Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodleloo

Lyrics: Robert Hunter
Music: Jerry Garcia

On the day that I was born Daddy sat down and cried (note 1)
I had the mark just as plain as day, I could not be denied
They say that Cain caught Abel rolling loaded dice
Ace of spades behind his ear and him not thinking twice

Half step, Mississippi uptown toodleloo (note 2)
Hello baby I'm gone goodbye
Half a cup of rock and rye
Farewell to you old southern skies
I'm on my way, on my way

If all you got to live for is what you left behind
Get yourself a powder charge and seal that silver mine
Lost my boots in transit babe, pile of smoking leather
Nailed a retread to my feet and prayed for better weather


They say that when your ship comes in, first man takes the sails
Second takes the after deck, third the planks and rails
What's the point of calling shots, this cue ain't straight in line
Cue ball's made of styrofoam and no-one's got the time


Across the Rio Grand-eo
Across the lazy river
(1) on one early version (18 July 1972), Garcia sang "... my papa sat down and died" (thanks to Lucius for pointing this out)
(2) Hunter in "Box of Rain" spells it "toodleloo." The more normal spelling, used on the cover of "Wake of the Flood" and other albums is "toodeloo." Just to add to the confusion, the sheet music spells it "toodle-oo."

Grateful Dead Recordings
     Date Album
     17 Sep 1972 Dick's Picks Vol 23
     21 Sep 1972 Dick's Picks Vol 36
     18 Nov 1972 Houston, Texas 11-18-1972
     studio 1973 Wake Of The Flood
     26 Feb 1973 Dick's Picks Vol 28
     26 Mar 1973 30 Days Of The Dead (2011)
     28 Mar 1973 Dave's Picks Volume 16   (note c)
      2 Apr 1973 Dave's Picks Volume 21
     24 Jun 1973 Pacific Northwest '73-'74
     19 Oct 1973 Dick's Picks Vol 19
      9 Nov 1973 Winterland 1973 - The Complete Recordings
     11 Nov 1973 Winterland 1973 - The Complete Recordings
     21 Nov 1973 Road Trips Volume 4, Number 3
      2 Dec 1973 Dick's Picks Vol 14
     19 Dec 1973 Dick's Picks Vol 1
     19 May 1974 Pacific Northwest '73-'74
     31 Jul 1974 Dave's Picks Volume 2
      5 Aug 1974 Dick's Picks Vol 31
     10 Sep 1974 Dick's Picks Vol 7
     19 Oct 1974 Steal Your Face
     20 Oct 1974 Grateful Dead Movie (CD only)
     17 Jul 1976 Dave's Picks Volume 18
     25 Sep 1976 Dick's Picks Vol 20
      9 Oct 1976 Dick's Picks Vol 33
     30 Apr 1977 Download Series Vol 1
      7 May 1977 May 1977: Get Shown The Light Box
     12 May 1977 Winterland June 1977 - The Complete Recordings (bonus disc)   (note a)
     17 May 1977 May 1977 Box Set
     25 May 1977 Dave's Picks Volume 1
      9 Jun 1977 Winterland June 1977 - The Complete Recordings
      3 Sep 1977 Dick's Picks Vol 15
     14 Oct 1977 Road Trips Volume 1, Number 2
      5 Nov 1977 Dick's Picks Vol 34
      6 Nov 1977 Dave's Picks Volume 25
     14 May 1978 30 Trips Around The Sun
      1 Sep 1979 30 Days Of The Dead (2016)
      3 Sep 1980 Download Series Vol 7
      7 Dec 1981 30 Days Of The Dead (2017)
     24 Jul 1987 View From The Vault IV (DVD & CD soundtrack)
      1 Apr 1988 Road Trips Volume 4, Number 2
     12 Jul 1989 RFK Stadium 1989 Box
     16 Oct 1989 Nightfall Of Diamonds
     21 Mar 1990 Without A Net   (note b)
      2 Apr 1990 Spring 1990
     18 Sep 1990 Road Trips Number 2, Volume 1 (bonus disc)
      5 Jun 1999 Love Will See You Through (Phil Lesh & Friends)
(Plus live recordings by The Dead, Furthur, Dead & Company, Ratdog, Phil Lesh & Friends etc not listed here. See Grateful Dead Family Discography for a full list.)
Other Recordings
     Date Album Recorded By
     1996 DeadBeats Acoustic DeadBeats
     1999 Laughing Water Jazz Is Dead
     2005 Jerry Jams, Jerry Cares Toni Brown Band
     2005 Deadgrass Deadgrass
      8 Feb 2006 Live At The Fillmore Grateful Grass
     29 Jul 2006 Jerry Jams for Rex Railroad Earth (note d)
     2007 Blue Light Cheap Hotel Wake The Dead
     2010 Acoustic Andrew Luttrell & Shane Grimm
     19 Feb 2010 Live: St Louis, MO Yonder Mountain String Band (note d)
     2012 Double Down Dead EP Band Of Heathens
     2016 Elem Mississippi Sagol 59 & The Promised Land
(a) also in the May 1977 Box Set
(b) also in Spring 1990 (The Other One)
(c) also on 30 Days Of The Dead (2014)
(d) The list above includes only one illustrative example of the series of live recordings by these bands. For a full list see the Grateful Dead Family Discography.

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 online chords and TAB see www.rukind.com
For sheet music, see:
          Grateful Dead Songbook Volume 2 (piano arrangement)
          Without A Net Songbook (piano arrangement)
          Garcia/Hunter Songbook (vocal line and chords/TAB)


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