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Help: Me and Bobby McGee

DigiTrad:
HELP ME MAKE IT THRU THE NIGHT
JAN, CAROL AND WARREN
ME AND BOBBY MCGEE


Related threads:
Lyr Add: The Circle (Kris Kristofferson) (11)
Bobbie McGee's 'harpoon' (119)
Casey's last ride - meaning? (106)
Lyr/Chords Req: Casey's Last Ride (Kristofferson) (10)
Add: Here Comes that Rainbow Again (Kristofferson) (8)
Lyr Req: Pilgrim (Chapter 33) (Kris Kristofferson) (12)
Lyr Req: Sunday Morning Coming Down (Kristofferson (7)
Kris Kristofferson's new CD (6)
Lyr Add: To Beat the Devil (Kris Kristofferson) (1)
Kris Kristofferson & 'the lady' (9)
Lyr/Chords Req: Me and Bobby McGee (12)
Kris Kristofferson ripped me off (12)
(origins) Origin: For the Good Times (Kristofferson) (14)
Kris Kristofferson-waitress give hobo change (2)


GUEST,Francis 02 Nov 01 - 03:07 PM
UB Ed 02 Nov 01 - 03:20 PM
GUEST 02 Nov 01 - 03:21 PM
Jack the Sailor 02 Nov 01 - 03:34 PM
GUEST,Fiver 02 Nov 01 - 03:46 PM
Steve in Idaho 02 Nov 01 - 03:57 PM
GUEST,Fiver 02 Nov 01 - 04:00 PM
SharonA 02 Nov 01 - 04:12 PM
Genie 02 Nov 01 - 04:36 PM
Jack the Sailor 02 Nov 01 - 04:46 PM
GUEST,Fiver 02 Nov 01 - 05:01 PM
GUEST,Francis 02 Nov 01 - 05:21 PM
Jon Freeman 02 Nov 01 - 09:03 PM
Art Thieme 02 Nov 01 - 10:42 PM
jaze 03 Nov 01 - 09:02 AM
John P 03 Nov 01 - 09:41 AM
Uncle_DaveO 03 Nov 01 - 10:13 AM
Maxine 03 Nov 01 - 10:27 AM
Amos 03 Nov 01 - 10:46 AM
Jeri 03 Nov 01 - 11:24 AM
Big John 03 Nov 01 - 11:54 AM
Biskit 03 Nov 01 - 12:22 PM
Frug 03 Nov 01 - 01:15 PM
UB Ed 07 Nov 01 - 04:24 PM
Steve in Idaho 07 Nov 01 - 05:04 PM
SharonA 07 Nov 01 - 05:49 PM
catspaw49 07 Nov 01 - 08:44 PM
Steve Latimer 08 Nov 01 - 07:36 AM
GUEST,Nick 08 Nov 01 - 01:36 PM
GUEST,maxine 08 Nov 01 - 01:47 PM
GUEST 21 Sep 12 - 12:33 AM
michaelr 21 Sep 12 - 02:10 AM
GUEST,henryp 21 Sep 12 - 06:26 AM
GUEST,Tunesmith 21 Sep 12 - 08:21 AM
PHJim 21 Sep 12 - 10:39 AM
GUEST 21 Sep 12 - 10:53 AM
PHJim 21 Sep 12 - 11:17 AM
GUEST 21 Sep 12 - 04:43 PM
Shimbo Darktree 22 Sep 12 - 06:55 AM
kendall 22 Sep 12 - 07:36 AM
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Subject: me & bobby mcgee
From: GUEST,Francis
Date: 02 Nov 01 - 03:07 PM

Hi. Does anybody of you know what's the meaning of Janis Joplin's *Me & Bobby McGee*??? The backround or the history, perhaps? I love this song, but I can't understand all.

Thanx, .F.


