Don’t Blame Them

Author: Leonard Latest revision: Augst 21, 2022
Author’s Notes: Broadly speaking, a song instructive about one’s own prejudices and one that shares direct musical DNA with the 2nd movement of Beethoven’s piano sonata Pathetique (sonata no. 8. op. 13), and as Cat has illuminated so in a 2017 interview on Cat’s love of melody is especially apparent here, and his style of playing the song on guitar ever so fascinating, as he adheres to including the vocal notes in his chords, whenever feasible, even while singing. Speaking of chords, this is quite a tour de force in terms of chord progression complexity for a pop/folk song, and the song structure does not really follow established norms. Neat little surprises pop up along the way like sliding up the neck towards a high D7/A, or the various minor chords crawling up the neck (or “cane” as Cat would say) in the chorus. The outro verse is a complete tempo and feel change, and reminds us a bit of his style-changing outro to “I Want to Live in a Wigwam“, which could be a separate song entirely in itself. We feel that in the first verse there is a missed opportunity to use the word worn instead of done in the lyrics, which would be a better fit.
Each guitar tab is the author’s own work and represents his or her own interpretation of the song.
Visitors may use the guitar tabs offered here only for private study, scholarship, or research.

                     "Don't Blame Them"
                by Yusuf Islam / Cat Stevens
                  from the original album 
                  THE LAUGHING APPLE (2017)

            as perfomed by Yusuf in a sittee version
                of the song for "Peace Day 2020"

Standard tuning
(low to high) E-A-D-G-B-E
in 4/4 time

INTRO                             slide out upwards
   C     G        C     G        C G/B D7 D6    G
|  /  /  /  /  |  /  /  /  /  |  /  /  /  /  |  /  /  /  /  |
  F/A    G        C     A        Dm    RIFF     G5    C*
|  /  /  /  /  |  /  /  /  /  |  /  /  /  /  |  /  /  /  /  |

VERSE 1                                                           Note: On the record Cat slides up the
                                                                        neck in the verses as well.
C            D        G    G4 G5  C        G/B  D       G                   
     Don't blame the girl!       She won't     do you wrong
     Dm7       G           C    C/B   A   Dm  Em7/F      Em7  G5  G4 G5 Gadd9
The veil she wears on her long dark hair Mary would have     done


C            D        G   G4 G5  C       G/B  D       G
     Don't blame the boy!       He won't     do you wrong
     Dm7      G            C C/B    A    Dm   Em7/F      Em7  G5
The fist he shakes at the gi-ant's face David would have     done


    Am    Bm+11/A  C/A  Bm+11/A         Am  Bm+11/A     C/A  Bm+11/A       Am   Bm+11/A  C/A  D+9/A
Be-ware!                        If you turn         to face          your fear
A*                 E     A7                  D    G
     It will dis-appear     like it wasn't there



C            G     C   C2  C          G   C  F/C C*   G
     Don't blame them!       They're just an  i-llu-sion
Dm        F/C        C         G     Dm        F/C       C        G
     Why chase the ghosts out-side?      Turn, see bet-ween your eyes
Dm          F/C        C       G     
     There stands the one you hide


    Am    Bm+11/A  C/A  Bm+11/A         Am  Bm+11/A     C/A  Bm+11/A      Am   Bm+11/A  C/A  D+9/A
So wait!                        Under-stand         the one          you hate
A*                E    A7                 D    G7
     Anger will abate,     love will mo-derate

OUTRO VERSE (Tempo & feel change.)

                 F/C     G              C               F/C      G           C
Don't blame the child, don't blame the man, don't blame us and don't blame them
            F/C        E          Am                   F/C        G          C
Don't blame her, and don't blame him, don't blame the world and don't blame time
                  F/C      G          C                    F/C         E        Am
Don't blame the weather if it don't shine, don't blame the sun if it makes you blind
                 F/C        G          C                     F/C           G        C
Don't blame the stars that you can't touch, don't blame the food if you gobble too much
             F/C     E         Am                  F/C     G          C
Don't blame money if it don't grow, d't blame the river if it don't flow
                 F/C         G          C                F/C        G        C
Don't blame the people that you don't know, don't blame people who tell you to
              F/C                 G    C
'Cause in the end they're gonna blame you!


   / . / . / . / .  
   d       d u d u

CHORDS (in order of appearance)

   C       G      G/B      D7      D6     F/A     Note:  D7 is played with the pinky
x32013  3x0003  x20003  xx7778  xx7777  xx7565           in the fingering due to the
-RM-IL  R----L  -M---L  --IIIL  --IIII  --RIMI           slide up from the G major chord.
   A     Dm/A    Em7/F    Em7     G5      C/B
x02220  x00231  xx3030  xx2030  3x003x  x20013
--IMR-  ---MRI  --M-R-  --I-R-  R---L-  -R--IL

  D/A     C*      G4       D      Dm7    Gadd9 
x00232  x32010  3x001x  xx0232  xx0211  3x0203
---IRM  -RM-I-  R---I-  ---IRM  ---MII  R--I-L

  Am    Bm+11/A   C/A   D+9/A     A*      E  
x02210  x04430  x05550  x07770  x07650  022100
--MRI-  --MRI-  --MRL-  --MRL-  --RMI-  -MRI-- 

  A7    Csus2     F/C     G7    
x02223  x30013  x33211  320001
--IMRL  -R--IL  -RLMII  RM---I

Chord fingering:      T = thumb                
                      I = index finger
                      M = middle finger
                      R = ring finger
                      L = little finger

Tablature notation:   h = hammer-on
                      p = pull-off
                      ~ = vibrato, or hold chord
                    [ ] = natural harmonic (Harm.)
                      / = legato slide (gliss) up the fret
                      \ = legato slide (gliss) down the fret
                      ! = accentuate part with great intensity
                      d = downward stroke
                      u = upward stroke

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