If I Don't Be There By Morning

Written by Bob Dylan for Eric Clapton
Released by Eric Clapton on his album Backless (1978)
Tabbed by Eyolf Østrem


To get that high ringing b from the piano, the song has to be played around the 7th fret, with barre chords (or a capo). The guitar that can be heard on the tape probably plays with a capo on the 2nd fret and the chords in the 2nd version below.
Another alternative is to play with a capo on the 4th fret with the chords in the second column below.

Chords:

No capo:                 Capo 4th fret:

B     799877             G    320003
E/b   779997             C/g  3x2013
E7    076750 or 079797   C7   x32310
D#m7  x68676             Bm7  x24232
G#m   466444             Em   022000
C#m7  x46454             Am7  x02010
F#6   24x342             D6   xx0202
F#7   242322             D7   xx0212

Intro and recurring pattern:

  B       E/b   B           E/b
      >      (>)        >      (>)
  :   .   .   .     :   .   .   .
|-7---7---7-7-7-7-|-----7---7-7-7-7-|
|-7---7---9-9-9-7-|-----7---9-9-9-7-|
|-8---8---9-9-9-8-|-----8---9-9-9-8-| repeat
|-9---9---9-9-9-9-|-----9---9-9-9-9-|
|-9---9---7-7-7-9-|-----9---7-7-7-9-|
|-7---7---7-7-7-7-|-----7---7-7-7-7-|
B         E/b   B
Blue sky
E/b        B     E/b  B   E/b
upon the horizon,
B            E/b  B
Private eye
   E/b   B      E/b  B  B7
is on my trail,
       E7
And if I don't be there by morning
                 B  E/b   B
She'll know that I
        E/b                B      E/b   B   E/b
must've spent the night in jail.

I been runnin'
from Memphis to LA
Had an appointment
set sometime for today
And if I don't be there by morning
She'll know that I
must have gone the other way.
D#m7                    G#m
 Finding my way back to you, girl,
           B                    E
lonely and blue, and mistreated too,
D#m7                   G#m
 Sometimes I think of you, girl,
      C#m7                 F#6   F#7
is it true you think of me too?

[instr. verse]
I got a woman
living in LA
I got a woman
waiting for my pay,
And if I don't be there by morning
Pack my clothes,
get down on your knees and pray.
Finding my way back to you, girl,
lonely and blue, and mistreated too,
Sometimes I think of you, girl,
is it true you think of me too?
I left my woman
with a twenty-dollar bill,
I left her waiting,
I hope she's waiting for me still.
But if I don't be there by morning
I guess that I,
I never will.

[instr. verses and fade out]

Version with capo 2nd fret:

Chords:

D/f#    200232
C#m7    x46454
F#m     244222
Bm7     x24232
E6      022120
E7      020100

A          D/f#   A
Blue sky
D/f#       A     D/f#  A    D/f#
upon the horizon,
A          D/f# A
Private eye
   D/f#       A    D/f#   A    A7
is on my trail,
       D7
And if I don't be there by morning
                 A    D/f#   A
She'll know that I
        D/f#               A    D/f#   A    D/f#
must've spent the night in jail.

. . .
C#m7                    F#m
 Finding my way back to you, girl,
           A                    D
lonely and blue, and mistreated too,
C#m7                   F#m
 Sometimes I think of you, girl,
      B#m7                 E6   E7
is it true you think of me too?