Going Up the Country

Written by Alan WilsonUnreleased song

Related sessions

This song has been recorded during the following studio sessions


Other songs covered during January 3, 1969 session


Tea For Two Cha Cha

Unreleased song


Chopsticks

Unreleased song


Adagio for Strings

Unreleased song


Torchy, The Battery Boy

Unreleased song


Blowin' In The Wind

Unreleased song


The Third Man Theme

Unreleased song


Hitch Hike

Unreleased song




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Song facts

From Wikipedia:

“Going Up the Country” (also Goin’ Up the Country) is a song adapted and recorded by American blues rock band Canned Heat. Called a “rural hippie anthem”, it became one of the band’s biggest hits and best-known songs. As with their previous single, “On the Road Again”, the song was adapted from a 1920s blues song and sung in a countertenor-style by Alan Wilson.

Background and composition

Canned Heat, who were early blues enthusiasts, based “Going Up the Country” on “Bull Doze Blues”, recorded in 1928 by Texas bluesman Henry Thomas. Thomas was from the songster tradition and had a unique sound, sometimes accompanying himself on quills, an early Afro-American wind instrument similar to panpipes. He recorded “Bull Doze Blues” in Chicago on June 13, 1928, for Vocalion Records.

For “Going Up the Country”, Canned Heat’s Wilson used Thomas’ melody on the quills and his basic rhythm, but arranged it for a rock setting and rewrote the lyrics. In addition to the bass and drum rhythm section, Henry Vestine supplied a “light electric rhythm guitar” and multi-instrumentalist Jim Horn reproduced Thomas’ quill parts on the flute.

Although linked to the counterculture of the 1960s’ back-to-the-land movement, Wilson’s lyrics are ambiguous, leading some to suggest they were about evading the draft during the Vietnam War by moving to Canada:

Now, baby, pack your leaving trunk, you know we’ve got to leave today
Just exactly where we’re going, I cannot say, but we might even leave the U.S.A.
‘Cause there’s a brand new game that I don’t wanna play

Releases and charts

“Going Up the Country” was first released on Canned Heat’s third album, Living the Blues, in October 1968. Liberty Records released the song as a single on November 22, 1968, which peaked at number 11 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 singles chart on January 25, 1969. “Going Up the Country” was Canned Heat’s highest charting single in the US. On January 7, 1969, the song peaked at number 19 on the UK Singles Chart. […]

Bootlegs


A/B Road Complete Get Back Sessions - Jan 3rd 1969 - 1 & 2

Unofficial album • Released in 2004

0:52 • Rehearsal • Jan.03 - D2-08 - Going Up The Country 3.62

Paul McCartney :
Vocals

Session Recording:
Jan 03, 1969
Studio :
Twickenham Film Studios, London, UK


A/B Road Complete Get Back Sessions - Jan 22nd, 1969 - 1 & 2

Unofficial album • Released in 2004

1:58 • Rehearsal • Jan.22 - D1-36 - Going Up The Country 22.20

Session Recording:
Jan 22, 1969
Studio :
Apple Studios, 3 Savile Row, London


A/B Road Complete Get Back Sessions - Jan 22nd, 1969 - 1 & 2

Unofficial album • Released in 2004

0:39 • Rehearsal • Jan.22 - D2-06 - Going Up The Country 22.20

Session Recording:
Jan 22, 1969
Studio :
Apple Studios, 3 Savile Row, London


A/B Road Complete Get Back Sessions - Jan 22nd, 1969 - 1 & 2

Unofficial album • Released in 2004

0:31 • Rehearsal • Jan.22 - D2-07 - Going Up The Country 22.20P

Session Recording:
Jan 22, 1969
Studio :
Apple Studios, 3 Savile Row, London

Live performances

Paul McCartney has never played this song in concert.

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