If You Gotta Go, Go Now

Words and music Bob Dylan
Played in an acoustic version occasionally in 1964-5, and recorded with a band in Jan 1965 during the sessions for Bringing It All Back Home. Released on The Bootleg Series 1-3 (1991) in the electric version, and on Live 1964 (2004) in a live version from the Philharmonic Hall

Tabbed by Eyolf Østrem


Halloween version (NY Philharmonic Hall, 31 Oct 1964)

G'/d    xx0430
D7/f#   200212
[Finds his guitar to be terribly out of tune, stops the intro and says:
"Don't let that scare you! [strums] It's just Halloween! [giggle]
I have my Bob Dylan mask on.
I'm masquerading! [laughs]" ]
G             C/g
Listen to me, baby,
        G                  C/g
There's something you must see.
G                 C/g
I want to be with you, gal,
   G'/d                D7(/f#)
If you want to be with me.
                  G      C/g  G
But if you got to go,
C/g      G      C/g  G
It's all right.
                  C      G
But if you got to go, go now,
   G'/d           D7(/f#)  G
Or else you gotta stay all night.
It ain't that I'm questionin' you.
To take part in any quiz.
It's just that I ain't got no watch
An' you keep askin' me what time it is.
But if you got to go,
It's all right.
But if you got to go, go now,
Or else you gotta stay all night.
I am just a poor boy, baby,
Lookin' to connect.
But I certainly don't want you thinkin'
That I ain't got any respect.
But if you got to go,
It's all right.
But if you got to go, go now,
Or else you gotta stay all night.
You know I'd have nightmares
And a guilty conscience, too,
If I kept you from anything
That you really wanted to do.
But if you got to go,
It's all right.
But if you got to go, go now,
Or else you gotta stay all night.
It ain't that I'm wantin'
Anything you never gave before.
It's just that I'll be sleepin' soon,
It'll be too dark for you to find the door.
But if you got to go,
It's all right.
But if you got to go, go now,
Or else you gotta stay all night.

Bootleg Series 1-3 version

The phrase end lick is basically a succession of Gs and Bbs, with some prominence to the Bb.

The G - C/g - G figure is somewhat more elaborate here than elsewhere. The el-guitar playes a little figure that would have to be played something like:

  G       C/g   G
  |   .   .   .     |   .   .
|(3)--------------|----------
|-3---3---5-6-5-3-|-----3----
|-4---4---5-----4-|-----4---- etc
|-5---5---5-----5-|-----5----
|-----------------|----------
|-----------------|----------

or something to that effect.

G

G             C
Listen to me, baby,
        G                  C
There's something you must see.
G                 C
I want to be with you, gal,
G n.c.[lick]
If you want to be with me.
                  G      C/g  G
But if you got to go,
C/g      G      C/g  G
It's all right.
                  C      G
But if you got to go, go now,
   D7 [lick]               G
Or else you gotta stay all night.