Easy Wind

Lyrics: Robert Hunter
Music: Robert Hunter

I've been balling a shiny black steel jack-hammer
Been chipping up rocks for the great highway (note 1)
I'll live five years if I take my time
Balling that jack and drinking my wine

I been chipping them rocks from dawn till doom
While my rider hide my bottle in the other room (note 2)
Doctor say better stop balling that jack
If I live five years I'm gonna bust my back, yes I will (note 3)

Easy wind, cross the Bayou today (note 4)
'Cause there's a whole lotta women, Mama
Out in red on the streets today (note 5)
And the river keeps a talking
But you never heard a word it said

Gotta find a woman be good to me
Won't hide my liquor try, to serve me tea
'Cause I'm a stone jack baller and my heart is true
And I'll give everything that I got to you, yes I will

(1) it sounds as if Pigpen sang "picking up rocks ..." on 30 August 1969.
(2) on the version on DP16, Pigpen sings "While my baby hide my bottle ..."
(3) on DP16, Pigpen sings "In another five years I'm gonna bust my back"
(4) on DP16, Pigpen starts with the chorus before before the first verse, and he sings "Easy wind, blowin' cross the Bayou today"
(5) variants that Pigpen sang include "Out dressed in red ...", "Out on the streets in red today" and "Out in red that way."

Grateful Dead Recordings
      8 Nov 1969 Dick's Picks Vol 16
     12 Dec 1969 Dave's Picks Volume 10
     studio 1970 Workingman's Dead
     16 Jan 1970 Workingman's Dead (note 5)
     15 May 1970 Road Trips Vol 3 No 3 (early show) (note 6)
     Jun/Jul 1970 Festival Express (DVD)
     31 Dec 1970 New Year's Eve At The Winterland
     19 Feb 1971 Three From The Vault
Other Recordings
     Date Album Recorded By
     1985 Live '85 Robert Hunter
     20 May 2005 Live At The Sweetwater Saloon Mark Karan's Buds
      2009 Walk Through The Fire Mark Karan
     12 Jul 2012 Live At The Iridium Donna Jean Godchaux Band
     2016 Days Of The Dead Bill Callahan

(5) included as a bonus track on remastered album, first released as part of the box set The Golden Road (1965-1973). Also released for download on 30 Days Of The Dead (2010).
(6) also on Fallout From The Phil Zone
(7) a 27 Feb 1970 Grateful Dead recording has been made available for download as an outtake from "So Many Roads (1965-1995)"

Further 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 David Dodd's discussion of this song on dead.net see Greatest Stories Ever Told
For online chords and TAB see www.rukind.com
For sheet music, see:
          Grateful Dead Songbook Volume 1 (piano arrangement)


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