Grateful Dead

Fire On The Mountain

Lyrics By: Robert Hunter
Music By: Mickey Hart

Long distance runner, what you standing there for? (note 1)
Get up, get off, get out of the door (note 2) (note 3)
You're playing cold music on the bar room floor
Drowned in your laughter and dead to the core
There's a dragon with matches that's loose on the town
Take a whole pail of water just to cool him down

Fire, fire on the mountain
Fire, fire on the mountain
Fire, fire on the mountain
Fire, fire on the mountain

Almost ablaze, still you don't feel the heat (note 4)
It takes all you got just to stay on the beat
You say it's a living, we all gotta eat
But you're here alone, there's no one to compete
If mercy's in business, I wish it for you
More than just ashes when your dreams come true

Long distance runner, what you holding out for (note 5)
Caught in slow motion in a dash to the door
The flame from your stage has now spread to the floor
You gave all you had, why you want to give more? (note 6)
The more that you give, the more it will take
To the thin line beyond which you really can't fake

(1) the original Mickey Hart 'rap' version starts "Wrong way Billy, what you standing there for?" On at least one occasion in 1977, Jerry sang "Wrong way runner ..." (thanks to Brian Schnapp for this)

(2) the sheet music has "Get up, get out ..." but Hunter wrote (and Jerry sang) "Get up, get off ..."

(3) the version Mickey Hart sings with Mystery Box and The Other Ones uses the line from the third verse here ("Caught in slow motion ...")

(4) this is what Jerry sang, but the Hunter lyrics are "Almost aflame ..." as in the Mickey Hart version.

(5) on at least some occasions (eg 8 May 1977) Garcia starts this verse "Long distance runner, with a foot out the door; caught in slow motion, fall on the floor"

(6) this is what Jerry sang, but the Hunter lyrics are "You gave all you got ..." and that's also what Mickey Hart does.

Fire On The Mountain