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Eric Clapton - I Shot The Sheriff [Crossroads 2010]


Watch Eric Clapton perform "I Shot The Sheriff" live from Chicago at Crossroads 2010. Originally written by Bob Marley, Clapton's version of I Shot the Sheriff appeared on his 1974 solo album, '461 Ocean Boulevard.' It is the most successful version of the song, peaking at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100




Bob Marley and the Wailers version[edit]

The narrator claims to have acted in self-defense when the sheriff tried to shoot him. The song was first released in 1973 on The Wailers' album Burnin'. Marley explained his intention as follows: "I want to say 'I shot the police' but the government would have made a fuss so I said 'I shot the sheriff' instead… but it's the same idea: justice."


In 1992, with the controversy surrounding the Ice-T song "Cop Killer", Marley's song was often cited by Ice-T's supporters as evidence of his detractors' hypocrisy, considering that the older song was never similarly criticized despite having much the same theme.

In 2012, Marley's former girlfriend Esther Anderson claimed that the lyrics, "Sheriff John Brown always hated me / For what, I don't know / Every time I plant a seed / He said, 'Kill it before it grow'" are actually about Marley being very opposed to her use of birth control pills; Marley supposedly substituted the word "doctor" with sheriff.


Eric Clapton version[edit]


Eric Clapton recorded a cover version that was included on his 1974 album 461 Ocean Boulevard. His performance of the song adds a soft rockto the reggae sound.Billboard described this version as being "a catchy goof of a winner" despite not containing a guitar solo. Faring better in the charts, it peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100. In 2003, Clapton's version was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.



Lyrics
I shot the sheriff, but I did not shoot the deputy
I shot the sheriff, but I did not shoot the deputy
All around in my home town
They're trying to track me down
They say they want to bring me in guilty
For the killing of a deputy
For the life of a deputy, but I say
I shot the sheriff, but I swear it was in self-defense
I shot the sheriff, and they say it is a capital offense
Sheriff John Brown always hated me
For what I don't know
Every time that I plant a seed
He said, "Kill it before it grows"
He said, "Kill it before it grows", I say
I shot the sheriff, but I swear it was in self-defense
I shot the sheriff, but I swear it was in self-defense
Freedom came my way one day
And I started out of town
All of a sudden I see sheriff John Brown
Aiming to shoot me down
So I shot, I shot him down, I say
I shot the sheriff, but I did not shoot the deputy
I shot the sheriff, but I did not shoot the deputy
Reflexes got the better of me
And what is to be must be
Every day the bucket goes to the well
But one day the bottom will drop out
Yes, one day the bottom will drop out, but I say
I shot the sheriff, but I did not shoot the deputy, oh no
I shot the sheriff, but I did not shoot the deputy, oh no
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Bob Marley
I Shot the Sheriff lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd., Universal Music Publishing Group

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