The Sweet Sunny South

Lyrics: Traditional
Music: Traditional

This was played a few times by Jerry with David Grisman in 1990-92 and long before that with the Sleepy Hollow Hog Stompers in 1962. The lyrics for the two versions are almost identical (thanks to Matt Schofield for checking the 1962 version)

Take me back to the place where I first saw the light
To the sweet sunny south take me home
Where the mockingbirds sing me to rest every night
Oh, why was I tempted to roam?

I think with regret of the dear home I left
Of the warm hearts that sheltered me there
Of wife and of dear ones of whom I'm bereft
For the old place again do I sigh

Take me back to the place where the orange trees grow
To my plot in the evergreen shade
Where the flowers from the river's green margins did grow (note 1)
And spread their sweet scent through the glade

Oh the path to our cottage they say has grown green (note 2)
And the place is quite lonely around
I know that the smiles and the forms I have seen
Now lie in the dark mossy ground

Take me back, let me see what is left that I knew
Can it be that the old house is gone?
Dear friends of my childhood indeed must be few
And I must face death all alone

But yet I'll return to the place of my birth
Where the children have played round the door
Where they gathered wild blossoms that grow round the path
They'll echo our footsteps no more

Take me back to the place where my little ones sleep
Poor Massa lies buried close by
By the graves of my loved ones, I long for to weep
And among them to rest when I die

Take me back to the place where I first saw the light
To the sweet sunny south take me home
Where the mockingbirds sing me to rest every night
Oh, why was I tempted to roam?
Notes
(1) the booklet with the CD has "... did flow", but Garcia sings "... did grow" (which makes better sense anyway).
(2) similarly, the lyric booklet has "... gone green" but Garcia sings "... grown green

Jerry Garcia Recordings
     Date Album Recorded By
      9 Feb 1991 Shady Grove Garcia/Grisman
      7 Dec 1991 Grateful Dawg Garcia/Grisman (DVD and CD)


Futher Information
For more information on recordings see Matt Schofield's Grateful Dead Family Discography
For sheet music, see:
          Shady Grove (guitar TAB)
          Jerry Garcia Songbook (vocal line and chords)

 


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