Cumberland Blues

Lyrics: Robert Hunter
Music: Jerry Garcia, Phil Lesh

I can't stay here much longer, Melinda
The sun is getting high
I can't help you with your troubles
If you won't help with mine
I gotta get down
I gotta get down
Gotta get down to the mine

You keep me up just one more night
I can't stop here no more
Little Ben clock says quarter to eight
You kept me up till four
I gotta get down
I gotta get down
Or I can't work there no more

Lotta poor man make a five dollar bill
Will keep him happy all the time
Some other fellow's making nothing at all
And you can hear him cry

Can I go, buddy, can I go down
Take your shift at the mine
Gotta get down to the Cumberland mine
That's where I mainly spend my time

Make good money, five dollars a day
If I made any more I might move away

Lotta poor man got the Cumberland Blues
He can't win for losing
Lotta poor man got to walk the line
Just to pay his union dues

I don't know now, I just don't know
If I'm going back again
I don't know now, I just don't know
If I'm going back again
Grateful Dead Recordings
     Date Album
      8 Nov 1969 Dick's Picks Vol 16
     12 Dec 1969 Dave's Picks Volume 10
     20 Dec 1969 Dave's Picks Volume 6
     21 Dec 1969 Dave's Picks Volume 6 (Bonus disc)
     studio 1970 Workingman's Dead
     17 Jan 1970 Workingman's Dead (note 1)
      2 Feb 1970 Dave's Picks Volume 6
     18 Apr 1970 Family Dog at the Great Highway
      2 May 1970 Dick's Picks Vol 8
     15 May 1970 Road Trips Vol 3 No 3 (early show)
     15 May 1970 Road Trips Vol 3 No 3 (late show)
     19 Feb 1971 Three From The Vault
     28 Apr 1971 Ladies And Gentlemen ... The Grateful Dead
     30 May 1971 Winterland 1971
      6 Aug 1971 Road Trips Number 1, Volume 3 (bonus disc)
      7 Aug 1971 Dick's Picks Vol 35
     24 Aug 1971 Dick's Picks Vol 35
     22 Oct 1971 Dave's Picks Volume 3
     26 Oct 1971 Download Series Vol 3
     15 Nov 1971 Road Trips Number 3, Volume 2
     28 Mar 1972 Dick's Picks Vol 30
      8 Apr 1972 Europe '72 (note 2)
     14 Apr 1972 Europe '72 - The Complete Recordings
     16 Apr 1972 Europe '72 - The Complete Recordings
     26 May 1972 Europe '72 - The Complete Recordings
     21 Jul 1972 Download Series Vol 10
     21 Sep 1972 Dick's Picks Vol 36
     27 Sep 1972 Dick's Picks Vol 11
     27 Mar 1988 Download Series Vol 5
      1 Apr 1988 Road Trips Volume 4, Number 2
     17 Jul 1989 Downhill From Here (video/DVD only)

Recordings from dead.net Tapers Section

"The Dead" Concert Recordings

Phil Lesh and Friends Digital Download Series

Furthur Digital Downloads and CDs
 
Other Recordings
     Date Album Recorded By
     1980 Step Up To Big Pay Cache Valley Drifters (note 3)
     1993 Dead Ringers Dead Ringers
     1997 Pickin' On The Grateful Dead David West et al
     1998  High Adventures In Japan David Nelson Band (note 4)
     1999 Swingin' To The Grateful Dead Steve Marsh et al
     2005 Jerry Jams, Jerry Cares Only Footprints
     2006 I Don't Miss Trains The Orchard Boys
     2007 Live in the Northeast Hot Buttered Rum
     21 Mar 2009 Jerry Jams for Rex Hot Buttered Rum
     2011 The Wheel: A Musical Celebration of Jerry Garcia Jesse McReynolds, David Nelson et al
     2013 Move Me Brightly Bob Weir et al (DVD)

Notes
(1) included as a bonus track on remastered album, first released as part of the box set The Golden Road (1965-1973)
(2) also on the compilation What A Long Strange Trip It's Been and on the box set Europe '72 - The Complete Recordings
(3) also on the CD collection "Stolen Roses"
(4) on the video but not the soundtrack CD


Futher 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 www.rukind.com
For sheet music, see:
          Grateful Dead Anthology Volume 2 (piano arrangement)
          Grateful Dead Authentic Guitar Classics Volume 1 (guitar TAB)
          Grateful Dead Songbook Volume 1 (piano arrangement)
          Garcia/Hunter Songbook (vocal line and chords/TAB)

 


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