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the hand-crafted music library of @davidpots

 

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Lonesome Town

Ricky Nelson

from the album Ricky Sings Again released in 1958

jump to: lyrics / notes & tabs / videos / chord progressions / song info

Lyrics

Intro

C . Em . F . G7 . (x2, see tab below)

Verse

C E There's a place where lovers go F G7 C To cry their troubles away F Fm C Am And they call it... Lonesome Town F G7 C Where the broken hearts stay (Lonesome Town) C E You can buy a dream or two F G7 C To last you all through the years F Fm C Am And the only price you pay F G7 C Is a heart full of tears (full of tears)

Chorus

F Em Goin' down to Lonesome Town F G C Where the broken hearts stay F Em Goin' down to Lonesome Town D7 G7 To cry my troubles away C E In the town of broken dreams F G7 C The streets are filled with regret F Fm C Am Maybe down in Lonesome Town F G7 C I can learn to forget (to forget) F Fm C Am Maybe down in Lonesome Town F G7 C F C (let ring) I can learn to forget

Notes & Tabs

Tune Down One-Half Step (Optional)

If you intend to play along with the Ricky Nelson version of this song, then you'll need to tune your guitar down one-half step. Otherwise -- this isn't at all a requirement and can be skipped / ignored.

Guitar Chords Used

Here is how to play the guitar chords used in this song. All instances of G7 can be replaced with a standard G if you please. Likewise, there are plenty of opportunities to include a C7 chord as well (especially in cases where C transitions to F) -- so I included it in the mix.

e-|----0---0----0----0----1----1----3----1----0----2----
B-|----1---1----0----0----1----1----0----0----1----1----
G-|----0---3----1----0----2----1----0----0----2----2----
D-|----2---2----2----2----3----3----0----0----2----0----
A-|----3---3----2----2----3----3----2----2----0---------
E-|-------------0----0----1----1----3----3--------------
       C   C7   E    Em   F    Fm   G    G7   Am   D7 

Intro Tab

If you'd like to emulate the exact intro the way Ricky plays it, here is an approximate tab. Listen along for reference. You can pick this with your fingers (which is what it sounds like he's doing on the album) or outright strum it -- up to you. Have fun with it and make it your own.

Note that the initial open-A string, played just before the opening C chord, is played on the first play-through only (don't repeat that note if you play this sequence more than once).

e-|--------------0--0--------0--0----------1--1-----------1--1----
B-|--------------1--1--------0--0----------1--1-----------0--0----
G-|--------------0--0--------0--0----------2--2-----------0--0----  
D-|------------2------------------------3--------------0----------   ...repeat
A-|---0------3-------------2--------------------------------------
E-|---------------------0------------1--------------3-------------
             C          E            F              G7 

A Nod to the Original Songwriter

Finally, I should note that this song was written by Baker Knight and not Ricky Nelson. For more info about the song, refer to its page on Wikipedia.

"Jack Rabbit Slims" in Pulp Fiction

Just for some cultural and cinematic flavor, here is the famous Jack Rabbit Slims tracking shot from Quentin Tarantino's film "Pulp Fiction" -- where an in-costume Ricky Nelson is playing live music as the main characters walk through the restaurant. In the film, "Lonesome Town" is played immediately after this sequence.



And here is the Jack Rabbit Slims dining scene in which Lonesome Town can be heard in the background.



Videos

Ricky Nelson Solo Version

Here is a nice video of Ricky playing this song with just him and his guitar (no backup). You can't quite see the guitar (to help with fingering, strumming pattern, etc) -- but it is helpful nonetheless. Note that he plays this with a guitar tuned down one-half step. Also note that he may steal your girlfriend.



Official Album (Single) Version

Here is the "album" version that appears on the Pulp Fiction soundtrack. While still stripped down and minimal, there is a tad bit more production going on here versus the film / television clip immediately above.



Recommended Cover Version

To get a good and clear look at someone skillfully playing this on guitar, I recommend this video by Mike Sinatra. Very well-played and well-shot acoustic performance, without any crazy changing cameras. Note, to play along with him you'll need to use a capo on the 3rd fret in standard tuning (which would be a capo 4th fret if tuned down one-half step).



Chord Progressions

Intro

| C . Em . | F . G7 . | x2

Verse

"There's a place where lovers go..."
| C . .  . | E . .  . | F . G7 . | C . . . |
| F . Fm . | C . Am . | F . G7 . | C . . . |

Chorus

"Goin' down to Lonesome Town..."
| F . . . | Em . . . | F . G7 . | C . . . |
| F . . . | Em . . . | D7 . . . | G . . . |

Song Info

Song: Lonesome Town
Artist: Ricky Nelson
Album: Ricky Sings Again
Year: 1958
Label: Imperial

Tip Jar

Want to support Songnotes? If you would like to donate a dollar or few, that would make my day. I've spent over 1000+ hours building this site and transcribing these songs -- and happily make everything available freely. Visit my PayPal page if you'd like to toss something back my way.

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Video Lessons

Here are some of the video lessons I have made recently. I typically aim to create 3-4 lessons per month. Subscribe on YouTube to be sure you never miss a new lesson.



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View my notes & tabs for Another Day of Sun →

View my notes & tabs for Lonesome Town →

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Browse All Songs

Here's a list of the 173 songs I've added to the site since December 2012. Each song was added by me personally.

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About

My name is David Potsiadlo, and I created Songnotes to share my collection of guitar tabs, chords, and lyrics for my favorite songs.

Since I started playing guitar over 10 years ago, I've often been frustrated by the preponderance of mediocre and incomplete song tabs littered across the internet. To combat this, I started keeping my own collection of notes for each song I learn -- always taking the extra time to make sure accuracy and completeness are never compromised. Years later, my collection grew to the point where I knew I had to share it online with fellow aspiring musicians.

In December 2012, I began designing & developing a website that became Songnotes. Here, I share my personal collection of hand-crafted music notation with all those online. I hope you enjoy.

You can also view my personal website or follow me on Twitter / Dribbble / GitHub / LinkedIn.