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Album: Ry Cooder

 

 

 

 

 

ALIMONY

(R. L. Jones/W. Young/R. Higginbotham)

(C) - (F) - (G)

 

(C) Look at this one, look at that one

Tell me do they look like me

All my (F) friends said, don't you worry

Said they'll testify for (C) me

Well, I (G) wonder which of (F) my friends had it in for (C) me

Alimony, alimony, alimony is killing me

I don't (F) want six extra children

When ain't but two that look like (C) me

Please, have (G) mercy, judge your (F)honor

Alimony is killing (C) me

 

Please, have mercy, judge your honor

I'm as poor as I can be

Ain't had money in my pockets

Since way back in fifty three

Can't you cut down all my payment ?

Alimony is killing me

Alimony, alimony, alimony is killing me

Alimony, alimony, alimony is killing me

 

FRANCE CHANCE

(Joe Callicott)

 

Drop down baby, just like showers of rain

I hate to hear my fair brown call my name, yeah

I hate to hear my fair brown call my name

Well, she calls so loud, and the poor girl calls so plain

 

Walks to the station, tears running down

I got news, my baby, done left town, yeah

I got news, my baby, 'cause he done blow this town

Well, I got great news, my baby, he done blow this town

 

Blues started calling me like Ronny and France

Looks like that other guy won't allow me no chance, yeah

Well, it looks like, to me, that other guy won't allow me all chance

Hum, hum, hum

 

 

ONE MEAT BALL

(L.Singer-H.Zaret)

(Am) - (Asus) - (F) - (E)

 

(Am) The little (Asus) man (Am) walked (F) up and (E) down

(Am) To find an (Asus) ea(Am) ting (F) place in (E) town

(Am) He read the (Asus) menu (Am) (F) through and (E) through

(E) To see what fifteen cents could do

(Am) One meat ball (Am) , one meat ball (F)

(E) Well, he could afford but one meat ball

 

He told the waiter near at hand

A simple dinner he had planned

The guests were startled one and all to hear

That waiter loudly call

One meat ball, one meat ball

Well, this here gent wants one meat ball

 

Little man felt very bad

One meat ball was all he had

And in his dreams he hears that call

Ya gets no bread with one meat ball

One meat ball, one meat ball

Well,  you get no bread with one meat ball

Well, he could afford but one meat ball

One meat ball, one meat ball

All he could afford was one meat ball

One meat ball

 

 

DO RE MI

(Woody Guthrie)

(G) - (C) - (G7) - (D) - (D7) - (Bm) - (Em)

 

(G) Lots of folks back east they say

(C) Leaving home most every day

(D7) Beating the hot old dusty way

To the (G) California line

'Cross the desert sands they roll

(C) Getting out of that Old Dust Bowl

(D) Think they're coming to a sugar bowl

But (G) here's (D7) what they (G) find

(D) Police at the port of entry say

You're number fourteen thousand for to (D7) day

 

Hey, if you (G) ain't got the Do Re Mi, boy

If you ain't got the Do Re (D) Mi

Well, you (D7) better go back to beautiful Texas

Oklahoma, Kansas, Georgia, Tennes- (G) see

California is the garden of Eden

It's a paradise to (G7) live in or (C) see

But be(G)lieve it or (D) not

You won't (Bm) find it so (C) hot

If you (Em) ain't got the Do Re (G) Mi

 

You want to buy a home or a farm

That can't do nobody harm

Take your vacation by the mountains or sea

Don't swap your old cow for a car

You better stay right where you are

Better take this little tip from me

Well, I look through the want ads every day

The headlines in the papers always say

 

 

OLD KENTUCKY HOME

(Randy Newman)

(D) - (G) - (A) - (E7) - (A7) - (Bm)

 

(D) Turpentine and dandelion wine

I've turned the corner and I'm (G) doing fine

Shooting at the birds on the (D) telephone line

(A) Picking 'em off with this (D) gun of mine

I got a (G) fire in my belly and a (D) fire in my head

Going (A) higher and higher till I'm dead

 

Sister Sue, short and stout

She didn't grow up - she grew out

Papa says she's plain but she's just being kind

Mama says she's pretty but she's almost blind

Don't let her out much 'cept at night

But I don't care 'cause I'm all right

 

Oh, the (D) sun shines bright on my (G) old Kentucky (D) home

And the young folks roll on the (E7) floor (A7)

Oh, the (D) sun shines bright on my (G) old Kentucky (D) home

Keep them hard times (G) a (Bm)way (A7) from my (D) door

 

Brother Gene, he's big and mean

And he didn't have much to say

He had a little woman that he whupped each day

But now she's gone away

He got drunk last night

Kicked mama down the stairs

But I'm all right so I don't care

 

 

HOW CAN A POOR MAN STAND SUCH TIMES AND LIVE ?

