Johnny B. Goode
Chuck Berry Lyrics


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Deep down in Louisiana close to New Orleans
Way back up in the woods among the evergreens
There stood a log cabin made of earth and wood
Where lived a country boy named Johnny B. Goode
Who never ever learned to read or write so well
But he could play a guitar just like a-ringin' a bell

Go, go
Go Johnny, go, go
Go Johnny, go, go
Go Johnny, go, go
Go Johnny, go, go
Johnny B. Goode

He used to carry his guitar in a gunny sack
Go sit beneath the tree by the railroad track
Oh, the engineers would see him sitting in the shade
Strumming with the rhythm that the drivers made
The people passing by they would stop and say
"Oh my what that little country boy could play"

Go, go
Go Johnny, go, go
Go Johnny, go, go
Go Johnny, go, go
Go Johnny, go, go
Johnny B. Goode

His mother told him "someday you will be a man
And you will be the leader of a big old band
Many people coming from miles around
To hear you play your music when the sun go down
Maybe someday your name will be in lights
Saying "Johnny B. Goode tonight"

Go, go
Go Johnny, go
Go, go, go Johnny, go
Go, go, go Johnny, go
Go, go, go Johnny, go




Go
Johnny B. Goode

Overall Meaning

The opening lines of Chuck Berry's song "Johnny B. Goode" set the scene for a country boy who lives in a log cabin among the evergreens in Louisiana somewhere near New Orleans. Despite his limited academic ability, Johnny has mastered the guitar and plays it like a pro. Berry describes his guitar playing as being similar to that of a ringing bell. The chorus repeatedly urges Johnny to "go" and the song is full of a sense of momentum fueled by Johnny's guitar playing.


Johnny's preferred playing spot is beneath a tree by the railroad tracks, where he can be seen by the passing train drivers. Johnny draws the attention of people who stop and listen to him play. Even though he was not educated, Johnny's limitless talent on the guitar meant that people recognized his greatness, and he was on his way to stardom. The final verse talks about Johnny's ambition to lead a big old band and become a household name in the music world. In summary, the song focuses on a young man's rise to fame via his extraordinary talent and dedication to playing the guitar.


Line by Line Meaning

Deep down in Louisiana close to New Orleans
Describing the setting of the log cabin where Johnny B. Goode lived.


Way back up in the woods among the evergreens
Further describes the location of the log cabin, which was surrounded by trees.


There stood a log cabin made of earth and wood
Continuing to describe the rustic nature of the log cabin.


Where lived a country boy named Johnny B. Goode
Introducing the artist of the song, Johnny B. Goode.


Who never ever learned to read or write so well
Explaining that Johnny B. Goode had limited formal education.


But he could play a guitar just like a-ringin' a bell
Highlighting Johnny B. Goode's musical talent and ability to play the guitar.


Go, go
Encouraging Johnny B. Goode to keep playing his music and follow his dreams.


Go Johnny, go, go
Continuing to encourage Johnny B. Goode and cheer him on.


He used to carry his guitar in a gunny sack
Describing the simplicity of Johnny B. Goode's lifestyle and how he carried his guitar with him.


Go sit beneath the tree by the railroad track
Indicating that Johnny B. Goode would often play his guitar while sitting under a tree by the railroad tracks.


Oh, the engineers would see him sitting in the shade
People passing by while on the train would catch a glance of Johnny playing.


Strumming with the rhythm that the drivers made
Johnny B. Goode played his guitar to the rhythm of the train drivers' movements.


The people passing by they would stop and say
Describing how people who passed by Johnny B. Goode would stop and listen to him play his guitar.


"Oh my what that little country boy could play"
A quote describing how impressed people were by Johnny B. Goode's musical talent.


His mother told him "someday you will be a man
Describing the words of wisdom that Johnny B. Goode's mother would give him in regards to his future.


And you will be the leader of a big old band
Foreseeing a promising future for Johnny B. Goode, where he would lead and perform with a band.


Many people coming from miles around
Explaining how Johnny B. Goode's music would draw in crowds from all over.


To hear you play your music when the sun go down
Describing how Johnny B. Goode's music would be most enjoyed during sunset.


Maybe someday your name will be in lights
Encouraging Johnny B. Goode to aspire towards fame and success.


Saying "Johnny B. Goode tonight"
Describing how Johnny B. Goode could potentially become a household name if he pursues music success.


Go
An additional, encouraging word of support for Johnny B. Goode.


Johnny B. Goode
Repeating the title and protagonist of the song as a closing statement.




Lyrics © ENTERTAINMENT ONE U.S. LP
Written by: Chuck Berry

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
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