Nine Pound Hammer

Lyrics: Traditional [Merle Travis]
Music: Traditional [Merle Travis]

Played by Jerry Garcia with the Black Mountain Boys in March 1964 (sometimes listed on tapes as "Roll On Buddy"). He also played it with the Hart Valley Drifters in November 1962, and with the Wildwood Boys at the Monterey Folk Festival in 1963. Recorded by Garcia and Grisman some 30 years later, though never played live. Also played in 2012 by Ross James with Phil Lesh & Friends.

This is Garcia's sixties' version:

See this nine pound hammer (nine pound hammer)
Is a little too heavy (little too heavy)
For my size (for my size)
For my size

Now roll on buddy (roll on buddy)
Don't you roll so slow (roll so slow)
How can I roll (how can I roll)
When the wheels won't go

I'm going on a mountain (going on a mountain)
To see my baby (to see my baby)
And I ain't coming back (ain't coming back)
No I ain't coming back

Now roll on buddy (roll on buddy)
Don't you roll so slow (roll so slow)
How can I roll (how can I roll)
When the wheels won't go

Ain't one hammer (ain't one hammer)
In this tunnel (in this tunnel)
That rings like mine (rings like mine)
That rings like mine

Now roll on buddy (roll on buddy)
Don't you roll so slow, roll so slow)
How can I roll, how can I roll)
When the wheels won't go

Now roll on buddy (roll on buddy)
Don't you roll so slow (roll so slow)
How can I roll (how can I roll)
When the wheels won't go
The Garcia/Grisman version is essentially the same, though with a slightly different structure:
Chorus
Roll on buddy
Don't you roll so slow
How can I roll?
When the wheels won't go

This nine pound hammer
Is a little too heavy
Buddy, for my size
Buddy, for my size

[chorus]
[chorus]

I'm going on a mountain
Gonna see my babe
And I ain't coming back
No I ain't coming back


[chorus]
[chorus]

[chorus]

This nine pound hammer
Is a little too heavy
Buddy, for my size
Buddy, for my size

I'm going on a mountain
Gonna see my babe
And I ain't coming back
And I ain't coming back

[chorus]
Ross James' version with Phil Lesh and Friends includes two additional verses:
Well it's a long way to Harlan
It's a long way to Hazard
Gonna get a little brew, sir
Got to get a little brew

Now when I'm long gone
You can make my tombstone
Out of number nine coal
Out of number nine coal
Jerry Garcia Recordings
     Date Album Recorded By
     199? Been All Around This World Garcia/Grisman


Futher Information
For more information on recordings see Matt Schofield's Grateful Dead Family Discography

 


Home | Find words/phrases| Find Song lyrics| Dead originals| Dead covers|