Long Black Veil

Lyrics: Wilkins, Deal
Music: Wilkins, Dear

Played by Garcia and Grisman in 1992, and long before that by Jerry with his then wife Sarah in 1963. Also played by the New Riders of the Purple Sage, with Donna Godchaux on backing vocals, and more recently by Phil Lesh & Friends and by Furthur.

Ten years ago, on a cold dark night
There was someone killed 'neath the town hall light
There were few there at the scene, but they all agreed
That the slayer who ran looked a lot like me

She walks these hills in a long black veil (note 1)
Visits my grave when the night winds wail
Nobody knows, nobody sees
Nobody knows, but me

The judge said son, what is your alibi?
If you were somewhere else, then you won't have to die
I spoke not a word, though it meant my life
For I had been in the arms of my best friend's wife


The gallows were close and eternity near
She stood in the crowd and shed not a tear
Sometimes at night, when the cold winds blow (note 2)
In a long black veil, she cries o'er my bones

Nobody knows but me
(1) Jerry sometimes sang "She roams these hills"
(2) Jerry sometimes sang "... cold winds moan"

Jerry Garcia Recordings
     Date Album Recorded By
      4 May 1963 Before The Dead Jerry and Sara Garcia
     4/5 Feb 1993 Pizza Tapes Garcia/Grisman/Rice
      199? Been All Around This World Garcia/Grisman
New Riders Recordings
      1 Aug 1969 Dawn Of The New Riders Of The Purple Sage
     15 Oct 1969 Dawn Of The New Riders Of The Purple Sage
     23 Nov 1972 Thanksgiving In New York City
      5 Dec 1972 Boston, MA New Riders Of The Purple Sage
     17 Mar 1973 S.U.N.Y Stonybrook, NY
     18 Mar 1973 Felt Forum, NYC
      4 Apr 1973 Worcester, MA New Riders Of The Purple Sage
     31 Dec 2006 Live: New Year's Eve

Further Information
For more information on recordings see Matt Schofield's Grateful Dead Family Discography
For sheet music, see:
          Jerry Garcia Songbook (vocal line and chords)


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