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Subject: Lyr/Chords Add: ME AND BOBBY MCGEE (Kristofferson)
From: UB Ed
Date: 02 Nov 01 - 03:20 PM

Me And Bobby McGee
by Kris Kristofferson / Fred Foster

(G) Busted flat in Baton Rouge, heading for the train
Feeling nearly faded as my (D) jeans
Bobby thumbed a diesel down, just before it rained
Took us all away to New Or(G)leans
I took my harpoon out of my dirty red bandana
And was blowing sad while Bobby sang the (C) blues
With those windshield wipers slapping time
And (G) Bobby clapping hands we finally
(D) Sung up every song that driver (G) knew

(C) Freedom's just another word, for (G) nothing left to lose
(D) Nothing ain't worth nothing but it's (G) free
(C) Feeling good was easy Lord when (G) Bobby sang the blues
(D) Feeling good was good enough for me
Good enough for me and Bobby Mc(G)Gee

(A) From the coal mines of Kentucky to the California sun
Bobby shared the secrets of my (E) soul
Standing right beside me Lord through every thing I done
Every night she kept me from the (A) cold
Then somewhere near Salinas Lord I let her slip away
Searching for the home I heard she (D) owned
And I'd give all my tomorrows for a (A) single yesterday
(E) Holding Bobby's body close to (A) mine

(D) Freedom's just another word, for (A) nothing left to lose
(E) Nothing ain't worth nothing but it's (A) free
(D) Feeling good was easy Lord when (A) Bobby sang the blues
(E) Feeling good was good enough for me
Good enough for me and Bobby Mc(A)Gee


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Subject: RE: Help: me & bobby mcgee
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Nov 01 - 03:21 PM

Taken from this page:

This song is very powerful and has great meaning. Undoubtedly, noone can really understand the true underlying meaning better than the writer, Kris Kristofferson. In an interview he gave with The Dallas Morning News in 1990, he expressed deep emotion when talking about the song. In the interview he stated, "I was writing about the irony of personal freedom. It's like a two-edges sword. The freest you are, the loneliest you are. But it's something that I need."


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Subject: RE: Help: me & bobby mcgee
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 02 Nov 01 - 03:34 PM

I thought it was about hitchhiking and losing a girlfriend. I never realized Chris was so deep!


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Subject: Lyr Add: ME AND BOBBY MCGEE (Kris Kristofferson)
From: GUEST,Fiver
Date: 02 Nov 01 - 03:46 PM

What don't you understand? Here are the lyrics, from the DigiTrad:

ME AND BOBBY MCGEE
(Kris Kristofferson)

Busted flat in Baton Rouge, waiting for a train
Feeling near as faded as my jeans
Bobby thumbed a diesel down just before a rain
Rode us all the way to New Orleans
I pulled my harpoon out of my dirty red bandana
I was playing soft while Bobby sang the blues
With the windshield wipers slapping time
And Bobby holdin' hands with mine
We sang up every song that driver knew

Cho: Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose
Nothing don't mean nothing but it's free
Feeling good was easy, Lord, when Bobby sang the blues
Feeling good was good enough for me
Good enough for me and Bobby McGee

From the coal mines of Kentucky to the California sun
Bobby shared the secrets of my soul
Standing right beside me, Lord, through everything we done
Every night she kept me from the cold
One day near Salinas, Lord, I let her slip away
Lookin' for that home I hope she finds,
I'd trade all my tomorrows for one single yesterday
Holding Bobby's body next to mine

Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose
Nothing left is what she left for me;
Feeling good was easy, Lord, when Bobby sang the blues
Feeling good was good enough for me
Good enough for me and Bobby McGee

The song is about a man who hitch-hiked around the country with a woman named Bobby McGee. In the first verse, he remembers a time that she got a ride for them, and he played the harmonica while sang for the driver. ( Some people wonder he could have played the harmonica and held hands with her at the same time). In the second verse, he lists many of the places that they traveled and explains that she left him near Salinas,(a town in the agricultural country in California) because she wanted to settle down, and he just kept travelling--In the end, he regrets that he let her go, because being with her and listening to her sing, was the most important thing in her life.

Is that what you wanted to know?


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Subject: RE: Help: me & bobby mcgee
From: Steve in Idaho
Date: 02 Nov 01 - 03:57 PM

No no no no Fiver - it was the most important thing in HIS life -

I'd use the blue clicky thingy but am to butt stupid to figure it out *BG*

Steve

BTW - If you are new - Welcome and ignore the rantings and love the intrigue!


