Cocaine Blues

traditional/Revd. Gary Davis
Performed by Bob Dylan occasionally in his early days (at the Gaslight, e.g.), and frequently in 1997-1999
Tabbed by Eyolf Østrem


Version from Gaslight Tapes 2

Capo 5th fret (sounding key F major)
Standard fingerpicking. The F chord is fingered with an open 5th string (A) in the bass (103211). This, and the hammer-ons, requires the chord to be played using the thumb on the 6th string.

The intro is in principle what is played for the verses (beginning from measure 3), whereas the interlude is also the refrain. And, yes, he does sing the two 10th street verses in a row, without a refrain between them. The last “refrain” is really just mumbling over the final interlude (which then isn't an interlude anymore, but a postlude).


Intro:

     C
     :   .   .   .     :   .   .   .     :   .   .   .     :   .   .   .
-0-|-----------------|---------------0-|-------3-------0-|-----------------|
---|-----------3---1-|-----------------|-----------------|-------3---------|
---|---------------0-|-----------0-----|-----------------|---------------0-|
---|-----2-------2---|-----2-------2---|-----2-------2---|-----2-------2---|
---|-3-------3-------|-3-------3-------|-3-------3-------|-3-------3-------|
---|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|
  F                                   C                 F       G
  :   .   .   .     :   .   .   .     :   .   .   .     :   .   .   .
|-----------------|-----------------|-------0---------|-----------------|
|---1-------------|---1-------------|---1-------------|---1-------------|
|h2-------------0-|h2---------2---0-|---------------0-|h2-----2---0---0-|
|-----3-------3---|-----3-------3---|-----2-------2---|-----3-------0---|
|-0---------------|-0---------------|-3---------------|-0---------------|
|---------1-------|---------1-------|---------3-------|---------3-------|
  C
  :   .   .   .     :   .   .   .
|-----------------|-----------------|
|---------------1-|---------------1-|
|-----------0-----|-----------0-----|
|-----2-------2---|-----2-------2---|
|-3---------------|-3---------------|
|---------3-------|---------3-------|
                                  Yonder . . .
C
Yonder come my baby all dressed in red.
F/a
Hey baby, I'm better off dead.
C      G*)            C                       *) In subsequent verses:
Cocaine all around my brain.                     F/a G (as in the intro)
E(7)
 Hey baby, won't you come here quick.
F
This old cocaine is making me sick.
C       F/a  G        C
Cocaine all around my brain.
  E7                                  F
  :   .   .   .     :   .   .   .     :   .   .   .     :   .   .   .
|-------0---------|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|
|---------------3-|-------0---------|---1-------------|---1-----------0-|
|---1-------1-----|---1-------1---0-|h2-------------0-|h2---------2-----|
|-----2-------2---|-----2-------2---|-----3-------3---|-----3-------3---|
|-----------------|-----------------|-0---------------|-0---------------|
|-0-------0-------|-0-------0-------|---------1-------|---------1-------|
  C                 F       G         C
  :   .   .   .     :   .   .   .     :   .   .   .     :   .   .   .
|-------0---------|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|
|---1-------------|---1-----------0-|h1-------------1-|---------------1-|
|-----------0---0-|h2---------0-----|-----------0-----|-----------0-----|
|-----2-------2---|-----3-------0---|-----2-------2---|-----2-------2---|
|-3---------------|-0---------------|-3---------------|-3---------------|
|---------3-------|---------3-------|---------3-------|---------3-------|
Yonder come a baby all dressed in white,
hey baby won't you stay all night.
Cocaine all around my brain.
Hey mama, won't you come here quick.
This old cocaine is making me sick.
Cocaine all around my brain.
Yonder come a baby all dressed in blue.
Hey baby, what you're gonna do?
Cocaine all around my brain.
Hey baby, won't you come here quick.
This old cocaine is making me sick.
Cocaine all around my brain.
Well up and down 10th street, turned down main,
looking for a guy they call Cocaine.
Cocaine all around my brain.

Then I walked down 10th street, turned down Beale,
looking for a guy they call Lucille.
Cocaine all around my brain.

[instrumental verse + refrain]

Yonder come a baby all dressed in white,
hey baby won't you stay all night.
Cocaine all around my brain.
Hey baby, won't you come here quick.
This old cocaine is making me sick.
Cocaine all around my brain.

Lord, cocaine been on my head,
goddamn, cocaine my head,
cocaine all around my brain.

Minnesota Hotel version (Bonnie Beechers Apartment 22nd December 1961)

Thanks to Burkhard Czarnetzki for the transcription.

When walk up 10th street turn down Beale,
Looking for a girl at the Colosseum,
Cocaine all around my brain.
Hey mama, won't you come here quick,
This old Cocaine is making me sick.
Cocaine all around my brain.
Walked up 10th street turn down Main,
Looking where I get Cocaine,
Cocaine all around my brain.
Hey baby, won't you come here quick,
This old cocaine is getting me sick.
Cocaine all around my brain.
Here come my baby all dressed in white,
hey baby won't you stay all night.
Cocaine all around my brain.
Hey baby, this is real,
You must know the way I feel,
Cocaine all around my brain.
Yonder come a baby all dressed in blue.
Hey baby, don't want no one but you,
Cocaine is inside my brain.
Hey mama, come here soon.
This old hash she's got me on the moon.
Cocaine all around my brain.
"Guitar" [Guitar Chorus]
"Bad Guitar"
Yonder comes my baby all dressed in purple.
Hey baby watch your nipples,
Cocaine all around my brain.
Hey baby, won't you come here quick,
You know, I'm getting sick.
Cocaine all around my brain.
"Woohoo" [Guitar ending]

Version from The Wolftrap, Aug 24, 1997

C                        C7
Everytime my baby and me go up town
F                    F#dim
police come and they knock me down
C       G             C
Cocaine all around my brain
E
Hey baby, better come here quick.
F
This old cocaine is making me sick.
C      G              C
Cocaine all around my brain.
Yonder comes by baby, she's dressed in red
She's got a shot-gun, says she's gonna kill me dead.
Cocaine all around my brain
Hey baby, better come here quick.
This old cocaine is making me sick.
Cocaine all around my brain.
Early one morning, half past four
cocaine came knockin' on my door.
Cocaine all around my brain
Hey baby, you better come here quick.
This old cocaine is making me sick.
Cocaine all around my brain.
Cocaine's for horses and it's not for men
Doctor said it kill you, but he don't say when.
Cocaine all around my brain.
Hey baby, you better come here quick.
This old cocaine is making me sick.
Cocaine all around my brain.