Grateful Dead

Little Sadie

Lyrics By: Traditional
Music By: Traditional

Went out last night to take a look around
Met little Sadie and I blowed her down
Went right home, went to bed
Forty-four smokeless under my head

Woke up the next morning about half past nine (note 1)
The hacks and the buggies all standing in line
The gents and the gamblers standing all around
Taking little Sadie to her burying ground

Well I began to think what a deed I'd done
Grabbed my hat and away I run
Made a good run, but a little too slow
They overtook me in Jericho

I'm standing on the corner reading a bill (note 2)
Along came the sheriff from Thomasville
Says "Young man, is your name Brown?
Remember the night you blowed Sadie down?"

Oh, yes sir, my name is Lee (note 3)
I murdered little Sadie in the first degree
First degree and the second degree
Got any papers woould you read 'em to me

Well they took me downtown all dressed in black
Put me on the train and sent me back
Sent me back to the county jail
I had nobody for to go my bail

The judge and the jury they took the stand
The judge held the paper in his right hand
Forty-one days, forty-one nights
Forty-one years to wear the ball and stripes

This was played half a dozen times in all by the Dead (and also by Garcia solo or with David Grisman). The lyrics below are a composite from versions in 1969/70 and on the "Pizza Tapes". They represent the fullest version sung: when played by the Dead in 1980 there were fewer verses.

(1) this verse is on the "Pizza Tapes" but I don't think Garcia sang it with the Dead

(2) some lyric versions have this as "ringing my bell", but that seems to be a mis-hearing of "reading a bill" or "reading my bills"

(3) this is a verse the Dead sang in 1969/70. On the "Pizza Tapes", Garcia sings the "judge and jury" verse here (as well as at the end). I think this is a mistake - the verse about bail should come before the verse about the trial!

Little Sadie