Cream Puff War

Lyrics: Jerry Garcia
Music: Jerry Garcia

Recorded on the Grateful Dead's first album. In a 1967 interview with Larry Miller, Jerry Garcia gave some background on the title of the song:

Well, the title for the song came after the song. I already developed the idea - this is the only song that I claim totally - this is mine from beginning to end! I actually wrote it. We were down in LA, I was writing, I had the changes worked out and the bridge and the first verse... The whole thing was just meandering along. Pigpen said let's call it...Cream Puff War. (WEIR - No, I said it.) Or you did, somebody did. At any rate, the title - doesn't really mean anything particularly, it's just the name of the song. It's like, did you ever read Through the Looking Glass or Alice in Wonderland, where they have a thing about something and then the name of it, and the name of its name, and so on, so that the thing is named several times removed from the actual thing and not in any way related to it. Well, we kind of name our songs that way. So Cream Puff War is the name of that song just because it was a name that happened to be around, and then later on I happened to work it into the lyric as the last line.
No, no, she can't take your mind and leave
I know it's just another trick she's got up her sleeve
I can't believe that she really wants you to die
After all, it's more than enough to pay for your lie

Chorus (note 1)
Wait a minute, watch what you're doing with your time
All the endless ruins of the past must stay behind, yeah

Well, can't you see that you're killing each other's soul
You're both out in the streets and you got no place to go
Your constant battles are getting to be a bore
So go somewhere else and continue your cream puff war

(1) the version on "Rare Cuts and Oddities" has a different chorus:
You can't be straight with each other for more than a minute at a time
Though it's all in the past, you just won't leave it behind
Grateful Dead Recordings
     Date Album
     studio 1966 Rare Cuts And Oddities
      3 Jul 1966 30 Trips Around The Sun (note a) (note b)
     16 Jul 1966 So Many Roads (1965-1995)
     29 Jul 1966 The Grateful Dead: 50th Anniversary Edition
     studio 1967 The Grateful Dead (note c)
     18 Mar 1967 30 Days Of The Dead (2010)
(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
     1990 Wonderama Wonderama (single)
     1998 Stolen Roses Widespread Panic
     2008 Heads Ain't Ready Oneida
     26 Jul 2010 Jerry Jams for Rex Widespread Panic (note d)
     2016 Day Of The Dead Fucked Up

(a) also made available for download in 30 Days Of The Dead (2013) and 30 Days Of The Dead (2014)
(b) also on the compilation 30 Trips Around The Sun: The Definitive Live Story 1965-1995
(c) also released as the Grateful Dead 7" single volume 2 and on the compilation The Best Of The Grateful Dead.
(d) 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 online chords and TAB see
For sheet music, see:
          Grateful Dead Anthology Volume 1 (piano arrangement)


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