(Alfred Reed)

(G) - (C) - (G7) - (D) - (D7) - (Am)

 

(G) I remember a time when every (D) thing was (G) cheap

Now prices nearly puts a man to (D) sleep

(D7) Well, when we (G) get our grocery (G7) bill

We (C) feel like making our (Am) will

Tell me, (G) how can a poor man (D7) stand such times and (G) live ?

Tell me, (G) how can a poor man (D7) stand such times and (G) live ?

 

Well, the doctor comes around with his face all bright

And he says, "In a little while you'll be all right!"

Well, all he gives is a humbug pill

Dose of dope and a great big bill

Tell me, how can a poor man stand such times and live ?

Tell me, how can a poor man stand such times and live ?

 

Most preachers, well, they preach for gold and not for soul

Well, that's what keeps us poor folks always in a hole

Now, we can hardly get our breath

Taxed and schooled and preached to death

Tell me, how can a poor man stand such times and live ?

Tell me, how can a poor man stand such times and live ?

 

AVAILABLE SPACE

(Ry Cooder)

 

Open G Tuning (lowered one step or so)

12 String (w/slide)

 

b bend

h hammer-on

p pull-off

T^ Brush down with thumb or note played with thumb

/ slide down neck (toward saddle)

slide up neck (toward nut)

X mute or slide to/from indefinite point

+ notes played without slide

V Heavy vibrato (more than normal,ie. as a slide tune

there’s lots of vibrato going on already

g ghost note...played only in passing (not accentuated)

I index finger

M middle finger

( ) Optional note in lieu of note tabbed

 

Section I

 

1.

d|---------12-----12----------------------|

b|--11-/12----12------11-/12--------------|

g|---------------------------12-----------|

D|---------------X12-----------------X12--|

G|--------X12-------------------X12-------|

D|----------------------------------------|

 

 

|----------------12---------------12------------------|

|--11-/1211/12-----11-/12-----------11-/12-----------|

|--------------------------12---------------12--------|

|-----------X12---------------------------------------|

|-X12-------------------------X12--------------X12-X-|

|-----------------------------------------------------|

 

 

Section II The first half of measure 2 is not correct but best guess...and a bad one at that. I just couldn’t figure it out. A simple open pattern pick will suffice

 

1.

|--------5--------------------5----------------|

|--4-/5--------------4-/5----------------------|

|------------------4--------------0------------|

|----------X5----X5-------X5-------------------|

|-X4-/5-------X5----X4-/5------------2-/3---0--|

|----------------------------------------------|

V g g

2.

|-------------------5-/7----------|

|------------------------7--------|

|--0----------------------(7)-----|

|-----0---3-/5----------------7---|

|--0-----------------------7------|

|---------3-/5--0-----------------|

 

3.

|------------5-------------------5------------------|

|--4-/54/5-------------------------5-3------------|

|---------------5----------3-/5----------0----------|

|--------------------------3-/5---------------------|

|--4-/54/5--------3-2p0--3-/5-------------2-/3--0-|

|---------------------------------------------------|

T^ V

4.

|-----------------|

|-----------------| Measure 4. is a free flowing

|------0--0-------| strum transition to Section III.

|------0----------| Use thumb down strum if using

|--0---0-----0----| fingerpicks...otherwise use

|-----------------| back of index or middle finger

T^

 

Section III

 

1. 2.

|----------12-------------|----------12--------------|

|--10-/12-----------------|--10-/12------------------|

|-------------------------|--------------------------|

|--------------12---------|-------------12-----------|

|-X10-/12--------------12-|-X10-/12--------------12--|

|------------------12-----|-----------------12-------|

V V

3.

|----------12----------12-|---------------------------------

|--10-/12----------12-----|--10-/12-------------------------

|-------------------------|----------12------11--10-----10X

|--------------12---------|---------------------------------

|-X10-/12-----------------|-X10-/12-----X12-X11-----X10-----

|---------------------X12-|---------------------------------

T^

Repeat Section II

 

Section III This requires you to really dig in with the slide, especially at the 4th fret. The tab appears bizarre but you have to listen very close to the timing of the

the tune to make it add up.

