Clementine

Lyrics: Robert Hunter
Music: Phil Lesh

Played a few times by the Grateful Dead in 1968--and not to be confused with the traditional Oh My Darling Clementine. The lyric is not in Robert Hunter's book "Box Of Rain", but he has confirmed he wrote it.

The full Hunter lyrics, as given to Phil Lesh (and first reproduced in David Dodd's book "The Complete Annotated Grateful Dead Lyrics") are:

Chopped olive sandwiches, roses and wine
Cold ripe persimmons, my sweet Clementine

There's a chill in the meadow, of bottomless time
I go on, I go on, I cannot fill my cup
There's a hole in the bottom, the spring has dried up

I run through the forests of linear time
Chop through the branches and cut through the vines

I'll be back in a moment, though it may take me years
In the lava rock canyons corroded with fears
Of corruptible bodies and grief beyond tears

I'll go on till I hear the sweet voices behind
That I've left for the comfort of cold Clementine
The only versions with lyrics that circulate are 20 Jan, 23 Jan and 2 Feb 1968 (on "So Many Roads") and 26 Jan 1969 (other versions circulate as jams only). Thanks to Brad Dilli, Melanie Ryan, Jeff Lester, Andrew Sonnabend and Ihor Slabicky for their help with the lyrics.

This is the 2 Feb 1968 version:
Chopped olive sandwiches, roses and wine
Red ripe persimmons, my sweet Clementine (note 1)
I go on, I go on, I can't fill my cup
There's a hole in the bottom, the well has dried up

I run through the forest, I cut past the vine
Head through the thickets of linear time
[A field full] of voices, sweet voices behind (note 2)
I've left for the comfort of cold Clementine
Notes
(1) the 20 Jan 1968 version is "Cold ripe persimmons"
(2) the 23 Jan 1968 version is "... never was mine"

The 20 Jan 1968 version is essentially the same as the 2 Feb one, but with the first verse only. The 23 Jan 1968 version has Jerry singing the first verse, then repeating the first two lines of the first verse, followed by the third and fourth lines of the second verse.

The 26 Jan 1969 version is a more complete one:
Chopped olive sandwiches, roses and wine
Cold ripe persimmons, my sweet Clementine
There's a chill in the meadow of bottomless time
I go on, I go on, I can't fill my cup
There's a hole in the bottom, the spring has dried up
Just a thought for the moment, it never was mine
Just like a [fat through] and cut past the vines
I run through the forests of linear time

I go on, I go on, I can't fill my cup

I go on, I go on, though it might take me years
In the lava rock canyons all corroded with fears
Corruptible bodies and grief beyond tears
I go on till I hear the sweet voices behind
That I've left for the comfort of cold Clementine
Grateful Dead Recordings
     Date Album
     live 2 Feb 1968 So Many Roads (1965-1995)
     studio 13 Aug 1968 Aoxomoxoa (instrumental) (note a)
Notes
(a) bonus track on remastered album, first released as part of the box set The Golden Road (1965-1973)