I Truly Understand

Lyrics: Traditional
Music: Traditional

Garcia recorded this with David Grisman but seemingly never played it live in his 1990s sets with Grisman. He also played it in pre-Dead days, in 1962 with David Nelson in San Mateo and in 1963 with his then wife Sarah in Palo Alto.

I wish to the Lord I'd never been born
Or died when I was young
Before I'd seen your two brown eyes
Or heard your lying tongue, love (note 1)
Or heard your lying tongue

Chorus
I truly understand you love another man
And your heart shall no longer be mine
I truly understand you love another man
And your heart shall no longer be mine

I'll never listen to what another woman says
Whether her hair be either black or brown (note 2)
I'd rather be on the top of some hill
The rain a-pouring down, down
The rain a-pouring down

[chorus]

Now who's gonna shoe your pretty little foot?
And who's gonna glove your hand?
Who's gonna be your own true love
When I'm in a foreign land, love
When I'm in a foreign land?

Now mama's gonna shoe your pretty little foot (note 3)
And papa's gonna glove your hand
And I'll still be your own true love
When I'm in a foreign land, love
When I'm in a foreign land

[chorus]

I'll never listen to what another woman says (note 4)
Whether her hair be either black or brown
I'd rather be on the top of some hill
The rain a-pouring down, down
The rain a-pouring down

[chorus]
Notes
(1) in the 1960s, Garcia sang "Or heard your flattering tongue, my love"
(2) in the 1960s, Garcia sang "Let her hair be black or brown"
(3) in the 1960s, Garcia sang this verse the other way round, from the point of view of the woman rather than the man:
My momma's gonna show my pretty little foot
My pappa's gonna glove my hand
And you will be my own true love
When you're in a foreign land
(4) in the 1960s, Garcia sang this verse second rather than last

Jerry Garcia Recordings
     Date Album Recorded By
     27 Aug 1990 Shady Grove Garcia/Grisman

Notes/Roots
Matt Schofield's discography lists earlier versions, including those recorded under the title "Who's Going To Shoe Your Pretty Little Foot." Garcia may well have learnt his version from the New Lost City Ramblers, credited to "Shortbuckle Roark and Family" who recorded a version in 1928, with George Roark playing clawhammer banjo and singing the verse, while other members of his family sang along on the chorus. (thanks to Murray Altheim for pointing this out).