I Shall Be Released

Words and music Bob Dylan
Recorded during The Basement sessions (1967) and released on The Bootleg Series 1-3 (1991). A different version was recorded Oct 1971 with Happy Traum (banjo) and released on Greatest Hits II (1971). A live version was released on Live 1975 (2002)

Tabbed by Eyolf Østrem

Capo 2nd fret (sounding key A major)


“Basement” version

G   C/g  G

G                            Am
They say ev'rything can be replaced,
Bm        Am              G
Yet ev'ry distance is not near.
G                   Am
So I remember ev'ry face
Bm       Am             G
Of ev'ry man who put me here.
G                    C *)            *) Am in subsequent
 I see my light come shining            verses
Bm        D *)          G
 From the west unto the east.
G            Am
 Any day now, any day now,
Bm D/a        G
 I shall be released.
They say ev'ry man needs protection,
They say ev'ry man must fall.
Yet I swear I see my reflection
Some place so high above this wall.
I see my light come shining
From the west unto the east.
Any day now, any day now,
I shall be released.
Now yonder standing here in this lonely crowd,
a man who swears he's not to blame.
All day long I hear his voice shouting so loud,
Crying out that he was framed.
I see my light come shining
From the west unto the east.
Any day now, any day now,
I shall be released.

Greatest Hits vol. 2 version

Capo 2nd fret (sounding key A major)

Intro (with a triple-time feel):

  :   .   .   .     :   .   .   .     :   .   .   .     :   .   .   .
|-----------------|-----------------|----------(0)----|-3-------3-------
|---3-----3-------|---2-----2-------|---1-----1-------|-0--(0)--1-------
|---3-----3-------|---0-----0-------|---0-----0-------|-0--(0)--0-------
|-3-----3-----3---|-2-----2-----2---|-1-----1-----0---|-0--(0)--2------- etc
|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|-2--(2)----------
|-----------------|-----------------|-----------------|-3-------3-------
G                            Am
They say ev'ry man must need protection,
Bm              D        G          C/g   G
 They say ev'ry man must fall.
G                       Am
 Yet I swear I see my reflection
Bm            D              G      C/g   G
Some place so high above the wall.
G                   Am
I see my light come shining
Bm       D                G
From the west down to the east.
G            Am
Any day now, any day now,
Bm      D    G
I shall be released.
Down here next to me in this lonely crowd,
there's a man who swears he's not to blame.
All day long I hear him cry so loud,
Callin' out that he's been framed.
I see my light come shining
From the west down to the east.
Any day now, any day now,
I shall be released.

Live 1975 version

Capo 2nd fret

|: G . . C/g  :|

G [n.c.]                       Am(7)
  They say ev'rything can be replaced,
Bm(7)     D               G          C/g  G
Yet ev'ry distance is not near.
G                   Am(7)
So I remember ev'ry face
Bm(7)    D              G
Of ev'ry man who put me here.
G                    Am
 I see my light come shining
Bm        D             G
 From the west unto the east.
G            Am
 Any day now, any day now,
Bm . . D            G
       I shall be released.

Budokan version

G#m7     464444
F#m7     242222
A#o      x12020
B11      x22222
E             G#m            F#m
 They say ev'rything can be replaced,
E          G#m             F#m
 Yet ev'ry distance is not near.
E       G#m          F#m
 So I remember ev'ry face
E        G#m            F#m
Of ev'ry man who put me here.
E         G#m7       F#m7
 I see my light come shining
D         A             E
 From the west unto the east.
E    G#m7    F#m7
 Any day now, any day now,

E  E/g#  A  A#o  E/b

[B11         E]
I shall be released.

Alternate lyrics

From the Martin Luther King Jr. Tribute, Washington, DC January 20, 1986

They say every man needs protection
They say that every man must fall
I swear I see my own reflection
Somewhere so high above this wall

I see my light come shinin'
I don't need no doctor or no priest
Any day now, any day now
I shall be released

It don't take much to be a criminal
One wrong move and they'll turn you into one
At first decay is just subliminal
To protect yourself and your forever on the run

I see my light come shinin'
I don't need no doctor or no priest
Any day now, any day now
I shall be released

He will find you where your stayin'
Even in the arms of somebody elses wife
Your laughin' now, you should be prayin'
To be in the midnight hour of your life

I see my light come shinin'
I don't need no doctor or no priest
Any day now, any day now
I shall be released