 

1. + +

|--------------------------------------------------------

|-----------------0--------------------------------------

|--2-/4---2-/4---------4-2--0-------------4-2--0-------

|-------------------0-------------0-----0x------------0--

|-X2-/4--X2-/4--0---------2----------0--0x-4-2--0-------

|------------------------------2--------------------2----

V T^

+ + + + 2.

|-------------------------|------------------------------

|-------------------------|----------------0-------------

|--0--2X--0---------------|--2-/4--2-/4---------4-2--0--

|------------3---2---0----|-------------------0----------

|--0--2X--0---------------|-X2-/4--X-----0---------2-----

|--------------3---2---0--|------------------------------

V

 

+ + +

-------------------------------------------------

-------------------------------------------------

---------0--4-2--0-------2-/3--2--0-------------

------0----------------0-------------------------

---------0-----2----------2-/3--2--0-------------

---2-----------------2-----------------0--2--4---

 

 

|--------5--------------------

|--3-/5--------------3-/5-----

|--------------5--------------

|-----------5--------------5--

|--3-/5----------X5--3-/5-----

|-----------------------------

T^

 

 

|--5-3------------------------------5-/7---------|

|-----------------------------------------7-------|

|--------0---2-/3--0---0--------------------7-----|

|------------------------0--3-/5------------------|

|------------2-/3--0---0-----------------------0--|

|---------------------------3-/5--0---------------|

V

 

|------------5-------------------5------------------|

|--4-/54/5-------------------------5-3------------|

|---------------5----------3-/5----------0----------|

|--------------------------3-/5---------------------|

|--4-/54/5--------3-2p0--3-/5-------------2-/3--0-|

|---------------------------------------------------|

T^ V

 

|----------------------

|--X-/12--11/12------- Interesting transition to the

|--X-/12---------12---- next measure. A rough approx-

|--X-/12--------------- imation....however, hit the

|--X-/12--------------- high octave string on last

|--X-/12--------------- note with thumb.

T^ T^

 

 

Repeat Section I, II and III. Then repeat Section II, measure 3 is noted again below for continuity to show ending, new measure 4.

 

3.

|------------5-------------------5------------------

|--4-/54/5-------------------------5-3------------

|---------------5----------3-/5----------0----------

|--------------------------3-/5---------------------

|--4-/54/5--------3-2p0--3-/5-------------2-/3--0-

|---------------------------------------------------

T^ V

4.

|--------------|

|--------------|

|--------------|

|--3-/5--------|

|--------------|

|--3-/5--------|

 

 

PIG MEAT

(Huddie Ledbetter)

(C7) - (C) - (F7) - (C) - (G7)

 

(C7) Just look here mama

Don't pick pig meat the way you (C) do

(F7) Don't pick pig meat the way you (C) do

(C7) Don't be (G7) lieve it's pig meat

Ask (F7) anybody in the neighborhood (C)

 

Don't believe it's pig meat

Kind that you won't regret

Don't believe it's pig meat

Kind that you won't regret

I got something about this pig meat

Sweet mama ain't told you yet

 

I was born and raised in the country

Mama but I'm staying in town

I was born and raised in the country

Mama but I'm staying in town

You don't believe it's pig meat

Mama from my head on down

 

 

POLICE DOG BLUES

(Arthur Blake, adapted by Ry Cooder)

 

All my life I've been a travellin' man

All my life I've been a travellin' man

Stayin' alone and doing the best I can

 

I ship my trunk down to Tennessee

Ship my trunk down to Tennessee

It's hard to tell 'bout a man like me

 

I had a gal, I couldn't get her off my mind

I had a gal, I couldn't get her off my mind

She passed me up saying she didn't like my kind

 

Scared to bother around the house that night

I'm scared to bother around the house that night

Got police dogs cravin' for a fight

 

His game is rambling when he gets the chance

His game is rambling when he gets the chance

He leaves his mark on everybody's pants

 

Guess I'll travel, guess I'll let her be

Guess I'll travel, guess I'll let her be

Before she sets that police dog on me

 

Police Dog Blues is played in open D

Tune : D A D F# A D (bottom to top)

 

Key :

 

H Play harmonic (e.g. 12H = 12th fret harmonic)

W Note is whammed (bend)

aPb Pull off from fret a to fret b

aSb Slide from fret a to fret b

 

 

D -12H-----------12H----------------2-------------------0---------------

A ----12H-----------12H-----------0---3W-0------------2---2--0----------

F#-------12H-----------12H---------------------------------------0------

D ----------12H-----------12H----------------------------------3---0----

A ------------------------------0---------------0-1-2--------0----------

D -------------------------------------------------------------------0--

 

D -0---------------0--------0------|

A ---3-2-0------------0------------|

F#-----------0-----------0---------|

D ---------3---0---------------0---|

A -------0------------------0------|

D ---------------0-----------------|

 

