Forums » Gillian Welch and David Rawlings "Guitar Tabs"

Company Grave Blues?

    • 9 posts
    September 30, 2012 1:24 PM PDT

    Anyone willing to take a stab at the chords for Company Grave Blues?  I absolutely love this song, and only just started playing acoustic guitar two weeks ago, so there is no way I can work this stuff out on my own yet.  Here are the lyrics, and a recording.  There's also a great version that opens the Lexington 1999 show from Spontaneous Wednesday's rocking collection if anyone's got that one.

     

    A company girl of tender age,

    A company girl of tender age,

    I came to know my mother's trade.


    We're up at dark and on the line,

    We're up at dark and on the line,

    Where morning cracks and spindle wide.


    Each night I hear her cough and curse,

    Each night I hear her cough and curse,

    Through restless eyes, a bedside nurse.


    Now by her side, I'll end the chill,   (* I hear, "all damp and chill," but I could be wrong.)

    Now by her side, I'll end the chill,

    I'll lay her down in a potters field.


    I'd rather die and blow away,

    I'd rather die and blow away,

    Than take my rest in a company grave.

    I'd rather die and blow away.

     

    (Incidentally the verses are ordered differently in the live version from 1999... like those better than this.)

     

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-VBWWoAFKh4

    • Moderator
    • 132 posts
    October 31, 2012 10:45 AM PDT

    I would guess capo 3 and play G C and D

    • 45 posts
    November 19, 2012 9:37 AM PST
    these are the lyrics i hear:

    A company girl of tender age
    A company girl of tender age
    I came to know my mother's trade

    It’s up at dark and on the line
    It’s up at dark and on the line
    Where the morning cracks and spindles whine*
    It’s up at dark and on the line

    At night I hear her cough and curse
    At night I hear her cough and curse
    Through restless hours, a bedside nurse

    I'd rather die and blow away
    I'd rather die and blow away
    Than to take my rest in a company grave
    I'd rather die and blow away

    Now by her side, all damp and chill
    Now by her side, all damp and chill
    I'll lay her down in a potters field

     *"spindles whine" - an image used again directly in revelator
    • 9 posts
    November 19, 2012 12:43 PM PST

    These lyrics were the ones posted with the YouTube video. "Spindle wide" doesn't make any sense but I wasn't paying much attention when I pasted them.

     

    Oh, and thanks for the chords, Jason.  Those seem to be the same and same capo for the version of Wichita that I know.


    This post was edited by RunningRattie at November 19, 2012 12:44 PM PST
    • 45 posts
    November 19, 2012 12:47 PM PST
    i think you "damp and chill" is right though
    they make more sense now
    • 10 posts
    August 24, 2013 7:47 AM PDT

    thanks RunningRattie and Gibsongirl for the lyrics for this song. It is one that I would like to learn as well. I had a go at figuring out the chords. There are some twists to it. In the last verse the song line deviates with this e min chord. Also, in the intro, in the instrumental bit and in the last verse the rhythm goes unexpected. This is what I make of it ...

     

    capo on 3

    intro

    G     G     G    G
    one two three
    G G G G
    G G G G

        G           D              G
    A company girl of tender age
        C          C                G
    A company girl of tender age
        D           D                    G
    I came to know my mother's trade


    We're up at dark and on the line
    We're up at dark and on the line
    Where the morning cracks and spindles whine*

    G G G G

    Each night I hear her cough and curse
    Each night I hear her cough and curse
    Through restless hours, a bedside nurse


    Now by her side, all damp and chill
    Now by her side, all damp and chill
    I'll lay her down in a potters field

    (INSTRUMENTAL)
    G G G G
    D G G G G

    G   G       G                  D G
    I'd rather die ... and blow away
    C                C           C     G
        I'd rather die and blow away
                C          C           G        Emin  Emin
     Than to take my rest in a company grave  ...
    D               D         D     G
       I'd rather die and blow away

     

     

     

     

     

     


    This post was edited by niels at August 25, 2013 3:00 AM PDT
    • 9 posts
    August 27, 2013 5:41 PM PDT

    Sounds pretty darn good to my untrained ear, thanks. :)