Standing On The Corner

Lyrics: Grateful Dead
Music: Grateful Dead

This is not the same as the Frank Loesser song of the same name ("Standing on the corner, watching all the girls go by.") Nor with Blue Yodel #9 (which also starts "Standing On The Corner"). It was played a few times in 1966 but never taken forward.

The lyrics varied from version to version. This is the one on Birth Of The Dead:

I was standing on the corner, wondering what's become of me
I was standing on the corner, wondering what's become of me
Well things don't seem to be the way they used to seem to be

I think I'll go up on a mountain, I'll fling myself off into space
I think I'll go up on a mountain, I'll fling myself off into space
I'm not doing it because I'm desperate, I'm just trying to save some space

If you ask me what my name is, I'll just stop and scratch my head
If you ask me what my name is, I'll just stop and scratch my head
Well they took away my name and gave me a number instead

Well all the things I used to know, they seem so far behind
All the things I used to know seem so far behind
There's a lot of new things that are running around my mind
This is the studio version on Rare Cuts And Oddities, with essentially the same verses but with the final two in reverse order:
I was standing on the corner, wondering what's become of me
I was standing on the corner, wondering what's become of me
Well things don't seem to be the way they used to seem to be

I think I'll go up on a mountain, I'll fling myself off into space
I think I'll go up on a mountain, I'll fling myself off into space
I'm not doing it because I'm desperate, I'm just trying to save some space

Well the things I used to know, I left them all behind
Well the things I used to know, I left them all behind
There's a lot of new things that are running round my mind

If you ask me what my name is, I'll just stop and scratch my head
If you ask me what my name is, I'll just stop and scratch my head
Well I gave away my name and took a number instead
This is the version from 29 July on the bonus disc on the anniversary edition of The Grateful Dead (first album). It has a different final verse - thanks to Chris Wallis for originally alerting me to this verse in another July '66 performance.
I was standing on the corner, wondering what's become of me
I was standing on the corner, wondering what's become of me
Well things don't seem to be the way they used to seem to be

I think I'll go up on a mountain, I'll fling myself off into space
I think I'll go up on a mountain, I'll fling myself off into space
I'm not doing it because I'm desperate, I'm just trying to save some space

If you ask me what my name is, I'll just stop and scratch my head
If you ask me what my name is, I'll just stop and scratch my head
Well they took away my name and they gave me a number instead

If you ask me what I'm doing, I can't answer right
If you ask me what I'm doing, I can't answer right
Seems like nothin' ever changes, and nothing's gonna turn out right

Grateful Dead Recordings
     Date Album
     studio 1966 Rare Cuts And Oddities
     live Jul 1966 Birth Of The Dead (note 2)
     29 Jul 1966 The Grateful Dead: 50th Anniversary Edition

Notes
(2) originally released as part of the Rhino box set The Golden Road (1965-1973)


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

 


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