Before You Accuse Me

Bo Diddley

About Before You Accuse Me

"Before You Accuse Me" (also known as "Before You Accuse Me (Take a Look at Yourself)") is a song written and recorded by American musician Bo Diddley in 1957. It was released as the B-side to Diddley's "Say Bossman" and was included on his self-titled debut album in 1958. Backing Diddley on vocal and guitar are Jody Williams on guitar, Willie Dixon on bass, and Frank Kirkland on drums.


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Before you accuse me
Take a look at yourself
Before you accuse me
Take a look at yourself
You say I been spending my money on other women
But you been runnin' around with somebody else

I called your mama
'Bout three or four nights ago
I called your mama
'Bout three or four nights ago
Well, your mother said, son
Don't call my daughter no more

Before you accuse me
Take a look at yourself
Before you accuse me
Take a look at yourself
Well now, you say I been runnin' around
But you got somebody else

Come on back home, baby
Try my love one more time
Come on back home, baby
Try my love one more time
Well now you've been gone away so long
I'm gonna lose my mind

Before you accuse me
Take a look at yourself
Well, before you accuse me
Take a look at yourself
Well now, you say I been buyin' other women clothes
You been takin money from somebody else

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Bo Diddley

Ellas Otha Bates (December 30, 1928 – June 2, 2008), known by his stage name Bo Diddley, was an American rhythm and blues vocalist, guitarist, songwriter (usually as Ellas McDaniel), and rock and roll pioneer. He was also known as The Originator because of his key role in the transition from the blues to rock, influencing a host of acts, including Buddy Holly, Jimi Hendrix, The Rolling Stones, The Velvet Underground, The Who, The Yardbirds, Eric Clapton,Elvis Presley,The Beatles, and George Michael, among others. He introduced more insistent, driving rhythms and a hard-edged electric guitar sound on a wide-ranging catalog of songs, along with African rhythms and a signature beat (a simple, five-accent rhythm) that remains a cornerstone of rock and pop. Accord… more »

3 fans

Written by: Ellas McDaniel

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind

10 facts about this song

Song Composition
"Before You Accuse Me" was written and performed by American musician Bo Diddley. This rock and roll/blues song is considered a classic, demonstrating Diddley's distinctive rhythmic approach.
The song was first released in 1957 on the single "Say Man, Back Again". It was also included in Diddley's self-titled debut album in 1958.
Cover Versions
Arguably one of Diddley's most famous songs, "Before You Accuse Me" has been covered by a significant number of artists. Most notable of these is Eric Clapton, who recorded two different versions of the song.
Clapton's versions
Eric Clapton covered the song as a tribute to Bo Diddley on his 1989 album, Journeyman and later his Unplugged album, which won six Grammy Awards in 1993. Clapton's more acoustic rendition of the song increased its popularity among rock and blues enthusiasts.
Song Impact
"Before You Accuse Me" is often referenced as one of the early influences of the rock and roll genre, with Diddley's original guitar work pioneering a sound that influenced multiple generations of musicians.
Live Performance
Even though the song was a crowd favorite, it was not frequently performed live by Diddley during his career.
Blues Track
Although Bo Diddley is typically associated with rock and roll, "Before You Accuse Me" is squarely a blues track, further showcasing Diddley's versatility as a musician.
Lyrics Theme
The song stands out for its lyrics, which deal with a relationship where the singer feels wrongly accused and demands equal scrutiny for his accuser.
"Before You Accuse Me" continues to be revered by music fans and critics and is widely regarded as a pivotal piece of Bo Diddley's legendary career.
Music Video
The original recording by Bo Diddley doesn't have a music video. However, Clapton's version of the song for The Unplugged Series has a music video featuring a live performance.

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