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Songs By Tom Paxton
On The Acoustic

songs by tom paxton

Welcome to this journey through the timeless "Songs by Tom Paxton." Tom Paxton, the iconic figure in American folk music, has graced our hearts and minds with his soul-stirring lyrics and melodies for over six decades. In this exploration, we delve into the profound impact of his music, his signature songs, and the stories behind them.

From classics like "The Last Thing on My Mind" and his up tempo number called "I'm The Man That Built The Bridges" we traverse the landscapes of Paxton's poetic world. With each song, he weaves tales of love, hope, and the human condition, touching our souls with his eloquence.

Below you'll find free chords and lyrics sheets, rhythm patterns, demos and more. I'll be adding more Tom Paxton songs to this page a bit later on.

If you'd like to purchase full lesson tutorials they are available for a small fee.

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Tom Paxton Background Info

tom paxton songs

Tom Paxton, born on October 31, 1937, in Chicago, Illinois, is a revered figure in the world of American folk music. With a career spanning over six decades, Paxton's contributions to the folk revival of the 1960s and his prolific songwriting have left an indelible mark on the genre.

He began his musical journey in the coffeehouses of Greenwich Village in the late 1950s, a time when the folk movement was gaining momentum. Paxton's music was characterized by thought-provoking and socially conscious lyrics, which made him a respected voice of the era's protest and folk scenes.

His songs, including "The Last Thing on My Mind," "Ramblin' Boy," and "Bottle of Wine," remain iconic within the folk music canon. Paxton's ability to blend heartfelt storytelling with memorable melodies and a soothing tenor voice endeared him to audiences around the world.

Throughout his career, Tom Paxton used his music to address important social and political issues. He was an advocate for civil rights, a critic of the Vietnam War, and an artist who used his platform to inspire change.

His contributions have earned him numerous accolades, including Grammy Awards and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Recording Academy. Tom Paxton's enduring legacy in the folk music world continues to inspire and resonate with audiences, embodying the spirit of folk's storytelling tradition.


Songs By Tom Paxton
Chords, Lyrics, Rhythm Tips, Tutorials

1. I Can't Help But Wonder Where I'm Bound

i cant help but wonder where im bound tom paxton

I Can't Help But Wonder Where I'm Bound is a classic folk song penned by Tom Paxton himself. The song was a part of his 1964 album titled "Ramblin' Boy."

While the song didn't achieve significant commercial chart success, it found a special place in the hearts of folk music enthusiasts and became one of Paxton's signature tunes.

Tom Paxton's songwriting prowess shines in "I Can't Help But Wonder Where I'm Bound." The song explores the restlessness and wanderlust that often accompany a life on the road, a theme resonating with many.

Paxton's poignant and introspective lyrics, combined with his soothing vocals, have made this song a favorite for fans and fellow musicians alike.

Over the years, "I Can't Help But Wonder Where I'm Bound" has been embraced by a range of artists from diverse musical genres. Cover versions have been recorded by notable musicians like Johnny Cash, Harry Belafonte, and even Judy Collins.

Its enduring popularity underscores the song's universal themes and its ability to connect with a broad audience.

Many consider this his debut album because it was with a major label (Elektra Records).

I Can't Help But Wonder Where I'm Bound Chords, Rhythm, Demo and Tutorial

  • Drop D Tuning: No
  • Capo: 2nd fret
  • Rhythm: root up down up root up down up and repeat
  • Picking: a few riffs
  • Chords: C, F, Dm, G, G7, C, G6
Chords & Lyrics

 

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2. I'm The Man That Built The Bridges

im the man that built the bridges tom paxton

I'm The Man That Built The Bridges is a notable song by the prolific folk singer-songwriter Tom Paxton. This song was featured on Paxton's 1962 album "I'm the Man That Built the Bridges." While it may not have charted widely on commercial charts, the song holds a special place in the folk music landscape.

Tom Paxton's ability to craft stories and convey emotions through his music is evident in "I'm the Man That Built the Bridges." The song is a poignant reflection on labor and the unsung heroes who contributed to building the bridges, highways, and infrastructure of our nation.

Paxton's earnest lyrics and warm, melodic delivery make this song a powerful tribute to the working class.

Throughout the years, "I'm the Man That Built the Bridges" has garnered appreciation and recognition from fellow folk artists and musicians. While it may not have received the same level of commercial attention as some of Paxton's other works, it remains a significant piece in his vast repertoire.

 Chords, Rhythm, Demo and Tutorial

  • Drop D Tuning: No
  • Capo: 4th fret
  • Rhythm: root down up down up down up and repeat
  • Picking: Yes
  • Chords: C, C7, F, G
Chords & Lyrics

 

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3. The Last Thing On My Mind

the last thing on my mind tom paxton

The Last Thing On My Mind is a classic folk song written by Tom Paxton. This poignant and timeless song was featured on Paxton's 1964 album, "Ramblin' Boy," and became one of his most iconic compositions.

While it may not have achieved widespread commercial chart success, it has resonated deeply with folk music enthusiasts and beyond.

Tom Paxton's songwriting talent shines brilliantly in "The Last Thing on My Mind." The song's emotionally charged lyrics, paired with Paxton's heartfelt vocals, tell a story of love and loss. Its evocative and introspective nature has made it a beloved piece in Paxton's repertoire.

Over the years, "The Last Thing on My Mind" has been embraced by countless artists from diverse musical backgrounds. It has been covered by a wide array of musicians, including Joan Baez, Neil Diamond, and Judy Collins, to name a few. 

It was a duet by Dolly Parton and Porter Wagoner in 1967 which brought the song to the masses on commercial radio with their single peaking at #7 in the US.

The song's enduring appeal underscores its universal themes and the emotional depth that makes it relatable to a wide audience.

The Last Thing On My Mind Chords, Rhythm, Demo and Tutorial

  • Drop D Tuning: No
  • Capo: 2nd fret
  • Rhythm: root down up down up down up and repeat
  • Picking: Yes
  • Chords: G, C ,D
Chords & Lyrics

 

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Tom Paxton's songs, including classics like "I Can't Help But Wonder Where I'm Bound," "I'm the Man That Built the Bridges," and "The Last Thing on My Mind," have left an indelible mark on the folk music landscape.

I hope that MY endeavor to shed light on his melodies and the profound stories behind them has been both enlightening and enjoyable. Tom Paxton's timeless compositions continue to evoke deep emotions and connect us to the human experience. Thank you for celebrating the legacy of this remarkable folk troubadour here.



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