Did You Know?

“Maybellene” is a classic rock and roll song written and performed by the legendary Chuck Berry. Released in 1955, it is considered one of the pioneering tracks of the rock and roll genre and played a crucial role in shaping the future of popular music.

Here’s a detailed overview of the song “Maybellene”:

Lyrics and Theme:

  • “Maybellene” tells the story of a man pursuing his unfaithful girlfriend, Maybellene, who is driving a Cadillac Coupe DeVille. The lyrics convey a sense of urgency and determination as the narrator tries to catch up with her.
  • The song touches on themes of love, jealousy, and the thrill of the chase, which were common themes in early rock and roll music.

Musical Composition:

  • “Maybellene” is characterized by its driving rhythm, catchy guitar riffs, and Chuck Berry’s distinctive vocal delivery. Berry’s guitar work, featuring his signature “duck walk” style, became a defining element of the rock and roll sound.
  • The song blends elements of rhythm and blues with country and western influences, a fusion that would become a hallmark of Chuck Berry’s music.

Chart Success and Influence:

  • “Maybellene” was a commercial success, reaching the top of the Billboard R&B chart and crossing over to the pop charts.
  • The song’s popularity helped solidify Chuck Berry as a major figure in the emerging rock and roll genre. It also contributed to the broader cultural impact of rock and roll in the 1950s.

Cultural Significance:

  • “Maybellene” is often cited as one of the first rock and roll songs and a groundbreaking moment in music history.
  • Its infectious melody and relatable lyrics made it a hit with a wide audience, and it continues to be celebrated as a timeless classic.
  • Chuck Berry’s guitar technique and stage presence, showcased in “Maybellene,” influenced countless rock and roll and rock guitarists who followed, including Keith Richards and Eric Clapton.

Legacy:

  • “Maybellene” remains a beloved staple in the rock and roll canon and is frequently covered by other artists.
  • Chuck Berry’s contribution to the development of rock and roll is celebrated, and he is often referred to as one of the genre’s founding fathers.
  • The song’s enduring popularity and cultural impact have secured its place as an essential piece of rock music history.

In summary, “Maybellene” by Chuck Berry is a seminal rock and roll song that helped define the genre and left an indelible mark on the history of music. Its catchy melody, memorable lyrics, and Chuck Berry’s iconic guitar work continue to captivate audiences and inspire generations of musicians.

Video

Lyrics

“Maybellene”

Maybellene, why can’t you be true?
Oh Maybellene, why can’t you be true?
You done started doin’ the things you used to do

As I was motorvatin’ over the hill
I saw Maybellene in a Coupe de Ville
A Cadillac a-rollin’ on the open road
Nothin’ will outrun my V8 Ford
The Cadillac doin’ about ninety-five
She’s bumper to bumper, rollin’ side by side

Maybellene, why can’t you be true?
Oh Maybellene, why can’t you be true?
You done started back doin’ the things you used to do

The Cadillac pulled up to a hundred and four
The Ford got hot and wouldn’t do no more
It then got cloudy and started to rain
I tooted my horn for the passin’ lane
The rainwater blowin’ all under my hood
I know that I was doin’ my motor good

Maybellene, why can’t you be true?
Oh Maybellene, why can’t you be true?
You done started back doin’ the things you used to do

[Solo guitar]

Oh Maybellene, why can’t you be true?
Oh Maybellene, why can’t you be true?
You done started back doin’ the things you used to do

The motor cooled down, the heat went down
And that’s when I heard that highway sound
The Cadillac a-sittin’ like a ton of lead
A hundred and ten half a mile ahead
The Cadillac lookin’ like it’s sittin’ still
And I caught Mabellene at the top of the hill

Maybellene, why can’t you be true?
Oh Maybellene, why can’t you be true?
You done started back doin’ the things you used to do

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