CHINA GROVE – Guitar Lesson

Written by singer/guitarist Tom Johnston for the 1973 album "The Captain & Me", China Grove tells the tale of a real Texas town of about 1500 folks, only a small percentage of whom are of Oriental descent. The facts might not all be there but the riff is an all-time classic! Here's your China Grove guitar lesson!

China Grove

Intro:  EDAE (repeat 2x), EDA..

When the sun comes up on a sleepy little town

D     A               E
Down around San Antone

And the folks are risin' for another day

D      A          E
round about their homes

    C#m                    B (E,B)
The people of the town are strange

            A        A    Bb  B C
and they're proud of where they came,


            E                           D     A
Well you're talkin' 'bout China Grove 
     (background vocals:  talkin' 'bout China Grove),

Whoa oh ho...

D   A        E      D   A   E
Who ho China Grove

Well the preacher and the teacher, Lord, they're a caution

They are the talk of the town

When the gossip hits the fan, they ain't lyin'

when the sun goes fallin' down

Well they say that the father's insane,

and dear Missus Perkins a game,



Abm B C#m
      Well every day there's a new thing comin',

F#m7                    C#m
The ways of an oriental view.

The sheriff and his buddies with their samurai swords,

F#                    F#sus4   F#       Abm B 
you can even hear the music at night.

And though it's a part of the Lone Star state

F#m7                     C#m
The people don't seem to care

A                                       C,D,E  CDE
They'll just keep on lookin' to the east...

instrumental break(6 sets of E,D,A,E like intro, then verse starting from C#m
to end)


1 measure on  E (end on beat 1)

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Doug Niles June 21, 2012 at 3:58 PM

Another gem Jackson,I love this song..Thanks much.I love your style of teaching.
Just thought I would mention that they're of Asian decent not Oriental as in Oriental rugs.I found that out in a class I took in Power Privilege and Oppression.


admin June 21, 2012 at 6:32 PM

Thanks! Only used that term because Tom Johnston uses it in the song.


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