Brown-Eyed Women

Lyrics: Robert Hunter
Music: Jerry Garcia

Gone are the days when the ox fall down (note a)
Take up the yoke and plow the fields around
Gone are the days when the ladies said "please
Gentle Jack Jones won't you come to me" (note b)

Brown-eyed women and red grenadine
The bottle was dusty but the liquor was clean
Sound of the thunder with the rain pouring down
And it looks like the old man's getting on

Nineteen twenty when he stepped to the bar
Drank to the dregs of the whiskey jar
Nineteen thirty when the Wall caved in (note c)
He made his way selling red-eyed gin (note d)


Delilah Jones was the mother of twins
Two times over and the rest were sins (note h)
Raised eight boys, only I turned bad (note e) (note j)
Didn't get the lickings that the other ones had


Tumble-down shack in Big Foot County
Snowed so hard that the roof caved in
Delilah Jones went to meet her God (note i)
And the old man never was the same again

Daddy made whiskey and he made it well
Cost two dollars and it burned like hell (note f)
I cut hickory just to fire the still
Drink down a bottle and you're ready to kill (note g)


And it looks like the old man's getting on
(a) in a very early version, on 24 August 1971 (DP35) Jerry sang "... when the ox broke down."
(b) the lyrics in "Box Of Rain" are "gently, Jack Jones, won't you come to me" and that's what Hunter sings in solo performances. But, interestingly, his hand-written lyrics have "gentle". Jerry sang "gently" in early performances, but changed it subsequently to "gentle Jack Jones ..." - or that's certainly what it sounds like to me.
(c) in solo performances, Robert Hunter sometimes sang "... when Wall Street caved in."
(d) the Hunter lyrics are "He paid his way ..." and Garcia sang that in early versions. But it sounds to me as if he later sang it as "He made his way ...". Hunter's hand-written lyrics have "brown-eyed gin" crossed out and changed to "red-eyed".
(e) in the version on 24 August 1971, Jerry sang "Three times over ..." and "Thirteen children, only I turned bad"
(f) at least once in 1985, Jerry sang "Cost five dollars ..." (thanks to Doug Reddick for pointing this out)
(g) in early versions, Jerry sang "Drink two drinks and you're fit to kill"
(h) in 1978, Hunter sang this line as "Several times over but she never married him"
(i) Robert Hunter's handwritten lyrics suggest the line was originally "went to meet her Guide"
(j) Hunter's hand-written lyrics have "Raised eight boys on the [illegible] I turned bad"

Robert Hunter has added some additional verses in solo performances - the following from 2 November 1998 (hard to decipher):
[?] my older brother, his name was Ben
My sister died at the age of ten
We followed up to the burying ground
Was the first time Daddy's tears hit the ground

First came school, and then came the law
[...] and the wall [...]
But I grew up just a little too slow
I moved over into Arkansas

When I went back it was twenty years' later
Tears were falling at the place again

