Grateful Dead

Peggy-O

Lyrics By: Traditional
Music By: Traditional

As we rode out to Fennario
As we rode out to Fennario
Our captain fell in love with a lady like a dove
And he called her by name pretty Peggy-O

Will you marry me, pretty Peggy-O
Will you marry me, pretty Peggy-O
If you will marry me, I will set your cities free
And free all the ladies in the area-O (note 1)

I would marry you, sweet William-O
I would marry you, sweet William-O
I would marry you, but your guineas are too few (note 2)
And I fear my mama would be angry-O

What would your mama think, pretty Peggy-O
What would your mama think, pretty Peggy-O
What would your mama think if she heard my guineas clink (note 2)
And saw me marching at the head of my soldiers-O

If ever I return, pretty Peggy-O
If ever I return, pretty Peggy-O
If ever I return, all your cities I will burn
Destroy all the ladies in the area-O (note 1)

Come stepping down the stairs, pretty Peggy-O (note 3)
Come stepping down the stairs, pretty Peggy-O
Come stepping down the stairs, combing back your yellow hair
And bid a last farewell to young William-O

Sweet William he is dead, pretty Peggy-O (note 4)
Sweet William he is dead, pretty Peggy-O
Sweet William he is dead, and he died for a maid
And he's buried in the Louisiana country-O

As we rode out to Fennario
As we rode out to Fennario
Our captain fell in love with a lady like a dove
And he called her by name pretty Peggy-O

A traditional ballad played regularly by Jerry Garcia with the Grateful Dead from the early '70s.

(1) in earlier versions it's "free all the people" not "free all the ladies", and similarly "Destroy all the people"

(2) on some occasions Jerry sang "dollars" instead of "guineas." And on others, he sings this verse as "I won't marry you, 'cause your guineas are too few." (thanks to Dan Franzen and Todd O'Malley for pointing this out).

(3) in early versions (eg on DP31), this verse is sung as the second verse

(4) in early versions (eg on DP31), this verse is omitted

Peggy-O