Stealin'

Lyrics: Gus Cannon/Will Shade arr. Grateful Dead
Music: Gus Cannon/Will Shade arr. Grateful Dead

This is an old jug-band song, recorded by the Memphis Jug Band among others. Authorship is sometimes ascribed to Gus Cannon, sometimes to Will Shade. It was played by the Dead their early days in 1966 but then dropped out of favour.

Put your arms around me like a circle round the sun
I wanna love you moma like my easy rider done (note 1)

Chorus
You don't believe I love you, look what a fool I've been (note 2)
You don't believe I'm sinking, look what a hole I'm in
Stealin', stealin', pretty moma don't you tell on me
I'm stealin' back to my same old used to be

The woman I love she's just my height and size
A married girl, come to see me some time

[chorus]

Well I'm going up North, gonna see my girl (note 3)
Sweetest thing in the whole wide world

[chorus]

Stealin', stealin', pretty moma don't you tell on me
I'm stealin' back to my same old used to be
Notes
(1) the original Memphis Jug Band version is "I want you to love me mama like my easy rider done", which makes better sense. But Jerry always seems to have sung "I wanna love you mama ..." And on some versions he sings "I wanna love you rider ..."
(2) again, the original Memphis Jug Band version is "If you don't believe I love you, look what a fool I've been", and similarly for the next line. Jerry often only got part of these lines out, singing "Believe I'm sinking, what a fool I've been" for example on some live versions.
(3) this verse does not appear in the Memphis Jug Band version. I'm not sure where Jerry got it from.
(4) When Bob Weir sang this with Ratdog on 11 Nov 2008, he sang a different third verse:
Loves my whiskey, loves my wine
Well my whiskey, ease my mind
Grateful Dead Recordings
     Date Album
      2 Mar 1966 Rare Cuts And Oddities
     studio 1966 Birth Of The Dead (note a)
     studio 1966 Birth Of The Dead (instrumental) (note a)
      live 1966 Historic Dead
 
Jerry Garcia Recordings
      4 Jun 1992 Shady Grove Garcia/Grisman
Notes
(a) originally released as part of the Rhino box set The Golden Road (1965-1973)