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Subject: RE: Help: me & bobby mcgee
From: GUEST,Fiver
Date: 02 Nov 01 - 04:00 PM

I meant to say "his life". and "busted flat" means that they had no money.


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Subject: RE: Help: me & bobby mcgee
From: SharonA
Date: 02 Nov 01 - 04:12 PM

Thumbed a diesel down = hitchhiked, and the driver of an 18-wheel truck stopped to let Him & Bobby McGee ride in it
Harpoon = harmonica


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Subject: RE: Help: me & bobby mcgee
From: Genie
Date: 02 Nov 01 - 04:36 PM

Kris's original lyrics are more like the ones UB Ed posted above than they way Janis sang it (the ones Fiver posted). The original line did not have anyone holding hands and playing the "harpoon" at the same time. Also, the line " Nothing left is what she left for me," (or "Nothing, that's all that Bobby left me") was Janis's variation. Kris K.'s line was "Nothin' ain't worth nothin' but it's free.!"


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Subject: RE: Help: me & bobby mcgee
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 02 Nov 01 - 04:46 PM

I guess the chorus, as it should, sums up the meaning of the song, having, no money, no home means freedom. But it also means loneliness. He'd like to still have both his freedom and the girl but he has lost that and wistfully remembers that time.


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Subject: RE: Help: me & bobby mcgee
From: GUEST,Fiver
Date: 02 Nov 01 - 05:01 PM

Just thought I'd mention that I first heard this song by Gordon Lightfoot, and first knew of Kris Kristofferson as the person who wrote this song--Any idea which version of the lyrics he sang?


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Subject: RE: Help: me & bobby mcgee
From: GUEST,Francis
Date: 02 Nov 01 - 05:21 PM

I thank you very much!!!


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Subject: RE: Help: me & bobby mcgee
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 02 Nov 01 - 09:03 PM

Drifiting off the answer but tell me something, I'm I alone in wishing they were the one in the truck with Bobby McGee? Nothing to loose but the friend/love with you. I'd never be brave enough in real life though - it just paints a sort of dream picture to me.

Jon


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Subject: RE: Help: me & bobby mcgee
From: Art Thieme
Date: 02 Nov 01 - 10:42 PM

Schizophrenia means you never have to dine alone.

Art


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Subject: RE: Help: me & bobby mcgee
From: jaze
Date: 03 Nov 01 - 09:02 AM

I think its a great romantization(?) of the old "hippie dream" of being free to go where life takes you, and finding love along the way. Reality sucks doesn't it?


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Subject: RE: Help: me & bobby mcgee
From: John P
Date: 03 Nov 01 - 09:41 AM

jaze, do you mean that the reality of job/home/family sucks when compared to the dream of freedom? I grew up during the hippie era and was fed that dream as a desirable thing. I think most ads for SUVs are the sad descendants of that whole ideal. What I have come to realize, however, is that being free to go where life takes one not only causes lonliness, it prevents one from being fulfilled in some important ways. Somewhere along the line from my hippie roots I bought a house, have been working the same job for twelve years, and have been married for sixteen years. What I have found is not a loss of freedom, but rather the addition of a sense of roots. I used to say, "Be Here Now", but now I finally feel all the way here -- emotionally and physically as well as spirtiually.

The singer of the song lost Bobby McGee and regretted it, as well he should. There is nothing quite like being in love with someone for decades, knowing that there is someone you know so deeply and can trust so completely. I guess I'm lucky -- a lot of guys my age feel trapped by their marraiges and their mortgages and their jobs. I feel empowered, and that helps make me free.

Nah, reality doesn't suck at all.

John


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Subject: RE: Help: me & bobby mcgee
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 03 Nov 01 - 10:13 AM

Second the motion, John! After thirty-seven years, I'd marry her again tomorrow! This afternoon! In ten minutes!

