Lazy River Road

Lyrics: Robert Hunter
Music: Jerry Garcia

Way down upon Sycamore Slough
A white man sings the blues
selling roses of paper maché (note 1)
with flecks of starlight dew
I swiped a bunch and threw it your way
where hazy moonlight glowed
Way down, down along Lazy River Road

Way down upon Shadowfall Ward
End of the avenue
Run, hide, seek in your own backyard
Mama's backyard won't do
All night long I sang Love's Sweet Song
down where the water flowed
Way down, down along Lazy River Road

Moonlight wails as hound dogs bay
but never quite catch the tune
Stars fall down in buckets like rain
till there ain't no standing room
Bright blue boxcars train by train
clatter where dreams unfold
Way down, down along Lazy River Road

Way down upon Seminole Square
belly of the river tide
call for me and I will be there
for the price of a taxi ride
Night double-clutches into today
like a truck downshifting its load
Way down, down along Lazy River Road

Thread the needle
right through the eye
The thread that runs so true
All the others I let pass by
I only wanted you
Never cared for careless love
but how your bright eyes glowed
Way down, down along Lazy River Road
(1) the original (French) phrase is "papier maché," but "paper maché" is a fairly common American spelling - and it scans. Thanks to Dan Franzen for pointing this out.

Grateful Dead Recordings
     Date Album
     rehearsal 18 Feb 1993 So Many Roads (1965-1995)
     25 Mar 1993 Ready Or Not
     29 Mar 1993 30 Days Of The Dead (2016)
     23 Jun 1993 30 Days Of The Dead (2017)
     26 Jun 1993 (official YouTube video only)
     31 Jul 1994 30 Days Of The Dead (2015)
(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
     2000 Crazy Fingers The Grass Is Dead
     2000 Might As Well The Persuasions (note 2)
     15 Sep 2002 Live At The Powerhouse David Gans (DVD only)
     2005 Jerry Jams, Jerry Cares David Gans
     2005 Live At The Chicory House Lex and Joe
     2011 Songs For A New Day: Almost Acoustic Phil McGee
     2015 It's A Hand-Me-Down David Gans
      2018 Cut The Dead Some Slack Stephen Inglis
      2018 On The Road John Kadlecik

(2) re-released in 2011 on "Persuasions of the Dead"
(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 online chords and TAB see
For sheet music, see:
          Grateful Dead Anthology Volume 2 (piano arrangement)
          Garcia/Hunter Songbook (vocal line and chords/TAB)


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