Grateful Dead

The Promised Land

Lyrics By: Chuck Berry
Music By: Chuck Berry

I left my home in Norfolk, Virginia
California on my mind
I straddled that Greyhound and rode him past Raleigh
And on across Caroline (note 1)
We stopped at Charlotte, we by-passed Rockhill
We never was a minute late
We was ninety miles out of Atlanta by sundown
Rollin' 'cross Georgia State (note 2)
We had motor trouble that turned into a struggle
Half-way across Alabam'
And that 'Hound broke down and left us all stranded
In downtown Birmingham

Right away I bought me a through train ticket
Ridin' 'cross Mississippi clean
And I was on the Midnight Flyer out of Birmingham
Smokin' into New Orleans
Somebody help me get out of Louisiana
Just help me get to Houston town
There are people there who care a little 'bout me
And they won't let the poor boy down
Sure as you're born, they bought me a silk suit
They put luggage in my hand
And I woke up high over Albuquerque
On a jet to the promised land

Workin' on a T-bone steak a la carte
Flyin' over to the Golden State
When the pilot told us in thirteen minutes
We'd be headed in the terminal gate (note 3)
Swing low sweet chariot, come down easy
Taxi to the terminal zone
Cut your engines and cool your wings
And let me make it to the telephone
Los Angeles, give me Norfolk, Virginia
Tidewater four-ten-o-nine
Tell the folks back home, this is the promised land calling
And the poor boy is on the line

Apparently played by the Warlocks and the Grateful Dead in their earliest days, Bob Weir started playing this with the Dead in 1971, and it remained a regular right through to 1995. He also played it with Kingfish, Bobby & The Midnites and on the 1996 Furthur Festival tour.

The Promised Land