Welcome to my “The Needle And The Damage Done” chord chart. The chords are D, Cadd9, G6/B, Gm6/Bb, C Fadd9/C, Esus, E and FMaj7.  There is a raw passion and emotion to the lyrics and an urgency with which it was performed. This is a great song for students to learn, it’s a bit trickier than some open chord songs but still doable. There are some moving lines, through the chords, that make it a fun challenge! 

Watch the accompanying lesson video for tabs and further explanation.  

This song utilizes something that I liketo call the “Neil Young Strum”. It’s a down up type picking but with a strum on the way down. The entire song has a swing feel to it.


1+    2+  3+  4+ 


There is a “Travis Picking” section that requires playing lower single notes, through the chords. This is a bit tricky and a lot of fun! 

Enjoy learning this classic song. 




D  Cadd9  G6/B  Gm6/Bb  C  Fadd9/C  Esus  E


Verse 1


D                                              Cadd9       G6/B                      Gm6/Bb

I caught you knockin’ at my cellar door, I love you, baby, can I have some more?


C     FMaj7                        Esus      E
Ooh, ooh, the damage done


Verse 2


D                            Cadd9               G6/B                              Gm6/Bb

I hit the city and I lost my band, I watched the needle take another man

C         FMaj7                        Esus    E
Gone, gone, the damage done




D  Cadd9  G6/B  Gm6/Bb  C  Fadd9/C  Esus  E



Verse 3


D                                          Cadd9           G6/B                            Gm6/Bb

I sing the song because I love the man, I know that some of you don’t understand


C         FMaj7                                      Esus    E
Milk blood to keep from running out


Chorus 1


D                                                Cadd9         G6/B                      Gm6/Bb

I’ve seen the needle and the damage done, A little part of it in everyone


C                                   FMaj7                 Esus    E
But every junkie’s like a settin’ sun




D  Cadd9 G6/B  Gm6/Bb 

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  This file is the author’s own work and represents his interpretation of this song. It’s intended solely for private study, scholarship or research.