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The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite chords

version 1
version 1

Whole song

  • This is the studio version of the song.
by R.E.M.
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There is no strumming pattern for this song yet. and get +5 IQ
Song: The sidewinder sleeps tonite
Artist: R.E.M.
Composers: Bill Berry, Peter Buck,
           Mike Mills & Michael Stipe
Album: Automatic for the people
Tabbed by: DJ
7th May 2016

TUNING: Slightly sharp of concert pitch,
        approx. +10 on a chromatic tuner

D       = xx0232   Em    = 022000   G/B   = x20033
D/F#    = xx4232   F     = 133211   Am7   = x02010
G       = 320033   C     = x32010   Bm    = x24432
Cadd9 * = x32033   Cadd9 = x32030   Em/B  = x22000
Am      = x02210   Cmaj7 = x32000   D/A   = x00232
C/G     = 332010

^ = Emphasise the beat

***************************************************

[Intro]
        D  D/F# D  D/F#
| /  /__/   /__/    /  |

   G     Cadd9 *  G     Am     D  D/F# D D/F#
|  /   /   /     /    |  /  /__/   /__/   /  |

 G       Cadd9 *  G     Am     D  D/F# D D/F#
Dee, dee, dee   -dee! |  /  /__/   /__/   /  |

  C/G             Em
|  /  /  /  /  |  /  /  /  / |


[Verse 1]
 F                                         C
This here, is the place where I will be staying,

   C  Cadd9 Cmaj7 C             F
|  /    /    /    /  |   There isn't a number,
         F
You can call the pay-phone,
 C              C   Cadd9 Cmaj7  C    F
Let it ring a long, long, long, long time,
   F                                 Am
If I don't pick- up, ...hang up, ...call back,
         C              F   C     C Cadd9 Cmaj7 C
Let it ring some more!  Oh----! | /   /    /   / |
   F
If I don't pick- up, ...pick- up,
                Am                        C    C
The sidewinder sleep, sleep, sleeps in a coil!
                                          ^    ^

[Chorus]
       D               D      G
||:  Call me when you try to wake her up,
       ^               ^      ^
 Cadd9 *          G/B    Am7
(Call me when you try to wake her!) :||[x3]
   ^               ^      ^
C/G            Em
 Oh---------!


[Verse 2]
              F
There are scratches all around the coin slot,
          C              C   Cadd9 Cmaj7 C   F
Like a heartbeat, baby, try - ing   to  wake up,
                             C
But this machine can only swallow money,
                                F
You can't lay a patch by com - puter design,
                     Am             C
It's just a lot of stupid, stupid signs,
 F        C       C Cadd9 Cmaj7  C
Tell her----,  |  /    /    /    /  |
 F                            C
Tell---- her she can kiss my ass, 
                 C  Cadd9 Cmaj7 C   F
Then laugh, and say that  you were only kidding,
      F                           Am 
That way, she'll know that it's really, really,
                C    C
Really, really me,...me!
                ^    ^

[Chorus]
       D               D      G
||:  Call me when you try to wake her up,
       ^               ^      ^
 Cadd9 *          G/B    Am7
(Call me when you try to wake her!) :||[x3]
   ^               ^      ^
C/G            Em
 Oh---------!


[Verse 3]
 F
Baby, instant soup doesn't really grab me,
      C                         C    Cadd9
To - day I need something more sub... sub...
Cmaj7   C       F
 Sub...sub - stantial,
   F
A can of beans, or black-eyed peas,
       C          C  Cadd9 Cmaj7 C
Some Nescafe and ice,
    F
A candy bar, a fallen star,
       Am                  C   C
Or a reading from Doctor Suess!
                           ^   ^

[Chorus]
       D               D      G
||:  Call me when you try to wake her up,
       ^               ^      ^
 Cadd9 *          G/B    Am7
(Call me when you try to wake her!) :||[x3]
   ^               ^      ^
C/G            Em
 Oh---------!


[Bridge]
Bm
     The cat in the hat came back,
  Am                          Bm
Wreaked a lot of havoc on the way,
                                 Am
Always had a smile, and a reason to pretend,
                 Bm
But their world    ...has flat backgrounds,
            Am                     C
And little need to sleep, but to dream,
                Em            Em
The sidewinder sleeps on his back!
                 ^             ^

[Chorus]
     D                D      G
||: Call me when you try to wake her up,
     ^                ^      ^
 Cadd9            G/B    Am7
(Call me when you try to wake her!) :||[x2]
   ^               ^       ^
D           D            G
I can al - ways sleep standing up!
^           ^             ^
 Cadd9 *          G/B    Am7
(Call me when you try to wake her!)
   ^               ^      ^
C/G           Em  Em
 Oh---------!  ^  ^


[Chorus]
     D                D      G
||: Call me when you try to wake her up,
     ^                ^      ^
 Cadd9 *          G/B    Am7
(Call me when you try to wake her!) :||[x2]
   ^               ^      ^
 D           D           G
 I can al - ways sleep standing up!
 ^           ^           ^
 Cadd9 *          G/B    Am7
(Call me when you try to wake her!)
   ^               ^      ^
C/G           Em  Em
 Oh---------!  ^  ^


[Chorus]
  D               D      G
Call me when you try to wake her up,
  ^               ^      ^
 Cadd9 *          G/B    Am7
(Call me when you try to wake her!)
   ^               ^      ^
     D           D           G
||: I can al - ways sleep standing up!
     ^           ^           ^
 Cadd9 *          G/B    Am7
(Call me when you try to wake her!) :||[x2]
   ^               ^

[Coda]
C                           Em/B    D/A
    You got a boogie-boogie move on this one!
                             ^   ^    ^   ^

            
            
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2 comments total.
0 reply
DiddyD 13,107 May 13, 2016 03:46 AM, edited at 07:50 am

Some facts I found out about this track: The band felt that 'Automatic for the people' was such a predominantly dark album of subject matter, that it needed a lighter song in there. The track's title lifts from The Tokens song 'The lion sleeps tonight', as does the melody of the intro. They got permission to use it, as long as they recorded a cover of the original song, which they did as an extra track for the single version. There are probably more double meanings in there, but the theme of phone calls runs throughout the song, and the reference to 'sidewinder', (as well as a rattlesnake), is an antique style phone that had a winding handle on the side. There are also references to the kids beginner book, 'The Cat in the hat' by Dr.Seuss. Stipe really liked the lyrics in the bridge section, and in an interview noted that cartoon characters always seemed to be accompanied by a dream sequence in a cloud whenever they slept. '..To sleep, to dream...' seems to be a nod to Shakespeare's play 'Hamlet'. During Hamlet's famous soliloquy he says '..To sleep, perchance to dream...'.
The chorus refrain is probably one of the bands most mis-heard lyrics, and you'll hear all sorts of weird variations sung by casual listeners.

0 reply
slackerslasher 534 Mar 22, 2017 11:48 PM

Such a great tune and tab. I have a couple of suggestions you might try. In the verses, instead of "C Cadd9" to me it sounds like the order is "Cadd9 C". In the chorus, consider changing C/G to C/E. I'm not sure how you're using the "G/B", but what I do is I skip that and go to Am , then Am7sus2 (x0200x) (pivoting throughout on e (xx2xxx) , then continuing on with what you have (repeating the D or going to C/E , Em).

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