Casey Jones

Lyrics: Robert Hunter
Music: Jerry Garcia

This is the Hunter/Garcia original, not to be confused with the traditional song Casey Jones, which the Dead also played, as did Jerry with some of his other bands. The latter is normally called "The Ballad Of Casey Jones" in setlists.

Chorus
Driving that train, high on cocaine
Casey Jones you'd better watch your speed
Trouble ahead, trouble behind
And you know that notion just crossed my mind (note 1)

This old engine makes it on time
Leaves Central Station 'bout a quarter to nine
Hits River Junction at seventeen to
At a quarter to ten you know it's travelling again

[chorus]

Trouble ahead, the lady in red
Take my advice you'd be better off dead
Switchman's sleeping, train Hundred and Two
Is on the wrong track and headed for you

[chorus]

Trouble with you is the trouble with me
Got two good eyes but we still don't see
Come round the bend, you know it's the end
The fireman screams and the engine just gleams

[chorus - repeated]
Notes
(1) Jerry often sang "And you know that notion, it just crossed my mind."
Mike Mehan suggested to me that Jerry sometimes sang "And you know that notion just cost my mind" - I like the thought!

Grateful Dead Recordings
     Date Album
      8 Nov 1969 Dick's Pick's Vol 16
     12 Dec 1969 Dave's Picks Volume 10
     Studio 1970 Workingman's Dead (note 2)
      2 Feb 1970 Dave's Picks Volume 6
     14 Feb 1970 Dick's Pick's Vol 4
      2 May 1970 Dick's Picks Vol 8
     15 May 1970 Road Trips Vol 3 No 3 (early show)
     19 Feb 1971 Three From The Vault
     27 Apr 1971 Ladies And Gentlemen ... The Grateful Dead
     30 May 1971 Winterland 1971
      2 Jul 1971 Fillmore: The Last Days
      7 Aug 1971 Dick's Picks Vol 35
     22 Oct 1971 Dave's Picks Volume 3
     15 Nov 1971 Road Trips Number 3, Volume 2
     28 Mar 1972 Dick's Picks Vol 30
      8 Apr 1972 Europe '72 - The Complete Recordings
     11 Apr 1972 Europe '72 - The Complete Recordings
     14 Apr 1972 Europe '72 - The Complete Recordings
     17 Apr 1972 Europe '72 - The Complete Recordings
     24 Apr 1972 Rockin' The Rhein (note 3)
     26 Apr 1972 Europe '72 - The Complete Recordings
     29 Apr 1972 Europe '72 - The Complete Recordings
      3 May 1972 Europe '72 - The Complete Recordings
      4 May 1972 Europe '72 - The Complete Recordings
      7 May 1972 Europe '72 - The Complete Recordings
     10 May 1972 Europe '72 - The Complete Recordings
     11 May 1972 Europe '72 - The Complete Recordings
     13 May 1972 Europe '72 - The Complete Recordings
     18 May 1972 Europe '72 - The Complete Recordings
     23 May 1972 Europe '72 - The Complete Recordings
     24 May 1972 Europe '72 - The Complete Recordings
     25 May 1972 Europe '72 - The Complete Recordings
     26 May 1972 Europe '72 - The Complete Recordings
     21 Jul 1972 Download Series Vol 10
     27 Aug 1972 Sunshine Daydream (CD only)
     17 Sep 1972 Dick's Picks Vol 23
     27 Sep 1972 Dick's Picks Vol 11
     17 Nov 1972 Dave's Picks Volume 11
     10 Nov 1973 Winterland 1973 - The Complete Recordings
     17 Nov 1973 Dave's Picks Volume 5
      4 Dec 1973 Winterland 1973 - The Complete Recordings (bonus disc)
     10 Dec 1973 Download Series Vol 8
      4 Aug 1974 Dick's Picks Vol 31
     17 Oct 1974 Steal Your Face (note 4)
     11 Nov 1978 Saturday Night Live Vol 1
     31 Dec 1978 The Closing Of Winterland (DVD & CD)
      5 Nov 1979 Road Trips Full Show: Spectrum 11/5/79
     28 Dec 1979 Road Trips Vol 3, No 1
     16 Dec 1992 Dick's Picks Vol 27

Recordings from dead.net Tapers Section

"The Dead" Concert Recordings

Furthur Digital Downloads and CDs

Ratdoglive CDs and downloads

Phil Lesh and Friends Digital Download Series

Weir-Robinson-Greene Trio Live!
 
Other Recordings
     Date Recorded By Album
     1973 King's Road Watkin's Glen
     1991 Warren Zevon Deadicated
     1996 Billy & Terry Smith Long Live The Dead
     1996 Wailing Souls Fire On The Mountain: Reggae Celebrates The Grateful Dead
     1997 David West et al Pickin' On The Dead ... A Tribute
     1999 Steve Marsh et al Swingin' To The Grateful Dead
     2000 McEuen & Salazar Tie-Die Yippie Ki Yay
     2000 Vassar Clements Dead Grass
     2001 Various (Michael Hill) Blues Tribute To The Grateful Dead
     2003 Grateful Guitar David Cullen
      8 Feb 2006 Live At The Fillmore Grateful Grass
     2010 One Hesher, Two Punks And A Hippy Punk Is Dead

Notes
(2) also on the compilations Skeletons From The Closet and The Very Best Of The Grateful Dead
(3) also on the box set Europe '72 - The Complete Recordings
(4) also released on The Grateful Dead Movie (video, DVD and CD)

Roots
See the section in The Ballad Of Casey Jones for information on the background to the traditional song.

Futher Information
For an online discussion of the lyrics to this song see the deadsongs.vue conference on The Well.
For more information on recordings see Matt Schofield's Grateful Dead Family Discography
For information on references in the lyrics see David Dodd's Annotated Grateful Dead Lyrics
For online chords and TAB see www.rukind.com
For sheet music, see:
          Grateful Dead Anthology Volume 1 (piano arrangement)
          Grateful Dead Authentic Guitar Classics Volume 1 (guitar TAB)
          Grateful Dead Songbook Volume 1 (piano arrangement)
          Very Best Of The Grateful Dead (guitar TAB)
          Garcia/Hunter Songbook (vocal line and chords/TAB)

 


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