Undun (song)

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Undun - The Guess Who.jpg
1969 US RCA Victor single
Single by The Guess Who
from the album Canned Wheat
ReleasedJuly 1969
StudioRCA Studio A, New York, New York
4:17 (album version)
LabelRCA Victor
Songwriter(s)Randy Bachman
Producer(s)Jack Richardson
The Guess Who singles chronology
"These Eyes"
"Laughing" / "Undun"
"No Time"

"Undun" is a song recorded by Canadian rock group The Guess Who. It spent two weeks at #21 on the Canadian Singles Chart in November–December 1969[3] and reached #15 on the U.S. adult contemporary chart and #22 on the Billboard Hot 100.[4]

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 he had seen at a party who, after consuming LSD, slipped into a coma. The song takes its structure from new jazz guitar chords Bachman had learned from his friend and neighbour Lenny Breau. During the Guess Who's 2000 reunion tour, Running Back Thru Canada, Bachman's former bandmate Burton Cummings declared the song to be one of Bachman's finest compositions and "one of the best songs ever written by any Canadian songwriter".[5] Bachman himself has stated that "Undun" is his favourite song from his time as a member of The Guess Who.[6]

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 an edit was initially released as the B-side of the single "Laughing" which peaked on August 23, 1969. The song gained popularity when disc jockeys started turning the "Laughing" record over.[6]

Cultural extension[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.[6]

Numerous jazz and other musicians have recorded "Undun". These include Hennie Bekker,[7] Steve Cole,[8] The Phil Dwyer Septet,[9] Kurt Elling,[10] Ranee Lee,[11] Sophie Milman,[12] Hugo Montenegro,[13] and Alexander Zonjic.[14]



Chart (1969) Peak
Canadian RPM Top Singles 21
Canada RPM Adult Contemporary[15] 3
US Billboard Hot 100 22
US Adult Contemporary 15


  1. ^ Dave Marsh; John Swenson (12 October 1983). The new Rolling stone record guide. Random House/Rolling Stone Press. p. 208. ISBN 978-0-394-72107-1.
  2. ^ Modern Drummer: MD. Modern Drummer Publications. 1985. p. 25.
  3. ^ The Guess Who, "Undun" Canadian Chart Position Retrieved March 6, 2015
  4. ^ The Guess Who, "Undun" U.S. Chart Positions Retrieved March 6, 2015
  5. ^ The Guess Who: The Concert (recorded in Winnipeg, June 30, 2000), Directed by Rico Labbe, Saifer Entertainment, 2000
  6. ^ a b c "Undun by The Guess Who", Songfacts
  7. ^ Hennie Bekker, Cover Story Retrieved March 6, 2015
  8. ^ Steve Cole, Undun Retrieved March 6, 2015
  9. ^ The Phil Dwyer Septet, A Canadian Songbook for Jazz Retrieved March 6, 2015
  10. ^ Kurt Elling, Nightmoves Retrieved March 6, 2015
  11. ^ Ranee Lee, Maple Groove Retrieved March 6, 2015
  12. ^ Sophie Milman, Make Someone Happy Retrieved March 6, 2015
  13. ^ Hugo Montenegro, Colours of Love Retrieved March 6, 2015
  14. ^ Alexander Zonjic, Doin' the D Retrieved March 6, 2015
  15. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. 1969-12-13. Retrieved 2019-09-13.

External links[edit]