Words and music Bob Dylan
Recorded during the Basement sessions (summer 1967)
Tabbed by Eyolf Østrem
Bob’s at the piano, so it’s a black key. Robbie plays some licks high up on the neck, and he uses the following shapes:
Since the greatness of this song lies in Dylan’s vocal and Garth’s organ, and you won’t be able to reproduce that anyway :-), you might as well put on a capo somewhere to get simpler chords, or drop all the b’s and play E, A and B.
Eb Now, I try, oh so awf'ly strong Ab Eb And I just try to be. Eb And now, oh it's [an isle]*) Bb7 But it's free. Eb (Eb7) Yes, but I know in my head Ab Eb That we're all so misled, Eb Bb And it's that ol' sign on the cross Eb That worries me. Now, when I was just a bawlin' lad, I saw what I wanted to be, And it's all for the sake Of that I should see. But I was lost on the land As I heard that front door slam, And that old sign on the cross worried me. Ab Eb Ab Well, it's that old sign on the cross, Eb Well, it's that old key to the kingdom, Ab Well, it's that old sign on the cross Bb Like you used to be. Eb Eb7 But, when I hold my head so high Ab Eb As I see my ol' friends go by, Eb Bb And it's still that sign on the cross Eb Ab Eb That worries me. Well, it seems to be the sign on the cross. Ev'ry day, Ab ev'ry night, see the sign on the cross just layin' up Eb on top of the hill. Yes, we thought it might have disappeared long ago, but I'm here to tell you, friends, Bb that I'm afraid it's lyin' there still. Yes, just a Eb little time is all you need, you might say, but I don't Eb7 Ab know 'bout that any more, because later on you might find the door, you might want to enter it, but, of course, the door might Eb be closed. And I just would like to tell you one time, Bb if I don't see you again, that the thing is, that the sign Ab Eb on the cross is the thing you might need the most. Ab Yes, the sign on the cross Eb Is just a sign [of cotton barkin' too] Ab Well, there is some in any prison Bb And there is some in the penitentiary too. Eb Oh, when your, when your days are numbered Eb7 And your nights are long, Ab You might think you're weak Eb But I mean to say you're strong. Yes you are, if that sign on the cross, Bb If it begins to worry you. Eb Ab Well, that's all right, you just sing a song Eb And all your troubles will pass right on through.
*) The official lyrics have “it’s a gold mine”