I Walk the Line by Johnny Cash by Adam Shand

A|-------0----0-0-2-4-5-0-5-5-4-2-0-7--0-0------2-2--------2--2-0-------2---2---2---2---| E|-0-2-4---0-------------------------------4-2-0---0-2-0----------4-2-0---0---0---0---0-| (*) C|--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| G|--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|

[E] I keep a [B7] close watch on this heart of [E] mine
[E] I keep my [B7] eyes wide open all the [E] time
[E] I keep the [A] ends out for the tie that [E] binds
[E] Because you're [B7] mine, I walk the [E] line

A|-------0---0---0---0---0-| (*) E|-0-2-4---0---0---0---0---| C|-------------------------| G|-------------------------|

[A] I find it [E7] very, very easy to be [A] true
[A] I find my[E7]self alone when each day is [A] through
[A] Yes, I'll [D] admit I'm a fool for [A] you
[A] Because you're [E7] mine, I walk the [A] line

A|-0-0-2-4-5---5---5---5-| (*) E|-----------5---5---5---| C|-----------------------| G|-----------------------|

[D] As sure as [A7] night is dark and day is [D] light
[D] I keep you [A7] on my mind both day and [D] night
[D] And happi[G]ness I've known proves that it's [D] right
[D] Because you're [A7] mine, I walk the [D] line

A|-5-4-2-0-7---7---7---7---| E|-----------5---5---5---5-| (*) C|-------------------------| G|-------------------------|

[A] You've got a [E7] way to keep me on your [A] side
[A] You give me [E7] cause for love that I can't [A] hide
[A] For you I [D] know I'd even try to turn the [A] tide
[A] Because you're [E7] mine, I walk the [A] line

A|-0-0-------2---2---2---2-| E|-----4-2-0---0---0---0---| (*) C|-------------------------| G|-------------------------|

[E] I keep a [B7] close watch on this heart of [E] mine
[E] I keep my [B7] eyes wide open all the [E] time
[E] I keep the [A] ends out for the tie that [E] binds
[E] Because you're [B7] mine, I walk the [E] line

A|---2---2---2---2---2---2-| E|-0---0---0---0---0---0---| C|-------------------------| G|-------------------------|

Performance Notes

  1. The original version of the song is mostly bass, with the guitar playing quite softly.
  2. The tab leads into each verse and the final two oscillating notes are played by the bass all the way through each verse.
  3. Each verse changes key, with the in between tab "walking" either up or down to the new key.
  4. If the in between tab is "walking up", than you start singing on the higher of the two oscillating notes. If the tab is "walking down", than you you start singing on the lower of the two notes. The correct note to key into is marked with an (*).
  5. We've slightly changed the in between tab make the oscillating notes always be on different strings by using E|5 instead of A|0.
  6. Using a capo on the first fret makes it easier to hit the low notes.

Amy and I had been playing a really simple version of the song which had the whole thing in the key of A. Once we started trying to integrate the tab into the song we realised that something wasn't quite right and after a bunch of listening to Johnny sing we realised that he was changing key on each verse. Figuring out what he was doing and especially how obvious and easy it is on the guitar, was really fun. One great moment was when Amy realised that he was using the tab to get his voice keyed in for the next verse. If you listen to the song you can hear him hum to the oscillating notes before starting to sing.

We're still not sure that we have this quite right, but it's closer than anything else we've been able to find online and seems to work.

commentary posted on 12 Jan 2012 in #playing

Copyheart 1994–2024 Adam Shand. Sharing is an act of love.