Folsom Prison Blues

The Song – Folsom Prison Blues

From the man and the legend Johnny Cash, here is a absolute classic. It doesn’t matter if you’re playing rock or country, usually everyone knows this song, and I have never seen it go over badly. Is this song country or is it rock? Really depends on how you play it. In an acoustic duo I play in, the guy I play with sings this and really rocks it up. Changes up the words a bit, has a lot of fun, then mixes the traditional lead with some grooving rock licks.

Enjoy this, and watch for the video that I will make on how to play the intro, some little fills with a brief section on the lead. This is basically a 12 bars blues progression.



Song Key – E

The Progression


Main Verse – I hear the train a coming 
Position  I IV V
Chord E A B


Cool Tips:

E A B – Follow along with the song a few times to get the feel. In place of the B, play a B7


The Song


Johnny cash – FOLSOM PRISON 

I hear the train a comin’
It’s rollin’ ’round the bend
And I ain’t seen the sunshine
Since, I don’t know when
I’m stuck in Folsom Prison
And time keeps draggin’ on
But that train keeps a-rollin’
On down to San Antone

Verse 2
When I was just a baby
My Mama told me, “Son
Always be a good boy
Don’t ever play with guns”
But I shot a man in Reno
Just to watch him die
When I hear that whistle blowin’
I hang my head and cry

Verse 3
I bet there’s rich folks eatin’
In a fancy dining car
They’re probably drinkin’ coffee
And smokin’ big cigars
But I know I had it comin’
I know I can’t be free
But those people keep a-movin’
And that’s what tortures me

Verse 4
Well, if they freed me from this prison
If that railroad train was mine
I bet I’d move it on a little
Farther down the line
Far from Folsom Prison
That’s where I want to stay
And I’d let that lonesome whistle
Blow my blues away

Chords used in this song


E Major Chord
E Major Chord
Chord of A major
Chord of A major
B Major Chord
B Major Chord
Scroll to Top