Readjustment Blues

Words & Music by Bill Danoff
Sung by John Denver
from Aerie (1971)

 Am                G          Fmaj7
Just out of the infantry this morning,
  Am             G               F
I had to pay my dues across the sea,
     G             Fmaj7            Am
But no one back in boot camp ever warned me,
            G         Fmaj7             Am
What the readjustment blues would do to me.
              G                  Fmaj7
"Welcome to Havannah", said the pilot,
    Am                G                 F
"We must have made a wrong turn on the way."
  G              Fmaj7              Am
"Let's buy some cigars and keep it quiet,
         G                 F             Am
If they don't know we're here we'll get away."
                G             Fmaj7
Just as I had realized he was joking,
   Am               G         F
I saw we were in Washington D.C.,
         G                   F        Am
'Cause there was all the patriotic buildings.
 G               Fmaj7        Am
Just like I had seen them on T.V.
It must have been a holiday,
  F                     C
'cause there was this parade.
  G                              F                  C
People carried signs I couldn't read that they had made.
Em            Am          Fmaj7             C
'Till I got closer and my heart fell to my socks;
  C                   G
There was a battle raging and
              F                      C     Am G Fmaj7
The air was filled with teargas and rocks.
      Am                 G                Fmaj7
There was the flag I'd fought against so often,
     Am                G              F
The one I fought for hanging upside down,
     G               Fmaj7                Am
The wind was blowing hard, the dirt was flying,
     G           Fmaj7                  Am
It made the city sky look dark and brown.
                       G                Fmaj7
I saw a girl, she could have been my sister,
  Am                 G               F
Except her hair was long and in her face,
  G                Fmaj7      Am
She explained this was a demonstration,
  G                  F              Am
Against the war and for the human race.
                         G                   Fmaj7
Now I've seen a lot of strange things in my travels,
   Am           G       F
Cannibals, yes,  and aliens galore,
       G                 F           Am
But I never thought I'd see so many people
  G             Fmaj7           Am
Saying we don't want your + + + war!
The troops all had on uniforms
 F                     C
Just like the one I'd worn,
 G                                 F              C
But they were all domestic and my duty chose war.
 Em           Am                 F                 C
They carried guns just like the ones across the sea,
 G      C                    G
Except this time I was the citizen
                F                    Am
And they were pointing their guns at me,
  C                   G
Yes, I was just a citizen and
         F               Am   G
I was walking down the street,
             C                 G            Fmaj7
And it was just then that the Readjustment Blues
               Am   G   F   C
Got through to me.