Folsom Prison Blues Guitar Chord Chart
by Johnny Cash

Folsom Prison Blues is a classic Johnny Cash song and one I love to play live. For most beginner students, I do the song in the Key of A to avoid tricky chord changes as a beginner guitar student. I usually have students strum very slowly when they are starting out. So each chord is one measure. But if you feel like you can play very fast, you can make each chord two measures to pick up the pace.

1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +            
D   D    D   D              

1 +  2+  3 +  4+

Folsom Prison Blues Guitar Chord Chart
By Johnny Cash

Intro:  / E / A / A /

    A                                               A
I hear the train a comin' It's rollin' 'round the bend, 
       A                                            A
And I ain't seen the sunshine, Since, I don't know when,
I'm stuck in Folsom Prison,
        D                          A    A 
And time keeps draggin' on,
But that train keeps a-rollin',
    E                         A    A
On down to San Antone. 

          A                                A
When I was just a baby,  My Mama told me, "Son, 
     A                                      A
Always be a good boy, Don't ever play with guns,"
           D                          D
But I shot a man in Reno,
                            A    A
Just to watch him die,
             E                                               E
When I hear that whistle blowin',
                                A    A
I hang my head and cry. 

/ A / A / A / A / D / D / A / A / E / E / A / A / 

   A                                                            A

I bet there's rich folks eatin', In a fancy dining car, 
               A                                         A
They're probably drinkin' coffee, And smokin' big cigars,
           D                           D
But I know I had it comin',
                            A     A
I know I can't be free,
                 E                            E
But those people keep a-movin',
                                      A   A
And that's what tortures me.

/ A / A / A / A / D / D / A / A / E / E / A / A /

                     A                                             A
Well, if they freed me from this prison, If that railroad train was mine,
   A                                            A
I bet I'd move out over a little, Farther down the line,
D                                  D
Far from Folsom Prison,
                                    A    A
That's where I want to stay,
           E                                    E
And I'd let that lonesome whistle,
                           A    A
Blow my blues away.

/ E / A / A (hold) 

This file is the author's own work and represents his interpretation of this song. It's intended solely for private study, scholarship or research.

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