Pig In A Pen

Lyrics: Traditional/Fiddlin' Arthur Smith
Music: Traditional/Fiddlin' Arthur Smith

This was played by Jerry with Old And In The Way in 1973-74, and much earlier with the Black Mountain Boys in 1964 and with the Hart Valley Drifters in 1962.

The sleeve note with Old And In The Way's "Breakdown" says it was composed by Grand Ole Oprey fiddler Arthur Smith even though it lists the song as "traditional." It says, though, that Jerry sings the same verses as Carter Stanley, which are different from those sung by Smith.

Chorus
I got a pig, home in a pen (note 1)
Corn to feed him on
All I need is a pretty little girl
To feed him when I'm gone

Dark clouds are rising (note 2)
Sure sign of rain
Get your old grey bonnet on
Sweet little Liza Jane

[chorus]

Bake 'em biscuits, baby
Bake 'em good and brown
When you get them biscuits baked
We're Alabama bound

[chorus]

Goin' on a mountain (note 3)
To sow a little cane
Raise a barrel of sorghum (note 4)
Sweet little Liza Jane

[chorus]
[chorus]
Notes
(1) in the 1964 version with the Black Mountain Boys, the chorus is not sung before the first verse
(2) this is the order of the verses on "Old And In The Way" (and on the 1962 and 1964 versions), but Jerry sings this verse last instead of first on "Breakdown"
(3) it sounds as if Jerry gets the words muddled on the version on "Old And In The Way", and starts to sing "Bake 'em biscuits ..." again so that it comes out something like "Bake them on a mountain"!
(4) Jerry sings something different in the earliest version of this - "Mix a batch of sorghum"

Jerry Garcia Recordings
     Date Album Recorded By
     fall 1962 Folk Time Hart Valley Drifters
     1 Oct 1973 Breakdown Old And In The Way (note a)
     8 Oct 1973 Old And In The Way Old And In The Way (note b)
Notes
(a) also on the soundtrack to the movie Grateful Dawg
(b) also included on Live At The Boarding House

The Hart Valley Drifters album credits it to Fiddlin' Arthur Smith, who first recorded it in 1937 with different lyrics apart from the chorus:
Chorus
Got that pig at home in a pen
Corn to feed him on
All I want is a pretty little girl
To feed him when I'm gone

Went to see my darling
What do you think she said
She said she wouldn't marry me
[unclear]

[chorus]

When she see me coming
She wrings her hands and cries
Yonder comes the sweetest boy
That ever lived or died

When she see me leaving
She wrings her hand and cries
Yonder goes the meanest boy
That ever lived or died

[chorus]
Jerry Garcia follows the Stanley Brothers' version, though they hav the verses in a different order and with one additional verse that Jerry doesn't sing:
Chorus
I got a pig at home in a pen
Corn to feed him on
All I need's a pretty little girl
To feed him when I'm gone

Goin' on the mountain
To sow a little cane
Raise a barrel of sorghum
To sweeten ol' Liza Jane

[chorus]

Black cloud's a-risin'
Surest sign of rain
Get the old gray bonnet on
Little Liza Jane

[chorus]

Yonder comes that gal of mine
How d'you think I know
Can tell by that gingham gown
Hangin' down so low

[chorus]

Bake them biscuits, lady
Bake 'em good n' brown
When you get them biscuits baked
We're Alabamy bound

[chorus]

Futher Information
For more information on recordings see Matt Schofield's Grateful Dead Family Discography
For online chords and TAB see www.rukind.com
For sheet music, see:
          Jerry Garcia Songbook (vocal line and chords)
          Old And In The Way Banjo Songbook (banjo TAB)

 


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