D ------7---------7--------7--------9---------12H-----------12H--------

A --8W--------8W--------8--------8---------------12H-----------12H-----

F#--------------------------------------------------12H------------0---

D ---------0---------0--------0--------0---------------12H-----------0-

A ---------------------------------------------------------------------

D --0-------------0-----0-----------0-----0----------------------------

 

D --------0--3-----0--------3P2--0-----0-------------0-----------------

A -----2-----------------0----------2-----0-------------3--2--0--------

F#--------------------------------------------0-------------------0----

D --------0-----------0---------------------3---0---------------3---0--

A -1-2------------------------------------0-------------------0--------

D --------------0-------------0-------------------0-------------------0

 

D -0--------0--------------0----------------0----------0--------0------

A ----0-----------------0-----0-----------0---0-----0--------------3--2

F#-------0-----0-1-2-3-----------3--0--2---------1--------0------------

D ---------------2-3-4-----------------3---------2---------------------

A ----------0----------------------------------------------------------

D -----------------------------------------------------------0---------

 

D ----------------0--------0-------------------------------------------

A -0-----------------0-------------------------------------------------

F#-------0--------------0---------0---1-2-3-0--0---1-2-3-0--0---1-2-3-0

D ----3-----0-----------------0-----0-2-3-4-0----0-2-3-4-0----0-2-3-4-0

A -0-----------------------0-------------------------------------------

D -------------0-------------------------------------------------------

 

D ---------------0--------------0--3-----0--------3P2--0-----0---------

A ---------------------------2-----------------0----------2-----0------

F#-1-2-3--0-0-0-------------------------------------------------------0

D -2-3-4--0-0-0-----------------0-----------0----------------------3---

A ------------------0--1--2-------------------------------------0------

D ------------------------------------0-------------0------------------

 

D -------0-----------------------0--------0----------------------------

A ----------3--2--0-----------------0----------------------------------

F#----------------------0--------------0-------------------------------

D -0-----------------3-----0-----------------0-------------------------

A ----------------0-----------------------0-----------0-------0-------0

D ----0-----------------------0------------------2S4-----2S4-----2S4---

 

D -------------0--------------------0----------------------0--------0--

A ----------2-----2--0-----------------3--2--0----------------0--------

F#-------------------------0-----------------------0-------------0-----

D ----------------------3-----0-----------------3-----0---------------0

A -0--1--2-----------0-----------------------0----------------------0--

D -------------------------------0----------------------0--------------

 

D ---------------------------------------------------------------------

A ---------------------------------------------------------------------

F#---------------------------------------------------------------------

D -0-----2-----3-----4-------0---2-----3-----4-----0-------2---3-----4-

A ---------------------------------------------------------------------

D ----0-----2-----3-----4--0--------2-----3-----4-----0--2--------3----

 

D ----------0--------------------------0--3-----0--------3P2--0-----0--

A -------------3--2--0--------------2-----------------0----------2----0

F#-------------------------0-------------------------------------------

D ----0-----------------3--------------0-----------0-------------------

A -------------------0--------1--2------------------------------------0

D -4-----0-----------------------------------0-------------0-----------

 

D -------------0-----------------------0--------0--------2-------------

A ----------------3--2--0-----------------0-----------0-----3W--0------

F#----0-----------------------0--------------0-------------------------

D -3-----0-----------------3-----0-------------------------------------

A ----------------------0-----------------------0--0-------------------

D ----------0-----------------------0----------------------------------

 

D -------------0--------------------0-----------------------0-------0--

A ----------2-----2--0-----------------3--2--0-----------------0-------

F#-------------------------0-----------------------0--------------0----

D ----------------------3-----0-----------------3-----0---------------0

A -0--1--2-----------0-----------------------0----------------------0--

D -------------------------------0-----------------------0-------------

 

D -12H----------12H----------12H----------12H---------------------0--3-

A ----12H----------12H----------12H----------12H---------------2-------

F#-------12H----------12H----------12H----------12H--------------------

D ----------12H----------12H----------12H----------12H------------0----

A -------------------------------------------------------1--2----------

D ---------------------------------------------------------------------

 

D ----0--------3P2--0-----0-----------------0--------------------------

A ----------0----------2-----0-----------------3--2--0-----------------

F#---------------------------------0-----------------------0-----------

D -------0----------------------3-----0-----------------3-----0--------

A ---------------------------0-----------------------0-----------------

D -0-------------0-----------------------0-----------------------0-----

 

D -0--------0-----------2---------------------0------------------------

A ----0--------------0-----3W--0-----------2-----2--0------------------

F#-------0------------------------------------------------0------------

D -------------0---------------------------------------3-----0---------

A ----------0-----0---------------0--1--2-----------0------------------

D --------------------------------------------------------------0------

 

