"Me and Bobby McGee" as written by and Kris/foster Kristofferson....
Busted flat in Baton Rouge, waitin' for a train
And I's feelin' near as faded as my jeans
Bobby thumbed a diesel down, just before it rained
It rode us all the way to New Orleans

I pulled my harpoon out of my dirty red bandanna
I was playin' soft while Bobby sang the blues, yeah
Windshield wipers slappin' time, I was holdin' Bobby's hand in mine
We sang every song that driver knew

Freedom's just another word for nothin' left to lose
Nothin', don't mean nothin' hon' if it ain't free, no no
And, feelin' good was easy, Lord, when he sang the blues
You know, feelin' good was good enough for me
Good enough for me and my Bobby McGhee

From the Kentucky coal mine to the California sun
There Bobby shared the secrets of my soul
Through all kinds of weather, through everything we done
Yeah, Bobby baby kept me from the cold

One day up near Salinas, Lord, I let him slip away
He's lookin' for that home, and I hope he finds it
But, I'd trade all of my tomorrows, for a single yesterday
To be holdin' Bobby's body next to mine

Freedom's just another word for nothin' left to lose
Nothin', that's all that Bobby left me, yeah
But, feelin' good was easy, Lord, when he sang the blues
Hey, feelin' good was good enough for me, mm-hmm
Good enough for me and my Bobby McGhee

La da da
La da da da
La da da da da da da da
La da da da da da da da
Bobby McGhee, yeah

La da da da da da da
La da da da da da da
La da da da da da da
Bobby McGhee, yeah

La da La la da da la da da la da da
La da da da da da da da da
Hey, my Bobby
Oh, my Bobby McGhee, yeah

La la la la la la la la
La la la la la la la la la la la la la la la
Hey, my Bobby
Oh, my Bobby McGhee, yeah

Well, I call him my lover, call him my man
I said, I call him my lover did the best I can, c'mon
Hey now, Bobby now
Hey now, Bobby McGhee, yeah

Woo
La da, la da, la da, la da, la da, la da, la da, la la
Hey, hey, hey Bobby McGhee, yeah
La da, la da, la da, la da, la da, la da, la da, la
Hey, hey, hey, Bobby McGhee, yeah


Lyrics submitted by capitol76

"Me and Bobby McGee" as written by Fred L Foster Fred Foster

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Me and Bobby McGee song meanings
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42 Comments

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  • +4
    General CommentKris Kristofferson wrote the song about a girl called Bobby Mcgee.

    "And every night she kept me from the cold.
    The somewhere near salinas, lord, I let her slip away,
    She was lookin’ for the love I hope she’ll find "

    Roger Miller first recorded it in 1969 - it hit #12 on the Country Charts.

    Janis recorded it on her album "Pearl" in 1971 and the 'she' became a 'he'.
    blackballoon11on October 15, 2004   Link
  • +3
    General Comment"I pulled my harpoon out of my dirty red bandana, I was playing soft while Bobby sang the blues". the harpoon refers to a harmonica or harp, as most blues singers call it, not shooting up. Kris Kristofferson wrote a lot of songs for a lot of different people, notably Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson. "Freedom's just another word for nothin' left to lose" is one of the best lines ever written. After Janis and Aretha, no female singer even comes close
    wetcoasteron March 28, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentWell, it does say "looking for my man," so I'm assuming Bobby was a guy...
    FREAKISHfireflyon April 13, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentJanis Joplin was bi-sexual, and later was basically more into women. . . she, along with many lesbian artists, referred to their loves as men in songs. i dont know who "bobby" is, but that person could very well be either a man or a woman. . . i dont think she wrote the song herself actually. So this person might not even be a personal love in her life.
    hendrix89on September 17, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General Comment"I pulled my harpoon outa my dirty red bandana" she was shooting up. so maybe, bobby Mcgee represented the drugs and when she was coming down from her high, she "let him slip away"
    boycottfranceon June 18, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Commentok well i dont think its a metaphor and im pretty sure he loved her too. to me it seems like she was kinda a drifter free spirit or w/e and he wanted to settle down but she couldnt or didnt want to but it made her sad bc she loved him so much and she wished things didnt have to be like that
    thiss2shallpasson January 26, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentOkay, I take this to what seems like the obvious conclusion to me but no one else has said it yet.

    Doesn't it sound like they were two young lovers just roamin' around together, makin music and makin love?

    Then the girl/guy (depending on who's singing it) wanted more, "He's looking for that home and I hope he finds it" but the singer of the song couldn't commit like their lover wanted them to.

    "I let him slip away" would then mean that the singer had the chance to be with him/her but decided against it and the song's basically regretting that decision and wishing they could go back,
    "I’d trade all of my tomorrows for one single yesterday
    To be holding Bobby’s body next to mine."
    ---twigs---on October 04, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentLove this song and nowi know that i was singing all the wrong words in the chorus
    Starrwriteron May 25, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentsteph your funny
    shady_girl2424on May 28, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is one of the few Janis Joplin songs I like, but this one rocks. I just don't know what she means by she let Bobby "slip away". But I like the idea of them having fun together back in the sixties or so. What a great time that must have been.
    tradrrron June 12, 2002   Link

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