"Dire Wolf" as written by Jerome J. Garcia and Robert C. Hunter....
In the timbers to Fennario, the wolves are running round
The winter was so hard and cold, froze ten feet 'neath the ground
Don't murder me, I beg of you, don't murder me
Please, don't murder me

I sat down to my supper, 'twas a bottle of red whisky
I said my prayers and went to bed, that's the last they saw of me
Don't murder me, I beg of you, don't murder me
Please, don't murder me

When I awoke, the Dire Wolf, six hundred pounds of sin
Was grinning at my window, all I said was come on in
Don't murder me, I beg of you, don't murder me
Please, don't murder me

The Wolf came in, I got my cards, we sat down for a game
I cut my deck to the Queen of Spades, but the cards were all the same
Don't murder me, I beg of you, don't murder me
Please, don't murder me
Don't murder me

In the backwash of Fennario, the black and bloody mire
The Dire Wolf collects his dues, while the boys sing 'round the fire
Don't murder me, I beg of you, don't murder me
Please, don't murder me
Don't murder me
I beg of you don't murder me
Please, don't murder me
No no no don't murder me

I beg of you, don't murder me
Please, don't murder me
Please, don't murder me


Lyrics submitted by itsmyownmind

"Dire Wolf" as written by Robert C. Hunter Jerome J. Garcia

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Dire Wolf song meanings
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12 Comments

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  • +2
    General Commentif you want the meaning go to arts.ucsc.edu/gdead/agdl/…
    tenneseejedon March 28, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti think it's about getting what you deserve...living it rough, gambling, drinking, doing whatever, and then begging not to be engulfed by the ginormous hole you've dug for yourself.

    When I awoke, the Dire Wolf, six hundred pounds of sin,
    Was grinning at my window, all I said was "Come on in".

    if you let six hundred pounds of sin into your life you have to face the consequences.
    my favourite line is "In the backwash of Fennario, the black and bloody mire, The Dire Wolf collects his dues"
    luey_babyon October 03, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Commentits about the consequences of your actions. hoping it doesnt come back to bite ya in the ass. aka getting what you deserve
    boleteon March 11, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love this song. It has the feeling of- "the boys sing 'round the fire." Dont know why, but that line really shows the feeling of the song.
    Gratefateon March 18, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI agree, this is a feel good song.
    TheDeadon December 20, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentGreat song, one of the best pedal steel guitar solo ever.
    Direwolfon May 11, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentone of the best songs of all time: tough to say what it's about
    AlkalineTrioFanon May 31, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI agree about it being about getting what you deserve. i think the dire wolf is really all of the bad things a person has done just manifested, and the message behind the song is that if you do bad things to people bad things will happen back to you, when the dire wolf knocks on your door. and all you can do when he comes is let him in, and hope he doesn't swallow you whole
    armsaimedatthe_sunon April 21, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI remember a couple of years back listening to an audience recording with garcia introducing this song as his "paranoid in the streets mantra" i think its a song that recognizes the darker side of that illicit shit we all exist along side in urban life, this is a song that came out as their neighborhood was in a real decline. I think aside from the literal translation which is also valuable and interesting, this is a song at least from an imagery standpoint that speaks to me about not a hatred for the evil in our lives, but a tolerance and acceptance of that understanding. All hunter is saying is live as good of a life as you can live and keep an eye out for the consequences of your actions. A nice little comes around goes around lesson spared of the self richeous overtones... were all bad people some of us are worse than others lets try not to get killed in the process.
    fouretwentey420on December 31, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI once heard Jerry say at the start of this song during a 69 show- This song is dedicated to the zodiac, and to paranoid fantasies everywhere.

    The song is brilliant. He begs and begs not to be murdered, yet is helpless before the greater powers.
    It's one of those songs with a lot of possible meanings.

    It could be a reference to Robert Hunter's participation in CIA drug testing- the government being the wolf. The "boys" being the test subjects. Hence, as soon as he wakes up- the wolf is right there smiling with another dose and battery of questions (the game.) But the deck is soon cut to the queen of spades (death). Naturally, it would become something of a mantra to not want to be murdered- praying that this trip won't be so bad.

    It could also be a larger reference to all the inherent misunderstandings (possibly resulting from the aforementioned zodiac) between us, and the burden of responsibility we place on one another which, in effect, "murders us" with guilt. Or else just behaving shabbily towards one another.

    The best part of the song, by far, is the chorus, which on many occasions during shows, Jerry would stop to remind of us saying something like- "This is a song with a real easy chorus- you can even sing with it- it's fun." Given the catchyness and almost mandatory sing-along effect of the song, we have to assume this was intentionally made to be a mantra repeated over and over- a message of better understanding between us and our fellow humans.
    MoogleGenocideon January 07, 2009   Link

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