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JOHN DOE NO. 24 (Mary Chapin Carpenter)
---------------------------------------

This song is in the key of E, but Mary Chapin plays it in G with a
capo at the 9th fret, in open D tuning (DADF#AD).  But the highest
string is never used, so you don't have to tune that one down; since
high E's often break, you may as well tune to DADF#AE.

The guitar part repeats one pattern through the entire song, with some
slight variations.  This tablature is for the first four measures of
the song, and it shows two ways to play the end of the pattern; through
most of the song, she uses the second way, especially while she's
singing.  (Note that the "131" in the tab is a hammer-on followed by a
pull-off, and the "13" is a hammer-on from 1 to 3, not thirteen!)

D  ----------------|----------------|----------------|----------------|
A  ------0---------|----------------|------0---------|----------------|
F# 1-------1-----1-|------1-131---0-|1-------1-----1-|------1-13----0-|
D  ----0-------0---|----0-------0---|----0-------0---|----0-------0---|
A  --2-------3-----|--3-------------|--2-------3-----|--3-------0-----|
D  0-------2-------|0-------0-------|0-------2-------|0-------0-------|
   ^ . ^ . ^ . ^ .  ^ . ^ . ^ . ^ .  ^ . ^ . ^ . ^ .  ^ . ^ . ^ . ^ .

MCC doesn't use her thumb to fret the low E (she uses her middle finger),
but you can use your thumb if it's easier that way.  Notice that I didn't
put chord names; that's because they don't really matter.  I guess you
could say the chords are: G(9), C(9)/E, Gsus4/D, D(4).


LYRICS (each line is two measures):

I was standing on the sidewalk in 1945
In Jacksonville, Illinois
When asked what my name was there came no reply
They said I was a deaf and sightless half-wit boy
But Louis was my name, though I could not say it
I was born and raised in New Orleans
My spirit was wild, so I let the river take it
On a barge and a prayer upstream

Well they searched for a mother and they searched for a father
And they searched till they searched no more
The doctors put to rest their scientific tests
And they named me "John Doe No. 24"
And they all shook their heads in pity
For a world so silent and dark
Well there's no doubt that life's a mystery
But so too is the human heart

And it was my heart's own perfume when the crepe jasmine bloomed
On St. Charles Avenue
Though I couldn't hear the bells of the streetcars coming
By toeing the track I knew
And if I were an old man returning
With my satchel and porkpie hat
I'd hit every jazz joint on Bourbon
And I'd hit everyone on Basin after that

[sixteen-bar saxophone solo]

The years kept passing as they passed me around
From one state ward to another
Like I was an orphan shoe from the lost and found
Always missing the other
And they gave me a harp last Christmas
And all the nurses took a dance
But lately I've been growing listless
I've been dreaming again of the past

I'm wandering down to the banks of the great Big Muddy
Where the shotgun houses stand
I am seven years old and I feel my dad
Reach out for my hand
While I drew breath no one missed me
So they won't on the day that I cease
Put a sprig of crepe jasmine with me
To remind me of New Orleans

I was standing on the sidewalk in 1945
In Jacksonville, Illinois
[pause on A note (open 2nd string)]

[repeat and fade with saxophone solo]


- transcribed by Adam Schneider, http://adamschneider.net/

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