Darling Corey

Lyrics: Traditional
Music: Traditional

Only ever played once by the Dead, on 20 November 1970 during a jam with Jorma Kaukonen. Also played by Garcia, Hunter and Leicester in July 1961. I had assumed from the list in DeadBase that Jorma sang it at the 1970 show. But on listening to the tape, I believe it is Garcia.

He sings only two verses, which are pretty hard to decipher.

Wake up, wake up, darling Corey
What makes you sleep so sound
[The revenue officers are coming]
They're gonna tear your still house down

Dig a hole, dig a hole in the meadow
Dig a hole in the cold ground
[Dig a hole, dig a hole in the meadow]
We're gonna lay him in the ground
The Garcia/Hunter/Leicester version from 1961 includes an additional verse:
Wake up, wake up darling Corey (note 1)
Quit hanging around my bed
Bad liquor ruined my body
Pretty women gone to my head
Bob Weir drew on this song for Lay My Lily Down.

Notes
(1) other versions have "Go away, go away darling Corey" here, which makes better sense here.

Recordings
None by the Dead. There are numerous versions by others including Bill Monroe, the Weavers, Seldom Scene, Pete Seeger etc.

Origins

The first recorded version seems to have been "Darling Cora" by Buell Kazee in 1927:
Wake up, wake up, darling Corey
What makes you sleep so sound
Those highway robbers are raging
Famous around your town

Wake up, wake up, darling Corey
How can you sleep so late
When those burglars now are coming
They're waiting at your gate

Just see that old train a-coming
See her coming around the curve
She's a-pulling for the station
And straining every nerve

Just see those pretty girls coming
With curls all round their head
When I see those pretty girls coming
I wish darling Corey was dead

Last night I lay on a pillow
Tonight I lay on a bed
Last night I lay on a pillow
And I dreamed darling Corey was dead
B.F. Shelton recorded a version also in 1927, with the "Dig A Hole" verse:
Oh go dig a hole in the meadow
Oh go dig a hole in the ground
Go dig a hole in the meadow
Let me lay pretty Corey down

Oh the last time I saw darlin' Corey
She was sittin' on the bank of the sea
With a forty-four around her
And a banjo on her knee

Wake up, wake up, darling Corey
How can you sleep so sound
Highway robbers are comin'
Gonna tear your still-house down

Go away, go away, darlin' Corey
And bring to me my gun
I ain't no man for trouble
But trouble just now begun

The last time I saw darling Corey
She had a forty-five in her hand
Kill them revenue officers
If they leave here with my man

Go away, go away, darling Corey
Quit your hangin' around my bed
Whisky has ruined my body
Pretty women will kill me stone dead

Across the deep blue ocean
Across the deep blue sea
Go bring to me darlin' Corey
Wherever she may be

Wake up, wake up, darlin' Corey
Go do the best you can
I have got me another woman
You can notch you another man

Oh yes, oh yes, my darlin'
I'll do the best I can
But I'll never give my pleasure
For another gamblin' man
There are numerous other versions with slight variations in the lyrics. A good sample of them is here. See also the David Nelson version.




Futher Information
For more information on recordings see Matt Schofield's Grateful Dead Family Discography

 


Home | Find words/phrases| Find Song lyrics| Dead originals| Dead covers|