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Kiss Off

Violent Femmes

from the album Violent Femmes released in 1983

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

Lyrics

Intro

Em

Verse

Em I need someone, a person to talk to Someone who'd care to love C Could it be you? Em Could it be you? The situation gets rough, and I start to panic It's not enough, it's just a habit Hey, kid, you're sick Well, darling, this is it

Chorus

C D C ...You can all just kiss off into the air D C Behind my back I can see them stare D C They'll hurt me bad, but I won't mind D C D They'll hurt me bad, they do it all the time (yeah, yeah) C D Yeah, they do it all the time (yeah, yeah) C D ..... they do it all the time (do it all the time) C D ..... they do it all the time (do it all the time) C D Em ..... they do it all the time, do it all the time! Em I hope you know that this will go down on your permanent record! C Oh, yeah? Well, don't get so distressed Em Did I happen to mention that I'm impressed?

Jam / Solo

(instrumental jam based on Em ... played freely)

Bridge

Em (for entire section) I take 1, 1, 1 'cause you left me ...and 2, 2, 2 for my family ...and 3, 3, 3 for my heartache ...and 4, 4, 4 for my headaches ...and 5, 5, 5 for my lonely ...and 6, 6, 6 for my sorrow ...and 7, 7, n-n-n-no tomorrow ...and 8, 8, I forget what eight was for ...but 9, 9, 9 for a lost god ...10, 10, 10, 10 for everything! Everything! Everything! Everything! You can all just kiss off into the air Behind my back I can see them stare They'll hurt me bad, but I won't mind They'll hurt me bad, they do it all the time (yeah, yeah) Yeah, they do it all the time (yeah, yeah) ..... they do it all the time (do it all the time) ..... they do it all the time (do it all the time) ..... they do it all the time, do it all the time! (end on Em, let ring)

Notes & Tabs

Guitar Chords Used

At the simplest, you can get away with a simple Em, C, and D throughout this song. Of course, you can add embellishment and modify these chords slightly as desired. I'll include here the C/G and D/F# formations, which look like they're used by the band when playing this song. These are otherwise optional.

e-|----0----0---2-----0-----2-----
B-|----0----1---3-----1-----3-----
G-|----0----0---2-----0-----2-----
D-|----2----2---0-----2-----0-----
A-|----2----3---------3-----0-----
E-|----0--------------3-----2-----
       Em   C   D    C/G   D/F# 

Main E-minor Bassline Rhythm

A big part in making this song work is nailing the rhythm and the bassline, which is based around Em. Here's the single-string approximation of how to play this rhythm. This can be heard 0:50 into the song, just after the first chorus.

e-|---(0)-------------------------------------|-
B-|---(0)-------------------------------------|-
G-|---(0)-------------------------------------|-
D-|---(2)---x-------x-------x-----------x-----|-  ...repeat
A-|---(2)---x-------x-------x-----------x-----|-
E-|----0~~~-x--0-0--x--0~~~-x--0~~~--0--x--0--|-
       Em 

Main E-minor Strumming & Rhythm

Throughout most this song you'll need to be strumming an E-minor groove. Here are a few ways I'll strum it in order to mix things up and add some dynamicism. Mix & match these as you see fit, and of course play with it to make it your own.

One method, shown here, is to use your pinky or ring finger to hammer-on the 3rd fret of the low E-string as part of your strumming.

e-|----------------------------------------------------|-
B-|----------------------------------------------------|-
G-|----------------------------------------------------|-
D-|---2-----------2-----------2-----------2------------|-  ...repeat
A-|---2-----------2-----------2-----------2------------|-
E-|---0--0--3--0--0--0--3--0--0--0--3--0--0--0--3--0---|-
      Em 

Another method is to pull your fingers off the Em chord altogether, as part of your embedded strumming pattern.

e-|---0-----------0-----------0-----------0------------|-
B-|---0-----------0-----------0-----------0------------|-
G-|---0-----------0-----------0-----------0------------|-
D-|---2--2--0--2--2--2--0--2--2--2--0--2--2--2--0--2---|-  ...repeat
A-|---2--2--0--2--2--2--0--2--2--2--0--2--2--2--0--2---|-
E-|---0--0--0--0--0--0--0--0--0--0--0--0--0--0--0--0---|-
      Em 

C-major to E-minor Bassline Walkdown

As heard by itself after the first chorus on the album version of this song, around 0:50 in. Used at the beginning of the "counting" section. You can build this up into a full Em as the section builds, but this is your pulsing heartbeat (so to speak).

e-|--(0)----------------------------(0)---|-
B-|--(1)----------------------------(0)---|-
G-|--(0)----------------------------(0)---|-
D-|--(2)----------------------------(2)---|-  x1, then back to Em bass rhythm
A-|---3--2--0-----3~~~~--3-2--0-----(2)---|-
E-|------------3-----------------3---0----|-
      C                              Em 

Bass Walk-Down Before Chorus

Just before the first chorus, you'll hear an aggressive bass walkdown that transitions the E-minor to the C-major chord. Playing with a solo acoustic guitar, I prefer imitating this walkdown as follows. This is modeled after this video, where the guitarist plays something similar around 0:37 into this video.

e-|-----------------------------------------0--------------------2-------------
B-|-----------------------------------------1--------------------3-------------
G-|-----------------------------------------0--------------------2-------------
D-|-------2-------2-------------------------2--------------------0-------------
A-|-------2-------2----------------------2--3--------------------0-------------
E-|---0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0----3--2~~~--1--0---------------------------2-------------
          Em                                C                    D 
                                               "You can all just kiss off..."

Jamming it Out

In the 'break' section after the second verse, you'll notice the band goes a bit off the rails and gets creative with their rhythmic jamming. This is tougher to emulate on a solo guitar (without a bass leading the way), but there are a few ways to do it. For one, check out the cover versions embedded below -- you'll see two different approaches to playing this part of the song.

Videos

Official Album Version

To hear the album version of this song, check out this video. This is handy if you don't have the track locally available and want to listen along for reference.



Violent Femmes Live Version

Here is a version of the Violent Femmes playing this song live on the Craig Kilborn show. This is helpful toward the end of seeing exactly how they play it.



Recommended Guitar Lesson

For a good breakdown of how to play this song from beginning to end, check out this guitar lesson. Each section is dissected and carefully explained.



Recommended Cover Versions

The following cover versions are included primarily because they show contrasting, yet effective, ways to approach the jam / solo section in the middle of the song. In this first version, Scotty Bills plays this section very similar to how the Violent Femmes play it (sounds a bit more chaotic).



Alternatively, here is a version by Will Orchard which uses some creative riffing that seems more tightly in step with the implied tonality of the song. This technically is a bit unlike the official version, yet it works very nice in its own way.



Chord Progressions

Intro

| Em . . . | . . . . | . . . . | . . . . |

Verse

"I need someone, a person to talk to..."
| Em . . . | . . . . |  . . . . | . . . . |
| C  . . . | . . . . | Em . . . | . . . . |

Chorus

"You can all just kiss off into the air..."
| C . . . | D . . . | C . . . | D . . . |

Bridge

"I take one, one, one 'cause you left me..."
| Em . . . | . . . . | . . . . | . . . . |

Song Info

Song: Kiss Off
Artist: Violent Femmes
Album: Violent Femmes
Year: 1983
Label: Slash Records

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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.

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