Hit the Road, Jack & Stray Cat Strut

Although the popularity of Hit the Road, Jack is owed to Ray Charles, this song was written by his close friend Percy Mayfield in 1960. The song was not recorded by the singer-pianist until October 1961, but quickly became a smash R&B hit, making Rolling Stone’s list of “the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.”

Although the Stray Cat Strut came out much later, it uses the same chord progression of Am, G, F and E7. It can be played at the same tempo as a medley with Hit the Road, Jack. The bolded-italic words are sung by the back-up singers, “the Rayelles”, so this song goes over really well when played in a group, having the ladies sing the bolded sections while the men sing Ray Charles’ part in plain text.

Stray Cat Strut:  http://www.scorpexuke.com/pdffiles/Stray_Cat_Strut_Am.pdf

These guys had just about the coolest video, topped only by their freaky hairdo’s, which they probably spent more time on than a hairdresser!

Hit the Road, Jack – Percy Mayfield, 1960

Tempo:  2/4 time, which in ukulele is going to be D+DU with an R&B feel.

Intro:           [Am]   [G]   [F]  [E7]

Hit the [Am]road, [G]Jack. [F]Don’t you come [E7]back no [Am]more, no [G]more, no [F]more, no [E7]more.

Hit the [Am]road, [G]Jack and [F]don’t you come [E7]back no [Am]more. [G] 

[F]What’d you [E7]say?

Woah [Am]woman, oh [G]woman, don’t [F]treat me so [E7]mean,

You’re the [Am]meanest old [G]woman that I’ve [F]ever [E7]seen.

I [Am]guess if [G]you say [F]so  [E7]

I’ll have to [Ampack my [G]things and [F]go.  (That’s right!)


*Continue on, following the chord progression Am, G, F, E7:

What’d you say?

Now baby, listen baby, don’t ya treat me this-a way

For I’ll be back on my feet some day.

(Don’t care if you do ’cause it’s understood

You ain’t got no money, you just ain’t no good.)

Well, I guess if you say so

I’d have to pack my things and go. (That’s right!)


Well…. (Don’t you come back no more.)

Uh, what’d you say? (Don’t you come back no more.)

I didn’t understand you. (Don’t you come back no more.)

You can’t mean that. (Don’t you come back no more.)

Oh, now baby, please! (Don’t you come back no more.)

What you tryin’ to do to me? (Don’t you come back no more.)

Oh, don’t treat me like that!  (Don’t you come back no more.)   Fade out……