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MuzikTyme

Me and Bobby McGee

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I was inspired by a songfactor to start this thread.

I've always considered this song a masterpiece of songwriting. Though, its lyrics, as good as they are, still leave me with certain questions and ironically, fit a puzzle with a couple of pieces lost.

We all know that KK wrote the song but JJ finished it. If JJ never sang it, would it be the song it is today or more appropriately, then?

The line "the harpoon from his dirty bandana"

What was the harpoon? This is one of many riddles displayed in this wonderful song.

Feel free to answer the "harpoon."

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According to Songfacts it could be mean a couple of things...it could mean "harmonica"...or maybe a "needle"....I'm thinking harmonica makes more sense, and goes with the rest of the lyrics...

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Thanks, Laurie.

The "harp"oon is a harmonica for sure. Knowing this makes me appreciate the song even more.

"I'd trade all my tomorrows for just one yesterday"..."from the Kentucky coal mines, to the California sun"

The above are lyrics that baffles me, also. It fits me to a tee but I'll never understand them, or, try to.

Thanks for your input, Laurie.

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I always thought "harpoon," in Kristofferson's song, was a musician's colloquialism - or a word bastardization filling a need for a 2 syllable beat there - for a twangy instrument called a Jew's harp. Easy to carry and certainly easy enough to master so that the owner could "play every song that driver knew."

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Thanks, "I'd trade all my tomorrows for just one yesterday"..."from the Kentucky coal mines, to the California sun"

The above are lyrics that baffles me, also.

When taken in the context of the song with the surrounding lines, what could be baffling?

From the Kentucky coal mines to the California sun,

Bobby shared the secrets of my soul.

Through all kinds of weather, through everything we done,

Bobby baby kept me from the cold.

One day up near Salinas, I let him slip away,

He's looking for that home and I hope he finds it,

But I'd trade all of my tomorrows for just one yesterday

To be holding Bobby's body next to mine.

And, Dang me, I didn't know that Roger Miller recorded the song first.

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And 'Ol Roger Miller did very well with it, too.

It spent 11 weeks in the Top 40 positions of the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles chart in 1969 and peaked at #12.

Janis Joplin took it to #1 in early 1971 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart where it spent 2 weeks at #1 and a total of 12 weeks in the Top 40 positions on the chart.

Jerry Lee Lewis also released the two-sided hit single, "Would You Take Another Chance On Me"/"Me And Bobby McGee" in late 1971 with "Me And Bobby McGee" tagging along" as the B-Side but not achieving it's own peak position.

Lewis did reach #40 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart with the song, though, in Jan. 1972.

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When taken in the context of the song with the surrounding lines, what could be baffling?

Bazooka,

I didn't mean "baffling" in the context of me not understanding what it meant. Rather, "baffling" because it was so well written. I think it's "one" of the best written songs of all-time to this day.

Sorry for the confusion and thanks for yours and everyone's contribution to this thread.

:)

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