May 15

Janis Joplin’s Popular Version of “Me and Bobby McGee”

Musicians tend to do a cover of songs from other musicians. This time, it’s Janis Joplin who would go  and record her version of “Me and Bobby McGee.”

The song was penned by legendary songwriter, Kris Kristofferson. Thanks to Janis Joplin, the career of Kristofferson as a singer and songwriter was solidified in the country music scene.

Find out here how Kristofferson made a name for himself with this Janis Joplin cover.

janis joplin me and bobby McGee
via Screen frame from Youtube

Behind Janis Joplin’s “Me and Bobby McGee”

When Kristofferson was writing the song, he wanted the name Bobby because it sounds gender neutral. But, he made it sure that a female singer could still sing the song since Bobby could refer to a man or a woman.

Kristofferson recalled in Mojo magazine in March 2008 that his label boss suggested:

“You could make this song about them travelling around; the hook is that he turns out to be a she.”

janis joplin Me and Bobby McGee
via Janis Joplin’s Official Facebook Page

And they were successful in making the song all about traveling and the freedom of the spirit. The lyrics, rhythm, and melody coupled with Janis’ free spirit made the song what it is now.

In fact, this song was Joplin’s only top 10 hit. The bluesy sound that Janis has kept her songs away from the pop charts. However, we all know that hitting the chart is not the end goal. So, long as you influence someone with your music, you have done your part and so did Janis.

Lyrics Breakdown

Freedom’s just another word for nothin’ left to lose
Nothin’, that’s all that Bobby left me, yeah
But, feelin’ good was easy, Lord, when he sang the blues
Hey, feelin’ good was enough for me, mm-hmm
Good enough for me and Bobby McGee

This song’s narrative is all about finding yourself. Two people met and decided to travel the world. On the road, they felt the freedom of doing things that are not usually in their grasp. And then, they realized that they are missing out on so many things.

With that realization, they decided that it is best to break up and know more about themselves. This will always be the case for people who are in a relationship. They say you have to know who you really are before committing yourself to someone.

The song brings light to premature relationships and the importance of knowing yourself first.

Listen to this Janis Joplin classic song here:


Janis joplin, kris kristofferson

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