[I think the next bit is a fragment from a different song]
My moma they were gone [...], lay down, lay down
[...] in her arms, saying baby, babe lay down
Lay down
Lay down
And I see your slumber [...]
Grateful Dead Recordings
     Date Album
     24 Aug 1971 Dick's Picks Vol 35
     21 Oct 1971 Dave's Picks Volume 3
      7 Dec 1971 Dave's Picks Volume 22
     27 Mar 1972 Dave's Picks Vol 14 (bonus disc)
      8 Apr 1972 Europe '72 - The Complete Recordings
     11 Apr 1972 Europe '72 - The Complete Recordings
     14 Apr 1972 Europe '72 (note 1)
      4 May 1972 Europe '72 - The Complete Recordings
     11 May 1972 Europe '72 - The Complete Recordings
     25 May 1972 Europe '72 - The Complete Recordings
     24 Sep 1972 30 Trips Around The Sun
     17 Nov 1972 Dave's Picks Volume 11
     31 Dec 1972 Live Jive (KSAN Benefit CD)
     26 Mar 1973 30 Days Of The Dead (2017)
     28 Mar 1973 Dave's Picks Volume 16
      2 Apr 1973 Dave's Picks Volume 21
     22 Jun 1973 Pacific Northwest '73-'74
     26 Jun 1973 Pacific Northwest '73-'74
      9 Nov 1973 Winterland 1973 - The Complete Recordings
     14 Nov 1973 30 Trips Around The Sun
     17 Nov 1973 Dave's Picks Volume 5
      2 Dec 1973 Dick's Picks Vol 14
     24 Feb 1974 Dave's Picks Volume 13
     23 Mar 1974 Dick's Picks Vol 24
     14 May 1974 Dave's Picks Volume 9
     21 May 1974 Pacific Northwest '73-'74
     19 Jul 1974 Dave's Picks Volume 17
     31 Jul 1974 Dave's Picks Volume 2
     11 Sep 1974 Dick's Picks Vol 7
      9 Jun 1976 Road Trips Volume 4, Number 5
     10 Jun 1976 June 1976 Box Set
     11 Jun 1976 June 1976 Box Set
     14 Jun 1976 June 1976 Box Set
     18 Jun 1976 Download Series Vol 4
     19 Jun 1976 June 1976 Box Set
     16 Jul 1976 Dave's Picks Volume 18
     25 Sep 1976 Dick's Picks Vol 20
     10 Oct 1976 Dick's Picks Vol 33
     25 Apr 1977 30 Trips Around The Sun
      4 May 1977 Around The Fire (Soundtrack)
      8 May 1977 May 1977: Get Shown The Light Box
      9 May 1977 May 1977: Get Shown The Light Box
     11 May 1977 May 1977 Box Set
     12 May 1977 May 1977 Box Set
     13 May 1977 May 1977 Box Set
     15 May 1977 May 1977 Box Set
     17 May 1977 May 1977 Box Set
     21 May 1977 Dick's Picks Vol 29
     25 May 1977 Dave's Picks Volume 1
     28 May 1977 To Terrapin: Hartford '77
      8 Jun 1977 Winterland June 1977 - The Complete Recordings
      4 Nov 1977 Dave's Picks Volume 12
      3 Feb 1978 Dick's Picks Vol 18
     24 Apr 1978 Dave's Picks Volume 7
      7 May 1978 30 Days Of The Dead (2016)
     14 May 1978 30 Trips Around The Sun
     25 Oct 1979 30 Days Of The Dead (2018)
     27 Oct 1979 30 Trips Around The Sun
      3 Dec 1979 Dave's Picks Vol 31
     26 Dec 1979 Dick's Picks Vol 5
     16 May 1981 30 Trips Around The Sun
      6 Apr 1982 Road Trips Volume 4, Number 4
     31 Jul 1982 30 Trips Around The Sun
      2 Sep 1983 Dave's Picks Volume 27
     20 Apr 1984 Dave's Picks Volume 35
      1 Nov 1985 Dick's Picks Vol 21
      2 Apr 1989 Download Series Vol 9
      9 Jul 1989 Giants Stadium 1987, 1989, 1991 Boxed Set
     26 Oct 1989 30 Trips Around The Sun
     19 Mar 1990 Spring 1990
      2 Apr 1990 Spring 1990
     17 Jun 1991 Giants Stadium 1987, 1989, 1991 Boxed Set (CD and DVD)
     20 Mar 1992 30 Trips Around The Sun
      1 Jul 1992 (official YouTube video only)
     16 Dec 1992 Dick's Picks Vol 27

(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.)
Covers etc
     Date Album Recorded By
      1986 Fiesta En La Biblioteca Pontiac Brothers (note 2)
      1990 Box Of Rain Robert Hunter
      1995 Live At The Dock Street Theatre Blue Dogs
      2000 Dead Grass Vassar Clements
      2003 Bringin It Back The Orchard Boys
      2004 20 Degrees Of Solitude The Grass Is Dead
     2004 Werewolves Of Atlanta: Halloween 2004 Dark Star Orchestra
      8 Feb 2006 Live At The Fillmore Grateful Grass
     2007 U Liners U Liners
     2007 On The Spirit Trail Woody
     2008 From The Hillside Matt Miklus & Friends
     2008 Fennario: Songs by Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter Emory Joseph
     2008 Ithica 30 Years Later Dark Star Orchestra
     2008 Under the Influence: Drinking Songs, Vol. 1 P.J.Elliott
     2009 North By Northeast Three Quarter North
     2009 Where Was The Love Lesti Huff Band
     2010 Welcome To The Smalltimore Howard Markham
     2010 One Hesher, Two Punks And A Hippy Punk Is Dead
     26 May 2011 Jerry Jams for Rex II Chris Robinson Brotherhood
     2012 Vacilador The Giving Tree Band
     2012 D'Eadphibians D'Amphibiand
     2012 Run For The Roses Tim Bluhm et al (Rex Foundation)
     2012 Jun 26 2012, San Francisco CA Chris Robinson Brotherhood (note 3)
     2012 Aug 3 2012, San Rafael CA Yonder Mountain String Band (note 3)
     2014 Oct 30 2014 New York NY The Infamous Stringdusters (note 3)
     2015 The Promised Land: Acoustic Sessions Sagol 59 & Ami Yares
     14 May 2015 Dear Jerry: Celebrating The Music Of Jerry Garcia Trampled By Turtles
     2015 Jun 30 2015, San Rafael CA Reid Genauer
     2015 Songs Of Their Own Keller Williams
     2016 Day Of The Dead Hiss Golden Messenger
     2019 Dead Air Lord Nelson
     2020 World Full Of Blues Rob Ickes & Trey Hensley

(1) also on the compilations What A Long Strange Trip It's Been and The Best Of The Grateful Dead Live, and on the box set Europe '72 - The Complete Recordings
(2) also included on the compilation "Stolen Roses"
(3) The list above includes only one illustrative example of the series of live recordings by these artists. 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 David Dodd's discussion of this song on see Greatest Stories Ever Told
For online chords and TAB see
For sheet music, see:
          Grateful Dead Anthology Volume 1 (piano arrangement)
          Garcia/Hunter Songbook (vocal line and chords/TAB)


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