Black Muddy River

Lyrics: Robert Hunter
Music: Jerry Garcia

When the last rose of summer pricks my fingers
And the hot sun chills me to the bone
When I can't hear the song for the singer
And I can't tell my pillow from a stone

I will walk alone by the black muddy river
And sing me a song of my own
I will walk alone by the black muddy river
Sing me a song of my own

When the last bolt of sunshine hits the mountain
And the stars seem to splatter in the sky
When the moon splits the south west horizon
And scream of an eagle on the fly

I will walk alone by the black muddy river
And listen to the ripples as they moan
I will walk alone by the black muddy river
Sing me a song of my own

Black muddy river
Roll on forever
I don't care how deep and wide
If you got another side
Roll muddy river
Roll muddy river
Black muddy river, roll

When it seems like the night will last forever
And there's nothing left to do but count the years
When the strings of my heart start to sever
And stones fall from my eyes instead of tears

I will walk alone by the black muddy river
And dream me a dream of my own
I will walk alone by the black muddy river
Sing me a song of my own
And sing me a song of my own
Grateful Dead Recordings
     Date Album
     (studio) 5 Dec 1986 In The Dark   (note 2)
     (studio) Jan 1987 In The Dark   (note 1)
      3 Apr 1989 Download Series Vol 9
      2 Apr 1990 Spring 1990

Recordings from dead.net Tapers Section

Furthur Digital Downloads and CDs

"The Dead" Concert Recordings

Ratdoglive CDs and downloads
 
Other Recordings
     Date Album Recorded By
     1996 Norma Waterson Norma Waterson
     1997 Fire On The Mountain Vol 2 Reggae Celebrates The Grateful Dead (Israel Vibration)
     1998 Heart Of England Volume 2 Waterson: Carthy (note 3)
     2000 Might As Well The Persuasions (note 4)
     2000 Wake The Dead Danny Carnahan et al
     2000 Crazy Fingers The Grass Is Dead
     2000 Here Come The Noisemakers Bruce Hornsby
     2001 Gifts From The Dead Gifts From The Dead
     2003 Ukelele Summit 5 Various (Mark Cass & Uke Topia)
     2003 Guitar Harvest Vol 1 Joel Harrison
     2003 All Together Now Danny Kalb
     2005 Bee Speed Bee Speed
     2006 Faces Blueground Undergrass
     2007 Stories Misty River
     2010 Songs Of The Grateful Dead Jesse McReynolds
     2011 The Wheel: A Musical Celebration of Jerry Garcia Jesse McReynolds, David Nelson et al
     2013 Harpin' On The Dead Anela Lauren

(1) also on the compilation album The Arista Years.
(2) rehearsal issued as a bonus track in the box set Beyond Description (1973-1990)
(3) I think it is this version which is also on the Watersons' Box Set "Mighty River Of Song." A different live Waterson:Carthy recording (from July 2000) was released on a German compilation "Tanz & Folkfest Rudolstadt." There's also what I think is a different live Waterson:Carthy version on "Cool As Folk" from the Cambridge Folk Festival.
(4) also on the compilation "Stolen Roses." And re-released in 2011 on "Persuasions of the Dead"


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
For information on references in the lyrics see David Dodd's Annotated Grateful Dead Lyrics
For online chords and TAB see www.rukind.com
For sheet music, see:
          Grateful Dead Anthology Volume 2 (piano arrangement)
          Built To Last Songbook (piano arrangment)
          Garcia/Hunter Songbook (vocal line and chords/TAB)

 


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