Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress fingerstyle tab

“Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress” by the Hollies, arranged with tab for fingerstyle guitar by Daryl Shawn.

Get the fingerstyle tab here.

Arranged and tab created for fingerstyle guitar by Daryl Shawn.

“Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress” (also titled “Long Cool Woman” or “Long Cool Woman (in a Black Dress)”) is a song written by Allan Clarke, Roger Cook, and Roger Greenaway and performed by the British rock group The Hollies. Originally appearing on the album Distant Light, it was released as a single on 17 April 1972 (on Parlophone in the United Kingdom), selling 2 million copies worldwide, including 1.5 million in the United States. It reached No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in September 1972. Billboard ranked it as the No. 24 song for 1972.

On the day “Long Cool Woman” was recorded at AIR Studios, the group’s producer, Ron Richards, was ill and, as a result, the song was produced by the group. The song is different from most other Hollies songs in that there are no three-part vocal harmonies, and the song features lead guitar and lead vocal work by Allan Clarke. Upon his return, Ron Richards mixed the recording.

The song was written initially in the country/rockabilly style of Jerry Reed then adapted over recording more to the swamp rock style of Creedence Clearwater Revival, in terms of the vocal, rhythm, and melodic style. Clarke imitated John Fogerty’s vocal style, which was based on the Creedence song “Green River”. According to Clarke, the song was written “in about five minutes”.

However, Fogerty was not impressed. He filed a lawsuit against the Hollies for plagiarising his song “Green River”. It was settled out of court with Fogerty receiving half of the proceeds for the song.

Saturday night I was downtown
Working for the FBI
Sitting in a nest of bad men
Whiskey bottles piling high
Bootlegging boozer on the west side
Full of people who are doing wrong
Just about to call up the D.A. man
When I heard this woman singing a song
A pair of forty fives made me open my eyes
My temperature started to rise
She was a long cool woman in a black dress
Just a 5’9″ beautiful ‘n’ tall
Just one look I was a bad mess
‘Cause that long cool woman had it all
I saw her heading to the table
Well, a tall walking big black cat
Charlie said, I hope that you’re able, boy
‘Cause I’m telling you she knows where it’s at
Well, suddenly we hear the sirens
And everybody started to run
Jumping under doors and tables
Well, I heard somebody shooting a gun
Well, the D.A. was pumping my left hand
She was holding my right
Well, I told her, don’t get scared
‘Cause you’re gonna be spared
I’ve gotta be forgiven if I wanna spend my living
With a long cool woman in a black dress
Just a 5’9″ beautiful ‘n’ tall
Well with just one look I was a bad mess
‘Cause that long cool woman had it all
Had it all, had it all, had it all
Had it all, had it all, had it all (she had it all)

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