I Washed My My Hands In Muddy Water

Lyrics: Joe Babcock
Music: Joe Babcock

This was played only once by the Grateful Dead, in 1971, when Garcia managed a rather truncated version:

I washed my hands in muddy water
I washed my hands but they wouldn't come clean
I washed my hands in muddy water
But I must have washed my hands in a muddy stream

Well I was born in ol' Virginia
North Carolina, I did roam
If I'd listen to what daddy told me
I would not be so all alone

Recordings from dead.net Tapers Section


Origins
The first recording was by Stonewall Jackson in 1964. It was subsequently recorded by many others, including Johnny Rivers who had a hit with it in 1966. The Stonewall Jackson lyrics are:
I was born in Macon Georgia
Met my dad in the Macon jail
Dady said "Son, if you keep your hands clean
You won't hear them bloodhounds on your trail"

But I fell in with bad companions
Killed a man up in Tennessee
Sheriff caught me way up in Nasville
They locked me up and they threw away the key

Chorus
I washed my hands in muddy water
I washed my hands but they didn't come clean
I tried to do like my daddy told me
But I must have washed my hands in a muddy stream

I asked the jailer when my times up
He said "Son, we won't forget
But if you try to keep your hands clean
We may make a good man of you yet

I couldn't wait to serve my sentence
I broke out of that Nashville jail
And I crossed that line of Georgia
And I can hear the bloudhounds on my trail

[chorus]


Futher Information
For more information on recordings see Matt Schofield's Grateful Dead Family Discography
For online chords and TAB see www.rukind.com

 


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