Dancing In The Street

Lyrics: Stevenson/Gaye
Music: Stevenson/Gaye

The Grateful Dead's versions of this song changed substantially from the frenetic early pace of 1966, to the somewhat smoother versions in 1970, to the 'disco' versions in 1977. Most of the transcription below is taken from an early performance on 3 July 1966, partly because that has fuller lyrics than most other versions I've got.

[Dancing, dancing, dancing in the streets] (note 1)
[Dancing, dancing, dancing in the streets]

Come alive around the world (note 2)
Are you ready for a brand new beat
'Cause summer's here and the time is right (note 3)
For dancing in the street
They're dancing in Chicago (dancing in the street) (note 4)
Down in New Orleans now (dancing in the street)
In New York City (dancing in the street)

Chorus
All we need is music, sweet music (sweet, sweet music)
And there'll be music everywhere (everywhere)
There'll be laughing, singing and music swinging
And dancing in the street
It doesn't matter what you wear
(Just as) long as you are there (note 5)
C'mon every guy, grab a girl
Everywhere around the world
And there'll be dancing (note 6)
Dancing in the street

This is an invitation across the nation
A chance for folks to meet
There'll be swinging, swaying and music playing (note 7)
And dancing in the street
Philadelphia PA (dancing in the streets)
Baltimore and DC now (dancing in the streets)
Can't forget the Motor City (dancing in the streets)

[chorus]

This is an invitation across the nation (note 8)
A chance for folks to meet
There'll be laughing, singing, and music swinging
Dancing in the street
Philadelphia PA (dancing in the streets)
Baltimore and DC now (dancing in the streets)
Down in LA every day
Dancing in the streets

Come alive around the world
Are you ready for a brand new beat
'Cause summer's here and the time is right
For dancing in the street
They're dancing in Chicago (dancing in the streets)
Down in New Orleans now (dancing in the streets)
In New York City (dancing in the streets)

[chorus]

Down in LA every day (note 9)
Dancing in the street
Big long line, get in time
Dancing in the street
Across the ocean blue, [New York too]
Dancing in the street
Yeah all round the world, boys and girls
Dancing in the street
Notes
(1) this introduction is from versions from 1976 onwards--not in versions from 1966 to 1970
(2) the 3 July 1966 version is definitely "Come alive ...". Other versions from 1966 and 1970 have this as "Coming out ...". The 1977 lyrics are "Calling out ..." which is the standard lyrics sung by most others covering this song.
(3) the 1970 version on "Fallout From The Phil Zone" has "Spring is here..." The 1966 version on Vintage Dead has "It's the winter of the year but the time's still here"
(4) the 1977 versions don't have the "dancing in the street" repeats here or elsewhere
(5) 1970 versions seem to leave out "Just as" and have "Long as you are there"
(6) the 1977 versions have "Dancing, dancing, dancing in the streets" repeated a number of times here
(7) the 3 July 1966 version in fact has "... and records playing" but almost all other versions have "... and music playing"
(8) these repeats are from the 3 July 1966 version. Most others have a long jam (preceeded by Bobby saying "Form a big long line" [Vintage Dead], "C'mon everybody get up and dance now" [1970] or similar), followed by a repeat of the chorus only.
(9) this ending is from 3 July 1966. Other endings are
Dick's Picks 8 (1970)
C'mon now we're dancing
Dancing in the street
Hey c'mon now we're dancing
Hey c'mon now we're dancing
Hey c'mon now we're dancing
Hey c'mon, hey

Dick's Picks 3 (1977)
Dancing, dancing, dancing in the street
Dancing, dancing, dancing in the street
Dancing, dancing, dancing in the street
Dancing, dancing, dancing in the street
[etc]
Grateful Dead Recordings
     Date Album
      1966 Vintage Dead
     18 Jan 1970 Download Series Vol 2
     14 Feb 1970 Dick's Picks Vol 4
     12 Apr 1970 Fallout From The Phil Zone
      5 Oct 1970 Dick's Picks Vol 8
      4 Feb 1970 Download Series: A Night At The Family Dog
      9 Jun 1976 Road Trips Volume 4, Number 5
     25 Sep 1976 Dick's Picks Vol 20
     28 Sep 1976 Dick's Picks Vol 20
     10 Oct 1976 Dick's Picks Vol 33
     studio 1977 Terrapin Station
      8 May 1977 Terrapin Station   (note a)
     12 May 1977 Winterland June 1977 - The Complete Recordings (bonus disc)   (note b)
     15 May 1977 May 1977 Box Set
     19 May 1977 Dick's Picks Vol 29
     22 May 1977 Dick's Picks Vol 3
     11 May 1978 Dick's Picks Vol 25
      9 Nov 1979 Road Trips Volume 1, Number 1
      1 Nov 1985 Dick's Picks Vol 21
      5 Jun 1999 Love Will See You Through (Phil Lesh & Friends)

Recordings from dead.net Tapers Section

Furthur Digital Downloads and CDs

"The Dead" Concert Recordings

Ratdoglive CDs and downloads

Phil Lesh and Friends Digital Download Series
 
Other Recordings
     Date Album Recorded By
     1985 Alive in '85 Kingfish (without Weir)
     1999 Terrapin Joe Gallant and Illuminati
Notes
(a) issued as a bonus track on the version in the box set Beyond Description (1973-1990)
(b) also in the May 1977 Box Set



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
For online chords and TAB see www.rukind.com

 


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