D -0-----------------------0--------0---0--|

A ----3--2--0-----------------0---------0--|

F#----------------0--------------0------0--|

D -------------3-----0------------------0--|

A ----------0-----------------------0------|

D ----------------------0------------------|

 

 

 

GOING TO BROWNSVILLE

(John Estes, adapted by Ry Cooder)

 

I'm going to Brownsville, take that right hand road

Well, I'm going to Brownsville, take that right hand road

And I ain't gonna stop walking till I get in sweet mama's door

 

The girl I'm loving she's got great long curly hair

The girl I'm loving she's got great long curly hair

And her mama and her papa well, they sure don't allow me there

 

If you catch my jumper (?), babe, hanging upside your wall

Well, if you catch my jumper (?), babe, hanging upside your wall

Well, you know by that I need my ashes hauled

 

I'm going to Brownsville, take that right hand road

I'm going to Brownsville, take that right hand road

And I ain't gonna stop walking till I get in sweet mama's door

 

 

DARK IS THE NIGHT

(Blind Willie Johnson, adapted by Ry Cooder)

Instrumental

Playing Notes:

 

/ - slide up

\ - slide down

h - hammer on

p - pull off

s - slide between notes

# - note played slightly sharp

 

played in Open D (D A D F# A D from low to high)

 

D-|-------------------/2---0------------------------------------------------|

A-|--0--/7--\5----0-3--------3s2p0------------------------------------------|

F#|-------------------------------------------------------------------------|

D-|---------------------------------0---0-/4-/5-/7-/4---0-/4-/5-/7-7s5-\4--0|

A-|--0--/7--\5--------------------------------------------------------------|

D-|-------------------------------------0-/4-/5-/7-/4---0-/4-/5-/7-7s5-\4---|

 

|-/7---0--/4s3s4----/7---/12/12----/5--/7s6s7---2-0-----0-0-/3s2---/7s6s7---|

|---------------------------------------------------------------------------|

|---------------------------------------------------------------------------|

|---------------------------------------------------0-----------------------|

|------------------------------------------------------------0--------------|

|-------0----------0---------------/5---------------------------------------|

 

|-0-0-/3s2---/3-s-2-0-------------/4---4s2p0--------------------------------|

|---------------------0-/3#-/5-----------------0-/7-/5--0--/3#-/5---\3p0----|

|---------------------------------------------------------------------------|

|---------------------------------------------------------------------------|

|------0---------------------------------------0-/7-/5-----/3#-/5-----------|

|---------------------------------0-----------------------------------------|

 

|------------------------------------/4--4s2p0-------/16--\12---------------|

|------------------------------------------------/14-----------/14--\9------|

|---------------------------------------------------------------------------|

|-0-/3-/5--5s3s5-/7--\3-s-2-s-3-0-------------------------------------------|

|---------------------------------------------------------------------------|

|-0-/3-/5--5s3s5-/7--------------0------------------------------------------|

 

|--/7--/4p0-/4-4s2p0--4s3s4s7s9--0-h-2---0-4s2s4--5s4----/4--4s2p0----------|

|---------------------------------0------------------/5-------------0-/7-\5-|

|---------------------------------------------------------------------------|

|---------------------------------------------------------------------------|

|----------------------------------0--------------------------------0-/7-\5-|

|-0----------------------------------------0--------------0-----------------|

 

|--------------------------------------------------/7-p-0--/4s3s4--/7-/12/12|

|-0-/3--/5--3p0-------------------------------------------------------------|

|---------------------------------------------------------------------------|

|-------------------0-0--/5--5s3s5-/7--/3-s-2-0-----------------------------|

|-------/5-----0------------------------------------------------------------|

|------------------------/5--5s3s5-/7----------0------------0-------0-------|

 

|-/5---/7/7-s-2p0---0-0-/3s2--/7s6s7s9-p-0---0-0-/3s2--3-s-2-0--------------|

|--------------------------------------------------------------0-/3s5s4-/5--|

|---------------------------------------------------------------------------|

|-/5------------------------------------------------------------------------|

|------------------------0------------------------0-------------------------|

|-/5------------------------------------------------------------------------|

 

|-/4--4s2p0-----------------------------------/12~--|

|------------0-0-/7-/5---0-0-/3-/5-s-3p0------/12~--|

|---------------------------------------------/12~--|

|---------------------------------------------/12~--|

|----------------/7-/5-------/3-/5-s-3p0------------|

|--0------------------------------------------------|