Me and Bobby McGee chords & lyrics

by Janis Joplin

  • Me and Bobby McGee was written by Kris Kristofferson and Fred Foster.
  • Recorded by Janis Joplin between Sep 5 - Oct 1, 1970
  • Single released on Jan 11, 1971 from the album Pearl.
  • Music: Key of G Major with a key change to A Major in 4/4 time at ~ 94 (♩
  • Chords in G Major: G, GaddC, G7, C, D, D7

Me and Bobby McGee by Janis Joplin

Intro: 4/4
   |   G    GaddC   |  G     GaddC     G  |

1. Bust-ed flat in Bat-on Rouge___ Waiting  for  a  train
   And I's feel-ing near-ly as fa-ded as my jeans
   Bob-by thumbed a die-sel down___ Just be-fore it rained
                                   |  G  GaddC   G  |
   It rode us all the way to New Or-leans
   I pulled my har-poon out of my di-rty red ban-dan-na
                             G7                C
   I was play-ing soft while Bob-by sang the blues
     C                                        G
   Wind-shield wip-ers slap-ping time___ I was hold-ing Bob-by's hand in mine
   D                                 D7
   We sang ev'-ry song that driv-er knew

         C                                 G
Chorus: Free-dom's just a-no-ther word for no-thing left to lose
         D7                                             G
        Noth-ing don't mean noth-ing honey if it ain't free no no
             C                          G
        And feel-ing good was ea-sy Lord when he sang the blues
        You know feel-ing good was good en-ough for me
                                              G      |     A     |
        Good e-nough for me and my Bob-by Mc-Gee...   (key change)

2. From the Ken-tuck-y coal mine to the Cal-i-for-nia sun
   Hey Bob-by shared the sec-rets of my soul

   Through all kinds of weath-er through ev’-ry-thing we done
   Hey Bob-by ba-by kept me from the cold
   One day up near Sa-li-nas Lord___ I let him slip a-way
                           A7                  D
   He's look-ing for that home and I hope he finds it
             D                                  A
   But I'd trade all of my to-mor-rows for one sing-le yes-ter-day
           E                               E7
   To be hold-ing Bob-by's bo-dy next to mine

          D                                  A
Chorus: Freed-om is just a-noth-er word for noth-ing left to lose
        E7                                   A
        No-thing that's all that Bob-by left me yeah
             D                          A
        But feel-ing good was ea-sy Lord when he sang the blues
        Hey feel-ing good was good e-nough for me hmm  hmm
        Good e-nough for me and my Bob-by Mc-Gee

3. La da da   la da da   la da da   la da da da
   La da da   la da da   Bob-by  Mc-Gee

   La da da da da da     La na na na na
   La la la la la la     Bob-by Mc-Gee yeah

4. La na na  la na la la na la  la na na___ La na na  la na na  la na na___
   Hey now Bob–by lo-na Bob-by Mc-Gee yeah
   Lo-na  Lo-la-la  lo-na-na___ Lo-na-na  lo-na-na  lo-na-na  lo-na-na  lo-na-na
   Hey now Bob-by lo - na Bob-by Mc-Gee yeah

5. Lord I'm cal-ling my lov-er call-ing my man

   I said I'm call-ing my lov-er just the best I can
   C'mon hey now Bob-by yeah hey now Bob-by Mc-Gee yeah

   Lor-dy Lor-dy Lor-dy Lor-dy Lor-dy Lor-dy Lor-dy Lord
   Hey hey hey Bob-by Mc-Gee Lord

Instr:|  A  |  A  |  A  |  E  |  E  |  E  |  E  |  A  | 
      |  A  |  A  |  A  |  E  |  E  |  E  |  E  |  A  |

      |     A     |     A     |     A     |     E     |

   (Lordy) Lor-dy Lor-dy Lor-dy Lor-dy Lor-dy Lor-dy Lord
                         | A         | 
    Hey hey hey Bob-by Mc-Gee yeah... 

🗝️ G Major → A Major

Numbered Circles: Chord fingering - number inside circle indicates which finger to use
White Numbered Circles: Optional Notes
Unmarked strings: Play open
X: Don't play string
Barre Line: One finger holds down multiple strings
R: Root Note

Right Handed Charts:

Left Handed Charts:


  • Level Of Ease: Easy song for beginners
  • Song Keys: G Major (1 sharp - F#) with a key change to A Major (3 sharps - F# C# G#) after the first chorus, going into the second verse.
  • In the Intro, the GaddC chord is simply played by playing a G chord using fingers 2, 3, and 4, and adding the C note with your first finger (first fret, 2nd string). You don't have to play the chord, but it does add a nice touch.
  • You may want to add 7th and sus4 versions of chords, e.g., in the instrumental section at the end of the song. This can help make the song sound a little more interesting if you are playing solo. Instead of playing the same chord for 6 bars you might consider the following:
    Instead of | A | A | A | E |, try | A - A7 | A - Asus4 | A - A7 | E |... or make up your own.
  • | E | E | E | E | could also have been written as | E | % | % | % | where the repeat sign % signifies a repeat of the previous bar.
Janis Joplin
  • Born: Janis Lyn Joplin on January 19th, 1943 in Port Arthur, Texas, United States
  • Occupation: singer-songwriter
  • Years Active: 1962–1970
  • Died: October 4th, 1970 (aged 27) in Los Angeles, California, United States
  • Instruments: Vocals, guitar, autoharp, harmonica, piano, percussion
  • Music Styles: Blues rock, psychedelic soul, soul, country, jazz blues
  • Associations: Big Brother and the Holding Company, Kozmic Blues Band, Full Tilt Boogie Band, Grateful Dead, Kris Kristofferson.
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