"Truckin'" as written by Jerry Garcia, Robert Hunter, Philip Lesh and Bob Weir....
Truckin' got my chips cashed in
Keep truckin', like the do-dah man
Together, more or less in line, just keep truckin' on

Arrows of neon and flashing marquees out on Main Street
Chicago, New York, Detroit and it's all on the same street
Your typical city involved in a typical daydream
Hang it up and see what tomorrow brings

Dallas, got a soft machine Houston, too close to New Orleans
New York's got the ways and means and just won't let you be

Most of the cats that you meet on the streets speak of true love
Most of the time they're sittin' and cryin' at home
One of these days they know they better get goin'
Out of the door and down on the streets all alone

Truckin', like the do-dah man. Once told me you've got to play your hand
Sometimes your cards ain't worth a dime, if you don't lay'em down

Sometimes the light's all shinin' on me
Other times I can barely see
Lately it occurs to me what a long, strange trip it's been

What in the world ever became of sweet Jane?
She lost her sparkle, you know she isn't the same
Livin' on reds, vitamin C, and cocaine,
All a friend can say is ain't it a shame?

Truckin', up to Buffalo. Been thinkin', you got to mellow slow
Takes time, you pick a place to go, and just keep truckin' on

Sittin' and starin' out of the hotel window
Got a tip they're gonna kick the door in again
I'd like to get some sleep before I travel
But if you got a warrant, I guess you're gonna come in

Busted, down on Bourbon Street, set up, like a bowlin' pin
Knocked down, it get's to wearin' thin. They just won't let you be

You're sick of hangin' around and you'd like to travel
Get tired of travelin' and you want to settle down
I guess they can't revoke your soul for tryin'
Get out of the door and light out and look all around

Sometimes the light's all shinin' on me
Other times I can barely see
Lately it occurs to me what a long, strange trip it's been

Truckin', I'm a goin' home. Whoa whoa baby, back where I belong
Back home, sit down and patch my bones, and get back truckin' on


Lyrics submitted by capitol76

"Truckin'" as written by Philip Lesh Jerome J. Garcia

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Truckin' song meanings
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36 Comments

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  • +1
    General Commentat the high school i went to the graduating class always got tshirts at the end of the year. well one year they had "what a long strange trip it's been" printed in huge spiraling letters on the front. i thought it was so funny that someone talked their oblivious class advisor to make shirts with a blantant drug reference from the grateful dead. i have always loved this song and now it reminds me of major mile stones in life (ie graduation) and silly high school traditions, oh and dumb people who don't know a dead reference when they hear it.
    urlostinspacelikemeon January 04, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti read a book called the car by gary paulsen and they used the term truckin in it, it means to travel without knowing where u r going and possibly be on drugs at the time
    gmanoakson August 21, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentAlright. Honestly, I cannot believe that nobody has yet mentioned what this song is actually supposed to be about. In a way, it is about drugs, and it's also about traveling, but it's not the Dead alone who are doing the traveling, it's also Owsley "Bear" Stanley, the Dead's early sound guy who was arrested for manufacturing and attempting to transport LSD. They were all arrested for real in New Orleans, (which is where Bourbon St. is), but the charges were dropped for everyone but Owsley who already had past manufacturing charges against him. It's a great song, and plenty of the Dead's songs have little to do with drugs, but this is not one of them. It's also foolish to say that LSD did not have a massive influence on their music--it did. On the cover of Aoxomoxoa "The Greatful Dead" can also be read "WE ATE THE ACID."

    Also, the line with "reds, vitamin C, and cocaine" is very clearly about drugs. "Reds" (as anyone who were actually alive in the era, or an active drug user at any time, would know) are any drugs that are depressants and have sedative effects. This includes various barbiturates and opiates. The term originates from opium poppies, which are red. "Vitamin C and cocaine" is referring not to ketamine (known as vitamin K) which may not have even existed, and certainly was not yet popular, at the time this song was written (it certainly was not called vitamin K yet, as it was first called that in a book written in the early-mid eighties, where it was used as an altered states therapy drug, but not identified in order to prevent what the writer of the book considered to be "abuse"), but rather, it is referring to cut cocaine, more specifically cocaine that has been cut with vitamin C, a very common white-powder drug adulterant.

    Anyway, you guys should try to get your facts straight before you get all holier than now, and act like you know exactly what the song was about.
    shawxeon November 09, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song is not about drugs or women. It's a nice wholesome song about the weariness of constant travel and how Jesus can save you from a life of confusion.
    dylaniteon December 07, 2017   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWhat are all GD songs about?...cmon now. "what a long strange trip its been". lol u know its about drugs. GD's music will never die man.
    JayManon May 28, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think what this song is about is traveling, but I also think there's a hidden meaning in the word "trip".
    demo0043on August 21, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthats not a hidden meaning. Its an obvious meaning. anyway, I think this song is about touring and all the crazy crap the dead did.
    Billy88on June 26, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentalright kids, yes this is by the dead. and yes at the time they were doing hard core drugs. this song is about them doing drugs, doing shows and doing women...well prostitutes.
    grateful26guitaron December 17, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis is a great dead song...classic.
    xmaggsx0on January 25, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love this song so much!
    squirrellgirl00on February 03, 2005   Link

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