Grateful Dead

Brown-Eyed Women

Lyrics By: Robert Hunter
Music By: Jerry Garcia

Gone are the days when the ox fall down (note a) Take up the yoke and plough the fields around Gone are the days when the ladies said "please Gentle Jack Jones won't you come to me" (note b)

Brown-eyed women and red grenadine The bottle was dusty but the liquor was clean Sound of the thunder with the rain pouring down And it looks like the old man's getting on

Nineteen twenty when he stepped to the bar Drank to the dregs of the whiskey jar Nineteen thirty when the wall caved in He made his way selling red-eyed gin (note c)

Delilah Jones was the mother of twins Two times over and the rest were sins Raised eight boys, only I turned bad (note d) Didn't get the lickings that the other ones had

Tumble-down shack in Big Foot County Snowed so hard that the roof caved in Delilah Jones went to meet her God And the old man never was the same again

Daddy made whiskey and he made it well Cost two dollars and it burned like hell (note e) I cut hickory just to fire the still Drink down a bottle and you're ready to kill (note f)

And it looks like the old man's getting on

(a) in a very early version, on 24 August 1971 (DP35) Jerry sang "... when the ox broke down."
(b) the lyrics in "Box Of Rain" are "gently, Jack Jones, won't you come to me" and that's what Hunter sings in solo performances. Jerry also sang that in early performances, but changed it subsequently to "gentle Jack Jones ..." - or that's certainly what it sounds like to me.
(c) the Hunter lyrics are "He paid his way ..." and Garcia sang that in early versions. But it sounds to me as if he later sang it as "He made his way ..."
(d) in the version on 24 August 1971, Jerry sang "Three times over ..." and ""Thirteen children, only I turned bad"
(e) at least once in 1985, Jerry sang "Cost five dollars ..." (thanks to Doug Reddick for pointing this out)
(f) in early versions, Jerry sang "Drink to the dregs and you're fit to kill"

Robert Hunter has added some additional verses in solo performances - the following from 2 November 1998 (hard to decipher):

[?] my older brother, his name was Ben
My sister died at the age of ten
We followed up to the burying ground
Was the first time Daddy's tears hit the ground

First came school, and then came the law
[...] and the wall [...]
But I grew up just a little too slow
I moved over into Arkansas

When I went back it was twenty years' later
Tears were falling at the place again

[I think the next bit is a fragment from a different song]
My moma they were gone [...], lay down, lay down
[...] in her arms, saying baby, babe lay down
Lay down
Lay down
And I see your slumber [...]

Brown-Eyed Women