Ghost Riders In The Sky

Lyrics: Stan Jones
Music: Stan Jones

Played in a couple of sessions at Mickey Hart's barn in Novato in the early 1970s but never released. One recording was made on 21 August 1971, probably with Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, David Crosby and John Cipollina. The other was part of the "Area Code 415" sessions with Mickey Hart, John Cipollina, David Freiberg and Jim McPherson. Robert Hunter has also played it in solo performance in 2002.

An old cowpoke went riding out on a dark and windy day
Upon a ridge he rested as he went along his way
When all at once a mighty herd of red-eyed cows he saw
A-plowing through the ragged sky, and up a cloudy draw

Their brands were still on fire and their hooves were made of steel
Their horns were black and shiny, and their hot breath he could feel
A bolt of fear went through him as they thundered through the sky
He saw the riders coming hard and he heard their mournful cry
Yippie-aye-oh, yippie-aye-ay, ghost riders in, in the sky

Their faces gaunt their eyes were blurred, their shirts all soaked with sweat
They're riding hard to catch that herd but they ain't caught them yet
'Cause they've got to ride forever on that range up in the sky
On horses snorting fire, as they ride and hear their cry
Yippie-aye-oh, yippie-aye-ay, ghost riders in, in the sky

As the riders loped on by him, he heard one call his name
If you want to save your soul from hell a-riding on our range
Then cowboy change your ways today or with us you will ride
A-trying to catch the devil's herd riding through these endless skies
Yippie-aye-oh, yippie-aye-ay, ghost riders in, in the sky
Mickey Hart Recordings
     Date Album Recorded By
     studio 1973 Area Code 415 Mickey Hart (unreleased)

Further Information
For more information on recordings see Matt Schofield's Grateful Dead Family Discography


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