Grateful Dead

Friend Of The Devil

Lyrics By: Robert Hunter

I lit out from Reno, I was trailed by twenty hounds (note a)
Didn't get to sleep that night till the morning came around

Set out running but I take my time
A friend of the devil is a friend of mine
If I get home before daylight I just might get some sleep
Tonight

I ran into the devil babe, he loaned me twenty bills
I spent the night in Utah in a cave up in the hills

I ran down to the levee but the devil caught me there (note b)
He took my twenty dollar bill and vanished in the air

Got two reasons why I cry away each lonely night
The first one's named sweet Anne Marie and she's my heart's delight
Second one is prison baby, sheriff's on my trail (note c)
And if he catches up with me I'll spend my life in jail

Got a wife in Chino babe, and one in Cherokee
First one says she's got my child but it don't look like me

The Dead song most covered by other people since it was first released on "American Beauty."

(a) in very early versions (eg 3 April 1970), Jerry sang "I set out from Reno, I was trailed by thirty hounds.

(b) in some early versions, Jerry sang a different verse:

I went to the levee but the devil caught my scent
So I coughed two hundred bills to pay back what was lent

(c) in early versions (eg 3 April 1970), Jerry sang "sheriff's on my tail" rather than "... on my trail"

Robert Hunter wrote another verse that he performed himself (eg on "Jack O' Roses"). See also below for the evolution of Robert Hunter's lyrics into their final form.

You can borrow from the devil, you can borrow from a friend
But the devil will give you twenty, when your friend got only ten

Friend Of The Devil