Grateful Dead

Ballad Of Casey Jones

Casey Jones was an old engineer (note 1)
Called for his fireman, tonight he will fear
All I need is my water and coal
Look out the window, see my driving wheel roll

One Sunday morning, in the driving rain
Around the bend came a passenger train
In the cabin stood Casey Jones
Noble engineer but he's dead and gone (note 2)

Mrs Casey when she heard the news
Sitting on her bedside, she was lacing up her shoes
Children, children now hold your breath (note 3)
You will draw a pension at your Papa's death

Children, children now get your hat
Tell me Mama what do you mean by that?
Get your hat, put it on your head
Go down town, see your daddy is dead (note 4)

Casey said before he died
Fix the blinds so that the bums can't ride (note 5)
If they ride, let them ride the rods
Put their trust in the hand of God

Casey said just before he died
Two more roads that I want to ride
People said, what roads can they be?
Old Colorado and the Santa Fe

Not to be confused with the Hunter/Garcia song "Casey Jones." This is a traditional song, with Jerry playing the version recorded by Mississippi John Hurt.The Dead played this song in some acoustic sets in 1970, and Jerry played it with the Jerry Garcia Acoustic Band as well as with John Kahn and David Grisman. This is the version Jerry played with the Dead and the JGAB.

(1) Jerry omitted this verse in the version recorded on "Shady Grove" with David Grisman(2) the lyrics with Shady Grove have this as "mobile engineer ..." but I'm sure that's a mistake(3) Jerry sometimes sang "... now get your breath" or "... catch your breath(4) Jerry sometimes sang "... see your father's dead" or "... see your papa's dead"(5) the lyrics with Shady Grove have "... so the bums can ride", but it surely should be "... can't ride." For more on this see below

Ballad Of Casey Jones