Big Boss Man

Lyrics: Smith/Dixon
Music: Smith/Dixon

This was sung regularly by Pigpen with the Dead during the 60's and early 70's. It was revived a few times by Bob Weir with the Dead during the 80's. He also played it a few times with Kingfish in the mid-70's, and more recently with Ratdog. Phil Lesh also plays it with Phil & Friends.

Chorus
Big boss man, can't you hear me when I call
Big boss man, can't you hear me when I call
Well you ain't so big, you just tall that's just about all

Now you got me workin', boss man
Workin' round the clock
I want a little shot of whiskey (note a)
But you sure don't let me stop

[chorus]

I'm gonna get me a boss man
One 'bout to treat me right
I work hard in the morning
Sure get stoned at night

[chorus]
Notes
(a) Bob Weir sometimes sings "Want a little drink of water, but you won't let Bobby stop"

Grateful Dead Recordings
     Date Album
      Jul 1966 Birth Of The Dead (note 1)
     Fillmore 1967 Grateful Dead Documentary (note 2)
     18 Jan 1970 Download Series Vol 2
      5 Feb 1970 Bear's Choice (note 3)
     26 Apr 1971 Grateful Dead (Skull & Roses)
     30 May 1971 Winterland 1971
     31 Jul 1971 Road Trips Number 1, Volume 3 (bonus disc)
      7 Aug 1971 Dick's Picks Vol 35
     24 Aug 1971 Dick's Picks Vol 35
      7 Apr 1972 Europe '72 - The Complete Recordings
     11 Apr 1972 Europe '72 - The Complete Recordings
     14 Apr 1972 Europe '72 - The Complete Recordings
     29 Apr 1972 Europe '72 - The Complete Recordings
      4 May 1972 Europe '72 - The Complete Recordings
      7 May 1972 Steppin' Out with the Grateful Dead: England '72 (note 4)
     10 May 1972 Europe '72 - The Complete Recordings
     25 May 1972 Europe '72 - The Complete Recordings
     16 Jun 1990 View From The Vault III (video/DVD & CD soundtrack)

Recordings from dead.net Tapers Section

"The Dead" Concert Recordings

Furthur Digital Downloads and CDs

Ratdoglive CDs and downloads

Phil Lesh and Friends Digital Download Series

Weir-Robinson-Greene Trio Live!

Bob Weir Solo Acoustic Live!
 
Other Dead-related Recordings
     Date Album Recorded By
      [?] 1985 Alive in '85 Kingfish (without Weir)
      5 Jun 1999 Love Will See You Through Phil Lesh & Friends
     2001 Blues Tribute To The Grateful Dead Various (Anders Osborne)
Notes
(1) originally released as part of the Rhino box set The Golden Road (1965-1973)
(2) The Grateful Dead Documentary by Michael Wanger and Vance Frost includes (longish) excerpts from a version of Big Boss Man listed as "Live at the Fillmore 1967"
(3) included as a bonus track on remastered album, first released as part of the box set The Golden Road (1965-1973)
(4) also on the box set Europe '72 - The Complete Recordings



Futher Information
For an online discussion of the lyrics to this song see the deadsongs.vue conference on The Well.
For more information on recordings see Matt Schofield's Grateful Dead Family Discography

 


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