the wild side (And the col-ored girls go) 

        C                                F6
   ||: Doo doo-doo doo-doo doo-doo-doo | Doo doo-doo doo-doo doo-doo-doo :|| x4

    |(doo) C     |    F6    |     C    |    F6    |

    C                                F6
3. Lit-tle Joe ne-ver once gave it a-way
   C                           F6
   Ev-‘ry-bo-dy had to pay and pay
      C                  D
   A hus-tle here and a hus-tle there
    F                D
   New York City is the place where they said
    C                              F6      
   Hey Babe___ Take a walk on the wild side    
           C                             F6
   I said Hey Joe___ Take a walk on the wild side 

   |      C     |    F6    |     C     |    F6    |

    C                                   F6
4. Sug-ar Plum Fairy came and hit the streets
    C                                    F6
   Look-in' for soul food and a place to eat
    C          D
   Went to the A-pol-lo
         F                  D
   You should have seen him go go go___ They said
    C                                F6    
   Hey Sug-ar___ Take a walk on the wild side    
           C                              F6
   I said Hey Babe___ Take a walk on the wild side___ All-right  

   |     C  (huh)|    F6    |     C     |    F6    |

    C                          F6
5. Jack-ie is just spee-ding a-way
      C                             F6
   Thought she was James Dean for a day
    C                D
   Then I guess she had to crash
    F                    D
   Val-i-um would have helped that bash___ I said
    C                              F6
   Hey Babe___ Take a walk on the wild side___ I  said   
    C                               F6
   Hey Honey___ Take a walk on the wild side___(And the col-ored girls say) 

        C                                F6
   ||: Doo doo-doo doo-doo doo-doo-doo | Doo doo-doo doo-doo doo-doo-doo :|| x6
 
    |   C     |    F6    |     C    |    F6    |
      (doo)                                     ...repeat to fade

C Major

Fingers 1, 2, 3, 4: Notes played
A column of 1's: Barre 1st finger over marked strings
Unmarked strings: Play open 
x: Don't play string

Right-Handed Chord Tabs   
          C                 F                F6             F (barre)        F6 (barre)             D
  e |---|---|---|   e |-1-|---|---|   e |-1-|---|---|   e |-1-|---|---|   e |-1-|---|---|   e |---|-2-|---|
  B |-1-|---|---|   B |-1-|---|---|   B |---|---|-4-|   B |-1-|---|---|   B |-1-|---|-4-|   B |---|---|-3-|
  G |---|---|---|   G |---|-2-|---|   G |---|-2-|---|   G |-1-|-2-|---|   G |-1-|-2-|---|   G |---|-1-|---|
  D |---|-2-|---|   D |---|---|-3-|   D |---|---|-3-|   D |-1-|---|-4-|   D |-1-|---|-3-|   D |---|---|---|
  A |---|---|-3-|   A |---|---|---|x  A |---|---|---|x  A |-1-|---|-3-|   A |---|---|---|x  A |---|---|---|x
  E |---|---|---|x  E |---|---|---|x  E |---|---|---|x  E |-1-|---|---|   E |-1-|---|---|   E |---|---|---|x
Frets 1   2   3         1   2   3         1   2   3         1   2   3         1   2   3         1   2   3 

Left-Handed Chord Tabs 
       C                 F                F6             F (barre)        F6 (barre)             D
 |---|---|---| e   |---|---|-1-| e   |---|---|-1-| e   |---|---|-1-| e   |---|---|-1-| e   |---|-2-|---| e
 |---|---|-1-| B   |---|---|-1-| B   |-4-|---|---| B   |---|---|-1-| B   |-4-|---|-1-| B   |-3-|---|---| B
 |---|---|---| G   |---|-2-|---| G   |---|-2-|---| G   |---|-2-|-1-| G   |---|-2-|-1-| G   |---|-1-|---| G
 |---|-2-|---| D   |-3-|---|---| D   |-3-|---|---| D   |-4-|---|-1-| D   |-3-|---|-1-| D   |---|---|---| D
 |-3-|---|---| A  x|---|---|---| A  x|---|---|---| A   |-3-|---|-1-| A  x|---|---|---| A  x|---|---|---| A
x|---|---|---| E  x|---|---|---| E  x|---|---|---| E   |---|---|-1-| E   |---|---|-1-| E  x|---|---|---| E
   3   2   1         3   2   1         3   2   1         3   2   1         3   2   1         3   2   1 Frets

Notes

  • Level Of Ease: Easy - the F6 sounds tricky, but it's very easy once you get the hang of it.
  • Song Key: C major... no sharps or flats
  • Let's take a look at the F6 chord:
The chord formula for a 6th chord is 1 - 3 - 5 - 6

F6 reads as follows: F - A - C - D

An easy way to play F6, is to play an open F chord (see chart above), and add the 4th finger to the 3rd fret-2nd string which is a D note. Make sure you don't hit the 5th & 6th string unless you play a full bar on the first fret like the chart suggests. There's just one hitch...
If you do play an F6 barre chord, you have to make sure you don't hit the 5th string marked by an 'X'. It's a B♭and not part of an F6 chord.

Solution: It is far easier to play the open F6 chord.
  • The song requires that you dampen the C and F6 chords in each verse. It is always much easier to dampen barre chords as all the strings are covered, and when you take pressure off the barre chord all strings are silent. With an open C chord, only 2 strings are covered and 3 strings are open, so when you take the pressure off the strings, the 3 open strings still sound. An accomplished player will dampen with the strumming hand in this case.

    If you are a beginner and haven't perfected the art of dampening strings with the strumming hand, you may find it hard to dampen an open C chord. In this situation you can play it as a barre chord starting on the 3rd fret and playing an 'A' shape, written as x35553 . As you play the C barre and release the chord, it will dampen.

    You can play an open F6 chord as all the strings are covered - when you strum and release the chord, it will dampen... hope this helps.
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