Roll On John

Trad.
Played by Bob Dylan on Cynthia Gooding's Folksinger's Choice show, recorded Jan 13, broadcast March 11, 1962
Tabbed by Eyolf Østrem


Open D/E tuning (D-A-d-f#-a-d') Capo 5th fret (sounding key G major)

These are the basic figures that are played throughout the song. The second string is always an alternative to the first; it adds flavour to the G/b and A chords (but, as with all spices: add with caution):

  D                  G/b                G/b, alternative between verses       A
  :   .   .   .      :   .   .   .      :   .   .   .      :   .   .   .
||-------0-------0-||-------0-------0-||-------0----------|-------0-------0-||-------0-------0-||
||-----------------||------(0)-----(0)||---0--------------|-----------------||------(0)-----(0)||
||---0-------0-----||---1-------1-----||-----------1--(p0)|--(0)------0-----||---1-------1-----||
||-----0-------0---||-----0-------0---||-----0-------0----|-----0-------0---||-----2-------2---||
||-----------------||-2-------2-------||-2-------2--------|-----------------||-0-------0-------||
||-0-------0-------||-----------------||------------------|-0-------0-------||-----------------||

[Intro]

  :   .   .   .     :   .   .   .     :   .   .   .     :   .   .   .
|-----------------|-------0-------0-|------(0)------0-|-------0-------0-|
|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|-------0-------0-|
|-----------------|---0-------0-----|---0-------0-----|---0-------0-----|
|-----0-------0---|-----0-------0---|-----0-----------|-----------------|
|-----------------|-----------------|-------------0---|-----0-------0---|
|-0-------0-------|-0-------0-------|-0-------0-------|-0-------0-------|
  :   .   .   .     :   .   .   .     :   .   .   .
|---------------0-|-------0-------0-|-----------------|---
|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|---
|-----------0-----|---0-------0-----|-----------------|---
|-----------------|-----0-------0---|-----0-------0---|---
|-----0-------0---|-----------------|-----------------|---
|-0-------0-------|-0-------0-------|-0-------0-------|---
                                      Roll . . .
D
Roll


Roll

Roll on John,
                  G/b
Don't you roll so slow
          A                           D   G/b D
How can I roll when the wheels won't roll?


I asked that girl, won't you be my wife?
She fell on her knees,she began to cry.

The more she cried, the worse I felt
Till I thought my heart would melt.

I looked at the sun was a-sinking low.
I looked at my baby, she was a-walkin' down the road.

I looked at the sun was a-turning red.
I looked at my baby, but she bowed her head.

Don't the sun look lonesome, oh lord lord lord, on the graveyard fence?
Don't my baby look lonesome when her head is bent?

Roll on John, don't you roll so slow.
How can I roll when the wheels won't roll.

Roll on John, don't you roll so slow.
How can I roll when the wheels won't roll.