Hell In A Bucket

Lyrics: John Barlow
Music: Bob Weir, Brent Mydland

Played regularly by the Grateful Dead after its introduction in 1983. More recently played by Bob Weir with Ratdog

Well I was drinking last night with a biker
And I showed him a picture of you
I said "pal, get to know her, you'll like her"
Seemed like the least I could do

'Cause when he's charging his chopper
Up and down your carpeted halls
You will think me by contrast quite proper
Never mind how I stumble and fall
Never mind how I stumble and fall

You imagine sipping champagne from your boot (note 1)
For a taste of your elegant pride
I may be going to hell in a bucket
But at least I'm enjoying the ride
At least I'm enjoying the ride
Yeah at least I'm enjoying the ride

Ahh miss sweetie little soft-core pretender
Somehow baby got hard as it gets
With her black leather chrome spiked suspenders
And her chair and her whip and her pets

Well we know you're the reincarnation
Of the ravenous Catherine the Great
And we know how you love your ovations
And the Z-rated scenes you create
And the Z-rated scenes you create


You analyse me, attempt to despise me
And you laugh when I stumble and fall
There may come a day I will dance on your grave
If unable to dance I will crawl across it
Unable to dance I will crawl
Yeah, unable to dance I'll crawl

You must really consider the circus
'Cause it just might be your kind of zoo
I can't think of a place that's more perfect
For a person as perfect as you

And it's not like I'm leaving you lonely
'Cause I wouldn't know where to begin
But I know that you'll think of me only
When the snakes come marching in
When the snakes come marching in


Ride, ride, ride, ride
At least I'm enjoying the ride
Ride, ride, ride, ride
At least I'm enjoying the ride
Ride, ride, ride
At least I'm enjoying the ride
The following verse was apparently written by John Barlow for use in the song, but never sung with the Grateful Dead. But Bob Weir introduced it with Furthur in 2013.:
And while you were saying your mantra
I was humping your very best friend
And comparing myself to Sinatra
'Cause I did it my way in her end
David Gans posted the following additional verse from a rehearsal tape on 24 Jan 1983:
All those noises that come from the bedroom
Are so hard to explain to the guests
Whatever's in there should be fed soon
When they're hungry, they're unpleasant pests
(1) apparently Barlow's original version of this line was "You imagine me kissing the toe of your boot," but David Gans suggested to Bob Weir that he change it to "sipping champagne."

Grateful Dead Recordings
     Date Album
     11 Oct 1983 In And Out Of The Garden
     14 Oct 1983 Dick's Picks Vol 6
     15 Oct 1984 30 Days Of The Dead (2022)
     27 Jun 1985 30 Days Of The Dead (2013)
     studio 1987 In The Dark (note 2)
     studio 1987 Grateful Dead Scrapbook (DVD) (note 3)
     12 Jun 1987 Giants Stadium 1987, 1989, 1991 Boxed Set
     24 Jul 1987 View From The Vault IV (DVD & CD soundtrack)
     18 Sep 1987 30 Trips Around The Sun
     31 Dec 1987 Ticket To New Year's (video/DVD only)
      5 Apr 1988 30 Days Of The Dead (2019)
      3 Jul 1988 30 Trips Around The Sun
      7 Jul 1989 Crimson, White and Indigo (DVD & CD)
     13 Jul 1989 RFK Stadium 1989 Box
     12 Oct 1989 Weir Here: The Best Of Bob Weir
     19 Mar 1990 Spring 1990
     26 Mar 1990 Dozin' At The Knick (note 4)
      3 Apr 1990 Spring 1990 (The Other One)
     16 Sep 1990 Dick's Picks Vol 9
     27 Oct 1990 30 Trips Around The Sun
     17 Mar 1991 30 Days Of The Dead (2020)
     20 Mar 1992 30 Trips Around The Sun
     27 Mar 1993 30 Trips Around The Sun
     26 Jun 1994 30 Days Of The Dead (2015)

(2) also on the compilations The Arista Years, The Very Best Of The Grateful Dead and The Best Of The Grateful Dead.
(3) DVD included with deluxe edition of the Scrapbook
(4) also on the box set Spring 1990

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 dead.net see Greatest Stories Ever Told
For online chords and TAB see www.rukind.com
For sheet music, see:
          In The Dark Songbook (piano arrangement)
          Very Best Of The Grateful Dead (guitar TAB)


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