Grateful Dead

Scarlet Begonias

Lyrics By: Robert Hunter
Music By: Jerry Garcia

As I was walking round Grosvenor Square
Not a chill to the winter but a nip to the air
From the other direction she was calling my eye (note 1)
It could be an illusion, but I might as well try
Might as well try

She had rings on her fingers and bells on her shoes
And I knew without asking she was into the blues
She wore scarlet begonias, tucked into her curls
I knew right away she was not like other girls
Other girls

In the thick of the evening when the dealing got rough (note 2)
She was too pat to open and too cool to bluff
As I picked up my matches and was closing the door
I had one of those flashes I had been there before
Been there before

Well I ain't often right but I've never been wrong
It seldom turns out the way it does in the song
Once in a while you get shown the light
In the strangest of places if you look at it right

Well there ain't nothing wrong with the way she moves
Scarlet begonias or a touch of the blues
And there's nothing wrong with the look that's in her eyes (note 3) (note 4)
I had to learn the hard way to let her pass by
Let her pass by

The wind in the willows playing Tea for Two (note 5)
The sky was yellow and the sun was blue
Strangers stopping strangers just to shake their hand
Everybody is playing in the heart of gold band
Heart of gold band

(1) Jerry occasionally sang "From the other direction, I was calling her eye"

(2) it often sounds as if Jerry sang "In the heat of the evening when the dealer got rough"

(3) Jerry normally sang sings "the look that's in her eyes", though the original Hunter lyrics are "the love that's in her eye" - and that's what Hunter sings when he does it in concert.

(4) Jerry at least once sang "And there's nothing wrong with the way she caught my eye"

(5) there are a few minor differences between Garcia's and Hunter's version of the lyrics to this verse. Hunter has "... played Tea for Two" rather than "playing"; he also has "Strangers stop strangers" rather then "stopping".

Scarlet Begonias