Tons Of Steel

Lyrics: Brent Mydland
Music: Brent Mydland

I know these rails we're on like I know my lady's smile
Re-see a dozen dreams in every passing mile
Can't begin to count the trips
That she and I have made
But I wish I had a dollar
For each time we both been down this grade

Nine hundred thousand tons of steel
Made to roll
Her brakes don't work and this grade's so steep
Her engine's sure to blow
Nine hundred thousand tons of steel
Out of control
She's more a roller-coaster than the train I used to know

It's one hell of an understatement to say she can get mean
She's temperamental, more a bitch than a machine
She wasn't built to travel at
The speed a rumour flies
These wheels are bound to jump the tracks
Before they burn the ties


Murphy's sure outdone himself to pick this stretch of track
I can only hope my luck is riding in the back
Well I have prayed to God
This ain't the day we meet
I've done about everything
But try dragging my feet


Oo, oo, I wanna go down slow
Oo, oo, oo, oo, oo
Nine hundred thousand tons of steel
Out of control
She's more a roller coaster than the train I used to know
Grateful Dead Recordings
     Date Album
     28 Apr 1985 Dave's Picks Vol 49
     studio 1987 In The Dark
     12 Jun 1987 Giants Stadium 1987, 1989, 1991 Boxed Set
     26 Jul 1987 View From The Vault IV (DVD & CD soundtrack)
Other Recordings
     Date Album Recorded By
     2005 The 1000th Show Dark Star Orchestra
      2006 With A Large Slice Of Love The Sandwich Man (Dark Star Orchestra)

Brent also recorded it for a solo album but it was never released.

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:
          In The Dark Songbook (piano arrangement)


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