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Help: me & bobby mcgee
From: Maxine
Date: 03 Nov 01 - 10:27 AM

Am new to all this so hi everyone. Just thought I'd say I love Gordon Lightfoot's version of this song but struggle listening to Janis Jopplin - all that screeching - is it just me? Having said that, I like anything Gordon Lightfoot does. Kris Kristoffersens is great too. A great song to sing on your own in the car, when you can really go for it! maxine


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Subject: RE: Help: me & bobby mcgee
From: Amos
Date: 03 Nov 01 - 10:46 AM

Janis' screeching, as you label it, is part of her trademark style, a sort of vamped up hyper-emotional blues style which tears the vocal cords apart in its urgency of expression. Bobbie McGee is probably not the best sample to use to appreciate the power of the style. It is more melodic than a traditional blues form, and more of a ballad in some ways. Find some core blues numbers she has cut and it will seem, perhaps, more appropriate. She was a very whole-heart gutsy singer, took a lot of risks musically and personally, died young.

A


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Subject: RE: Help: me & bobby mcgee
From: Jeri
Date: 03 Nov 01 - 11:24 AM

Jon - sorta, but it's just a fantasy. I've been in a rather crappy mood lately. Last night, on the way to the session, I thought about stuffing the car full of clothes, food, and sleeping gear, and just taking off on one big road trip. I couldn't come up with anywhere to go, though. I couldn't come up with realistic reasons for going anywhere, and all the crap I wanted to leave behind would come along with me in my head. I think there's fodder for a song in there - something about -
"I wanted to leave my worries behind,
But I carried them along in my own mind.
Oh, I was the baggage I was trying to unload
And my own private (insert name of horrible place you've lived) was every place along the road."

I guess we all have starting-over fantasies. That's why songs like Bobby McGee - hobo songs, really - are so popular. In reality, those guys were probably pretty miserable.


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Subject: RE: Help: me & bobby mcgee
From: Big John
Date: 03 Nov 01 - 11:54 AM

Nobody can give that song the "HEART" that Chris puts into it. Personally, I like Jerry Lee Lewis's semi-rock version.


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Subject: RE: Help: me & bobby mcgee
From: Biskit
Date: 03 Nov 01 - 12:22 PM

Dear UB ED, I've never noticed, certainly never played it that way, but the song begins in the mellow key of (G) and then at the begining of verse 2 you change it to the key of (A) now I've played this song in both (G) and (A) but never at the same time....am I missing out on a new form of musical expression?? or am I just being blinded by a childish need to be sarcastic...(sigh) I tried playin' it with the change, and it really sucked perhaps due to bias ie; (I've played it this way so long I know it has to be right....) Help me out here EH! PEACE ~Biskit~ ;p


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Subject: RE: Help: me & bobby mcgee
From: Frug
Date: 03 Nov 01 - 01:15 PM

Biskit..........The step up to A is correct as written and performed by Kristofferson.

Frank


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Subject: RE: Help: me & bobby mcgee
From: UB Ed
Date: 07 Nov 01 - 04:24 PM

Bisket, sarcasm is a high artform and not the least bit childish. Reference Spaw.

The version I gave came from a Dogpile search; I personally have never modulated to A, but now that you mention it, I have heard versions that do. (We know Kris did; did Janis?).

I think if you play the first A for one measure to establish the new key before vocals might work.

Ed


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Subject: RE: Help: me & bobby mcgee
From: Steve in Idaho
Date: 07 Nov 01 - 05:04 PM

I've been taught how to do the key change - and it adds "Drama" to the second "loss"/line/verse of the song. But I play/sing it in G and don't modulate to A cause I've never done it. I always forget when I'm singing it to do this - I'm not a purist so don't go by my account!

Steve


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Subject: RE: Help: me & bobby mcgee
From: SharonA
Date: 07 Nov 01 - 05:49 PM

Sorry, Amos, but I agree with Maxine: trademark-vamped-up-hyper-emotional-blues style or not, Joplin's vocals still sound like screeching, and she is indeed a struggle to listen to. I also agree, Maxine, that Lightfoot's music is great to listen to (and sing with) while driving!


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Subject: RE: Help: me & bobby mcgee
From: catspaw49
Date: 07 Nov 01 - 08:44 PM

I'm always surprised that no one mentions Ramblin Jack's version of this song......Starts out with him talking about trucks.....it's great. I suppose the song would be okay even if he started by talking about Osterizer blenders, but the truck thing is a tad more appropriate I think........

