Lyrics: Robert Hunter
Music: Jerry Garcia

Since it cost a lot to win (note 1)
And even more to lose
You and me bound to spend some time
Wondering what to choose

Goes to show, you don't ever know
Watch each card you play and play it slow
Wait until that deal come round
Don't you let that deal go down, no, no (note 2)

I've been gambling here abouts
For ten good solid years
If I told you all that went down
It would burn off both your ears


Since you poured the wine for me
And tightened up my shoes
I hate to leave you sitting there
Composing lonesome blues

Wait until that deal come round
Don't you let that deal go down
[repeat etc]
(1) the sheet music in "Garcia" and "Anthology Volume 1" both have "Since it costs a lot to win." But Hunter's lyrics in "Box Of Rain" and the later "Jerry Garcia Songbook" both have "Since it cost ..." which seems to be what Jerry sang.
(2) this has obvious links to Charlie Poole's "Don't Let You Deal Go Down Blues", recorded in 1925

Grateful Dead Recordings

Jerry Garcia Recordings

Covers etc

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 Songbook (piano arrangement)
          Jerry Garcia Songbook (vocal line and chords)
          Garcia/Hunter Songbook (vocal line and chords/TAB)


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