Undun (song)

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Single by The Guess Who
from the album Canned Wheat
A-side Laughing
Released 1969 (1969)
Recorded 1969 at RCA Studio A, New York, New York
Genre Rock
Length 3:26
Label Buddha Records
Writer(s) Randy Bachman
Producer(s) Jack Richardson
The Guess Who singles chronology
"No Time"

"Undun" is a popular song by Canadian rock band The Guess Who. It spent two weeks at #21 on the Canadian Singles Chart in November–December 1969,[1] and reached #22 on the Billboard Hot 100.[2]

It was written by Randy Bachman after hearing Bob Dylan's "Ballad in Plain D", which included the phrase "she was easily undone." Bachman's song tells the story of a girl whom he had seen at a party who slipped into a coma after dropping acid. The song structure is based around new jazz guitar chords Bachman had learned from his friend and neighbor Lenny Breau. Bachman's former bandmate Burton Cummings, during The Guess Who's 2000 reunion tour, Running Back Thru Canada, declared the song to be one of Bachman's finest compositions and "one of the best songs ever written by any Canadian songwriter".[3] Bachman himself has stated that "Undun" is his favorite song from his time as a member of The Guess Who.[4]

The original 4:17 version of Undun, complete with a country guitar section at the end, appeared on The Guess Who's 1969 album, Canned Wheat, and was initially released as the B-side of the single "Laughing" which peaked on August 23, 1969. The song was subsequently released as a 3:26 single (omitting the country guitar section) after it gained popularity when disk jockeys started turning the "Laughing" record over.[4]

Cultural references and cover versions[edit]

The song plays in the background of a fight scene between Robert De Niro and Bridget Fonda in Quentin Tarantino's 1997 film Jackie Brown.[4]

Numerous jazz and other genres' artists have covered "Undun". These include Hennie Bekker,[5] Steve Cole,[6] the Phil Dwyer Septet,[7] Kurt Elling,[8] Ranee Lee,[9] Sophie Milman,[10] Hugo Montenegro,[11] and Alexander Zonjic,[12]


Chart (1969) Peak
Canadian RPM Singles Chart 21[1]
US Billboard Hot 100 22[2]