I’ve Grown So Ugly

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Overview

If Free Again was a kingly display of rhythm, almost using his guitar as a remote control to your body that makes your head bob, foot tap, and arms wail, then I’ve Grown So Ugly is a godly display of syncopation. Here, Vestapol tuning actually works quite well (whether it’s what he actually used is difficult to discern); with the open strings available as root notes and other usable tones, it frees your right hand to pluck syncopation notes as you please; as well, it simplifies your left-hand fretting quite a bit.

For the most part, Williams stays within the upper range of the guitar on this one, novelly using the 4th and 3rd strings as the bass notes, and only straying when he hits the turnaround. With his chicken pickin’-like style, the intricacies are mainly in the right hand. Staying loose throughout the tune, steadily it’s almost achievable to get his easy-going, care-free feel right. On the left hand, he elects to play only the funkiest notes, playing fat bends and a mixture of tasteful pentatonic tones for maximal harmonic effect.

Workstation

Open D — DADF#AD
1st Fret

I got up this morning
And I put on my shoes
I tied my shoes
Then I washed my face
I went to the mirror
For to comb my head
I made a move
Didn’t know what to do
I tipped way forward
Got to break and run

Baby, this ain’t me
Baby, this ain’t me
Got so ugly I don’t even know myself

I left Angola
1964
Go walking down my street
Knock on my baby’s door
My baby come out
She asks me who I am
And I say, honey
Don’t you know your man?
She said my man’s been gone
Since 1942
And I’ll tell you Mr. Ugly
He didn’t look like you

Baby, this ain’t me
Baby, this ain’t me
Got so ugly I don’t even know myself

Song History

20 October 1960
Baton Rouge, LA
Fantasy F24716

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