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/ Bob Dylan / John Wesley Harding (1967) / The Ballad of Frankie Lee and Judas Priest guitar tab

Bob Dylan - The Ballad of Frankie Lee and Judas Priest
from the album "John Wesley Harding"

Played on a steel string acoustic guitar

The song consists of one chord loop repeated throughout the song, this is:

C, Em, Dm, C

These can be fingered as open chords like so:

EADGBE    EADGBE    EADGBE    EADGBE
x30210    022000    xx0231    x30210

  C         Em        Dm        C

However, the actual version seems to use barre chords thus:

    C        Em       Dm       C
E|--8--------7--------5--------8-----
B|--8--------8--------6--------8-----
G|--9--------9--------7--------9-----
D|--10-------9--------7--------10----
A|--10-------7--------5--------10----
E|--8--------x--------x--------8-----


The strumming pattern goes roughly like this:

d = down stroke
u = up stroke

1---2---3---4---
d*  d   d u d u

*with the first downstroke, only strum the bass notes of the chord


The Song:

intro - cycle through chord loop twice,

      C               Em
Well, Frankie Lee and Judas Priest,
     Dm                        C
They were the best of friends.
        C                  Em
So when Frankie Lee needed money one day,
      Dm                                C
Judas quickly pulled out a roll of tens
    C                Em
And placed them on a footstool
     Dm                      C
Just above the plotted plain,
        C                Dm
Sayin', "Take your pick, Frankie Boy,
   Em                       C
My loss will be your gain."


Well, Frankie Lee, he sat right down
And put his fingers to his chin,
But with the cold eyes of Judas on him,
His head began to spin.
"Could ya please not stare at me like that," he said,
"It's just my foolish pride,
For sometimes a man must be alone
And this is no place to hide."

Well Judas, he just winked and said,
"All right, I'll leave you here,
But you'd better hurry up and choose
Which of those bills you want,
Before they all disappear."
"I'm gonna start my pickin' right now,
Just tell me where you'll be."

Judas pointed down the road
And said eternity,
"Eternity?" said Frankie Lee,
With a voice as cold as ice.
"That's right," said Judas Priest, "Eternity,
Though you might call it 'Paradise.'"

"I don't call it anything,"
Said Frankie Lee with a smile.
"All right," said Judas Priest,
"I'll see you after a while."

Well, Frankie Lee, he sat back down,
Feelin' low and mean,
When just then a passing stranger
Burst upon the scene,
Saying, "Are you Frankie Lee, the gambler,
Whose father's deceased?
Well, if you are,
There's a fellow callin' you down the road
And they say his name is Priest."

"Oh, yes, he is my friend,"
Said Frankie Lee in fright,
"I do recall him very well,
In fact, he just left my sight."
"Yes, that's the one," said the stranger,
As quiet as a mouse,
"Well, my message is, he's down the road,
Stranded in a house."

Well, Frankie Lee, he panicked,
He dropped ev'rything and ran
Until he came unto the spot
Where Judas Priest did stand.
"What kind of house is this," he said,
"Where I have come to roam?"
"It's not a house," says Judas Priest,
"It's not a house, it's a home."

Well, Frankie Lee, he trembled,
He soon lost all control
Over everything which he had made
While the mission bells did toll.
He just stood there staring
At that big house as bright as any sun,
With four and twenty windows
And a woman's face in every one.

Well, up the stairs ran Frankie Lee
With a soulful, bounding leap,
And, foaming at the mouth,
He began to make his midnight creep.
For sixteen nights and days he raved,
But on the seventeenth he burst
Into the arms of Judas Priest,
Which is where he died of thirst.

No one tried to say a thing
When they carried him out in jest,
Except, of course, the little neighbour boy
Who carried him to rest.
And he just walked along, alone,
With his guilt all well concealed,
And muttered underneath his breath,
"Nothing is revealed."

Well, the moral of the story,
The moral of this song,
Is simply that one should never be
Where one does not belong.
So when you see your neighbour carryin' somethin',
Help him with his load,
And don't go mistaking Paradise
For that home across the road.


Transcribed by Phil - phil@kalimist.com


Bob Dylan albums
2003 Masked and Anonymous
2001 Love and Theft
1997 Time Out of Mind
1993 World Gone Wrong
1992 Good as I Been to You
1990 Under the Red Sky
1989 Oh Mercy
1988 Down in the Groove
1986 Knocked Out Loaded
1985 Empire Burlesque
1983 Infidels
1981 Shot of Love
1980 Saved
1979 Slow Train Coming
1978 Street Legal
1976 Desire
1975 The Basement Tapes
1975 Blood on the Tracks
1974 Planet Waves
1973 Dylan
1970 New Morning
1970 Self Portrait
1969 Nashville Skyline
1967 John Wesley Harding
1966 Blonde on Blonde
1965 Highway 61 Revisited
1965 Bringing It All Back Home
1964 Another Side of Bob Dylan
1964 The Times They Are A-Changin'
1963 The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan
1962 Bob Dylan
John Wesley Harding tabs
01John Wesley Harding tabbass tab
02As I Went Out One Morning tabbass tab
03I Dreamed I Saw St. Augustine tabbass tab
04All Along the Watchtower tabbass tab
05The Ballad of Frankie Lee and Judas Priest tabbass tab
06Drifter's Escape tabbass tab
07Dear Landlord tabbass tab
08I Am a Lonesome Hobo tabbass tab
09I Pity the Poor Immigrant tabbass tab
11Down Along the Cove tabbass tab
12I'll Be Your Baby Tonight tabbass tab

 

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