Mary Chapin Carpenter

Tunings and capo positions

These charts have been compiled from various sources over the past few years. The best way to find out about capos is to watch performances live or on television/YouTube, although sometimes I have to make assumptions based on how the songs sound (especially with the older ones which aren't performed as much anymore).

The charts try to list six things for each song:

  1. The key that the song was originally recorded in. Sometimes this changes in live performances.
  2. Where Mary Chapin Carpenter has her capo (0 if there's no capo).
  3. The key MCC plays it in.
  4. MCC's tuning. If it's blank, she uses standard tuning. If there's a question mark, that means it might be standard, but I'm not sure.
  5. Where the lead guitarist has his capo. This is usually John Jennings (especially in concert), so I put his name there.
  6. The key the lead guitarist plays it in. John Jennings rarely, if ever, uses non-standard tunings (he told me once that Chapin uses "Martian" tunings), so there's no "JJ tuning" column.

If I wasn't sure about MCC's capo or tuning, I put a question mark. If I wasn't sure about Jennings', I left it blank. If you can help me fill in any of the blanks (from concerts or old TV appearances, perhaps), let me know!

Hometown Girl

Mary Chapin
A Lot Like Me F 5?C?    
Other Streets and Other Towns F 5 C     
Hometown Girl G 0 G     
Downtown Train G 0 G     
Family Hands F 3 D DADGBE 5 C
A Road Is Just a Road A 2?G?    
Come On Home A 2?G?    
Waltz E 2?D?    
Just Because E 4 C EADGBD   
Heroes and Heroines F 5?C?    

State of the Heart

How Do A 2 G   0 A
Something of a Dreamer B 2 A ? 4 G
Never Had It So Good G 0 G   0 G
Read My Lips G 3?E?    
This Shirt F 5 C   0 or 1F or E
Quittin' Time D 2 C   0 D
Down in Mary's Land A 2 G   2 G
Goodbye Again C#4 A DAC#EAE   
Too Tired E 2 D   0 E
Slow Country Dance A 2 G   0 G
It Don't Bring You F 5 C     

Shooting Straight in the Dark

Going Out Tonight F 5 C   0 F
Right Now Bb3 G   1 A
The More Things Change Gm3 Em  0 Gm
When She's Gone F 5 C     
Middle Ground A 2 G     
Can't Take Love for Granted F#4 D ?   
Down at the Twist and Shout A 2 G   0 A
Halley Came to Jackson E 2 D   4 C
What You Didn't Say Bb3 G     
You Win Again D 2 C     
The Moon & St. Christopher F 5 C DADGBC   

Come On Come On

The Hard Way D 2 C   0 D
He Thinks He'll Keep Her A 2 G   0 A
Rhythm of the Blues F 3 D   5 C
I Feel Lucky B 7 E   0 B
The Bug D ? ?     
Not Too Much to Ask F ? ?     
Passionate Kisses D 2 C   0 D
Only a Dream Abn/an/a    
I Am a Town C 3 A DAC#EAE 0 C
Walking Through Fire A>B2G>A    
I Take My Chances C 5 G   0 C
Come On Come On Bb3 G DADF#GD 3 G

Stones in the Road

Why Walk When You Can Fly B 7 E ?????? 4 G
House of Cards A 9 C   0 A
Stones in the Road Bb3 G DADF#GD 3 G
A Keeper for Every Flame A 2 G     
Tender When I Want to Be F 5 C   1 E
Shut Up and Kiss Me A 5 E   0 A
The Last Word Eb3 C   -1* E
The End of My Pirate Days G 3 E     
John Doe No. 24 E 9 G DADF#AD 0 E
Jubilee Bb3 G   3 G
Outside Looking In A 2 G     
Where Time Stands Still G n/an/a    
This Is Love G 5 D DADF#AD 0 G
* On the album, the lead guitar is tuned down a half step. In concert, they play it in F rather than Eb, and the lead plays in E with a capo on the first fret.

A Place in the World

Keeping the Faith C 5 G   0 C
Hero in Your Own Hometown C 5?G?    
I Can See It Now G ? ? ?   
I Want to Be Your Girlfriend E>F#4 C>D  0? E>F#?
Let Me into Your Heart C 5 G   0 C
What If We Went to Italy A 2?G?    
That's Real F 5?C?    
Ideas Are Like Stars E 7 A C#AEG#BE   
Naked to the Eye A 2?G?    
Sudden Gift of Fate D 5 A ? 2 C
The Better to Dream of You B 4?G?    
A Place in the World F 3 D DAC#EAD   

in concert

April Rain F 3 D   ?
Dreamland F 5 C   ? ?
Girls With Guitars C 3 A   0 C
Hearts in Her Eyes D 2 C   0 D
Real Real Gone Bb3 G