Tennessee Jed

Lyrics: Robert Hunter
Music: Jerry Garcia

Cold iron shackles, ball and chain
Listen to the whistle of the evening train (note 1)
You know you bound to wind up dead
If you don't head back to Tennessee Jed

Rich man step on my poor head
When you get back you better butter my bread
Well you know it's like I said
You better head back to Tennessee Jed

Tennessee, Tennessee
There ain't no place I'd rather be
Baby won't you carry me
Back to Tennessee

Drank all day and rock all night
The law come to get you if you don't walk right
Got a letter this morning, baby, and all it read
You better head back to Tennessee Jed

I dropped four flights and cracked my spine
Buddy come quick with the iodine
Catch a few winks, baby, under the bed
Then you head back to Tennessee Jed


I ran into Charlie Phogg (note 2)
Blacked my eye and he kicked my dog
My doggie turned to me and he said
Let's head back to Tennessee Jed

I woke up feeling mean
I went down to play the slot machine
The wheels turned around and the letters read
You better head back to Tennessee Jed

(1) in the first performance, on 19 October 1971, Jerry sang "... of the passing train". Not sure if this was a mistake or an early version, but he sang "evening train" thereafter. (thanks to Ian Shure for pointing this out)
(2) "Phogg" is the spelling in Hunter's lyric collection "Box Of Rain", though the songbooks spell it "Fog"

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