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Help: me & bobby mcgee
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 08 Nov 01 - 07:36 AM

The best version I've heard of this is Willie Nelson sped up, almost rocked up version from the Willie Sings Kristofferson Album.


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Subject: RE: Help: me & bobby mcgee
From: GUEST,Nick
Date: 08 Nov 01 - 01:36 PM

I'm surprised no one has mentioned the Gratefull Dead Version of this song.

Alos I wonder if the line is not " I pulled my harp on outa, my dirty red bandana... not harpoon."


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Subject: RE: Help: me & bobby mcgee
From: GUEST,maxine
Date: 08 Nov 01 - 01:47 PM

Thanks SharonA I think maybe we're more 'folky' than 'bluesy' Still, that can only be a good thing eh?


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Subject: RE: Help: me & bobby mcgee
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Sep 12 - 12:33 AM

so anyway i play one o them harpoons they mention in the song... anyway... my question is about the key change, does it change to A?


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Subject: RE: Help: me & bobby mcgee
From: michaelr
Date: 21 Sep 12 - 02:10 AM

yep


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Subject: RE: Help: me & bobby mcgee
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 21 Sep 12 - 06:26 AM

Roger Miller recorded this - and was apparently the first person to record a song by Kris Kristofferson.


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Subject: RE: Help: me & bobby mcgee
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 21 Sep 12 - 08:21 AM

Well, of course, the composing credits to this song list the writers as Kris K and Fred Foster, but it appears that Fred simply gave Kris the song's title i.e. "Me and Bobby McGee", and Kris went away and constructed a whole song from that. Interesting.


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Subject: RE: Help: me & bobby mcgee
From: PHJim
Date: 21 Sep 12 - 10:39 AM

I have never heard a harmonica referred to as a "harpoon" except in this song. I've heard "mouth organ", "mouth harp", "French harp", even "blues harp" (though that is properly more a description of a playing style than the instrument itself). I think Kris must've coined that term. As popular as the song is, the term "harpoon" never really caught on.


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Subject: RE: Help: me & bobby mcgee
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Sep 12 - 10:53 AM

Somehow, this thread reminds me of an ol Dennis Miller line:
We watched "Smoky an the Bandit", and then had a discussion group about it.


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Subject: RE: Help: me & bobby mcgee
From: PHJim
Date: 21 Sep 12 - 11:17 AM

I forgot "tin sandwich" in my previous post.

I did find another place where the harp is called a harpoon.

Paul deLay Band - Harpoon Man


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Subject: RE: Help: me & bobby mcgee
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Sep 12 - 04:43 PM

I dropped the 'oon' and just sing ' I took my old harp out of ...' because it didnt make sense to me.

The key change goes up one whole tone

hated johnny cash's version

J Jops version is just J J doing her vocals thing and sod the song lyric

in the U k , during a moment of flash boredom bordering on inspiration one day I substituted - for a joke - Milton Keynes for New O

And somewhere near St Albans Lord she took the wrong slipway and headed south on the M25


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Subject: RE: Help: me & bobby mcgee
From: Shimbo Darktree
Date: 22 Sep 12 - 06:55 AM

Great song ... but then, I'm a Kristoffersen fan (both his writing and singing ... not to mention his acting).

I've tried both styles of life i.e. wandering homeless, and the suburbanite worker. Seems to me there is good and bad in both life styles, and the feeling of freedom is largely subjective - you either feel good, or you don't. I can understand what feelings may have prompted the song. If you read other lyrics Kris has written, you can find much deep thought and feeling.

Should there be a group of threads labelled "Deep and meaningful discussions"? Now, now - put down the hoe! I'm just trying to lift the mood a little ... no screams of anguish please.

Shimbo


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Subject: RE: Help: me & bobby mcgee
From: kendall
Date: 22 Sep 12 - 07:36 AM

I'm with Maxine on this. I hate screeching on key almost as much as screeching off key.
Jeri, as the saying goes, "No matter where you go, there you are."

Someone said, "The problem is, when you get there, there's no there there."


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