Lyrics: Ron McKernan
Music: Ron McKernan

Operator, can you help me
Help me if you please
Give me the right area code
And the number that I need
My rider left upon the midnight flyer
Singing like a summer breeze

I think she's somewhere down south
Down about Baton Rouge
But I just can't remember no number
A number I can use
Directory don't have it, Central done forgot it
Got to find a number to use

Trying to check out her number
Trying to run down her line
Operator said that's privileged information
And it ain't no business of mine
It's flooding down in Texas, the poles are down in Utah (note 1)
Got to find a private line

She could be hanging round a steel mill
Working in a house of blue light
Riding a getaway bus out of Portland
Talking to the night
I don't know where she's going, I don't care where she's been
Long as she's been doing it right
Long as she's been doing it right
(1) the sheet music has "... the poles are down in Utah" but Seth Zamost has pointed out to me that it sounds very much as if Pigpen sings "... the poles are out in Utah.

Grateful Dead Recordings
     Date Album
     studio 1970 American Beauty
     18 Sep 1970 30 Days Of The Dead (2015)
Covers By Other Artists
     Date Album Recorded By
     2001 Gratefully Yours Jim Hudak
     2001 Blues Tribute To The Grateful Dead Various (Richie Castellano)
     2003 Ukelele Summit 5 Various (Jim Beloff)
     2007 At Fine Arts Center, UMass The American Beauty Project
     2009 River Of Time Jorma Kaukonen

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:
          Grateful Dead Anthology Volume 1 (piano arrangement)
          Grateful Dead Songbook Volume 1 (piano arrangement)


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