Poor Ellen Smith

Lyrics: Traditional
Music: Traditional

Played by Jerry Garcia with Marshall Leicester and Robert Hunter in San Carlos in July 1961. Thanks to Matt Schofield for the lyrics.

Poor little Ellen, sweet as a rose
How I love my Ellen, there ain't nobody knows
Ain't nobody knows
How I love my Ellen, there ain't nobody knows

Poor little Ellen, how was she found
Shot in the heart, lying cold on the ground
Lying cold on the ground
Shot in the heart, lying cold on the ground

Not drinking and gambling, just loafing around
A bullet from my pistol knocked sweet Ellen down
Knocked sweet Ellen down
A bullet from my pistol knocked sweet Ellen down

On Monday I was arrested, on Tuesday I was tried
By the laws of my country I had to abide
I had to abide
By the laws of my country I had to abide

I got a letter yesterday, I read it today
The flowers on her grave have withered away
Have withered away
The flowers on her grave have withered away

The warden told me yesterday that soon I'll be free
To visit Ellen's grave 'neath that lonely willow tree
'Neath that lonely willow tree
To visit Ellen's grave 'neath that lonely willow tree

Poor little Ellen, how was she found
Shot in the heart, lying cold on the ground
Lying cold on the ground
Shot in the heart, lying cold on the ground

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

 


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